Author Interview with Jonas Salzgeber

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

I started reading voraciously as a young adult. I really enjoyed reading about things and improving myself as a person. I wanted to get better. My brother Nils was very similar in that aspect and at some point we decided to start a blog. So I began writing articles. People enjoyed it and we continued.

What inspired you to write your book?

I was hooked with Stoic philosophy. It was intriguing how your mindset can help you in daily life. I was struggling with destructive feelings and Stoicism helped me immensely. I devoured countless books on the subject and felt there’s something missing. A book that simply explains this wonderful philosophy. I knew the topic, had an idea for a book, and started doing more research explicitly for the book.

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

There are simple strategies that can help you deal more effectively with life’s challenges. Whatever life throws at you, you have the power within to make the best with it. You just need to bring in the necessary awareness to observe your thoughts, the willingness to reflect upon your actions, and the decisiveness to choose to change what’s not helpful.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I read mainly nonfiction. I want to learn and get better every day. So, that’s what I write about. Sure, I like to sprinkle some storytelling for the taste.

You spent some time in your book exploring some of the early philosophers who brought Stoicism to life. Of those philosophers, which would you want to speak with if given the opportunity and what would you ask them if given the chance?

Marcus Aurelius. I’d ask him about being a Stoic in heart and at the same time being Roman Emperor leading wars where thousands of innocent people die.

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

Probably Facebook. But we’re not big into social media. What helped us most getting readers was organic search traffic that grew over time. And word of mouth.

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

The inner resistance that’s holding you back is something all creators experience. Everybody needs to go through this fight between your ears. There’s no way around. “What is to give light, must endure burning.” This quote by Viktor Frankl has helped me in countless moments of darkness. It’s supposed to be hard.

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

Haha. I don’t know what the future holds in store for me. Sure, we have projects lined up. The next book? I don’t know yet. Maybe something with my brother about powerful mindsets to adopt for a calmer and more resilient life. But that’s really just a fleeting idea.

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Short author blurb:

Jonas Salzgeber is the author of The Little Book of Stoicism and blogs for a small army of remarkable people at njlifehacks.com. He’s an expert in Stoic philosophy and passionate about self-made dark chocolate and buttered coffee with collagen.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NJlifehacks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NJlifehacks

Website: https://njlifehacks.com/the-little-book-of-stoicism/


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Thad Saves the Galaxy: An Epic Space Adventure by C.T. Fleck Review

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

A carefree young man seeking adventure and purpose in life finds his world turned upside down when an alien woman named Zinka draws him into a galactic battle like no other in author C.T. Fleck’s novel Thad Saves the Galaxy: An Epic Space Adventure. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

When adventure calls, sometimes it’s best to send it to voicemail 

If Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure with a bit of Dude, Where’s My Car? sprinkled in sounds like a good time, you’ll love Thad Saves the Galaxy!

When an alien named Zinka drops into Thaddeus Kinglsey’s life, he finally gets the adventure he’s been waiting for. Zinka is an exiled Aldinian who is being pursued across the galaxy by the evil tyrant Derask. She crashed on Earth and needs help repairing her ship. Thad jumps at the chance to do something extraordinary and begins an adventure he will never forget. Unfortunately, Derask learns of Thad’s involvement and destroys the Earth to punish him.

With the Earth a smoldering cloud of dust, Thad and Zinka begin a quest across the galaxy to put an end to Derask’s tyranny. This dynamic twosome recruits a colorful cast of characters to their cause: Tik, a mighty Tauran with a penchant for mind altering substances, Pangaea, a sarcastic humanoid who is more then she seems, Danny, the only other Earthling left who happens to be a dreadlocked pot dealer, Leonidas, a lovesick Voltan hero, and Preet, the shapeshifting Queen of the Mercenaries. But they need more than a gang of friends to defeat Derask. They need ships, and lots of them.

Can this oddball team find a way to take down the galaxy’s most powerful dictator? Does ‘winging it’ ever really work? Can you find love on a planet full of mercenaries? These questions and more are answered in this whimsical romp across the Milky Way.

Thad Saves the Galaxy is a humorous galactic adventure with a vibrant cast of human and alien characters, space battles, and outrageous fun.

Download Thad Saves the Galaxy and join the valiant crew of the Gravity Bong today!

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The Review

This hilarious dark comedy and sci-fi parody is brilliantly executed. The author does a fantastic job of world building and creating a mythology that readers can instantly get sucked into. Awakening the hero within this week smoking, carefree and comical young man, Thad becomes the hero nobody asked for, or quite frankly wanted. Yet his odd way of looking at life and humor amazingly compliment the more tragic and emotional story elements introduced throughout the novel.

