books, New Release

Spotlight: Live Your Dreams by Neeti Nigam Keswani

AuthorBestsellingbookofalltimesNeeti

Author Neeti Nigam Keswani.
https://www.amazon.com/Neeti-Nigam-Keswani/e/B00UXB

“It feels good to be supported. But first we have to learn to support our feelings and values. So today I decided I am going to take this step.” -From Live Your Dreams

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IF YOU LOVE THE CREATIVE FLOW:

If you would have experienced that creative flow when inspiration strikes and you cannot keep yourself from flowing with your thoughts. When you are in that flow, time loses its relevance. It is just you and your creation. Feel all that and more as you find yourself lost in Rhea’s creative world where she takes you by hand and makes you see her exquisite pieces.

IF YOU LOVE READING BOOKS ON TRAVELOGUES:

Rhea loves traveling and the way she sees London, Zurich, Himalayas, Maldives and many more places… will make you want to follow in her footsteps. Her experiences are powerful, vivid, and moving. See the magnificent Himalayas through her eyes, watch the streets of London become her fashion haven and find the jewels of the Maldives as she visits all these destinations.

IF YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF-WORTH:

If you love self-help tools, you have found just the book. BE YOU is the message on the book cover. Live Your Dreams:: BE YOU. Often in the walks of life, we dawn various roles a daughter, spouse, parent, or as highly-proficient skilled job owner, but we forget to dawn that one hat we are all born with. ‘BE YOU’. Find yourself, as Rhea discovers herself and her inherent talents somewhere in the flow of life.

USA: http://amzn.to/2osPaok
UK : http://amzn.to/2sPaSIC
Italy: http://amzn.to/2Fw0k44
Australia: http://amzn.to/2sWS3DJ
India: http://amzn.to/2GELLKG 

“Identity and striving for a goal are both important. But never at your own cost. Never let the little voice in you fade away. Listen to it often and take it’s advice.” -From Live Your Dreams

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“Sometimes, we just tend to take our families for granted forgetting that these little moments spent with them will be the ones we cherish for life.”

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Are you settling for a Pay Check, when what you really want is a life?
Is the price of freedom – a lack of true achievement and life of busy work?
What if life presents you a chance, a chance to follow your dreams?
Do you BELIEVE in your dreams?
These are the questions Rhea is asking herself as she is swishing through the lanes of life. Most people dream of having a story that Bollywood movies are made up of. How about actually living one? Opposites attract and repel in this tale of love, inspiration, and dreams. The beautiful, adventurous Rhea and the ambitious, intellectual Sahil are drawn to each other but require some pivotal times and a whirlwind of emotions to understand each other and their dreams. It takes you through a journey, a journey within and answers those questions which only you know subconsciously.
These lines will talk to your heart. And this book will take you through a journey…make you re-think and re-write your story.

no2cinemahotnewrelease3052018

“As they say, it is easy to fight but very hard to make anyone understand your point of view. Go with the flow. Do not fight the current. Because if you try to fight the current, chances are you might exhaust yourself and drown. So, my simple advice is, go with the flow. And believe you are well protected.” -From Live Your Dreams

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Enjoy the life as it goes. Enjoy the stopover that may come in future. Stop being unhappy about where you are and where you want to be. It is the interim time that the journey is all about… make it fun ,make it exciting. Your adventures, your paths are what will make your destination worthwhile. Never ever forget to Live your dreams.

http://www.liveyourdreams-beyou.com

“Set your priorities right and then live from values set out. And don’t do something because he wants or she wants or what will they think. Do what you want.” -From Live Your Dreams.

 

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authors, books, interviews, young adult fiction

In the Words of An Author: An Interview With A J King

AJ

A J King, young adult author.
http://www.thepowervestedinme.com

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Stephen King and David Baldacci

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

It varies from book to book. In The Power Vested in Me trilogy the main characters are the five teenagers collectively known as the Stardust. I can’t pick a favourite from these because as my own kids tell me you can’t have a favourite with your kids. In fact, when I write I feel guilty if I have given one more page time than the others.

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

In the last book saying goodbye to some of the characters was hard and I found writing these scenes emotionally difficult, probably because I had grown attached to them- however killing some of them off was scarily easy.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Without doubt it is when people give you positive feedback on the books, and speak to you sometimes quite passionately about scenes and characters they have enjoyed and loved. So much work goes into writing the books that knowing they are appreciated lightens your heart and your step.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

On a disciplined day- I wake up mega early in the morning, convince myself I’m not going to go back to sleep, get up, put on my Rocky Balboa dressing gown, drink lots of coffee, listen to music on youtube and write. On an undisciplined day, I do all of the above minus the writing.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Always, from an early age at school my absolute favourite thing was when the teacher would tell the class ‘you need to write a story about….’ I just love stories- hearing them, reading them and of course writing them.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

