Posted in reviews

The Fabulist by Samuel W. Reed Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A failed novelist and sports writer goes on a journey of self-discovery in author Samuel W. Reed’s “The Fabulist”. 

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The Synopsis

Failed novelist and dispirited blogger Frank Shaw is hired to cover the Maui Classic Invitational, a pre-season collegiate basketball tournament in Hawaii over Thanksgiving. But after meeting a cute bartender he wants to impress at the resort, he dismisses his assignment and sets out on a path toward self-discovery, mind-bending adventure, and quite possibly love.

“The Fabulist” is a gonzo tale of one man’s obsession with finding joy in his life, consequences be damned! As Frank Shaw ruminates on the mistakes of his past, he hurdles headlong into uncharted emotional territory on an ever-escalating adventure in a place he deems “Paradise.”

Inspired by the tales of Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Pahlaniuk, Charles Bukowski, and others, this is one unforgettable ride you won’t soon forget!

The Review

This was a powerful, character driven narrative. The author does an amazing job of crafting complex, multi-dimensional characters that draw the reader in with their layered problems that drive the plot forward. The down on his luck writer who throws himself head-first into a trip fueled by drinking, a beautiful woman and a need to discover himself makes for a complicated protagonist that readers will be fascinated with. 

The author’s style of writing definitely feels cinematic in its approach, as if the author has utilized a theatrical approach to the story. The brilliant use of imagery really paints a picture not only of the setting and story but the characters themselves, immersing the reader into the narrative first-hand and making the story come alive.

The Verdict

A creative, dramatic and stunning narrative, author Samuel W. Reed’s “The Fabulist” is a must-read. Filled with the magic of an adventure, the complex drama of a man discovering his true joy, and the hardships we endure on the road to that discovery, this book really delves into some personal character growth for the protagonist and comes with some twists and turns that will keep readers intrigued. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Samuel W. Reed is a novelist, screenwriter, director, and film producer with a keen eye for emotionally impactful, character-driven stories. Sam was instrumental in the decade-long production of the groundbreaking disability-rights documentary “CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion” starring Jamie Foxx, Ben Affleck, Marlee Matlin, and others. He contributed narration to the SXSW award-winning documentary “Take Me To the River,” starring Terrance Howard, Snoop Dogg, and Mavis Staples, and he served as ghostwriter on the Sony Pictures International film “Beyond Valkyrie.” A frequent collaborator with notable producers, directors, actors, and writers, Sam is always on the lookout for a great new story, and the perfect cup of coffee.

Facebook: @samuelwrite

Twitter/Instagram: @samuelwreed

For more information, please visit: www.samuelwreed.com

Posted in reviews

And the Last Trump Shall Sound by Harry Turtledove, James Morrow and Cat Rambo Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Three authors share a very relevant collection of short stories that showcase the horrors that await the United States if division continues to take hold in the novel “And the Last Trump Shall Sound”. 

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The Synopsis

Set in the near future, And the Last Trump Shall Sound is prophetic warning about where we, as a nation, may be headed. A politically torn nation watches as the Republicans solidify their hold over the US with a series of electoral victories and judicial appointments. Mike Pence leads the country, succeeding Donald Trump as the flag-bearer of an increasingly dogmatic movement.

There are parts of the country, however, that cannot abide by what they view as a betrayal of the nation’s founding principles. At what point do these communities break down and the unthinkable suddenly becomes the only possible solution…the end of the Union.

Harry Turtledove, James Morrow, and Cat Rambo give us three novellas, each following the other, describing the frightening possible consequences of our increased polarization–a dire warning to all of us about where we may be headed unless we can learn to come together again.

The Review

This was a marvelous, eye-opening, and engaging mixture of historical fiction/dystopian future novels with a “what if…” twist. The narratives each author brought to life capture the raw emotion and power that this world’s division has created in recent years, and showcases how the world and in particular the United States could look like if events continue to unfold the way they are. 

From a future that sees the West Coast states seceding from the Union to the leader of the free world turning portions of the United States into a religious-run state and the “resurrection” of the man who started it all, these author present ideas and futures which could prove to be our future. The way the authors write captures the emotion of our nation as it stands now: confusion, frustration, anger, and sadness all extend over us all right now. 

