Posted in reviews

Interview with Authors Noelle Ihli and Jeanne Allen

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

Both Jeanne and I studied English and editing in college. When we started working together on Fourth Wave (our Etsy shop), we were both taking on freelance editing and writing assignments as well. Basically, we’ve both been writing for a very long time. But this is our first foray into publishing! 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Jeanne and I are avid readers. We essentially had an hours-long book club every week while we printed our orders. Naturally, we were interested in reading about e-commerce (specifically e-commerce related to Etsy’s platform). We quickly realized that the available resources were slim. We determined (much later than we should have) that there was a hole in the market, and we had the experience and the expertise to fill that hole. 

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

Sometimes how-to books (especially business how-to books) feel very coy to me. They’re full of hooks and big promises that don’t necessarily translate to real, actionable advice. When we set out to write “The Ultimate Guide to Selling on Etsy,” we wanted to write a book full of down-to-earth, ACTIONABLE advice: the kind of advice you’d get from a good friend, giving you the inside scoop about how to succeed on Etsy. I hope our readers come away with a sense of direction and confidence. Etsy is a truly incredible, unique e-commerce platform. It’s growing like crazy. People crave the handmade, one-of-a-kind vibe that Etsy offers in a world full of cheap, fast, bulk products.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

While Jeanne and I started our careers in publishing, life sometimes has other ideas in mind! We got sucked into the world of ecommerce (and couldn’t be happier!). After learning a LOT and successfully growing our shop, we decided to tap back into our roots in writing and publishing to create a book that could help other Etsy sellers.

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

Etsy is an evolving platform with new changes rolling out often. Facebook has allowed us to quickly and easily share short- and long-form updates and new tips with readers to keep them updated on changes that may affect their shop. 

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

Spend twenty minutes writing every day. You don’t have to get a particular amount accomplished. You just need to carve out the time and do it. Some people are really prolific and enjoy pumping out books. But for most people, slow and consistent wins the day. 

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

Definitely. Expect a screen printing reference! We’ve learned that the way we create our t-shirts is both unconventional and ideal for beginners. There’s so much we wish we had known before diving headlong into our specific niche (T-shirts!) on Etsy.

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About the Authors

Etsy is an incredible platform. And if you know what works, you can be successful. We know because we did it. Our Etsy shop started with a single listing in 2013. We’re proud to say that it ranks in the top 1% and brings in 6 figures.

If you’re like us, you’re probably wondering if you have what it takes to be successful on Etsy. If your product is good enough. And even if you’ve seen some success, you may still think of your Etsy shop as your “little hobby.” And we want you to knock that off right now. We’ve found that the people who run Etsy shops are some of the most creative, tenacious people we know. And we have no doubt that you are one of them. You can do this. You DO have what it takes.

And that’s why we wrote this book. Because we’ve figured out what actually works, and we love helping other women (and the occasional awesome dude) take their fledgling Etsy shop, and make it into something that gives back to them what they’re putting into it.

About Us:

Noelle is a boy mom to Luke and Max, and a cat mom to Michelle. When she’s willing to wear pants (which is less often than she aspires to wear them), she can be found in mom jeans. Her husband Nate is the best person she knows. The two things she loves most (in addition to Etsy and the aforementioned children and husband) are murder and horses. (Separately, never together.)

Jeanne is also a mom—to Kaylee, Eileen, and Tober. (Yes, Tober. The short story is that she let Kaylee name her baby brother when she was five. She swears she would have stepped in if Kaylee had added too many Xs or Zs, but luckily, she hadn’t learned those letters yet). Her husband Bryan is, like Noelle’s Nate, pretty dang awesome and supportive. Especially when she decided to veer off a more standard career in technical editing and jumped headfirst into the world of Etsy selling.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/758496595078762

https://www.etsy.com/shop/fourthwaveapparel/

Posted in reviews

Interview with Author Tyler Wittkofsky

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

I am a multi-genre author, poet, and mental health advocate from Leland, North Carolina. I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I currently work in communications and public relations.

Growing up, my grandmother was a high school English teacher, assistant principal, principal, and later my elementary school principal. She encouraged my creative writing style and helped me to grow into the writer I am today.

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What inspired you to write your book?

I had never written a romance novel before and wanted to give it a go, drawing inspiration from some real-life events.

