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Who Are You, Really?

Have you been searching for your place in this world all your life? Are you feeling lost or perhaps misunderstood? Do you feel like you’ve had to hide behind a mask to be accepted and accomplish certain things? Author Ray LeCara Jr. in his new book Who Are You, Really?: The Search for Authenticity charts a path that will give readers a solution to these questions and help them to find their true purpose and turn their lives into meaningful ones.

Life is difficult and complex, and so are we. From the beginning we are surrounded by people. We are influenced by them. We share with them. But along the way many of us forget who we are, we follow other people’s paths and never get to discover our true selves and our full potential. This enlightening book serves as a genuine reminder to people that our uniqueness not only matters, but it’s of utter importance to ourselves and to those around us. Inspirational, spiritual, thoughtful and deep, the teachings in this thought-provoking book will stay in your consciousness and help you overcome the obstacles that don’t allow you to become who you are truly meant to be.

From the start author Ray LeCara Jr. makes sure to relate to the human experience. Through quotes, he makes sense of our deepest longing and motivates us to reach for authenticity, to become our authentic selves. Concisely, he explains what happens inside of us when we choose fear over vulnerability and transparency, and makes us understand that betraying ourselves is never a viable option. Deep inside, we all want to know who we really are and who we are meant to be, what our potential is and in which direction we are supposed to reach.

The journey to finding authenticity is a worthwhile one, and there is some intellectually-invigorating material in this book that will get you started in your search. With recommendations and motivation, each chapter brings readers a step closer into this needed journey, and gives them actionable guidance that can put them on the right track to discovering themselves. The book covers the most important areas of an authentic humanity: living, loving, leading and learning. The right course of action hides in plain sight in each chapter of this book.

Who Are You, Really? can be a powerful tool in the hands of many readers. This illuminating book will help readers understand their standing in this world and will inspire them to fulfill what their soul truly needs and yearns for.

Pages: 158 | ASIN: B0BDSQVPRK

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Dark Awakenings

Dark Awakenings is a collection of Ray LeCara’s most haunting short stories. Throughout each one, a different character is featured with his/her unique backstory. The only thing these tales have in common is that each of these characters’ recently experienced some life-changing event. After that, the same kind of slithering darkness crept into their lives. The darkness’s desire to force them into horrors they are taught to run away from is evident in every story, heedless whether it’s a broken-hearted girl or a priest. They are awakened to the haunting dark lurking alongside them, the one everyone knows about but no one dares to speak about.

This collection of five creepy stories has been written and compiled by LeCara to bring your worst fears to life. LeCara, being a fan of Stephen King and Clive Barker’s spooky stories himself, included elements of a very similar unadulterated horror in his book Dark Awakenings. As a result, each story was better than the last and even more challenging to put down.

LeCara’s storytelling skills are so enthralling that these already scary plotted stories somehow sounded even more atrocious. I completely lost myself in his excellent writing style and felt perplexed by the story’s entrance. Nevertheless, these 5 haunting stories were as spooky and captivating as it gets. After finishing this book, I kept glancing over my shoulder and struggled to tell fiction and reality apart. The setting of each story is different yet akin, and even though each character’s fate is subsequent, it is definitely unpredictable and inconspicuous.

The mysterious and creepy plots kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. However, people sensitive to horror plots should steer clear because the name Dark Awakenings definitely rings true.

Pages: 127 | ASIN : B0BDT441Y2

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Of Space & Time

Revolution, space, and a healthy amount of dystopia await you in Of Space & Time by Ray LeCara Jr. As you journey through this exciting book, readers are pulled into a SciFi world where they explore the futuristic cities that author Ray LeCara Jr creates. Throughout this novel, we will find gripping stories that leave us wanting more. It creates a world and gives us the space to create some of our endings. From dystopian futures on different planets mixed with some extremely relatable pandemic futures, these five short stories include it all.

Of Space & Time is a collection of thought-provoking short stories. In decorated worlds, LeCara brings us on a journey through space. This action-packed book was one read that kept you turning page after page. Readers will find themselves in the shoes of the protagonists facing their trials and tribulations. The beauty of these stories is that they hook you in quickly and don’t let go. LeCara makes sure readers want to keep reading with the fascinating characters and original storylines. Hop aboard a spaceship and make your way through the different universes in Of Space & Time.

Science Fiction writer Ray LeCara JR brings the literary universe to life that includes many different layers in each of his compelling short stories. With relatable subjects, world events, and history, he gives readers a great SciFi short story compilation. I would recommend this collection for any SciFi lover. They would be great for older teens to adults who are interested in reading exhilarating short stories that take readers on an adventure through space and time. When readers have finished this collection, they are left with questions of their own to ponder and consider about the future of mankind and our exploration of space.

