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Love, Bruises & Bullsh!t

Love Bruises and Bullsh!t is an anthology book consisting of stories detailing abuse towards the different women who are featured. The book was compiled by Sheree Schonian & Yasmin Walter and features twenty different stories from different women who have experienced abuse. These stories deal with abuse from family and significant others and they share how the women involved have either dealt with that trauma or how that trauma affects the victim and their families. Some stories have names associated with them and some are left completely anonymous, demonstrating how hard coming forward and telling your story can be. Some of these stories are also told from the perspective of a child dealing with the abuse. That really added another level to the book, showing the abuse from all angles.

This is a book everyone should read, even if it makes you uncomfortable; especially if it makes you uncomfortable. That is because this book shows the true, sad reality of abuse from those who have experienced it firsthand. The two authors who compiled these stories, Sheree Schonian & Yasmin Walter, do a great job of choosing stories that have weight and really leave an impact on the reader. The definitions of the three pillars in the title, love bruises and bullsh!t, are given at the front of the book. This is a perfect introduction to the reader for what is to come and also gives insight into how it might be hard to see an abusive relationship while you are in it.

I appreciated that the authors added resources and statistics within the book, providing women with information on how to get help if needed. I especially loved the how to support someone section, as people who have not dealt with abuse might not know exactly how to help when they see someone in danger. That is a very important resource provided. This is a book everyone should read, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or experience of abuse because it shines a light on an issue that affects everyone but is rarely talked about.

Pages: 280 | ISBN: 0645255882

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I’ve Always Felt Empathetic Toward Others

Author Interview Michael J. Bowler

Shifter has the two main characters grappling with some big moral decisions. What was the inspiration for putting them into this position?

I like stories where characters, especially teenagers, have to grapple with more than just who to ask to prom because it’s when we’re faced with serious issues of right vs wrong that we show what we’re made of and who we are inside, and most of us will face tough choices throughout our lives. As a reader, I can ask myself the same questions I pose to my characters and consider which way I might go. My hope is that other readers will do the same. I’ve also thought about the ramifications of having such a power that I could decide who lives and who dies. As pointed out in the book, would it have been moral to kill Hitler before he got very far in his bid to take over the world? Even now, with what we know of history, some people would still argue no and others would say yes.

Are there any emotions or memories from your own life that you put into your characters of Alex and Andy?

I’ve always felt very empathetic toward the pain of others, even as a child and a teen, and wanted to “cure” those people of what ailed them, so I created this character of Alex to do that for me. I just don’t like seeing people unhappy or suffering, which is one reason I could never have become a doctor. Alex’s skills with his wheelchair and his innate tenacity were based on a boy I taught in high school. Despite his wheelchair, that boy could do whatever he put his mind to, sometimes with help from his friends, but mostly by himself. For Andy, I used much of the pain I absorbed from incarcerated kids I worked with who told me horrific stories of being locked in closets for years on end or about how some despicable adult slaughtered their pets in front of them. I sought to depict how hard it might be for such a child to accept love and friendship once released from such an evil upbringing, and I hope Andy comes across as believable in the minds of the readers.

What do you think were some of the defining moments in the development of Alex and Andy’s relationship?

Neither knew of the other’s existence until shortly before they met at the conclusion of Spinner (The Healer Chronicles 1), so I tried to imagine what it would feel like to meet a twin brother I never knew I had. Given the respective backgrounds of the two boys, I felt they could relate as outcasts and that might be the beginning of a friendship and even familial ties. The small moments they shared—when Andy would learn something new from Alex, or when they were washing dishes or working out in the fitness center—these moments helped cement their relationship. Learning how to combine their power and work together defined the growing connection between them, not just because their minds were linked, but because they needed to trust each other, and that must’ve been hard.

Will the next book conclude the story of Alex and Andy or is there more to tell? When will the next book be available?

The next book will conclude this particular storyline, but I have opened enough doors to tell other tales involving these characters and hope to return to them in the future. Spoiler (The Healer Chronicles 3) releases on July 12, 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Fifteen-year-old Alex and his learning-disabled friends barely survived the events of Spinner, but their nightmare has only just begun.

Alex’s wheelchair has never stopped him from doing what he wants, but his supernatural power to heal every human ailment known to science has put him in the crosshairs of a dangerous doomsday cult that will stop at nothing to capture him and his long-lost twin, Andy, who can shift illness from one person to another. When the boys combine their “gifts,” they unleash the power to control life and death.

Now Alex, Andy, and the others have been kidnapped by the U.S. military. On a creepy Air Force base in the remote Nevada desert, they must decide who to trust and who to fear while uncovering secrets this base wants to hide from the world. Who is the young boy with unusual abilities who’s treated like a soldier? What is hidden in an ultra-secret hangar that no one can access? And what unnatural experiments are conducted in that closed-off laboratory?

