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Telling the Truth

Author Interview
John C. Hill Author Interview

FoxHide follows a family of foxes and the adventures they embark on to create a life for themselves in the forest. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Well, I wanted to make a new story that was a pleasure to read, it made you happy and made you think. I’ve learned a lot in life and wanted to PASS IT ON. One of the main concepts that I have learned is the ability to use “WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW” for troubleshooting. I am a retired IT professional of 35 years. Using that skill & thought pattern brought me great success. In life, as I have been able to communicate that concept to those around me, once they GRASP the concept, they become better people. Smarter people. Happier people. Over time, they thank me for teaching them that. I tried to weave into FoxHide all the GOOD, POSITIVE, THINGS IN LIFE I have learned.

The characters in your story were endearing and well created. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

My Family – Mom and Dad – Wife – and Co-Workers. I had MUCH good material to work with. I took all the GOOD things from all the people I knew in life, and used ONLY the GOOD PARTS of them. I was able to use many people to make each character. Then wove all that into a story that I wanted to be new and original. ‘Strike’ was my BOSS for many years. He was always so sharp, very sharp and smart. Even if he did not know something, he would be able to think it through and make up a solution. ‘BoomBoom’ is my little brother in life. To this very DAY, he is a Spoiled Brat and he is 52! He has never grown up! So, he made me really angry one day by his behavior. I told him I would write a book and change his name to BoomBoom because he is so thundering and mean and thoughtless of other people. HE then said, “I DARE YOU”. So I did. It worked. He is now called BoomBoom. ‘SlitherChameleon’ – was all my other MEAN bosses mixed together over time…..

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Telling the Truth. Working hard. Paying attention in LIFE, to make My Life and the lives next to me better and more pleasant and more successful.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I don’t think there will be a FoxHide II. Maybe, but not in the plans. IF there were to be a FoxHide II, it would be along the lines of a ‘Pawz and Foxxy Babe’ relationship. It would be a Men R from Mars, Women R from Venus. Where PAWZ has to figure out the mind of a WOMAN now that he has conquered the physical world around him. It would be fun, but a LOT of WORK.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads

“FoxHide” is a charming story about a family of foxes and their meandering adventures. Through a number of adventures here, there, and way over there, the foxes carve out a living in the forest caring for each other. They find that there are some things in life that no one else can figure out for you.

A powerful poetic tide carries the lyrical prose of this story of a band of lovable foxes. Through their adventures, and misadventures, readers will gain laughs and life lessons.

Black Inked Pearl: A Girl’s Quest

Black Inked Pearl: A Girl's Quest by [Ruth Finnegan]

The Black Inked Pearl: A Journey of the Soul by Ruth Finnegan takes you on a dream-like adventure, wrapped with a bittersweet, spiritual romance story. The plot of the novel revolves around Kate, who had rejected her lover out of whim, but later undertakes an arduous journey to find him. Her passionate love takes her to unknown lands within and beyond the boundaries of the world. She journeys through heaven and hell to seek her lost lover and encounters some strange characters that assist her in the quest.

In one section of the novel, the author implies a parallel between Kate’s journey and that of Eve’s, rendering a universal appeal to her pursuit. In the end, Kate’s journey gets a greater meaning, as she discovers the pearl of wisdom, metaphorically implying the discovery of her true self.

The storyline is nonlinear but still engaging. There are multiple literary allusions and digressions that aptly blend into the fervor of the romance. The author compels us to dive into a dream-like trance, where we lose track of time, location, and reality.

The author’s use of dream and nightmare as literary tropes leads to a wide variety of settings. Sometimes you are at the wild Atlantic shore, sometimes you are at the dungeon of hell, and then you are standing at the gate of heaven. The settings become picturesque with poetic descriptions and vivid imagery.

The nuances of language make this work stand out from any other contemporary novels you might have read. Written in the vein of Milton or Shakespeare’s poetic art, this novel fuses verse and narrative. The heavy allusions seem to take up larger space in the novel, which I think could have been a smaller portion.

