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A Story Of Its Own

Author Interview
Brant Vickers Author Interview

Fedor is a thought-provoking coming of age story following a young circus performer that travels the world with P.T. Barnum’s Circus in the ‘80s. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I worked for many years as a Special Education teacher and for many of those years with kids with autism. I have a memoir (Chucky’s in Tucson) about my years in this field and how I was a reluctant recruit, but more than thankful and honored to have had that career. Several times I brought up Fedor’s picture on the Internet while investigating different types of disabilities and one of my students with autism was extremely interested in his picture and his life. He asked if we could find out more about him and one thing led to another and I also became interested. I was dismayed there was scant information about him. I began imagining what his life might have possibly been like. This (Fedor’s life) intersected with the timeline of the expansion of the 19th-century American circus and the Black Tent sideshow. It grew, under P.T. Barnum, from a modest endeavor to the enormous spectacle I present in the novel. A story of its own.

Fedor is an interesting character that was deftly created. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

We know Fedor spoke three languages and I supposed he was an articulate, intelligent, thoughtful human being, as I learned many of my students were. During those years teaching students with, sometimes, severe disabilities I learned they were smart (in their own way), genuine, kind, at times challenging, but some of the most exceptional people in the world. In the research I learned how huge and important the sideshow was in the circus. Well into the 20th century people made a living by exhibiting themselves for money. There were no social services, possible medical procedures, or family support for them. It wasn’t a rationale, but a necessity for them to actually live. They developed families, friendships, love, compensations and a much different but still a vocation.

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

We still have people born every day with exceptional gifts and disabilities. I wanted to explore what has happened in the past and how we’ve grown as a society and world. We’ve moved on from the Black Tent and sideshow, but to know our past and what passed for entertainment can teach us today how to treat the differences between us, not with horror or revulsion, but to know that people are still human and possibly intelligent and interesting. As Mark Twain, a circus devotee, said to Fedor, “You can’t throw too much style into a miracle and you, my friend, are a miracle.”

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

I’m working on another YA novel set in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s in West Los Angeles. It’s about the friendship between two boys with realistic gritty details of the era and their paranormal experience in abandoned movie studio lots. Hopefully within the next year it will be ready to go. Thanks again for the review and interest in Fedor’s remarkable life, travels, and experiences!

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Facebook | Website

“You can’t throw too much style into a miracle, and you, my friend, are a miracle,” Mark Twain says to Fedor Adrianovitch Jefticheff, also known as Jo-Jo The Dog Faced Boy. Fedor lives, travels, works, and loves among the haunting cast of performers in the Black Tent Sideshow of P.T. Barnum’s Circus in the late 1880s. 

Fedor not only survived, but also profited by being a memorable and unforgettable human curiosity. Along with being an intelligent and avid reader of Tolstoy, Twain, Alcott, and Melville, he has remarkable interactions with a myriad of other world-renowned characters, one being Nicholas II the Russian Tsarevich. This proves that more than just being a “sideshow,” there was a lot of individuality and heart to this “dog-faced boy.”

Richly authentic, dramatic, beautifully written, and always thought-provoking, Brant Vickers tells Fedor’s story in an epic account of this young man’s extraordinary life.

Inside Out

Inside Out by [Michael Tuberdyke]

It is amazing how people can be so different yet so connected by some cosmic force. Marge manages a building in an obscure corner. In the building three units are occupied. Each tenant leads a different life. Each tenant lives as though the next tenant does not exist. This is sort of a commentary on how most of the world lies today. Todd Brown likes his music. Mr. Andrews is lonely and possibly broke. Nick and Claire’s union might be on its last leg. They might as well be strangers living in the same space.

In this book thought-provoking book we take a look at the lives of average people. Have you ever walked by a building and wondered about the people who live in there? Inside Out provides the reader with an opportunity to be a fly on the wall. It satisfies a curiosity we have all had at least once. On the street, everyone seems normal. They are simply faces going about their businesses. In their own homes, they take off whatever masks they may wear out in public and let their true selves roam around the rooms. This book may be fiction but it is an accurate and intriguing representation of life.

Michael Tuberdyke is an excellent writer. His depiction of each of the characters is detailed and gives their character a compelling depth. The author lets the reader deep into the psyche of the characters to see how they think. As a reader, you can almost picture the look on Nick’s face every time Claire chooses work over spending time with him. You can hear the disappointment in his words. The characters in this book are relatable, perhaps because they so accurately represent the population.

