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.

Interview with Jamell Crouthers, author of Code Blue series #Interview @aquariamind1

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Jamell Crouthers is a poet, author, blogger and podcaster who has taken on a journey of writing in the prime of his life. He has been writing poetry since the age of 13 but never thought he could utilize his talent to tell stories and write books. He is not the traditional author as he writes his books in poetry format with a focus on storylines and societal issues.

After publishing 11 books (so far), his goals and plans are to continue writing books on taboo subjects that aren't discussed enough in today's world and bringing those main subjects to the forefront. Jamell's blogs tackle societal issues, how he writes his books, his journey as an author and some motivational blogs that will get you to focus on your goals. His goal and moniker is, "to change the world, one book at a time."

Jamell’s Code Blue series can be purchased at Amazon.

Website Address: www.aquarianmind.info
Blog Address: www.aquarianmind.info
Facebook Address: www.facebook.com/aquarianpoet1


What is your name?
Jamell Crouthers

What do you look like?
Average height (5'8"), athletic build but slim, short hair with a beard.

Where are you today and what are you doing?
I watched some college football in the early afternoon, then I went and played basketball with friends for a few hours. I came back home, showered, ate and I'm back to watching college football.

You keep a photo album of memories from your lifetime. If you could only keep one photo, which one would that be?
The photo of my grandmother and I when I was 4 years old. One of my favorite pictures ever.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl, I always do my most important thinking and writing at night.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?
My NBA All-Star zip up hoodie from a few years back when the all-star game was in NYC. I'm from NY so it holds sentimental value to me.

Do you have any phobias? What are they and how intense are they? How have they impacted your life?
I had a fear of flying for the longest time. One time I was flying to Jacksonville with my godmother and my body broke out into an intense sweat, my fingers and toes were tingling and I felt dizzy. I was able to get over my fear of flying by preparing my body to fly, always wearing comfortable clothes, having something to drink and air blowing on me the entire flight while in the air. I also have to have my noise-cancelling headphones and relaxing music on at all time. It's become a routine I do whenever I fly and it's worked like a charm.

Open your wallet, purse, or briefcase. What do you find?
Debit card, driver's license, health insurance card, monthly train ticket, my doctor's business card, and some cash, I'm pretty simplistic.

You move into a new home. What's the first thing you buy for it?
Living room furniture for sure with a big screen TV.

What scares you?
Dying and never fulfilling my purpose in life.

How would your parents describe you?
Kind, caring, funny, enthusiastic, energetic, smart, intellectual, quiet at times, intuitive.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?
Drink a warm bottle of water.

Who is your best friend?
I have three, John, Anthony and Bryan, 23 years strong.

Who is your worse enemy?
My mind for sure. I'm my own worst enemy.

Are you faith-oriented?
Very much so, I always have faith in whatever I do in my life and want to do well in all that I do.

Where is your favorite hangout?
My best friend John's house or my best friend Anthony's house (they always have kool-aid and snacks).

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a lawyer for sure. I was always into crime TV shows as a kid, it intrigued me.

If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would that be?
Definitely overthinking every aspect of my life. It's something I've gotten better at but I'm always a work in progress.


About the Series:
The Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun series chronicles a police officer named Gary who has been on the force for a few years. He soon is entrenched in a lot of lies, corruption, racism and agendas being pushed by his superiors. The question throughout this series is whether he as a good cop becomes part of the corruption or does he report it?

Part of this series features his son Gary, Jr who is a young teenager wanting to be like his father and go into the police force. He soon learns through the news daily that the police force is not what it really is. Gary ends up having to share the truths of what goes on at work and the relationship between him and his son changes because of it. Now it becomes up to Gary what he is going to do about what goes on at work.