The twists and turns this story take will certainly keep readers on the edge of their seat as they explore the Milky Way Galaxy in a whole new light. A more adult take on the classic sci-fi and space epic adventure genre, readers will laugh and cry as they follow Thad as he tackles themes of racism, homophobia, gender equality and the inherent battle of good vs evil, all the while he smokes weed and finds new and hilarious ways of getting into trouble. 

The Verdict

This is a must read sci-fi adventure and dark comedy like no other. A humor filled adventure that blends elements of Seth MacFarlane’s recent space epic show The Orville with George Lucas’s world building in the Star Wars universe and the humor of a Seth Rogen film. You are not going to want a single second of this hilarious book, so be sure to pick up your copy of Thad Saves the Universe by C.T. Fleck today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

C.T. Fleck is the pen name of Corey Hofecker. After dropping out of college, for the second time, he discovered the joys that are inherent in both reading and writing, and that his previous distaste of said subjects was just a lack of freedom to read and write what he truly wanted. Being a firm believer that there is beauty in the absurd, he quickly became obsessed with the sci-fi genre. In it he saw the vast possibilities and the probability of how weird our universe can get. Corey lives in rural West Virginia where he occupies his time with reading, writing, video games, and tabletop RPGs. He is an unashamed feminist of sorts and an avid supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.

The Line Between by Tosca Lee Review

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

A young woman learning to adjust to society after escaping a doomsday cult finds herself in the fight of her life when a plague breaks out and begins infecting the world in author Tosca Lee’s The Line Between. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, THE LINE BETWEEN is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

The Review

This incredible YA Dystopian novel explores the complicated, emotional and tumultuous world of cults and the affects it has on those raised within the cult itself, all the while putting a cult survivor in the midst of a doomsday scenario she always feared would come whilst within the cult. It’s quite an incredible story, and the author does a great job of interweaving the history of Wynter and her time at the cult while showing her journey to get these medical samples into the right hands and stop the apocalypse she’d been promised her entire life. 

The protagonist Wynter is the heart of the story. Her emotional journey of being taught from a young age dangerous and harmful beliefs and being put into awful situations that no one should have to go through, her journey from cultist, victim, survivor and finally hero was fantastic to see unfold. The action and suspense that built from the back and forth flashback and current day storylines playing out will keep readers on the edge of their seat, and sets up a great story that could be considered both a stand alone story and potentially a great series.

The Verdict

This is an incredibly powerful story that kicks off 2019 in a fantastic way. Already a top contender for 2019 book of the year, this YA action and dystopian thriller is unlike anything readers have seen before. A truly original story with fully fleshed out characters and vivid imagery that paints a realistic picture of the apocalyptic and cultist setting of the story, this is a must read novel for any YA fan. As Tosca Lee continues to shine in the YA genre, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of her novel “The Line Between” today.

Rating: 10/10

Read the official release for the upcoming adaption of The line Between for television here!

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About the Author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign).

A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.

Tosca’s highly-anticipated new thriller, The Progeny (May, Simon & Schuster) is available now!

Social Media Links

https://www.instagram.com/toscalee/

Guest Post: International Book Fairs 2019 by Kotobee Blog

It is my pleasure today to share a link to a recent blog I befriended, Kotobee Blog. A great blog for any book lover, they recently reached out to me to share with you guys their comprehensive list for 2019 of book fairs from around the world. Each month has several book fairs happening in various parts of the world, and will give each and every one of you a chance to meet fellow book lovers, authors and publishers alike. You can check out the list using the link below. Please go check out this list and be sure to follow this incredible blog as well. Thank you to Kotobee Blog for sharing this list with me and my readers here on Author Anthony Avina’s blog.

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https://www.kotobee.com/blog/international-book-fairs-2019/


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Interview with Author Stephen Parkes

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

These days my wife and I live on a small hobby farm/ranch in rural South Dakota. It’s a very quiet place and my closest neighbors are miles away. We have about 12 acres in alphalfa and grass and we rescue animals of all sizes and shapes, turning some of the critters over to an agency that specializes in placing abandoned animals in forever homes across the upper mid-west.

We do keep some of the animals we find, though. Presently, we have fourteen pets including dogs, cats, horses and cows.

I’ve been writing most of my adult life. I earned a law degree in 1994. That education forced me to become a researcher and a writer. The work which followed that education just made my skills better.

Writing nonfiction seemed a natural fit with the types of writing I had long been doing.

