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High-Stakes Trials

Becky Moynihan Author Interview

Becky Moynihan Author Interview

Reactive follows Lune who must compete in three deadly trials to escape the city and gain her freedom. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

I’ve always been a huge Hunger Games fan, and after reading the books, I couldn’t get enough of the dystopian genre! I’m a competitive person myself, so the thought of contending in high-stakes trials to earn what you most desire fascinated me. Also, based off some of my personal life experiences and being a bit claustrophobic like Lune, living a trapped life behind walls was something I wanted to explore—how it could damage the psyche and make a person quite . . . reactive.

Lune is a strong and determined woman who remains focused throughout the book. What were some obstacles you felt were important to her character development?

I wanted circumstances leading up to the Trials event to throw a wrench in her plans, have obstacles expose the fears and weaknesses that she tried to hide, even from herself. Since this is a trilogy, her character development is far from over, but despite the many ways she has struggled thus far, above all else, she has remained resilient in the face of adversity.

How did you develop the Elite Trials while writing and what were some themes you wanted to explore in the trials?

For the most part, I took inspiration from real sporting events, ones that I always thought were quite dangerous: sword fighting, boxing, horse racing, hunting big game. None of these sports are won by team effort. You have to tough it alone. The purpose of the Trials as Lune knows it is to prove that you are worthy of a better future, so working together with another contender would be considered weak. I really enjoyed exploring the concept of strength versus weakness in this book.

This is book one in the Elite Trials series. Where will book two pickup and when will it be available?

Adaptive, book two, will pick up right where book one leaves off! I plan for it to release summer or fall of 2019.

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Reactive: A Young Adult Dystopian Romance (The Elite Trials Book 1) by [Moynihan, Becky]AN INESCAPABLE CITY. THREE DEADLY TRIALS. ONE WAY OUT.

For eleven years, Lune Tatum, adopted daughter
of the Supreme Elite, does as she’s told.
She doesn’t ask questions.
She trains for the Trials. She follows the rules.

And she wants out.

Her plan has always been to win the Elite Trials
and earn Title of Choice, her only chance at freedom.

But a boy from her past
shows up on her eighteenth birthday.
His presence threatens Lune’s carefully laid plans
and exposes memories she’s desperate to forget.
One thing is painfully clear: he can’t be trusted.
He has secrets. Big ones.
And they could ruin everything.

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Sexuality is our Birthright

Barbara Williamson Author Interview

Barbara Williamson Author Interview

Free Love and the Sexual Revolution is a memoir about your life, marriage, and founding of a free love nudist community in California. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was important for me to commemorate Sandstone Retreat. To document some facts. Barbara and John created such a special place {never done before} and preserve it for history. As a reminder that “SEXUALITY IS OUR BIRTH RIGHT and must be reclaimed for us to be free individuals.” Now 50 years has past, and I can show virtual documentation to those born afterward, of this all important revolution that brought much needed change in America.

Writing a memoir causes one to reflect on their life in a different light. Is there anything you see differently now that you wrote this book?

I am so grateful for all the awakenings and lessons learned through the sexual revolution era and beyond We are all “hardwired to connect” and globally connected.

I appreciated the honesty and sincerity with which you told your story. What was the most important thing for you to convey to readers?

Seek TRUTH and LIFE to pave your road to PERSONAL FREEDOM and HAPPINESS. I am living proof that truth sets us free.

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

No Title at this time. Working on next memoir of my own spiritual exploration and transformations. A personal memoir where I am getting truly naked. Book will be available in 2019.

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Free Love and The Sexual Revolution: Finding Yourself by Removing Sexual Boundaries by [Williamson, Barbara]

Barbara Williamson, “the most liberated woman in America,” shares her life story for the first time in her amazing memoir – Free Love and Sexual Revolution. As cofounder with her husband John, “the messiah of sex,” of the highly successful and controversial Sandstone Retreat in Malibu, California, in the late 1960s and early ’70s, the couple started what became known as the hub of the sexual revolution.

The clothing-optional, alternate-lifestyle Sandstone Retreat was outrageously popular, with a membership reaching 500 and nearly 8,000 visitors. Long before today’s reality television inundated the airwaves with its media “personalities,” Barbara and John Williamson were the darlings of the media, with newspapers, magazines, books,movies, and television shows clamoring for interviews.

SANDSTONE Retreat quickly became outrageously popular with membership reaching five hundred, and numerous newspapers, magazines, books, movies, and television shows clamoring for interviews.