Title: CODE BLUE: AN OATH TO THE BADGE AND GUN – Part 1
Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 87
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction

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Title: CODE BLUE: AN OATH TO THE BADGE AND GUN – Part 2
Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 89
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction

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Title: CODE BLUE: AN OATH TO THE BADGE AND GUN – Part 3
Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 99
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Interview with Mike Martin, Author of 'Darkest Before the Dawn' #interviews @mike54martin

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““He started to stroke her when his cell phone rang. “Boss, it’s Jones. We’ve got a situation. We got a call about a shooting up near the seniors’ club.”
“Injuries?” asked Windflower.
“A teenager,” said Jones. “I’m on my way.”
“I’ll be over in a sec,” said Windflower.
“Bad news?” asked Sheila.
“I’ll call you,” was all he said back.
Sheila didn’t ask any more questions. They liked a layer of insulation between his police work and their personal lives. He gave her a peck on the cheek and patted Lady as he left to drive to the seniors’ club, hoping for the best and fearing the worst.
The reality was somewhere in between.”

--From Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series is Darkest Before the Dawn.



Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There are signs of trouble that may disturb his pleasant life, including a series of unsolved break-ins and the lack of supports for young people in the most trying time of their lives. But there are always good friends, good food and the sense that if we all pull together, we can find a way to get through even the darkest days.

Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new character enliven the pages as Windflower and Tizzard and the other police officers awaken the secrets that have been lying dormant in this sleepy little town. The deeper they dig the more they find as the criminals they seek dive deeper behind the curtains of anonymity and technology. But more than anything, this is a story of love and loss, of growing up and learning how to grow old gracefully. It is also about family and community and looking after each other. Of not giving up hope just before the dawn.
Interview:

Welcome Mike! It’s interesting to find out how versatile a writer you are – can you tell us a little bit about your Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series and why you wrote it?

Mike: The Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series is truly a labour of love. It is set in my home province of Newfoundland, on the eastern most tip of Canada. It has allowed me to write about that part fo the world and to populate it with wonderful stories and characters from that part of the world. Sgt. Windflower came out of the fog in Grand Bank one night and started telling me his story. I was happy to write it down and share with others.

I am so excited about your latest in the series, Darkest Before the Dawn. Can you re-acquaint us with the characters for those who haven’t read your series before?

Mike: Sgt. Winston Windflower is a Mountie who is originally from northern Alberta who finds himself stationed in tiny Grand Bank. He finds the woman of his dreams, Sheila Hillier, who is the Mayor of Grand Bank, and a cadre of friends and co-workers that share his love of good food and good times. And then they have to deal with the crime and a few dead bodies along the way.

Are you a detail freak when it comes to writing your novels?

Mike: No. I am probably the exact opposite. I do some research to get the facts right and I have beta readers to guide me back to the path when I stray. But I write from the creative flow and let the words stream out. Then, of course, I have to go back and straighten out the mess.

How hard for you was it to sit down and start writing your novel? Did you have all these ideas swirling around your head or did it take some time before you were actually ready to sit down and begin?

Mike: Starting a book is easy. Finishing it takes time and determination and discipline. There are always a million ideas but getting them out of your head and onto the page is difficult. But once I have the beginning of the story, the rest seems to follow. As long as I stay with and write 1,500 to 2,000 words a day for a couple of months.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies. Is there any truth to that? And do you need background sounds or silence when writing your books?

Mike: I need almost silence, but not a vacuum seal. I write my best first thing in the morning, before the distractions of the day take me away. I have a routine and a schedule, and I try and stick with it. If I don’t meet my word count in the morning, I have to pick it up later in the day. And I could never write at Starbucks!! That is way too much stimuli for me.

What makes writing mysteries so special to you? Is there another genre you’ve toyed around with writing?

Mike: I have written non-fiction as a freelance writer and some short personal experience stories. But I love the gentle confines of the mystery genre. There is enough room in there for just about anybody and I like the pattern and flow of identifying a problem or a crime and then proceeding to solve it over the next 300 pages.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in Darkest Before the Dawn?