It would definitely be Billie Jean King- she has been my idol since as far back as I can remember, my first book is dedicated to her and I have a tattoo of her on my left shoulder. To meet her and speak to her would be an absolute dream come true for me- although I would possibly just open and close my mouth like a goldfish and find no words come out.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

Then, as random as a dream, through the dimmed light, a figure appeared in the centre of the room. It was a man. His shirt, tie, trousers, shoes and ankle-length overcoat were all black. His body was almost camouflaged in the darkness, but his spiky white hair and vivid blue eyes made his expressionless face stand out like a beacon in the night. For a moment he stood there, moving only his head, glancing around the room at the sleeping babies. Then he placed the palms of his hands together in front of his chest, with his fingers pointing to the ceiling. He closed his eyes and took a deep, concentrated breath through his nose. As he exhaled, he stretched his arms out to either side of his body. On the palms of each hand were stars. They glowed blue at first, and then white – as white as the stranger’s hair. Suddenly beams of light erupted from these stars, and fell like rays of summer sunshine upon some of the sleeping babies. The babies stirred slightly as the beams of light hit them, but they didn’t cry. In fact, none of them made a sound. They just slept peacefully while the light fell upon them, like fairy dust sprinkled by Tinkerbell herself. The man remained there for no more than half a minute with his palms pointed outwards, keeping the light directed at the babies. His eyes remained closed, but his aim did not falter. Eventually the rays faded. It was as if they have been sucked back into the stars on the palms of his hands. The man opened his eyes, put his arms to his side and then, as silently and as suddenly as he had arrived, he disappeared, his visit gone completely unnoticed. His work was done. The gift was given. The die was cast.

authors, books, interviews

In the Words of an Author: An Interview With Christopher Griffith

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About the Author and His Work (In His Own Words)

My name is Christopher Griffith and I have been writing across different genres of fiction for a number of years now; Temples of a Fantasy Revenge and its companion piece Corin’s Chronicle are teenage moving to Young Adult fantasy –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Temples-Fantasy-Revenge-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007RMHSBS/ref=la_B0034PX2CG_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517766167&sr=1-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corins-Chronicle-Revenge-Chronicles-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B0716MRRN2/ref=la_B0034PX2CG_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517766167&sr=1-6

Rick with a (Bipolar) View is an autobiographical novel about the time in my life when I was first diagnosed with mental illness:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rick-Bipolar-View-friendships-electronic-ebook/dp/B01E9SS0FA/ref=la_B0034PX2CG_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517766167&sr=1-7

Shakespeare’s Secret Knowledge is my stab at conspiracy theory writing – I’ve always loved the Bard’s plays but like many people I’ve also been stupefied that the historical Shakespeare we learn about who signed documents with a cross was able to pen Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shakespeares-Secret-Knowledge-Literatures-Renaissance-ebook/dp/B01EVVH15A/ref=la_B0034PX2CG_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517766167&sr=1-2

My supermarket love story, Champagne Jealousy comes next:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Champagne-Jealousy-Detective-Investigates-community-ebook/dp/B01E9D11N8/ref=la_B0034PX2CG_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517766167&sr=1-5

And then there’s William Ottoway’s Utopia which is the novel I talk about for at least the first part of these interview questions:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Ottoways-Utopia-Christopher-Griffith-ebook/dp/B076NZMZ2D/ref=la_B0034PX2CG_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517766167&sr=1-4

As well as fiction, I also write poetry and stage plays; I’ve got a postgraduate qualification in scriptwriting but I was never able to really settle in to that genre; the buzz word for film, television, radio and stage writing is subtext in which characters say one thing but mean another. That doesn’t suit me at all – what’s the point of saying what you don’t mean? I tend to steer clear of people like that in real life so why would I want to include the like in my creative writing? I’ve also got a soft spot for poetry, but I think that genre is even more niche; a lot of people don’t like it at all and I must say I find much modern poetry weak, soulless and flimsily constructed, but of course that’s just my opinion on the matter!!!

And on to the interview…

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

In relation to the above book, William Ottoway’s Utopia, there were four authors whose work influenced the novel – Alex Garland’s The Beach definitely guided me in my choice of background, a society cut off from the rest of civilisation that purports to be paradise but in the end turns out to be its exact antithesis; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein influenced the literary style of the piece and to some extent the structure regarding its epistolary beginning and end; Sir Thomas More’s Utopia which of course gave me the idea for the book in the first place; and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies that encouraged me to narrate a story in which really there was no redemption at close, and one in which human nature’s own corruption was to blame for the demise in relations between the people sharing space on the island. However, on this last point I was slightly at odds with an admittedly titanic writer in that I have a more optimistic (perhaps more dreamy) view of humankind. I do understand the lure of savagery, and goodness knows our race has succumbed to it over the centuries, but I wondered if the catalyst to our becoming like beasts might in this instance owe itself to an object rather than straight debauchery of our nature, here of course the humble, versatile and rather perennial item otherwise known as the television set. In an instant, I was sold. I still very readily bore in mind my four influences, and in composing my own story I still reflected heavily upon them, but I was keen to tread my own path and so I conflated the quartet (stepping carefully not to plagiarise) to produce my own piece of writing. To broaden scope for a moment, this is actually pretty much the same process so undertaken for each of my novels – I think it is very important to use source material, but of paramount importance is not to slavishly follow its particular dictates of tone, plot and character. Other authors and works I have revered in these instances are Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy – you’ll have to read my other pieces to try to see which has influenced me in each regard! The only non-source novel I’ve written is Champagne Jealousy, and even then you could argue it’s big nod to humorous fiction like Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity and gentle crime works on the Marple-Poirot spectrum, though I stress not of their ilk! Assimilation is key – what I read, I tend to digest and then regurgitate in my own way.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

