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

Mother’s Day Promotion @ eBooks.com Save $5 on $40 purchase. Use code MOTHER$TREATcp. Valid until May 31, 2019

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

**********************************************

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

https://uniroma1.academia.edu/MarianoPavanello

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

ORCID: 0000-0003-4314-5958  

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Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession by Linda Lee Kane Review

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

A lifetime of tragedy leads a young woman into a centuries old battle between two ancient orders over a secret that could change the world forever in author Linda Lee Kane’s “Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Luci de Foix was nine when her parents were killed in a car accident. But was it an accident? Unbeknownst to Luci, a group known as The Order, under the protection of the Pope, has been watching her family for many years, waiting for the day that a diary written in the thirteenth century would be delivered to her family-a journal that contains a key to a lost codex-and they would do anything to get it. Early one morning, when Luci is twenty-nine, a bloodied young man delivers a book, claiming it’s from her late grandparents.

Plagued by panic attacks that have left her crippled, Luci struggles to overcome her fears, avenge the death of their family, and search for the lost codex. But who can she trust? Everyone seems intent on betraying her, even the gorgeous, enigmatic Max, a man with secrets of his own.

Print Length: 210 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery

Publisher: Dark Rose Press

ASIN: B07KJR5WBH

The Review

This was a fast paced, action packed history thriller like no other. The mystery of the novel comes in two parts: the first being the mystery behind the secret the church has been chasing all these centuries, and the second being who was being the deaths of Luci’s parents and others in her life. The story thrives when it delves into the mythology aspect of the narrative, which readers will find refreshing as it flips the book on specific aspects of religion and history when it comes to the Catholic Church. 

Exploring aspects like how Tarot Cards were marked as “evil” by the Church, the secret teachings of Jesus of Nazareth (whether you believe in him as the Lord or are interested from a historical standpoint, this book will fascinate you regardless), and the lengths an organization will go to in order to maintain power and control, this novel features a truly amazing narrative. While there are some great character developments in this novel, it is the mystery and mythology of the book that really shines through, showcasing a powerful command over history and religion’s impact on humanity overall on the author’s part. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for any historical fiction and mystery fans out there. Filled with action, suspense and a twisting plot that will leave readers on the edge of their seat, this is a unique read that readers rarely glimpse in the historical fiction genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession” by Linda Lee Kane today!

Rating: 10/10

Black Madonna is now available to purchase on AmazoniTunesKOBO, and Barnes and Noble.

About the Author, Linda Lee Kane

Linda Lee Kane is an author of fantasies, thrillers, and contemporary fiction works. She is the author of Death on the VineChilled to the Bones and an upcoming re-release of the The Black Madonna ‘A Popes Deadly Obsession’. She lives with her husband, two dogs,  and seven horses in California.  “Whether I am writing for adults or children, the war between my days and nights is reflected in my books. Although the tendency to acknowledge the light and dark sides of life is often disguised in my work, it’s always there, lurking just out of sight.”

You can find Linda at her website: https://www.lindaleekane.com/

You may also follow her on Twitter at @llkane2152.

You may also follow her on Amazon and GoodReads.

You can follow the author’s blog tour using the dates and links below! 

— Blog Tour Dates

April 1st @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Come by today and celebrate the launch of Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obession. Read an interview with the author and also enter to win a copy of the book.

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

April 2nd @ Break Even Books

Make sure you visit Erik’s blog today where you can catch Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about heroes and villains.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

April 3rd @ Words from the Heart

Rev. Linda Neas will be reviewing Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession. 

https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

April 5th @ Words from the Heart

Stop by Rev. Linda Neas blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about heroes and villains.

https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

April 8th @ Jennifer’s Deals

Visit Jennifer’s blog where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

https://www.jennifers-deals2.com/

April 10th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Stop by Bev’s blog today where you can read her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

April 11th @ Oh for the Hook of a Book

Visit Erin’s blog today where she shares her opinion about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/

April 12th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s bookworm blog where you can read author Linda Lee Kane’s post about creating suspense. Plus, be sure to check out the interview with the author as well!

http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

April 13th @ Chapters Through Life

Visit Danielle’s blog where you can read her interview with author Linda Lee Kane and hear more about this interesting writer!

https://chaptersthroughlife.blogspot.com/

April 15th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Bev’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post about finding the idea.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

April 16th @ Amanda Diaries

Visit Amanda’s blog where she reviews the exciting historical fiction book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession by Linda Lee Kane.

https://amandadiaries.com/

April 19th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

April 19th @ Jill Sheet’s Blog

Make sure you stop by Jill’s blog today where author Linda Lee Kane talks about finding the idea.

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

April 20th @ Madeline Sharples’ Blog

Stop by Madeline’s blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about life as a writer.

http://madelinesharples.com/

April 21st @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s exciting thriller, Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

April 22nd @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post on research.

