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Review of “Deadman’s Tome: Monsters Exist” – Horror Anthology

Editors: Mr. Deadman & Theresa Braun

 

From the time we are young, we fear the monster under the bed or in the closet, making it impossible to sleep without a nightlight. Then, we hear stories of Bigfoot, and maybe even the Mothman around campfires. When we are adults, we wonder if there might actually be supernatural creatures lurking in the shadows. Are these tall tales and urban legends only metaphors for what horrific things humanity is capable of—or do monsters exist?

Go to some terrifying places with this cast of authors. You will be dragged into mystifying realities where demonic fairies hide, where devil monkeys lure carnival-goers to their demise, where Goatmen seek to destroy their prey, and where the goddess of death puts out a hit on victims of her choice. These shocking tales will have you biting your nails and locating that childhood nightlight. Because, in the end, we all know monsters do exist.

 

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(review request submitted by the author Gary Buller for an honest critique) 

 

Upon the pages of Monsters Exist, a reader will embark on spine-tingling adventure where some stories are full of immense blood and gore. Some are so damn freaky but I was shuddering in my seat. For example, the first short story “Master Vermin” by Wallace Boothill, there’s just something about rats that just gives me the willies. If one average size rodent doesn’t make you scream and go running for the hills, then try being surrounded by tens of thousands of the beady-eyed vermin. Some rats were as big as cats. Oh and don’t get me started on the Rat King. Seriously, I’d move….. like far, far away and never look back!

Another story that had my skin crawling was “Bitten” by Christopher Powers. Christopher tapped into a common fear, arachnophobia. Little itty-bitty anthropoids scare me enough but Christopher’s twist on the arachnids will probably have me cringing for days. I won’t tell you why but this short story is a CAN’T MISS! Be warned though, it WILL FREAK YOU OUT if you have the slightest fear of the 8 legged fanged beasts. 

They were also stories such as “Never Sleep Again” by Calvin Demmer and “Legend Trippers” by Theresa Braun who had gore, blood and moments where I was happy I wasn’t reading their tales after sundown.

Sylvia Mann, she literally made my skin crawl with “Eclipse At Wolfcreek” while Gary Buller’s “Wicked Congregation” ending touched me the most. It was like the rest, spooky, but the final moments of his paranormal tale was just unexpectedly moving.

Whether I was reading about monsters swooping down from the sky or grabbing onto a victim from below, all the contributing authors in the anthology, Monsters Exist, stayed true to one fact —- every creation showed their love of the horror genre by creating HIGHLY DESCRIPTIVE MONSTERS that’ll surely make for some interesting dreams…er, nightmares later tonight for many readers. So I say to you, be ready for some blood, gore, dismembered bodies, and some scary ass creatures because these 14 authors held nothing back. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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 Let’s Meet The Authors………

 

 

 Wallace Boothill: I write horror/supernatural fiction for whoever will read it. Looking for the right beach for the Haunted Luau. Published in Shotgun Horror Clips and Deadman’s.

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Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. Oh, and she likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies, and books, mostly in the horror genre. Her short story “Shout at the Devil” appears in Under the Bed Magazine, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in Hindered Souls, and “Dead over Heels” is soon to be published by Frith Books.

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Hi my name is S.J.Budd, I live in London but grew up in Cornwall surrounded by beautiful wild lands and ancient Celtic legends and folk tales which had a big impact on my eternal fascination with everything out of the strange and ordinary. Like seriously who wants to be normal? Not me!

Website Link /Twitter Link 

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Buller is an author from Manchester England where he lives with his long suffering partner Lisa, and his daughter Holly. He is a huge fan of all things macabre having grown up reading King and Koontz and loves a tale with a twist.

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S.E. Casey is a writer of the weird, the grotesque, and the darkly wonderful. His speculative fiction focuses on a collection of oddities, forgotten places, and fallen characters. The horror isn’t in the blood on the knife, but in the loneliness of the void. In vacant corners of empty alleyways does this existential madness collect and fester. 

Website Link.  / Twitter Link 

 

 

Mr. Deadman: Owner of Deadman’s Tome – a site for scary stories and demented horror.

Website Link / Twitter Link 

 

 

 

Calvin Demmer is a crime, mystery, and speculative fiction author. He has had over thirty stories published in various magazines and anthologies. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe.

Website Link / Twitter Link 

 

 

 

Philip W. Kleaver lives with his cat in Baltimore, Maryland, where he works as an educator. He is a too-competitive player of gin rummy and an avid collector of horror and science fiction paperbacks (preferably the musty, yellowing kind). 

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Sylvia Mann: Fiction writer. Teacher. Musician.

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William Marchese: Horror Writer, Horror Writers Association supporting member.

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John Palisano: Vice President of Horror Writers Association, Bram Stoker Award winner, FANGORIA writer.

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Christopher Powers: Writer of horror and dark fiction.

 Twitter Link 

 

 

 

Leo X. Robertson: I’m a fiction writer from Glasgow, Scotland, currently living in Oslo, Norway. I also run the Losing the Plot podcast, where I talk to editors, authors and other favourite people of mine about reading, writing and just about anything!

On my site you’ll be able to find out about my latest news, events, publications and hear the latest episodes of the podcast.

Website Link / Twitter Link 

 

M.R. Tapia: Head editor at Hindered Souls Press. Author of dark fiction. The Die-Fi Experiment, and debut novel Sugar Skulls coming this fall.

Twitter Link 

 

 

 

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Author Showcase – Cassandra Riley (Coastal Love Trilogy)

 BOOK ONE

Jasmine Parks is a strong, no-fuss woman from the wrong side of the tracks. Benson Walsh is a fraternity brother who was raised in a life of privilege. After a chance encounter on the campus of William and Mary, their worlds collide as they start on a path that will forever change their destiny. When forces work to tear them apart, will their love be enough to help them let go of their pasts so that they can build a future?

 

Click —> HERE <— to read my review

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 BOOK TWO

 

Ben and Jazz are a couple from completely different backgrounds trying to find a common middle ground. Just as their love solidifies, a new threat enters their lives. Follow them as they embark on a journey together. Will this force tear them apart or is their love strong enough to help them hold on?

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Ben and Jazz took a walk along the dock out to a pavilion that sat in the middle of the sound. Hand in hand, they gazed out across the choppy waters to the darkening sky. Benson lifts their conjoined hands to his mouth and kissed the back of hers her soft skin tender to his lips.
Jazz felt like a treasure when she was with him. He paid attention to every detail and took such good care of her. Ben nurtured her soul. How did she find such a man?
 

