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Caught in a Conundrum

Richa Gupta Author Interview

Richa Gupta Author Interview

Skeins follows a group of Indian woman as they travel through Europe learning something about life, each other, and themselves. What served as your inspiration for this uplifting novel?

Both my novels relate to a world well-known to me: urban educated India. I have been travelling a great deal for the past 14 years and I undertake at least one group tour overseas each year. Though the itinerary for the tour described in Skeins is similar to that of a group tour I undertook with Cosmos© in 2015, the similarity ends there as the tourists in the latter included men and women of varied nationalities. Also, when I had traveled to Ireland in 2016, my suitcase had not been transferred in time to the connecting flight by the airline staff at Munich airport during transit. These experiences sparked off my imagination, which led to the birth of Skeins.

There is a great collection of women from several generations in this group. Who was your favorite character to write for?

It’s like asking someone who is your favourite child. Each woman character is alive in my imagination with her own distinct personality, dreams and circumstances. They are all resilient as I don’t sympathize with whiners. I like women who get back on their feet after a hard tumble and find their own path in life without seeking sympathy or support. However, I particularly empathized with the characters Sandra D’Souza and Vidya Rao who are caught in a conundrum and need to make tough decisions.

I enjoyed how the characters each had their own story that contributed to the depth of their character. What were some themes you wanted to capture in this book?

Though the novel is a breezy read, it deals with serious societal issues related to women. I feel very strongly about the thwarting of women’s emotional, professional and intellectual independence and expression by a patriarchal society and a dominant partner who limit her role to that of a mother and a comfort provider. The novel also depicts the generic issues of social hierarchy, aspirational lifestyles, the violence within and without our homes, loneliness and dementia.

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

I have a few ideas that I am exploring. When that creative spark is ignited, I know I will not take longer than two months to pen the story and edit it.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

What happens when the skeins of life of 16 diverse Indian women, aged 25 to 67, get entwined when they travel to Spain and Portugal in an all-women’s tour? 

With a galaxy of identifiable characters from modern urban India depicted with light-hearted mirth in a travel environment, the novel explores serious issues, such as the quest for an independent identity and economic independence, the violence within and outside our homes, the loneliness of old age and the need for constructive channelization of youthful energy. Spanning events across a little more than a year, Skeins depicts how self-expression and a supportive environment trigger a cataclysmic effect and stimulate the women to realize their dreams.

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Spiral into Darkness – Trailer

He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, have no idea they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.

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An Interesting Psychology

Igor Valec Author Interview

Igor Valec Author Interview

Damnation is a thrilling dark fantasy novel that follows King Lortar as he finds himself surrounded by enemies. What was the inspiration for the setup to this novel?

Loosely, the Warring States period of ancient China.

Asuf was an intriguing character that I enjoyed following. Your book is filled with interesting characters, who was your favorite character to write for?

Princess Alerise. She has an interesting psychology and fun dialogue. Plus I have a thing for tomgirls, villainesses, and blondes, and Alerise just so happens to tick all those boxes.

The characters inhabit a world with a rich backstory. How did you create the backstory for this world and what were some themes you wanted to capture?

From the ground up. First the geography, then the ecology, then the peoples and their cultures, then their histories.

As for themes, I wanted to show a harsh people bred by a cruel and uncaring world—but more importantly, I wanted to show how kindness, however small, can exist even in a world that punishes the kind.

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

The sequel to this book will most likely be available sometime in 2021.

Author Links: Website | Twitter

Damnation: A Grimdark Fantasy Political Drama by [Valec, Igor]An Empire fallen. A kingdom beset. A family divided. When King Lortar discovers a savage cult performing heathen rites, he’s forced to battle a foe he never imagined: his own son. Surrounded by enemies, Lortar is trapped in a world of treachery and betrayal, where mercy is vice and malice is glory.

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Human Behavior

Sherry Leclerc Author Interview

Sherry Leclerc Author Interview

This is book two in The Seers Series. What were some themes you wanted to carry over from book one and what were some new ideas you wanted to introduce?

