Thursday, December 31, 2015

Journey Beyond the Trauma Book Blast!

We're happy to be hosting Dr. J. Denee and her JOURNEY BEYOND THE TRAUMA Book Blast at The Literary Nook today!

Title: Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilence for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Author: Dr. J. Denee
Pages: 99
Genre: Self-Help

Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse goes right to the heart of the issues related to abuse. It shares the impacts of abuse and offers simple, yet, practical strategies and information to help survivors reclaim and restore their lives. Dr. J. Denee' guides readers through a 30-day journey to jumpstart their innate resilience. Journey Beyond the Trauma helps survivors to:

• Take responsibility for your healing and your life

• Transform into your authentic self 

• Identify and manage triggers

• Turn emotional pain into progression

•  Develop self-acceptance and reclaim self-worth

• Embrace resilience as a way of life

For More Information

  • Journey Beyond the Trauma is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

About the Author

Juanita D. Ashby-Bey, PhD, known as Dr. J. Denee’, is a sexual abuse speaker, author, and resilience expert who specializes in helping women survivors of sexual abuse to rebuild their lives. A survivor of sexual abuse herself, Dr. J. Denee’ has been dedicated to the prevention, intervention, and recovery of sexual abuse issues and other traumas for the past 10 years. She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University.

After coming to an understanding of the extent to which the sexual abuse and trauma she suffered as a child had profoundly affected his life, Dr. J. Denee’ traveled her own personal road of recovery and resilience, and made a firm decision to help build awareness about sexual abuse and to empower and support other sexual abuse survivors and the professionals who engage with survivors along the path to recovery. 

As an educator, Dr. J. Denee’ spent many years researching and applying intervention strategies to help people transform themselves and discovery new possibilities. Leveraging her 15 years of experience as an educator at the collegiate and K-12 school levels in the capacities of administration, accreditation, evaluator, professor and teacher, Dr. J. Denee’s approach includes practical and research-based intervention strategies that are designed to produce results that guide women to more loving relationships with themselves and others. She helps women to tackle feelings of powerlessness by finding their voice, build emotional muscle to manage anger and rage, rebuild and establish healthy relationships rather than sabotaging them, and to learn how to effectively establish, respect, and protect personal boundaries for themselves.

Dr. J. Denee’ is an acclaimed speaker who is available to conducts seminars, workshops, keynote addresses, and panel discussions. She empowers her audience to tap into their internal ability to persevere, recreate themselves, express their individuality, and welcome and manage life’s simple and complex challenges successfully. With an interactive and inspirational delivery, Dr. J. Denee’ provides her audience with an effective toolkit of strategies that help women survivors of sexual abuse transform their lives and create authentic happiness, joy, and progress. 

“Beyond the Trauma… Living Triumphantly” is the ultimate goal that Dr. J. Denee’ desires for all survivors. Dr. J. Denee’s upcoming, inaugural book, Beyond The Trauma – Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse is available for pre-sales and will be released in September 2015.

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Interview with Patricia Yager Delagrange, author of MOON OVER ALCATRAZ

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Patricia attended St. Mary’s College, studied her junior year at the University of Madrid, received a B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get a Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and Jack. Her Friesian horse Maximus lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.

Her latest book is the romantic women’s fiction, Moon Over Alcatraz.
For More Information
About the Book:

Brandy Chambers was looking forward to the birth of her first child. She and Weston move from San
Francisco to the small town of Alameda to start a family, she’s writing her second book, and Weston has a fantastic job working on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge project. Having this baby would make her already-wonderful life perfect.

But when the baby dies after a difficult birth, Brandy’s perfect life blows up in her face. Stricken with grief, she and Weston pull apart. This new distance leads them both to disaster. Not until a chance encounter with her high school friend, Edward Barnes, does Brandy pull herself together. Brandy and Weston agree to recommit to each other, striving to forgive infidelity and recreate their previous existence.

Everything is once again going according to plan—until Brandy discovers she’s pregnant. While she struggles to cope with this new obstacle, Edward Barnes returns to town and discovers she’s having a baby, while Weston is torn between his love for his wife and his anger at her betrayal. Can Brandy manage to keep her marriage to Weston together? Will Edward be a part of Brandy’s life if she and Weston separate?