The Black Inked Pearl: A Journey of the Soul would be an enjoyable read for readers who enjoys classic literature, fairytales and mythologies. The story challenges you to break out of the norm of pedestrian fantasy stories and dive deep into the colorful world author Ruth Finnegan has created. I think a grasp of Shakespeare’s sonnets will help readers comprehend the meaning that the author is aiming to convey, but the adventure awaits anyone willing to follow.

The beautiful flow of language, the well-wrought story, the intriguing literary references, and the magical setting leave behind a deep impact in the readers’ mind.

Pages: 286 | ASIN: B0158VRF26

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Being a “Fairytale”

Ruth Finnegan
Ruth Finnegan Author Interview

Voyage of Pearl of the Seas follows two children who go on a whirlwind adventure where the boy must make an incredible sacrifice. Did the idea for the prequel to Black Inked Pearl come while you were writing that book or sometime afterwards?

Afterwards, in a dream. The idea of it being a “fairytale” comes from away back in my childhood, but also reminded, recently, by The Alchemist, a wonderful book.

I felt like the children were a symbol for something greater. Did you intend the story to portray them this way?

Yes ( though I hadn’t realised it when I was writing the book). Kate on the face of it is timid and exploring but with deep spiritual female strength which sustains them both, Christy male and on the face of it arrogant but a great skipper who is rightly humble before the waves and his beloved ship, recognises his dependence in Kate without whom he knows he wound never have voyaged at all and (her I disagree p with one reviewer’s assessment) makes the sacrifice of his young (growing-up and facing-things) life in turning back for the sake of Holly and Kate.

So the story in a way symbolises the female spiritual side of our nature and “the power of the weak” complementing male strength and expert mastery. We need both.

But forget all that – I’d say that basically it’s just a good yarn in its own right.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Mainly that God/Allah/Oluwa/whoever exists and is known worldwide by many names.

That fairy tales can hold deep truth.

What has been the most surprising reader reaction to your novel so far?

Not identifying insightfully with Christy ( and the Christy- dimension if OURSELVES) and so not realising the deep, well concealed, and enduring pain of his having to give up his lifelong and do-able plan to sail round the world.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

An award-winning unput-downable tale of two children building a boat from a log they find buried in the sand and sailing off to far-off fantastic lands in a stormy sea-driven adventure with their faithful – but accident-prone – dog Holly. There they learn much wisdom from a king who, like God, has many names’. After an incredible sacrifice of his dearest dream by the boy (now growing up) they return – another dream – to a family tea with their loved ones. The tale is a prequel and companion to Ruth Finnegan’s award-winning epic romance ‘Black inked pearl’, here adapted for preteens but characterised by (in a simpler form) the same unique dream-like and enchanted style as in the original novel. 

The Lady and the Dragon

The lady and the dragon (Ruthfinn romance Book 1) by [Ruth Finnegan ]

The Lady and the Dragon by Ruth Finnegan is an intriguing fantasy story following a young lady, a powerful dragon, an angel, and a couple of philosophical conundrums. It’s all packaged in a delightfully poetic format and explores themes such as sin, humanity, and destruction in an easy and engaging manner.

This story seems like it was made to read aloud, with funny voices and panache. I couldn’t help myself from muttering the best bits to myself, even getting strange looks from the other occupants of my home. There’s alliterations and rhymes and repetition and onomatopoeia– basically a linguistic candy store. The book reads like classic literature, it is offbeat and charming without ever being boring. It creates a comforting atmosphere with plenty of depth and imagination.

It is hard not to smile when you reach the end– it was definitely a glimmer of hope and joy in my generally mundane days. I can easily see myself reading this book to my baby nephew or recommending it to my teenage sister. A witty story and sharp writing elevates this fantasy novel, and I personally thought it was refreshing and a good break from the intensity of the real world. The Lady and the Dragon captures the essentials of the soul, offers subtle commentary on humanity, and is written with precision and a depth of understanding that will fascinate any reader. I can’t wait for Ruthfinn Romance Book 2!