The Verdict

Fast-paced, engaging, and detail-oriented in its delivery, the authors give readers a marvelous yet haunting look into what the United States could become. In the face of racial tension, immigration horrors, pandemics and so much more, the American Empire as it stands could look drastically different in just a couple of decades. Utilizing real political and historical figures into a well-developed fictional political satire, these authors have delivered a memorable novel that cannot be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

James Morrow

“Watch out for James Morrow: He’s magic” is how The Washington Post’s Ron Charles describes the author.

Janet Maslin of The New York Times call him “a novelist of intellect, bravado and wildly phantasmagorical imagination.”

James Morrow’s fiction always presents an original (frequently outrageous and eccentric) take on any subject he tackles, often using satire to bring his point home. Much of his work has received high praise, not only from within the science fiction community but from the mainstream literary world as well.

Russian translations of his novel, Only Begotten Daughter, and collection, Bible Stories for Adults, led to him being invited to participate in the Fifteenth International Tolstoy Conference.

James Morrow calls State College, Pennsylvania, his home, where he resides with his wife, his son, and an enigmatic sheepdog and a loopy beagle.



Harry Turtledove

Dubbed as “The Master of Alternate History” by Publishers Weekly, Harry Turtledove has written a number of classic bestsellers in the subgenre, including How Few RemainThe Guns of the South and The Man with the Iron Heart.

He uses his study of history (with a Ph.D in Byzantine history) to create alternate worlds in intricate detail; crafting enthralling adventures that have garnered him high critical praise as well as making him one of the most successful bestselling authors in alternate history.

Turtledove has won, or been nominated, for nearly every major award in science fiction (multiple times, for many) including the Hugo, Nebula, Sidewise (alternate history), Homer (short stories), The John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction and the Prometheus Award.

Many consider him to be one of the most distinguished authors of alternate history to have ever written in that sub-genre―he is certainly one of the most critically acclaimed.

Harry Turtledove is married to novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters, Alison, Rachel and Rebecca.

http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/turtledove.html



Cat Rambo

Cat Rambo is a prolific science fiction and fantasy writer of short stories. Her two hundred plus stories have appeared in many anthologies and magazines including Asimov’sClarkesworld, and Tor.com.

She has been nominated for the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award, and been a finalist for the Million Writers and the Compton Crook Awards, as well as been on the Locus Recommended Reading List.

Cat was the co-editor of Fantasy Magazine from 2007 to 2011 and is a past President (two terms) of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She lives and teaches in the Pacific Northwest.

Posted in reviews

Between Conversations: Tales From The World of Ryuujin by Marc Watson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Heroes and legends rise and fall into obscurity in nine original short stories from author Marc Watson in his novel “Between Conversations: Tales From The World of Ryuujin”. 

The Synopsis

In the world of Ryuujin, heroes rise and fall, but there are always stories that slip through the cracks. The tales of the people who shape the years to come. Heroism and betrayal. Conversations between friends and enemies that will change the course of the world.

These are nine stories from a world that is historic, modern, and terrifyingly futuristic. A world where science and magic intertwine, and give birth to the unknown souls who become heroes, and the legends who fade away into history.

From the author of the renowned dark comedy Death Dresses Poorly, and from the world of his hit science-fantasy duology Catching Hell comes a collection of adventure, drama, joy, and terror as we look into the lives of the powerful, the meek, and the people who make the world turn over the course of centuries.

The Review

This was an eloquently and well-conceived blend of mythology, fantasy, and science-fiction storytelling at its best. Author Marc Watson has crafted a narrative that showcases the amazing way sci-fi and fantasy can blend together in one narrative while showcasing an evolving world through simple interactions amongst heroes, villains, and those in between. 

The way the author draws the reader into the narrative and showcases how the world he has crafted evolves over several eras known as the 4 Falls of Man is very visual, crafting an image of the world and characters in the reader’s mind immediately. Cinematic in his approach, the author does a great job of showcasing a memorable setting and tone while showcasing a poetic and mythical style of writing that keeps the reader invested. 

The Verdict

Memorable, evenly-paced, and engaging, author Marc Watson’s “Between Conversations” is a must-read fantasy/sci-fi epic. Memorable mythology, gripping short stories set within an ever-evolving world, and a style of writing to elicit a cinematic approach to the narrative, this book will keep readers entertained and prove to be thought-provoking in its delivery. Be sure to grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Hello, I’m Marc Watson, and I write stuff. I’m an author of genre fiction (primarily Fantasy and Science Fiction of all lengths). I began writing at the age of 15 with a pen and paper, and I’ve never really stopped, even though until recently it was more of a background to me than my defining trait. I have been published on flash fiction site www.101words.org, as well as comedy site www.thecorrectness.com. I’ve been a student of the excellent writing classes at Athabasca University for a number of years.