For More Information

Thanks for this interview, Patricia.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

My daughter came home from school one day in 2009 and said her friend asked her why her mom didn’t have a job. I had been a stay-at-home mom since my son was born in 1994 and I realized then that, because they were both in grammar school and gone until three in the afternoon, I had time to do something besides washing clothes and feeding the dogs and ferrying the kids to and from sports activities. So I went to the Apple store and bought a MacBook and sat down and wrote my first novel.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation?

I love to ride my big black Friesian horse in the Oakland hills. I started riding around the year 2000 and bought Maximus in 2004 when he was four years old. He’d just come off the plane from the Netherlands and he was so beautiful and kind, I just had to have him. I have a tattoo of him on my left forearm.

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

For me, writing is a day and night job. I can write when my husband and son are watching football and yelling and I can write in the silence when everyone’s gone.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

After I wrote my first novel I submitted it to many contests because I’d read that was a good way of getting critiques about your writing. Little did I know that I was not writing romance but rather women’s fiction. The rules for writing romance in my opinion are pretty strict, i.e. the girl meets the guy by a certain page and there always has to be a happy every after. I write about a woman’s journey where she overcomes her problems. There’s always a romantic element and the story has a happy ending but there are hurdles to jump over and tragedies unfold. I gave up looking for an agent to represent me and went directly to a small publisher to get my books “out there”.  It’s worked for me.

What is it about the women’s fiction genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

I like to put myself in the middle of a personal problem and/or tragedy and think about how I’d feel about it and how I’d work through it. Then I create a character who has to do just that. I may never have actually experienced such a problem, but it’s all about feelings and emotions and, hopefully, it’s the same for the reader.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Brandy Chambers is a young woman full of hopes and dreams of a great life, until everything falls apart.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

Dealing with the death of a child is not a topic I think most people want to read about. However, though that’s how my book begins it certainly is not a depressing novel filled with sadness and gloom. It goes “up” from there, showing how Brandy works through such a tragedy. And she does it! And there IS a Happy Ever After.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

My ideas come from seeing and hearing about something that has happened to someone else and wondering how I would feel if it happened to me. Then I make it happen to a fictional character and voila’ - out come my emotions and feelings onto the page. I hope to make the reader feel something. That’s why I write.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

For a long time all I did was write and I stopped reading books. That was not a good idea. An author should read what she likes to write, in my humble opinion. My favorite authors are Debbie Macomber, Richard Paul Evans, Joy Fielding, Nicholas Sparks, Mary Higgins Clark, and many others.

What’s next for you?

I just had a long two-week bout with the flu and I got so bored sitting on the couch, coughing, that I finally, finally started my sixth novel. I’m half-way through it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Feature! A Massacre of Innocents by Loren Abbey and Pamela Zibura

Title: A Massacre of Innocents
Author: Loren Abbey & Pamela Zibura
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: True Crime/Murder
Format: Ebook

In 1952 on a highway in the small Northern California mountain village of Chester, a local businessman and four small children are carjacked, robbed and savagely bludgeoned. Three of the children are killed.

A year earlier, a Folsom gold mine operator had been murdered in a home break-in robbery attempt and five months after the Chester murders, the quiet Southern California city of Burbank is rocked when, during another home break-in, an elderly widow is found bound, gagged and brutally murdered in her own home.

Thus begins the terrifying chronicle of the Mountain Murder Mob’s deadly rampage up, down and through the Golden State—from the gritty back alleyways of the Los Angeles suburbs to the forested foothills of the Northern Sierras—a gang of ruthless killers ply their murderous trade by preying on society’s most vulnerable citizens.

And behind the scenes, the victims’ young wife and mother copes with the grief of a life turned upside down after her heartbreaking loss. Struggling to build a new life for herself and for what now remains of her devastated family, she leans on her unwavering faith and a deep reservoir of inner strength.

A Massacre of Innocents is the previously untold true story of the Mountain Murder Mob’s horrific crimes and how they ultimately paid for those crimes.