It’s got to be William Ottoway, if only because he represents that kind of naive idealism I so miss in my own nature these days – William genuinely believes he can up and run to somewhere else in the world which will somehow provide him with 100% safe and secure haven. The unravelling of his realisation that this is just pipe dream really tugs at my heart, but it’s no use tugging at mine unless it tugs at yours also! Of all the characters I have created, William is for me the most vulnerable, and that includes Rick in Rick With A View who suffers from bipolar disorder, Emily in Champagne Jealousy whose anxiety is off the scale, Norman in Temples of a Fantasy Revenge whose inferiority complex makes both Rick and Emily seem the very paragons of stability, and Thomas in Shakespeare’s Secret Knowledge who simply hasn’t got an iota of clue what on earth is going on around him, and to him. All these characters have human defects in their personalities, but William’s whole personality is the human defect – he simply misunderstands that there are bad people out there like the Usurper, and that people like this, in a fallen world, are the very sort who will find their way to a Utopia and wreck the enterprise. Bound with this is of course the appliance, television, and the fact that it is this, an object, which hastens the protagonist’s demise. I like the idea, although it terrifies me to consider, that it’s not just up to us to cause our own, and each other’s, misfortune but that we live in a world in which inanimate tools and trade can bring us to serious harm – there’s a scene in the film Anaconda in which Jon Voight says the river Amazon can kill you in a thousand ways, well that’s the kind of world of which I think William Ottoway has no conception, but one which dawns and grows upon him as the narrative continues. Of course such a world would be depressing beyond measure, the kind of world which say a particular series of broadcasts blasting out round the clock from a particular appliance might detail and encourage us to think the norm, but rather than accept our home planet holds both good and bad for us at different times William’s hamartia is that he firmly believes the bad can be extirpated leaving the good our warm companion forevermore. Even when the falsity of this dream has been laid bare for him, our idealistic Ottoway still clings to the dream, and that refusal to admit defeat even when defeated cements him as my favourite created character to date.

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

I find descriptive scenes an absolute nightmare, mainly because I feel as though I am cheating my readers of their imagination if I detail too greatly what is in my own head. This is quite a complicated concern of mine so I shall elaborate by saying that, as a writer, when I have a scene in mind it is pretty much fixed in my psyche; now I don’t want to impinge on your innate ability to conjure pictures in your imagination and I think it is remiss of me to try to alter whatever image you may have created when for example I set my scene on a desert island. I don’t want to encourage you to see that desert island from my point of view; I hate it when writers provided detailed description of a location because my imagination has already done most of the job for me when the writer gave me the nature of that location in the first place. As a reader, I like to be involved in doing the work of the writer also, it helps me cement that bond between the two of us into which we enter when I take up the novel in the first place. Of course, and in William Ottoway’s Utopia, I do outline certain features of the island to which the characters journey but overall I feel it more effective for you the reader to create that image of the place in your own psyche. The same, I believe, can be said for character description – I simply think that it’s a more productive exercise for the reader to flesh out features of a protagonist whether physical or emotional because it then makes that fictional character more real for the person making their way through the novel. All that hokum you learn as a writer about flat and round, two dimensional, three dimensional characters, in my opinion that’s not up to the person who’s crafting the story at all; remember again that the writer and reader are bonding over the course of the narrative. The soulless call it a contract but it’s not that at all – it’s not business nor cold jointure but a warm and friendly relationship struck up for however many pages in which the reader says ‘tell me a tale’ and the writer replies with their offering; the reader gives of their time, and the writer gives of their time, and both hope to benefit one another. All this business of description simply muddies the waters and gives the writer undue power in the process. I tend to steer well clear of books which instruct me in this regard and give my attention instead to an author who allows me to breathe my own life into the particular plotline unfolding before me.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Escaping into creating – it really is the most incredible jump to make from the real world into that of the imagination, and the more freedom in this regard you allow yourself as a writer the greater the sense of fun, responsibility and effectiveness you experience. Alas, I’ve been on courses in which plot synopsis in full was required before the act of writing even took place; this is anathema and gets the whole process of composition the wrong way round. For me, you’ve got to be swimming on the surface of consciousness or everyday life, and then plunge down beneath the water into the subconscious, the realm of the psyche, of imagination, of archetypes and of the really profound elements of storytelling. It can be a dangerous place, a little like the dreams within dreams of that wonderful film Inception in that there is every possibility of diving so deep into Limbo that you can find it difficult to return. But as ever with life, the weight of risk is linked to that of reward – if you can swim amongst the sharks of this underworld and navigate your way through their threat to dry land then your novel will be all the better for it. Planning the whole enterprise in advance is a bit like reading the instruction manual before you make up an object; it’s much more rewarding to have a go at construction yourself, particularly when you get it right and produce the finished piece without much preparation beforehand. Of course, the problem with such endeavour is that you might never achieve what you set out to do, and injury might even result; I once wrote a novel with which I dove too deep, got stuck in Limbo, hunted round for the instruction manual I’d flung aside at the art of composition, and only just managed to return to the surface and to safe haven. Feeling relieved and a bit too pleased with myself, I suddenly realised I bore the metaphorical teeth marks of those sharks who had bitten into me on the way down and then back up. But the whole point is that I learnt from my error of judgement, I matured as a writer, and reward came when I escaped to create again, producing work of more merit. This was progress for me, and there’s nothing that makes us feel more satisfied in our lives than feeling that we have moved on, improved, evolved, shed the slough of our former selves and crawled on to greater output. One more element – reading back over a piece and realising that I’ve said what I want to say, that’s rewarding and harder to achieve than it might sound!!