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

The goal of his book is for people to understand what a long-distance relationship is, the amount of work that goes into making it a successful relationship. There is also the underlying theme of how mental illness can affect a relationship and how two people can work together to overcome those struggles. 

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always seen myself as a hopeless romantic. I love romance movies and shows and rom-coms especially.

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

I would sit down with Kenney and simply ask him ‘Why?’ I don’t want to say too much more and give away the book.

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

I would say Twitter has connected me with the most readers, and friends.

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

Don’t give up. It’s hard in the beginning, it really is. The struggle to find out what marketing tools work best, how to write a blurb, transitions, there is a lot that goes into writing. In the beginning, it is easy to get discouraged and feel like it isn’t going anywhere but stick with it. Write for yourself first and foremost and the rest will come.

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

“The Seeds of Love” was book one in a five-part series called “Sunflower Kisses”. I’m really excited about that. I also have another work in progress that is for my grandmother. I just started writing for InTheCrescent.com, an online magazine focused on the supernatural. 

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About the Author

Tyler Wittkofsky was born and raised in Leland, North Carolina, mere minutes from Historic Wilmington and Southport. He graduated from South Brunswick High School and went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Growing up, his grandmother was a high school English teacher, assistant principal, principal, and later his elementary school principal. She encouraged his creative writing style and helped him to grow into the writer he is today.

He spends much of his time volunteering for nonprofits and giving his time back to the youth in his community. He was named one of Brunswick County’s Future 10 in 2017, the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional of the Year in 2018, and one of the StarNews 40 Under 40 in 2019 for his passion for helping others discover the jewel that is Northern Brunswick County.

He currently resides in Leland, North Carolina with his fiancé Grace and dogs Dutch and Belle.

https://linktr.ee/wittkofsky

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Noor Ashour

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

Well, I’m a 19-year-old girl majoring in Computer Science. I would say that I liked writing since I was little. English is not my first language, so back then it was hard writing stories in English. But after coming to America and reading countless books from my school’s library, I was able to improve my English well enough to write properly.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

 I actually wrote it when I was 15, titled Eorthe at the time (Old-English for Earth, don’t ask why I chose such an obscure name because I honestly don’t know). But shortly after publishing it, I felt kind of ashamed of it. Most of the reviews (no more than 10, all received review requests from me) averaged three stars, with the common critique being jarring dialogue, confusing plot-line, too many characters, etc. But during quarantine, my mother commented about how it was a shame for me to just abandon my book like that and pretend it doesn’t exist. Thus, I decided to rewrite and improve it as best as I can. I renamed it Myosotis, too, because I felt like Eorthe doesn’t fit.

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

Hmm, I wrote this book with a theme of “being forgotten” in mind, it was mainly created to explain why the world in the book was called Land of the Forgotten. As the characters described, it was made for those that were forgotten or abandoned by their society and home, and thus this Land would allow them to start a new life with others that have shared their pain in one way or another. It gives them a community when the previous had failed them. This also explains why it has such a diverse and unique population, because everyone has roots from thousands of different dimensions.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always gravitated to fantasy novels. I know that Heroes of Olympus inspired me when I made the first version of this book. I also liked The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland, particularly its illustrations. I wished I could draw some for my book had it not been for my lack of drawing skills. But maybe I will be able to one day!

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

That’s a tough question. I would probably ask them questions that I was unable to answer properly when I was developing them, such as the backstory of Ellina, or the true goals/motivations of Justus. I would want to ask non-appearing or non-important characters, such as the citizens of Land of the Forgotten, about their day-to-day lives in both the current era and the previous. This would help me cultivate the world’s lore better, just generally interviewing the “average” bystander in the Land.

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

Actually, I don’t think I have any readership at the moment! I’m not interested in marketing this book, you see. I want unsuspecting people to stumble upon it instead, I think that would make it more valuable or interesting. But I am looking for honest reviews around the web and emailing book blogs if they’re interested, mostly to just get feedback and know what I did well or could improve on.

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

You’ve probably heard of this already, but the “Show, Don’t Tell” rule is pretty important. Of course, there are times where you should tell, but try to show your characters’ fears, quirks, values, etc. There’s also Chekov’s Gun, a rule where every element/event/character in the story should have some purpose or meaning, such as foreshadowing. Of course, you can have some red herrings that deceive the reader, especially with detective or mystery novels, but it’s also a good idea to foreshadow events to let the reader go “I knew it!”