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

April 23rd @ Joyful Antidotes

Come by Joy’s blog today and find out her thoughts on Linda Lee Kane’s exciting book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

https://joyfulantidotes.com/

April 24th @ Bring on Lemons

Stop by Crystal’s blog today where you can read her review of this exciting historical fiction book, Black Madonna.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

April 25th @ To Write or Not to Write

Visit Sreevarsha’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting thriller Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

April 26th @ To Write or Not to Write

Make sure you stop by Sreevarsha’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s fascinating blog post about the anatomy of a thriller.

https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

April 27th @ A Day in the Life of Mom

Visit Ashley’s blog and check out what she has to say about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

May 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Be sure to stop by Anthony’s blog today where you can read his opinion about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

May the 4th be with you on this day! Be sure to visit Anthony’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post on the anatomy of a thriller as well as an interview with this incredible author.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 6th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog again where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession. Plus you can also enter to win a copy of the book!

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

Firstborn (Descendants of the House of Bathory #2) by Tosca Lee Review

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

The truth of Audra Ellison’s past is revealed, and now the fight for not only her life but all of her people can truly begin in author Tosca Lee’s second and final book in the Descendants of the House of Bathory series, Firstborn. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test.

The Review

This book does what all sequels should do. It builds upon the foundation laid by the first book and ups the ante in big and unexpected ways. Firstborn does an amazing job of seeing Audra fully embrace herself after her long journey to discover who she is. In the series conclusion, we see a more confident and determined Audra emerge, a hero risen from the ashes and set on ending a centuries long war that has claimed too many lives.

The book moves at a fast pace from the first page, keeping readers on the edge of their seat as they race right alongside Audra on her journey. What really drew me into the story was the way the author challenges readers to think about history itself. After reading the book I dug into the history behind Elizabeth Bathory, and some of the details of her case really have me challenging what I thought I knew.

Time and pop culture have made her into a terrifying monster, embellishing the number of her victims and the crimes she was accused of. Did she really kill all those people? Or was she the target of a King’s ambition? After reading this fiction book, I am definitely intrigued enough to look into this case further, and encourage others to do the same. That’s the power this author has over readers. She challenges readers to look at life critically and examine all sides of any situation.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. It has a heart pounding journey that leads to a shocking and satisfying conclusion. Readers who love the first book will not be disappointed, and it not only makes you want to delve into the true history of this story but has you feeling connected to Audra and her friends as if you have lived this journey with them, marking a truly captivating story and author. If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy of Firstborn by Tosca Lee today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1476798672/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1476798672&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

About the Author

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

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

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

Social Media Links

https://toscalee.com/

https://twitter.com/ToscaLee

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToscaLee

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

Check out the review for book one, The Progeny, here!

The Progeny (Descendants of the House of Bathory #1) by Tosca Lee Review

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

The legend of one of history’s most notorious female serial killers turns into a full blown conspiracy in author Tosca Lee’s highly acclaimed novel The Progeny (Descendants of the House of Bathory #1). A thrilling historical fiction/fantasy takes readers into the life of one young woman with a mysterious past she has to piece together and learn who she can trust before those who hunt her finally catch up. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding the most notorious female serial killer of all time. A fast-paced thriller for fans of Ted Dekker’s The Books of Mortals, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and BBC America’s hit series Orphan Black.

Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope.

The Review

As a fan of history and in particular the story of Elizabeth Bathory, this book immediately fascinated me. The idea that the families of her victims could have vowed to hunt down her entire lineage is interesting, as it explores what happens when the descendants of the famed Blood Countess become the victims and the families of her victims become monsters just like her. The supernatural elements brought the fantasy elements to life in a natural way for this historical fiction, and made the story flow at an even pace.

The characters are what really made this story shine however. From protagonist Emily Jacobs and her struggle to learn who she really is, to the back and forth struggle to learn who to trust, and who to fear, these characters really drew the reader in with heartfelt storylines and action-fueled chases around the world.

The Verdict

This is a must read first book in what promises to be a phenomenal two book series. Fans of history, true crime serial killer legends and fantasy will fall in love with Tosca Lee’s story of survival, love and the journey to learn the truth. Who is Emily Jacobs? Who was Elizabeth Bathory really? Pick up your copy of The Progeny by Tosca Lee to find out!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/Progeny-Novel-Descendants-House-Bathory-ebook/dp/B010MH9YUW?keywords=tosca+lee&qid=1540774411&sr=8-2&ref=sr_1_2

About the Author

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

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

Social Media Links

https://toscalee.com/

https://twitter.com/ToscaLee

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToscaLee

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

Check out my review of the second book in the series, Firstborn, here!

Reasons to kill God by I.V. Olokita Review

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

A chilling look into the lives of a former Nazi and those around him takes center stage in author I.V. Olokita’s novel “Reasons to kill God”. Here is the synopsis as relayed to me by the author.