Mike: There are a couple. But I would say that the Jerimiah Parsons accident is one place where the story starts to grab hold and you have to keep reading until you know what will happen. What does happen is a little mystical and certainly mysterious.

What’s next for you?

Mike: Enjoy the book launch of Darkest Before the Dawn. Every book is like a child to an author. We send it out into the world with good intentions and then we watch its progress. Once this book is safely on its journey, it will be time to start thinking about the next Sgt. Windflower Mystery.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Grace by Daniel Kenner #roomforgrace @alwysroom4grace

5:58 AM 0 Comments


GRACE
By Daniel Kenner 

I called my mom, Maureen Kenner, the day her obituary was published to see if she agreed with the tone, the accolades, the progression. She didn’t answer; which only seemed obvious after it went to voicemail. She died four weeks after my dad, Buddy Kenner, died. 
Mom chose “Grace” as her confirmation name and lived by that code. She spent her lifetime as a teacher working with the handicapped, elderly, and disenfranchised. She lived like the inspirational banners that adorned the bright walls of her Room 4 classroom and saw possibilities in every field trip, every circle in the sand, every Scattergories game, holiday song, night out for pizza and ice cream sundaes, every grandchild, niece, nephew, student, and family member.
But what is “grace?”
Is “grace” strength?
My father had frontotemporal lobe dementia and my mom, diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer only five months later, was his caregiver. She remained steadfast even when his disease prevented him from giving her the care she sought from a husband and partner.
Is “grace” poise? Their dreams of their retirement were never clouded with health issues. The life they worked toward was not there; it had changed past the point of recognizing. The reality of what they retired to was obvious.
Is “grace” the ability to trust, respect or remain optimistic? “Will I be ready in his time of need?” Mom worried about that all the time. “What will happen to him when something happens to me? What’s going to happen to me when something happens to him?” She worried that neither of them would be strong enough to keep their vows. She had such a strong sense of accomplishment for all they had achieved together, but it was clear that their happiest days were behind them.
It is said in the Book Of Job, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Maybe “grace” is found in delicate actions - when we are genuinely there for others, putting our neighbors before ourselves, sharing in their joys and trials. I know Mom found her joy and happiness in the joy and happiness of others. She’d say, “When you put others’ needs before your own, it is truly in giving that we receive.”
I believe Mom found her “grace” through her courageous ability to ask for and to receive help. For four years, our community rallied behind our family, nourishing us with daily visits, leis of orchids, origami cranes, handmade cards, gift boxes, songs, and signs on our lawn. As the seasons changed, our community remained inspired to do good for my family. They let their spirit grow and let it make a difference, unafraid to open themselves up to heartbreak and disappointment. When there was an abundance of pain, and the generosity of others powered my family through to live another day, that’s when I learned about “grace.”

About the Author

Daniel Kenner is the author of the newly published, Room For Grace. Daniel wrote Room For Grace after conducting an oral history with his mother, Maureen Kenner, on her thirtieth wedding anniversary. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace. More information can be found at www.RoomForGrace.org. Room For Grace is partnering with different organizations and 10% of each book purchased will be donated. New organizations will be selected every 1,000 books sold! The first program Daniel has chosen to donate to is Eye to Eye. Eye to Eye began in Maureen Kenner’s Room 4. The program chiseled through structure and uncovered a remarkably beautiful approach into a child’s life. Once a week the members of Eye to Eye talked openly about learning disabilities. Maureen always remembered when a mentor revealed he had spent most of third grade in the bathroom. He had figured out when it would be his turn to read and, embarrassed by his dyslexia, went to the bathroom to hide out. Another positive aspect Maureen loved about Eye to Eye was the classroom-based mentoring. They college students would come and work with her “Lego” kids, the kids who saw the world in a mechanically different way, who thought outside of the box, who could build things with their hands. Maureen’s students were mentored and followed through middle school, high school and onto college. Eye to Eye's mission is to improve the life of every person with a learning disability. They fulfill their mission by supporting and growing a network of youth mentoring programs run by and for those with learning differences, and by organizing advocates to support the full inclusion of people with learning disabilities and ADHD in all aspects of society. Mentors talk openly and bravely about their experiences. Mentees realize they are not alone, sometimes for the very first time. They see someone who was once just like they are today. More importantly, they see someone they hope to be tomorrow. 

