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Getting Justice

Author Interview
Charles R. Butts Jr Author Interview

Unconscionable tells the story of one family’s long quest for justice after their loved one was brutally murdered in a racially motivated attack. Why was this an important book for you to write?

This story was important for me to write because I know the actual family. I’m married to a cousin of the real victim. We’ve been together since 1990 and they’ve always talked about getting justice.

The story is based on true events. What aspects of the story were fictionalized and what aspects stuck close to the truth?

In the real story, there were only two perpetrators, not three. Location and setting are different. Some of the witnesses didn’t actually exist. Carl Castor was fictional. The marches were fictional as well. The woman portrayed by Francine Stoner Grant actually passed away in 2010. Truths are the victim’s brutal murder, his brother’s suspicious death in jail, the parent’s passing. Evidence tampering, terrorizing and threatening the family was true too. As well as the convictions and sentences.

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

The important theme was to accurately and adequately paint a true picture of the long history of racism in the deep south. Another theme was the love, faith and strength of the family and how frequently violent crime occurred with impunity.

When and where will your book be available?

The book is available at, and

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On the morning of October 9, 1983, twenty-three-year-old Johnny Lee Grier’s partially nude body was discovered in a vacant field by a couple of hunters. Mangled, disfigured and nearly decapitated, his body was riddled with over thirty deep stab wounds, burns, abrasions, and pieces of flesh ripped away from. Rumors suggest his horrific murder was a racially motivated retaliation for falling in love with a white woman. To make matters worse, those who committed the heinous crime were protected while others who wanted to come forward were forbidden from speaking to the police.
Thirty-four years later, those suspected of the murder are finally indicted, arrested and set to stand trial. Follow the journey of an aggrieved family’s long quest for the justice of their loved one. Based on a true story, Unconscionable revisits the common and frequent racism that once ran amok in the deep South, and usually with impunity.

Love Helps Them Heal

Patricia Leavy Author Interview

Celestial Bodies is the romantic saga of two people who are used to putting others first. When they meet, they discover more about themselves than they could imagine. What was the inspiration for this epic love story collection?

There’s a saying that ‘hurt people hurt people.’ However, sometimes that isn’t the case. Sometimes people in deep pain are able to love others in extraordinary ways without widening the circle of trauma. That’s what Tess and Jack’s love story shows us. These are two innately good people who have suffered trauma and grief. They have given tirelessly to others, but they’ve been unable to find personal happiness until they meet each other. At the core, it’s a story about people with visible and invisible wounds and how love helps them heal. Their love is so strong that I hope it runs off the pages and lives inside readers too. It has certainly done that for me.

What were some of the emotional and moral guidelines you followed when developing your characters?

These are genuinely good people trying to do good in the world. I tried to show this with how they treat others. There’s a gentleness or grace with which the primary characters—friends, lovers, chosen family—treat one another. I was also mindful that these characters have suffered various traumas in their lives and thus are always engaged in the lifelong healing process. So, there’s a balance with their strength and vulnerability, with how they treat others and with how they must learn to treat themselves.

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

Each novel in the collection explores love and another theme: healing, doubt, intimacy, trust, commitment, and faith. Together, it is an exploration of love in all its forms and textures. Some people have called the collection a love letter to love. Others have called it a prayer.

Were you able to achieve everything you wanted with the characters in the novel collection?

Originally, I had only intended to write one novel, Shooting Stars, which itself came to me in a burst. When I was done, I felt like there was so much more to explore with the characters, so Twinkle followed, then Constellations, Supernova, North Star, and finally, Stardust. So as a whole, in Celestial Bodies I was able to take the characters on quite a journey and where they end is very far from where they begin. That said, I love, love, love these characters so much and there’s always more to tell, so who knows, maybe someday I’ll return to them.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Celestial Bodies is a series of six novels that follow the epic romance of Tess and Jack: Shooting StarsTwinkleConstellationsSupernovaNorth Star, and Stardust. An exploration of the power of love, each novel focuses on love at the intersection of another topic: healing, doubt, intimacy, trust, commitment, and faith. While external threats occur in each book, this is ultimately a story about internal threats—the audio playing in our own heads.

