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Doesn’t everyone have a shadow?

E. G. Creel Author Interview

Lily follows a Duban girl who is born without a twin, this is considered bad luck by her people. Her father is forced to take extreme actions to hide her secret. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

There’s something magical about a shadow. Isn’t there? I remember trying to trick mine when I was little and loved when Peter Pan’s shadow went off on its own. I wanted to know more about it. So, I wrote my own story, and it began with a little girl being born with a shadow.

Lily is born cursed through no fault of her own and must live with a dark shadow. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

What we see as a taboo or a curse, Lily sees as normal. She’s a little girl with a shadow. Doesn’t everyone have a shadow? They do, but not like Lily’s. But are rumors more dangerous than reality?

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

There’s a crossover for a character from my previous novel, The Immortal. When I began writing Lily, I didn’t know it would happen. But when the time came to introduce a certain character, I was delighted to find the crossover fit perfectly, filling in a question from my previous story. “What happened to Stacey?” Read Lily to find out.

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

I’m writing in Kindle Vella. Gena is the latest serial I’ve completed and it’s also a crossover. I also have several short stories posted under the story The Sunken Duck.

Author Links: GoodReads | TikTok | Facebook | Website

Discover what it means to be born with a shadow. Lily’s shadow is only hours old and already a killer. But is it really Lily’s fault, and should she suffer the consequences for actions she has no control over?

Cover by OliviaProDesign
Art by Teresa Guido
Edited by Whitney’s Book Works
Narrated by Anthony Lund

Appropriate But Also Funny

Jolly Walker Bittick Author Interview

Bag O’ Goodies is a collection of short stories and poetry, sometimes real and sometimes pure fiction, covering a wide variety of topics. What was the inspiration for writing this collection of works?

I was a big fan of the movie “Creep Show” that showcases short stories by Stephen King.

I find the title of this collection interesting. How did you decide on the title of this book?

I love the format, and when I went about writing my own book of short stories (and poems) I wanted it to have a title that was both appropriate but also funny. “Bag O’ Goodies” fit the bill.

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

Themes of a man in his mid-30’s, to include childhood-type stories, wild tales about joining clubs, substance abuse, love, social issues, and pure fiction. I wanted to showcase a variety of themes and scenarios in the stories.

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

The next book is “Line Rats.” It’s a sequel to my debut novel “Cape Henry House.” I’m aiming to have it done and hopefully published by the end of the year! Stay tuned.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Bag O’ Goodies is a collection of short stories and poems, some based on true events, that showcase an array of topics and themes. These pages contain tales of where late nights go wrong, scary neighbors prove their scariness, motorcycles rule, and deep arguments hit deeper topics while in the line of duty. This proverbial bag has quite a scent. Poems are included for added aroma!

A Deep, Dark Psychological Reason

Suzanne Smith Author Interview

Bullets and Bustles follows an ex-bounty hunter who tries to create a normal life when her world is upturned by a mysterious stranger. What were some sources that informed this stories development?

Emma’s highly proficient, confident, female bounty hunter persona came from watching Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns he’d made in the distant past. Her angst came from one of the characters that had captivated my interest when I watched the old movie version of The Magnificent Seven. The character’s name was Lee. He was a professional gunfighter who’d lost his nerve. I find that I get a lot of my ideas from movies.

Emma Tombs’ character is intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

I wanted to present Emma as both a victim of abuse and a perpetrator of murder, in her own right. At the start of the story, Emma is destitute. Her only gift is her skill with a gun. She initially becomes a bounty hunter out of necessity, pretty much in order to survive. But, she chooses to remain in this lucrative profession far longer than she needs to. There’s a deep, dark psychological reason for her puzzling behavior, but Emma doesn’t know what that is until she falls in love with the young, enigmatic J.D. In essence, J.D. holds a mirror up to Emma’s face and forces her to see herself as she really is. With J.D.’s love and support, Emma is able to confront her demons and begin the healing process, replacing hate with hope.

What are some challenges to writing short stories that you enjoy overcoming?

The challenge of making the story flow smoothly while incorporating all that I need to in order to give each of the characters depth. I’ve learned not to sacrifice story substance for word count.

Do you have other short stories available that fans can dig into?

I have a short story, titled The Mortal Vampire, in The Mystic Desire Anthology by BVS, that is currently available on Amazon.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories.
It includes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories.
These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a Western cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.
The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories.

I Wanted to Contribute Something New

Suzanne Smith Author Interview

The Mortal Vampire follows a 300 year old vampire that slowly starts to regain parts of his humanity, including the ability to love again, can he figure out what is causing it? What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

In the beginning of the story, the vampire Remy has no idea what’s causing the unwelcome physical and mental changes he’s experiencing. All he knows is that the changes seemed to have begun when he first met the mortal Angela. He had pursued Angela in the hope that she might’ve been able to shed some light on the cause of his strange, new illness. She was, but not in the way he’d thought she would. As to my inspiration, I love the horror genre. I’ve always felt the urge to write a vampire story, but I held off because I wanted to contribute something new to the vampire mystique. I didn’t just want Remy to be a lustful, bloodthirsty vampire. I also wanted him to be vulnerable, to have a conscience, and for some part of him to subconsciously be tethered to a past that was completely at odds with his current vampire persona. The idea for a large part of my story came from a zombie movie I’d recently watched.