Some themes I wanted to carry over from the first book are:
-The classic good versus evil
-Self Acceptance
-Acceptance of those who may be different from us
-By joining together, individual differences can make a stronger whole

Some new ideas I wanted to introduce are:
-Learn from the mistakes of the past, but don’t let them keep you from moving forward
-Love and life are possible again after loss
-Stand up for what you believe is right

There were many great, and well developed, characters in this book. Was there anything from your own life that you put into your characters?

I think every author puts things from their own lives into their characters. Sometimes, we put different aspects of ourselves into the characters, sometimes there are traits we see in others that we put into the characters. I did both things.

In order to write good, well developed characters, you need to be able to understand human behavior at least to some degree. Writers must be aware of our own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of those around us. We need to be understand how emotions and physical sensations translate to body language and facial expressions. And the best way to learn human behavior is to observe those around you, and to take a good, honest look at yourself as well.

Where will book three in The Seers Series take readers and when will it be available?

Book three in the Seers Series will take readers on a trip through the Sacred Forest, where they will visit an elven village and a bear shifter clan. Then they will go to Fair Harbor, a fishing village on the west coast of Sterrenvar, and finally to Westgate.

Plot-wise, the readers will learn more about the seers and some other of the magical races in the realm. They will learn more about the evil sorcerer, including some insights into his plans and motivations. They will get more clues about who he is and what started him down his dark path.

As of right now, I plan to publish the third book in the series in the spring of 2019, barring any unforeseen complications.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Author Central

 

www.SherryLeclerc.com

Escape to the Biltmore Trailer

It’s 1895. Beautiful Dr. Anna St. James has won the battle to earn the M.D. after her name when her father dies, suddenly throwing her into great debt. After moving to a shabby boarding house on the Lower East Side of New York, Anna receives a marriage proposal that would cancel her father’s debt but would chain her to a man she neither loves nor trusts.

Desperate to escape, she applies for a position at a TB clinic in Asheville, North Carolina, close to the home of her friend, Daphne Vanderbilt, who invites her to spend Christmas celebrations at Biltmore Estate. On her journey Anna meets the handsome Dr. Richard Wellington. She is captivated by the dashing British physician, but she soon becomes convinced that he is like every other male physician at a time when the American Medical Association does not admit female doctors into its membership. Can they put aside their differences and allow their love to flourish?

Published in connection with Hartline Literary Agency, serving the Christian book community. Visit us at hartlineagency.com.

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Literary Titan Book Awards December 2018

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

House of Pain (The Forsaken Ones Book 1) by [Holm, Denna]Apex Five (The Plane Book 1) by [Katz, Sarah]The Infinite Wisdom (The Snow Adventures Book 2) by [Estes, Danny C]

American River: Confluence: Book Three of the American River Trilogy by [O'Connor, Mallory M.]

From Despair to Hope and Healing: One Woman’S Journey in Poem by [Mezera, Barbara K.]An Indian Goes Around the World – Ii: What I Learned from My Thirty-Day European Odyssey by [Prabhakaran, M.P.]Once Upon a Blog: Then and Now by [Hallmark, Shelley L.]'A Swift and Deadly Maelstrom: the Great Norwich Flood of 1963, a Survivors Story by [Moody Jr, Thomas R.]

East Wind Blowing by [Leeward, C. U.]Seven Ghostly Spins: A Brush with the Supernatural by [Bossano, Patricia, Gerard, ft. Kelsey E.]So, You're Raising Your Grandkids!: Tested Tips, Research, & Real Life Stories to Make Your Life Easier by [Hodgson, Harriet]Christmas with Snowman Paul by [Lapid, Yossi]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

The Mage's Tome: Cry of the Acere Duology: Book I by [Hampton, Arisawe]

Damnation: A Grimdark Fantasy Political Drama by [Valec, Igor]Phoenix : A Novel by [Arti Chugpai]Destiny Revisited by [Tremayne, Eleanor Tremayne]

Kumite For Love by [Malcolm, Judy]Angel Virus: A Novella Trilogy by [Squire, Joshua]Sunken Spanish Treasure Quest by [Johnson, Richard Joseph]