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Read, read, read! It’s possible to write novels without having read much, but for some reason the more input you’ve absorbed both from life experience and books the easier it becomes to write deeply, profoundly, and therefore authoritatively. I have a tremendously tense relationship with reading and it’s because of this rather awkward confession that I don’t actually enjoy it greatly; I studied English Literature at tertiary level, and after three years of prolonged examination, dissection and analysis of many classic works I found it hard to return to the simple act of reading for pleasure. What my training had afforded me though was the ability to rip through texts and pull out the salient features, skim reading if you like so that now I can study more pieces and extract from them promptly their plot, character and theme. This isn’t a particularly special skill, it’s just practice in a trade whose repetition makes the task easier, more effective; and so I encourage you to read as broadly and as deeply as you are able because the words which are absorbed by the mind are placed upon its parchment, kneaded, doughed, leavened, baked and then returned by way of your imagination, your individual imprint, back on to the page or screen upon which you are writing. The process by which this happens continues to amaze me even as it defeats my ability to explain it, but as life is a mystery we would do wisely not to try to solve in its entirety so this amorphous conversion shouldn’t really bother us, as writers, to understand too much or too greatly. The same really can be said for the input of opinion on our work; when I first started writing, just the fact that I was considering being an author drew detraction, scorn and mockery from people I considered friends. I felt as though no one supported me in my chosen pursuit, and I simply couldn’t understand the hostility towards my practicing a craft which I considered nothing other than benign in operation. The problem was just that though in that I attempted fully to understand this behaviour towards me; once I realised I’d never discover the reasons, an incredible sense of empowerment lifted my pen to compose far more courageously, and freely. This process extended to feedback from those who had taken the time to read my work – when the same novel draws adulation from one person and condemnation from another, well it’s simply enough to draw on the reserves of the only person who really understands your work – you!!