It became known as the hub of the sexual revolution. John was branded as “The Messiah of Sex” and I as the most liberated woman in America. Based on mutual trust and friendship, the bond between John and me grew so strong that we were inseparable for forty-seven years until his death.

University professors nationwide rushed to visit this new kind of unstructured free love community to view and study members joyously living an alternate lifestyle. The dress code was optional but most everyone preferred nudity.

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The Philosophical Future: Man’s Psychic Journey: End or Beginning?

“There is no cure for birth or death, save to enjoy the interval”

This is easier said than done. How does one enjoy said interval? How is the enjoyment made possible in times of back breaking responsibility? The search for answers to the how-question has led to tedious inquiries into life’s meaning. It has led all individuals to try harder than they should to understand the age into which they are born. Whether it is an unconscious effort or intentional, seeking freedom and fulfillment is a human condition. Without proper knowledge of the field, the search will be futile and frustrating. Learn first; earn the tools to navigate through life efficiently.

This book is about expanding and maturing the view of the future, it is about understanding the role of the past in the future, it is about understanding the extent of social and psychological challenges that deter wholesome living in this century, it is about introducing the novices to a picture of how civilized thoughts and ideas develop, to introduce people to the quintessence of human thinking. To help people contend with the role of religion despite rampant secularism.

Charles Reid has come up with a roadmap unlike nothing that has even been suggested before. He is not just telling the reader to live fully. He is handing us the necessary tools to do exactly that. He is giving a guide to take advantage of every minute. He is ensuring that birth and death do not become regrettable events. His ideas are simple enough but intricate the more you think about them it. He goes further to break down his ideas of a philosophical future into little tidbits. The breakdown is effective as it allows a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Enthusiasm and passion are paramount to the successful conveyance of a message. This book has those in loads. The author has great passion in the subject matter as is evident in his eloquent portrayal of a philosophical definition of happiness, freedom, and fulfillment. He does not rush over any knots. Everything is exhaustively explained and explored. The Philosophical Future is very well written. It is a suggestion rather than a lecture. It is an invitation to comprehend the true meaning of things. The author does not force his deas aggressively but rather places a bowl at the table to share. This is an important trait especially in a matter that is so subject to individual opinion.

This book is highly recommended to young people. They still have the time to entertain new ideas, to introduce new angles into their search for happiness, to develop a new dimension for their view of the future. The age-advanced should not be left behind either. It is never too late to tweak your thinking. You might use or you might pass it on. This book is well suited to either demographic.

Pages: 276 | ASIN: B079LH9GMH

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The Ties That Bind: From Slavery To Freedom

William Bowie a slave and skilled carpenter along with his family were freed by the will of Roderick McGregor of Prince George County Maryland in the year 1858. Fifty- Five years later in 1913, his grandson William Augus Bowie and John Whitelaw Lewis co-founded the Industrial Savings Bank in Washington DC and together they would make important and lasting contributions to the African-American community of Washington. Thomas and John Vreeland Jackson were manumitted by Richard Vreeland in 1828 in Bergen County NJ. Oystermen by trade they would go on to become two of the first black property owners in Bergen County and conductors of the Underground Railroad who helped thousands of slaves to escape to freedom. In 1823, Joseph VanArsdale was freed by the will of Abraham VanArsdalen in Somerset County, New Jersey. Joseph would become one of the earliest black property owners in Princeton, New Jersey. This is their story in Slavery and Freedom.

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A Complex Culture

Sheila Flaherty Author Interview

Sheila Flaherty Author Interview

East of Mecca is beautifully written and addresses a subject that is rarely discussed. Why did you want to write about Middle Eastern culture?

I lived in Saudi Arabia for a year when my husband accepted a job with Aramco Oil Company. We lived on a company compound called Ras Tanura, located on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Within the compound were beautiful, white, sandy beaches, and flat, desert terrain filled with exotic, thorny scrubs. The sun rose every morning over the sea and set each evening over the desert. Both events were in stunning Technicolor!

Throughout my year in Saudi, I was exposed to camels, Bedouin markets, delicious food, beautiful art, jewelry, and architecture, and haunting Middle Eastern music. I even learned to belly dance!

Although we lived on the company compound, I quickly discovered the male-dominated, fundamentalist Islamic Kingdom’s rules for ex-patriot women were not so different than those for Saudi women…loose, modest clothing, driving or riding bicycles off the compound is forbidden, as is leaving the compound unless accompanied by your husband or in Aramco approved transportation.