I live in Calgary, Alberta, and was spawned out of the depths of Southern Ontario. I’m a husband, proud father of two, and can be sometimes found at an actual job. I’m an avid outdoorsman, martial artist of some high repute, baseball player of very little repute, and lover of all Mexican foods. One day ‘World Famous Poutine Aficionado’ will be on my business cards.

You can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marcwroteabook, and on twitter at @writewatson. For public appearances and interviews, I am proudly represented by Creative Edge Publicity.

Posted in reviews

Here I Stand (Beneath the Clouds Book 2) by Jessica Leed Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A beautiful story of finding one’s place in the world, overcoming overwhelming odds and discovering yourself all take center stage in author Jessica Leed’s “Here I Stand”. 

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The Synopsis

A compelling tale about redemption, unlikely relationships and an unforeseen event that will stir your emotions and have you reflecting on what is most important in life.

Healing from the past is difficult. Especially when it has a way of following you everywhere you go.

New beginnings are often faced with challenges. But not in the way Sienna Henderson could have ever anticipated when she comes face to face with an unexpected truth that will change her life forever.

The Review

A fantastic sequel to her first novel, author Jessica Leed has crafted yet another brilliant novel that is both emotional and gripping all at once. Sienna is a complex and memorable protagonist who takes the readers on a journey through some of life’s toughest moments. 

The complex and interweaving storylines really did create an enriching narrative that instantly drew readers in, from the protagonist’s journey not only to let go of her past and the people in it, but to open herself up to new possibilities, but also the supporting characters who had an impact on Sienna and vice versa. The author has a way of writing that really paints a clear image in the reader’s minds, and each moment in the protagonist’s journey really tugged at the heartstrings as readers visualized the novel’s plot unfolding. 

The Verdict

Evenly paced, well-written, and keeping the reader emotionally invested, author Jessica Leed’s “Here I Stand” is a must-read contemporary women’s fiction read of 2020. Engaging, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at once, readers won’t be able to get enough of Sienna’s journey and the author’s amazing ability to draw the reader into the narrative wholeheartedly. If you haven’t yet been sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jessica is a school teacher, former fitness professional and dancer. She is originally from Bendigo, Victoria.

NINE YEARS and HERE I STAND form the two-part series BENEATH THE CLOUDS.

Connect with Jess:

Name: Jessica Leed

Email address: jess@jessleed.com

Website: jessleed.com

Facebook: facebook.com/jessicaleedauthor

Instagram: @jessicaleedauthor

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Sea Gudinski

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

     I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As a means of expression, storytelling has always far surpassed any other creative outlet I’ve encountered and has allowed me to explore both myself and the world around me. I first became enamored with the idea of being an writer at ten years old and began seriously pursuing my career as an author at that time. During the intervening years I have considerably refined my craft, dedicating my focus to historical fiction and examination of the human condition—the forces that make us who and what we are, those tenants of experience that are perennial, and the merits and follies that shape our species’ journey toward self-actualization.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

     Both of my parents lived through the 1960s, and I grew up listening to both the music and the stories of the era. My father was a musician as well as a soldier in the Vietnam War and his accounts of the decade and the counterculture always deeply fascinated me as a child. While researching for an earlier novel set in the same period, I read a book called The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. In addition to defining the genre we now called ‘new journalism’ Wolfe’s work recounted the escapades of Ken Kesey, a major figure in the counterculture of the 1960s. I was completely captivated by the book, both stylistically and comprehensively—and read it twice before I realized that the author had not actually been present for any of the events he recorded. The level of immersion that Wolfe provided to readers in his work inspired me to write a novel in which I could transport readers back into time and present to them an objective examination of the era with both the wisdom of hindsight and the intensity of firsthand experience.

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3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

     My intent behind 1969 was to recapture the spirit of that time half a century ago and preserve for history a record of the message, meaning, and legacy of the era, as well as to provide an entertaining, accurate, and objective perspective of the decade that could be enjoyed by those who lived through it as well as those who learned about it in school.     