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I actually don’t have anything as formal as a writing ritual or a superstition to which I adhere in the hope that I can compose well; however, I thought it might be helpful to provide a quick rundown of the processes involved in planning and writing each of my novels because they have changed over time and the evolution may, I hope, be of some interest to other writers and readers out there. In essence, I’ve moved from a position of rigidity to that of relaxation – for Temples of a Fantasy Revenge, I created the story framework largely by drawing on personal interests in both Pandora’s Box and Halloween. I was very disciplined with myself, setting aside certain hours in the day to compose, and I retained control of the novel’s direction pretty much from start to finish; that is to say that whenever I felt the plot moving away from me, I didn’t wait too long before I pulled on the reins and brought it back within my charge. Rick With A (Bipolar) View was much more stream-of-consciousness in that I let the horses of my creativity have great freedom whither to travel. The result is that the narrative moves at quick pace, and I certainly enjoyed the feeling of words pouring from my pen to the page during its composition. The research I undertook for Shakespeare’s Secret Knowledge was so voluminous that I found myself editing very heavily as I proceeded with writing that novel; every time I finished a scene I trawled back through it for any evidence I’d been writing from the history books rather than through my characters. Champagne Jealousy saw me drawing heavily on my own experience of retail and with this book I allowed myself to give vent to years of frustration with the trade – this is a novel as much about anger as anything else, but I hope it doesn’t obscure the fun I had in creating the world of Sheila’s. The rigidity I’ve mentioned had, ironically given the emotion permeating the book, by now given way to relaxation, and so I created the novella Corin’s Chronicle as companion to Temples which starts as separate entity before becoming adjunct, the first time I’d really played around with convention and enjoyed the freedom that came from such enterprise. With William Ottoway’s Utopia then, and despite some of the subject matter, writing in a slightly more in elevated, literary style I found enjoyable, liberating and effective. Ritual is for me then to experiment and progress, to grow more comfortable as my writing life continues with each book completed.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Not at all! I’ve always had dreams and plans to do something outside 9-5 office routine though – when I was a child growing up in my early years, I wanted to be quarterback for the Chicago Bears American Football team. Once that dream had been swallowed up by reality, I wanted to be a racing driver; I loved Formula One in my teenage years and felt it would be a short step to emulate great drivers such as Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Once that plan had been subsumed by reality, I decided I was going to be a star rugby player for England; the theme continued as I realised I probably wouldn’t be good enough to take to the hallowed turf at Twickenham! And then I wanted to be a superstar DJ but I’m too introverted for that kind of life and so I became a writer – even that though was a long time being decided in my mind. At school, I was really good at English and I took the entrance exam to get into Oxford to study the subject but I came up short although I did go on to have a tremendous grounding in the discipline at Bristol. It was in my second year there that I first envisaged I might become a writer; I was growing stifled by the incessant study of novels and poetry, much of it very depressing to absorb if truth be known, and simply felt that I’d like to add my own voice to the oeuvre. I didn’t for one moment think I could outdo the great titans of literature but I did think that I could balance the negativity a little with my efforts. And then I began to write, and realised how difficult it is actually to complete a project without its being affected even a little by the dark side of human nature. Now that interested me, and held my attention – what was it about writing a story which ineluctably drew one to the night in our souls? It wasn’t for years that I understood when reading a wonderful book called The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker; the argument within its pages too lengthy to summarise here, except to say that Mr Booker believes a great change came over storytelling right around the time of the French Revolution and has affected our pages ever since. For me, it’s no coincidence that my favourite story Frankenstein was written just thirty years after that event by an author who I simply can’t imagine still at such tender age could produce something so profound without there being a seismic shift in the society in which she lived also. I write now because I want to understand this focus, and help storytelling heal its self-inflicted wounds.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I’d like to speak to Frankenstein’s monster because I think he is an incredible creation and sums up so well what so many human beings have felt through the ages – why was I created? Why was I created so imperfectly? Why was I abandoned by the creator who created me? Why did my creator loathe me so much he sought to pain me? My creator created me, and with that act of creation comes surely the responsibility to look after me, protect me, at least love me? I have often thought about the loneliness and sense of isolation to which Frankenstein’s monster gives such great voice, and emotion, and wondered whether Mary Shelley was in fact tapping in to some part of the human psyche, or indeed our history, of which she may not even have been aware. The ancient alien hypothesis, for example, suggests that humankind was created and then for some reason abandoned. How much more bearable, if still agonising, would this realisation be for Frankenstein’s monster were I to sit down with him and explain that Victor persecutes him because he himself is flawed, fallible, and fated to live out his days not knowing the reason either why he has been born; that, for me, is the monster’s curse, that he is so miserably hurt by not comprehending why Victor is repulsed by him and so seeks to kill him. He is in a state of ignorance, but no more so than the man who created him. Would that make him feel better knowing that he himself has been formed by an imperfect creator? This, inevitably, leads to the centuries old religious and spiritual awareness that anything designed by man is necessarily corrupt, and that by putting our faith in men and women we do ourselves grave disservice and sometimes unimaginable pain when they in due course let us down. Victor Frankenstein has the tools at his disposal to genetically engineer but he lacks the compassion, love and empathy to create a being in which he can imbue his soul. I would tell Frankenstein’s monster not to worry about securing the love of men because he already possesses the Creator’s care and concern for every living element in the world – if Victor wants to ditch him, so be it, but don’t fight fire with fire and seek to kill him first; ignorance, superficiality and detestation can only be overcome by love, not by some misguided redirection of them against themselves. The monster’s condition is our condition too, and we would do well to learn from the increase in his misery that hate must be returned by faith, hope and charity.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?  