Frolicking Friends by [Welsh, Karen Leis]

Anticipating Temptation by [Perrin, Randi]Paper Safe: The triumph of bureaucracy in safety management by [Smith, Gregory]

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

 

18 Cranes: Kaifeng Chronicles, Book One

18 Cranes: Kaifeng Chronicles, Book One by [Campbell, Robert]

For most of his life, Bing has prepared ceaselessly to take the civil servant examinations, with little time for anything beyond the collections of texts that dictate political matters. Passing the exams would be the first step in following his father’s path, and also determine nearly everything else about his future. Finally, the day to begin them has arrived, and Bing faces the grueling challenges before him with understandable anxiety, but also a necessary determination. Outside of the exam compound, however, his focus is frequently drawn to a mysterious dream that recurs almost nightly, as well as a glimpse into history from his beloved grandfather.

In 18 Cranes by Robert Campbell, we’re introduced to Bing, his loved ones, and some of the traditions of village life in 17th century China. With an engaging narrative and colorful descriptions of Bing’s world, 18 Cranes does an excellent job of holding the reader’s attention, even while discussing a subject as mundane as civil servant exams. Despite a lack of any real action, the story never seems stagnant. Of course, there’s more going on than just rigorous testing. Bing is also suddenly plagued by a recurring dream, the meaning of which eludes him. The reader learns a lot about Bing and his relationships with his loved ones over the course of several expertly crafted conversations that examine each part of the dream, which always ends with 18 red-crested cranes ascending into the sky. The number 18 in particular holds special intrigue and multiple explanations are suggested for its meaning. To further the feeling of mystery, toward the end of the story, Grandfather Ai begins to tell Bing about the origins of their family. The short oral history is enough to stoke Bing’s stifled imagination. Restricted by his strict studies, Bing has never had the opportunity to read many legends or works of fiction and his curiosity, although kept under control, nonetheless exists. Grandfather Ai’s revelations also provide an interesting twist for the reader.

The uncertainty of the future is an overarching theme throughout the book and is explored through both tangible avenues, like Bing’s performance in the exams, as well as in deciphering the symbolism of his dream. There is also a considerable emphasis placed on Bing’s age, with repeated mentions that he could be one of the youngest people to ever pass the exams on the first try. Because of this, it reads a good bit like a coming of age story.

18 Cranes is subtitled “Kaifeng Chronicles Book One”, in reference to the village that Bing’s maternal ancestors came from. I’d be excited to read the rest of the series and follow Bing further through the avenues of his life. The abundance of detailed descriptions make it easy to picture the aspects of Bing’s village life, from the shores of West Lake to the flowers in the gardens. This book is an interesting and well written story that moves at a good pace.

Pages: 123 | ASIN: B07C8LC32H

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The Dragon Shifters at Southgate

Right from the very beginning the book has an air of suspense. The plot unfolded easily and the characters were easy to understand and like. All of this led me to flipping pages quickly. We are immediately introduced to Talwyn Sevi and her mother and sister running through the woods. The author expertly narrates how the three had been running away, passing through the woods and even hiding. I had no idea what they were running from but my anticipation was high, and I wanted to know more.

The story got juicier when I got to know Talwyn’s age. She was over three hundred years old, and all she was having were memories. The other interesting thing was that the events in her dream-memory had happened when she was just 8 years old. That was such a long time to remember some things. I loved that during their time, her people could live for over eight hundred years. I tried imagining how life was for them, and how they viewed life seeing that one could live for centuries. The other exciting thing was that Talwyn’s people didn’t experience adolescence until they were twenty-five or thirty years old. Thinking about it, it made sense because a thirty-year-old could not be described as a full adult considering how long they lived. This is reminiscent, for me, of the depth of lore found in well developed series like Dungeon’s and Dragons, or The Lord of the Rings series.

