Clarissa’s Warning by Isobel Blackthorn

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

A woman’s good fortunes turn dire when her dreams of owning and restoring old ruins leads to a dangerous situation in author Isobel Blackthorn’s “Clarissa’s Warning”. Here is the synopsis.

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The Synopsis

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A lottery jackpot changes Claire Bennett’s life.

She buys an ancient stone ruin on the island of her dreams. Her mystic aunt Clarissa warns her of danger, but Claire pays no heed.

Soon after moving to the idyllic island, Claire is confronted by a mystery. As the sinister story of her home slowly uncovers, Claire enters a world of inexplicable events and ordeals. Someone or something doesn’t want her there.

But is it really a curse, or is there something else behind the events?

The Review

This was the kind of classic slow burn horror story that defines the horror/thriller genre. What starts out as a mission to fulfill a dream turns into a nightmare when Claire must struggle with the distrust of the locals, tales of an ancient curse and mysterious happenings that defy logic. The story flourished under the hopeful eyes of protagonist Claire. Peeling back the layers of this well rounded character, readers will love seeing the complex relationships with her parents, her close knit bond with her aunt Clarissa, the strength of taking a leap of faith and going after her dreams, and the struggle to merge her logical, scientific mind with the supernatural/curse nature of her new home.

The setting really brought this story home however. The Canary Islands take the center stage in this tale, an inspiration from the author’s own travels and mission to bring ancient structures on these islands back to their former glory. Themes of conserving our past, pursuing our passions and bringing the truth to light all shine through in this truly incredible horror thriller. 

The Verdict

Overall I loved this tale. The novel soars as a classic story of love, passion and a promise to protect the places that hold our civilization’s history within it. With a heavy focus on character development with light doses of horror and thriller elements, this is a story readers will thoroughly enjoy. Be sure to preorder your copy of Isobel Blackthorn’s “Clarissa’s Warning” today.

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific Australian novelist of dark psychological thrillers, mysteries and contemporary fiction. On the dark side are Twerk, The Cabin Sessions and The Legacy of Old Gran Parks. On the lighter side are AsylumThe Drago Tree and A Perfect Square, and the short story collection All Because of You. Soon to be published are three more novels: A Matter of LatitudeClarissa’s Warning and The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey.

Isobel’s writing has appeared in journals and websites around the world, including Paranoia Magazine, Mused Literary Review, Backhand Stories, Fictive Dream and On Line Opinion.

Isobel’s interests are many and varied. A humanitarian and campaigner for social justice, in 1999 Isobel founded the internationally acclaimed Ghana Link, uniting two high schools, one a relatively privileged state school located in the heart of England, the other a materially impoverished school in a remote part of the Upper Volta region of Ghana, West Africa.

Isobel has a background in Western Esotericism and she’s a qualified Astrologer. She holds a PhD from the University of Western Sydney, for her research on the works of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey, the ‘Mother of the New Age.’ After working as a teacher, market trader, and PA to a literary agent, she arrived at writing in her forties, and her stories are as diverse and intriguing as her life has been.

Isobel performs her literary works at events in a range of settings, gives workshops in creative writing, and writes book reviews. Her reviews have appeared in Shiny New Books, Sisters in Crime, Australian Women Writers, Trip Fiction and Newtown Review of Books. She talks regularly about books and writing on radio, in Australia, and on occasion in the UK and USA and Canary Islands.

British by birth, Isobel entered this world in Farnborough, Kent, as Yvonne Margaret Grimble. She has since been Yvonne Rodgers, before changing her name completely in 1996 to Isobel Schofield. After a number of years as Isobel Wightman, she is now very happily and permanently Isobel Blackthorn. Isobel has lived in England, Australia, Spain and the Canary Islands. She now lives on Australia’s southern coast with her cat, Psyche.  You can find out more about her other achievements here.