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 BOOK THREE

The final installment of the Coastal Love Trilogy is a whirlwind of drama and passionate love. Ben and Jazz are trying to live their life, but every time they think that they have escaped the drama, another problem arises. Will they survive their trials and tribulations? Will their love fall apart under the pressures

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Hello, my pen name is Cassandra Riley. My real name is Renee. I live in Yorktown Virginia with my husband and two children. I have been a teacher for 14 years. Two years ago I sat down and wrote what was to become my Coastal Love Trilogy. I have since completed two novellas and I am working on two more novels. Two of my works can be found on Kindle, Holding On (book 2) and Reflections (not really a romance).

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Author Showcase – Kevin Hammond (The King’s Peace)

The Kingdom is young and yet it stands in great peril. Dark tales of the unnatural have reached the King’s city. The King is slain in his bed and the storm on the horizon brings black ships closer to the coastal city of Erenon. Nathaniel, a clever thief has stumbled upon a job that brings him to the home of the King when he is slain and Nathaniel is unwillingly dragged into the quest to reach the southern garrison which has gone quiet in recent months. Strange powers are helping and hindering him and the small company of soldiers dispatched to that garrison as war comes to the city.

They will find those horrors that plague the common man, an ancient legend will unravel, and a deception so epic in scale it involves the Gods. The whole world of man and nations who live on the other side of the mountain range known as the Great Divide will come together in a war no one really understands and as the kingdom fights to survive it will face an enemy they know nothing about.

 

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Between the two men, one of the serving girls had placed a candle and Nathaniel watched for long minutes in silence. The flame shone so bright in the dim corner of the room where they sat. The Duke sipped a cool glass of water and the men milled around the room trying to get the place cleaned up for the morning when the locals would come by expecting food and drink. He had no idea that the Duke would allow him to sit for as long as he needed before giving his answer, nor did he know how much time had passed. He extended his hearing around the room to isolate the many conversations and hushed whispers among the people in the room. Two men near the door spoke of the genius plan to install archers on the balcony of a brothel across the road. Another man was offering a silent prayer to whichever God he favored. He asked that his wife and young daughter be well cared for in his absence, but he spared little thought for himself, and Nathaniel approved of the man’s selflessness and care for his family. He wondered if he might ever live long enough to have what this man ached to be away from. Hector, on the other hand, cursed the King’s men quietly while scrubbing some unseen mess made in the kitchen by the soldiers battling with the fake guildsmen who had managed to flee that way.

The Duke was sitting quietly staring off into space as the young thief peered at the candle. His mind and his senses were away somewhere else and he could not have named that moment when the flame of the candle had turned black. He sat for long moments staring at the ominous, dark motion of that snaking flame, but as his mind was elsewhere he did not call any alarm or draw attention to it. And Nathaniel continued to stare at that dark flame until the creeping itch travelled up his spine and a terrible alarm pounded in the back of his head. Slowly, in a voice filled with a terror he had never before experienced, he managed to grind out the words “Something is terribly wrong.”

With his senses extended still, around the room, he heard the conversations fall mute. Hector stopped cursing the mess and the soldiers had stopped cleaning. One man silently crossed himself, and many instinctively reached for their weapons. The storm had picked up in earnest and the darkness outside was complete. Inside the room something had filled the air. It was an ecstatic tension buzzing between the people like something travelling around, under the tables, men jumped as they felt something brush past their feet.

He heard the rolling hiss of something swirling around the room. There was no point of issue and it was charging the air with energy. Nathaniel thought he could almost see something turning around in the shadows of the room, in the corners of the building, travelling around the ceiling.

And the scream, so filled with helpless terror, was cut short with a gargling cry and a vile hissing as blood coursed from the soldier’s neck; behind him stood one of the false guildsmen. His body had been hacked to shreds by the soldiers and it was so impossible that he could live yet he had torn the throat from a live man. The monster’s stumbling gait was its only betrayal of the deep injuries inflicted from the passage of his death. There was a cruel glimmer that Nathaniel thought might have been pleasure within the coal black shades of his eyes as he crammed some of the dead soldier’s flesh into his mouth.

Most of the men in the room were frozen in mute horror at what they were seeing, their eyes recorded it but their minds couldn’t process it. The dead were rising, for vengeance, for wrath, for whatever dark intent fuelled their desire. The weapons were held in shaking hands by ashen white faces but no one made the move to attack. The reality of it, the cruelty of it, had not dawned on the soldiers fully until they saw their own comrade- freshly killed- beginning to stir on the floor. As his coal black eyes fixed on the living, some of the younger soldiers expelled the contents of their stomachs.

Amid rasping, unintelligible threats and flailing limbs, the walking dead ambled forward, and the soldiers slowly moved backward-inch by painful inch. From the kitchen they could hear Hector and the serving girls fending off the creatures come back to life, until they burst through the door with panic strewn on their faces.

“Barricade that door!” The Duke screamed, and the soldiers came to life with the practiced obedience of listening to his authority. Two men broke ranks to help the girls shove tables before the kitchen door and held it in place while the pummeling assault came from the other side. The creatures vented a deep throated rage as they tried to smash their way through.

Nathaniel loosed a throwing dagger with a strong throw and the knife struck a guildsman square in the chest. It would have been a mortal blow for a living man but the creature barely even flinched.

“Fall back, hold the line, press them away with your swords.” Jorge barked orders at his men. The soldiers gave up ground slowly while the creatures came on. A few men dared hacking blows that severed limbs but the dead pressed further on, until the living had given up fully half of the bar room.

Dashing behind the soldiers, Nathaniel reached for a broken table leg, wrapping it in some table cloths and poked the brand into the flames of Hector’s hearth. The rags quickly caught fire and he returned to the line to throw amid the dead men. The brand caught fire on one guildsman’s leg but the creature stumbled forward with one arm and a leg partially alight, still questing after the flesh of the living. “Don’t lose your heads, hold your line and strike for their limbs,” Jorge ordered his men.

“Gods save us,” McKeen uttered a loud curse as he returned to the bar. Some of the undead turned to face him but the burly Sergeant did not turn and run as expected. Nathaniel watched in awe as he locked the door behind him. “Can’t have you fellas roving about my good city now can we? Wouldn’t be good and proper for the fancy folks to see your like parading about chewing up their nice outfits, no we can’t have that.” The Sergeant pulled his sword and roared like a man possessed as the first of the guildsmen drew near. His long blade sliced in a powerful arc to sever the thing’s head from its shoulders and the body crumpled in a heap on the floor. The body lay still as the head rolled around the floor, still gargling and hissing.