Daniel Kenner rocked out to Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” while other infants sang “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” A proud member of Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and National Players Tour 60, Daniel was a Presidential Arts Scholar at George Washington University and Scholarship recipient at The British American Drama Academy. Directed the Washington D.C. premier of Sarah Kane’s Crave. Author of the manuscript, Roux. Winner of the Rhode Island Playwriting Festival for his World War II letters home drama, Fields of Sacrifice. Adapted Les Misérables for high school stages.
Maureen Kenner’s heart was in the classroom. For thirty-five years she was a Special Education teacher in the Providence Public Schools. Born and raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Maureen graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in education and later earned a Master’s Degree from Providence College. Maureen was a vital influence at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School at Fox Point, working tirelessly as a mentor for the betterment of all children and their families. Honored with many accolades throughout her career, Maureen was awarded Providence Teacher of the Year in 2003. Living with cancer, as a model patient, Maureen exemplified integrity, courage, grace, and hope. For thirty-one years, through sickness and health, Maureen was the beloved soul mate to the late Jacob “Buddy” Kenner, her intense love recognized in 2016 as a Rhode Island Caregiver of the Year.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

Title: ROOM FOR GRACE
Author: Daniel Kenner & Maureen Kenner
Publisher: Silver Boot Imprints
Pages: 200
Genre: Memoir & Biography

BOOK BLURB:

Stage 4 cancer for her and a debilitating disease for her husband: life crashed down in an instant. Maureen Kenner found resilience, however, in the lessons she learned from her Special Ed students in Providence, RI. Her students lived with their hearts opened despite struggles of the highest magnitude. Through these students, Maureen gains courage, humor, and the strength of spirit to face her devastating realities, head on. Maureen’s oral history was captured by her son Daniel who tenderly wrought this book out of their recorded conversations. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace.

PRAISE:

"Maureen Kenner was one of those people who brightened every room she entered. Thanks to Room for Grace, that light is not extinguished. Although her story shares great sadness, Room for Grace is a book of hope and a celebration of life that sheds Maureen’s light on us all."

—Ann Hood, Author of The Obituary Writer and The Red Thread

“In these pages, you will find a story like no other. Maureen’s story is one of courage and love, a story that will move you to your core.”

—David Flink, Chief Empowerment Officer, Eye to Eye

“The piercing light of Maureen’s compassion, love and intelligence, will leave every reader wanting to reach out in the spirit of service and live life to the fullest.”

—Annie Lanzillotto, Author of Hard Candy: Caregiving, Mourning, and Stagelight

“Buddy Kenner was a big-hearted teacher, universally beloved by all, a warrior for the arts and their importance in the curriculum. Amazing and unique guy. Read this book.”

Tom Chandler, Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emeritus


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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

10 Things You Might Not Know About Marian L. Thomas @marianlthomas01 #10Things

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Award-Winning Author and Speaker, Marian L. Thomas, has penned five engaging novels to date. Her books have been seen on national television stations such as the Oprah Winfrey Network, Ovation, and the A&E Network. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on local, national and online radio stations. For her book, I Believe In Butterflies, Marian ranked among the top 100 Most Popular Authors in Literary Fiction on Amazon. She spent most of her teen years in Oak Park, Illinois, but now resides in a suburb of Atlanta with her husband. She enjoys a good bag of popcorn, a plate full of pasta, and a grape pop.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