Tess Lee is a world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore people’s innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite her extraordinary success, she’s been unable to find happiness in her personal life. Jack Miller is a federal agent who specializes in counterterrorism. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. He’s dedicated everything to his job, leaving nothing for himself. The night Tess and Jack meet, their connection is palpable. She examines the scars on his body and says, “I’ve never seen anyone whose outsides match my insides.” The two embark on a beautiful love story that asks the questions: What happens when people truly see each other? Can unconditional love change the way we see ourselves? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who calls her Butterfly; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby and Gina, Jack’s younger friends who never fail to lighten the mood. Along the way, others join their journey: the female president of the United States, with whom Tess bakes cookies and talks politics; the Millers, Jack’s childhood family; and many others. Celestial Bodies is about walking through our past traumas, moving from darkness to light, learning to live in color, and the ways in which love—from lovers, friends, or the art we experience—can heal us. Written as unfolding action, this collection moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy. It can be read for pleasure or selected for book clubs.

A Misunderstood and Misrepresented Mushroom

Kevin Feeney Author Interview

What was the idea, or spark, that first set off the need to write Fly Agaric: A Compendium of History, Pharmacology, Mythology, & Exploration?

There were really two sparks that gave life to this book. The first spark was to produce the book that I had always wanted. When I first developed an interest in this mushroom as a teenager there was very little written about the mushroom that was accessible and the articles and books that were available were frequently vague on a number of important points. I had always wished I could find something that was comprehensive and that could provide a solid background on the history, pharmacology, and mythology surrounding this mushroom. The second spark was the realization that in the decades since I first developed an interest in the Fly Agaric there remained an incredible vacuum in the literature on this mushroom. Thus, the goal of producing the book was to simultaneously fill this vacuum and to produce the book that I had always wanted.

What was the collaboration process like with so many people contributing to this book?

The collaboration aspect was one of the thrilling elements of putting this book together. There were challenges in selecting and contacting the authors and researchers that I wanted to participate but I couldn’t be happier with the selection of individuals who agreed to contribute to this book. Some of the contributors had previously published their work elsewhere, but many of these pieces had been out of print for years or decades and were difficult for readers to find. This provided an opportunity to re-introduce readers to some very interesting literature on this mushroom. It was also great to work with authors on new works, to discuss topics, and lay-outs, and to take a more active editorial role. There were also several chapters that I co-authored, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with each of these individuals as a collaborator.

What is one thing about Fly Agaric that you think is misrepresented in the media?

One thing the media is frequently guilty of is using images of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) in articles about Psilocybe mushrooms, frequently referred to as “magic” mushrooms. While the Fly Agaric is also psychoactive it is quite distinct from Psilocybe mushrooms, both in its appearance and in its pharmacology. There is potential for this misrepresentation to lead to confusion among readers, which could lead to unforeseen and potentially harmful consequences.

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

There are no books currently in the works though I am presently working on several research articles related to the Fly Agaric, which will likely be published within the next two years.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

With more than two-dozen contributors and over 450-pages of content Fly Agaric is the most comprehensive book on the iconic red and white-spotted mushroom ever assembled. In the 29 chapters contained herein the reader is taken on a journey through history, folklore, and the magical landscapes experienced under the influence of the Fly Agaric, and its many close relatives. The reader of this book will learn:
How to recognize and identify over a dozen types of psychoactive Amanita species, subspecies, and varieties occurring in North America, and how to distinguish them from look-alikes.What psychoactive and other active compounds are found in psychoactive Amanitas, and how they affect the mind and body.The differences between the effects and experiences produced by psychoactive Amanitas and psychedelic Psilocybe mushrooms.How the Fly Agaric can be detoxified and safely prepared for the dinner table.The history of medicinal and homeopathic use of the Fly Agaric.How the Fly Agaric can be used topically and internally to treat conditions such as pain, inflammation, insomnia, and anxiety.Theories regarding the historical and religious use of psychoactive Amanitas around the world based on archaeological, folkloric, and other evidence.

We “Flipped The Script”

Anthony and Staci Lo Cascio Author Interview

Food As A Prescription is a handbook for those that wish to alter their diet due to food allergies or for anti-inflammatory health benefits. Why was this an important book for you to write?

When you go through a traumatic experience and come out better on the other side it is quite significant. It makes you want to shout about that experience from the rooftops so others who are suffering in similar ways know they are not alone and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That said, changing something as fundamental as your diet can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Food As A Prescription eliminates the confusion and guesswork of evolving into a “restrictive” diet. We wrote this book to enlighten and empower others, as well as ensure they find a path to success as they embark on their own journey.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about food allergies?