Loren Abbey has been a prolific blogger and contributor to a number of periodicals and trade journals. A former Silicon Valley executive, he is now retired, residing in Roseville, California. Pamela Zibura is a successful realtor and mother of four grown children, She resides with her husband Tony, in South Carolina near the historic antebellum city of Charleston. A Massacre of Innocents is her first book.

Her Billionaire Bodyguard Bridegroom Book Blast!

We're happy to be hosting Lisa Weaver's HER BILLIONAIRE BODYGUARD BRIDEGROOM book blast today!

Author: Lisa Weaver
Publisher: Kindle Press
Pages: 173
Genre: Romance

His assignment to protect her places their hearts in the line of fire...

The one and only time covert bodyguard Luke Reynolds allowed the line between duty and desire to blur, pleasure came at too high a price. Despite his vow never to become emotionally entangled again, when he discovers a lovely interloper on the grounds of his private estate he's captivated. When the woman disappears from his life as quickly as she entered it, he knows he should be relieved. So why isn't he?

For More Information

  • Her Billionaire Bodyguard Bridegroom is available at Amazon.
Book Excerpt:

As a motivational speaker, words were Brianna’s livelihood. She had never been at a loss for them. Until now. Her tongue seemed to be paralyzed. Distracted by the impossibly broad shoulders and the taut, six-pack abs currently permeating her line of vision, she somehow couldn’t pull a single cohesive sentence together.

His musky cologne, a perfect counterpoint to the scent of the pine forest surrounding them, teased her senses. The heat radiating from his water-droplet-bejeweled body drew her closer, making her forget all about her initial desire to flee.

Common sense dictated she didn’t belong in a secluded lake with a complete—if albeit sexier-than-sin—stranger. But when she made the mistake of looking into his eyes again, that common sense executed an abrupt U-turn. Her heart did a free fall from her tonsils to her toes, taking all of her good intentions right along with it.

The eyes locked on hers were heated. Hungry. She’d thought she’d been melting earlier, when she’d pitted her body against the brutal terrain on her mountain bike, but that was nothing compared to the way this man’s presence ratcheted up her body temperature. Not surprising—he was hot enough to melt an Arctic ice cap.

He extended a tanned hand. “Since we’ve established you have my permission to enjoy my lake, I think introductions are in order. I’m Luke Reynolds. And you are . . . ?”

Surely it would be polite to answer him, but she hesitated all the same. She was in the middle of a secluded forest. The man certainly didn’t look like an ax murderer, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t one. And as for her name . . . well, it had recently been splashed across every newspaper from Maine to Hawaii. As soon as she uttered it, there was little doubt he’d realize his trespasser was none other than “the Reluctant Heiress.”

Brianna cringed every time the media bandied around the moniker they’d coined for her when the truth surrounding her paternity had leaked. She’d taken this vacation to escape notoriety for a while, and she wasn’t ready to give up the blissful anonymity she’d found here.

Fortunately she bore little resemblance, now, to the picture the papers had dredged up to accompany the story. Keeping one arm wrapped firmly against her chest, she tentatively reached out to shake the stranger’s hand.

“Heather. Heather Wright.” Amazingly, the fictitious name rolled smoothly off her tongue—despite her stuttering insides.
His eyes narrowed for a moment as he regarded her, and she was afraid he could see right through her lie. But then his warm fingers wrapped around hers.

“Welcome to my lake, Heather. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

About the Author

Lisa Weaver loves living in Maine, although she occasionally fantasizes about moving to a state with milder temperatures. On the upside, the long, cold winters give her plenty of time to plot her next romance.

Lisa also loves books, and can't imagine a world without the written word to enrich us, inspire us, entertain us, and touch our hearts. She's thrilled to make a small contribution to the treasure trove. She began her writing career penning articles and short stories, but it has long been her dream to write romance novels. Thanks to the Amazon Kindle Scout program, that dream is now a reality.

Lisa is the first to admit her romances aren't serious literature. She thinks of her stories as fluffy, fun, romantic romps--like decadently rich cupcakes, heavy on the frosting.

She loves to hear from readers! Please drop by and visit her anytime at her website,  You can also keep in touch with the latest Weaver Romance happenings via her Facebook and Twitter pages.