My first day in Saudi, I was fingerprinted, photographed holding a placard with my husband’s ID number, and my passport was confiscated by Aramco. It would only be relinquished to my husband after he had applied for an exit-visa and it had been approved. I had my first panic attack when I realized I couldn’t just get a cab to the airport, board a plane, and go home.

In one day, I lost both my identity and my freedom.

As an American Clinical Psychologist not affiliated with Aramco, I had other women from the compound (American, European, Saudi and other Arab women) literally knocking on my door for counseling. I practiced secretly and illicitly (without a work-permit) the entire year I was in Saudi.

Off the compound, restrictions against women were much more apparent. Ruled by sharia law, Saudi women are required to be covered head-to-toe in black long-sleeved, ankle length cloaks called abayas, hijabs (headscarves), and face-masks called niqabs. All these were then covered with veils that render women completely invisible. Religious police called matawain patrol the streets of villages and cities arbitrarily deciding whether or not a woman (Saudi or Western) is properly dressed and properly behaved. Unless restaurants have screened off “family” sections, women are not allowed inside.

It was in Saudi, through my work with other women, where I learned firsthand about oppression and some of the other appalling conditions Saudi women face, including being under complete control of their husbands, fathers, or other males in their family, lack of personal autonomy, being forbidden to drive, honor violence, arranged marriage, child marriages…all in addition to the rigid clothing restrictions…being totally cloaked in black, even in sweltering weather.

The Middle East is a complex culture, rich in contrasts. And yet, little is written about the treatment of women in Saudi. Inspired by my own experiences and those of the women I worked with, writing East of Mecca became my passion project. I wanted to convey the exotic and the beautiful, while respectfully educating Western readers on the appalling conditions of women living under sharia law. I wanted to take readers beneath the veils that make Saudi women “invisible” and give them faces. I wanted to give a voice to those women forbidden to speak for themselves. My greatest hope is that education can lead to advocacy and action toward change.

Sarah is a fascinating character and a strong woman in her own right. What were the driving ideals behind the character’s development throughout the story?

Sarah is, first of all, devoted to her husband and children. And, with a social work background and aspirations to be a Clinical Psychologist, Sarah is a caregiver by profession and by nature. However, like most Americans, she is naïve to the experiences of others in totally different cultures. Initially, she views life in Saudi Arabia as a wise financial investment and a grand adventure. Throughout the story, with all she personally experiences and witnesses happening to other women in Saudi, especially through her relationship with Yasmeen, Sarah becomes an advocate for human rights on a much more personal level.

I truly enjoyed Yasmeen’s character and thought she brought depth and nuance to an intriguing culture. What was the inspiration for the relationship Sarah and Yasmeen have?

While it’s easy to have sympathy for people in other cultures, or those who are different from us, empathy is achieved by the ability to understand and share the feelings of another…from their perspective. To actually feel what they are feeling. My goal in creating Yasmeen’s character was to have my readers truly know her as a person, not just a face hidden behind a veil. I want them to experience her personality and empathetically relate to her joys and her struggles. The deep friendship Sarah and Yasmeen share, shows how they…and women everywhere…are the same, no matter how different their cultures might be.

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

I am currently working on my second novel. Orchard Road is about a Clinical Psychologist, with a very dark past, who is triggered into violence by one of her patients. The time and setting is both current day Chicago, and Singapore in the 1970’s. Since I’m still in the midst of writing, I don’t know when it’ll be published, but I’m hoping it will be available within the next two years.

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This moving and unforgettable novel, East of Mecca, tells a timely, harrowing, and heartbreaking story of love and betrayal, the transcendent power of sisterhood, and the ultimate price of oppression. Driven by financial desperation, Sarah and Max Hayes are seduced by promises of a glamorous expatriate lifestyle in Saudi Arabia. Sarah surrenders her career when Max accepts a prestigious job with Ocmara Oil Company and they relocate their family to the shores of the Persian Gulf. Locked inside the heavily-guarded Ocmara compound, Sarah becomes invisible within the male-dominated, fundamentalist, Islamic Kingdom, which is governed by sharia law. Gradually, she is drawn into a clandestine, illicit friendship with Yasmeen, a Muslim Saudi woman. Together they find freedom beneath the veils and behind the walls of the Saudi women’s quarters—until inconceivable events force Sarah to make life-or-death decisions. Told with riveting authenticity and exquisite detail, East of Mecca explores gender apartheid through the abuse of absolute power with an elegant balance of cultural nuance and moral inquiry. Long after you have turned the last page, you will be haunted by the vivid characters and powerful scenes illuminating this tour de force.

