Something to be thankful for: From now until Nov. 30th, I’m giving free author interviews!

If you’re an author who submits an interview request from now until the end of November,  it will be free!

You can see my interview questions and requirements here.

I probably won’t be able to get them posted until December if accepted.

Want to purchase a sidebar ad? Here’s how.

TBR: Speaking of the dead by Chelsea Tolman (Goodreads Author), Robert Labrum (editor), Tyson Ryder (photographer)

In most Western and Westernized cultures, the reality of death is a subject that we avoid because it makes us uncomfortable. Even participants in religions that celebrate death as a release to a paradisiacal realm will avoid talking about or facing the death experience, unless it’s through the lens of their religious beliefs. The rest of us tap dance around the subject, enjoying death-related fiction involving vampires, zombies, and serial killers, while we recoil in mind-numbing horror at the thought of being in the same room with a corpse. Chelsea Tolman is a funeral director, mortician, and embalmer with over 15 years experience. In her book, “Speaking of the Dead”, she attempts to provide the balm that allows us to engage in the real world of death’s circumstances and give us a peek behind the curtain at what it’s like to be a professional in the death industry.

You had me at the title.

View more on Goodreads. 

TBR: The Altered Wake (The Sentinel Quartet, #1) by Megan Morgan

As long-dormant superpowers awaken, a young woman faces a terrible dilemma: betray her nation or hunt down her best friend?

The future. Earth’s governments have fallen, succeeded by a unified military order. An elite group of soldiers, the Sentinels, protect Cotarion from marauders and neighbors alike. Within, shadowy forces at the highest levels conspire for the power they need to enact a mysterious agenda.

But now, something has changed.

Men and women have emerged, displaying superhuman abilities powerful enough to threaten the established order, and the High General commands Sentinel Cameron Kardell to track a superhuman gone rogue. A superhuman who holds the key to these powers’ origin. Who happens to be Kardell’s best friend. Who will reveal the truth of Cameron’s own origins.

The Altered now wake.

I’m now calculating all the reasons I would consider killing my bestie…

View more on Goodreads.

TBR: Donald’s Inferno: A Tragedy Wrapped In A Comedy Inside A Fiction

With time running out on his campaign, The Donald finds himself before the Gates of Hell. He is bade to embark on the same perilous path that Dante and Virgil took some seven hundred years before. With his body, soul, and all life on Earth hanging in the balance, he must navigate the Nine Circles of Hell, learn the errors of his ways, and make it out alive. All this, while an ancient evil is tracking his every step. Donald’s Inferno is an irreverent and modern journey through Hell with two of New York’s most notorious moguls. A blend of humor, drama, politics, and religion, it is a tragedy, wrapped in a comedy, inside a fiction. A labyrinth filled with twists and turns, surprising historical figures, and the sometimes horrifying, always funny denizens of the Inferno. A novel that is Dante’s Inferno infused with equal parts Shakespeare and South Park, Monty Python and American Mythos. Layered with philosophy, religion, politics, satire, and sarcasm, Donald’s Inferno is an easy-to-read epic that goes as deep as you dare descend! Liam Sean is a writer, chef, and musician who dwells, ponders, and broods deep in the boreal forests of the upper Great Lakes. For more on Liam and links to other projects, please wander to:

“Easy-to-read epic” sounds like something even Trump followers could understand. But I don’t get my hopes up.

View on Amazon. 

TBR: They Feed by Jason Parent

The night uncovers all we wish not to see.

A troubled man enters a dusky park before sunset. A young woman follows, hidden in shadow. Both have returned to the park to take back something the past has stolen from them, to make right six long years of suffering, and to find justice or perhaps redemption—or maybe they’ll settle for some old-fashioned revenge.

But something evil is alive and awake in those woods, creatures that care nothing for human motivations. They’re driven by their own insatiable need: a ravenous, bottomless hunger.

The campgrounds are full tonight, and the creatures are starving. Before the night is over, they will feed.

An unrelenting tale of terror from Jason Parent, acclaimed author of People of the Sun and What Hides Within.

For those who need something to fill the void that A Quiet Place left, it sounds like.

View more on Goodreads. 

TBR – When the Eye Sees Itself

When the Eye Sees Itself weaves a dazzlingly complex web of interconnection – institutional, psychological, political, cultural, economic, conscious, even subatomic – and shows how tugging on a thread within it can pull everyone down, or up.

The story takes place in a country that classifies people by temperamental balance, segregating Vulnerables and Aggressives from the ranks of Citizens who are deemed to possess a functional balance.