Her latest book is the romance novel, Her Billionaire Bodyguard Bridegroom.
For More Information

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Feature! The Battle of Top Hat Wood by Taylor Samuel Lyen


The Battle of Top Hat WoodTitle: The Battle of Top Hat Wood
Author: Taylor Samuel Lyen
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Format: Ebook/Paperback

“An Educational, Inspirational Tale About Spiders That’s Fun to Read.” Kirkus Reviews

Jerry thes pider is a smart-aleck jumping spider that reluctantly joins Alma’s quest to vanquish the evil Sitharon. Hanging in her web above the entrance to the old Presbyterian Church in a small California town, Alma has a nightmare about the horrible slaughter of innocent spiders by a giant flying beast, a Sitharon that lives in the ancient English woodland called Top Hat Wood. Months later, her children are born. As they balloon away to their new homes, Alma senses the presence of evil still lurking in the old woodland. She fears for the lives of her children and feels powerless against the evil Sitharon. She quietly conceives a plan to defeat the Sitharon. Confined to her web, Alma picks Jerrythespider to be her eyes and ears in Top Hat Wood. She creates a possible future where Jerry the spider meets Dr. Greenstone, who she needs to first transport Jerry the spider to England and later to be a valuable ally. But, Dr. Greenstone is preoccupied with his vacation trip to the Sutton Hoo Farmlands. Plus, he is preparing for his expert testimony at the upcoming Moroccan-Three Murder Trial. He is oblivious to the struggle between good and evil, which is literally taking place all around him. Nonetheless, Alma plans to have Jerrythespider team up with Dr. Greenstone. Together—Alma, Jerry, and Dr. Greenstone—will continue to seek and destroy evil wherever it shows its face.  

The Battle of Top Hat Wood is available for order at

Taylor is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins December 7 and ends on December 18.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on December 19.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cover Reveal! A Most Inconvenient Wish by Eileen Richards

A Most Inconvenient Wish

AmostinconvenientwishTitle:A Most Inconvenient Wish
Author: Eileen Richards
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ebook

 The Best Laid Plans Come From The Heart…

 Sophia Townsend has watched both of her sisters find love and settle into idyllic married lives. But raised to believe that her greatest purpose is to advance the family’s fortunes, Sophia has grander ambitions when it comes to choosing a husband. She’s never lacked for suitors, but now she finds herself running out of time. Her last and best hope is Lord Bateman—and she has only a few days to secure his proposal.

Ian McDonald has long been a friend of the Townsend family and has watched Sophia with amusement over the years. A Scot and sheep farmer, Ian has done well for himself, but holds little social standing. Yet just as he’s realized his love for Sophia, she has set her sights on another man. Nevertheless, Ian is determined to win her. He a bold plan in mind, but when he and Sophia encounter one another at the legendary Fairy Steps, a most inconvenient wish is accidentally made—and neither could possibly guess the happy outcome…

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Eileen RichardsEileen Richards has been writing for most of her life. Poetry, totally inappropriate answers to essay questions in school, and interesting error codes during her 30 year IT career has prepared for the manic world of publishing.

She writes sassy regency romps set in the small villages of England where the rules are bent a bit and gossip rules the day.

Eileen resides with her husband and their diva of a greyhound in North Carolina.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Cover Reveal! A Will and a Way by Maggie Wells

A Will and a Way Banner

A WILL AND A WAYTitle: A Will and a Way
Author: Maggie Wells
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook 

What's a nice widow like you doing in a place like this?....

Consummate ladies man Will Tarrant has made it to middle age without walking down the aisle. People think he's anti-marriage, but he knows he just hasn't met the right woman yet. Then he lays eyes on Southern Belle Betty Asher--in the neighborhood pub of all places. She's new in town, perfectly gorgeous--and a perfect lady. But can Will be a perfect gentleman?...

With small town life and her cheating late husband behind her, Betty is looking forward to big city adventure. When she captures the attention of the local heartthrob, she even indulges in some hot and heavy flirtation. After all, it isn't everyday she gets to play the merry widow. She assumes their acquaintance will end there, until a job interview lands her in Will's office--and in his arms once more. Despite their irresistible attraction, Betty's enjoying her freedom, while Will's finally ready to put a ring on it. Now he'll just have to convince her that nothing could be sweeter than being tied down--with him.

