Interview with Author Bernard Schaffer

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

     I’ve written for as long as I could remember. It probably comes from a deeply embedded love of story. At some point you want the story to keep going, or to have different ideas about a story that you want to explore on your own. From there, you find your own stories to tell. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book series?

     I spent six years as an indie author and publisher. There’s a lot of freedom in that. I explored whatever genre I felt like. Eventually it felt like I’d achieved everything I could as an indie author and I wanted to try my hand at traditional mainstream publishing. 

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

     Honestly I don’t write to spread messages or themes. There is no hidden agenda in my work. That being said, any good piece of art can be enjoyed on multiple levels. The casual reader will be entertained by a good story. The ones who want to go deeper will find more to it. I’ve always been a fan of layers and subtext, but that is not for me to point out. They will find it if they look. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

     It’s my wheelhouse. I’m a twenty-year police officer and still a full-time detective. This genre allows me to focus on writing without having to stop and look up certain procedures or terms or do research like I would in others. The background information is baked into my brain. It opens the track up wide. 

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

     I already know what they’d say. They say it in my head. Anything I don’t know is something I’m waiting to find out later. 

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

     Any of the normal sites will do. It’s all in your approach. I keep it casual and post the things I enjoy. I’m not trying to gain new readers via social media. If people read my work and enjoy it enough to seek me out on social media, I’m glad to get to know them. I hope they like hearing about boxing and Star Wars, because that’s pretty much what I talk about on there. 

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

     The basic advice is fairly simple. Real authors finish. I see too many aspiring writers pining over unfinished manuscripts. Too many workshopping first chapters. Too many worried about agents and publishers and everything that isn’t important yet. Finish your book. Set it aside. Rewrite the entire thing. Have it edited by someone who doesn’t mind hurting you. Make it something worthy of standing on the bookshelves next to the people you admire. Until you finish and have a completed book, you haven’t done it. If you haven’t done it, forget everything else and go do it. Once you’ve done it, go do it again. 

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

    THE THIEF OF ALL LIGHT paperback arrives this summer. Then, AN UNSETTLED GRAVE, the second Santero and Rein book, comes out July 2019 in hardcover, audio and eBook. BLOOD ANGEL comes out the summer of 2020. What I’m working on now will come out sometime after that. In the traditional world, books are published a year or so after they’ve been written. It gives me plenty of time to plan for the future. 

About the Author

Bernard Schaffer is the author of the Santero and Rein Thriller Series from Kensington Publications. 

Prior to that, he published multiple titles in a variety of genres as an independent author. Schaffer is the father of two children and a full-time police detective in Southeastern PA.

Visit him @BernardSchaffer or www.bernardschaffer.com.

THE THIEF OF ALL LIGHT: A Santero and Rein Thriller 1 (Available Now)AN

UNSETTLED GRAVE: A Santero and Rein Thriller 2 (Summer 2019, Available for Pre-Order)

BLOOD ANGEL: A Santero and Rein Thriller 3 (Summer, 2020)

Social Media Links

Bernard Schaffer’s Facebook Author Page

Bernard Schaffer’s Goodreads Page

Bernard Schaffer’s BookBub Page

Website: www.BernardSchaffer.com

Instagram @BernardSchaffer

Twitter: @BernardSchaffer

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The Mark of Fallen Flame by Brittany Matsen 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 struggling to plant roots in Seattle after a lifetime of moving around discovers a terrifying power within herself, a world of secrets her mother has hidden from her and a deadly war she is forced into in author Brittany Matsen’s novel The Mark of Fallen Flame. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Emma:

A seventeen-year-old girl just trying to find a place in an unsteady world. With her mother moving them around her entire life, no one has been permanent.

When senior year begins, Emma is determined to sink some roots into Seattle and finally start living life. Especially when she discovers she has the power to kill terrifying monsters with a single touch. Suddenly, a whole new world explodes around her.