I enjoyed Talwyn character, she was not only loving but also cared for the people around her. I loved her sense of humor and how she was able to bring moments of levity into dark situations. Her whole personality was lovely. I, however, didn’t understand why she kept questioning her clear memory. As much as some of the things she remembered were unpleasant, I would not have minded having a memory as good as hers. Overall, Talwyn was my favorite character. Anwyl was another character I admired (I know, it sounds like every character is my favorite). Being the greatest metallurgist the seers had ever seen was an achievement. Anwyl was the only being Talwyn had who had been allowed access to the mountain. I love that he was useful, as most fantasy novels give someone a job with no real use; he mined rare metal and made whatever the dragonkin needed. I really loved the traits in the characters. That the shifters could shift between human and animal form at will was eccentric, but amusing regardless.

The Dragon Shifters At Southgate: Seers Book II is a creative piece of literature with an action-packed plot and well developed characters in a world with a rich backstory. This book has an enthralling story line that constantly hints at something larger. The author’s writing style is simple, making it easily accessible by anyone, and her way of narrating the story naturally capture’s the reader’s interest.

 

www.SherryLeclerc.com

 

The Choices We Make

Eleanor Tremayne Author Interview

Eleanor Tremayne Author Interview

Destiny Revisited finds Gabby at an ex-boyfriends funeral where she is handed a ‘death box’ that sets off an unexpected chain of events. Where did the idea for the death box come from and how did it develop in the story?

In my first novel, Destiny Revisited, the objective was to encourage the readers to reflect on how the choices we make influence our entire lives. The novel is layered with irony, juxtaposition, and symbolism. The Death Box was one way to achieve this.

Preserving past memories is a well known practice. When Gabby Girard sees Jake Chevalier for the last time she has no idea that the cardboard box she hands him will forty years later be returned to her as The Death Box. Once Jake becomes the new keeper of this box, he now symbolically renames it The Death Box, representing the “death” of his relationship. Ironically , however, it also becomes Jake’s “lifeline” to Gabby. What follows after she opens that box is Jake’s final expression of love. It is a gesture that I know most readers will appreciate.

The Death Box was created in the early stages of the novel’s conception. It also becomes the catalyst for what follows in Gabby’s life, as well as, a link to the sequel novel, Destiny Revealed.. At that point Jake’s journals, found in The Death Box , becomes Gabby’s guiding light.

Gabby’s character is well developed and the relationships she has are heartfelt and heartbreaking. What were some sources of inspiration for you when creating Gabby’s relationships?

Gabby Girard believes that literature has the answers to all of life’s questions. Creating this character my intention was to illustrate how powerful authors words are. To achieve this I relied on my own favorite writers, James Joyce, TS Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Toni Morrison, and Dante. Inspiration also came from various cinematography heroine. Deanie Loomis in Splendor in the Grass, Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Katie Morosky, in The Way We Were.

Every romantic relationship that Gabby faces, she hopes will lead her closer to happiness. Unfortunately, not until Jake Chevalier releases her will she ever find peace.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

There are many complex issues that Destiny Revisited addresses. If there is one idea that I would like readers to contemplate, it would be how much control do we really have over own destiny?

This book is the beginning of a series. How many books do you have planned and how far do you want to take Gabby’s story?

Destiny Revisited ended as a cliffhanger. It was always going to end in that way. What I did not expect was how many readers would request a sequel novel. That was when I decided to write Destiny Revealed. This novel allowed me to include more details about Caden Cassidy Sterling Powers, and Selina Cassidy.

Understanding Caden’s life in Ireland before moving to Savannah, Georgia, adds depth to his character. Similarly, Sterling was a real mystery that I wanted the reader to learn more about.
Once I decided to add a new character, Maggie Mendoza, everything began to develop nicely. The novel took a new life of its own. No longer was it now only a romance, it became a mystery novel.. Although I once considered another Destiny novel, I came to the conclusion that I like the way it ended. Although it is difficult to “walk” away from Gabby, I knew it was time to move on.
My next novel, Seven Days in Lebanon, is a historical fiction, based on the real life story of my grandmother’s exile in 1917 from St. Petersburg during the Bolshevik Revolution and her marriage to the last Prince of Kiva. It is in the final editing stage. It will be released early next year. Currently, The Mermaid’s Grandson, a work in progress, is a fantasy fiction that will touch the heart of every reader who ever experienced the joy and loss of a child.

