Monday, November 19, 2018

Writing From the Heart by Chris Sarracini @chris_sarracini #children #writing #writerslife

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WRITING FROM THE HEART

By Chris Sarracini

My children’s book, Where Wishes Grow…, illustrated by Pauline Aksay, focuses on the unbreakable bond of love between a young girl (Maggie), her mother and her grandmother. Maggie’s grandmother is bedridden, having suffered a stroke, and Maggie has some wishes she desperately wants to come true; wishes that would help her grandmother enjoy the vibrant life she once had. And so, Maggie’s mom comes up with a plan to help those wishes to grow.

Writing Where Wishes Grow… was a very cathartic experience for me. Like Maggie, the hero of the story, I too was deeply impacted as a young child when my grandmother suffered a stroke and had to rehabilitate herself physically and mentally. I think Maggie’s wishes for her grandmother stem from my feelings of helplessness when I saw my grandmother struggling to return to health. Needless to say, Where Wishes Grow… is definitely a story I wrote from the heart.

In writing Where Wishes Grow… I wanted to tell a story that would have a powerful emotional impact not just on the kids enjoying the book but also on the parents or grandparents who might be reading it with them. I hoped that it would remind readers, young and old, just how powerful the bonds of family are and how important it is to cherish the shared memories between generations because time with family is precious. And most of all, I wanted the story to remind readers of how hope is one of the most powerful emotions of all.

In order to capture the soft and tender emotions that this story is meant to evoke, the book needed just the right artist. Working with Pauline Aksay was an incredible experience. Since so much of the book revolves around Maggie dreaming of bigger and better things for her Nanna, and since so much of the storytelling happens when Maggie retells her adventures to her mother after having planted her wishes, the dreaminess of Pauline’s digital paintings was a perfect fit. There are very few artists who can transport readers into the vibrant and colorful imagination of a child quite like Pauline.

We hope you enjoy Where Wishes Grow… and that this story, written from the heart, touches yours.

  About the Author

Chris Sarracini has been working in the comic book and film industries for over 15 years. In addition to writing for a number of successful comic book favorites including TRANSFORMERS, STREET FIGHTER and DARK MINDS, his own creations include FATE OF THE BLADE and CASA NOSTRA. As a screenwriter, he has worked with Universal Pictures, Disney and Nasser Entertainment. His most recent publication is the children's picture book WHERE WISHES GROW...
Chris lives with his family in Toronto where he continues to create and write.
Website Address: www.chrissarracini.com

About the Book:

Title: WHERE WISHES GROW
Author: Chris Sarracini
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 56
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

BOOK BLURB:
Where Wishes Grow… is the story of eight-year-old Maggie, a pensive and courageous dreamer, whose big heart starts to break when her grandmother becomes bedridden and sick with no recovery in sight. Fortunately Maggie has some wishes in mind to breathe life into Nana and is about to learn the secret for making them come true.
Watching Nana’s health fail has been difficult for Maggie and so now much of her time is spent dreaming up wishes for ways she can help her. Maggie conjures up three wishes for Nana she desperately wants to come true: for Nana to see again to enjoy her favorite beautiful things, for her to walk again to visit her favorite places, and for her to speak again so that she and Maggie can sing their favorite songs. The problem is, with wishes this important, Maggie wants to be sure she can realize them; wishing upon stars that may be long dead or relying on birthday candle hoopla just won’t cut it. Thankfully, Maggie’s mother knows the secret for turning wishes into reality…you’ve got to write each wish down and then go plant each one in just the right place. And, as Maggie discovers, retelling the story of how each wish was planted turns out to be the most magical part.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

20 Questions with Poet/Author J. Autherine @loveautherine

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Janet Autherine is the author of Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters, and Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul: Reclaiming Your Heart in order to Live and Love Harmoniously.

Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul, is a beautiful collection of poems that tell the stories of strong, vulnerable, courageous women who love deeply, sometimes fall hard but always lead with their hearts. It is a deep and gritty, fresh and robust look at the thrill of loving unconditionally, as well as the mental and physical toll that it takes when peace and harmony are sometimes lost in the process. Drawing on personal experiences from her own journey of the past 30 years, J Autherine delves into the vulnerable hearts of women from around the world, including from her early years in Jamaica.
Growing into Greatness with God, 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters is inspired by her own experiences growing up in Jamaica, as well as her experience raising her three sons to recognize and nourish what God has planted within each of them.  Her goal, through her writing, is to empower adults and children to see themselves as unique and amazing, already blessed with the ability to succeed in life and achieve their dreams.