The Synopsis

It’s an all-genre book.

It’s a WW2 novel, but it reads like A psychological thriller or a suspicion book.

It translated into English after reaching the top of bestseller charts in Israel.

The central character is a former Nazi extermination camp commander, who is now An ordinary Brazilian enjoying a rich man’s life.

And there is Dios, his son from a Brazilian prostitute, yet he doesn’t know him, nor the fact Dios’s foster mom is Jewish.

And all hell breaks loss as they all become a family.

It’s plot set in Germany, Brazil, Israel, and the U.S.A, starting years early WW2 and ends our days.

The Review

What really interested me about this era of the author’s story is how so many former Nazi officers managed to escape Germany before the fall of the Reich and built luxurious lives for themselves in places such as South America. The sheer volume of money and gold stolen by these officers have allowed criminals to live in luxury off of the blood of the innocent for decades, and some have never gotten the justice they so rightly deserve.

The other amazing thing that drew me into the story was the writing itself. Translated into English after soaring to the top of the charts in Israel, this story is definitely multi-cultural. The book’s beginning chapter opens up to a cold, haunting retelling of events in one of the Concentration Camps during WWII, and shows one of thousands of stories involving the horrendous conditions prisoners faced on a daily basis.

The story also focuses on the concept of family. What defines family? Blood or the bond we build with one another? How does one survive in a household run by an angry father you barely know who harbors the dark secret of his genocidal past? All these questions are explored thoroughly in this novel.

The Verdict

Overall this was a fascinating read to behold. Unfortunately I don’t have a cover to share with you guys yet or a link to preorder, but the story itself was strong, a fast read and filled with amazing history and twists that no one will see coming. A blend of history and thrillers, this was a one of a kind read that will make the jump from the Israeli charts to the US brilliantly. Look out for the release of I.V. Olokita’s novel “Reasons to kill God” in the coming months.

Rating: 8/10

About the Author

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I.V. Olokita has been a practicing doctor most of his life, specializing in management of medical aid to disaster areas all over the world. He has a BA degree in logistics, and an MA degree emergency and disaster situations management. He also volunteers to rescue missions in disaster areas all over the world.

Olokita’s first book (in Hebrew), Ten Simple Rules, was published in 2014. It won an Israeli literary prize, and immediately made an online bestseller. The following year, another book by Olokita, Reasons to Kill God, made a local bestseller in Israel. In May 2016, his third novel, Wicked Girl, was published, to make another great success, and soon presents in English.

I. V. Olokita is a happily married father of two adolescents and a foster father of five cats and two dogs. By the way, he hardly ever sleeps. Instead, he spends his nights on writing.

Olokita’s books are characterized by direct writing, Turns wiry and witty, requiring the reader to delve into and maintain vigilance from the beginning of the book to its surprising end.

http://www.reasons-to-kill-god.com/about.html

https://www.facebook.com/iv.books/

 

Jack Dawkins by Terry Ward Review

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

In a fun and surprising twist (pun intended), author Terry Ward has given the world the sequel to a book no one ever would have thought they needed, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The book is called “Jack Dawkins”, and follows the legendary “Artful Dodger” as his story picks up after the events of the classic literary hit. Here’s the synopsis:

The Synopsis

After Oliver Twist intervenes to save Jack Dawkins – the legendary Artful Dodger – from transportation to Botany Bay, Jack embarks on what proves to be a perilous quest to discover his roots. Before he can say ‘Fagin!’ he’s battling to survive a devastating flood and rescue beautiful black-haired, green-eyed Lysette Godden, the girl of his dreams, from the hands of murderous villains. Jack and Lysette, searching for Jack’s parents, head to France and have an adventure there which tests their mettle and mutual love to the utmost and changes their lives for ever. 

Brilliantly and evocatively written, Jack Dawkins is a worthy sequel to Charles Dickens’s immortal masterpiece Oliver Twist. 

Hampered by her tendency always to want what she hasn’t got and an apparent inability to let go of the past, will Lucy ever find her elusive happy-ever-after? This witty, amusing, highly entertaining and fast-paced novel is sure to make you feel Lucy’s dilemma, and warm your heart.

The Review

This was a breathtaking and beautiful story that readers need to have in their lives. Oliver Twist is a literary masterpiece and classic, as many fans of author Charles Dickens knows. The legend of the Artful Dodger continues in this epic story of love, adventure and growing up in the face of great adversity. Taking a look at the classic literary character and giving him a heroic journey like no other, author Terry Ward has given the character a chance to truly complete his story.