Author Links: Amazon | Twitter

Destiny Revisited by [Tremayne, Eleanor Tremayne]

When Gabriella is handed the death box at her boyfriend’s funeral, she has no idea how her life is going to change. Her life becomes more than a stage; it becomes the looking glass through which the past and future can be seen.

Destiny Revisited begins in a Boston chapel in 2001, where Gabby flashbacks to the beginning of her journey–to Savannah, Georgia during the early sixties. Her memories take her to the university where she escapes a tragic love affair and finds herself living an extravagant, but ultimately mundane lifestyle in Kentucky. That is, until multimillionaire Sterling Powers, introduces a naïve Gabby to his special world of sexual intrigue.

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Imprisoned Within The Pages

Danny Estes Author Interview

Danny Estes Author Interview

The Infinite Wisdom follows Braxton into a genetics lab, while looking for his fiancée as he stumbles across the origin of the hairless apes. The mythology of the world is that mankind has vanished. Are you looking to further that mystery or will we see the hairless apes reappear?

Book 3 of “The Snow Adventures”, will reveal more information concerning the hairless apes. In addition, new developments in the reason for the space station will come to light, but not without its costs. For this information will cause a tragedy amongst the animals which will change the characters’ lives. Shaking up the norm for the path of Book 4.

I enjoyed the underlying technological theme throughout the book. Did you conduct any genetics research for this book?

Although science can fascinate and inspire my writing as we continue to stubble into the future, I conducted no research into the making of this book. All genetic hypotheses and advance sciences presented within this book comes from the countless movies and science fiction books I’ve read or watched over the years. I merely laid out the ideals and incorporated what aspects of each I felt would best open imaginative minds to concepts our current technology are already adventuring within.

The cover art for this book is awesome. What was the development like for this cover?

For a writer the cover is the most important beginning for any book. Never mind all the hours, days, months or even years of hard work that goes into a book’s development. If the cover arts not appealing, all the investment an author has made will be for not. For a reader must have their interest peeked to invest their time in simply picking up the book for a curiosity look see. This is why I spend a lot of time considering the cover. It must convey an imagery of events to be found within the pages of the book while not promising any falsehoods. With these concepts I had to considered what would best convey the plight of the characters. Who besides Braxton should or shouldn’t be portrayed. The fact that Joann, his sweetheart is a driving factor in the book told me she had to be included. But how then do I present them? Escaping? Boarding the space shuttle? Talking with the unicorns, Mr. Thelin and his sister Ms. Thelin? All good avenues of presentation. Yet everyone’s desire to be free felt to be the most important aspect for the cover. For a reader will see our heroes’ plight and wonder as to how they got there and what must be done to escape. This then seemed the most obvious choice as it invited the reader to at least explore as to how they were imprisoned within the pages and I hope, would invest the reader to continue reading in order to see our heroes gain their freedom.

Where will we find Braxton in the next book in the Snow Adventures and when will that be available?

Braxton will find himself back into his old job of investigations. Though in truth he’s rather be with his wife, Joann and their growing family. Current circumstances however will lead him on a chase for an escaped murderer who somehow has vanished from a secured holding cell. How and why will leave the animals shaken to the core. This Book 3, of The Snow Adventures, I’ve slated for an appearance on amazon sometime in 2020.

Author Links: GoodReads Facebook | Website

The Infinite Wisdom (The Snow Adventures Book 2) by [Estes, Danny C]

Braxton Snow, P.I., big city arctic wolf, is back!

While escaping the glacial clan of his birth, Braxton lands in a sinister genetic laboratory established by the hairless apes long ago. With the help of his new allies, Braxton navigates this alien technology to find his jackrabbit fiancée. But the curious archaeologist red fox has nailed all their coffins by pushing buttons he shouldn’t. They know where the hairless apes went now—somewhere the animals should not have followed! Will they ever return home?

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