Janet was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States when she was twelve. She grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Pennsylvania State University and Boston College Law School.  Janet continues to practice law but wakes up at 5am almost every morning to cultivate her inspirational writing and introduce readers to great books through her publishing company, Autherine Publishing. She is a proud introvert and running and reading are her peaceful passions.  Her books are available on Amazon and she blogs at www.JanetAutherine.com.

Website Address: www.JanetAutherine.com
Twitter Address:@loveautherine



1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer? 
My favorite time to write is usually 30 minutes after I crawl out of bed.  I meditate for a few minutes, make a cup of tea and start writing what is in my heart.

2. Do you outline or are you a pantster? 
I didn’t outline my poetry book, Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul. I feel the emotion and then let the writing flow.  My first book, Growing into Greatness with God used bible stories to inspire children to grow into their greatness so I took the time to outline the book before writing.

3. Which comes first – plot or character? 
Usually the plot.  My most recent book, Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul a beautiful collection of poems that provide inspiration to strong, vulnerable, badass women who love deeply, sometimes fall hard but always lead with their hearts. It is a deep and gritty, fresh and robust look at the thrill of loving unconditionally, as well as the mental and physical toll that it takes when peace and harmony are sometimes lost in the process. 
The poems are from the heart so are largely driven by a strong emotion, such as pain, love, fear or joy.  When I ride the emotional wave, the words of the poem flow.

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript? 
Quiet is best for me.  I love to write early in the morning before everyone else in the house is awake. 5am is my magic hour.  An exception is the sound of the ocean, which sparks creativity.

5. Favorite TV show? 
I gave up television when I started writing daily, however, when I do indulge, I love to watch the Voice.  I love to see dreams fulfilled.

6. Favorite type of music? 
Reggae.  I was born in Jamaica and a bit of Bob Marley is the perfect combination for anyone who is creative.

7. Favorite craft besides writing? 
I used to make jewelry before I became far-sighted.  I love the instant gratification of creating something beautiful.

8. Do you play a musical instrument? 
In my dreams, I play the piano and the drums.

9. Single or married? 
Single

10. Children or no? 
I am blessed to have three boys.  It is a big, noisy party at my house but we love it.

11. Pets? 
I am a cat person.  I loved Rudy for about 14 years and he passed away in my arms.  He was a very temperamental cat who would go out of his way to let me know when he was displeased but that is what made him special.

12. Favorite place to write? 
My favorite place to write is at any time overlooking the ocean.  All the senses are engaged and creativity flows.

13. Favorite restaurant? 
For a special night out, I love Eddie V’s in Orlando because it has amazing seafood.  I am a pescatarian.  For a laid-back vibe, Mark’s Caribbean Cuisine plays reggae music and serves up good Jamaican food.

14. Do you work outside the home? 
I graduated from law school in 1994 and has consistently worked in the profession while getting up early almost every morning to write. 

15. What was the name of the last movie that you saw? 
The Black Panther.  When I was writing, Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul, I didn’t see many movies but the Black Panther was amazing and I am so glad that I saw it because it inspired me to write the poem, Wakanda Love, which is one of my favorite love poems in the book.

16. Favorite outdoor activity? 
Running. I ran the Marine Corps Marathon when I lived in the Washington, DC area.  

17. Pet peeve? 
Unkindness.  Chose to treat everyone well; it is the best choice for humanity and our own mental health. 

18. Your goal in life? 
My goal is to continue to write books that resonate with readers and share them with as many readers as possible.  My first book, Growing into Greatness with God, has become a mission for me because it is an important motivational read for children. I am working to get it distributed internationally and to as many churches,  and international children’s missions as possible.  I would love for every child to have access to it and to provide it at no cost to those who cannot afford it.  Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is really resonating with women and I am excited to  get out and meet all the readers.  My next book is Everything’s Irie: An Island Girl’s Approach to Mindful Living and Being.  It will be available on Amazon January 2019.

19. Your most exciting moment? 
As  a writer, I love that moment when the book first appears on Amazon or I walk into a bookstore and it is there.  It is a powerful feeling of gratitude. 