The most common misconception is that nothing will ever taste good again and that it will be impossible to go out and enjoy life the way you did prior to changing your diet. While there are always challenges in life, nothing could be further from the truth. We have personally found all sorts of new ways to approach food that not only allow us to eat within our parameters, but also introduced us to wonderful new things to enjoy. People typically concentrate on what they can NOT eat, but we “flipped the script” to concentrate on what we CAN eat. These common misconceptions eventually led us to create LOCA Foods Inc, where we provide foods free from gluten, dairy, soy, and corn, yet they are still amazing in flavor and texture. Our company motto is “All We Do is Delicious”!

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

Mindset matters! While modern medicine is great at setting bones, it still takes a predominantly generalized approach to most health and wellness. If you are struggling to be heard, some of our best advice is to never give up and always be your own advocate.

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

Our next book, All We Do is Delicious, is a cookbook which will focus on delicious recipes free from gluten, soy, corn, and/or dairy. At the moment we are currently focused on getting our online bakery up and running smoothly. We plan for All We Do is Delicious to be available before the end of 2023. You can follow us online via Facebook and Instagram (@LOCAFoodinc), where we will announce updates for the book, or visit our website,, to get a handful of our favorite recipes for free right now. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

‘Tap’ into your healthiest self!

Have you or a loved one been prescribed a dietary change because of autoimmune issues, skin irritations, or digestive complications? Or, do you simply want to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle?

Making changes in something as fundamental and important as your diet can be overwhelming, but it does NOT have to be!

Food As A Prescription is THE perfect guide for those who need to change their diet for a healthier life! This best-selling handbook will enlighten, empower, and support you on your gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, and/or dairy-free journey. Filled with tips, tricks, recipes, and recommendations. Food As A Prescription, will help you focus on what you’ll gain in life and help you eliminate the stress of living with modern-day food allergies.

Sometimes Truth and Justice Can Seem Irrelevant

Brian O’Hare Author Interview

The Dark Web Murders follows a detective who is chasing down a serial killer that thinks he is performing social justice on those above the law. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Rather strangely, the man who cleans my car said one day, “Why don’t you write a book about a killer who writes about his murders?” I was immediately drawn to the idea and spent a time pondering the type of killer who would do this. I figured he’d have to be a narcissistic psychopath. It was an easy step from there to writing the book.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the character’s personalities grow organically as you were writing?

This is the fourth book in a series, so the key characters have all been around for a while. I have been living a long time and have always been a keen observer of people and their idiosyncrasies. When I need a new character, he or she pops into my head, already fully developed with their own general personality. For some reason I immediately know them intimately. I don’t know why. It has always been like that for me since I started writing fiction.

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

I have often been struck by the extent to which trial outcomes can depend on the skills of barristers. Sometimes truth and justice can seem irrelevant. Insane as my killer is, I allowed him to play around with that theme in his blogs.

I have also been constantly conscious of the arrogance of people with money and power, how they can be impervious to the needs of others, and indeed, how corrosive to the spirit power can be. The ‘Club’ allowed me to explore that theme as well.

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

The next book in The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries series is called The Trafficking Murders. It has recently been published and is currently available from Amazon and other outlets.


This is a theme running through a number of blogs on the Dark Web, written by a serial killer. He is highly intelligent and employs philosophical argument to justify a series of gruesome murders.  However, he describes the killings in lurid detail, and with such gloating relish, that he utterly negates his delusion of detachment and reveals himself to be a cold-blooded, narcissistic psychopath.

Sheehan and his team rush headlong down a series of blind alleys in the pursuit of the psychopath, who continues to murder his victims with impunity. He is fiendishly clever, utterly ruthless, and tests Sheehan’s famed intuition to the limit.  Indeed, Sheehan only learns the truth during a horrific climax when some members of his team experience a most harrowing ‘laceration of the soul’ that they will never be able to forget. It is unlikely that the reader will either.

Colin the Crab Finds a Treasure

Colin, the crab, feels like he is an ordinary crab living alone. He has many friends who have many things going on in their lives, such as a family, success, and impressive antique collections. One day something unexpected happens to Colin. A tidal wave tosses Priscilla the pearl oyster into his backyard. Colin takes Priscilla in and helps her recover from the tidal wave, and before long, they become good friends. After Priscilla loses something valuable to her, Colin helps her find it and shows Priscilla that, more than anything, their friendship is the most valuable to him.

Colin the Crab Finds a Treasure by Tuula Pere follows Colin the crab as he lives his life content to be alone while his friends have many things going for them. When Colin starts to wonder if he is content being alone, Priscilla the pearl oyster appears in his backyard. Colin soon learns that friendship means more to him than fancy gadgets. Pere teaches kids to give everyone a chance no matter their status.