I was about to call him out, tell him how predictable his actions had been since first we had pulled him from the boat, but then Manou’s almighty scream from the direction to which Dan had pointed set my hair from my head and I turned to see the mud covering the Usurper’s grave being pushed up from within. First one hand, then another broke through the earth, the right fist clenching the air, vital, pulling its torso and legs up and into view, head emerging last, shaking itself free of mud and dust, standing rather sullenly as we all watched in terror and many crossed themselves at sight this undead resurrection. And it was him. Of that there was no doubt. Momentarily, he looked back down at the grave from which he had emerged, bent over to pick something up and in one movement somehow swung it round to strike Manou hard on the side of his head. It was a corpse, the half-rotting skull smashing into Manou’s temple with a force that sent him sprawling in that sick sort of motion which immediately made me fear the worst. Then the Usurper threw the body towards us and it landed face up on the table, spread-eagled, half a dozen melons squashed beneath it and the same number of Utopians backing away feverishly crossing themselves still.
It was Emily.
I gawped at my nemesis.
Death, not even death, had contained him. Somehow he had transcended it, returned back through the gate, by what soul-killing magic I knew not, so that here he now stood, commensurate with his new condition, strong, mighty, immortal, and ready for the last time to harrow our paradise to extinction. I glanced at the Utopians sitting rigid in their seats and Dan who continued to eye me with disdain. Then I looked back at the Usurper. In the instant he nodded, I felt searing pain as my arm was twisted back behind me, forcing me to bend to the table where my face smacked hard upon the wooden top, Dan’s laughter increasing as he lifted my arm to breaking point before suddenly letting go, his choking the only thing I could hear as I fell back to the ground and cradled my injured limb. Through the fog and tears in my eyes, I saw him struggling against an assailant, a heavy length of rope coiled about his throat. It was Tom, strangling him to death, but not with rope, a snake, holding it at both ends and pulling it tight. Dan fought against him, kicking out with flailing legs, reaching with his right hand for one of the candle holders we had set by the table but he fumbled and groped thin air instead…

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authors, books, Coming Soon, cover reveal, fiction

Cover Reveal: Battered Mind by Sylvia Stein

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Synopsis:

Sadie Martin Carlyle is on trial for the murder of her husband Dante Caryle. She claims she killed him in self defense and that he was a monster. She was a battered woman and if she had not defended herself he would of killed both their young daughter and her.  In short, She feared for their lives.
However, there is more to this case than meets the eye. Sadie Martin is not your typical woman. Her family consists of her Criminal lawyer father Jackson Martin from Atlanta and her mother Barbara Reece Martin is one of the main leaders of the Southern Belles of Atlanta.

From the very start, there are secrets that are hidden that no one will see coming. Sadie’s story will take the reader through a very emotional journey throughout. Once the case begins, everything you think you know about what happened between Sadie and Dante Carlyle will have you asking many questions and is everything being said the truth?

 

Battered Mind Excerpt:

Copyright by Sylvia Stein

As I lie here holding on to my sanity.   I have to say never in a million years would I have thought all would turn out the way it did. 

You see for most of my life I had been searching and hoping that one day I would find the one

and be able to finally lead “the normal life.”

However, nothing could be farther from the truth.  My name is Sadie Martin Carlyle and on

May 27, 2010, I was charged with the murder of my husband Dante Carlyle. 

The thing that makes this so horrific is that I do not even remember committing the crime.  

All I know is that when I awoke the next morning, My husband Dante was dead and I was found next

to his body and the murder weapon. 

As of now all I can do is await my trial which will not be for a few months. 

Sadly because of the circumstance of the crime, I will have to sit in a jail cell until my trial.

You must be wondering why I seem to know so much about the law in particular. 

One second, “Can you please let me finish talking.”

  Sorry being locked away in this cell has made me a bit paranoid.

Well in any case as I was saying.  The reason I know so much was that my beloved husband was a lawyer and before I got married.  We both met in law school. 

Oh, it was so simple back then. 

If only I could go back to the beginning.   Things were easier.  At least I thought they were.   However maybe if I can just go back to the beginning I can try to salvage a bit of my dignity.

Besides, I was born and raised to be a good girl. But right now I am really placing a damper on all the years my parents spent trying to make me something I never wanted to be.   You see I was born and raised in Atlanta Georgia.

It’s too damn bad I was never able to lead a normal life.  Thanks to my dear parents!

My mother was born to parents of money and my father was no different.  However, he was known for being one of the best criminal defense attorneys in all of the state of Georgia.  

He was deeply admired for his hardcore antics.  My father was never one to give up on his client and

he is both loved and hated throughout the community. 

On the other hand, my dear mother Barbara Reece Martin has always been in the public eye.  As a child, her parents owned several wineries all over the state of Georgia and North Carolina and she was left with a trust fund and decided to invest in stock and has done pretty well.  She is now the Ceo of The Reece Winery and overlooks them along with my father and she is also one of the main members of the Women of Atlanta social club.  

All in all, she is always busy and thinks that I am just spoiled.   My mother and I are not close.

She was always gone when I needed her.  The only person that seemed to care and worry about me was my father Jackson. 

He always made time to see me and for that, I am very grateful.  My father has always said I was his

everything.   At the time I thought I was but then I discovered it was all lies.  I will get to that later.

As I was saying my mother was never around as a kid.  She was always out and busy with all her numerous work and charitable events. 

I hated her, and I still do!”

As you can see I get a bit angry being cooped up in here.  I mean there are many criminals in here and I know they are women like me.  But I am not one of them.  I am different and I want to do is start over again. 

Let me outta here.  