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Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson Review

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

A man who thought his days of adventure were far behind him gets an unexpected visitor that changes everything in author David Myles Robinson’s Son of Saigon. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Hank and Norm were living the good life: two friends with plenty of money, homes in a lovely California retirement town, and no problems–except for the boredom that felt almost fatal. Then Mai came into the picture, the love of Hank’s life during his CIA days in Saigon, desperately needing his help to save the son he’d never known he had. Boredom was over, as Hank and Norm hit the road, following the few clues Mai could give them in search of a man who desperately wants not to be found. What they find is a slew of lies and hidden truths, strange characters, improbable danger that has them fighting to survive, and the happy lesson that their lives are far from over.

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The Review

This was one of the more unique reads of 2018 for me personally. The author did a marvelous job of tackling so many important topics and themes in such a fast paced read. From racism, sexism and politics in modern day America, to the pain of becoming a widow, discovering a family you didn’t know you had and the lengths a parent will go to in order to protect their child, this novel had a bit of everything to drive these characters forward and give the reader something to think about on every page.

This novel had a healthy blend of modern political divides, U.S. History and action-fueled story plots that made this feel like a truly complex and layered story, and yet at it’s core it felt simple as well. In the end, between the random characters Hank meets in his journey with Norm, to the romantic entanglements of all these characters and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his son’s disappearance, the heart of this story revolves around a man who lost his guiding star, and instead found a new purpose in life that drove him to not only do the right thing, but seek out a family he never knew he needed. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who enjoys good espionage/action-fueled dramas, rich characters and a series of twists and turns that transform this story into something new and unique by book’s end. Full of love, loss and heart, this is the kind of story that readers from all walks of life will be able to identify with and fall in love with. Be sure to grab your copy of Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson today.

Rating: 10/10

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2r0yNBn

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About the Author:  

 David Myles Robinson grew up in Pasadena, CA. He holds degrees from San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco School of Law. After practicing law for thirty-eight years in Honolulu, Hawaii, he retired with his wife, former Honolulu judge Marcia Waldorf, to Taos, NM. Robinson is the author of three previous novels: legal thrillers Tropical Lies and Tropical Judgments, and Unplayable Lie, a golf-related suspense novel.


Find David Online:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38825244-the-pinochet-plot

David Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DMRobinsonWrite

David Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidMylesRobinson/

David Website: www.davidmylesrobinson.com

Be sure to check out the rest of David Myles Robinson’s blog tour for Son of Saigon, as well as his previous stops at these incredible websites. Special thanks to Women on Writing Blog Tours for including me in this event, as well as the author himself.

Blog Tour Dates

Monday, November 12th @ The Muffin

Author Interview & Giveaway

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, November 13th @ Cathy Stucker’s Selling Books

Cathy Stucker interviews retired lawyer and successful author David Myles Robinson about his latest novel  Son of Saigon

https://www.sellingbooks.com/

Wednesday, November 14th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto

Crystal Otto shares her thoughts on the latest novel by David Myles Robinson – is it a lemon or sweet lemonade? Readers can’t wait to find out!

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 20th @ Coffee with Lacey

Lacey reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson and shares her thoughts with readers at Coffee with Lacey. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn more about this page turning novel!

https://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, November 21st @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen

Wisconsin educator, mother, and business owner Cathy Hansen collaborates with her teenage daughter as they review and discuss the latest novel by David Myles Robinson. See what these ladies have to say about Son of Saigon.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 22nd @ Lisa Haselton

Lisa Haselton interviews David Myles Robinson about his latest work – Son of Saigon.

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 23rd @ Author Anthony Avina

Fellow author Anthony Avina pens his fascinating review of David Myles Robinson’s latest novel Son of Saigon.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

Tuesday, November 27th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley A Baird reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson. Readers won’t want to miss an opportunity to learn more about this interesting novel.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, December 4th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles delights readers at World of My Imagination as she reviews the latest page turner by David Myles Robinson. You won’t want to miss Nicole’s thoughts about Son of Saigon

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 5th  @ Bella Donna’s Books with Dawn Thomas

Dawn Thomas reads and reviews the latest novel by David Myles Robinson – stop by Bella Donna’s Books to learn more about Son of Saigon.

http://belladonnasbooks.com/

Thursday, December 6th  @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

Fellow author Madeline Sharples reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson. Don’t miss her thoughts about this latest novel.

http://madelinesharples.com/

Friday, December 7th @ To Write or Not to Write

Sreevarsha Sreejith reviews Son of Saigon .Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Sreevarsha and visit To Write or Not to Write. 

http://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.co.at/

Momentary Illumination of Objects in Motion by Jason Arias

A series of short stories captures the reader’s heart and challenges societal norms in author Jason Arias novel “Momentary Illumination of Objects in Motion”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Momentary Illumination of Objects In Motion is the debut short story collection by Jason Arias. Focusing on life and death, race and identity, change and resistance to change. They’re stories of growth, both in the moment and over a lifetime. 