Children will be captivated by the colorful images done by illustrator Roksolana Panchyshyn as the pages are filled with detailed underwater scenes. This book is written for readers who are a bit older, kindergarten through fourth grade, as the chapters are longer and the lesson is more complex. Learning what is important in life and what to value is a challenging life lesson. Pere manages to convey this lesson in a manner that children can comprehend and relate to. In addition, this fantastic children’s book shows readers it is ok to express your feelings and be open and kind to others. I can see this book in libraries and classrooms.

Colin the Crab Finds a Treasure is a charming and entertaining book that will teach children the value of friendship and seeing the important things in life.

Pages: 24 | ASIN : B07HY341W6

Buy Now From Amazon

I Infuse Raw Emotion and Honesty Into My Work

Author Interview Michele L. Sayre

Guiding Spirits: (Veritas) is a collection of poetry from your mid-twenties. What made you decide to publish these poems now?

Frankly, I decided to publish now because the conditions were finally right. In regards to poetry, there are only two ways to get published – a publishing company or self-publishing. Most publishing houses don’t really want to deal with poetry unless it comes from a well-known person because then they have a chance for their endeavor to be cost-effective. Self-publishing, until at least fifteen years ago, was always done at great cost to the poet/author. You had to publish so many books, and if they didn’t sell, then you ate that cost and were stuck with a lot of books.

Self-publishing today is completely different. The only cost to the poet is their time and effort to complete their work, and then get it published on platforms like Amazon Kindle Publishing. Only a book that gets ordered gets published and the poet gets a percentage of the royalties that would have gone to the publisher or their agent otherwise. An author can take their destiny into their own hands. They don’t have to face dozens of rejections from publishers who often let writers like J.K. Rowling slide through their fingers because their opinions are subjective. Independent, self-publishing allows that book to get out into the universe to be bought by readers based on their preferences – not what the publisher thinks readers may or may not like.

I’ll take my chances on the readers. My books will either sell or not sell depending on their own merits . . . and authors and poets like me can now get their work out into the universe when they would never have been given that opportunity before with the technology that hadn’t existed until about fifteen years ago.

What was it like going back and reading these poems at this point in your life? Do they still resonate with where you are currently in life?

One of my greatest concerns was that I had been self-delusional in my youth and maybe my poetry wasn’t as good as I remembered it to be. My poetry style today is much more complicated and definitely less repetitious. I was really surprised at how well the poetry had held up over time. I think it was because of the raw emotion and honesty I was able to infuse into my work. It definitely was like a diary entry for me. My stepfather had died around this time period, so it made me question everything, including my place in the universe. I could still relate to the poetry because of that emotion.

What poem from this collection has held the most meaning for you and why?

My favorite poem in the book is “Sweet Music.” I just love the rhythmic movement of it and the imagery. It’s about the ultimate expression of a woman and a man’s love. Lovemaking is more than about the physicality of the act – when done right, it is the blending of two souls into the closest thing human beings can attain towards bringing Heaven to Earth.

Do you plan to publish additional collections of poetry written from this stage of your life?

Yes, there will be many more poetry books to come. By the end of the year, I’ll have two more poetry books published. They still have a simplicity and emotional honesty to them, but they cover stages in my life throughout the years. Guiding Spirits was about opening myself to the universe. The next book is about the anger of realizing I gave away my power to others and taking it back. The third poetry book is how my journey of self-discovery transforms my life.

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The beauty of poetry is that we try to express with the fewest words possible the entirety of life and our natures and what it is like for us to live upon this planet. Words become a song that we sing out into the universe, trying to reach out to like-minded souls. It is our nature to express ourselves and share who we are with the cosmos. There’s a certain fearlessness attached to a poem when it’s presented to the world. There’s always that one iota of fear where the poet feels that they are alone in their views and someone else will not get them at their most basic level of humanity. Poetry is saying, “Here I am universe. Take me as I am. I hope you love me, but, if that cannot happen, I will be satisfied if you just don’t ignore me.” To be heard is to matter, and that is all any of us want – to fulfill the wish that our lives matter. That what we think and feel and hope matters to someone other than ourselves.
This book is an exploration and experiencing of the world around us through the poet’s eyes when she was much younger than she is now. Through any age, we all experience the same emotions, desires, wants, dreams, and just a heart-felt wish that we matter to someone in this universe – even if it’s ourselves.