]Author Pic

Sylvia Stein is a published author with several anthologies with her Writer’s group 750 on linked

in. Stein obtained a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New

Hampshire University this past July 2015. She is a mother of three beautiful children Paul 10,

Michael 9 and Consuelo 6. She resides in the city of Fuquay Varina with her amazing husband

Jeremy. Stein has also published two solo books one was her first novella Closure which she

worked on while attending SNHU and published in July of 2014 and the other her first YA

Chasing Clarity was published this past October 2015 and it was created during National Novel

Month (Nano) in 2013. Her latest book is entitled, The Diary of a Broken Father which came

Out in February 2017. Her new thriller which she has been working on since 2014 will be out

Late 2018 and is entitled, Battered Mind.

 

Follow Author Sylvia Stein:

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http://www.amazon.com/Sylvia-Stein/e/B00EJT3FYQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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Meet the Cover Artist: Michael Dangremond

Michael Dangremond and his lovely wife Alanna Dangremond

My name is Michael Dangremond and I am mainly a self-taught artist. My professional Media is tattooing. I’ve been involved in art for the better span of my life. I grew up in a small town called Hopkins in the state of Michigan. Growing up had its challenges and equally; it’s lessons. After high school, I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan to begin a career in the culinary arts. After bouncing from kitchen to kitchen and climbing the ladder, I decided to reinvest myself in the art my heart called me to pursue. I am happily married to my wife, Alanna and I am blessed with my daughter, Sophia. This story of mine continues growing in my passion for my brand of art. 

 

You can find Michael on  Instagram page under Mykaldangerous

https://www.facebook.com/ artbymykaldangerous/

 

author advice, authors, books, fiction, poems, poetry, writing tips

The Difference Between Poetry And Fiction

A couple weeks ago I had a discussion with a fan/friend. He asked an interesting question: “Which is harder to write, poetry or fiction?” My answer was automatic.

Poetry is easier (for me) to create. It’s only a matter of pulling what’s inside of me out. It’s searching the darkest parts of my soul, where fear and hope and pain dwell and exposing it to the light. The hard part of being a poet is releasing it to the world. When I allow a poem to be read, I’m allowing someone to see me completely exposed. And while I’ve known immense joy, it’s the darkness inside that needs to be purged. Each poem given out for public consumption is open to ridicule, to criticism, but it’s not just my words- it’s the scars inside. It. Is. Hard.

Trapped In Yesterday

Trapped now I’m locked in yesterday

Please don’t think it’s you why I turn a way

I can’t stand the way it makes me feel

To know that this could become real

You can’t expect me not to flee

When you hold such power over me

The last to get this close left me to learn

The searing pain of love forever burns

I don’t want to go though that again

And nothing you say can make this fear end

I wonder if you understand

Why I shiver when you touch my hand

Why I can’t go but neither can I stay

The answers you’ll find in my yesterday.

*Excerpted poem from About A Girl: A Poetry Compilation

https://www.amazon.com/About-Girl-Compilation-Sandra-Ely-ebook/dp/B01KS5AMKE

Fiction is harder to create. Characters have to be built from scratch, they have to be made real from pen and pad. Worlds have to be created. Supporting characters must have their place, feel like real people, and yet, remain on the side lines to allow the protagonist to complete their journey. It’s a lot of work. On the other hand, passing it off to be published might be scary, but it’s not the same soul-crushing fear. Readers can agree, or disagree, with the choices you characters make. They can love, or hate the content. At the end of the day, though, it’s not you under the piercing gaze of readers who will no doubt catch every mistake.

Excerpt from Kiss of Death, Immortal Hearts Book 2

“Time to feed the human,” Beau announced, carrying over two cups of coffee.

He handed me one of the heavy black mugs and I took a sip, testing the flavor. The robust flavor of the coffee hit me first, full-bodied and slightly bitter. Then, the sweet, creamy mix that was tailored to my taste buds. I was impressed he remembered I preferred brown sugar in my coffee. The gesture warmed my heart, as it never failed to do.

“So,” I said as I cut into my eggs. “What’s on the agenda for today?” The yolk spilled out, but the whites remained firm and intact. Cooking the perfect over-medium egg was not an easy feat, especially for one who didn’t eat. I’d been working at it for years and my success rate was spotty at best.

“Well, I have to be at the club today; somebody has to oversee business there. Valerie and Adam are going to be here in a little while to take you to your place and get some of your things.”

“I appreciate the offer, but I don’t need an escort, Beau.”

“Maybe not, but it’s already set up regardless.”

“You do realize I didn’t sign up for this just to be stuck with a babysitter, right?” I hid my annoyance by nibbling on a strip of crispy bacon.

“You’re one of mine, Leah. I won’t allow you to blindly walk into danger.”

My pulse quickened, but I wouldn’t let him charm me into abandoning my position. “And I won’t be able to do what you want me to do if I’m constantly being guarded by vampires. It’s counterproductive, really.”

“Let’s just agree to take this a day at a time. This is new for both of us.” His tone hinted at something left unsaid, but I decided to leave it be. Breakfast was my favorite meal and I had no intention of ruining another meal over this assignment.

www.amazon.com/Kiss-Death-Immortal-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B00SCQT3SO/

Both poetry and fiction are beautiful and terrifying in their own ways. I could no more give up one than the other. Each offers a reward of it’s own it’s own to my soul, but they are so vastly different from inception to publication.