Also, this is more towards fanfic writers, but please proofread your work and add spacing between paragraphs, there’s too many fanfics out there where the whole thing is just a big block of text due to no spacing between paragraphs. More importantly, do NOT describe eyes as orbs, that’s just weird! This also applies to a lot of things, don’t use weird adjectives or names too much just for the sake of sounding fancy. Make sure there is some purpose or meaning behind it, like purposely using gross adjectives to gross out the reader and show how grotesque the scene is.

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

I would say I’m pretty much done with books, it’s just torture I don’t want to bear anymore. However, another kind of torture I am bearing right now is a point-and-click game I’m working on by myself. The progress is very slow, but once I’m done with the first part of the game out of four, I will hopefully start doing devlog updates and announce it somewhere on my Itchio page. I’ve attached a little sneak peek of the main character.

Posted in reviews

Interview with Author Anna J. Walner

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

Anna began her journey to becoming an Author at a young age, escaping into the world of books. Visiting far away places and going on thrilling adventures, while dealing with Social Anxiety.

Over time her own voice as an Author began to take shape.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

My own adoption. Amelia is quite honestly . . . me. There’s a lot of my self in her character and her dialogue. Growing up I only knew that my heritage was of an Australian descent. I took my adoption and my story, and I set the story in Australia as a nod to my own background a culture.

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

Amelia is brave, fearless, and strong. She knows her own mind, and doesn’t stray from what she believes is right. I wrote her as a strong female lead to inspire young readers. It’s the kind of character I want my daughter to look up to.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always had a fascination with the unknown, the paranormal, and vampires. The mythos surrounding them, the origin of the stories, and why they’ve persisted throughout time. Garkain was a way for me to explore those curiosities, and weave a believable blend of Fantasy with reality.

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

I would love to sit down with Anatole, the eldest of the core characters and ask him what is was like to grow up in 18th century, to make the trip to New Holland, and what the land of Australia looked like then.

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

It varies honestly. I’ve researched Aboriginal Culture, European History, Celtic and Druid Ceremonies, and even the Gaelic language. I’ve drawn inspiration and accuracy from many different places throughout the series.

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

To believe in yourself and your voice as an Author. To set realistic goals for themselves and grow a supportive community of other writers.

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

LarougoBook Two of The Uluru Legacy will be releasing November 2nd, 2021, and is available for preorder now. The series will contain four books, and as of yet, I have not set a date for Book Three. But The Legacy will continue . . . .

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About the Author

Anna is the author of two fantasy series, The Enrovia Series, and The Uluru Legacy. She is the author of five books, which range from fantasy to memoir.

A mother and a published author, she finds time for her passion in the evenings. Growing up as an introvert she gravitated to the classics, and fantastic worlds as a means of escape.

Over time the urge to create her own stories took control.

https://annajwalner.com/

https://www.instagram.com/annajwalner/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE4ybn-YRrDMytAUKN9Bu9g

https://www.bookbub.com/books/garkain-book-one-of-the-uluru-legacy-series-by-anna-j-walner

Posted in reviews

A Season in Lights by Gregory Erich Phillips Review

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

Two people who dream of glory through their musical and theatrical careers learn the sweetness of new love and the painstaking process of chasing one’s dreams in author Gregory Erich Philips novel “A Season in Lights”.

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The Synopsis

Passion, ambition and escape in the colorful artistic underworld off-Broadway, Cammie, a dancer in her mid-thirties, has just landed her first part in a show since coming to New York City. Yet the tug of familial obligation and the guilt of what she sacrificed to be there weigh down her dancing feet. 

Her lover, Tom, an older piano player, came to the city as a young man in the 1980s with a story eerily in tune with Cammie’s own. Through their triumphs and failures, both learn the fleeting nature of glory, the sweetness of new love, and how a dream come true isn’t cherished until it passes. The bright lights of the stage intoxicate, while degradation and despair lurk close behind the curtain. 

Their sagas are marred by two pandemics, AIDS in the 1980s and COVID-19 today, which ravaged the performing arts community, leaving a permanent scar on those who lived through them. The poignant intersection of their stories reveals a love affair unbound by time, reaching across decades through the notes of a piano’s remembered song. 

