Posted in reviews

The Vice Chairman’s Doctrine by Ian Domowitz Review

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

Author Ian Domowitz takes readers on a journey to explore a company as a product in the business, non-fiction read “The Vice Chairman’s Doctrine”.

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The Synopsis 

There are books about product and companies but no books about a company as a product.

After 19 years in academics and 17 years on Wall Street, Ian Domowitz arrives from orbit around the top of a corporation with a mindset of leadership without authority. Author of over 100 publications, the public company Vice Chairman and CEO offers a no holds-barred treatment of influence and leverage complete with coaching, mantras, and tales of leadership. Change management is a lifestyle. Transformation is a calling card and his product is the company itself.

Wrapped inside a series of vignettes, some humorous, some elevating, research and stories show how process and culture converge as competitive advantage. Company priorities of innovation, branding, and culture are refashioned through unorthodox lenses focusing action through design thinking and transformation within a social system. Domowitz blurs lines between self-reflection, philosophy, and management science and makes insightful excursions into the trees and branches of corporate life and decision making.

The Vice Chairman’s Doctrine is a transformative tale of leadership without authority, a perspective suiting a new breed of entrepreneurs and corporate warriors who reject control, live in a world of influencers and aspire to become one. 

The Review

What a unique and inspired new direction for non-fiction, business-driven books. The author does a great job of creating a new direction for business-led storytelling, opting for personal and transformative stories and experiences rather than cold hard numbers and figures. The concept of creating a company as you would a product is such a fresh and interesting concept. 

The balance of research and development mixed with the author’s unique wit and charm is what really sold this narrative. The concept that people in a company will follow those for whom they perceive to be a leader rather than who they are told is the boss is such a unique concept. It adds to the idea in business that a sense of community and partnerships is essential to the continued success of any company. This and so many other lessons await in this well-written and fascinating read.

The Verdict

A masterful, thought-provoking and engaging non-fiction read, author Ian Domowitz’s “The Vice Chairman’s Doctrine” is a must-read business book. A brilliant deep-dive into business growth and the balance of leadership and power, the author’s unique writing style, hopping back and forth between the voice of The Vice Chairman and the author himself, added humor and wit into the business-led book, creating a tone that could benefit readers of all backgrounds. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Change is a Lifestyle

The Vice Chairman lives to play the game.

At first, there were physical games.  Wrestling, tennis, swim meets, and billiards were interspersed with more cerebral pursuits like chess.  Music became a game of invention and discipline with time-outs in the gymnasium of mathematics.  A term in national security promoted contests of strategy. Exploration and exploitation found expression in the game of ideas. In the ivory tower, the litmus test for success was influence, a battle of credibility.  Moving into a corporate environment, influence became the key to the game of leverage.  

A good manager knows the Great Game is not about control.  It is all about leverage.  

I recently retired as Vice Chairman of Investment Technology Group [NYSE: ITG] and CEO of ITG Solutions Network Inc., a leading trading analytics and workflow subsidiary. During nineteen years in academics and seventeen years on Wall Street, I published more than 100 journal articles, chapters in books, and magazine articles.  

It’s time for another career as an independent writer of books and stories on business, leadership, and technology.  I still have a few things to say. 

My working experience spans Northwestern University, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Pennsylvania State University. I have had the privilege of testifying in front of Congress, Senate, federal regulatory bodies, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

It wasn’t always that way 

Career choices followed after a few years spent as a chef in restaurants and institutional kitchens, followed by a stint with one of those three-letter agencies, and then some time as a tractor-trailer truck driver.  Driving trucks subsidized a career initiative in rock music.  Just didn’t have the ear.  I reluctantly went to college and moved on.

That was then, this is now

I currently serve on the Board of Directors of McKinley Capital Management and am a Fellow of the Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets at Columbia University. 

https://www.iandomowitz.com/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098TNT371/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F58515275-the-vice-chairman-s-doctrine%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3DQm8kFb02Ap%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Posted in reviews

The Eternity Knot (Celtic Magic Book 4) by H.R. Conklin Review

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

A teen girl continues her exploration of humanity’s connection to nature and the world of the Fae as she is tasked with proving humanity’s worth to the Queen of the Unseelie Fae before the Earth is plunged into chaos in author H.R. Conklin’s “The Eternity Knot”, the fourth book in the CELTIC MAGIC YA series. 

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The Synopsis

Mairi has been shown the future and knows humans must change their ways. Continuing on their path of disconnect with Nature will cause the destruction of human life. Tasked by the Seelie Fae to save the human world, Mairi and friends seek out ancient wisdom in the stories of old. The Queen of the Unseelie Fae decides humans have to prove themselves worthy of the Earthly Realm, or die trying. Dark magic makes Mairi push harder to find the answers she needs, but the Undersea Faerie Queen is weighing in and Mairi is uncertain whose side she is on. When young people representing cultures from all of the continents share their knowledge, Mairi finally feels the seeds of hope. Deadly faerie magic is working against humanity, but humans and faeries are working together like never before. As humans begin seeing the earth through ancient views, they are waking up to their dormant powers. Now Mairi must put all the pieces together before time runs out for human life on Earth, and for once she’s starting to feel worthy of the task. Join Mairi and friends in this exciting conclusion to the Celtic Magic series. 