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Primarily Spiritually

J.F. Cain Author Interview

J.F. Cain Author Interview

Angels’ Whispers chronicles the harrowing struggle between two ultimate forces, Angels and Demons. What was your inspiration for this captivating story?

The idea of a female Angel had been knocking around in my head for a quite a few months and, ever so slowly, a story began to be woven around her. But it hadn’t occurred to me to write down the story. The last time I had written anything was when I was 17 years old, and that was many years ago. The only thing I was putting to paper all these years later were comments I jotted down about the books I was studying. But, at some point, I began to mark some of these comments with asterisks as a way to make a note of some topics that I could highlight in the story; and then all of a sudden, one evening I decided to write about the ideas I was developing. This story is the outcome of my need to express some unconventional views based on my inner contemplations.

The struggle between Angels and Demons is consistently explored by literature, but you bring a playfully crisp air into the work. What were some things that you wanted to do differently from standard tropes?

Modern-day readers have different demands. To make the age-old myth of the battle between good and evil more attractive and approachable for readers, I created a more intricate plot and added more suspense and romance, which nevertheless does not detract from the book’s objectivity, but instead enhances it.

I loved the intelligent yet candid way Angels scrutinize the notions of truth and freedom throughout the book. What were some themes you felt were important to highlight in the novel?

Balance is a key topic. Corporeality is the essence of human existence and one’s physical needs have to be met to attain intellectual and spiritual balance. This is why love and passion do not remain on the notional-platonic plane. The search for the source of existence and the changes that define it are a pivotal aspect of my work and my heroes’ actions. As they search, my characters gain self-knowledge. Emancipation is another topic. Many of the heroes in my story strive to break the bonds of the power holding them hostage – primarily spiritually – so that they can achieve their goals. They are even prepared to pay the price for this freedom that they must now handle on their own. Their weapon in this fight for freedom is doubt. As the enduring foundation of philosophy and science in general, doubt is what has led to the human being’s intellectual qualities and consequently to the creation and ongoing development of civilization. Of course, I do not fail to highlight the predominant role of love and passion, which together transcend space and time and even unite opposites – the human and the transcendent, good and evil – as their common denominator.

This is book one in the War Eternal series. Where does book two take readers and when will it be available?

The second book will be released in April 2018. There will be more action, earth-shattering revelations and unexpected twists that will propel the story to a new plane for readers.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

War Eternal: Book I: Angels' Whispers by [Cain, J.F.]

Alex Meyers, a dynamic, global entrepreneur, has an advantage that no other human has ever had: he is protected by Aranes, the Superior of the Angels. While he is skiing, he dies in an avalanche, but his all-powerful protector breaks one of the ethereal world’s most important Rules and brings him back to life. Alex falls head over heels in love with the beautiful Angel, who appears to him in human form. But she disappears just as suddenly as she had appeared.

While he searches for Aranes, Alex discovers her true identity and that he actually might be the high-ranking Celestial Abaddon, who is mentioned in the Revelations prophecy as the one who will defeat Lucifer.

The man who fate has thrust among the world’s superpowers is now living a nightmare. He wants to evade Lucifer’s pursuit, find out who he truly is and once again see the only being he has ever loved. And the only way to do it is to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Angels’ Whispers is the beginning of an epic tale set in modern times. The eternal war between Light and Darkness is at a critical turning point: Angels and Demons, invisible to mortal beings, battle for dominance in the physical world, while Guardians, vampires and werewolves, who live among the humans, find themselves on opposing sides in a deadly power game.

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A Constant Reminder

Sergio Tinoco Author Interview

Sergio Tinoco Author Interview

Proud American is a biography about your journey through life in South Texas; from migrant worker to US solider and then US Border Patrol agent. What was the inspiration behind creating such a thoughtful memoir of your life?

My mother passed away in the summer of 2015. After her passing, I fell into a depression because I felt truly alone in the world. Being the only child of a single parent can do that to a person. I had my wife and kids with me but I still felt utterly alone, and I couldn’t shake it off.

My wife kept pushing me to discuss my thoughts and feelings, but I could not muster up the strength. I didn’t know how to discuss what I was experiencing. My wife suggested that I write my feelings down. For years, my wife has been telling me that she believes I’m a good writer. For years, I’ve been ignoring her compliments.