Inside Out is quick read that will leave readers thinking deeply about the community they live in and the people they come across. This is book provides a fascinating look at the lives of some interesting people, and provides readers with a thoughtful exploration and character examination through the easy storytelling ability of author Michael J. Tuberdyke.

Pages: 73 | ASIN: B09JS5VCL2

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To Bring Depravity In To Life

C.R. Endacott
C.R. Endacott Author Interview

The Blue Butterfly is the second entry in your thrilling Heroes of Afflatus series. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that was different from book one?

In this book, I wanted to play around with elements of gender-neutral language. When I think of fairies, I think of a people type that are difficult to physically distinguish their gender, and I thought, why not? As well, Depravity, in all my books, is a spiritual being bent on making all things unhappy, sad, and depressed. But, in the same breath, Depravity doesn’t just “make” people evil – we all have the ability to bring depravity in to life, just as we all have the power to bring good.

Your characters continue to be compelling and well developed. What were some obstacles you felt were important to defining their character in this book?

The biggest obstacle was what to do with Garon and Carson’s relationship. In the first book Garon finally admitted to himself and others that he was gay and in love with Carson. But, Garon is in a fantasy world, where reality seems a long ways away. So, he comes to the realization that it will come to an end at some point. He doesn’t want it to end, however.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

In Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, we are given a tale that does not end heroically, rather, it seems like the dark side of the force is fully in power. I wanted to achieve a similar dynamic. But the challenge is, how to create a satisfying ending and climax, but have the reader fully aware that evil is in control at the end? I think I achieved that will a thrilling ending.

What can readers expect in book three of the Heroes of Afflatus series?

At the end of The Blue Butterfly, Depravity reverses the time continuum. In all the other Afflatus adventures, Jared, Avery, and their companions could adventure in Afflatus without fear of time passing in their home dimension. In fact, they could spend weeks in Afflatus without any time passing back home. However, with this reversal, there are consequences they will have to deal with when they return home.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

A deadly virus has entered Faerie World and it dissolves a fairy’s wings. It is highly contagious and creates political friction. What’s worse, the Dark Lord Depravity is responsible, because his sole purpose is to destroy a blue butterfly, protected by the fairies. If he succeeds all of his power will be restored and he will be free to walk the earth and all dimensions. Avery Noble, a wizard, and with the help of her boyfriend and protector, Jared Swagger, must stop Depravity by finding a way to the Faerie World.

Hot House


Marissa Ellwyn, or Mari E. as she prefers to be called, has her hands full. She holds down two full time jobs even though her family’s wealth would seem to dictate that she doesn’t need either of them. Art gallery owner and private investigator are almost two hats too many for this determined woman who is on the verge of being in over her head. When Mari is followed by a mysterious van and soon after the victim of breaking and entering, she begins to examine any and all connections to her current case. Throw a new partner and former LAPD detective, Derek Abernathy, into the mix and you have quite the thrill ride of intrigue, suspense, and humor.

Hot House, by Lisa Towles, is the story of Mari E.’s adventure as a private investigator. Against her family’s wishes, she has continued to pursue a life on the edge and really wouldn’t have it any other way. Her current case involves the blackmail of a high profile member of the court system. In addition to solving his case, Mari is battling her own demons as she fights to find her own father who disappeared over a year ago.

I love this book! Mari is a firecracker of a character and delivers one highly-relatable quip after another. I felt her struggle in my soul–every frustration with those around her who just “don’t get it,” and each time she muttered under her breath with exasperation. As main characters go, Mari has it all. She wraps readers around her little finger, and she has a past. Don’t we all love some interesting baggage when it comes to our main characters? Mari has it in spades. 

Towles has produced a knockout novel with Hot House. There is virtually nothing missing from her writing. Towles’s plot is as twisted and unpredictable as you would ever want a thriller to be. If I am not kept guessing, I lose interest quickly. Towles kept me holding on for dear life as I continued to try to stay one step ahead of Mari and Derek and failed miserably. It’s this kind of action that will keep readers engaged in this suspenseful crime novel.

Nowhere will thriller fans find a more engaging keep-you-on-your-toes read. If you are looking to try out a new author, I cannot recommend a better investment than Lisa Towles’s E & A Investigations series.

Pages: 287 | ISBN: 978-1-64456-421-9

Coming Soon | Indie United Publishing House

Take A Closer Look

Nikki Minty
Nikki Minty Author Interview

Pastel Pink follows a girl who was murdered on Earth and reincarnated on Zadok, but when her human spirit is drawn back to Earth she’s plunged into a world of intrigue on both planets. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My son Randall Jackson, AKA RJ, helped to inspire The Zadok Series.