     To a great degree, the passion and intensity with which I researched and wrote 1969 was due to the fact that I felt that there was something extremely important to be learned from that era of human history—something deep and instinctive that eludes most academic accounts and can quite possibly be swallowed by the gaping maw of time. The spiritual values that were embraced by so many during that time prompted a resurgence of raw humanity that was unprecedented in our recent history and so greatly impacted those who experienced it and the future they thus created that it is criminal to let its influence be lost. I wanted to capture and convey that to readers so that they have the opportunity to be enriched by those values and experiences that have sharped our world today in a more personal and firsthand way.
     Most importantly, I wanted all readers to be able to take something away from the story that stays with them long after they’ve closed the covers. Books have shaped my perspective immensely, and some of the most influential pearls of knowledge in my life have been conveyed to me through literature. Whether it’s simply a fact about the time that they hadn’t known before, or a quote they find inspirational, I’d be greatly humbled if everyone who reads it can say that they learned something from it—either about the time or about themselves.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I have always loved history—and as the old cliché says, truth is certainly stranger than fiction, so there is no shortage of inspiration. Many times when I tell people that I write historical fiction, I am greeted with an interesting reaction. “Boy, that’s a lot of work, why don’t you leave the historical bit to the biographers and textbook writers and just write pure fiction,” is a response that I receive quite often. However, I continue to pursue this genre because I believe there is a great deal of value inherent in it. As every history teacher always urges at the beginning of the school year, history is extremely important. Our time and every single one us living in it are the latest products of millions of years of history. Each new day is carved under the shadow of yesterday in the light of our hope for tomorrow. Our environment, society, and culture are forged and shaped by memories, some more recent than others. I feel that by understanding the struggles and triumphs that defined the lifetimes of our predecessors, we can understand more about ourselves and in turn better our own lives and the lives of future generations.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I really enjoyed thinking about and answering this question. As is the case with most authors, when I develop characters, their backstories are fully fleshed out—even more so than is delved into within the context of the storyline. In this way they become real. It makes their actions, their dialogue, and their expressions far more consistent. Therefore, there really isn’t really anything that I would need to ask one of my characters in terms of their past that I am not already abreast of as the author. However, because 1969 does not have a definite ‘ending’ per sae, I would be quite interested in sitting down with my narrator, Rhiannon, after the novel ends and discovering what happens. I always ask readers their take on how they think the story develops following the final page, but in all honesty, even as the author, I do not know myself. And as several years have passed since I’ve concluded writing 1969, I wonder how Rhiannon’s life decisions would have stacked up against mine and how the profundity and self-discovery that she underwent as a youth transformed her life as she continued on her journey to adulthood and beyond.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook has been by far the most instrumental in gaining traction and exposure. Due to the fact that my novel is set in the recent past and delves into Woodstock and other defining events as well as the music of the late 1960s, I was able to introduce my work to a number of groups of likeminded individuals dedicated to sharing and discussing this era. I feel it is the most accessible social media site, especially for the older generations who are the target audience for my work, and offers the most opportunities for advertising and networking.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

There are two pieces of advice that I would offer an aspiring author. The first would be never give up. The process of publication is extremely daunting. There are likely more scams and frauds aimed at authors than there are in just about any other field—so be cautious, be attentive. Do not let the excitement of future success detract from your vigilance. Secondly, stick to it. There are many disappointments in publication, and if you are looking to become an indie or self-published author, you must realize that writing the book is the easiest part of the process. During and after publication, not only will you be an author, you’ll be your own publisher, agent, marketing team, receptionist, accountant, etc. Your hobby WILL quickly become work—it will constantly lead you out of your comfort zone and at times it will be frustrating and exhausting. If you do not have the time or the energy to dedicate to marketing your work after it is published, do not self publish; instead, pursue traditional publication—it may take longer and result in more rejection, but you will not be saddled with all the procedural work that goes on behind the scenes in the life of an author. Self-publishing is a fantastic alternative that allows you a great deal of creative freedom, but it is not the best option for everyone, so choose your method wisely!

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8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Due to the fact that I have been writing prolifically for over a decade but only became a published author last year, I have an imposing backlog of work that will keep me busy for several years to come. I recently created my own publishing imprint, Art Of Telling Publications, and in due time will be releasing a second edition of 1969 as well as all five of my previously written novels. More immediately, I have a book of poetry and short prose, A Collection of Words that will be published in the fall of 2020 and a new historical fiction novel that is in the works!