Pages: 46 | ASIN: B08XW8561P

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Pearl of the Wind: The Poet-of-the-Aire Sings

Pearl of the Wind: The Poet-of-the-Aire Sings by [Ruth Finnegan]

Pearl of the wind by Ruth Finnegan is an emotive story told in poetic verse from the perspective of the air. This story retells Ruth Finnegan’s other fairytale story, Black Inked Pearl, but with added depth as we get to hear the story from from a different soulful voice. As this book takes the reader through magnificent poems along with idyllic landscapes and characters inspired by Greek Mythology, it feels like a trip through poetry’s history adorned with the passion of a young blossoming love.

Furthermore, the connection and inspiration from Homer is quite evident, giving the whole composition an elegant literary feel throughout. Another interesting detail is the dreamlike reality of the story, which will interest even the youngest reader. As a reader keen for details, I appreciated the quality of the descriptions, the depth and heart of the poems and the intriguing story itself. This latter represents a great modernisation of Greek myths and gives the plot an interesting twist, building tension until the last chapter.

Pearl of the Wind is a collection of poems that will win the reader’s heart with its love story and its thought-provoking references to classical and modern poetry. Therefore, I would recommend it to fans of Black Inked Pearls, by the same author, and to any reader interested in poetry and oneiric voyages. And as Finnegan evokes the ancient Muse, “Sing to me Great Poet of the Winds of the wrath of deepen breathing-thinking hero here”. Beautifully fantastic.

Pages: 45 | ASIN: B08B6BQR2L

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A Unicorn Named Rin

A Unicorn Named Rin is an adventurous children’s story that follows a qilin, a Chinese unicorn, that must help Princess Pingyang find Fan, the royal Phoenix, before the Friendship Concert begins. Rin sets off on a wonderous journey that takes him to many real life locations where he meets many mythical creatures from real Chinese legends.

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book. Every page is covered in bright colors that will surely keep young readers attention. I loved all the creatures that Rin encounters as they were intricately drawn and each helps Rin when he needs it, and lift his spirits when he is down. In the end they all work as a team to find Fan in a clever twist that requires teamwork, a fantastic message for children. This is the most unique children’s book that I’ve read as it combines Chinese culture in every aspect, from myths, to poetry, festivals, and real geographic locations.

This fairy tale is easy to read, with a couple of larger words that will challenge young readers, but with repetition they are sure to pick it up. The message this story delivers is an important one for children to learn, don’t despair, ask for help, and work as a team. I appreciate how all of this is never stated outright, but learned through the story.

A Unicorn Named Rin is a fun and educational picture book that teaches children about Chinese culture as well as building literacy skills. Highly recommended to parents and teachers who are looking to diversity their children’s bookshelf.

Pages: 32 | ISBN: 1913891127

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Being a Dragon Rider

Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait
Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait Author Interview

The Spires of Dasny follows a young woman who attends the Dragon Rider School, but faces more challenges than she expected. What was the inspiration for the setup to this riveting story?

The inspiration came from a few different directions. A few months before starting this story, I saw a picture of a dragon gliding over a rocky terrain. Such things also kick my daydreaming mind into gear. I have also been participating in a writing group where each month we write to a prompt with a given word count limit. It is amazing what stories are spurred on by such things. The book developed from writing from three or four prompts and I fell for the characters and decided to develop it into a book. 

Seyra and Dreyth are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development? 

What happens most of the time, when I begin writing something fresh and new, I see a mini movie of a scene in my head and begin writing. All I knew of Seyra is she had always dreamed of being a dragon rider. She held the dream so tight that the stories that enriched her life drove her up the Spires in her greatest time of need. Dreyth developed as a protector and best friend, often seeing things in Seyra she couldn’t see, both bad and good. 