The Review

A truly emotional and heartfelt, character-driven narrative. The author has done a masterful job of blending the backstories and backdrops of both protagonists in this narrative, mirroring their experiences and personalities as they grow not only as individuals but as romantic interests as well. The need to protect and care for a sibling, the pursuit of their dreams, and facing health crisis on a global scale mark the familiar paths both characters walk in this narrative.

What really stood out to me was the novel’s connection to New York City. The novel expertly delves into the nooks and crannies of not only the city itself but the people who live within it, painting a very vivid image of the novel’s setting in our own minds. It got to be like the city itself came alive and become a character, which I have found to be an enduring trait of some of the best New York-led narratives. 

The Verdict

A masterful, driven, and engaging read, author Gregory Erich Philips’s “A Season in Lights” is a must-read novel. The breathtaking scenery described in the author’s brilliant writing and the emotional impact of both character’s stories and struggles really made the narrative come alive, drawing the reader in further and further into the narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

From a prolific literary family, Gregory Erich Phillips tells aspirational stories through strong, relatable characters that transcend time and place. Living in Seattle, Washington, he is also an accomplished tango dancer and musician.

http://gregoryerichphillips.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-season-in-lights-by-gregory-erich-phillips

Posted in reviews

Wasted Youth: A Flint Punk Rock Memoir by John Ribner Review

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

In a bid to escape toxic and abusive surroundings, Flint, Michigan native J.P. Ribner found solace in his pursuit of Punk Rock glory, and in this memoir the author holds no punches as he explores his journey to find self-worth and in the end discover himself in the memoir, “Wasted Youth: A Flint Punk Rock Memoir”.

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The Synopsis

In Flint, Michigan, the water isn’t the only thing that’s toxic!

Growing up in Flint left its mark on J.P. Ribner. Punk rock offered an escape from his abusive surroundings. At 16, he set out to become the singer in a punk rock band.

In this gritty, hard-hitting memoir, Ribner shares his experiences with:

  • Dysfunctional family dynamics,
  • Back-stabbing band politics,
  • A drive-by shooting,
  • Being de-platformed,
  • A drugged drink,
  • Violent identity politics,
  • Divorce,
  • The loss of friendships,
  • And much more.

Ribner’s writing pulls no punches. He daringly shares the blistering details of his desperate search for self-worth. He ends with a brutal deconstruction of his fiery disaster.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, he offers hope by sharing life lessons he’s learned along the way.

The Review

This was such an insightful and gritty memoir! The author does a fantastic job of painting a picture of life growing up both personally and as a whole in Flint, Michigan in the 1980s and beyond. The detail and the emotion that the author puts into his writing as he describes some of the harrowing moments of his life, from his first betrayal from a former band member to the abuse both verbally and physically he suffered at home and even the shocking events that led to the author losing the friends who had always been in his corner. 

What really stands out in this narrative is the expertise with which the author balances setting with a theme in this memoir. The town and era for which this story takes place really capture the real experience of not only life in Flint, Michigan but the familiar but crucial nature that drove so many young people to embrace and love the punk-rock scene. As a fan of the rock genre overall, it’s always fascinating to see the path that brought musicians of all kinds to the bands and genres they loved. This, blended with the introspective nature of the memoir’s narrative that saw the author examining not only the foundation for his youth’s hardships, but his role in both his failures and his successes later in life, made this a true one-of-a-kind read.

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The Verdict

A brilliant, honest, and engaging memoir, author John P. Ribner’s “Wasted Youth” is a must-read nonfiction book. The relatable and memorable way the author delivers the heartfelt and at times brutal reality of his life growing up, and the lessons that led from heartbreak to hope found, made this a mesmerizing and enlightening read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born in Flint, Michigan. Raised by narcissists. Novelist. Singer. Songwriter. Martial artist. Social critic. Victim of a drive-by shooting. Author of “Wasted Youth: A Flint Punk Rock Memoir” and four other books.

Posted in reviews

The Cursed Fae (Accessory to Magic #2) by Kathrin Hutson Review

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

Jessica Northwood must deal with a magical storm of sorts as magical beings seek her out, her past threatens to catch up to her, memories she thought she’d had removed begin to come back to her, and a fugitive Fae seeks her aid, risking her returning to the witch she used to be, in author Kathrin Hutson’s “The Cursed Fae”, the second book in the ACCESSORIES TO MAGIC series. 

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The Synopsis

The bank is a dud. The past is a joke. And the customer is always right. Until they’re not…

Jessica Northwood thought she could handle running Winthrop & Dirledge Security Banking. Turns out she doesn’t even have a handle on herself.