As Alex unravels these mysteries, he strives to bond with his twin, but Andy is distant and detached, trusting no one. He’s also more attracted to the dangerous power they wield than Alex would like. When misplaced faith in science ignites a hidden lust for supremacy, rescue can only come from the most unlikely source, and Alex must confront a terrible truth.

The Healer Chronicles continue…

It Is Intoxicating

Natalia Lazarus Author Interview

My Love Affair: Thorns and Roses shares through poetry your amazing and transformative love affair. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was important to me because it helped me to look at the love affair objectively. By placing the girl in the love affair as a character in a story, I could be fully honest with the raw emotions that the love affair induced. I could unleash all those feelings, release them, recover, and move on to the next journey. It was an important book for me to write for other men and women that may find themselves in this very same type of triangulating love affair. By sharing my story, perhaps others can experience that they are not alone and don’t have to feel ashamed, or hopeless. There is light at the end of the tunnel – with more roses and love arriving.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

The feelings of desperation were the hardest and to disclose the fact that the gentleman involved was married – separated but married. I felt really silly and immature to have fallen into such a clichéd trap – but then again, the beau in question did fall for a single woman.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about love?

That it will fix everything, that it will take all the previous pain away, that it is intoxicating, and that it is all that you must live for.

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

That love is like death – we must all go through it – in order to have truly lived. Whether a love affair fails or succeeds is not important. What is important is that you have loved and been loved. Consider life a series of love affairs. When one door closes – you can be certain that another one will open.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Actress/Director Natalia Lazarus, in her critically acclaimed, starring performance in the dramatic, two-character play A Picasso, fell madly in love with a dashing banker in the early days of the play’s run in Paris. Her book, My Love Affair: Thorns & Roses, tells – in verse – the intimate story of her passionate, erotic romance that became an unforgettable moment in time.

The Law of Love – Book Trailer

What does love mean to you?

Do you know that you can harness its energy and use it as a super fuel to create the life of your dreams.

In The Law of Love, Karen Weaver gifts insights into different aspects of love and how you can navigate it to get the most out of every scenario you encounter.

Love helps things grow and when you learn how to make it work for you, you will be the master of your own destiny.

The Law of Love in the fourth of seven life principles that multi-award-winning publisher, author, coach and TEDx speaker Karen Mc Dermott (Karen Weaver) uses every day in her life, and it is at the centre of the collection for a reason. It is the beating heart that helps her live life at the highest vibration, on her terms and all as a hands-on mum of six, author of over 40 books and CEO of 3 thriving publishing companies.

Are you ready to learn how to embrace love at a whole new level? The Law of Love has the answers your heart desires.

With contributions from Cliona O’Hara, Kym Oakhill, Taryn Claire, Patricia Lovell and Leanne Murner.

You Are Not Alone

Author Interview
Chyenne Daley Author Interview

Ninety Days is a powerful collection of poetry that takes readers through the six stages of relationships. Why was this an important collection for you to write?

The most important section for me to write was the healing section of the book. Writing the book was a therapeutic process for me and this part was especially important in my process.

My favorite poem from the book was the second one under Attraction. Do you have a favorite poem in this collection?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite. I put so much emotion into each and every poem, but one that I really felt connected with even after publishing was the 11th poem under the healing section. It really speaks to the growth and the developing love for myself after such a traumatic experience.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were younger?

You are beautiful, you are valuable, you are worthy of all good things.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your collection of poetry?

I want my readers to know that they are not alone, that in this lifetime we will all experience pain, heartbreak and loss. Healing isn’t linear but eventually you do come home to yourself and find peace.

Author Links: Website

http://This book is a collection of poems that will take the reader through the journey of love and heartbreak. Ninety days is a personal look at the events that have scarred and inspired the author. The collection attempts to capture the nuances of love, and some of the hardships that come with shattered relationships. Ninety days is separated into six sections: Attraction, Intimacy, Uncertainty, Betrayal, Nostalgia, and Healing. These sections highlight the journey towards self-love and wholeness. Join the author on this voyage of exploration.

Shifter

Twin brothers with the power of life and death – will they choose the path of good or evil? In Shifter, the second book in the Healer Chronicles, Michael J Bowler brings us back to the world of Alex and Andy and all the characters revolving around them. Having survived the events in the first thrilling book, the brothers begin to get to know each other and test the limits of what they can do together. But with secret organizations and military operations vying for control of their power, they have to make difficult choices that could save people… or leave them dead. The story takes twists and turns that make you question everything and everyone, from well-guarded fortresses and secret military labs in the desert.

Early on, we’re taken back to Andy’s horrific childhood, which explains his character to the reader and his brother Alex. The reader also gets some recaps and explanations of events in the first book, allowing those that have not read the first novel to understand this one. The author expertly balances dialogue, description, and action, creating incredible tension. A few scenes in the military lab had me literally at the edge of my seat! The author also created a rich and relatable world by adding small details between big moments.