The writing was amazing in this book. Capturing the voice and tone of Charles Dickens while giving the story a refreshing new direction, Jack Dawkins is poised to regain his legendary status in the literary world. Set against the backdrop of the return of Napoleon Bonaparte and the looming war with France, this story sees one young man forced to prove his worth against a world who seems to only see a criminal and a dead man walking. In a world where people are still judged guilty and hopeless at such a young age and never given a chance to thrive, this story is much needed and gives readers everywhere the chance to rejoin the Artful Dodger like never before.

The Verdict

Overall this was a truly amazing sequel and novel that I never knew I needed, but one that I could never go without. The imagery brings that era of English history to life in a way that keeps the reader engaged and brings a sense of classicalism to life like never before. If you enjoy the works of Charles Dickens, like historical fiction or want to see what happened to The Artful Dodger after the events of Oliver Twist, then Jack Dawkins by Terry Ward is the book for you. Pick up your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

https://amzn.to/2Nb1ZOv

https://twitter.com/tjohnward

Interview with Author Philip Bencel

Check out my latest #authorinterview with Philip Bencel, author of Freedom City, a dystopian novel set in a world way too similar to our own… #interview #bookblog

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

I’ve been a private investigator in Washington, D.C. for almost twenty years. I’ve written stories since I was a kid, but I didn’t publish my first books until I was in my mid-thirties: Introduction to Conducting Private Investigations and Principles of Investigative Documentation. I returned to writing fiction last year, when I took a sabbatical from my investigations company to write a novel.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

The book I aspired to write last year was called Order of Damaged Souls, set around the 14th century Flemish peasant revolt. I finished that book, but I ultimately decided it was too dark for mainstream consumption. While bemoaning all the time that I “wasted” on Damaged Souls, I had an epiphany about just how demoralized I was about the American disaster marked by Donald Trump’s presidency. This soul-searching led me to re-read The Monkey Wrench Gang, a campy novel written by Edward Abbey about a band of misfits who sabotage stuff to protect the environment. I thought, ‘I should write something like that, but set in post-Trump America!’ Thus inspired, I wrote Freedom City in about three months, rushing to get it out before Trump’s impeachment. [Laughter].

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

I don’t know if I can curse on your blog—but fucking hell, what we’re living through right now is the resurgence of fascism, plain and simple. I know the left is often too loose with the word ‘fascist,’ and that’s regrettable, but there is nothing else to call attacks on the press, on the judiciary, and outright distain for the rule of law by the so-called President of the United States. So, Freedom City is a serious book about a very serious topic, but I really tried to bring it down to a level where I’m not just screaming incoherently out the window. The thing is that, when you take a deep breath, Trump and his enablers are evil in an almost inept-comic-book-villain sort of way, so there is actually a lot to laugh about in the situation. The one thing I hope people get from my book is that we must kill them with laughter. That’s their biggest weakness, which is why the right has been so up in arms the past few days about Michelle Wolf’s scathing comedy routine at the WHCD.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Well, my first novel was historical fiction, which is what I often like to read. Freedom City, I suppose, is contemporary literary fiction, but I’ve really struggled with whether to call it satire or dystopian fiction. It’s a little of both, actually, more like a tragicomedy. Like I said, I didn’t really set out to write it, but as a longtime private detective who lives in D.C.—I can literally see the fucking U.S. Capitol out of my window—I was probably the person best situated to write a novel like Freedom City.

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

I admit that I struggled a bit with Clare Swan, the main female protagonist. Some female readers have pointed out her promiscuity, and that’s certainly a fair critique. But while my book might not pass the Bechdel test, nobody (so far) has accused me of being anti-feminist. Actually, I’m a diehard feminist. It’s just that I have an active imagination, so when I write female characters I sometimes imagine ways I might sleep with them. [Laugher]. Ultimately, I think Clare turned out to be a delightfully complex human being and a righteous warrior. But if I could talk to her I’d ask if she feels I did her justice.

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

That’s a great question. I had already developed this public persona as a private investigator, and by far the biggest platforms for that are LinkedIn and Twitter. Because of that professional following I already had from my non-fiction books, I’ve gotten the most traction so far from those sites. However, I’m super excited about Instagram—which I confess I wasn’t even on until a few months ago. As I’m someone who loves readings and events, it really gives me a chance to chronicle the “buzz” around my book and hopefully help it, one day, take off.

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

So much of the advice aspiring writers get is to clichéd. I mean, I could say ‘don’t be afraid to suck’ or ‘join a writing group’—both sage pieces of advice—but instead I’ll say this: Write about the things buried deep in your soul that you think might scare your friends to know about you. Just do it. They won’t scare, and you’ll be writing honest shit.

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

I’ve got a couple irons in the fire, including a continuation (sort of) of Freedom City. Lately, however, I’m back to doing investigations, so I don’t have all the time to write I had last year. That’s okay though, because now that I recognize impeachment isn’t happening anytime soon I can take the time to make the next book longer and even more snarky.

 

freedom

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