A legal challenge becomes the catalyst for a surge of unrest among the excluded classes, with Vulnerable and Aggressive activists squaring off against the conservative Citizen’s Action League over the rules for entry into the powered class.

Under the surface of this political conflict lurks a new technology – Quantum Field Resonance Imaging– which allows people to interpenetrate quantum neural fields and touch minds. The technology is in use for illicit and noble purposes, on small scales and large, officially and in the shadows.

Nothing is as it seems, and as the mind-linking technology peels back the veneer of ordinary perception, layer upon layer of deception and collusion are exposed, revealing abuses of power so profound they threaten to annihilate the country in civil war. Yet, an even more fundamental shift can be heard rumbling from beneath, as still deeper strata of illusion are blasted away and the struggle for control becomes more and more subtle.

Dealing with themes of quantum entanglement, mass surveillance, mass incarceration, political struggle, descent into darkness and addiction, state sponsored terror and torture, and spiritual awaking amidst the ashes of shattered conventions, When the Eye Sees Itself is epic, inspiring, disturbing and fun. It is a compelling tale about power, the kind that imprisons and the kind that sets us free, all of it borne of our interpenetrated minds.

Well, the cover is nice and approachable.

View on Goodreads. 

TBR – Speaking in Tungs by Karla M. Jay

In this entertaining first novel, set in rural Pennsylvania, a young San Francisco woman searches for her birthparents and from the moment she arrives in the backwoods town of Tungston, she falls under the spell of unforgettable characters, the unexpected-but-real threat of a violent fugitive, and the unexpected-but-real charm of a local fireman—all leading her to discover the true meaning of family.” Speaking in Tungs is too good to be anyone’s first novel….I enjoyed reading this witty novel with its colorful cast of characters, and so will you.” –Firoozeh Dumas, New York Times Bestselling Author

I love punny titles.

Buy it on Amazon.

TBR: The Keeper’s Vow (Guardians) by Francina Simone

All Katie Watts wants is to pass her junior-year, at Hamilton Private, with as little effort as possible—devoting time to knitting hats, breeding gerbils, becoming a movie critic, or even just sleeping. No wonder she isn’t ready for a world with vampires, werewolves, and nightmares. Her life is shattered to pieces when Tristan gets stabbed in her front yard. She has no idea where he came from and worse, he hears her thoughts—and when she can’t take anymore, she starts to hear his. No one is who she thought they were. Her father is keeping secrets and when she searches for the truth, she ends up homeless. As the truth claws its way to the surface, Katie and Tristan grow closer together and they find themselves connected in more ways than she can believe. But is honesty worth more than the peace blissful, ignorance brings? Especially if it sparks a chain of events that will end the lives of millions? Can she live with the truth that begins with her dead mother and ends with The Keeper’s Vow? The Keeper’s Vow is a YA Epic Urban Fantasy brimming with Magic and Moral Ambiguity.

Francina Simone is one of my favorite BookTubers.

The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter By Kat Rosenfield

The diversity-in-publishing debate is very much at the root of the outrage when it comes to campaigns like the one against The Black Witch, reflecting larger dissatisfaction with an industry that’s overwhelmingly white at just about every level. The multiyear push for more diverse books has yielded disappointing results — the latest statistics show that authors of color are still underrepresented, even as books about minority characters are on an uptick — and while the loudest critics demanded that The Black Witch be dropped by its publisher, others simply expressed exhaustion at the ubiquity of books like it. In a representative tweet, author L.L. McKinney wrote, “In the fight for racial equality, white people are not the focus. White authors writing books like #TheContinent or #TheBlackWitch, who say it’s an examination of racism in an attempt to dismantle it, you. don’t. have. the. range.” (McKinney did not respond to multiple interview requests.)

Among the book-buying public, though, that parade may be mostly passing unnoticed. The scandals that loom so large on Twitter don’t necessarily interest consumers; instead, the tempest of these controversies remains confined to a handful of internet teapots where a few angry voices can seem thunderously loud. Still, some publishing professionals imagine that the outrage will eventually become powerful enough to rattle the industry. Another agent, who describes himself as devoted to diversity in publishing since before it became a mainstream concern, is ambivalent about the current state of affairs.

“I think we’re in a really ugly part of the process,” he says. “But as we’re trying to encourage a greater diversity of readers and writers, we need to be held accountable for our mistakes. Those books do need to get criticized, so that books which are written more mindfully, respectfully, and diligently become the norm.”