We were sitting in the library waiting for his sister to finish her art class when the question “I wonder what happens after you die” came up.

RJ said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if every time we died, we regenerated onto a different Planet?”

Of course, I jumped on this idea and together we discussed what the different races on the next planet would look like and what new capabilities/powers they would have.

As a tribute, I’ve modelled a character after my son RJ. He has Aspergers/Autism and is quirky with a brain like an encyclopaedia.

Harlow is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted Harlow to be different to Ruby even though they are theoretically the same Zeek/person. Ruby is confident and outspoken whereas Harlow’s confidence has been crushed due to years of being told she is worthless. Harlow starts meeker and milder and then builds into someone much stronger. She learns to stand up against the haters.

I thought the color caste system was creative and intriguing. Where did this idea come from and how did it evolve as you wrote?

The overall message of The Zadok Series is one of acceptance. Just like here on Earth with humans, Zeeks face prejudice characters who are intent on making their lives a living hell.

Not only that, there are different Zadonian races, and they feud with one another. Not everything is as it seems. Sometimes there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Don’t let others force you into believing a certain race, colour, or way of living is wrong. Take a closer look and let yourself be the decider.

This is book one in your Zadok Series. What can readers expect in book two?

Expect to see more of the Drakes and Vallons and discover how they live in the following two books of the series.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website | Instagram

From one ending comes a new beginning…Ruby was murdered on Earth eighteen years ago and reincarnated on Zadok as a Pastel Zeek named Harlow. To be born at the bottom of her race’s caste colour system to a middle-class family of Magentas has made Harlow a source of conflict amongst the ruling Purples, and a source of derision from all three colours.When Harlow is attacked by a fuegor on Zadok, the effects of its slow reacting venom triggers an unforeseen phenomenon, and due to the strong connection she had with her former twin sister Jade, her human spirit is unexpectedly drawn back to Earth. Now living a double life, she has plunged into a world of intrigue on both planets.On earth, she watches on in horror as Jade reconnects with Lucas, the man who murdered her and got away with it. And to complicate things further, she’s being pursued by Alex, the ghost of Lucas’ twin. On Zadok, she becomes embroiled with Jax, the son of the Commanding family. He’s determined to bring about change to the colony’s colour system, but it’ll come at a cost.As Harlow mixes with the political intrigue of the Zeeks, will she become a victim of those trying to rigidly maintain the status quo or will she usher in a revolution? And will ghost Ruby resist the temptation of the handsome Alex or pursue an impossible relationship that could have dire consequences on both planets?

To Protect Them At All Cost

Miz Marta
Miz Marta Author Interview

Delilah & Samson Adventures World follow a courageous young girl and her dog as they go on adventures, saving animals in need and stopping the people responsible. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Well other then the fact that I love animals, my inspiration was a dog I once had named Samson. He was a big strong male German shepherd dog. Plus, an adorable young girl that I personally know named Delilah. I put the two together creating this book. That’s why I named the book; Delilah & Samson Adventures World. Is quite a pretty long story to tell, so I will have to leave that part out. Character Delilah cares and loves animals so much that her only wish is to save and protect them from the hands of abusers, and that’s where big bad dog Samson comes in. It is quite a fictional story for children of all ages.

What were some educational aspects that were important for you to include in this children’s book?

From a child’s early age, they should be taught about all kind of different animals that exist within our world. All kids love animals, they love hearing stories about them and they especially love playing with them. When we educate children on animals such as where they come from, or what they like and don’t like, or what they eat and don’t eat and so forth, it creates an inner appreciate as care for animals. It also helps children to develop an emotional bond with their own pets as well as any future pets they choose to have. It is also important for children to understand that just like they need care and love from their parents, animals need it too from their owners. It is through pets that children gain insight into wild and domestic animals. By observing their behavior, children learn about animal instincts and intelligence. There is so much to discover about animals, that children exposed to nature develop a sense of wonderment and appreciation for life. And most important of all, having a pet gives children the opportunity to become a caregiver. Recognizing their pet’s needs and comforting them helps children learn how to feel the way others feel, becoming more empathetic to them. The best thing about animals is that they are non-judgmental. Children know that no matter how bad of a day they are having, a pet is always there to listen and be a source of affection to them. Many children find comfort in shedding a tear or sharing their secrets with their family companion. Plus children who grow up with pets are generally less fearful of animals. The sole purpose of the book is to teach children about caring, loving and respecting animals. To protect them at all cost and not abuse them in anyway possible as animals can feel pain just like us.