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Maggie WellsMaggie Wells is a deep-­‐down dirty girl with a weakness for hot heroes and happy endings. By day she is buried in spreadsheets, but at night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, this mild-­‐mannered married lady has a naughty streak a mile wide. Fueled by supertankers of Diet Coke, Maggie juggles fictional romance and the real deal by keeping her slow-­‐talking Southern gentleman constantly amused and their two grown children mildly embarrassed.

Commander Henry Gallant Book Blast

We're happy to be hosting H. Peter Alesso's COMMANDER HENRY GALLANT book blast today!

Author: H. Peter Alesso
Publisher: Video Software Lab
Pages: 350
Genre: Science Fiction 

Henry Gallant thought Alaina loved him, but now she’s found someone else. A tidal wave of loss and grief has left him miserable, despondent, and lethargic.

Despite his emotional travails, he is ordered on a dangerous mission to an invading aliens’ home world in the Gliese-581 star system. There he uses a neural interface to penetrate their communication network and steal a high ranking alien’s identity. Through this artifice, he learns about their history and society, and discovers a way to hinder and possibly defeat them.

A side-effect of linking into this network—which was created to service autistic savants—is that Gallant’s mind is stimulated and enhanced to the point that he begins to experience superintelligence abilities.

Upon returning from his mission, there is concern that Gallant might pose an even more serious threat than the aliens. While he struggles to fend off those who doubt his loyalty, he fights to win back Alaina.

This is the fourth book of The Henry Gallant Saga and can be read as a standalone story.

For More Information

  • Commander Henry Gallant is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the trailer at YouTube.
Book Excerpt:

Alaina told him to leave.

Gallant thought they were in love, but now she’s found someone else.

He’s racked his brain—sifting through the wreckage of their relationship—trying to piece together what went wrong.

A tidal wave of loss and grief has swept over him, leaving him undecided about what to do next, or how to move forward—which is ironic because he’s always prided himself on his ability to reach difficult decisions during a crisis. Is this a crisis? Maybe it’s worse because his brain is numb and won’t process facts or ideas—it just kept replaying the breakup over and over again.



The Warrior was Henry Gallant’s first command. It was the culmination of everything he’d worked for since entering the academy. Her rocket-shaped hull was over a hundred meters long, equipped with stealth technology, an antimatter sub-light engine, and a dark matter FTL drive.

The ship was on course for Elysium, a warm-water planet with oceans coving ninety per cent of its surface and dotted with numerous islands supporting abundant life including birds, mammals, reptiles, and a multitude of plant life. Home to a displaced United Planets’ colony, it was the second of five planets orbiting Tau Ceti, a mustard-yellow dwarf star about 11.5 light-years from Earth.

Sitting in the command chair, Gallant noticed that the bridge was unusually quiet despite the background hum of machinery and the chatter of the bridge crew. There were no alarms, or sirens, or exclamations of concern, all of which was a good thing, but in his heighten state of anticipation he was left with an eerie sense of emptiness.

He could barely contain his excitement at the prospect of seeing Alaina for the first time in nearly a year. His mind was alive with memories—many of which included Alaina’s alluring figure—quickening his pulse. There was nothing auspicious or dramatic about the images—it was just their sheer untimeliness and incongruity that was troubling.

Standing up abruptly, he shook my head to cast off my distracting torpor.

All eyes on the bridge turned toward him.

Chagrinned, he drew a breath and sat back down.

Watch the Trailer!

About the Author

As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations, and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.

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Interview with 'The Moreva of Astoreth' Roxanne Bland

Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.

Her latest book is the science fiction novel, The Moreva of Astoreth.

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About the Book:

 Moreva Tehi, scientist, healer, priestess of the Goddess of Love and three-quarters god, is a bigot. She hates the hakoi who are the Temple’s slaves. When she misses an important ritual because the enslaved hakoi are participants, her grandmother, the Goddess Astoreth, punishes her by exiling her
for a year from her beloved southern desert home to the far north village of Mjor in the Syren Perritory, (where the hakoi are free) to steward Astoreth’s landing beacon. But Astoreth forbids her from taking with her scientific research on red fever, a devastating scourge that afflicts the hakoi. She does so, anyway.