The new boy in school that is mysteriously in every one of her classes is too beautiful to be human. Her best friend is acting strange, and her mother’s lies may finally be too many to contain. The protectors of the human race–the Giborim–are more than a little eager to use Emma’s power in the war that’s coming. But her allegiance may be forced in order to save everyone she loves.

Levaroth:

Shediem. General of Sheol. Servant and confidant to Asmodeus, Prince of Wrath.

“Spying the wild, auburn beauty with eyes like emeralds for the first time, I don’t know what comes over me. I have to get closer. She smells of sunshine and purity. You may not think that’s something you can smell, but you can. It’s rarely untainted, but with her…She can’t help but care about everyone she meets, and I need to know why. So I watch her, learn about her. But something is changing in me. Shediem do not feel emotions, we taste them. We devour them. Yet my kills are less satisfying and all I can think about is her face. Her disgust. But she can’t be pure if she’s to be mine. And I will have her.”

The Review 

This was a powerful fantasy driven narrative that did a marvelous job of creating a new mythology that readers will instantly be enthralled by. Powerful and creepy creatures blended perfectly with relatable and interesting characters to drive the novel forward at a reasonable pace.

The thing I love about this book besides the unique mythology created by the author was how the book didn’t waste anytime jumping into the action of the plot. From the first 20 pages or so the author takes readers head first into this fantasy and partly horror driven narrative and doesn’t hold any punches, establishing the dangers and the stakes early on. 

The Verdict 

This is a must read fantasy book that readers will instantly fall in love with. Full of engaging characters, a gripping love triangle and a great story, this is one book you don’t want to miss. Be sure to preorder your copy today or grab your copy on May 31st, 2019! 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

I’m an American by birth but a Kiwi at heart, living in the wondrous New Zealand with my husband. Writing has been a passion since I was very young. In middle school I had articles published in the local newspaper, and the school paper in high school. I attended the Institute of Children’s Literature with the hope of one day creating stories for the world.

When I’m not dreaming up monsters or tortured heroes you can find me hiking somewhere lush and green.

Check out my Patreon page and follow me on Instagram! https://www.patreon.com/bmmatsen

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An Unsettled Grave (A Santero and Rein Thriller #2) by Bernard Schaffer Review

After hunting down a demented killer, a newly appointed detective finds herself delving into a decades old cold case filled with haunting secrets, and discovers a shocking connection to her mentor in author Bernard Schaffer’s novel, “An Unsettled Grave”.

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

After hunting down a demented killer, a newly appointed detective finds herself delving into a decades old cold case filled with haunting secrets, and discovers a shocking connection to her mentor in author Bernard Schaffer’s novel, “An Unsettled Grave”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

In this brilliantly chilling follow-up to The Thief of All Light, veteran police officer Bernard Schaffer digs deep into the past–and the haunted psyches of the detectives who search for truth . . . at any cost.

“There’s a thousand scavengers in these woods.”

Before being promoted to detective, Carrie Santero was given a rare glimpse into the mind of a killer. Through her mentor, Jacob Rein–a seasoned manhunter whose gift for plumbing the depths of madness nearly drove him over the brink–she was able to help capture one of the most depraved serial killers in the country. Now, the discovery of a small human foot buried in the Pennsylvania woods will lead her to a decades-old cold case–and the darkest secrets of her mentor’s youth.

“Nobody trusts an animal that tries to eat its own kind.”

Thirty years ago, a young girl went missing. A police officer was murdered. Another committed suicide. The lives of everyone involved would never be the same. For three agonizing decades, Jacob Rein has yearned for the truth. But when Detective Carrie Santero begins digging up new evidence, she discovers some answers come with shattering consequences.