There were plenty of everyday things that we take for granted highlighted in these extreme circumstances. For example, Alex’s experiences with his disability, not being able to reach a shirt in a closet that wasn’t made for someone in a wheelchair. Alex’s human existence gave us a closer connection to a character with incredible power. I loved so many of the characters in the novel. They were unusual heroes, abandoned or scorned by society because of who they are, mistakes from their past, or circumstances beyond their control.

There were also plenty of more important questions of ethics and morality in the choices the main characters have to make, as exemplified in the passage below: “And you would be, Alex. You two could save more lives than anyone in history.” “By killing,” Alex said, his voice barely a whisper. “How is that good?” “Because some people need to be killed so others may live.” Without giving too much away, you can see the dilemma Alex faces when he learns about how some powerful forces would want him to use his power.

However, conflict in the book doesn’t touch only upon questions of morality but also on adolescent insecurities and friendship. Many characters grapple with complex feelings of jealousy or fear of a new person joining the group and taking your place, wanting to prove their strength.

Shifter (The Healer Chronicles Book 2) is a suspenseful young adult thriller. With strong and memorable characters, non-stop action, and high tension, readers will not want to put the book down and anxiously await the conclusion of this exciting trilogy.

Pages: 372 | ASIN : B09R2K41L7

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Elysium Protocol 

Elysium Protocol by C.A. MacLean is the third book in the Architects of the Illusion science fiction series. Following a species-diverse team known as the “Fireseeds,” Elysium Protocol picks up the shattered pieces left over from the devastating war in book two, The Great Scourge. In a time of interstellar conflict, multiple factions, some seen, some working from the shadows, are vying for power, control, and sometimes, just plain survival. Set in a distant future, the last remnants of humanity are part of an intergalactic organization known as “The Convergence,” an alliance consisting of “quintillions” of citizens.

The Fireseeds are pitted against a vast alien force known as the “hiven,” an insect-like species bent on zealous destruction and domination. Several science fiction tropes appear here, but they are executed skillfully; which ensures longtime fans of science fiction will find something familiar yet still intriguing. There are multiple alien races present: humanoid bird-persons (Arkerians), crystal people (Altaran), bug people (hiven), and more. The story is rife with many planet names and systems, such as Everan, Serrona, Vraunlith-3, etc. I feel this might make it difficult to follow at times but adds to the depth of a world that seems full of possbilites and begs to be explored further. I would have loved to have seen a map of systems in the book to look back on because this story reaches epic fantasy levels where readers will be completely immersed in a large world.

This is a robust novel, almost as long as the two previous entries combined. There is a lot of action going on with all of the characters and races. Readers have to be fully engaged in this story to keep up with who is who and what species is what; reminding me of the breadth of George R.R. Martin novels. However, the author effectively handles the task of keeping things straight, with the central characters being well developed with strong individual personalities. The Arkerian Engami sisters, Eva and Ashy, the tragic Altaran, Caleb Braze, the modest human, Daniel Byre, and many more fill this impressive work with relatable characters and a compelling story. Despite some massive decisions, the memorable characters and gripping action bring a universe of primordial planets, advanced spacecraft, and futuristic cities to life.

Architects Of The Illusion, Part III: Elysium Protocol is an action-filled science fiction space opera with memorable characters and planets. Readers will be able to escape into the world that has been created and feel like they are in the action.

Pages: 777 | ASIN : B09NPPJL1Q

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The Smiles and Tears of Love

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The Smiles and Tears of Love, written by Ray Cantan, follows Mabel Fox’s life. Starting with devastating news as an adult, the author changes directions and takes us back in time to right before Mabel was born. We get to read about Mabel as she grows up as a small child living with her parents in Tullow, Ireland. As she gets older, she moves in with her aunt in Curragh, where she learns to become a lady.  As the story goes on Mabel marries the soldier of her dreams. Life brings her many ups and downs as she navigates life as a military wife. Mabel even has a steamy fling with a married man.

I want to say first that the overall story was spectacular. I really enjoyed reading about Mabel’s life from right before she was born to where it ended. It is rare to read a book that starts off with so much information at the beginning. I feel like it really builds up the character, and you can get to know their personality very well. Her character was very well developed, and it felt natural. I would have thought I was reading about a real person if it wasn’t stated that it was a work of fiction.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the story and plotline of this interesting book, I felt like there wasn’t much of a description of what Mabel looked like. I had a hard time envisioning her appearance. I know the styles of the Victorian and Edwardian Era, so the outfits were easy to picture in my mind. I feel that the story would benefit from another editing and proofreading as well to correct some grammar, incomplete sentences and some repeated chapters.

The Smiles and Tears of Love is, overall, an exquisite family saga. Once the author polishes up the manuscript this will be a wonderful novel that readers of historical fiction will be drawn to with its attention to detail of the period and strong relatable characters that readers will feel like they know personally.

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