The first Mjoran she meets is Laerd Teger, the hakoi chief of the village, who appears to hate her. She also meets Hyme, the hakoi village healer, and much to Moreva Tehi’s surprise, they form a fast friendship. This friendship forces her to set upon a spiritual journey to confront her bigotry. While doing so, she falls in love with Laerd Teger, who returns her love. She eventually has a revelation about the meaning of love, and rids herself of her bigotry. And she develops a cure for red fever, and is the first healer to do so.

But there is a price for her love for Laerd Teger, and that is her certain execution by the Goddess Astoreth upon her return home because she has broken her sacred vows. But then, through Laerd Teger, she learns a terrible secret about her gods, that they are not gods at all, but aliens, and rather than being part god, she is part alien. Her world destroyed, she turns on Laerd Teger for showing her the truth. They eventually reconcile. But there is still the problem about her love for Laerd Teger. Astoreth will know what she has done and will execute her. She formulates a plan, involving the erasure of her memory, in which she will bargain for her life by giving Astoreth the formula for red fever. Astoreth agrees. For breaking her vows and disobeying a direct order not to take her red fever research to Mjor, Astoreth strips her of her morevic status and exiles her again to Mjor. Back in Mjor, she recovers her memory and sends the red fever formula to Astoreth. Now freed from the constraints of being a Moreva, Tehi and Teger embark on a new life together.

For More Information

  • The Moreva of Astoreth is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thanks for this interview, Roxanne.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

I started writing when I was a child. When I was about ten, I wrote a science fiction story that won a city-wide contest. After that, I wrote off and on, not with any thought of being a writer, just for myself. Once I got into college, I didn’t write at all. In my mid-twenties, I started writing again, short stories. I submitted a few that never saw the light of day, which is probably a good thing. Then about fifteen years ago, I fell ill. Took me about two months to recover. You know how when you’re sick and you’re too sick get out of bed but not so sick that you sleep all the time? I was casting about, bored, and I took up writing again. With encouragement, I turned those scribblings into my first book. I’ve never looked back.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

Read, mostly. I like to read outside my genres, so for fiction, I’ve usually got a horror or thriller book in my hands. Maybe a good mystery. I getting into bizarro, too. I also read non-fiction—mostly ancient history and what I call armchair physics books. Like, Frank Tipler’s The Physics of Immortality, or Murray Gell-Mann’s The Quark and the Jaguar. No formulas—just plain English.

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

I retired from my day job about six months ago. Since then, I’ve been working on The Moreva of Astoreth, but now that it’s finished, it’s time for me to go back to work. My retirement accounts aren’t THAT big!

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I didn’t have much problem writing the Moreva of Astoreth, unlike another book I could name. I did have a period of about two months where I just couldn’t write. Writer’s block, I guess. Everything I wrote was either garbage, or I couldn’t think of anything to write. I decided to quit worrying about it and went on about my life. Then one day I was puttering around my office looking for something, and the next thing I knew I was at the computer, writing. Whatever the problem was, it went away on its own. As for publishing, I own Blackrose Press, so no, getting published wasn’t a problem.

What is it about the science fiction genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

Well, I don’t just write science fiction. I write paranormal fantasy, too. Sometimes both at once. And all tend to have a little romance mixed in with them. But as for say, why I don’t write mysteries or thrillers, I guess my thoughts and daydreams don’t run in that direction. Although I would like to try my hand at horror one day.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

The Moreva of Astoreth is the story of priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year from her beloved desert home to a volatile far northern corner of Peris for neglecting to perform her sacred duties, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I don’t pretend to be worldly, but I haven’t seen much pairing of science fiction and romance. And even though it’s science fiction, The Moreva of Astoreth deals with a very human condition—bigotry—and how we can transform our hate into love if we’re willing to face it and work hard to change it.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Christmas—because that’s when people buy the most books!