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The Review

This is the perfect follow up to the series began in The Thief of All Light. Author Bernard Schaffer continues to bring his expertise in the field of criminal investigation to bring a sense of realism and relatability to the genre, while still providing an engaging and entertaining thriller like no other. Detective Santero shines through in this story, providing a more confident and seasoned investigative mind to the case while still showing her honest and no nonsense personality that allows her to showcase her strength as a protagonist in this tale.

Yet it is the shocking connection to seasoned detective and Carrie’s mentor Rein that makes this story shine, as readers are given a rare glimpse into the history of Jacob Rein and the events that made him into the brilliant detective that he is. A case from his past highlights the events that led to his descent into darkness, swimming amongst the monsters of this world in order to capture them. Jumping between the past and the present makes this story feel more personal and intimate of a story than the first book, cementing the protagonists Santero and Rein as true thriller heroes that are here to stay.

The Verdict

This is a must read summer 2019 thriller. With the book’s release due in July of 2019, the fans who fell in love with Santero and Rein will be thrilled to watch this story unfold. Filled with heart and emotion, humor and brutal honesty, and a story that feels both cinematic and real all at once, this is the perfect read for anyone who loves the thriller genre, and leaves readers eager for a third book in this exciting and developing series. If you haven’t yet, pre-order your copy now or grab your copy of An Unsettled Grave by Bernard Schaffer on July 30th, 2019. 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Bernard Schaffer is the author of the Santero and Rein Thriller Series from Kensington Publications. 

Prior to that, he published multiple titles in a variety of genres as an independent author. Schaffer is the father of two children and a full-time police detective in Southeastern PA.

Visit him @BernardSchaffer or www.bernardschaffer.com.

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Social Media Links

Bernard Schaffer’s Facebook Author Page 

Bernard Schaffer’s Goodreads Page

Bernard Schaffer’s BookBub Page

Website: www.BernardSchaffer.com

Instagram @BernardSchaffer

Twitter: @BernardSchaffer

Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick by William R. Harris Review

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

A larger than life adventure through space brings one group of explorers to an uncharted world, and the untold dangers it holds in author William R. Harris’s novel “Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

Forced to flee his homeworld, Oberus, the genetically re-engineered Malick leads a scientific expedition to the far reaches of the solar system. A distress call from an alien ship with a mysterious cargo leaves the team marooned on the arcane planet Sworld. Plunged into a quest for answers that ultimately leads them to their genesis, Malick and the crew must solve the enigmas of Sworld or perish.

The Review

This was a truly masterful space exploration/sci-fi novel. The truly original storytelling by the author was fantastic, as was the incredible detail that went into the various creatures, technologies and mythologies built upon during the story as the explorers ventured further and further into the world of Sworld. 

What really shined through however was the character development in this novel. Not only was the protagonist Malick an ever evolving hero and leader in the story, but each chapter introduced new characters that allowed Malick to further expand the group’s exploration as they survive in this new and unfamiliar world. From the crew of the ship that began the journey with him to the new creatures who he either befriends or is forced to fight, and even the newcomer who begins to capture the hero’s heart, this novel is built upon character growth and helps the narrative flow smoothly during this expansive story.

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The Verdict

This is a must read for any sci-fi fan out there. If you enjoy science fiction in all it’s glory, long and detailed stories of space exploration and new mythologies surrounding mysterious creatures, this is the novel for you. The true grabber though is the shocking ending that will leave readers breathless and eager for a sequel, as it leaves the protagonist in a shocking situation that you never saw coming. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of William R. Harris’s novel “Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick” by either pre-ordering it or grabbing your own copy on May 3rd, 2019. 

Rating: 8/10

https://www.chandrapress.com/sworld

Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley by Carol Es Review

One woman’s harrowing journey through a tumultuous childhood and the back and forth struggle between living a “normal life” and being indoctrinated into Scientology comes to life in author Carol Es’s novel “Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley”.

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

TRIGGER WARNING: THEMES AND STORIES INVOLVING ABUSE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, DRUG USE AND SUICIDE ARE FEATURED IN THIS NOVEL. READER DISCRETION ADVISED.