10 Things You Might Not Know About Marian L. Thomas


1.      I love popcorn. When my husband wants ‘peace’ in the house, he brings me home a big bag.
2.      When I’m writing, my husband is usually snoring. I tend to write, late at night.
3.      I’m married. My husband and I celebrated 19 years on September 25, 2018.
4.      My name, Marian, comes from the first names (Mary and Ann) of my now deceased grandmothers.
5.      I wrote a children’s book, The Things Sasha Learned From Her Dog Winston after my dog of 14 years (Winston) passed away. It was my mother’s idea but helped to deal with the loss.
6.      My second favorite food, popcorn being the first, is pasta. However, pizza comes very close with a good can of grade pop.
7.      I got the idea to write my first book, Color Me Jazzmyne, while in high school. It was my sophomore year, and I was in the library walking up a flight of stairs to find a book.
8.      Paris, Hawaii, and Spain are on my travel wish list.
9.      When I was young, I hated vegetables. Still not a fan. My sister and I would feed our vegetables to our dog. He, of course, was the healthiest dog on the block.
10.  When asked if I have any advice for aspiring authors, my answer is always...Live, Laugh and Write. In that order.

 
About the Book:


Title: THE CAGED BUTTERFLY
Author: Marian L. Thomas
Publisher: L.B. Publishing
Pages: 307
Genre: Women’s Fiction

BOOK BLURB:
Who Would Think That One Act of Love Could Affect Four Generations?
On December 29, 1930, Mildred "Millie" Mayfield gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Addie. Millie teaches Addie three things that she feels matters most in life; inner beauty, reading books and giving your “special something’ only to the man you marry. Addie lives up to the first two. On one autumn night in 1949, Addie falls for the irresistible red curls and vibrant green eyes of a young man from the other side of the railroad tracks. Neither knowing that the consequences of their love would have lasting effects. Known as one of the greatest white jazz pianists in New York, Timmy Taylor never had a reason to question his identity – until truth and betrayal strike. Will Timmy be able to push past the pain? Beautiful and talented, Nina Taylor inherited her father's gift, but not his looks. Certain that's how he made it big, she dives deep into an obsession that could be deadly. Will Nina learn to love the skin she’s in before it’s too late? Spanning from 1920 to 1996, this captivating tale of secrets, betrayal, and forgiveness will pull at the strings of your heart, and keep you turning pages while you pray for a happy ending.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun Series by Jamell Crouthers #guest @aquarianmind1

12:00 AM 0 Comments



Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun Series

By Jamell Crouthers

The Code Blue Series somehow became something bigger than me. The best way to describe it is looking at the world now and what’s going on, on the police force. I started to question what good cops are feeling in a position where they’re forced into upholding their badge than their own morals and values.

When I decided to write about Gary, I knew I had to take race out of the picture when it came to him and who he was. In my mind, I had to say, let’s focus on the racism in America between police officers and black and Latino men. What is not discussed is how there are black and Latino police officers who are racist against their own too. It’s not just white cops versus black and Latino men. 

There was a need to address that in my books but in the midst of it, you’re trying to figure out what race Gary is. The reality is no matter what race Gary is or you choose to make him, any police officer who commits the wrongs that I write about in my books, there’s a lack of upholding the oath you took to protect and serve the community. It becomes follow agendas and doing what you’re told regarding black and latino men.

We lose a sense of the things that are constantly going on because it doesn’t happen to us. It’s a mentality of, “if it doesn’t happen to me, I’m good.” Well...until it does and by that point it’s too late in addressing the constant issues that are going on in our communities daily. Gary is the good cop who’s caught in a lot of things he never thought he would be.

The community he grew up in and decided to serve and protect has become a city of turmoil. I felt I had to incorporate him having a child because there’s always someone looking up to you and this is the prime example of it. Gary, Jr. is an innocent child who doesn’t know the atrocities of the world until he starts watching the news at night and seeing his father at crime scenes and wanting answers.