The Celtic Magic series is a unique tale connecting modern day California to the Scotland of centuries ago. Join Mairi during a life-changing year in this eco-heroine’s journey, following the Celtic wheel of pagan holidays through the seasons and time as she meets druids, witches, and faeries of both Light and Dark. Discover what role mythic stories play in saving the Earth from imminent destruction, and what happens when the world is inclusive of all people. This series includes The Trinity Knot, The Witch’s Knot, The Faerie Knot, and just finished is book 4, The Eternity Knot! 

This book is perfect for teens and adults of all ages who enjoy a 

modern take on myths and fairytales! 

The Review

What a truly incredible read. As a newcomer to the series, I really appreciated the way the author wrote that both keyed in longtime readers of the series and presented this narrative and the series as a whole in a way that newcomers like me could jump on immediately. The protagonist, Mairi, is so endearing and does an incredible job of bridging the gap between the past and her ancestry with the present and who she is as a person, and her determination to fight for both the environment and humanity was incredible to see.

This novel does an incredible job of balancing history and mythology with the environmental-driven narrative of humanity’s impact on the world as a whole. As a fan of history and mythology, I was blown away by the incredible YA approach to detailed Scottish and world cultures and the impact mythology has had on the various cultures around the world, while the action and suspense of the narrative really pulled attention to the horrors humanity has unleashed on the environment, and the need to reconnect to our planet and take care of it was felt in every chapter.

The Verdict

A brilliant, entertaining, and thoughtful new chapter in a wonderful YA series, author H.R. Conklin’s “The Eternity Knot” is a must-read novel. The perfect blend of mythos and environmental supernatural thrillers, the narrative draws readers in with an explosive opening chapter and keeps the readers hooked with strong mythology and a powerful cast of characters. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

H. R. Conklin grew up in the rural mountains of Northern California where her mother gardened and her father played the bagpipes, as well as spending long hours in the theater where her parents were a dancer and an actor. This undoubtedly led to her overactive imagination and love for nature. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband, two adult children, and three dogs. She used to teach kindergarten at a public Waldorf charter school in which she told many fairy tales to the children, and made up stories in her spare time. Now she is a Story Circle Leader and guides parents in homeschooling at a private Waldorf school.

 Keep in Touch – Sign up for Conklin’s Newsletter! 

Find out more at: 

Website:  https://wildrosestories.com/welcome

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/wildrosestories/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/wildrosestories

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildrosestoriesandcircles/

Purchase The Eternity Knot on AmazonWaldorf Books, and/or H.R. Conklin’s website: Wild Rose Stories. Be sure to also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Buy Links: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Eternity-Knot-Celtic-Magic/dp/B096TTR9PK/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=celtic+magic+h.+r.+conklin&qid=1625601403&s=books&sr=1-2

Waldorf Books Online: https://earthschooling.info/thebearthinstitute/product/celtic-magic-book-4-the-eternity-knot/

Wild Rose Stories: https://wildrosestories.com/shop

Blog Tour Calendar 

July 19th @ The Muffin

July 21st @ The Faerie Review 

Join Lily at the Faerie Review as she shares her review of H.R. Conklin’s latest book The Eternity Knot; part of the Celtic Magic Series. This is a great book for anyone who enjoys a modern take on myths and fairytales! 

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

July 29th @ The Knotty Needle 

Judy at the Knotty Needle shares her review with readers after reading H.R. Conklin’s The Eternity Knot – part of the Celtic Magic Series. Don’t miss Judy’s insightful review! https://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/ 

July 31st @ Author C.K. Sorens 

Fellow Author C.K. Sorens shares her review of The Eternity Knot – the latest release by H.R. Conklin and part of the Celtic Magic series. Don’t miss today’s peer review! 

https://www.cksorens.com/blog

August 1st @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen 

Wisconsin entrepreneur and educator, Cathy Hansen reviews the latest novel in the Celtic Magic Series – find out what Cathy has to say about The Eternity Knot as she shares her thoughts with readers at Bring on Lemons. 

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/ 

August 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina 

Fellow author Anthony Avina shares his review of H.R. Conklin’s The Eternity Knot. This book is part of the Celtic Magic Series – readers of all ages will delight in this special story! https://authoranthonyavinablog.com

August 3rd @ A Storybook World 

Readers at A Storybook World will hear from guest blogger H.R. Conklin on the topic of Symbolism in Fairytales. Conklin just release The Eternity Knot – another 5 star book in the Celtic Magic series, but she’s taking time to share her author expertise with readers today! Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to learn from Conklin! 

http://www.astorybookworld.com/ 

August 4th @ Author Anthony Avina 

 Earlier this week, readers at Author Anthony Avina’s blog read Anthony’s review of H.R. Conklin’s The Eternity Knot. Today readers will hear from Conklin herself as she shares a guest blog post titled:  “Symbolism Reflected in Stories from Around the World” . Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to learn more about The Celtic Magic series! https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