2. What inspired you to write your book(s)?

I like to tell stories and I had a couple of good stories to tell. Writing books fulfills this desire of mine.

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

The two companion books, The Soldier and On A Cold Day In Hell, ultimately, lead to a single conclusion, that other people are capable of great acts of compassion and charity for even the least among us.

Same goes for a couple of short stories I wrote, Beyond The Tolbooth and The Devil’s Agent.

4. What drew you into nonfiction?

I find reality far more interesting than worlds imagined.

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5. What is one of the biggest issues facing prisoners and the criminal justice system today in your opinion?

The U.S. Department of Justice informs that the U.S. recidivism rate, the rate at which criminals re-offend following their release from custody, is 77%. In other words, more than three-quarters of all criminals are re-arrested for a new crime less than five years following their release. This is appalling, and considering that crime is a choice, leads to the inescapable conclusion that the single biggest issue facing prisoners today is their inability to stop committing crimes. With exceptions made for the chronic emotionally and mentally disturbed, and casting aside ignorant notions concerning wealth, education, skin color, ethnicity, business acumen, or privilege, this alarming statistic is occasioned universally by a criminal’s apparent lack of conscience. They simply do not care. Unless criminals grow a conscience while they are in prison, they are coming back. And this regardless of wealth, education, skin color, ethnicity, business acumen, or privilege.

Did you know that there are prison programs that match convicts with rescue animals? Did you know that some of these programs maintain a zero% recidivism rate?

The problems governing federal and state penal institutions are many, including, but not limited to, overcrowding, lack of financial resources and lack of empathy training.

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

I do not use, nor do I find it desirable or necessary to use social media for any aspect of my personal or business life. I have zero social media footprint.

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

If you’re going to write nonfiction, before you begin you must become a subject matter expert.

8. What does the future hold for you?

Hope.

About the Author

Stephen Parkes (1960 – ) was born in Detroit, Michigan. Stephen earned a Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College School of law and a Ranger tab from the U.S. Army. He is a former Weapons platoon leader with the 2d Ranger battalion. He is one of very few individuals to experience a long-drop hanging (in his case more than eight feet) and live to tell about it. He was twice convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon, a knife, and spent four and one-half years in federal prison and county lock-ups. Stephen was certified by the State of Florida as a habitual violent felony offender in 2008. These days, Stephen is an honorable man and husband. These days, Stephen lives free and prospers.

Interview with Author Lorna Brown

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

I always wanted to write, I don’t remember a particular time when the feeling came to me- it was always there. I started my first book at around 11 and it was an orphan Annie story that really disappointed me for the lack of originality. I thought ‘I have nothing to write about’ and I believe that’s when the yearning for travelling came. I talked about that all the time. After studying psychology and working for a year, I left Ireland. I worked in Australia, Japan, Boston and traveled South East Asia and New Zealand for three months alone, and South America for six months with my husband who I met in Japan. Eventually I came back to Ireland and I was nearing 30 when I finally started writing full time, with my husband’s support.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

This collection has been a while in the making. I’d been writing novels, breaking every rule in the book too as I tried to figure it out, and when I moved the States with my husband and three daughters, I started writing the stories. I wanted to write about how society views certain people, which make it difficult for them, like Lou and dyslexia, or Marcus marrying and trying to hide that he was gay, or Ester getting it wrong when her friend moves in with an older man, all these mistakes we make about people because it is impossible to know the whole truth about anyone. After I knew the characters, I put them together in the village I grew up.   

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

I think through all the stories is the idea that we never truly know what’s going on with other people, while also addressing the fact that society can be tough. ‘In Taste of Salt’, when the group of kids come into the room with Lou, I write, they didn’t really know him but it was easy to forget this, to accept their wariness as reasonable, because there is the idea that we become how society views us. It is so hard to break from the mold. But there is also through the stories an idea of second chances, or being able to rise above it, and I think the ending of ‘White Trout’ is good for that.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I started short stories because I wanted to understand them and see how it was done. It took a good while for me to learn what they were about and how to write them.  This year I finished my second collection ‘It Is Good We Are Dreaming’ which is about that moment when people realize something about their live never known before, or that moment when we are forced to grow up, and I loved writing the stories, as well as the stories of Treading The Uneven Road, because they really made me look at the world around me. Writing a novel is a lot more insular I think. At least I tend to focus on the world I am creating, but when I am working on a collection I really look at what’s going on around me. The second collection most of the stories are taken from news articles and my ideas of what was behind them while Treading The Uneven Road was more about society and its biases.  