There was a need to make Gary, Jr. the smart, intuitive child who is keen to what’s going on around him. That forces Gary to fess up to his wrongdoings and admit that he’s part of the cover ups, corruption and lies. It makes him realize he’s a hypocrite in teaching his child to being honest and doing the right things when he isn’t doing it himself.

The relationship between them is constant throughout the series with a plethora of letters written to each other. I thought of doing emails or phone calls but I wanted to go old school with their communication before technology engulfed and infiltrated our daily lives. It’s a relationship that becomes tumultuous and Gary ends up losing the two most important people in his life, his wife and his son because he’s so engulfed in a job that’s made its way into their home. 

The series takes a lot to write because I want to make sure I’m addressing the corruption while keeping Gary’s thoughts and feelings in it. It’s a hard battle and also writing it to where it’s believable, truthful and Gary is someone you can relate to. He’s a combination of a protagonist and antagonist and it’s something that isn’t done often in stories. This is to make you think about how many good cops who want to do the right thing, this is a job that want to do but you are forced into this brotherhood of keeping the lies, secrets and corruption among themselves. 

My goal with this series is to not only make you think and realize what’s going on in America daily, but to also put you in a police officer’s shoes as he/she pounds the pavement everyday. Are there good cops, definitely. But there’s also the bad ones and the biggest problem is the good ones aren’t exposing the bad ones, afraid of the backlash, losing their careers, their paychecks and pensions which is one of the first things I address in the beginning of Part 1.

Hopefully you all understand and realize that there’s a lot that has to be done to make society a better place. The battle is exposing it all from what goes on in the streets to inside of the precincts and corporate offices in America. It’s up to us to get things right and remember it all starts with the guys in suits and then it trickles down to the police departments. 

Code Blue 1-3 is available on all major bookstores (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Scribd). Parts 4 and 5 release December 2018 to finish the series. 

About the Author

Jamell Crouthers is a poet, author, blogger and podcaster who has taken on a journey of writing in the prime of his life. He has been writing poetry since the age of 13 but never thought he could utilize his talent to tell stories and write books. He is not the traditional author as he writes his books in poetry format with a focus on storylines and societal issues.

After publishing 11 books (so far), his goals and plans are to continue writing books on taboo subjects that aren't discussed enough in today's world and bringing those main subjects to the forefront. Jamell's blogs tackle societal issues, how he writes his books, his journey as an author and some motivational blogs that will get you to focus on your goals. His goal and moniker is, "to change the world, one book at a time."

Jamell’s Code Blue series can be purchased at Amazon.

Website Address: www.aquarianmind.info
Blog Address: www.aquarianmind.info
Facebook Address: www.facebook.com/aquarianpoet1


About the Series:

The Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun series chronicles a police officer named Gary who has been on the force for a few years. He soon is entrenched in a lot of lies, corruption, racism and agendas being pushed by his superiors. The question throughout this series is whether he as a good cop becomes part of the corruption or does he report it?

Part of this series features his son Gary, Jr who is a young teenager wanting to be like his father and go into the police force. He soon learns through the news daily that the police force is not what it really is. Gary ends up having to share the truths of what goes on at work and the relationship between him and his son changes because of it. Now it becomes up to Gary what he is going to do about what goes on at work.


Title: CODE BLUE: AN OATH TO THE BADGE AND GUN – Part 1
Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 87
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction

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Title: CODE BLUE: AN OATH TO THE BADGE AND GUN – Part 2
Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 89
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction

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Title: CODE BLUE: AN OATH TO THE BADGE AND GUN – Part 3
Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 99
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction

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Interview with Nancy Gray, Author of 'Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf'

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Ten Things You Might Not Know About Nancy Gray

By Nancy Gray

1.     
1. Nancy Gray has been writing for ten years. She has a young adult fantasy trilogy called Blood Rain. The series was inspired by a very strange but true story about a storm raining blood on North Carolina in the 1850s. After reading about this story she had a dream about a blood splattered lighthouse which also compelled her to write. The setting in the beginning of the book was also inspired by the video game Bethesda’s Morrowind.