August 5th @ The Knotty Needle 

 Judy at the Knotty Needle shares her review of The Eternity Knot by H.R. Conklin. This is book 3 in the Celtic Magic series and it is guaranteed to delight readers of all ages! Don’t miss Judy’s review! https://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

August 6th @ Beverley A. Baird 

 Today’s guest post for readers at Beverley A. Baird is written by H.R. Conklin. Conklin is the award winning author of the Celtic Magic Series and she recently released her latest title: The Eternity Knot. Don’t miss a chance to read today’s guest post titled: “Parenting Wisdom Shared Through Storytelling”.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

August 7th @ World of My Imagination with Nicole Pyles 

Nicole just finished reading The Eternity Knot by H.R. Conklin and can’t wait to tell readers at World of My Imagination all about it. Don’t miss today’s review by Nicole to find out more about this title as well as the others in the Celtic Magic Series! 

https://worldofmyimagination.com/

August 8th @ Word Magic; All About Books with Author Fiona Ingram 

 H.R Conklin pens today’s guest post about fairies and mythology as she visits fellow author Fiona Ingram at Word Magic. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Conklin and find out more about her latest release: The Eternity Knot; part of the Celtic Magic series! http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

August 9th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto 

 WOW! Blog Tour Manager, Crystal Otto reviews the latest novel in the Celtic Magic Series – find out what Crystal has to say about The Eternity Knot as she shares her 5 star review with readers at Bring on Lemons. 

 http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

August 10th @ Bring on Lemons with Libby 

 Libby is a young artist who enjoys many genres of books – she shares her thoughts with readers at Bring on Lemons today – her deep thoughts about The Eternity Knot by H.R. Conklin. This book is part of the Celtic Magic series and Libby is excited to read all the books. Readers will delight in her youthful perspective and her energy! 

 http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

August 11th @ Lisa Haselton 

 Lisa Haselton interviews H.R. Conklin about the Celtic Magic series and her latest release The Eternity Knot. Don’t miss a chance to become better acquainted with this talented author! 

https://lisahaselton.com/blog

August 18th @ Jill Sheet’s Blog 

 Today, readers at Jill Sheet’s Blog will hear from H.R. Conklin on the topic of “How Symbolism in Fairy Tales of Old Help Us Today”. Stop by to learn more about The Eternity Knot (part of the Celtic Magic Series) and learn from this talented author. 

http://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

August 19th @ Wildwood Reads with Megan 

 Readers at Wildwood Reads will hear from Megan as she reviews The Eternity Knot by H.R. Conklin. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn more about The Celtic Magic Series and this latest release!

https://wildwoodreads.com/

Posted in reviews

Shadows of Rebellion (Four Territories Book One) by L.M. French Review

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

A half-human sentinel and a bearer of one of the seals of the Four Territories must go on the run after rumors of an unstable half-breed cause The Order to begin hunting her down, as well as her homicidal half-brother, in author L.M. French’s “Shadows of Rebellion”, the first in the Four Territories Urban Fantasy series. 

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The Synopsis

This is not a happily ever after. This is where it all went wrong. Our king is missing and the last link to him is broken. Terrifying breeds that disappeared centuries ago have returned and are waging war on the Territories. And I am becoming… something.

An unknown power grows inside me and rumors of an unstable half-breed threaten my very existence. It seems outrunning my homicidal foster brother isn’t enough. I’m now on the run from the Order that would see my kind extinct.

Our allies need me to find our king, but is it enough to keep me alive?

My name is Veda Grey and I am the half-human sentinel and seal-bearer of the Four Territories. And if my current predicament is any indication, I’m about to be executed for treason.

Shadows of Rebellion is an Urban Fantasy novel with adult language, situations, and violence.

The Review

This was a fantastic and exhilarating new urban fantasy read. The maturity and intensity of the narrative when blended with the witty and sometimes humorous dialogue between the characters felt like a blend of True Blood meets The Elder Scrolls. The protagonist, Veda, is such a complex and engaging character to follow, and the alternating chapters between characters made the world feel more alive and larger than life. 

What stood out in this narrative was the well-rounded mythos that the author crafted for this series. The Four Territories are a unique world of supernatural creatures, ancient magic, and twists and turns that see friends become foes and monsters into heroes. The world itself felt so alive that it becomes almost like its own character.

The Verdict

A memorable, entertaining, and thrilling new Urban Fantasy read, author L.M. French’s “Shadows of Rebellion” is the perfect first chapter of this brand new series. An enticing new world and shocking twists and turns will keep readers hooked, as will the cliffhanger ending that will leave the fate of several characters up in the air. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

L.M. French is a baby indie author of urban fantasy residing in the Lone Star State with the love of her life, eight-year-old Jack. While she dreams up misadventures with uncooperative participants, he keeps her inspired with his own stories villains and anti-heroes. Where they live, imagination is a superpower. Connect with them via Facebook, email, or carrier pidgeon.

Just kidding.

Birds are mean.

www.lmfrench.com

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.