The bank has lost its mind, magicals hunt Jessica down to ask when she’ll open the Gateway, and both her criminal and personal pasts are catching up to her. In the worst way possible. Now she has to fix the bank and its serious attitude problem as the memories she paid someone to remove slowly seep back into her mind. Which was supposed to be impossible.

While her present unravels and the magical world prepares for the task Jessica has no idea how to complete, the fae Leandras returns to add to the chaos. In return for her help, he promises answers. But aiding and abetting another magical fugitive means Jessica must be the witch she swore she’d never be again. And this time, there’s no turning back.

Ilona Andrews’ Innkeeper Chronicles meets The Magicians in this snarky, fast-paced Urban Fantasy Adventure from International Bestselling Author Kathrin Hutson. 

The Review

This was an engaging and brilliant next chapter in this LGBTQ-driven fantasy. The novel does an excellent job of peeling back the layers of protagonist Jessica’s backstory more and more in this sequel, highlighting not only her haunted past and her relationships outside of the Bank before her job there, but mirroring her relationships being built inside of the Bank as well, including newcomer Leandras. The Fae is not only a welcome addition to the cast but his mystery and level of suspicion about his loyalties makes him an intriguing part of the narrative moving forward in the series.

The maturity and humor found in this novel were a major hook and the balance that the author found was quite appealing. As a fan of series like The Magicians, it was great to dive into the mythology and magick of these stories while also balancing out the character interactions and wit that the writing had with more mature storytelling. 

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The Verdict

A wondrous, masterful, and entertaining next chapter in this LGBTQ Fantasy series, author Kathrin Hutson’s “The Cursed Fae” is an excellent next chapter in the ACCESSORIES TO MAGIC series. The balance of suspense that the protagonist’s past and her interactions with former friends and foes alike really set the tone for the narrative, while the growing mystery surrounding this Gateway and her role in the mysterious upcoming events really keeps readers hooked on this narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

International Bestselling Author Kathrin Hutson has been writing Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and LGBTQ Speculative Fiction since 2000. With her wildly messed-up heroes, excruciating circumstances, impossible decisions, and Happily Never Afters, she’s a firm believer in piling on the intense action, showing a little character skin, and never skimping on violent means to bloody ends. Kathrin is an active member of SFWA and HWA and lives in Vermont with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

For updates on new releases, exclusive deals, and dark surprises you won’t find anywhere else, sign up to Kathrin’s newsletter at kathrinhutsonfiction.com/subscribe.

https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-cursed-fae-accessory-to-magic-book-2-by-kathrin-hutson

Posted in reviews

Cryptic Clockwork by Renley N. Chu Review

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

One writer attempts to cope with the trauma of his past in late author Renley N. Chu’s autobiographical book of poetry and prose, “Cryptic Clockwork”. 

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The Synopsis

Cryptic Clockwork is an autobiographical series of prose and poetry he wrote through difficult experiences.This begins with the loss of his parents, and continues through his experiences in his abusive adoptive family, the loss of a close friend through suicide, and a toxic, abusive relationship with his ex-boyfriend. They give a glimpse into Ren’s internal state as he processed through past and ongoing trauma, his grief, inability to speak, struggles with mental health, and homophobia.

The Review

This was quite an incredible and moving read. The author was truly talented, having found a way to expertly and subtly traverse the complex emotions of his own heart and mind and somehow managed to tie his experiences into the greater experience of life overall. The tragic and heartbreaking beginning of loss and memory speaks to those who have ever lost someone truly special in our hearts, while the hope that the author found after years of neglect and abusive relationships will easily speak to the spark of hope we all hold in our hearts in the darkest of times.

The writing was quite eloquent in its approach. The balance of poetry and prose was profound in this autobiographical work of art, and the way the author seemed to tap not only into our own emotions but into complex emotions that really defies definition really showcased the complexity of his own mind and heart, showing what a true writer and creative soul he was.

The Verdict

A heartfelt, thought-provoking, and memorable book of poetry and prose, author Renley N. Chu’s “Cryptic Clockwork” is a must-read autobiography. The beauty and heart that shines through in this narrative are impossible to ignore, and while fans will be hard-pressed to not have a tear in their eye, they will definitely have difficulty putting the book down as well. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Author of Cryptic Clockwork, an autographical collection of prose and poems, and Melody of Your Heart, a short story anthology about life, love, and loss. These works were compiled after his death by Tiffany Chu, in hopes they bring hope and encouragement to anyone going through dark times.