For updates on new releases, deals, and giveaways follow me on social media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SeaGud/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/seagudinski
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sea_gudinski/

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Events, reviews

Out of No Way: Madam CJ Walker & A’Lelia Walker A Poetic Drama By Roje Augustin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A breathtaking and creative look into one of America’s first self-made female millionaires during a time of great and violent racial tension comes to life throughout beautiful poetry in author Roje Augustin’s “Out of No Way”. 

The Synopsis

Author, producer, and emerging poet Roj Augustin has written a groundbreaking debut collection of dramatic poems about hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter, A’Lelia. Roj’s singular and accomplished work is presented through the intimate lens of the mother-daughter relationship via different poetic forms – from lyric to haiku, blackout to narrative. (One poem takes its inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.) Written in tribute to Walker, Out of No Way deftly and beautifully explores themes of race, motherhood, sacrifice, beauty, and the meaning of success in Jim Crow America. 

The Review

The author brilliantly captures the lives of mother and daughter and those in their lives with this work of art. The poetry is moving and inspiring, pulling forth everything from everyday discussion between a mother and daughter to the pain of witnessing the loss of life during such a violent and turbulent era of racial injustice and the strain it all has on these two women’s relationships. 

The stand-out to me as a reader in this book was not just the story the author told using poetry, but the poetry itself. The author does a marvelous job of effortlessly integrating various forms of poetry, from haiku and sonnets to nursery rhymes and villanelle, giving each chapter of the women’s lives a different type of poetry to embody that moment. It felt natural and as raw as the emotions these moments invoked, making this book truly shine. 

The Verdict

Breathtaking, often heartbreaking and yet a fast-paced and eloquent read, author Roje Augustin’s “Out of No Way” is a majestic book of poetry and biographical fiction read that is not to be missed. Readers will be enthralled with the author’s unique voice within this poetry while the characters and people involved will keep the reader invested entirely. If you haven’t be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Rojé Augustin is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her first novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones, won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in African American fiction.  She wrote the novel while living in London and Sydney as a stay-at-home-mom.  Rojé continues to work as a producer while also writing in her spare time.  She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and two daughters.

Elegy for my Mother

Why Our Hair is not Straight:

The Lost Letters:

Graves & Thrones:

Blog Tour Schedule:

Sept. 9: The Book Connection (Review)
Sept. 16: Anthony Avina Blog (Guest Post)
Sept. 18: Anthony Avina Blog (Review)
Sept. 23: Impressions in Ink (Review)
Sept. 24: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (Review)
Sept. 29 Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Oct. 5: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
Oct. 8: Everything Distils into Reading (Review)
Oct. 14: Suko’s Notebook (Review)
Oct. 20: True Book Addict (Guest Post)
Oct. 26: CelticLady’s Reviews (Review)
Oct. 29: True Book Addict (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #OutofNoWay #MadamC.J.Walker #RojeAugustin

Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post by Roje Augustin

I first learned about Sarah Breedlove — or Madam C.J. Walker as she would come to be known — in my early 20s. I remember it clearly because when I read her story in A’Lelia Perry Bundles’ wonderful book Madam C.J Walker Entrepreneur, my jaw literally dropped. Prior to reading her book, it never occurred to me that a woman like Walker could even exist. African American history, such as it was taught in my early school years, was biased and flimsy at best. That her life story was not a standard part of the curriculum was offensive to me.


I was taught about Anne Frank, Amelia Earhart, Florence Nightingale, Susan B Anthony, Joan of Arc… But where my people were concerned, all I learned was that we were slaves and one day a slave named Harriet Tubman chose to devote her life to freeing her follow slaves from bondage. An important and inspiring story no doubt, but as a black girl, it would have been so edifying to have learned about Madam C.J. Walker, too.

After discovering her, I devoured everything I could find about Madam Walker, which included a second biography, On Her Own Ground The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, also written by her great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Perry Bundles. There were also a handful of other biographies and two novelised accounts of her life.