“Jason Arias will break your heart, blow your mind, make you laugh and bring you to the edge of everything that matters.” 

– Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water, and The Book of Joan

“Inspired, challenging, heartbreaking, and uplifting—the stories of Momentary Illumination of Objects In Motion are an after midnight bar story, a foxhole prayer, a graveyard shift confession. Jason Arias confronts masculinity and identity and memory and authority—as urgently needed as anything in fiction today.” 

– Matthew Robinson, author of The Horse Latitudes

“It’s a book that makes you feel whispered to and pulled in close. It’s a book that makes you wince your eyes and re-see things you thought you knew.” 

– Rita Bullwinkle, author of Belly Up

“…homes in on powerful imagery, revelatory metaphor, and vibrant characters who are fascinating to watch evolve from one story to the next.” 

– Samuel Snoek-Brown, author of Hagridden and There Is No Other Way to Worship Them

“At once, both funny and stark. A kickass debut.” 

– Margaret Malone, author of People Like You

“… Arias finds flashes of humor in the wreckage, as well as rare moments of beauty when humans transcend their limitations to become their best selves.” 

– Stevan Allred, author of A Simplified Map of the Real World

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The Review

The stories told within this collection are truly one of a kind and powerful. From the story of a young man confronted by death in the eyes of an innocent, to a young boy in love taking a leap of faith and even tales that challenge the notion of a definition of “masculinity” and the need to break societal norms, this collection has it all.

The imagery used in these stories really spoke to me personally. The emotional core of these tales that visited themes of love, loss, death and the possibility of a grim future came from these truly remarkable and relatable characters. It’s the kind of collection that highlights the struggles of the world, fusing humor and real life drama with characters that grow and evolve through their struggles.

The Verdict

Overall this was a truly creative, emotional and remarkable collection of short stories. It makes you stop and ask yourself whether or not you and the people around you are treating others the way they deserve to be treated, and whether or not you and the people around you are treated with the respect you deserve. It challenges the notion that we are defined by where we live, how we grew up, and who we love. It’s one of those rare collections that touch the heart and get your mind working, so if you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Momentary Illumination of Objects in Motion by Jason Arias today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jason Arias’ stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Momentary Illumination of Objects In Motion is his first short story collection. 

He has worked as a hospital patient food courier, charter bus after-event cleaner, DMV records consolidator, lithography product deliveryman, one-hour photo developer, cashier, vinyl windows warehouse worker, UPS loader, EMT, paramedic, firefighter, LYFT driver, specimen collector, and sometimes a writer. 

Author’s Website: http://jasonariasauthor.com/

Author’s Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/jasonariasauthor/ 

The Blogger Trailmap: How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level in Easy Steps by Chivi Frost Review

Have you ever wanted a fast paced guide on how to get your very own blog, vlog or podcast rolling? Do guides with statistical analytics and chapter after chapter of tactics make you feel overwhelmed at the idea of starting your own blog? Then author Chivi Frost has the answer for you in the novel “The Blogger Trailmap: How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level in Easy Steps”. Here is the synopsis.

Have you ever wanted a fast paced guide on how to get your very own blog, vlog or podcast rolling? Do guides with statistical analytics and chapter after chapter of tactics make you feel overwhelmed at the idea of starting your own blog? Then author Chivi Frost has the answer for you in the novel “The Blogger Trailmap: How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level in Easy Steps”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

“The Blogger Trailmap” is great both for beginners who are about to start a blog, as well as those bloggers who are established and ready to grow. 

This book brings for you a proven plan, tools & templates you need for incredible success. This power-packed concise guide can help you in many ways: 

Templates to set clear goals and craft a blogging roadmap, avoid common mistakes, and how to get started quickly. 