Keep up-to-date on all my written works via facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/authorsandraely ) and twitter @AuthorSandraEly
authors, books, children's literature, christian fiction, christian literature, interviews, kids books, poetry

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Sandi Smith

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

I have followed two wonderful authors – Maeve Binchy and Fannie Flagg.

Sandi_Smith_Dads_Ugly_Chair_225

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

Well, for my children’s books I would have to say A.R. Achnid is my favorite character. A.R. was the reason I started to write, and his character was so much fun. He thought he was human, and wanted to do everything with his human friend, Harold. Even though people thought of him as a scary spider, he didn’t let that get him down. He just went along with his life, enjoying all of his adventures.

ar_archid

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

I have been very lucky, and have not had any difficulties with any scenes I have written. My new novel that I am working on now, though, I am having a little bit of trouble getting past one particular scene. It is a little dark, and I am not sure in what direction I want to take the story.

Ms_Sapphire_Rose_author_sandi_smith_character

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

I have found that finishing a story, especially a novel, is so rewarding. So much time and energy is invested in the writing of the story, and when it finally is finished and comes together to form the feelings you wanted to express, it is a tremendously gratifying experience.

Sandi_Smith_six_oclock_show_225

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Well, I am basically just starting out myself, but I would advise anyone who is starting out to believe in what you are writing. In the beginning, when I wrote something, I was always looking for approval from a family member or a friend. One day when someone told me they didn’t care for my book, my husband told me that there are going to be people who love the book and people who don’t care for it at all, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad story. Believe in yourself is the advice my husband gave me, and continues to give me, so I would pass that on to anyone starting out.

home_book_bio1(1)

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I do not. The words come to me, and I sit down and start typing away. The whole process for me has been very simple. The only ritual I would say I have is making sure I have cookies available for when I am awake and typing at night. They are soothing to the soul.

51_EX3LjOzL

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Not really. I used to write in high school, but never gave it too much thought after that. Actually, I always wanted to be an opera singer, but, occasionally, I always found myself writing poems or short stories.

poka

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

My mother, who has been gone for quite a few years now. We didn’t have a great relationship, and I would really love to sit and chat with her, getting to know her as a person. I believe, because of our volatile relationship, that I may have missed out on a wonderful friendship with a wonderful person. That breaks my heart.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

This is from one of my children’s books, Sarah Bella’s Gift of Gold:

Sandi_Smith_gold_book_225

When Sarah Bella was a very young girl,

(let’s say, probably about six years old),

her parents gave her a small ball of yarn,

that they said was a “gift of gold”.

Sarah Bella was then told by her parents,

“A life of adventure is waiting ahead.

Wrap your favorite things in this ball of yarn,

and when you sleep, keep it close by your bed.”

They told Sarah Bella that when she grew old,

in her ball of yarn would be memories so dear.

There would be times and places to remember,

from all of her adventures throughout the years.

The following is from my first novel, Sitting at the Kitchen Table with God:

sitting_at_the_kitchen_table_with_god(2)

Andrew was gone, and Marianne should have been buried with him. There were two deaths on that day, but only one soul was taken. The other was left to slowly decay in the shell of a lonely woman.

For more information on this author, please, visit:


http://www.authorsandismith.com

http://amzn.to/2fdd1YJ


authors, books, fiction

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Thomas Lowrie

thomaslowriephoto

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Yes, Lee Child and Nelson DeMille.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

All of the characters I write about are very real to me so I really have no favorite.

Dont_judge_a_man_until_you_walk_a_mile_in_his_shoes_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

Scenes with death in them are difficult since I feel as though I was there as it happened.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

The ability to expand someone’s imagination.

first_thought_we_were_under_attack_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Don’t worry about what others think, just go for it.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

Not that I know of.

he_was_whooped_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

No, I didn’t start writing until others asked me to do so. Now I very much enjoy it.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Anyone who has lost their mother knows the only answer to this question.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

I looked across my crew. I was looking for John Wayne, he wasn’t there. I looked for Arnold, same thing. I also didn’t find Stalone, Clint nor Chuck Norris. The reality of it was none of my heroes were there, this was NOT the movies. I needed just one Badass and found none.What I found was a high school yearbook.I found fresh off the farm boys, children by most people’s standards. Some of these boys weren’t even getting to go to their senior prom. I feel safe in the notion that some of them have not even held a girls hand. That doesn’t sound like much unless you haven’t done it. Think about that for a minute. They haven’t lived yet and are prepared to die.

hewas200x300

For more information on the author, visit:

www.thomaslowrie.com

http://amzn.to/2wyUgS9

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/he-was-thomas-william-lowrie/1119687508?ean=9780990362616

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/He-Was-Ray-Lafayette-Novel/Thomas-William-Lowrie/9780990362616?id=6025076222321