2.     2. Nancy Gray has been married for thirteen years. She has two young children. She lives in South Carolina and is partial to cats. Her family comes first over her writing, but she writes whenever she can.

3.      3. Nancy is a big fan of Japanese animation, or “anime.” She also reads manga. Her favorite series right now is The Ancient Magus Bride because she loves the setting and characters. She is also a fan of Darling in the Franxx but enjoys many different styles, everything from Sailor Moon to Dragon Ball Super.

4.      4. Nancy is a gamer. She loves table top role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. She is both a game master and a player. She’s written many stories inspired by characters that she’s played, but none of these have been published. Writing character backgrounds is something she enjoys doing in between writing novels.

5.      5. Nancy Gray is a video game fan. Her favorites are Skyrim, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and many different Mario games. She also enjoys World of Warcraft and plays it casually whenever possible. (She plays a combination of Alliance and Horde.)

6.      6. Nancy Gray loves to read. She has read hundreds of books over the years. Her favorite genres are horror, gothic horror, fantasy, steampunk, and urban fantasy. These are also the genres that she prefers to write the most, but she has been known to occasionally try her hand at cyberpunk and the blending of cyberpunk with gothic horror.

7.      7. Nancy Gray got her start from writing short stories for anthologies. Her short horror story "Hemophobia" was published in 2006 in the short story anthology Courting Morpheus.  This story was written under the pen name "Angela Gray."  Her short horror story "Sleep Like the Dead" appeared in the New Bedlam Project Webzine under her current name “Nancy Gray.”  In 2012 it was put into a compilation of stories from the e-zine called New Bedlam: Town Archives Volume 2. In 2010 her short science fiction story "Marrow" appeared in the anthology Deep Space Terror.  This anthology is a smooth blending of the science fiction and horror genres. In 2014 her short fantasy story "Chosen" appeared in the anthology  Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap.  The anthology consists of the top 5 stories from the Dark Crystal Author Quest Contest.

8.      8. Nancy Gray went through many phases before she became a writer. She wanted to be an animator for Disney, a puppeteer for the Jim Henson Company, a veterinarian, a marine biologist, an artist, and finally a graphic designer. After much deliberation, she decided to go to the University of South Carolina and acquired a BA in Media Arts and a cognate in English. She got several jobs as a graphic designer but eventually decided to stay at home and pursue her writing career.

9     9. Halloween is Nancy Gray’s favorite holiday. She decorates her house thoroughly and dresses in costume every year and throws a very large Halloween Party. Horror movies are played in the living room and the game Rock Band is played in the back of the house. She has a large group of friends that she made in college and usually has a pretty large group of people who attend. (She does throw an annual pot luck Christmas Party as well, with Christmas movies and sometimes Rock Band, but that doesn’t tend to be as wild as it is a religious holiday for her.)

110.  Nancy Gray is an artist and enjoys painting, drawing, and making sculptures from clay. She doesn’t have as much time with her new writing career to pursue these things, but occasionally she still enjoys them. Her favorite place to go is the beach and she generally feels inspired to write, draw, and read when she’s there when isn’t playing in the sand or water with her girls.

About the Author

Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her middle grade series Spine Chillers. She also published her YA fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.

Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video games, anime, manga, and horror.
Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf.

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About the Book:
Title: BIG BAD WOLF
Author: Nancy Gray
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 112
Genre: Middle Grade Horror

BOOK BLURB:
Jane is ecstatic when she gets the role of Red Riding Hood in her school play, but she didn’t realize that they’d be using the stuffed wolf prop as the Big Bad Wolf. That tattered old prop has always scared her and, lately, she has been having strange dreams about it that make it seem like it’s something more.
Jane will have to get help to save herself from the hungry spirit that has haunted her people and her nightmares before it consumes her, or worse, escapes the prison of the last creature it took to sate its horrible appetite.

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