With a focus on action, this book brings for you the tools, templates, and checklists to help you quickly Implement what you learn in every section of the book. 

Gives you a proven framework for creating content which people would love to read and share. 

Simplifies every critical aspect of a blog – e.g. Magnetic Headlines, Copywriting, Swipe Files SEO, Sales Funnel, Landing Page and email Harvest. 

Crush it on social media without going crazy – Build a list of raving fans and subscribers on autopilot without constant hustling. 

Secrets to rank high in search engines with SEO best practices so that you can grow your traffic and get readers to come find you. 

An easy-to-follow, systematic process to make money through your blog & grow your business. 

Above all, you will learn that you don’t need fancy tech or cool tricks to grow your blog! 

Whether you are a hobby blogger or blogging for profit, I am confident that this book would give you game-changing ideas to make your blog more meaningful and hugely successful. 

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The Review

This was an incredibly thought out, easy and informative read. As a blogger myself, it was refreshing to see a guide that focused more on the personal, social connectivity of a blog (or vlog or podcast), than the statistical side of things. While statistics and facts all have a place in starting your own blogging business, you can’t get to that point without first learning what your brand is and who you are trying to reach. 

From explaining the concept of these formats and showing off the fundamental trail to follow in order to build your blog, to showcasing how to find your blog’s identity and the identity of your audience, this guide has it all. It’s a quick yet powerful read that will give anyone hoping to build their website the confidence they need to take that initial step into the blogging world.

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The Verdict

Overall this was a fantastic read. It’s a great roadmap to the beginning stages of any blogging format (blog, vlog or podcast), and gives readers the confidence to find their voice and not give up when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. For anyone looking to get their voice heard in the world of blogging and in search of a helping hand, then pick up your copy of Chivi Frost’s novel “The Blogger Trailmap” today.

Rating: 10/10

marketing resources for bloggers 

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Hauling Checks by Alex Stone Review

Author Alex Stone takes readers on a hilarious, dark and unexpected ride through the world of aviation and in particular “freight dogs” as they are known in his novel, “Hauling Checks”.

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

Author Alex Stone takes readers on a hilarious, dark and unexpected ride through the world of aviation and in particular “freight dogs” as they are known in his novel, “Hauling Checks”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

I’m a cargo pilot. In the industry, I’m known as a “Freight Dog.” I fly canceled checks and other types of high-value cargo around the country, mostly at night, in airplanes that are older than I am. Flying freight-or “work” as we call it-in small, twin-engine aircraft is a lesser known side of the aviation world. Our day starts when banker’s hours end. Thousands of flights move millions of pounds of work from city to city every night while the rest of the country is asleep. We’re out there in the freezing rain getting de-iced when you’re laying down for bed. We’re sweeping the snow off our wings with a broom at three in the morning. That horrible thunderstorm you heard last night while you were sleeping, we were flying through it. The fog you woke up to in the early morning hours, we were landing in it. 

Hauling Checks is a comedy about the darker side of aviation. A cast of degenerate pilots, who work for a shady night time air cargo operation, take you on a flight through the unfriendly skies. The pilots abuse every Reg in the book in their quest to make deadlines for their high value cargo. As the company falls on hard times, management resorts to questionable measures to save the failing airline. 

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The Review

This was one of the more unique, creative and funny books I’ve read in 2018. The author’s experience as a pilot blended well into the fictional story being told, bringing with it a sense of adventure and realness that other fictional stories don’t always have. The cast of characters are not only flawed, but some of them are downright despicable or clueless. Yet despite their flaws the humor shines through the entire book, because they represent the flawed and painful encounters so many people have throughout their lives. It was like a blend of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Seinfeld within a cargo flight setting. 

The imagery throughout was incredibly vivid, bringing a sense of both familiarity and realness to these out of control situations the pilots and crew found themselves in. From drunken tales of debauchery from a useless co pilot to the fictional tales of a woman’s husband who may or may not be real, to the arial acrobatics some of the pilots take (literally) when faced with a crumbling company, this book had it all.