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

Hard one, I like Dick for his dreaminess, but I really like Patrick from ‘Amends’ for his sense of humor. Eilish is a funny one, so stern and upright, but there is some softness to her that I’d like to see, Ann, would be interesting, I’d imagine sitting in her small kitchen with the view of the bay and that I wouldn’t get a word in edgeways. I’d probably ask her if she wished she’d knocked on that hotel door. (You have to read the collection to get see what I mean)

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

I really don’t like social media, and I don’t use it much. But I love all the reviewers, such as yourself, who have been willing to review my book after my request with a synopsis. It’s fantastic that you spend time helping authors get known. I have to give it to the book bloggers sites.

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

To accept feedback with gratitude because it is impossible to get better or learn without it. To be able to erase your words, none written is a waste of time. They lead to the destination, but not all are meant to stay. Read and write as much as you can and believe in your talent and ability no matter what anyone says, or how long it takes.

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

I have a lot of projects on the horizon. Fomite has my second collection. It Is Good We Are Dreaming. I secured an agent with my novel, Patient 55. But I finished my re-write of Hinterland soon after and we both agreed it was a stronger one to start with. It took eight years for me to get all the pieces right for Hinterland.  I was glad that he thought it stronger because I’d like to think my books get better with each one. I recently finished my latest novel Our Wandering, and I was planning to write a short story collection with Irish folklore in present day setting. I love doing short stories between novels. They are so different. But with the Government shut down and everything that’s happening here, I realize I need to write something about that. I’m reading now and in the planning stages. I write a lot and am always thinking of stories.

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Toni Cox’s Elemental Trilogy Cover Reveal

Hi, I’m Toni Cox, author of the Elemental Trilogy and, after recently successfully re-releasing my trilogy with new covers, I have now done the same with my short stories and you are some of the first people to lay your eyes on them. Here they are:

On Fire:

Ever had your dreams come true?

Maia is coming of age and to celebrate, she is given a horse.


But Fire is not just any horse – he is a magnificent stallion, wild and fierce.

Does Maia have what it takes to train him?

Follow Maia, Elf Princess of Grildor, as she embarks on the ride of her life.

AMAZON

 

Midnight Tales:

She felt like she could fly for eternity as the world sped by below. The many lakes sparkled like so many diamonds in the sun. The sheer speed took her breath away.

Maia accompanies her father on a journey to the exotic city of Rathaés. She is still young for an Elf, only sixty-three years of age, and it is one of the greatest adventures she has been on.

When they cross the desert on their return journey, Maia finds herself stricken by a mysterious illness. Unbearable anger and irritation drives her to abandon her people at the oasis and she runs off into the desert.

Two days later, dehydration and exposure find her close to death and she collapses behind a large dune.

Shortly before sunrise on the third day, she wakes to discover that she is not alone. Something terrible and dangerous lurks at the base of the dune, intent on killing her.

Weak as she is, she can barely defend herself. Her life hangs in the balance as she learns to communicate with the creature that wants nothing more than to eat her.

AMAZON

 

Jasmine in Love:

Love. How do you define it? Is it something tangible? Hormones, pheromones, testosterone? Or is it something more elusive? Is it something the brain decides? Does your body make the decisions for you?

If you had asked Jasmin two years ago, she would not have been able to answer those questions. Now, however, she looked at the world differently … and not just because she was looking at a different world.
 

 

 

 

AMAZON

 

 

Luke:

 

 

 

Coming Soon! Releasing April 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books 5 and 6 should release towards the end of 2019 and beginning 2020, with the box set available during the first quarter of 2020. Here is what it looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER BOOKS BY TONI COX

AMAZON

 

About Toni Cox

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Born in Germany in 1976, Toni Cox moved to South Africa in 1991. Although she has spent much of her working career in the timber wholesale business, she is also an accomplished horse rider, has a diploma in project management, photography, and nutrition, and has a passion for books and all things fantasy.

From a young age, her dream had always been to put her imagination into words – give the stories life. When she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2013, she decided life is too short not to follow her dream. So, with the support of her husband and three children, she began writing book 1 of the Elemental Trilogy in January 2015.

Toni Cox writes: Epic Fantasy – The Milky Way Chronicles (including The Elemental Trilogy), Young Adult Fantasy – (including The Elemental Short Stories), Sci-Fi Fantasy – The Andromeda Saga, Fantasy – The Dragonlore Series, Dark Fantasy, and Dystopian Fantasy – these are set on Earth, the first one (Resilient) will be released in 2019.

 

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Enter my Rafflecopter for a chance to win the first three books of the Elemental Short Stories.

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