20. The love of your life?
Without a doubt, my three boys!
About the Book:

Title: WILD HEART, PEACEFUL SOUL: POEMS AND INSPIRATION TO LIVE AND LOVE HARMONIOUSLY
Author: J. Autherine
Publisher: Autherine Publishing
Pages: 158
Genre: Poetry

BOOK BLURB:
Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul, is a beautiful collection of poems that provide inspiration to strong, vulnerable, badass women who love deeply, sometimes fall hard but always lead with their hearts. It is a deep and gritty, fresh and robust look at the thrill of loving unconditionally, as well as the mental and physical toll that it takes when peace and harmony are sometimes lost in the process.
                                                         
Drawing on personal experiences from her own journey of the past 30 years, J Autherine delves into the vulnerable hearts of women from around the world, including from her early years in Jamaica. Poems such as Quiet Storm reveal the pain of sudden loss, while The Rebel Soul carries with it that air of doubt or uncertainty we all feel when in love.   

The pain and struggle of women who love deeply and pour into others without first filling their own jars is prevalent throughout, as is the reoccurring theme of reclaiming your heart in order to live and love harmoniously.

Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul has the ability to pick you up in moments when you feel broken or not good enough to be loved and provide the strength in the love you always need as we search for the one who is worthy of our love.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Friday, November 9, 2018

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT “THE SHELTERING PALMS” BY PRESTON HOWARD

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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT “THE SHELTERING PALMS”

The Sheltering Palms was my first endeavor into fiction writing, so there has been some trepidation about the book’s reception. The novel was definitely a labor of love.
I spent well over forty years working around lawyers, cops and unions, and there was simply too much rich material to pass up writing a story about these fascinating subjects. And my childhood around a bourbon-swilling, piano-playing grandfather and other eccentric family characters offered further material for some terrific tales about these oddballs. When I combined my childhood along with my career and developed a coherent story, the result was a satisfying fictional autobiography that hopefully you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing it.
During my career, I wrote and published three professional books about police unions, and figured: how hard could it be to write a novel? Boy, was I deluded! A novel is a completely different process, requiring a creativity and word usage that at first puzzled me. But I finally got into the groove and the result is a book that hopefully you will find to be funny, eerie, sardonic and a little bit, no make that a whole lot, lewd.
The protagonist, that would be yours truly, represented some truly heroic police officers and some of the lowest of the low, but all of them compelling characters. Readers might be shocked to look behind the curtain and see what really happens in police departments, but you will definitely enjoy the ride.
I especially hope that you enjoy the character named Buster, who in the book was an attorney in a small east Tennessee burg who mentored me during my formative years. Buster definitely enjoyed his bourbon way too much, had more information floating around in his head than ten people combined, could spin the funniest tales, write the funniest letters, and had the most peculiar ideas about religion and politicians. He was the mold for what has been termed “country lawyer.”
When I finished writing this book, I gave a huge sigh of relief, figuring my work was now complete. What did I know? Several of my colleagues told me I needed a professional editor; I said, “I took English in college, so why the hell do I need an editor.” But I followed their advice and brought on ace editor Jeff LaFerney, not realizing that he was going to push me through an English 101 boot camp and point out the many grammatical errors I had made in the writing process. Because of Jeff’s efforts, the final project is so much improved. I can never thank him enough for his efforts.
I have so enjoyed writing this novel that a sequel is now in the works. It should be completed sometime next spring. Good reading!
Preston Howard
About the Author

Preston Howard spent his entire career working on behalf of police officers, representing them under adverse circumstances, negotiating contracts to improve officers’ benefits and working conditions, and training police union officials in the art of leadership. He has written numerous books and lectured not only in this country but abroad as well.
His latest book is the fictional autobiography/historical fiction/satire, The Sheltering Palms.
Website Address:  http://www.prestonhowardauthor.com   
Facebook Address: Preston Howard - Author

About the Book:

Title: THE SHELTERING PALMS
Author:
Preston Howard
Publisher:
Preston Howard Press
Pages: 519
Genre:
Fictional Autobiography/Historical Fiction/Satire

BOOK BLURB:
Renowned police labor lawyer, Preston Howard, reached a watershed in his life—a forced retirement from the firm he built from the ground up and a cancer diagnosis. These two events made him take a step back and reflect over a life that had at times been hilarious, irreverent, self-mocking, eerie and even a bit, make that, quite lewd.
A family of unique characters guided the lawyer’s formative years: a bourbon-swilling, brilliant yet flawed grandfather who mentored the young lad in matters of religion, politics and the quest for knowledge; a psychic mother; an oversexed nanny; an aunt and uncle who fought on the front lines of integration; and a fire-balling uncle who got his fifteen minutes of fame in The Show.
Preston Howard first made his mark as a crime-fighting attorney representing the Tucson Police Department. Then he spent over forty illustrious years as a labor lawyer working with police officers and union leaders and handling the gamut of fascinating, high-profile cases across the country and even in other countries.
His many tall yarns might be viewed by some with the greatest suspicion, but his story-telling is undeniably first-class, witty, and absorbing.