“Set to, gentlemen, the Duke gave the quiet command and the men pressed on the counter to hack and slash at the heads of the undead. Nathaniel saw little use for himself in the fight but he mustered the courage to pick up a fallen man’s sword and help to press the unliving backward so the soldiers could do their job.

“Ware the limbs!” Jorge warned, as he ducked an arm to drive his sword upwards through a dead man’s neck. With a savage twist he pried the head clean off the shoulders. While the undead snatched and grasped for any contact with human flesh, the soldiers worked in pairs to parry their limbs while his partner placed the killing stroke to take the head clean from the shoulders. The fray took little time to come to an end and, though the men looked sick with fear, they knew it was a miracle that only one man had died. The resistance in the kitchen was brief compared to the main assault that took place within the bar room with only a few of the undead left to be dispatched.

A blood spattered Duke stood to the left flank of the melee in the midst of a small gathering of headless men “Sergeant McKeen? Are you still alive, sir?”

“Present and in good working order, sir.”

“Mind telling me how you came upon inspiration to save the day then, Sergeant?”

“Gods save us, sir. I hail from the small island of Forfar on the Southern Reaches, beyond the widow’s peak, sir. The people have been around from before the Kingdom and they say there was a village overrun in our history. They say one night when a dark storm brewed that the dead folks long since passed had come back to tear at the living. They say, sir, that they craved the taste of living flesh, and ought to blame us for their passing as we are alive and they had already gone to their maker. That the body is dead and the mind possessed by some dark magic, they say the only way to kill them was to sever the head from the body. It’s bloody butchery, if you don’t mind me saying, sir. But now we best tend to the corpses and the severed heads. If legend be true then the heads will never die until the spell is ended. But we are best to burn all that’s left of them so they might never find way to rise again.”

 

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I always thought there was something very iconic about falling down a really big hole. Until that happens I’ll just write some stuff.

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Author Showcase / Interview – Jennifer Macaire (The Road to Alexander)

 

  1. Welcome, Jennifer! For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(JM) Hello Kam, and thank you for the warm welcome! I think I was born with a pen in my hand – I’ve written stories since I could put letters together to make words. My mother (who else?) still has a copy of my first book written when I was 6, called ‘Tafy the Wunder Hors’. I have made progress in spelling since then, but the joy and creative passion is still intact. I love to invent stories.

 

 

  1. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.

(JM) I sacrifice to Calliope, muse of epic poetry. A bar of chocolate and a cup of coffee usually do the trick. Otherwise, I’ll send a prayer to the Oneiri. In Greek mythology, the (Ὄνειροι, “Dreams”) were various gods and demigods that ruled over dreams and nightmares. My favorite would be Morpheus – god of dreams, but Phobetor, the god of nightmares, is handy too. Many of my books are born of dreams.

Source: wikipedia.org

 

  1. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(JM) I have a “real” job as an assistant to an orthodontist that keeps me grounded and gives me a different kind of job satisfaction. We say, here in the office, that we make smiles. I love my work, and we have a great team working together.

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(JM) Since I live in France, and my books are all in English, it’s rather a let-down when people find out I write but that they can’t read my books. (Let down for me, that is – I can’t brag or show off, lol) So far, none have been translated into French. I have one translated into German and another in Thai – but no French. Otherwise, I don’t hesitate to tell people I’m a writer – it seems natural, since it’s so much a part of me.

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(JM) Ray Bradbury, Dorothy Dunnett, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Larry Mcmurtry, Diana Norman, Louise Penny, Ian Rankin, Philippa Gregory, Mary Renault…there are ten, but like you said, I could go on forever!

(KAM): It is truly difficult to stop at ten. Like you, I’m sure, my favorite’s list grows longer each day. 

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(JM) Well, my wish came true when The Game of Thrones became a TV series – I devoured those books, and the mini-series did them justice. If I could see my Time for Alexander series be transformed into a show, like Game of Thrones, that would be so cool. I’d need a huge cast of characters, and for the main part, I’d love to see Paris Jackson play the part of Ashley – she’s a tough girl, with a strong character. She’d be perfect. As for Alexander, a certain Alexander Richard Pettyfer might be good, and Richard Madden as Plexis.                      

(KAM) Can you believe I’ve yet to watch it?! Maybe one day I shall see what all the fuss is about. I’ve heard rave reviews regarding the books and show. 

 

 

  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(JM) Not top secret, but taking a while because squeezed in with promoting and my day job – I’m writing a YA story about a daughter of a Muse, she’s mortal, lived in the present day, and wants to become a great hero so she can become immortal and join her mother’s family on Olympus. I can tell you right now, it’s an impossible dream. (But what are dreams for, right?)

(KAM) Sounds fantastic! 

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(JM) The first one in the Time for Alexander series is ‘The Road to Alexander””, and there are 7 books in the series. They’ll be coming out every 3 months or so – all are written and I’m just in edits with the later books. Writing is easy – editing is tough.

 

 

Otherwise, there is a list on Goodreads, and also on Amazon are a few of my other books. I have a really cool space cowboy series about horses that travel through the galaxy at Evernight Teen (‘Riders of the Lightning Storm’ is the first book in that series)……..

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…..and also at Evernight are ‘Jack the Stripper’ and ‘Murder and Mayhem’ that feature zombies and vampires, oh my!

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  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(JM) My Time for Alexander FB page is: https://www.facebook.com/TimeforAlexander/

My blog is: https://jennifermacaire.wordpress.com/

My author webpage is: https://authorjennifermacaire.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @jennifermacaire

 

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(JM) Nothing really – except – I am eternally grateful to readers everywhere! I feel like we’re a dying breed sometimes. Buying books can be expensive and it’s hard to budget sometimes, so I am always thankful when someone takes the time to invest in one of my stories. I buy books too – my favorite pastime is reading (besides biking – I love my bicycle!) And if you, dear reader, could just put a small review or remark on your blog, tweet, Amazon review – anything – I promise that every little bit helps, and this author, at any rate, is truly thankful.

 

~~ Closing remarks ~~

Jennifer, thank you for divulging a bit of yourself with all of us here today. It has been a true pleasure getting to know you.

Now folks, before you go back to work/school/etc, please grace us with a few more minutes of your time and lets take a more in-depth look at  The Road to Alexander. 

THANKS!! 

