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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Interview with Author Layton Green

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

I decided to write my first novel simply to get a handle on some things in my life, and explore them through writing them down in story form. Before that, I had never written anything creative besides a Choose Your Own Adventure in third grade and a few poems. I did not expect to become a novelist. But during the process of writing that first book, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

This series (Preach Everson) has been greatly inspired by living in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. It’s a fascinating blend of old and new, urban and rural. I think it’s indicative of the modern era in which we live, especially the political and social divisions plaguing America. Add to that, of course, my love of writing mysteries and suspense and brooding, intelligent detectives.

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

Of the sweet sad rhythms, commonality, travails, and spiritual longing of human existence. Not to be pretentious or anything–ha!

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4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Mystery/suspense is a genre which I love and feel drawn to write. I’m not sure why! It’s a great way to explore human nature, though, as conflict and questions of good and evil are naturally built in.

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

Facebook

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

Read every good book you can get your hands on, write as much as possible, and hire the best editor money can buy.

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

I’m working on the second novel in the soon-to-be-released Unknown Nine Trilogy – details coming soon!

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About the Author

Layton is a bestselling author who writes across multiple genres, including mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and fantasy. He is the author of the popular Dominic Grey series, as well as other works of fiction. His novels have topped numerous lists (including a #2 overall Amazon bestseller) and have been nominated for major awards, including two finalists for an International Thriller Writers award. Layton is also the co-editor of International Thrills, the online magazine of ITW (International Thriller Writers).

In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade (even though he still resents having cut his hair for that first interview). He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door-to-door phone book deliverer in Florida, and the list goes downhill from there. Currently based in Durham, North Carolina, Layton has traveled to more than sixty countries, lived in a number of them, and has a burning desire to see every country, city, beach, moor, castle, cemetery, twisted street and far flung dot on the map.

www.laytongreen.com

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Interview with Author Julia L.F. Goldstein

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. At what point did you decide to pursue writing about your field of study?

I started my career as a process development engineer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, designing better ways to connect computer chips to circuit boards. As an engineer, I gravitated toward writing the articles for publication in trade magazines and the reports for projects. I began my writing career with Advanced Packaging Magazine, a publication in which I had published contributed articles. My current business, JLFG Communications, focuses on writing technical marketing content for corporate websites, but I still occasionally write articles for trade and business magazines. It’s nice to keep a toe in journalism and not only write anonymous content.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

My initial inspiration was a desire to shift my client base toward companies involved in sustainable manufacturing and renewable energy. I figured that writing a book on the topic would give me credibility that would help me get a foot in the door. Clients I’ve been working with for years will trust me with projects outside my proven fields of expertise, but potential clients often want to see experience writing for their specific industry.

As I delved into the research, my fascination with the subject matter and interactions with the enthusiastic business professionals I interviewed inspired me to continue. I knew that I needed to get this book out into the world.

3) What do you hope readers will take away from your book above all else?

I want readers to understand that the challenges of reducing waste in manufacturing are complex, but many smart business leaders are developing creative solutions and progress is being made. We shouldn’t be complacent, but neither should we be discouraged. I want readers to commit to at least one action at work or at home that allows them to be part of the solution.

4) What drew you into this particular field of study?

I’ve been fascinated by engineered materials ever since I took an introductory materials science course in college, but I didn’t always consider the environmental impact of all the amazing materials that engineers were inventing. In recent years, I’ve thought more about these issues and the responsibility of manufacturers to their employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate. The more I learned about companies embracing the triple bottom line—profit, people, planet—the more I became convinced that I should write a book focused on the materials aspect of sustainability.

5) What is the number one thing you would recommend for a manufacturing company just starting out in their business?

Fledgling manufacturing companies contemplating the shift from prototypes to volume production face many hurdles. I urge them to consider the environmental footprint of their manufacturing process when evaluating their entire supply chain. If they want to be eco-friendly, that needs to extend to every component or ingredient in their products, every vendor they choose, where they manufacture their products, and how they ship products to customers. Making smart decisions up front can save money in the long run and build trust with customers.

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

I’ve gotten traction with both Facebook and LinkedIn. I made my book launch an event on Facebook and invited all my local Seattle-area friends. My multiple posts about the book got the attention of many friends in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I lived for 20 years, and many of them are now on my mailing list. When my LinkedIn contacts shared my post about the book launch, it expanded my reach to hundreds of people I’ve never met. In the long run, I believe that LinkedIn will be more helpful in reaching a business audience.

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

Join a writing group that meets in person, in addition to participating in online groups. Writing is a solitary activity, but just being in the company of other writers can inspire you to achieve your goals. For nonfiction authors, the Nonfiction Authors Association has a wealth of information on its website, including links to its weekly teleseminars, plus chapters in many cities that hold monthly meetings. Whether you’re wondering what type of editing your book will need or trying to decide between submitting a proposal to agents or self-publishing, experienced authors can help point you in the right direction.

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

In the short term, I’m focused on marketing Material Value. Simply writing a book that people want to read isn’t enough. It’s an author’s responsibility to let potential readers know that the book exists. I am, however, gathering ideas for my next book. It will also address materials and sustainability but focused on the textile and fashion industries. A surprisingly large number of companies are producing fabrics made from recycled plastic water bottles.