PRAISE:
“The best book I’ve ever read about lawyers, cops, and unions.” Bob Helpert, Tucson, Arizona

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A Peculiar Art in Good Company: Why I Write Fantasy By John Paul Tucker

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A Peculiar Art in Good Company: Why I Write Fantasy
                                        By John Paul Tucker      
I suppose it should come as no surprise that after becoming a Christian at age twenty-one (another story), and having been immersed in theatre and literature since early high school, that the works of C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, Walter Wangerin Jr., Flannery O’Connor, George MacDonald and many other Christian authors would become the staple of my literary diet. And rather than having my kindled imagination extinguished at my baptism, the glorious gift of my youth burst into unquenchable flames.
But writing Fantasy is not so much a phoenix of the imagination, though it is very much that, as it is a distillation, an art of entanglement similar to what poetry is to prose. It casts the tangible world, the spectrum of our emotions, the elusive subconscious, and more significantly, the homely and resplendent aspects of the spiritual, as actors in a corporeal pageant. The following is a line from a submission letter describing my latest children’s fantasy novel, inspired by George MacDonald’s classics for adults, Lilith and Phantastes: “Will’s longing for his father ignites a dramatic and fateful quest into [Secret Book Title], a country turned inside out; a land in which the invisible spiritual world has transformed into creatures of elemental power.”
Merely repeating ‘creatures of elemental power’ sets the calm surface of my imagination churning. Disillusionment, for example, is no longer “a feeling of disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be;” it is the worm “That flies in the night/ In the howling storm:” which has “found out thy bed/ Of Crimson joy:/ And his dark secret love/ Does thy life destroy.” Excerpt from The Sick Rose by William Blake. For the author of fantasy the ‘worm’, an organism corrupting the heart of love, has been cast as the new antagonist in an epic plot. In fact, Wyrm, has long been a literary type in the genre.
Speaking of history, as an initiate in the genre, a writer pulls up an old, leather wingback chair at the sage-worn hearth of literary tradition. Recall John Bunyan’s allegory Pilgrim’s Progress, whose timeless message still packs a punch, or George MacDonald’s fantasies for children, such as The Princess and the Goblin, or his tender examination of gender and human frailty in The Day Boy and The Night Girl, or his adult fantasy Lilith, a haunting tale of obsession and betrayal, a mythic odyssey of death and rebirth. The author of The Time Trilogy declared her fantasies [works] are her theology. “Part of fantasy,” says Madeleine L’Engle, “is moving beyond that which is limited to that which is unlimited and helps us to grow and develop and be.” And merely whispering the names of Edith Nesbit, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, who set the bar for the genre, elicits a profound appreciation for their peerless contribution to the Fantasy Literary genre — moreover, their holistic encouragement to our spiritual well-being. I am happy to be serving tables among such company.
“He does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods; the reading makes all real woods a little enchanted.”
– C.S. Lewis, On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature.
About the Author

John Paul Tucker holds degrees in Theatre and Theology and has many years experience as an Ontario Certified English Language Teacher, in addition to teaching mime, puppetry and Drama to teens and children. His unique journey has furnished him with an eclectic head of ideas.
                            
He is currently celebrating his 50th article on www.thewriterslessonbook.com, an educational website he created for writers, featuring writing tips and techniques harvested from the books we love to read. He has published poems in the Toronto Sun, Little Trinity Print Magazine and Imago Arts e-magazine. His poem City Sidewalks won first prize in a Toronto wide poetry contest. Two of his short stories, The Crooked Tree and The Debt Collector have each won a prize awarded by The Word Guild and The Prescott Journal respectively. You will find one of his fantasy stories recently published in the popular Hot Apple Cider anthology Christmas with Hot Apple Cider. JP has been busy polishing up The Rooster and the Raven King & The Rise of the Crimson King, Books II & III of The Song of Fridorfold trilogy, pursuing Cary, Clarisse and Gregory on their fantastic adventures.