 

After winning a prestigious award, Ashley is chosen to travel through time and interview a historical figure. Choosing her childhood hero Alexander the Great, she is sent back in time for less than a day. He mistakes her for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. What follows, after she awakes under the pomegranate tree, is a hilarious, mind-bending tale of a modern woman immersed in the ancient throes of sex, love, quite a bit of vino, war, death and ever so much more.

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EXCERPT

 

I wondered if I should speak or wait until he spoke to me. I was irritated to feel myself getting flustered. Then Alexander sat down next to me with a fluid movement and I stifled an exclamation.

‘What can I give you? Grapes? Some wine?’

‘That sounds fine,’ I said, my fingers itching for a pen so I could write down all my impressions. But I had to wait until I got back. Until then, I was supposed to make a mental note of every word and action.

He chose a grape for me and gently put it into my mouth. It was one of the most sensual gestures anyone had ever made to me. I felt faint, and, when he leaned over and kissed me, I toppled over onto the rug with hardly a whimper. Alexander obviously thought I’d come to see him for only one reason. I guess he was smothered with women throwing themselves on him, but vestal virgins? My body was saying, ‘Yes! Yes!’ My head said, ‘Ashley! Get a hold of yourself this instant!’ I sat up and pushed him away.

‘Sorry, I can’t do this,’ I said.

His expression of surprise was comical. ‘You mean, you really did come from the temple?’

‘Can we talk?’ I avoided the question and took a bunch of grapes.

‘Not those,’ he said, plucking them from my hand and putting them back into the bowl. ‘Those grapes are poisoned. I keep them in case an enemy comes. So, what do you want to talk about?’ His brow furrowed, then his face cleared. ‘Ah, yes, I recall. You’re the onirocrite. So, what dreams have you had?’

‘I dreamt that I came to your tent while you were sleeping. In your sleep you were calling out my name, the secret one that I can’t tell to anyone except the goddess. When you woke up you saw me. You said that I must come to you because you had a dream that you wanted me to interpret for you. You also said that it was a waking dream.’

He looked interested. ‘Really? And just what is a waking dream?

‘It’s like a wish,’ I said. ‘It’s what you want to do with your life. Can you tell me about it?’ I was hoping for grist for the prize-winning article that I was going to write when I got back. No one knew why Alexander had decided to conquer Persia and travel as far as the Indus River. It was a mystery, and I’d decided to solve it.

Instead of answering me, he lay back on his bed, put his arms above his head and stretched, showing off his lean body with its beautiful, flowing lines. ‘That’s too bad,’ he said. ‘I was hoping you were one of the virgins who didn’t want to be sacrificed. There are lots of them, you know,’ he added, looking at me sideways out of his magnificent eyes. ‘When they don’t want to be sacrificed they simply cease to be virgins, if you get my meaning.’

‘I do,’ I said, ‘and I’m flattered. But can we get back to the subject of my visit?’

‘A single-minded woman,’ he sighed. ‘You remind me of my mother. She’s terribly stubborn. She hated it when I sucked my thumb, so I did it for years just to spite her.’

‘Well, that explains your teeth,’ I said, vexed to be compared to his mother.

He looked at me, his expression unreadable. I started to think that maybe conversations about his mother weren’t the best idea, but all he said was, ‘You want to hear about my dreams, is that it?’

‘Please,’ I said, concentrating on his next words.

‘Very well.’ He stood up, poured two glasses of wine from an earthenware pitcher, and sat down next to me again, handing me one. The wine had a faint spicy note.

I was feeling smug. The article was going to net me a huge prize. I could just imagine the accolades. I was going to be famous; I couldn’t wait to see the faces of those who’d been waiting to see me fail. ‘Cheers,’ I said, and sipped. The drink wasn’t bad. It was young grape wine with spices and a trace of honey. It had been watered down so it was refreshing.

He raised his eyebrows. ‘Cheers?’

‘Here’s to your health,’ I amended.

We sipped our wine in silence for a few minutes while he studied me. Finally he put down his glass and shook his head. ‘There’s something strange about you,’ he said, ‘though I cannot say exactly what it is. You are impressed, I sense this, and you are interested. But, you are not afraid. Perhaps it is your lack of fear I detect the most. I am extremely attuned to fear; my father beat it into me. But it goes deeper than that.’ As he spoke, he wound his body around me, pausing now and then to touch my cheeks, my neck, or my breast. ‘I get a very peculiar feeling from you. There is a coldness, a frost that emanates from your very bones.’ He paused and ran his hands lightly down my sides.

‘I don’t know what you mean,’ I stammered. ‘I’ve wanted to meet you since I first heard about you. It was a dream, and now it’s come true.’ The passion in my voice startled me. I frowned, struggling to keep my emotions in check. This was not the cool, calm, collected Ashley I knew.

Alexander took my hand, stroking the inside of my wrist before pressing it to his mouth. ‘I want to bite you,’ he said. ‘I want to shake you out of your indifference. I want to hear you scream.’ He stared at me, a fierce expression in his uncanny eyes. ‘My mother is cold like you. She’s as cold as the ice on the mountaintops.’

I shivered. ‘I’m sorry if I appear cold. It was my parents’ fault. I had to stay quiet, otherwise I was punished.’

‘Perhaps that’s it.’ He tilted his head and looked at me. I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. There was such intensity in his gaze that I had to struggle not to drop my eyes. ‘Did you know that of all the living things on this earth, only man can look another man in the eye? My teacher, an old Greek, taught me that. He is a very intelligent man. He said that the world was round like an orange, and that the stars we see at night are in reality other earths, like this one, or suns. Is that heresy, do you think, or is it truth? I would like to know the answer to those questions and to so many more. I want to see the ends of the earth where the water drops off into a great chasm. Of course, if my teacher is right, I shall never find that. Instead, I will end up where I started out.’ He sighed, then leaned over and lifted a corner of the tent to peer outside. ‘It’s getting near midday, I have to go see my troops. Will you stay, or will you go back to your temple?’

‘If you please,’ I said humbly, ‘I’d like to stay.’

‘I please.’ He smiled then, and I realized that his face had more expressions than anyone’s I’d ever seen, including the great actors and mimes. His smile seemed to bloom from within, to reach out and caress me, and to bind me to him.

Anyone on the receiving end of that smile, I thought, would walk straight off the edge of the world if Alexander asked him to.