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

No, I don’t think this book would work as a series. I doubt there’ll be a sequel, either. I just don’t see it going that way. But you never know.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

In the most general sense, my life experiences—for good or ill—inform everything I write. But some ideas I get from reading. The Moreva of Astoreth came about from reading Zecharia Sitchin’s very interesting series positing that humans were created by aliens. Others are ideas that come to me while daydreaming, like the book I wrote about a werewolf falling in love with a space alien.   

What’s next for you?

I’ll go back to the project I was working on before The Moreva of Astoreth interrupted. What I mean is that I was working merrily along, when this current story started banging at the door in my head. I filed it away, but it kept popping up until it was interfering with what I’d been working on. So I wrote The Moreva of Astoreth, and now the way to my other project is clear.

Interview with Piers Platt, author of RATH'S DECEPTION

Piers Platt is the New York Times bestselling author of "Combat and Other Shenanigans," a memoir of his year-long deployment to Iraq as a tank and scout platoon leader. Piers grew up in Boston, but spent most of his childhood in various boarding schools, including getting trained as a classical singer at a choir school for boys. He joined the Army in 2002, and spent four years on active duty.

When he's not writing or spending time with his lovely wife and daughter, Piers works as a strategy consultant in
New York city.

His latest book is the sci fi/thriller, Rath’s Deception.

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About the Book:

On the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed … or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all fifty kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can’t anticipate. It’ll certainly cost him what’s left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.

For More Information

  • Rath’s Deception is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thanks for this interview, Piers.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Thanks for having me! I loved both reading and writing from an early age, but I didn’t get serious about it until a few years ago. I wrote a memoir (Combat and Other Shenanigans) of my time as a platoon leader in Iraq, and published it, and it kind of took off. And it reminded me that this was what I always wanted to do, it kicked my butt a bit and got me back in gear.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation?

I have a 4-year old daughter, so I try to spend as much time with her as I can. She is awesome, but relaxation isn’t really on her agenda, its more about cramming in as much activity as possible into every minute that she isn’t eating or sleeping. I wish I had that much energy!

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

I do – I work in the Corporate Strategy department at a large financial services firm in NY. Sounds boring, but it’s actually a nice challenge – I basically have to keep my company up to date on all the latest trends in the industry, and understand why the trends are occurring, and what our best strategy should be to compete. It forces me to learn something new every day, but it’s not as much fun as writing.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I wouldn’t say rocky, but it’s been a lot of hard work – nights, early mornings, weekends, etc. When I wrote my memoir, I initially tried the traditional route – querying agents, etc. But soon after, I stumbled across several of the more prominent indie authors and their blogs, and I never really looked back.

What is it about the sci fi genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

It’s one of my favorite genres to read, so I think that (hopefully) means I can add my own original spin and still meet readers’ expectations for what a sci fi book should be. Also, I feel like it’s more of a blank canvas than many other genres – more freedom to create new things, and fewer constraints (vs. say, historical fiction…which I also love to read!).

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Bladerunner meets Jason Bourne.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I think it will appeal to fans of both the thriller genre (assassins, conspiracies, organized crime) and sci fi (space travel, cool technology, futuristic setting). There’s a fair bit of action in there, too – and as a combat veteran, I’m pretty well-equipped to write tactical stuff. A lot of writers have never fired a weapon in their life…so how could they know what it feels like to do so at all, much less in a tense situation?

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Oh god, I wish I knew. I would set up a nice little campsite there and hang out all the time! I think I just built up a creative storytelling muscle over time…I used to invent stories in my head as a kid, whole fantasies, usually riffing off of Star Wars or another favorite story world. I still do…but now I write them down, as well.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Be organized. There is so much information out there today about how writers can be successful, from outlining techniques to writing faster to which marketing methods work best. It’s too much info! So I write it all down, everything I find that could be useful. And I have a nice little playbook for all of it, that I can reference whenever I need to…and I don’t need to keep it all in my head.

What’s next for you?

Books 2 and 3! They’re written already, actually…they’ll be released over the next two months. I wanted to make sure I had the whole story arc written before I launched Rath’s Deception (Book 1). So I have a few finishing touches to put on them, and then maybe I can start thinking about what I want to write next.