John Paul is excited to be putting the final touches to his fourth novel, a YA fantasy inspired by the remarkable storyteller, George MacDonald. Gather the latest news about JP’s upcoming novels, enjoy a book trailer, dive into some free stories and poems, contribute some art work, take a peek at some photos, or for no other reason drop by to say hello at his official author website www.johnpaultucker.com.

John’s latest book is the middle grade fantasy adventure, Shelter Island.




About the Book:

Title: SHELTER ISLAND
Author: John Paul Tucker
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 224
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

BOOK BLURB:
Thirteen-year-old Cary and his sister Clarisse must return home every day after school to mind their eight year old brother, Gregory. “It’s a non-negotiable,” insist their work-obsessed parents. There is another problem. Clarisse and Gregory don’t like Cary much, and Cary doesn’t much like anything, especially being tagged with his gummy-fingered little brother. But their troubles are about to grow talons.

While bickering over the contents of a small, intricately embroidered pouch, the siblings unintentionally summon three mail-clad birds, who hasten their three young conscripts to Shelter Island, refuge to a long divided realm hidden from the children’s homeland for hundreds of years. Spotted above enemy territory, the small company is attacked. Clarisse and Gregory escape to the caves of Husgard. Cary’s captors dispatch him to Vangorfold, a centuries old stronghold sworn to Husgard’s destruction. Entangled in a centuries old conflict, the children’s own blur of problems comes into sharp focus, hastening the fortunes, for good or ill, not only of a forgotten civilization of birds, but of the children’s homeland.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Monday, November 5, 2018

Going For Broke: How To Suffer Well Book Trailer Feature #booktrailer @shannonmedisky

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Inside the Book


Title: GOING FOR BROKE: HOW TO SUFFER WELL
Author: Shannon Medisky
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 61
Genre: Christian Nonfiction/Devotional

BOOK BLURB:

Hardship hurts and suffering sucks.

But there’s very important work—and rewards—we need to be occupied with in the middle of it all.
Suffering has a way of stretching us beyond ourselves. It prompts us to stretch outside of our current comfort zones. But no matter how we feel, we don’t have to be buried by our challenges and circumstances. Instead, we can recognize that God has planted us right where we are for a reason: It’s time to get growing.

Here’s how.

Going for Broke: How to Suffer Well is available at:

https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Gray/e/B01LZSB78L/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1536761037&sr=8-1 

Meet the Author

Shannon Medisky
“Shannon’s writing is infused with an abiding passion, a marked sensitivity to the needs of her readers and a tangible wisdom gleaned from real life experience,” Danielle D.

Shannon Medisky is a leading expert in struggling with stress, screwing up and seeking God in the midst of it all. Sometimes funny but always real, Shannon’s writing is infused with practical ideas designed to help others create positive, real change in their daily lives. In short, Shannon writes about how to intentional move from simply “going on” to growing on—by God’s grace
Shannon’s articles, insights and ideas have been featured in Exceptional Parents, Adoptive Families, Hybrid Mom, Mothering and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. For the past nine years, Shannon’s also worked as contributing writer and curriculum designer for OneHope, a global nonprofit ministry devoted to sharing the life-changing message of the Gospel with youth and children worldwide. To learn more, visit GraceToGrowOn.com.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

#Writing #Advice from Someone Who Has No Right to Give Writing Advice @RRobbinsbooks

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Writing Advice from Someone Who Has No Right to Give Writing Advice

By Richard Robbins

My first novel, Love, Loss, and Lagniappe will be released on November 5, 2018 by Evolved Publishers.  My second novel, Panicles, is schedule for release in the Spring of 2019. Which means that as of 6 months from now, I will have two published novels, the first of which has already received multiple five-star reviews.

The other side of that coin is, that right now, I am an unpublished writer.  I like the sound of the first description better.  But either way, I stand by the title of this post. 

Having properly dispensed with that acknowledgement, I hereby offer the following writing advice.  Heed at your own risk. 

In no particular order, here we go;

Do not write in a room with a dog who likes to be walked every few minutes.

Change the names, genders, and personalities of any character who might remotely be recognized as your children or in laws.

Write what pleases you before listening to other’s opinions.

Mostly ignore other’s opinions.

Don’t let others know that you are ignoring their opinions.

Don’t feel bad about ignoring other’s opinions.