 

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Author Showcase / Interview with Philip Kleaver & Erin Lee (Deadman’s Tome Trumpocalypse)

Welcome, Philip W. Kleaver

AND 

 

 

  1.  For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(PWK) Thanks for the interview! I’m never sure how to describe myself. Uh, I’m a typical twentysomething in that I’m constantly questioning what the hell I’m doing with my life, even when things are going well. I graduated from a liberal arts college, so I believe (naively, I suppose) in the value of human equality and open-mindedness. I try to use that underlying belief to guide my decisions and interactions with people. I like punk shows, so-bad-they’re-good movies, breakfast foods, bourbon, and wandering around in nature every once in awhile. Shit, this is starting to read like an OkCupid profile…

I’ve been writing all my life. When I was a kid, I used to collaborate on illustrated short stories with a good friend of mine. Part of my pen name is a tribute to him. As a college student, I made Xeroxed zines chock full of angsty poetry. I first started writing horror and thinking I could get published after reading a lackluster entry in an anthology called Dark Masques. The story was about a guy who started running and couldn’t stop. I rolled my eyes and said, “Man, I could write a better story than this…” The voice in the back of my head replied, “Then DO IT already.” I churned out a few pieces before getting my fourth effort (“Working Stiff”) published in the Shotgun! Strange Stories e-zine.

(EL) I started writing when I was in the first grade. My first book was called Nire, the Purple Aardvark. Nire is my first name spelt backwards and purple is my favorite color. From that story, on, I was hooked.

 

 

  1. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.

(PWK) Poorly. Haha. I know there are a lot of dedicated writers out there who will power through a couple hundred words every day, no matter what. I’m not the type. If I start drawing a blank, I’ll take a week off. Sometimes I’ll work on another idea, but mostly I’ll mull over story beats in my head until something clicks. I can usually get over the hump when I realize a new truth about one of my characters… that can steer the plot in a needed direction.

(EL) I don’t experience writer’s block. There are times when I am not in the mood to write, so I don’t. During those times, I read or enjoy other hobbies. But I never have trouble coming up with stories. In fact, I have too many of them in my head to ever be able to get them all down on paper.

 

 

  1. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(PWK) Like a lot of writers, I pay the bills doing something else. My “9 to 5” (or more accurately, my “7:30 to 3:30”) is teaching social studies and language arts to middle schoolers. I like to travel, too. I live in Baltimore, so it’s easy to take a day trip to New York, Philly, D.C., etc. I probably spend too much time on the internet… recently I’ve been reading political news and frothing at the mouth.

Kam: Yeah, I’ve been hooked on every news program. I can relate to time flying by once you start reading articles. Plus, I tend to interact on the articles or social media posts and that’s always interesting. 

(EL) I work as a home-based therapist. This means that I go into people’s homes and do therapy there. This is how I get characters, settings, and plot lines. Of course, my primary mission is to help families in crisis, but it’s also why I don’t get writer’s block. Every day, in my work, I’m faced with real stories and real conflicts that generally make their way into my books eventually.

Kam: Oh, I bet you have a notebook (or file folder) full of wonderful experiences/mini stories. Lucky duck! 

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(PWK) Family and friends, yes. Everyone has been supportive, even though many of them can’t stand horror fiction. I tend to take their comments with a grain of salt. I’d rather have some random dude online tell me he likes my work than my girlfriend, because she’s too sweet to tell me if I’m writing garbage.

(EL) My clients don’t know I write. My friends and family do. Lee is a middle name. I do this intentionally to keep my work away from my clients. I’m not sure too many clients would want to know their therapist writes about serial killers in her spare time.

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(PWK) Whew, that’s difficult. It’s a mix of genre and literary authors (and subject to change at any time). In an intentionally-mixed-up order, here are the authors who most I enjoy reading: Harlan Ellison, William Faulkner, Joyce Carol Oates, James Baldwin, Thomas Ligotti, Ursula K. LeGuin, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, and Haruki Murakami. I think these ten have also had the greatest impact on my own authorial voice.

(EL) My favorites really depend on my moods. Like with my own writing, my taste in genre for reading is all over the place. My all-time favorite writer is Sylvia Plath.

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(PWK) I think I’d have to go with the most recent novel I’ve read: F by Daniel Kehlmann.

It’s incredible. I know there are a lot of novels about dysfunctional families out there, but Kehlmann strikes the perfect balance between pathos and comedy. He’s got some pretty interesting ideas about art that resonated with me, as well. I’d cast Jonah Hill as Martin, the eldest brother. He’s a priest who doesn’t believe in God and has a penchant for snacking or playing with a Rubik’s cube in the confession booth. Adam Driver could play the younger twins, Eric and Ivan. Eric’s a banker, and his section of the book (my favorite) is a madcap sequence in which he tries to manage his family, business concerns, and an affair while tripping out on a cocktail of prescription meds. I’m dying to see that on screen. Get Paul Thomas Anderson to direct.

(EL) Frankly, I never like seeing books go to the big screen. I’m a person who never thinks the movie matches up to the book. I wish books would stay in print and screen plays would stay in the theaters and on stages.

 

 

  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(PWK) It should be published by the time this interview runs, but I’m currently working on a collection of short stories about sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll with my friend (and fellow Baltimorean) Wallace Boothill. It’s called Psychodelic. We were inspired by and hardcore/punk bands who put out a split EPs. Why can’t writers do the same? The collection has a handful of stories from each of us, and one co-written piece. So far, my half is leaning a bit more towards the humorous side while Boothill’s is just plain freaky. Our shared aim is to gross you out!

(EL) I just finished a novel about a serial killer, Jimmie Putnam. The novel is called “Just Things” and will release sometime this year. I intend to follow it up with a sequel called “Jimmie’s Ice Cream.”

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(PWK) I’ve had a number of tales published in Shotgun! Strange Stories, which can be found at…

 

deadlightsmagazine.com

 

A print anthology of the first six issues is forthcoming. I’ve also got a satirical story called “The Appointment” in Deadman’s Tome Trumpocalypse, available on Amazon. (Fuck that self-centered orange clown, by the way. Get active–I’ve donated money to the ACLU and NRDC.) You can read some short works on my website,

(Contributing authors: Mr. Deadman, Michael Epstein, Kelly Evans, Patrick Winters, Eric Nirschel, Erin Lee, Mark Slade, Joey Whiston, and Philip Kleaver.)