Angela is mysterious and compelling, drawing Remy in. What was the inspiration for the relationship that develops between the characters?

I’ve always been inspired by love stories that start off in a tumultuous way, but end on a high note. In the beginning of The Mortal Vampire, the relationship between Angela and Remy is strained, mostly because Remy is afraid of the influence that the mere mortal Angela has over him. It was no small feat for him to overcome this fear, but gradually he did. His fear was replaced by trust, and that trust blossomed into love. By the end of the story, Angela had become a sort of spiritual beacon to Remy, a guiding light that helped him find his way out of the darkness. A true soulmate. I wasn’t able to see their relationship developing in any other way.

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

Redemption. Faith. The power of love.

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

I just finished a full length novel titled Lilah’s Limit. It takes place in New Orleans circa 1870. It’s a story about a scarred man who falls in love with a mysterious prostitute. It’s pretty much ready to be published now, so with any luck, that will happen soon.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook profile page | Facebook author page

Mystic Desire is a collection of short paranormal romance stories. This is a chance to read and discover the work of a diverse group of very talented authors.
The themes in this book are varied, as are the collection of characters and artifacts, including Native American dream catchers, mystical jewelry, and characters such as lustful vampires, hot warlocks, a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, a zombie apocalypse and things that go bump in the night.
From soft and tender love to hot passionate, kinky sex, there is something for everyone in this anthology.

Poetic Mind

Poetic Mind is a deep dive into the mind of its creator, John Nevel. Nevel clearly enjoys experimental writing as he utilizes a range of styles to keep his work fresh. No two poems are the same. Nevel is familiar with and influenced by the classics. He has taken what he has learned and created his own amazing style. Many of the poems are best enjoyed read aloud as Nevel makes repeated use of rap structures.

While each poem is different Nevel, has taken this opportunity to share with us what he cares about most. Nevel has fought for his country, and there are clearly parts of modern society he is unhappy with. In this work, he rallies against varying social dilemmas and kinds of discrimination whether it be racism, sexism, or prejudices against mental health. Nevel’s imagery is vivid and strong. Some poems are almost a slideshow of his innermost thoughts. Most powerful are the poems where he reflects on his own struggles and history. He does give readers some lighthearted moments. Some poems are joyous and tell us a short story. One of my personal favorites is Kiss of the Dragon–a fantasy poem about a dragon and an old lady.

Nevel is confident in his both his writing and the value of his experiences. The author spends a lot of time in this collection trying to inspire others to write. Several poems in the collection are solely about writing processes and helping others to take the dive into discovering their own talents.

Poetic Mind: The Collection, by John Nevel, is a great collection of poems whether you’re familiar with Nevel’s work or not. The poems are vivid and inspiring and, if nothing else, it is fascinating to take such an incredible look into the psyche of another human being. I highly recommend this exceptional piece of work by Nevel.

Pages: 201 | ISBN: 979-8490047575

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Another Slice of Fear

Another Slice of Fear by Andrew Allen Smith is a collection of compelling and thrilling short stories that share a common theme, fear. The author provides 14 chilling short stories that will shock you but also leave you wanting more. Each short story has a different character and a different plot which is a refreshing approach.

Author Andrew Smith has creatively written short stories that immediately immerse the reader into the story and end abruptly. However, even though the stories end abruptly, the reader is left satisfied because the short stories get straight to the point and deliver fear. The author provides just enough information about the characters to understand their motives, and he successfully gets the reader to worry for the characters in the stories.

I appreciated the level of detail put into such short chapters. I was able to clearly imagine each scene. I would have to commend the author for his torture and terror scenes, as they are perfectly portrayed throughout the book. Although a brief read, most of the characters were well written and original. I found it interesting that each character felt fear but in a different way, whether it’d be from torture to mind games, torture by insects, and much more.

Another Slice of Fear by Andrew Allen Smith is a unique read that is not for the faint of heart. I highly recommend this novel to readers who love a good horror novel especially many short horror stories. However, this book isn’t for everyone as it is filled with mature themes and graphic descriptions that might trigger readers.

Pages: 126 | ASIN : B09ZDRY3HV

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To Sit Upon The Mountaintop Of My Soul

Author Interview
Paul Lomax Author Interview

What was the idea, or spark, that first set off the need to write and put together the collection of poetry and short stories in Amygdala Blue?

This is, quite honestly, an incredibly concrete and foundational question I would take the liberty to invariably rephrase as: What drives you to compose, canvass, sculpt, and personify poetry? Answer: At the core of what drives my poetry – as well as creative nonfiction – what fuels my need to invest myself in poetry, to sit upon the mountaintop of my soul, listen to past voices rustling across sub-Saharan African ranges, excavating the self, lies the need to uncover what June Jordan beautifully stated as “… formulations of what’s important”. Therein rests my poetic bloodline, to swim in the forever tide of truth, of a gripping, forever biopsychosocial River… Moreover, I contend, my style of poetry is certainly NOT mainstream in nature, rather speaks with a bold tone, sometimes distilled and dissected, other times, brash and emotional. Overall, my works are written with a revolutionary ‘structure’, canvassed around the postmodern notion embodying the African American ‘Presence of Absence’ phenomenon. Authentic poetry demands poets become idiosyncratically ‘attuned’ to an uncompromising, creative self.