One woman’s harrowing journey through a tumultuous childhood and the back and forth struggle between living a “normal life” and being indoctrinated into Scientology comes to life in author Carol Es’s novel “Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley”. Here is the synopsis. 

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The Synopsis

Six houses, five apartments, three motels, a Hollywood mansion, and a small vegetable farm. Moving 16 times before the age of nine is enough to screw with any kid’s head. Living with an unstable family, a mentally abusive mother, and enduring years of neglect and sexual molestation left Carol Es believing she was inherently bad. At 14, she decided to ditch a rootless, dysfunctional family circus, seeking something that might make her a better person.

She thought she found her answers in Scientology, but she thought wrong.

As a self-taught artist, writer, and drummer, Carol maintained an unbreakable bond with her passions as a means of survival. She exhibited her art and played music tirelessly in bands on Sunset Boulevard and the LA circuit. She toured the US and Canada, signed with Sony Music, but all the while, she’d been conditioned to hide and deny her own mental illness in order to stay true to the doctrine of L. Ron Hubbard—a man who claimed psychiatric treatment was an evil hoax.

In her book, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley, Carol explains how it was even possible to be both brainwashed and live “normally” in the world of contemporary art and rock n’ roll.

After a tumultuous childhood and 20 years in the cult, Carol Es takes a huge stride out of fear and silence by sharing her true vulnerabilities and intense experiences. With gallows humor and a unique perspective, she invites readers into her confidence, laying bare her most raw and intimate revelations on her seemingly endless search for self-worth as a woman. In conversational prose, she manages to embrace the horrifically sad scenes of her past, her biggest embarrassments, and finds absurdities one can only laugh about through tears.

Illustrated with crude sketches throughout, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is a courageous, relatable story that will keep you turning pages to the very end.

The Review

This has got to be one of the most detailed and emotionally powerful books of not only an ex-Scientologist, but of a survivor in general. Having overcome so much hardship and struggles in her life, author Carol Es has delivered an emotionally driven, informative and down to earth retelling of the events that shaped her life, and her journey to overcome those experiences. 

While I will reiterate that his novel has some powerful themes and stories that can be triggering for some (and should not be read by anyone who is triggered by these stories or children), the story is one everyone should get an opportunity to read. The life led by the author has elements many people can find a way to relate to. Whether it’s the abuses she survived, the indoctrination in Scientology, (one of the biggest cults currently running in the world), a troubled childhood and family life and coming to terms with that while dealing with loss, the highs and lows of the music industry, and even those struggling with autoimmune illnesses like MS and Lupus, this novel has something most readers will be able to relate to and identify with. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel of 2019. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it’s a top contender for best nonfiction and top read of 2019 on my website. It’s has humor infused in a natural way, while also incorporating emotionally charged stories that not only showcase the worst of humanity, but also shows the power of resilience and fighting for a brighter, better tomorrow. An in-depth analysis of Scientology as well, viewers of the show conducted by former Scientologist Leah Remini or former scientologists themselves will be shocked, surprised and relieved to see someone give such an accurate and powerful account of what life in this organization is truly like. If you enjoy powerful memoirs, real life accounts of life inside of a cult and stories of overcoming great odds to find a brighter future, then grab your copy of Carol Es’s novel “Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley” on April 6th, 2019. 

Rating: 10/10

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Author Bio

Carol Es

Carol Es is a self-taught artist, writer, and musician born in Los Angeles. Using a wide variety of media, she is known for creating personal narratives that transform a broken history into a positive resolution. Her paintings, drawings, installations, videos, and books have been exhibited nationwide in venues such as Riverside Art Museum, Torrance Art Museum, Lancaster Museum of Art and History, and Craft Contemporary in Los Angeles. Some of her works can be found in the collections at the Getty and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. Her collaborative film was also featured in the 2015 Jerusalem Biennale. 