About the Author:

Julia L F Goldstein holds a PhD in materials science and started her career as an engineer before migrating to journalism in 2001. She now writes white papers and other technical marketing content for companies manufacturing a wide variety of products. Julia is active in her local writing community and leads the Seattle chapter of the Nonfiction Authors Association. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing flute and piccolo and participating in triathlons.

Connect with Julia:

 juliagoldsteinauthor.com

twitter.com/jlfgoldstein

linkedin.com/in/juliagoldstein

Amusing Musings: Hilarious one-liners and deep thoughts for the offbeat sense of humor by J.J. Harlan Review

Readers should be prepared for a journey of hilarious proportions as they delve into the book of fantastic one-liners and humorous thoughts in author J.J. Harlan’s novel “Amusing Musings: Hilarious one-liners and deep thoughts for the offbeat sense of humor”.

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

Readers should be prepared for a journey of hilarious proportions as they delve into the book of fantastic one-liners and humorous thoughts in author J.J. Harlan’s novel “Amusing Musings: Hilarious one-liners and deep thoughts for the offbeat sense of humor”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

Warning: This book may be a choking hazard if read while eating or drinking.

If you’re a fan of Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey, then you’re going to love Amusing Musings.

Get ready to enjoy the most hilarious book of the year. This hysterical compilation of profound thoughts and hilarious one liners will make you laugh until you cry. Relish delightfully witty quotes such as these:

“I bet a popular joke in the medieval days was to sneak up behind a knight and stick a “kick me” sign on his armor with a magnet.” 

“I think it would be a good idea if scientists invented a new fruit. It should look like an orange, but, ‘surprise’, it tastes like a watermelon. Also, it screams when you peel it.”

“If cats could talk, I bet that when they cleaned themselves they’d never shut up about how good they taste.”

If you are a fan of non-sequitur comedy in the style of Mitch HedburgSteven Wright, or Saturday Night Live’s Jack Handey, then buy this outrageously entertaining book now!

It’s the perfect funny gift for men or women with an offbeat sense of humor!

The Review

This is the perfect read for anyone who is looking for a book that won’t delve heavily into character or narrative based storytelling. Instead this novel brings a series of humorous situations and offbeat lines that only someone with a rich sense of humor could enjoy. From tales of haunted mansions and its bathrooms to the ancient Egyptians and snack foods, this amazing book brings some truly one of a kind humor into the reader’s life.

As the author themselves point out, the novel really does remind me personally of the old SNL Jack Handey sketches that told the same offbeat humor stories and tales that would always throw people off in the most bizarre yet humorous way.  It’s a great way to lighten up anyone’s mood and take readers away from the seriousness of life, and showcases the unique wit and comedy of the author. 

The Verdict

This is a must read book. Although a short read to be sure, the book delivers a powerful punch to the funny bone as readers are transported into this humorous world of the author’s making. Taking the funniest one-liners and odd tales and compiling them into this wonderful collection is sure to make readers laugh and chuckle as they think upon the strange and amusing stories they just read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Amusing Musings” by J.J. Harlan today!

Rating: 9/10

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

https://m.facebook.com/bookwormmatsen/

https://www.instagram.com/bookwormmatsen/?hl=en

https://www.brittanymatsen.com/

The Gender of Debt: The Last 50,000 Years by Mariano Pavanello Review

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

A unique study of the role of women throughout history and their contributions to the economy and the success of the human race as a whole comes to life in author Mariano Pavanello’s novel “The Gender of Debt: The Last 50,000 Years”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

This book demonstrates, from a historical and an economic point of view, how the female contribution has been so determinant in the success of our species, and how it is linked to male dominance. Male hunting and female gathering were the two forces of production during 99% of the life of mankind on Earth. Ethnographic evidence shows that female gathering is more productive and less time-consuming than male hunting. Therefore, the prehistoric communities of Homo sapiens could manage their social labor-time in the most productive way, only if women lent their time to men through the supply of basic energy: a debt that men incurred since the dawn of history, but never acknowledged. It is time now to give the gender economic relations the crucial place they deserve in a theory of human cooperation and sociality, without forgetting that it is necessarily a theory of social inequality.

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The Review

From an analysis of the Biblical myth of Adam and Eve and the “Original Sin” which the author posits stems from the long history of women being gatherers for men while the men hunted for food, thus making women responsible for producing fruit and vegetables and the contribution of energy to men, to the specialized look at the role of hunting in general, or “meat”, played in the development of the nuclear family unit and how women’s contributions using gathering actually provided the most time and energy to the family unit, this book tackles the contributions of women to society in a large scale analysis that many people will instantly relate to.

The detail and historical context the author puts into this book blends well with the mathmatical and economic analysis used to justify the points the author makes throughout the novel. While I myself may not be adept at understanding the complex math and economics used throughout the novel, I think the overall history and research put into the novel by the author does a marvelous job of reaching multiple levels of readers out there, and anyone who enjoys novels on female empowerment, history and equality will love delving into this novel.