 

“People love me. And you know what, I have been very successful. Everybody loves me.” – Donald Trump

People love you, alright. But not in the way you think, Mr. Get-Rich-Off-Of-Daddy’s-Tit. People love to mock you. People love to shower you with disrespect. If it was an option, people would drop a steaming pile of sloppy feces on your name. When you pass away, people would line up just to piss on your grave. But that wouldn’t matter to you, would it? The golden showers would come at a price, and boy would people fork over the cash. Regardless, you are the president of the United States of America, and I will raise a glass to you and give you that much. I’’ call you President, but with it comes a whole nasty serving of unadulterated ridicule. This issue of Deadman’s Tome is all about you, Mr. Trump. Dark, twisted, satirical tales at your expense, plus with a interview you had with me that you may not recall. I hope you enjoy.

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(EL) All of my books, twelve novels, a handful of novellas, and too many anthologies to count, are on my website: www.authorerinlee.com

My facebook page is www.facebook.com/gonecrazytalksoon

On Twitter I’m at @Crazylikeme2015

To stay up to date on my works, join my author street team-The Outsiders Street Team-at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/596733930532264/

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(PWK) Follow me on Twitter @pwkleaver or email me at pwkleaver@outlook.com.

(EL) The best way to reach me is through my facebook page at www.facebook.com/gonecrazytalksoon

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(PWK) Sure! If you’re an aspiring writer (or musician, or artist, or whatever), put your nose to the grindstone and start producing! The internet has made DIY much easier. I doubted myself for the longest time and was afraid that if I wrote short stories, they’d suck. Some of them do… but when I became serious about honing my craft, I started seeing improvement in what I was doing. If someone tries to discourage you, fuck ‘em. Everyone knows almost all of the good artists weren’t appreciated in their time.

 

Closing remarks and a bit of a rant…. 

I want to thank Philip Kleaver & Erin Lee for allowing me the opportunity to interview you. It was a true pleasure “meeting” you and I’m sure your responses have sparked the interest of many followers/readers.  🙂 

 

And now for my rant…….

Every voice matters. We have the right, the duty, to stand up for our rights and the rights of those around us. No race, no religion, no gender, NO ONE is better than the other. NO ONE should be persecuted, targeted by the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their faith, or where they were born. To single out a group of individuals based off the actions of the few is thoughtless, inhumane, barbaric, and morally wrong. People should treat others with respect. Our leaders should LEAD BY EXAMPLE. That means, those who hold political power shouldn’t be bigoted or racist. In every race, religion, gender, nationality, and so forth, you will find bad apples. However, you will also find good, hard working, loving people with kindness in their hearts and only good intentions. Don’t persecute the whole for the actions of the few. It goes against everything this country stands for. Everything I stand for. I’ve said this once and I’ll probably say it several more times in the near future. Our leaders should DO BETTER, BE BETTER! And Trump, I do believe you above all else should think before you speak (and tweet). You have the tendency to run off at the mouth, consequences be damned. Remember as the leader of the USA, your actions have consequences that affect not just your inner circle but the whole damn world! 

 

 

 

RANT OVER…….. (for now) 

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Review of “Letting Go” – Cassandra Riley

Publisher: Mascot Books; 1 edition (August 18, 2016)

 

Jasmine Parks is a strong, no-fuss woman from the wrong side of the tracks. Benson Walsh is a fraternity brother who was raised in a life of privilege. After a chance encounter on the campus of William and Mary, their worlds collide as they start on a path that will forever change their destiny. When forces work to tear them apart, will their love be enough to help them let go of their pasts so that they can build a future?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

For those who’ve went to college or are attending it now, you know those years are about discovering yourself, pursing your dream job or figuring out what your career should be, and sometimes stumbling upon the love of your life.

For Jasmine and Benson, they are in their senior year of college and also building a life together. They might not have been each other’s firsts but I have the feeling they’ll be each other’s lasts. In the short months they have been together, each has shown their true feelings, character, and all I see is two sensational, loving, giving people who deserve each other. Their backgrounds, upbringings might not be similar (poor woman, rich man) but their souls are undeniably alike…… pure and good.

And even though Tyler (psycho/jealous guy) and Deborah (Benson’s mom) tried to tear them apart, nothing was too difficult to overcome as long as they had one another. (FYI: Still surprised no one saw the warning signs Tyler was a few apples short of a full basket. He hid his evilness rather well but the “best” psychos usually do.) 

One last thing, Cassandra Riley wrote plenty of sweet and steamy love scenes. Various locations, some full of heat, some on the gentler side but all portrayed their love beautifully. However, the scene that stood out for me was the one where Benson wanted to sleep with Jasmine. No sex — just wanted to sleep next to her and wake up with her. That’s love, folks, and their story is just beginning.

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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Hello, my pen name is Cassandra Riley. My real name is Renee. I live in Yorktown Virginia with my husband and two children. I have been a teacher for 14 years. Two years ago I sat down and wrote what was to become my Coastal Love Trilogy. I have since completed two novellas and I am working on two more novels. Two of my works can be found on Kindle, Holding On (book 2) and Reflections (not really a romance).

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Author Showcase – Connie Chappell (Wild Raspberries) 📕

When Callie MacCallum sews her first quilt after the death of her lover Jack Sebring, she doesn’t realize she’ll be drawn into a Sebring family battle between wife and daughter-in-law. She simply wants to fulfill her promise to Jack to visit their cabin in the West Virginia mountains, where their long love affair was safely hidden. Instead, her emotionally reminiscent trip becomes crowded with the two Sebring women, a grief counselor, and the massive role Callie assumes. She must speak for Jack in order to protect his four-year old grandson Chad from his stubbornly manipulative and blame-passing grandmother and his recently widowed and power-usurping mother. Callie understands both women grieve the loss of Chad’s father. He died when a raging storm split the tree that crushed him. Grief isn’t the only common thread running between the four women. One by one, their secrets are revealed on the West Virginia mountaintop.

 

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~~ A scene from Wild Raspberries ~~

 

Out in the street, ten-year old Carson Tillman from next door rode his bike in circles, watching the proceedings.

            After loading Arnett’s things, Lizbeth slammed the cargo door. She turned to Beebe. “We’re ready,” she said.

            Beebe made an arm gesture that gathered Arnett, Lizbeth, and Callie into a line at the foot of the drive. Carson’s bike jumped the curb. He ground it to a stop nearby. The nosy boy might have thought the ladies were posing for a send-off photograph.

            A breeze kicked up Beebe’s crop of straw-colored hair so that it stood out from her head like a crayon drawing of the sun. She raised her right hand into oath-taking position, then used several upward gestures with her left to prompt the others to hoist their hands as well. Beebe recited a pledge, breaking it into five chunks, which the others repeated in unison.