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who is a fan of fictional comedy novels, aviation and hilarious yet mind-numbing characters. The book was fantastic and well written, and the author brought a sense of experience to the novel that made it feel even more real. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Alex Stone’s novel “Hauling Checks” today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Alex Stone grew up in Munster, Indiana.  He’s been flying since age fourteen and received a Bachelors Degree in Aviation Science from Western Michigan University.  He has worked as a flight instructor and was a “Freight Dog” in the air cargo industry for seven years.  This is his first novel.

Excerpts

     I glanced out the side window as I struggled to stay awake. Suddenly, something caught my attention that instantly woke me up. There was oil running out of the left engine. Not just a small leak like there always was. This was a steady flow that trailed down the top of the engine cowling and off the back of the wing.
     “Wake up!” I said to The Co. “We’ve got a problem.”
     “That’s fine,” The Co mumbled in his sleep, “you can take care of it.”
     I quickly scanned the gauges for the left engine and found that the oil pressure was dropping, and the oil temperature was rising. This confirmed that we were losing a large quantity of oil quickly. There was no way of knowing how much we had lost already, but judging from the extremely low oil pressure, it wouldn’t be long before the engine quit.
     The proper procedure in this circumstance is to shut down the left engine. If it lost all of its oil, the engine would seize up, destroying itself. By shutting it down prior to that happening, the engine could be saved, the oil leak could be repaired, and the engine reused.
     I’d had enough for one day though. I was pretty disgruntled at this point and decided that I didn’t care if the engine was destroyed.
     “Let them pay for a new engine,” I growled. “That’ll teach them.”
     I left the doomed engine at weekend power*; I figured I’d just run the hell out of it till it blew up. This kind of abuse of the engines, which happened on a daily basis, was a big part of the reason the planes had so many problems in the first place. That, combined with the lack of proper maintenance, of course. But when a company constantly treated you this poorly, it became hard to care about taking care of their airplanes.

* – Weekend power means full throttle even if that takes the engines over redline. This may result in airspeed exceeding the maximum speed for the airplane, which would set off a warning horn. If that happens, you just pull the circuit breaker for the warning horn, disabling it. This would allow you to overspeed the airplane without the annoyance of that pesky horn.
     Weekend power got its name because no one wants to fly on the weekend, so, if you have to, you fly full power, getting the flight over with as fast a possible so you can go home. Some pilots have also used the terms “Horn Fridays,” and “Overspeed Sundays.”

Hauling Checks can be purchased at the following online stores:

    Paperback:

        eStore

        Amazon.com

        BarnesandNoble.com

    eBook:

        Amazon.com(Kindle)

        Smashwords.com(ebook)

        BarnesandNoble.com (NOOKbook)

Website

Sleep Savannah Sleep by Alistair Cross Review

The Dead Don’t Always Rest in Peace

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

One man’s journey to rebuild his family after a tragic loss turns into a nightmarish journey to discover who was behind a small town’s grizzly murder in author Alistair Cross’s “Sleep Savannah Sleep”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

The Dead Don’t Always Rest in Peace 

Jason Crandall, recently widowed, is left to raise his young daughter and rebellious teenage son on his own – and the old Victorian in Shadow Springs seems like the perfect place for them to start over. But the cracks in Jason’s new world begin to show when he meets Savannah Sturgess, a beautiful socialite who has half the men in town dancing on tangled strings. 

When she goes missing, secrets begin to surface, and Jason becomes ensnared in a dangerous web that leads to murder – and he becomes a likely suspect. But who has the answers that will prove his innocence? The jealous husband who’s hell-bent on destroying him? The local sheriff with an incriminating secret? The blind old woman in the house next door who seems to watch him from the windows? Or perhaps the answers lie in the haunting visions and dreams that have recently begun to consume him. 

Or maybe, Savannah herself is trying to tell him that things aren’t always as they seem – and that sometimes, the dead don’t rest in peace. 

“SLEEP SAVANNAH SLEEP hooks you with a small-town atmosphere that quickly turns ghostly cold. Beware a plethora of twists and turns …” – Michael Aronovitz, author of Alice Walks and Phantom Effect 

The Review

This was an incredible story. Author Alistair cross continues to shine as one of the horror/thriller genres best writers. Feeling like a successor to greats like Dean Koontz and Stephen King, the author captures the mystery and intrigue of a murder-mystery while bringing in an emotional story of a father trying to hold his family together in one piece after losing his wife. 