The Verdict

This is a unique and promising read that fans of history and equality for both men and women will enjoy reading. The sheer volume of contributions women had to the development of our society will blow the minds of any naysayers and doubters about the need for equality in our society, as without women our development in this world would have suffered greatly. A well researched, well written and fairly quick read, author Mariano Pavanello’s novel “The Gender of Debt: The Last 50,000 Years” is a must read book, so be sure to grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Mariano Pavanello taught Social Anthropology and Africanistics in the Universities of Pisa and Rome “La Sapienza”, where he was Head of the Department of History, Cultures, and Religions. His extensive experience among the Nzema of Ghana was his main ethnological fieldwork that he concluded with the creation of the “Kwame Nkrumah Museum of the Nzema Culture and History” in the premises of the eighteenth-century Fort Apollonia in Beyin, Ghana. He has published a number of books, including Sistemi umani (1992), Le società acquisitive e i fondamenti razionali dello scambio (1993), Il formicaleone e la rana (2000), Perspectives on African Witchcraft (2017), and La papaye empoisonnée. Essais sur la société Akan des Nzema (2017).

Buy the Book:

https://www.cambridgescholars.com/the-gender-of-debt

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https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mariano_Pavanello

https://uniroma1.academia.edu/MarianoPavanello

SSRN at: http://ssrn.com/author=2374528

ORCID: 0000-0003-4314-5958  

I Am Marcus Fox by Bryon Cahill Review

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

One man’s grand story of his life blurs the line between reality and fiction in author Bryon Cahill’s novel “I Am Marcus Fox”. Here is the synopsis.

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The Synopsis

A dangerous man on the brink of madness recounts his life story—a nonstop, action-adventure thrill ride that proves fiction is stranger than truth.

Texas, 1967. Marcus Fox is born to notorious outlaw parents who are always on the run. Unaccustomed to any semblance of a stable family life, the often-neglected child is quick to realize Mom and Dad are driven by sheer violence and mayhem. Hiding out in cheap motels between heists, Marcus’s favorite pastime is listening to his father tell tall tales. He also secretly yearns for any glimmer of love from his monstrous mother. But those banks and roadside diners aren’t going to rob themselves. 

Zambia, Africa, 1973. Six-year-old Marcus Fox is abandoned. Adopted by a local tribesman and his wife, he learns their ways and survives along the Zambezi River. As he grows, Marcus becomes an experienced hunter and fights unimaginable beasts for his supper. But the one animal he can’t best is the ferocious lion within. In the prime of his life, Marcus finds himself strapped with an orphan baby of his own. Acting as both brother and father to the growing boy, Marcus must protect him from the nutty, imperceptible call of nature and shield him from the lucid lure of human contact.

The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Marcus, an unreliable narrator, navigates his most penetrating memories. In retelling his hero’s journey, Marcus reminisces on tragedy and farcical comedy, terror and psychological warfare. At times, he will even question his own sanity. 

Never faltering in his tale, Marcus paints an unbelievable story with larger-than-life bravado. But his overconfidence may just shake him apart and disrupt the infinite, swirling cosmos.

The Review

This has to be one of the most unique and fascinating character driven narratives I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. A truly one of a kind story of a man who’s very existence is called into question as his life’s story becomes more and more surreal and his encounters become more and more “otherworldly” at times, this novel brings a unique study of the nature of one’s self. In the grand scheme of things, when any of us stop to look back on our lives, the biggest question we inevitably ask is, “Who are we?” And in that moment for the protagonist, the narrator responds calmly, “I Am Marcus Fox”. 

The book was evenly paced and provided a great deal of character growth. Heavily leaning on the protagonist’s life rather than a complex plot, the author beautifully captures the line between the reality most of the world sees, and the reality some of us tell ourselves or simply believe to be. It’s a fascinating story that will instantly capture the readers attention, and is a unique take on creating or interpreting a mythology to fit into an author’s vision. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who enjoys character studies, African literature and mythology, and drama fueled with satire and humor. A story of abandonment, violence, and the journey to discover who we are, the story will have readers heart’s pounding as they look to discover for themselves who Marcus Fox really is, and if his story is true or just true for him. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copy of I Am Marcus Fox by author Bryon Cahill today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Bryon Cahill is an author for all ages. A Stay-At-Home Dad by day and night, he writes by proverbial candlelight in the wee strange hours of morning. 

In the past, Bryon was an award-winning writer and editor of literary publications for teens. His stories, influenced by phantasmagorical classics such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, do often steer off-course, alighting on the wings of the fantastical.

When not writing or Dadding, Bryon dreams of sleeping sheep. He summers, winters, springs, and falls with his loving family along the sunny beaches of the Jersey Shore.

I Am Marcus Fox is Bryon’s debut novel for adult readers. It will be available for human consumption on May 7, 2019. 

Novels steeped in magical realism for young adult and middle grade readers are forthcoming, as is more fiction for adults.

Website & Blog: www.bryoncahill.com

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/bryoncahill

Twitter: www.twitter.com/shakabry

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BryonCahillAuthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/shakabry