            “I hereby swear an oath to honesty. From this point forward, I promise to provide fully factual information and will express my feelings earnestly and without reservation.”

            As all the hands dropped, Carson, a respectfully polite tattletale, his broad mouth gleaming with dental hardware, announced, “Miss Arnett had her fingers crossed.”

            Lizbeth’s mouth flew open. Her gaze jumped off the boy and landed on Arnett. “How could you?”

            In a teacher-to-student tone, Beebe said, “Show me your hands.” Arnett complied. “Do you swear to this honesty pledge?”

            “Yes, I swear.” Arnett glared at Carson. “Are you satisfied?”

            He shrugged and pedaled away.

  

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Chappell does a wondrous job allowing her words to speak for her characters, immersing the reader in scenes where dialogue would have typically done the trick.” ~~Maxy Awards

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Review of “Proper Goodbye” – Connie Chappell

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Beebe Walker’s life changes when she learns about a secret buried in her father’s cemetery. The secret revolves around the burial of a homeless woman and, eventually, draws her home to Larkspur, Michigan, to renew a relationship with her father, Cliff.

Months earlier, Cliff stood back from that sparsely attended funeral, unaware the woman’s passing made him a widower. Cliff, devoted caretaker of the cemetery, doesn’t know he’s tending to his wife’s grave. Beebe must find a way to tell her father that the homeless woman was misidentified. In reality, she was the wife and mother who abandoned them decades before.

Oddly enough, the first person Beebe meets upon her return is a young man who’s new in town. Yates Strand is also chasing the secret behind the homeless woman. He has another story to tell.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Death, no matter how it happens, takes a toll on the living. It can bring people together or tear them apart. In the case of Abigail (also known as Terri), it helped reunite a father and daughter. Two people who were harboring a lot of anger and hurt, all centering around the abandonment of a wife and mother.

Abigail/Terri, like most of us,  made some bad decisions in her life. In her case, she lost her family, job, respect, and her body to AIDS. However, despite her mistakes, she was a good person. She used her nursing skills to save lives. Unfortunately, through a chain of events, she couldn’t be there for her family. An accident, painkillers, drug addiction and trouble with the law led to the loss of her loved ones.

For three decades, Cliff and Beebe had no clue if she was alive or dead. When you are faced with that question, you hold onto hope. When you finally get the answer, you must then face your true emotions and deal with them accordingly.

I can’t imagine living in this type of limbo or the aftermath of such an event.  Connie Chappell illustrated beautifully the pains, the internal battle people face in this type of predicament. She made a dark, dismal story come to life. After I read Proper Goodbye, I immediately hugged my family. I imagine you will too. 

 

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Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

 

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Connie Chappell is a bestselling author of both literary fiction and cozy mysteries. Proper Goodbye, the long-awaited standalone sequel to her debut novel, Wild Raspberries, is now available for purchase. In Proper Goodbye, Beebe Walker’s life changes when she learns about a secret buried in her father’s cemetery. The secret revolves around the burial of a homeless woman and eventually draws her home to Larkspur, Michigan, to renew a relationship with her father.

Connie’s other books, Wild Raspberries and Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont, were awarded the 5-Star Readers’ Favorite distinction. Two additional awards were received by Connie and Wild Raspberries in 2016: the Maxy Award for Best Literary Fiction and the Readers’ Favorite Book Award for Women’s Fiction.

In Deadly Homecoming at Rosemont, historian-for-hire Wrenn Grayson solves a double mystery in her hometown of Havens, Ohio. A murder, coupled with a theft, pulls her away from her duties for Mayor K.C. Tallmadge and her after-hours job of writing historical articles for the local newspaper. Wrenn’s knowledge of hometown history, specifically the old train station, plays into this mystery. Connie’s inspiration behind the inclusion of a Havens train station extends from her hometown, Springfield, Ohio. A postcard and short history of the Big Four train station are uploaded to this profile. A second Wrenn Grayson mystery has been hatched, so stay tuned.

Wild Raspberries, released in April, 2015, is especially dear because memory quilts are stitched to it. Photos of the memory quilt Connie sewed are uploaded to this profile. Like hers, the memory quilts described in Wild Raspberries were sewn with squares cut from favorite clothing a loved one wore in life. The quilts tell a life story, and through them, the reader meets the loved ones the women in Wild Raspberries have lost.

Connie’s novels are published by Black Rose Writing.

Learn more about Connie and her novels on her author webpage: www.conniechappell.com. Reviews of her books are there as well, so take some time and look around. In addition, she’s written several short stories—all ready for viewing on her website. Also available are a host of interesting podcasts.

Connie is a lifelong resident of Springfield, Ohio, where she serves its citizens from her office in City Hall. She also produces videos about Springfield, government projects, and community events for the local government-access channel. She devotes as much of her free time as possible to anything out-of-doors. Flowerbeds, golf, walking, and riding her bicycle are particular favorites.

 

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Author Showcase / Interview / Review – Nabila Fairuz (The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar)

Welcome, Nabila!

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  1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Nabila) Ahoy, mateys! I am a Bangladeshi Canadian living in Calgary, AB at present. I published my first novel, The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar, this year in October. I love Anime, video games, and reading. A lot of reading. Not all of it necessarily needs to be books. I hate not knowing what happens at the end of movies. And I am a big fan of lame puns. The lamer, the better. Here’s one: A man walked into a bar, and said, “Ow!”

 

 

  1. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.

(Nabila) First of all, I’ll have you known, I don’t handle it well. When writer’s block hit me, I tend to become very lazy. I end up doing everything else except writing. So if you want advice, here’s what I would tell you: don’t be like me. Try some other way. If I had to take a guess, I’d say that even if you are facing writer’s block, still try to write something. It may not be your best work, but it will keep the habit going.

 

 

  1. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(Nabila) I like to play video games. Or read books. Currently I’m playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, and reading “Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo.

I also like to check up on events happening nearby. Street festivals, Harry Potter themed outdoor markets, new movies, etc.

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Nabila)  Thankfully, I have a very tight-knit group of family and friends who always wish me well and are very appreciative and proud of my work. I published my first book quite recently, and the love and support I have received from them has been astounding!

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Nabila) Um… I am not good at coming up with top tens, but here’s a couple: J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Stieg Larsson, Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown.

Among Bengali writers (i.e. writers from Bangladesh and Calcutta) I love Tagore, Humayun Ahmed, Zafar Iqbal, and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(Nabila) Well, I’ll be a little narcissistic and say that I would choose mine. I think ‘The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar’ would make an excellent movie. It’s about a female pirate captain, and I think movie industries could use more of that.