One night after dinner, she brought a letter to me. She handed me a piece of paper and asked me to open it. When I did, I saw that it was a letter I had written to her eight years ago. Eight years ago was when my wife and I first started dating, and one night she asked me over the phone, why I had joined the Army. I wrote her a letter and poured everything out on paper. It opened up the floodgates for me. That letter is now the first chapter of my book.

Do you remember what your idea of ‘America’ was as a child?

Because I began working at the age of seven, my idea of ‘America’ was that of tough living. It is hard for one to realize so young that his or her childhood is nothing like that of other kids. We were dirt poor and I had the full workload of an adult at the age of ten.

In time though, everything around me was a constant reminder of what else was possible in ‘America’. I knew there were better ways to make a living. At such a young age, I wanted to learn how to pursue my thoughts or dreams of a better life. I didn’t have time to dream of the next best toy or fun activity. I spent all my childhood dreaming and thinking of how to break my family cycle of picking crops for a living.

How did your outlook of ‘America’ change after your time in the US Army?

I must say that in many ways, the Army actually spoiled me. Although it increased my awareness of the harshness of life and the many challenges that it can impose on a person, it also continued to show me all the many possibilities available should one choose to work hard to achieve a desired goal. This only enhanced what I already believed as a kid. More so, I also learned of all the harsh realities of life and how people in other countries are in a far worse state than most of us here can ever possibly imagine or understand. I knew, after my military service, that we lived in the greatest country in the world. Even with all our faults and deficiencies, there is no comparison.

Being the son of a Mexican immigrant, was it hard for you to decide to become an agent in the US Border Patrol?

My decision to join the US Border Patrol was actually a fairly easy one. I was looking for something that would allow me to continue my government service. It’s important to note that my grandfather had never talked to us about his encounters with the US Border Patrol and thus played no role in my decision.

It wasn’t until after I had become an agent that I realized how my decision had impacted the entire family. It was a strange feeling and continues to be a delicate subject since I still have family that lives in Mexico and have not been able to visit them because of the dangers a visit from me would pose on them and even on me. With the violent cartel threat just across the border, it will be years before I can see my family again.

What is one stereotype that you think many Americans have of Mexican immigrants?

At this point in time, immigration has become a great issue for our country. With that said, the moment one begins to speak about immigration it is quickly considered to be a topic of Mexican immigrants and the ‘negative’ impact they have on our society.

I am an American Citizen by birth, but I do come from a Mexican Immigrant family and am now a Border Patrol Agent. I have to deal with criminals from every background one can possibly think of. As a federal agent, I don’t merely deal with immigration issues. I also deal with the issue of human trafficking and narcotics trafficking. In essence, I’m caught in the middle of the transaction.

I say this because in any transaction, there is a person providing a product and a person purchasing or demanding that product. I have to process undocumented individuals for deportation while at the same time prosecute the US Citizens that are committing the trafficking.

What role do you feel Mexican-Americans play in bridging the gap between these two countries?

I think we must all play the role of actual educators by way of providing facts and not opinions or emotional outbursts. I wrote a story in the book of an incident that happened to me while on the job as a Border Patrol Agent. The gentleman I encountered truly believed that he was above me simply because of my appearance and name tag. I chose to educate him and not escalate the situation with an emotional outburst. After that interaction, I earned the gentleman’s respect and he earned mine by showing me that he had learned the error in his thinking.

I’m a combat veteran who now has to deport people of my own Mexican Nationality because I have chosen to continue serving my country, the United States of America. And yet, I still have to educate people every single day of my patriotism and the struggles I’ve had to overcome in order to achieve the stability I now have.

Education is key.

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“Being the only child of a single mother, Sergio was raised by his maternal grandparents in a South Texas region better known as the Rio Grande Valley. This memoir details the upbringing of a poor Migrant worker of Mexican descent having to pick crops for a living since the age of seven. As a way to break from the family cycle of picking crops and depending on government welfare programs, he joined the United States Army and served ten years active duty. He deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina shortly after the Bosnian War only to find and deal with the aftermath of the genocide that took place there and be caught in the middle of several attacks. His experiences in Bosnia ultimately led to experiencing signs and symptoms related to PTSD. After completing ten years of military service, Sergio joined the U.S. Border Patrol. Being of Mexican descent, having family in south Texas, and in Mexico gave way to new issues of having to counter threats against his family and ill-willed opinions of him for arresting and deporting “his own kind.””

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