Born in England as Leonel M. M. Santiago on May 14, 2003, Renley lost both his parents in a fire that permanently damaged his vocal cords and lungs at the age of five, leaving him unable to speak. He became Justin Steele at the age of eight when adopted into the Steele family.

Through a shared love of writing, Renley met Tiffany Chu in 2020 and they formed a close friendship. At the beginning of 2021, even as his health rapidly deteriorated, he prepared to move to the U.S. and become part of the Chu family.

On May 18, 2021, he changed his legal name to Renley Nicolas Chu.

About a week after his eighteenth birthday, Renley suffered a severe attack leading to lung and heart failure; he passed away on the morning of May 25, 2021, three days before he would have left for the U.S.

Renley’s last wish to come home was fulfilled on June 1, when his ashes were brought to San Diego and scattered at Los Penasquitos Canyon.

He left behind numerous samples of his writing, both personal as well as fictional. Each piece he wrote exudes the rawness and authenticity of his heart, his emotions, his experiences. His style tends to be stream-of-consciousness and metaphorical with a sense of immediacy and strong emotion.

Rest in Peace, Renley Chu (May 14, 2002 – May 25, 2021) 

 InstagramFacebookGoodreads.

https://linktr.ee/renleynchu.author

Posted in reviews

Melody of Your Heart by Renley N. Chu and Tiffany Chu Review

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

A short collection of short stories take center stage as themes of love, loss, and hope come alive in co-authors Renley N. Chu and Tiffany Chu’s “Melody of Your Heart”.

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The Synopsis

Melody of Your Heart is a short story anthology that we wrote together. They are stories with themes of love, loss, and connection, exploring different kinds of love.

The Review

What a compelling and moving short story collection. This group of stories really does an amazing job of weaving together stories of love lost, love found, and the hope we find in the wake of loss. The chemistry between the authors and their writing style is felt in every tale, highlighting their shared experiences while also delving into the bond they built with one another.

One story, in particular, stood out to me right off the bat, and that was Walls. The story of a man sent to prison suddenly and forced to be separated from the person he loves, only to feel her slip away and the world starts to forget him entirely, really did an amazing job of highlighting the walls we often force ourselves into or are forced into when fighting for love. We try so desperately to hold onto what we had, that sometimes we lose sight of who we’ve become until you are the only one left behind in a world that moved on without you long ago. It’s a thought-provoking and mesmerizing tale that touches just the tip of the iceberg in this collection. 

The Verdict

An engaging, heartfelt, and thoughtful collection of short stories, authors Renley N. Chu and Tiffany Chu’s “Melody of Your Heart” is a must-read collection. The passion and eloquence with which the authors approached the narratives within these stories really showed the depth and love that the two authors brought from their own lives and into the tales. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Author of Cryptic Clockwork, an autographical collection of prose and poems, and Melody of Your Heart, a short story anthology about life, love, and loss. These works were compiled after his death by Tiffany Chu, in hopes they bring hope and encouragement to anyone going through dark times.

Born in England as Leonel M. M. Santiago on May 14, 2003, Renley lost both his parents in a fire that permanently damaged his vocal cords and lungs at the age of five, leaving him unable to speak. He became Justin Steele at the age of eight when adopted into the Steele family.

Through a shared love of writing, Renley met Tiffany Chu in 2020 and they formed a close friendship. At the beginning of 2021, even as his health rapidly deteriorated, he prepared to move to the U.S. and become part of the Chu family.

On May 18, 2021, he changed his legal name to Renley Nicolas Chu.

About a week after his eighteenth birthday, Renley suffered a severe attack leading to lung and heart failure; he passed away on the morning of May 25, 2021, three days before he would have left for the U.S.

Renley’s last wish to come home was fulfilled on June 1, when his ashes were brought to San Diego and scattered at Los Penasquitos Canyon.

He left behind numerous samples of his writing, both personal as well as fictional. Each piece he wrote exudes the rawness and authenticity of his heart, his emotions, his experiences. His style tends to be stream-of-consciousness and metaphorical with a sense of immediacy and strong emotion.

Rest in Peace, Renley Chu (May 14, 2002 – May 25, 2021) 

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