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  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Nabila) It is still in the outlining/planning stage, but I am planning to write another YA fiction with a sixteen year old girl called Celeste as the protagonist. There will be nursery rhymes. That’s all I’m saying.

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(Nabila) So far, there’s only one book published by me, so no need to worry about reading order. My book is available on Amazon, and in e-book format from Kindle and Kobo.

It is also available in Barnes and Nobles, and the e-book version is available through Chapters and Indigo bookstores in Canada.

I am not 100% sure but I am pretty certain it is also available in UK and Australia.

 

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Nabila) Yes! I am available on Facebook and Goodreads under the name Nabila Fairuz. Check out my page on Facebook and send me a message!

I am also available on Twitter and Instagram.

My Twitter handle is @N_FairuzR and Instagram ID is n_fairuzr.

Finally, and most importantly, you can contact me on my blog, My Own Little Corner, at the following address:

http://nabila-fairuz.blogspot.ca

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Nabila) Goodbye, my dear friends,

‘Tis the mighty end of the road.

Again, we shall meet.

 

 

~~ Closing remarks ~~

I’ve said this once and I’ll say it probably a 1000 more times but I love interviewing authors. It’s so interesting finding out more about the person behind a story, what or whom inspires him/her and what he/she are working on next. When I read an interview, I find myself adding new books to my reading list based off question 5.

And, like many of you, my TBR is constantly growing and that warms this bookworm’s heart.  With that said, I have ONE MORE BOOK I hope you add to your reading list because it’s a voyage I think you’ll rather enjoy taking.

Enjoy, Mateys! 

 

 

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The youngest of three siblings, Shelly’s childhood tragically ended when her family disappeared under cryptic circumstances. Shelly and her sister embark on an epic journey to find them, only to face more hardship.

Witnessing the death of her only sister’s hardened Shelly more, and she was left with facing the bleak reality of continuing the mission alone. It affected her deeper than she imagined, and fueled her every move. It made her become the pirate captain whose name would eventually be feared everywhere. She gathered a crew and despite all odds always managed to come unscathed from any of her crazy exploits.

Along the way, she bumps into her brother who is now charged with arresting her, reconciles with her father who is hiding his own secrets, and frees her mother from the clutches of a power hungry Admiral of the English Navy. Will the fearless Captain Shelly Manhar manage to evade the hangman’s noose, or be forever lost in Davy Jones’ Locker?

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images-2(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

You can’t have a pirate’s tale without a hunt for lost treasure and what would a hunt be without a map. Shelly and her merry crew go searching for Neptune’s treasure and a magical goblet that grant a user’s request. Of course, the journey to the great booty isn’t easy as a finding an X on a sandy beach. No, they have to face creatures, scoundrels, and traps — some of the magical nature. 

This all sounds like a making of a Disney movie — aka Pirates of the Caribbean. Well mateys, Jack Sparrow didn’t suddenly appear from stage left but he was mentioned in passing. No, the pirates in this tale weren’t lead by a mascara wearing bloke. Instead the crew was led by a woman who wore an eyepatch and was quite the swordsman ….err swords-woman. 🙂

For that alone, I had to give this story high marks. The only reason why I knocked off a full point was due to the interaction between her and her brother. In First Contact, Conrad (Shelly’s brother) flats out states he wrote to her and Anna but they never responded. They argued about it. Then down the road in the chapter titled Family Reunion, they once again argue over it and Shelly appeared perplexed by him stating the same thing again. Why? Did she suffer from short term memory loss and forget he made this claim already. 

Anywho……

Despite that, I had only one other eh moment. I like how the story ended. The epilogue was quite comical but what about the buildup of Roy and Shelly throughout the adventurous tale? They had a moment, he loves her, and then nada. Maybe it’ll be played out in part 2. One can only hope!

Oh and one last thing, nice jaw-dropping, bombshell in Her Father’s Daughter. I do love surprises. It keeps me coming back for more! Others too. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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Author Showcase – Michael Hughes (The Crimson Shamrock)

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A scotch-swilling DUI attorney, a cynical congressional staffer, and a retired bomb- sniffing German Shepherd are just some of the characters Chuck Wesson meets after he takes a travel assignment from his new boss, mysterious Silicon Valley entrepreneur Axel DeWilde. Chuck has been sent on a flight from San Francisco to Boston in order to demonstrate the Crimson Shamrock, a breakthrough portable communication device code-named the RedClove.

However, Chuck begins to suspect that all is not as it seems after a robber tries to steal the device at the airport, and his flight later has to be diverted to the Twin Cities after a threat is made. After his meeting is relocated to the D.C. suburbs and does not go according to plan, Chuck flies back to California to discover who and what are behind his travails.

 

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After dropping Blake off at the VC headquarters, Axel drove me back to the office.  As we got inside, Axel began to go on one of his euphoric monologues.

“You see, Chuck, all of the opportunities that we are presented with!”  I was afraid he was going to shatter the glass front door given how enthusiastically he had shut it.  “Just look how eager Blake was for our product!”

“Is he OK with our timeline, do you think?” I asked.  I turned on my computer and took a seat as Axel continued to pace around the floor.  I was half afraid he was going to start dancing.

“Why, of course!  All things take time, and Blake and his people understand that very fact.  We are, in a way, building up the anticipation even more, yes?”

That didn’t seem like the soundest logic to me, but who was I to tell Axel this?

“That’s one way of looking at it, I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

“Oh, yes,” he said as he almost tripped over himself on his way back to his desk.  “The anticipation of the new product is key. Absolutely, essentially, key.  Key, key, key.”

I twiddled my fingers as I waited for my computer screen to turn on.  Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long.

“I think you’ve done enough work for the day,” said Axel.  He looked at my computer, walked over, and turned it off.  “You should head home and get some rest.  Next week is going to be a learning experience for all of us.  We are going to have to have the boys finish engineering the prototype, and then we will have to have it transported to the East Coast for its demonstration.”

“How are we going to get it over there?”

Axel grinned.  “The method of its transport is in this room.  He, I should clarify, is in this room.  I generally try to avoid flying.  You are free to draw your own conclusions.  Shall I see you tomorrow, ten o’clock, no?”

 

 

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I’m 25 and currently work for a bank in compliance in Los Angeles.  Pumpkin Farmer and The Crimson Shamrock are my two published paperback novels; I also self-published a novel titled Loafing by La Brea. 
 
 

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