Write how people speak, not how you want them to.

Write before learning how to write, particularly such matters as point of view, the finer points of punctuation, or active versus passive voice.

Learn how to write, particularly such matters as point of view, the finer points of punctuation, and active versus passive voice before sending your book to an editor.

Send your book to an editor.

Listen to your editor.  He is right.  You are wrong.

Except when you’re right, then fight for it.

It will make you feel better.  But, you’re still wrong.

It’s hard to be a grown up.  There are lots of problems and sources of stress to confront on a regular basis.  If your writing brings a moment of joy and relief to one single person, then you’ve made the world a better place.  Rejoice in that fact.

Don’t quit your day job.  Unless you can quit your day job.

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Appreciate all that you have been through, the good as well as the bad.  Writing will force you to do that.

Don’t place too much importance on writing advice from a new author.

I sincerely hope that you’ll find one or more of these tips helpful.  If you do, please let me know at www.Robbinsbooks.com.

Love and mercy,

Richard Robbins


About the Author

Richard Robbins has always liked telling good stories, but it was not until his youngest child left for college that he was able to find the time to put them into print.  His first novel, Love, Loss, and Lagniappe was inspired by actual events in his life, and utilizes Richard’s Medical and Business School background to explore the journey of self-discovery after heartbreaking loss, while revealing the scientific basis for the meaning of life (You’ll have to read it to find out!).

Richard is currently working on his second novel, Panicles, a multi-generational story of the intersecting fate of two families and the price of fame versus the simpler pleasures of a grounded life.

Richard lives in New York City with his love and inspiration, Lisa, his wife of thirty years (and counting), near their beloved grown children.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER



About the Book:

Title: LOVE, LOSS AND LAGNIAPPE
Author: Richard Robbins
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Pages: 186
Genre: Literary Fiction

BOOK BLURB:
Life is good for Dr. Drew Coleman, a successful young eye surgeon living in Uptown New Orleans, and he knows it. Having met and married his beautiful medical school classmate, Kate, the two settle happily into the routine of raising their two young daughters.

Drew’s charmed life is soon shattered by devastating news, causing him to go on a ten-year transcontinental journey of self-discovery, during which he explores the nature of God and Man, the divine inspiration for many of New York’s landmarks and artistic treasures, and the relationship between the found and the lost souls passing on the street. He meets a number of memorable characters, including the young blue-haired runaway, Blue, who renounced her given name when forced to leave her Minnesota home with her girlfriend, Anna.

In time, he discovers and explains the scientific basis for the meaning of life, and is finally found, or finds himself, setting the stage for a bittersweet and memorable ending.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Monday, October 29, 2018

Interview with Laura Vosika, Author of The Water Is Wide @lauravosika #timetravel #historical #fiction

12:00 AM 0 Comments

“Niall, he’s cold.”
Niall’s knife remained pointed at the boy. “Which soldiers?”
“They were English, Milord. Meaning no offense, Milord.” His teeth clattered again. “If you’re English.”
“Niall!” Shawn stepped forward, his anger growing. “He’s just a kid! He’s about to....”
Before he finished, the boy collapsed. Shawn was under him, catching his sagging body before it hit the ground.

From The Water is Wide by Laura Vosika


Laura Vosika is a writer, poet, and musician. Her time travel series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, set in modern and medieval Scotland, has garnered praise and comparisons to writers as diverse as Diana Gabaldon and Dostoevsky. Her poetry has been published in The Moccasin and The Martin Lake Journal 2017.

She has been featured in newspapers, on radio, and TV, has spoken for regional book events, and hosted the radio program Books and Brews. She currently teaches writing at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

As a musician, Laura has performed as on trombone, flute, and harp, in orchestras, and big bands. She lives in Brooklyn park with 5 of her 9 children, 3 cats, and an Irish Wolfhound.

Her latest book is the time travel/historical fiction, The Water is Wide.



After his failure to escape back to his own time, Shawn is sent with Niall on the Bruce’s business. They criss-cross Scotland and northern England, working for the Bruce and James Douglas, as they seek ways to get Shawn home to Amy and his own time.

Returning from the Bruce’s business, to Glenmirril, Shawn finally meets the mysterious Christina. Despite his vow to finally be faithful to Amy, his feelings for Christina grow. 