Fast forward to 2018. When I started to write Out of No Way, I returned to these biographies as well as material I found on online, namely old Walker advertisements for her hair care products. On Her Own Ground proved invaluable for providing timelines, dates, locations, events, and names, which became the foundation for my poems: the who, what, when, where, and to some degree, the why. But the thing that became clear to me in re-reading the books a second time around was how starved I felt for personal details, for a more intimate voice, particularly with regard to Madam Walker’s relationship to her daughter, A’Lelia, as a working mother. Because of my deep desire for more intimate knowledge of their relationship, the mother/daughter dynamic became the overarching theme of Out of No Way, the lens through which all the poems were written.


Like any successful entrepreneur, Madam C.J. Walker was driven. How else as a black woman could she have become America’s first self-made female millionaire during one of the most racially violent periods in American history? As a mother myself, I’ve always been intrigued by highly successful working moms. Knowing that great achievement requires great sacrifice I wondered, what were Madam Walker’s sacrifices?


I started with this question, and it led to many more: What did money mean to Sarah? How did her daughter feel about their journey from rags to riches? What, if any, were the drawbacks of their wealth? Did Sarah’s ambitions have an impact on Lelia’s sense of self? Could the death of her own mother when she was a child have compromised Sarah’s more nurturing instincts? And how did they really feel about their hair?

I took all these questions and attempted to answer them through verse. While I enjoy a lot of contemporary poetry, I felt her story would be best served by turning to the kind of poetry that relied on meter, rhyme, and structure. So I re-read a lot of my favourite ‘old school’ poets (Hughes, Cullins, Poe, Angelou, Yeats, to name a few) as part of my research as well.


I then organised the research into themes, or issues, that were relevant to their lives. Then, in thinking about my overarching theme of the mother/daughter relationship, a flash of inspiration hit me. The words Mother and Daughter gave way to a kind of acrostic structure that allowed me to divide the themes into chapters so that the entire book itself became an acrostic poem.


Money

Orphan

Travel

Hair

Envy

Resilience

Death

Art

U…

Generations

Hatred

Transcendence

Education

Regrets

Once I landed on this structure, I had another flash of inspiration — to write each chapter in a different form of poetry. This made the task infinitely more enjoyable. I love working within a defined structure. I am most creative when I have boundaries, and working within the boundaries of say a haiku or a sonnet meant that I had to focus my research into a fine point for each poem, which in turn helped me to stay on theme. The experience gave me a newfound appreciation and respect for poetry and for great poets, from Shakespeare to the rapper Stormzy.


It is my hope that Out of No Way will introduce readers to Madam C.J. Walker’s incredible legacy while also serving as a kind of instructional guide to different poetic forms. At the very least I hope it will introduce young readers to the joys of structure, rhyme, and meter.

About the Author

Rojé Augustin is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her first novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones, won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in African American fiction. She wrote the novel while living in London and Sydney as a stay-at-home-mom. She established Breaknight Films shortly after her move to Sydney in 2009 to develop and produce television projects across a range of formats, including television, web, and audio. Her first Sydney based project was a podcast and visual web series called The Right Space, which explores the relationship between creatives and their workspace. Rojé continues to work as a television producer while also writing in her spare time. She is an Australian citizen who currently lives in Sydney with her Aussie husband and two daughters.

Add to GoodReads:

Out of No Way

Available on Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule:

Sept. 9: The Book Connection (Review)
Sept. 16: Anthony Avina Blog (Guest Post)
Sept. 18: Anthony Avina Blog (Review)
Sept. 23: Impressions in Ink (Review)
Sept. 24: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (Review)
Sept. 29 Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Oct. 5: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
Oct. 8: Everything Distils into Reading (Review)
Oct. 14: Suko’s Notebook (Review)
Oct. 20: True Book Addict (Guest Post)
Oct. 26: CelticLady’s Reviews (Review)
Oct. 29: True Book Addict (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #OutofNoWay #MadamC.J.Walker #RojeAugustin

Enter the Giveaway:

2 copies available (digital for international entrants; print for U.S./Canada entrants) Giveaway ends Oct. 31, 2020.

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Liz Butcher: September 16th, 2020

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’ve loved writing ever since I was a little girl, but it wasn’t until my late twenties that the desire to put pen to paper again became strong enough to focus on it.

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What inspired you to write your book?

The concept of déjà vu has always fascinated me, especially in relation to old places and buildings. That’s how the original concept formed—a place you feel in your bones know, yet you’ve never been there. It grew darker from there!