I appreciated how well defined the dragon lore was in your book. What kind of research and development went into developing them in this novel?

I refused to read many books about dragons when I wrote my first series, The Legend of the Dragon Child, for fear of my dragons appearing a carbon copy of other dragons. After getting that series out, I learned something. I think most fantasy writers have the same concepts of things we haven’t seen. I was amazed at how many things my books had in common with other books, such as dragon and human being able to communicated through their minds. 

I became ravenous to read more books of dragon stories, so I’m sure a part of them resonates in my current writing. I am a panster by design. The thought of outlining a book is cringe-worthy and shoots up a brick wall in my mind. I simply sit each day, write the day’s date and when my fingers hit the keyboard, we’re off for a new adventure.

Will this book be part of a series? If so, what can readers expect in book two?

Oh yes! It is a series in the making! I just finished book two, handed it off to the editor and making the final decisions on the cover as I write. 

Book 2 is a wild ride. There will be twists and turns and surprises around ever corner. I get goosebumps thinking of it. It takes place five years after Book 1 and the main characters have grown. The Dragon School is in full operation and is enjoying a peace in their kingdom–until something dreadful happens to shatter their world. 

Book 3 is now in the works. Will there be more? It depends on what is accomplished in Book 3. In my mind I see it as a four to five book series but I’ll have to wait to see what happens. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

The night when the rogue knights killed my family and torched our town, I fled. I scrambled up the Spires of Dasny, even though I knew it once was a haven for dragons and the old Dragon Riders School. The ground thundered. I trembled in the small niche tucked into the mountain. Had the knights returned? I caught my breath as an enormous green eye peered in. A dragon!

I awoke in a deep, dark cavern. Staring at me through one opened eye lay a huge black dragon. I had been taught the stories of the dragons, of the days long ago when they ruled the sky and searched for their riders, but this wasn’t at all what I had been taught. Why was I there? Suddenly, pressure built up in my head. My eyes sprung wide in fear and… I heard him.

What happens when three dragon riders come together as told in the prophecy? The Blind, the Healer and the Magician…

There are secrets to be uncovered, but only if Seyra is brave enough. Discover the intriguing lives of the brash young Seyra and Dreyth, the one who rescues her–or is it she who rescues him?

The Mermaids Melt At Dawn

The Mermaids Melt at Dawn is a modern-day fairy-tale written by Grendolyn Peach Soleil. This book weaves an intricate tale that follows many intriguing characters. It starts with the story of one little boy named Rok, who grew up with his grandparents. His grandmother is rumored to be a sea witch. Rok hears about a fantastical story from his grandfather about the island of Barbiche, also known as the land of the mermaids. The story then changes from different points of view to follow mermaids and others people to illustrate how beautifully connected everyone is, from gods to humans.

Soleil writes a breathtaking story with a dark mythology that captures the imagination. The descriptions of mythical creatures is intriguing. Each chapter is broken up into its own ‘yarn’ that provides its own mythical backstory to a fantastical creature or fanciful events. They seemed like old stories passed down for generations. The emotions jump right off the page. In Yarn 8, there is a love story where you can feel the truth and depth of the love. This part of the book is my favorite; it left me breathless because it was told so beautifully. The story is told with an artistic flare that evokes emotion and requires your imagination.

While consisting of beasts, mermaids, gods, and magic, this story gave me the same feeling I had watching Disney’s Pinocchio as a child. All folklore has some myth behind it, add a dash of horror, and you have some of the best fables we all cherish. Grendolyn Peach Soleil channels this same folkloric energy into her book. As the reader travels closer to Barbiche, the spun tale gets darker and darker still. There is so much loss in a book that gives so much life. The Mermaids Melt at Dawn is an imaginative adventure over the sea, filled with fantastic creatures, and guided by childlike wonder.

Pages: 112 | ASIN: B08D92PFKY

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