In modern Scotland, having already told Angus she’s pregnant, Amy must now tell him Shawn is alive and well—in medieval Scotland. Together, they seek a way to bring him back across time.
They are pursued by Simon Beaumont, esteemed knight in the service of King Edward, has also passed between times. Having learned that Amy’s son will kill him—he seeks to kill the infant James first.

The book concludes with MacDougall’s attack on Glenmirril, Amy and Angus’s race to be there and Shawn’s attempt to reach the mysterious tower through the battling armies.

Interview:

Welcome Laura! Your book, The Water is Wide, sounds absolutely thrilling! Can we begin by having you tell us the meaning of the title in relation to the book?


Laura: There are a couple of reasons for the title. The Water is Wide is the third in a 5-volume story that started with Blue Bells of Scotland. The whole story centers on a world famous--and infamous--classical musician. Think Yo-Yo Ma or James Galway with a trombone and a bad boy persona. Shawn Kleiner's signature piece is Blue Bells of Scotland, based on an old folk song and arranged as a theme and variations for trombone to show what the instrument can do.

Because the story started with a folk song as a title, I continued with folk songs. The Water is Wide is a lament about the difficulty of getting over the water, and about love. In the book, Shawn Kleiner, modern musician, has been trapped in medieval Scotland for more than a year. His goal is to cross time and make amends to his girlfriend, Amy, for all the pain he has caused her in the past--or, in this case, in the future! 

Like the lyrics of the song, there is a great divide that he must somehow cross, and like the song, the book is also about love.


What is it that drew you to writing time travel stories?


Laura: I've always been captivated by tales of traveling into other realms, whether that's to another world or another time. Some of my favorite stories as a child were In the Keep of Time and Andrew's Attic, both of which involve children going back in time. In In the Keep of Time, four siblings go up in a castle tower in Scotland and emerge in the 1500s. 

In my story, the reader will recognize a similar element, of the castle tower apparently causing the switch in time--at least at first. In mine, however, two men switch places, originally. 


Can you tell us a little about the main characters?


Laura: The two main characters throughout the series are Shawn Kleiner, modern orchestral superstar, and Niall Campbell, medieval Highland warrior. Shawn was, in his own world, a wealthy, arrogant, and self-centered man who liked wine, women, and gambling. Niall was everything Shawn wasn't--devout to his faith and devoted to a cause greater than himself.

As they share identical looks, and the Laird of Glenmirril, Niall's home, doesn't know what to do with Shawn, they spend most of their time together, taking turns 'being Niall.' By their second year together, Shawn has done a lot of reflection on his former self, while Niall has begun to face his own faults. They have moved from two men who look down on one another to friends, as they work for Robert the Bruce in the aftermath of Bannockburn.

There are many others who play large parts in the story: Amy, a gifted violinist and Shawn's girlfriend on whom he cheated, who is regaining confidence in the absence of Shawn's gaslighting; Angus, the Scottish police detective she falls in love with when she believes Shawn is dead; the Laird of Glenmirril and his giant of a brother, Hugh; Allene, Niall's determined and strong-minded wife; and Christina, a serene and strong young noblewoman rescued from the MacDougalls, with whom Shawn falls in love.


They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. Can you tell give us one of the pivotal points in your book?


Laura: I've been told this really happens in book one, Blue Bells of Scotland, when Shawn wakes up the morning after being left in the tower! By the time readers reach The Water is Wide, the question are many: Will Shawn find his way home? Will he leave Christina, who he has come to love, only to find that Amy, for whom he is returning, has fallen in love with another man in his absence? Then, of course, there are the adventures and dangers of medieval Scotland and the question of if and how Shawn and Niall will survive their battles with Clan MacDougall and the English. Many readers, I believe, love the books for their detailing of lesser known historical incidents, too.


Can you explain to us why it was important for you to write your story?


Laura: I suspect this is true for many authors: Shawn and Niall were simply alive in my head, as was their story. They had to be let out. Shawn seemed to exist, fully formed, in my mind from before I ever started writing the story. Niall, likewise, seemed to simply be who he was, a complete and knowable personality, from the moment I 'saw' him waking up in the same castle, in modern times.
When something is that 'alive' it demands to be written.


Final question (promise!): do you have any advice for the yet-to-be-published writers?


Laura: Keep writing. Keep re-writing. And find a writers critique group to get feedback on your work. My group, Night Writers, meets every week, and has for more than 30 years now. They have been invaluable to me in their suggestions and critiques, to help improve my writing and the story.

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