“Panther Lurking High Above the Hood” is one of my favorite pieces in this collection. Do you have a favorite writing in this collection, if so what is it and why?

Yes, “Durn my Hide” is a personal expression of antebellum, post-reconstructionist musings, channeled from an authentic voice and time. Unquestionably experimental, undeniably raw, but true to cultural place and time. Because this poem evokes so much emotion, and unique qualities – including prominent rhythms, imagery, and compactness – the prose poem form and structure works best in showcasing its characterized intensity. In this poem, there exists an underlying complexity that challenged me for years to countless number of revisions. Through it all, though, I never thought about moving away from the stylized language. In fact, it was Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s seminal craft which inspired me to excavate deeper, dispel the urge to conform to postmodern vernacular; remembering to stay in touch with the odor, sight, and sound of the minute, hour, day poetically ‘captured’… Moreover, of an interesting note, I hail from several generations of African American farmers from Saluda, Virginia. A land enriched with the blood and sweat, and sacrifice of an African American history written far from history books presented to our postmodern culture. However, I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet any of my mother’s siblings or parents, but I was provided enough information from my mother about their incredible hardships and social struggles. Interestingly though, as I grew into manhood, attained higher education degrees, I could never shake my earthen archetypal memories; I continued to be haunted by the Southern African American voice fettered to land tilled from dawn to dusk, every day of every year. In its purest form, “Durn my Hide” is a revolutionary poem! As André Breton (1896-1966), co-founder of the Surrealist movement said, “The advantage of revolution was not that it gives mankind happiness…[but] it should purify and illuminate man’s tragic condition”.

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

In the midst of a crisis moment, I hope readers come away from reading Amygdala Blue with a resounding notion regarding the grounding and healing power of nature. For in nature, can we make sense of the world enveloping everyone, and thus understand who we are. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated: “In the woods, we return to reason and faith”.

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


Author Links: Twitter | GoodReds

Compelling as The Color Purple, palpable as The Invisible Man, and as painful as The Souls of Black FolkAmygdala Blue is a dark excursion triangulating socio-historical ‘beliefs’.

Despite our constant unraveling, despite our continuous urge to become disentangled with one another, we are forever bound to each other, and Nature. Our maternal, romantic, rebellious bonds compel us to belong to each other. This fierce intimacy has the potential to stretch emotional, moral, and faith-based boundaries.

Painted in poetic hues and savage creative nonfiction choices, Amygdala Blue canvases the ‘Presence of Absence’ through the lens of three socio-political themes – Religion, Racism, and Relationships.

In Amygdala Blue by Paul Lomax, the author speaks with an unconventional tone, sometimes distilled and surgically dissected, other times, brash and poetically emotional. Overall, we experience existential dread and surrealistic truth, associated with mental health, personal freedom, and the healing power of nature.

Bullets and Bustles in the Cowboy Desire Anthology

Emma Tombs is not your average woman. The moment her husband was murdered she had to figure out something new to sustain herself. With an unusual talent and earning the name of “Angel of Death”, she starts hunting wanted outlaws to get some money. But with time, the cruel nature of the job starts to haunt her and give her nightmares. She tries to leave the bounty hunter life behind and searches for a normal life. She opens a diner, but her world is turned upside down when a mysterious man shows up. They meet each other and the connection is instant and intense. However, the lives of both are riddled with secrets, and they’ll have to overcome their own demons to build the relationship that their souls so desperately need.

This story might be short, but it isn’t missing anything. Smith’s ability to include so much in a few pages is incredible. As she introduces Emma, we get the idea of a strong woman that’s able to command herself in a group of powerful men. She’s voracious and skilled. She’s also quite vulnerable though, and realizes that she’s been hurt all throughout her life; a pain that will hardly go away. Then we meet JD, a mysterious man that’s new in town. From the beginning the intrigue is felt, not only because JD’s identity and past are completely unknown, but also because his connection with Emma is fiery and heartfelt, an undeniable bond that they clearly share.

The build up for this romance was skillfully done. With an engaging writing style that excellently portrays what the characters feel and hope for, a vivid picture is provided through which the birth of this unexpected romance can be seen. Readers can feel the tension and the desire, and will yearn to see where Emma and JD’s story lead. This, coupled with a few intense action scenes from the bounty hunter lifestyle, make for an all-around tense and powerful romance plot that will keep readers glued to the page.

When love feels like something unachievable, Smith’s story brings the tension and the magic that one longs for, using her storytelling skills to weave a passionate romance story where the lovers will have to fight to keep it alight.

Pages: 29 (Page 354-383 in the paperback anthology) | ASIN: B08VYQZ17H

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