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Curisoity killed the cat? Ha ha! Probably that things aren’t always as they seem, and that life—and time—aren’t black and white concepts.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve held a fascination with all things paranormal since I was a little girl, so it comes naturally as an adult to write about other worldly things. 

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would sit down with Mena. She’s such a complex character that you don’t really get to see a lot of beyond Camille’s perception of her. I would ask her if she had any regrets, or, given what she now knows about the Manor and her family line, would she do everything exactly the same?

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Hmm, I don’t know that one has really garnered more readers than the other. Though twitter is certainly a great platform for connecting with the writing community as a whole. 

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Don’t waste time perfecting your draft. It’s okay to write rubbish the first time around, just get the story down. That’s why we edit! Obtain as much constructive feedback as you can, but also trust your instincts. Most importantly, do it for the love of it!

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What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m working on switching to writing as a full-time job which is so exciting. I’m in the process of querying my next book, working on a serial and have three other novels in the plotting stages. I’m keeping busy!

About the Author

Liz Butcher resides in Australia, with her husband, daughter, and their two cats. She’s a self-confessed nerd with a BA in psychology and an insatiable fascination for learning. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Liz enjoys road trips, astronomy, music and knitting.

https://lizbutcherauthor.wixsite.com/lizbutcher

Posted in reviews

The Moonlit World (Worldshapers 3) by Edward Willett Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Shawna and Karl find themselves in a brand new world filled with untold horrors and unspeakable truths in author Edward Willett’s “The Moonlit World”, the third book in the Worldshapers series. 

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The Synopsis

The third book in the Worldshaper portal fantasy series by an Aurora Award-winning author, in which one woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.

Fresh from their adventures in a world inspired by Jules Verne, Shawna Keys and Karl Yatsar find themselves in a world that mirrors much darker tales. Beneath a full moon that hangs motionless in the sky, they’re forced to flee terrifying creatures that can only be vampires…only to run straight into a pack of werewolves.

As the lycanthropes and undead battle, Karl is spirited away to the castle of the vampire queen. Meanwhile, Shawna finds short-lived refuge in a fortified village, where she learns that something has gone horribly wrong with the world in which she finds herself. Once, werewolves, vampires, and humans lived there harmoniously. Now every group is set against every other, and entire villages are being mysteriously emptied of people.

Somehow, Karl and Shawna must reunite, discover the mysteries of the Shaping of this strange world, and escape it for the next, without being sucked dry, devoured, or—worst of all—turned into creatures of the night themselves.

Beneath the frozen, gibbous moon, allies, enemies, surprises, adventures, and unsettling revelations await.

The Review

What a gripping fantasy and sci-fi world this author has crafted. Although I’m new to this series, I immediately felt enthralled by the larger than life mythos of this series and the wonderful world-building the author has done here. 

The story takes readers into it’s most horror-centric form yet, finding a world inhabited by werewolves, vampires, humans, and war. Dark truths and hidden secrets are uncovered as the search for this world’s shaper take the heroes into situations they could never have predicted. 

The character development of Shawna and Karl was well-conceived in this novel, and readers will be shocked by some of the twists and turn each character undergoes throughout the narrative. The imagery of the world the characters find themselves in feels very cinematic in its approach, crafting a visual in the reader’s minds all the while. 

The Verdict

A powerful, lengthy yet entertaining sci-fi and fantasy epic, author Edward Willett’s “The Moonlit World” is the perfect third chapter of this engaging series. With a major cliffhanger and new characters that readers will fall in love with, this is one of those fantasy books that fits in perfectly with the upcoming fall season. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than sixty books of science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction for readers of all ages. He won Canada’s Aurora Award for Best Long-Form Work in English for Marseguro (DAW), and a Saskatchewan Book Award for his young-adult fantasy Spirit Singer (Shadowpaw Press), and has been shortlisted for both awards many times. His podcast, The Worldshapers (www.theworldshapers.com), featuring conversations with other science fiction and fantasy authors, also won an Aurora Award for Best Fan Related Work. Born in New Mexico, Willett moved to Weyburn, Saskatchewan from Texas with his parents as a child, and began his career as a newspaper reporter for, and eventually editor of, the weekly Weyburn Review. An actor and singer as well as an author, he now lives in Regina with his wife, Margaret Anne Hodges, P.Eng. They have one daughter. www.edwardwillett.com