Awarded many honors, including several grants from the National Arts and Disability Center and California Arts Council, she is a two-time recipient of the ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation, a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship, and the Wynn Newhouse Award. She has written articles of art critique for the Huffington Post and Coagula Art Journal, as well as having poetry published with small presses. She also received a writing grant from Asylum-Arts—a Global Network for Jewish Culture.

Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley

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Mental Health Awareness is a subject I get very passionate about. One thing that has helped me advocate for this cause has been my partnership with BetterHelp, a fantastic website that allows you to seek the help you need. If you seeking advice on the best online therapy websites, then click the link below and find the help you are looking for today!

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-are-the-best-online-therapy-sites

Elemental Series by Toni Cox Free Book Giveaway & Preorder News

LUKE – Book 4 of the Elemental Short Stories by TONI COX

Brought to Elveron by his Elven mother, Luke must learn how to make a living amongst the Elves as a Human. Thrust into the middle of a war between the Elves and the Vampyres, Luke’s education in medicine secures him a position as a Healer.

He is tested to his limits to save the people he loves, but once the war is over, he realises his adventure has only just begun.

At the mercy of a fierce, red dragon; a wily, old court Healer; and a wilful princess, Luke embarks on a journey that will change his life forever.

Coming April 2019 – Pre-order NOW!

Haven’t read the series yet? Download ON FIRE, book 1 of the Elemental Short Stories, for free for the month of March 2019.

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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, Dystopian Fantasy – these are set on Earth, the first one (Resilient) will be released in 2019).

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Louisiana Latte by Rebecca Henry Review

Two sisters on a business trip find themselves reminiscing about their lives and discovering who the other truly is in author Rebecca Henry’s self-described chick-lit comedy, “Louisiana Latte”.

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

Two sisters on a business trip find themselves reminiscing about their lives and discovering who the other truly is in author Rebecca Henry’s self-described chick-lit comedy, “Louisiana Latte”. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

Deb hadn’t flown in over 20 years. In 1989, at the age of 22, Deb was enrolled at Griffiss Airforce Base to become a commercial pilot. Somewhere between dating her yuppie fiancé and planning their wedding in Chicago, Deb developed claustrophobia—a fear of enclosed spaces. I blame the yuppie. Deb couldn’t get on a plane for love that day, but she could do it 20 years later for money. Money was worth dying for.

The Review

If you are looking for a humorous, quick-witted whirlwind story, then this is the book for you. The story follows Deb and her sister Becky, who travel to a business conference in Louisiana. Twenty years earlier, Deb found her career as a pilot over as claustrophobia took over. Now in the present, Deb is a self-described diva with an all consuming need for the finer things in life, even forgoing paying bills in order to have the latest handbag or jewelry. Meanwhile her sister Becky juggles being in awe of her confident and good spirited sister and the responsibility of running a business together and being a full time mother and wife as well. 

The story does a marvelous job of infusing humor into Deb’s incredible outgoing personality while showing the intimate moments from both fo the sister’s lives that define not only their relationship, but each other as well. Along the way Becky finds herself discovering exactly why her sister is the diva that she is, and finds a woman with more heart than anyone could have imagined.

The Verdict

This short read is a must buy book. A funny and feel good chick-lit comedy like no other, the story flows smoothly and creates a unique bond between Becky and Deb that is rarely felt in novels, and yet will feel real and familiar to many families out there. If you enjoy a hilarious and quick witted comedy, then be sure to grab your copy of “Louisiana Latte” by Rebecca Henry on February 28th, 2019. 

Rating: 8/10

https://rebeccahenryauthor.blogspot.com/

About the Author

I am a newly published author with one novel released and another book coming out for publication, in February 2019. I am also a world traveller, living abroad. I have many interests and hobbies in life, besides my greatest passion of all, my family. I am also a vegan, gardener, crafter, and I practice yoga regularly.