Pages: 157 | ASIN : B0B8TGWHJB

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What Draws People To Each Other?

Ray LeCara Jr Author Interview

From Where I Sit: A Collection of Short Fiction follows the lives of different characters showcasing the consequences of the choices people make in life. Where did the idea for this collection of stories come from?

During COVID I was teaching multiple online writing classes and having so much fun with short stories that I returned to my collection of over two dozen from over the years. Some of the finished ones were even contest winners from years earlier. Most were in various stages of development, but I was able to split the stories up into three collections based on genre: science fiction, horror, and general fiction. I selected the best five for each to edit or finish and was especially excited to challenge myself with the general fiction stories because they were unlike anything I ever fully fleshed out before.

What things do you find interesting about the human condition that makes for great fiction?

Most of the creative writing I’ve dabbled in has been science fiction or horror. The search to find one’s place in the world, their purpose, were at the heart of those earlier stories. In those tales, the characters deal with hyperbolized conflicts that act as metaphors for what readers struggle through in their daily lives. In this collection, however, the human condition is front and center. It’s raw. Exposed. I wanted to explore the complexities and ambiguities that make up an individual’s character. The same with relationships and their connective tissue. What draws people to each other? Why are some animals more deeply connected to certain humans than others? What part do they play in how someone approaches life and its challenges? Then there are those who grow tired of adhering to the mold society has forced on them. Is it a midlife crisis if someone finally gains clarity and wants change? Is there something to be gained by going to what some may perceive as extremes? What defines an extreme? How does one go about discovering—and trusting—their authentic self? And while conflicts are introduced and resolved, I wanted these characters to be complex and interesting enough to feel as if their story was only a snapshot—a chapter, if you will—of a much larger narrative.

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?

Like any writer, there’s always a bit of me in everything that I write. This collection, however, was the most personal. As such, it was also the most cathartic. If one takes to heart what it means to write what one knows, the authenticity of that act makes for some very emotional content. It’s not manipulative; it’s not forced. So, yes, parts of my life are in all the characters, but three of the five stories were the most reflective of my own life experiences and emotions than anything written in the past.

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

Last month an independent study skills workbook for young learners in grades 6-12, Essential Study Skills: A Holistic Approach to Learning, was published. Only the Kindle version is available, but the paperback will be released in a couple of weeks. I’m currently wrapping up a coaching book titled Who Are You, Really? The Search for Authenticity, which is due to be released on the 16th of December.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A collection of five thoughtful, diverse, character-driven shorts featuring compelling narratives for adult readers, From Where I Sit: A Collection of Short Fiction is about choice and consequence, love and betrayal, and confronting mortality.

From Where I Sit

Written by Ray Lecara Jr, From Where I Sit is a collection of short stories. Easy to read and engaging, there are five stories to enjoy. Beginning with Scent of Juniper, an exciting, short-action thriller detailing a world war two agent’s mission to locate and acquire a rare Faberge egg. The story plunges straight into the middle of the action as assassins launch an attack. With a fast pace, it is instantly absorbing and finishes on a cliffhanger, leaving me keen to read on and find out what happens next.  

A Life Lost Living is the following short story in the collection. I particularly enjoyed this one. The main character was thoughtfully crafted. It details the friendship between a young bartender and an elderly veteran who drinks in his establishment. Through conversations, the elderly man reveals the story of his life, his sorrows, his bitterness, and the effects of war on his life. He is alone, estranged from his family, with his wife and parents long dead. The complexity of the father/child relationship is examined in this story, as is the ever-present question of the point of living, especially when the burdens and regrets weigh heavily in older age. The ending is original and poignant. It is an emotional piece of writing with beautiful descriptions of the New England winter and the connections to land, memory, and childhood.  

Goldie, the next story, showcases man’s love for their most loyal companion, the dog. A touching tale of loss and how people can move forward even when they think they won’t. One Night In Bangkok is a super short story featuring another canine companion protecting their chosen human in a funny set of events.  

The final story in the collection Old Lang Syne features two lovers reconnecting after years apart when they accidentally bump into each other on new years eve. Catching up on how their lives unfolded after they split, they are able to rehash the events that led to their break up. This is an interesting look at how life evolves and changes as people progress. In addition, it looks at the difficulties people face with mental health struggles and how they can overcome them. 

I really enjoyed reading the short stories. They were all well-written, and the characters were easy to engage with. I had no problem becoming invested in any of the characters or the stories. Each story examined different areas of the human condition and the emotional aspects of life. I liked the fact you can dip in and quickly read each story. The premise of each individual story was exciting and original. The characters were convincing, and the quality of the writing was good. Each story flowed nicely, and the dialogue was well-crafted and easy to read. 

Pages: 131 | ASIN : B0B8DKJV1Y

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