It’s also a process in which tough questions lie ahead — including how callout culture intersects with ordinary criticism, if it does at all. Some feel that condemning a book as “dangerous” is no different from any other review, while others consider it closer to a call for censorship than a literary critique. Francina Simone, for one, falls firmly in the latter category. “People seem to want these books to validate them, and that’s almost completely impossible,” she says. “It would be like me watching The Simpsons and saying, ‘It’s harmful to me, take it off the air.’ It’s baffling. People pretend as if there is no off switch. [The idea] that it shouldn’t be in the public atmosphere — I find it extremely funny that people don’t think that’s censorship.”

But in an interesting twist, the teens who make up the community’s core audience are getting fed up with the constant, largely adult-driven dramas that currently dominate YA. Some have taken to discussing books via backchannels or on teen-exclusive hashtags — or defecting to other platforms, like YouTube or Instagram, which aren’t so given over to mob dynamics. But others are pushing back: Sierra Elmore, a college student and book blogger, expressed her frustration in a tweet thread in January, writing, “[Being] in this community feels like being in high school again. So much. No difference of opinion allowed, people reigning, etc… I and other people I know (mostly teens) are terrified about speaking up in this community. You don’t get a chance to be wrong here.”

Read the rest. 

Now offering author interviews!

Hi everyone! I’m now offering sponsored author interviews to help maintain the site. You can answer all questions or only the ones you want to. It’s up to you! It’s meant to be informal and a way for you to reach out to potential readers. Copy and paste the interview questions below with your responses into an email using the guidelines from my advertisement content post here. Put “Author Interview” in the subject line so I can identify it quickly.  

Please contact me in at least a month in advance if wanting to schedule it for a specific date.  I cannot promise a quick turnaround time otherwise. If no date is supplied when you send your responses, interviews will go live as soon as payment is received. Interviews will be $25 $5 via PayPal or FREE with the purchase of any ad. All interviews will have a disclaimer of “Sponsored content” at the bottom. 

Interview Questions:

Who are you?! What are your credentials? Where are you from?

What book(s) have you written?

What is the title of your most recent book and how did it come to be named?

What does the cover look like? (link to the cover)

Describe the book in 5 words.

What genre(s) do you think it fits into or breaks?

What’s the synopsis for the book?

What is one thing you want readers to know about this book that the official synopsis doesn’t cover?

Where can we buy the book?

Where did your main sources of inspiration come from for this story?

Who is the book dedicated to and why?

What three other books would you use to describe your book?

Why is indie publishing important to you and why do you think it is important to our culture?

If you could choose one ideal reader – no matter who – to read your book, who would it be and why?

If your book was an animal, what would it be and why?

What is your favorite sentence from the book?

If you were to collaborate with another writer, who would they be and why?

What books do you think the world needs to read more of and why?

What does diversity in publishing mean to you?

How have libraries affected your writing?

What do you see as problems that need to be fixed in the traditional publishing model?

What is the best piece of advice you got from another writer?

What indie authors have influenced you and how?

Is the Amazon publishing model scary to you in any way?

What is something you learned about writing when writing your most recent book?

What do you think of the focus on indie bookstores over indie authors and indie books?

What are some ways you think gatekeepers in publishing (literary agents, librarians, book bloggers) can help indie authors gain discoverability?

What is one book that changed your life and how?

Your literary character hero?

What is the book you wish you had written?

The last book that made you laugh? Cry?

Your literary crush?

The thing you’ve written that makes  you cringe?

What is your favorite online resource as an author?

How do you feel about authors giving their work away for free?

What are you reading now?

What was your favorite book as a child?

What was the Illicit book  you had to sneak growing up?

What are the books you’ve read more than once?

The book people might be surprised to learn you love?

The book that cemented you as a writer?

The book that changed your life?

What music do you write to or find inspiration in?

What roadblocks did you encounter when publishing your work?

What TV show are you watching now?

Cat or dog or both person?

Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz – and why?

Coffee or tea or both person?

Print book or ebook or both person?

How do you see book culture changing, other than the ways it already has, because of ebooks?

How do you see book culture changing, if at all, because of indie publishing?

What is one thing you would like to say to millennial readers?

What is one cause or charity you support and want to give a shout-out to?

What is your biggest grammatical struggle to overcome in your writing, or what is your most common typo?

Where can we stalk you? (What are the links to your social media platforms and blog?)

This post last updated on 3/17/18.