Was there anything from your own life that you placed into this story?

Yes, I sure did. In growing up I had my own pets, and I cared and loved each one of them. One of those pets was my dog Samson who unfortunately I no longer have. Even as an adult, I continue to have and own pets. I actually have one cat that I adopted few years ago, and I have five other stray cats that I look out for by feeding them everyday, and keep an eye on their health. My cats vet actually has profiled me as an animal rescuer. That actually makes me feel super good.

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

Well the present book that I am working on has nothing to do with animals, but I am making sure that this time around the book will be much better in it’s editing as writing. I do apologize that Delilah & Samson Adventures World was not edited correctly by publisher. Book was rushed by publisher therefore failing in it’s corrective editorial settings. And even as so, I do appreciate the fair reviews it has received on its own.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

This fictional story following the adventures of Delilah and her dog companion Samson, their adventures start out when Delilah is a child till the time she is in her teenage years. With heroic elements, Delilah is a voice and force to be reckoned with when it comes to saving the lives of innocent animals. Before each story, there is a short introduction about different animals,, teaching children basic facts and providing entertainment as well.

Worlds Apart

Author Interview
Diane Farrugia Author Interview

The World Between Us is a riveting sword and sorcery adventure with a compelling backstory and intriguing characters. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Well, to be honest, the backstory kind of developed on its own while I was writing my novel. I tend to pay more attention to my characters, first and foremost, then build my worlds around them. The one thing I knew I wanted to bring to this story was my fascination with magic. When I was little, my favourite book was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton (I must have read that at least a dozen times) and I remember being so blown away by the magic in it. That book encouraged me to dream, and that’s a feeling that’s still with me to this day.

Kayla is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Kayla is a girl who’s been through a tragedy – finding herself alone at 18 after losing her parents so suddenly… She’s depressed and has lost herself, but she’s dealt this one amazing chance of a lifetime and she grabs it. That was my underlying goal in outlining her character – portraying someone who isn’t afraid to reach out and dream, even when the odds might be impossible.

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

Well, The World Between Us, is first and foremost, a romance, so obviously love plays a major role – that overwhelming rush of attraction and all the questions and self-doubts that come after it. Besides that, there’s the maternal love Kayla feels for her unborn daughter, which is a love that trumps everything, and for which no sacrifice is too much.

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

I’m currently working on the second book in the Worlds Apart trilogy, continuing Declan and Kayla’s story in their quest for that elusive happily ever after.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook


Dargo: Eco Hero! (Treasury of Feel-Good Stories) by [Karina McRoberts]

Poor Dargo Fernandez. He doesn’t want much out of life. In fact, he really wants nothing more than to belong. At the rate he is going, he won’t even  accomplish that much. His life is more of an existence than anything–he has no social life to speak of. When Dargo comes face to face with the fact that even his meager position in the company is in jeopardy, he heads for home with his heart on his sleeve. Wondering how he will be able to pay his bills, Dargo finds himself creating a laundry list of new worries on his journey home. Before he can even begin to resolve his issues, he is quite literally swept away to face a whole new challenge

Dargo: Eco Hero, by Karina McRoberts, follows main character Dargo Fernandez as he rises from the depths of despair in his going-nowhere-fast job to his new position as hero for the environment. McRoberts’s work hits on a few genres but hones in primarily on fantasy. In fact, it gives me the best kind of Wizard of Oz vibes. The author has nailed the same type of warmth as L. Frank Baum but puts her own unique spin on main character Dargo and his band of merry cohorts.

The ecological lessons conveyed in McRoberts’s work are huge ones. She is successful in creating quite an impact with her words and the experiences of her cast of characters. I was especially impressed with the mixture of personification and metaphors found throughout the writing. The imagery she creates leaves readers breathless at times. Her writing is timely and gives voice to the environment in a way no other writer I have seen has been able to do.

Dargo: Eco Hero is a short read, easily digestible in one sitting, it packs an important punch–and one we all need to feel right about now. Protecting and appreciating the earth for the miracle it is tops this author’s list of priorities. Readers looking for a hard dose of truth in their fantasy reads will appreciate McRoberts’s style and character development. I highly recommend Dargo’s story to anyone looking for something different, something fun, and a book that will leave them smiling.

Pages: 85 | ASIN: B083RBML74

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