The Life Of An Author Is Never Dull!

Author Interview Tuula Pere

The Caring Crab follows a handyman crab that is always out to help others that forgets to take care of themselves. What was the inspiration for this story?

Many adults who have read my book The Caring Crab tell me it’s a story of their life! About how they would like to help everyone all the time and cannot say “no.” Their own needs are left behind, and they become simply too tired. This sounds sad, but I can assure you that there is a lot of genuine friendship and sharing life together in my book.

Colin is the main character in Colin the Crab Book Series, which already has four books for older children and two so-called Mini Crab Books. This gentle and old-fashioned character has become a favorite of readers. It is typical for him to help everyone in need. And they are many!

Sometimes, others are even taking advantage of Colin’s patience and pushing him in various directions. But luckily, he is mostly stubborn enough to realize that he has the last word when it comes to his own life.

Colin represents all the gentle and kind people who tend to think first about the needs of others. They often leave their individual plans and wishes behind. Of course, it’s great to be helpful to others and be sensitive to what other people around you might need. But there is a danger that a person’s own needs will not be met, and exhaustion will take over eventually. In adult life, we often talk about burnout.

The story is strongly connected to the interplay between different individuals in real life, and we can interpret it in many ways. It’s about friendships between different people, sharing things, and helping each other. But it also reminds us to be selfish in a healthy way and take care of our needs. – And this includes the time for building the dream pavilion, too!

What books do you enjoy reading?

I have always been interested in history. Reading about the development of cultures and societies gives us a lot to think about even today. I believe everything in the world is connected. Life is a combination of countless chains that mix and form an extensive network. It links everything that has been to the present. Chains extend into the future. That’s why I think it’s important to read as much as possible and get information. It is an essential resource for all of humanity and, of course, for individuals.

I love to find the “stories” about people who lived before my time. And I don’t just mean rulers, leaders, financial figures, or other influential people. I love to read – and write – about more ordinary people, too, as I want to pay attention to the value of their life. I often think that each person would need a book of their own, telling their life story to the present world instead of being forgotten.

When I want to relax by reading, I choose something light to read. Detective stories are a lot of fun. Browsing through art books and architectural works is also refreshing when you’ve been working with words for hours and hours. My most recent holiday reading consisted mainly of local history as well as everyday cultural history – also the history of dollhouses.

Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?

This is easy to answer. My main supporter has definitely been my husband. He made me start publishing my children’s books more than a decade ago and developed an international approach to our business. I would never have been able to establish such a project alone. He has spent both time and money on Wickwick Publishing. I can write good stories and communicate with illustrators and translators, but there is much more to it that depends entirely on my spouse’s skills.

Besides, it’s fun to travel together to the international book fairs, where my husband is also my “bodyguard” and takes care of all the logistics. A strong home front is vital to the author. Where else would I otherwise be able to read new texts straight away to an interested listener? It’s nice to immediately see the reactions on the face you’re used to interpreting. At least my spouse claims that evening coffees are always fun when he listens to what I’ve written during the day.

I also have a few trusted and loyal friends who always manage to encourage me to keep writing. Their support is especially important at times when I feel impatient and don’t see the impact of my work on the environment clearly enough.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Although I am sociable and enjoy meeting people and traveling, I also need to spend a lot of time at home in complete peace. That’s when I listen to music on the radio or listen to documentaries. I often have some knitting in making because I love different colored wool yarns. From the people in my circle, the socks never run out! It’s also lovely to bake buns and tiger cakes at home, especially if I get the closest people to visit and enjoy them together.

I also spend a lot of time alone outdoors. There I can listen to the sounds of nature and think about my most sensitive thoughts. Many of my books have their origins in those walks. I know a lot of plants and birds, and I like to take photos of them. I also take a lot of pictures on my trips abroad. Often, they are strange pictures of some of the details that have caught my attention.

All in all, I am interested in both the big and small things around me. The world is full of stories if you keep your eyes open and are patient enough to listen to what others are saying or what is left unsaid. The life of an author is never dull!

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Colin the Crab, the most skillful builder on the eastern riverbank, never hesitates to help his friends. Now Colin is busy with his own new project—a garden pavilion for his home. But after a week of hard work, the pavilion of his dreams is still unfinished. Even worse, a boisterous fish family has taken over the construction site.
The exhausted Colin buries himself under a blanket and refuses to open his curtains. Puzzled, Colin’s friends call an emergency meeting—it’s time for them to take action
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