The story itself is intriguing, as it keeps you guessing all the way to the book’s end who could be behind this senseless violence. It’s a story of family, loss (both physical loss and the loss of a spiritual or mental variety), and the impact the past has on the present. The setting is incredibly vivid, bringing to mind the small town horror stories fans have grown to love from authors like Koontz. It was a roller coaster of emotions as you felt for protagonist Jason. Why was he chosen to be thrust into this investigation, and will he be able to protect his family from the true killer? That’s the quest the author takes readers on.

The Verdict

Overall this is a must read thriller. Filled with action, suspense and fantastic characters that draw the reader in, the novel is incredibly powerful and a prime example of how modern day horror thrillers need to be. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Sleep Savannah Sleep by Alistair Cross today.

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Alistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson Corset, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series.In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write – among other things – the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was a bestseller. They are currently at work on their next solo novels and a new collaborative project.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.

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Interview with Author/Poet Lamar Neal

I can’t remember what exactly motivated me to put pen to paper but I do remember it being a coping mechanism. I wrote down my thoughts and how I was feeling and I would tear it up. It became my way of letting go.

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

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is me making tv shows with all of my toys. I would have legit tv shows with commercials and everything. I guess my first formal introduction to writing was me at 12/13. I can’t remember what exactly motivated me to put pen to paper but I do remember it being a coping mechanism. I wrote down my thoughts and how I was feeling and I would tear it up. It became my way of letting go.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

My mental health. I like to think that this is my therapy session. I just sat down and vented to myself about everything that bothered me. This book is very autobiographical. I wanted to tell my story in hopes that it can inspire other individuals to tell their truth.

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

Don’t be afraid to be imperfect, it’s natural. I would hope that we as individuals and a society understands that everything in life is a process. We have to work to keep growing. With that said, we have to have moments of introspection to address something that needs fixing. We have to be able to look in the mirror and tell ourselves, “you were wrong.” That type of self-awareness is lacking in the world-well I think it is. To get personal for a moment, therapy is like a curse word in my family. We can look past everything like adultery, drugs, alcohol, abuse, but therapy is where everyone draws the line. I hope that people can read this book and feel empowered to speak their truth-ugly or not. We cannot process as people or a society without that happening

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Music. I love music but I don’t have the talent to create my own. Songs aren’t anything but poetry over beats, In my opinion. I took the musical aspect out of it and just wrote. I love just how raw and honest you can be in a poem. You don’t have to worry about anything but saying how you feel. I love writing narratives like novels and short stories but at times it’s confining. With a poem, I’m just free.

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

James Joyce. I would ask him what was that old man doing in “An Encounter.” I know he was doing something gross but I want him to tell me specifically. In that short story, he never explains what he’s doing, and the kids just reacted. So I just need to know. Besides James Joyce, I would love to sit with Gil Scott Heron. He’s not an author but he’s amazing. I don’t even want to ask him a question, I just want to hear him talk.

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

Instagram. Most definitely. I’d probably say 100% of my fan base came from Instagram.

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

Write. And never stop writing. It doesn’t have to be everyday but keep writing. And forget all these rules. Write what you feel, write what you think. I remember when I first started writing poetry, I was trying too hard to follow all these rules and textbook examples of what poetry should look and sound like. Then I realized that there are no rules in art. You just express yourself and I guarantee you there would be dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of individuals who feel the same way.

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

I like to tell myself I’ll retire but I have a soul of creator so I’m always going to be writing in some way or another. My last two books were collections of poetry but I think I want to go back to my other love, writing novels. So before I’m 30, I might try to publish another novel.

About the Author

Author/Poet Lamar Neal

Outreach specialist by day at a community college. Writer and creative by night. Trying to balance a creative mind in the professional world without succumbing to the doubts every self published writer has. Hopeful that the world will be able to see my writing, not so I can be rich and famous but so I can have my voice heard and connect with others. 

Instagram– @theghostcharades

Twitter-@Ghostcharades

Facebook– /lamarKeonNeal

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