Author Interview: Phillip Riley

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome the author of Sleeping With Cancer, Phillip Riley, from Atmosphere Press, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

Phillip Riley was born in Seattle, Washington but whose adult journeys took him to New York City, Boston, Vermont, California, and for the last several decades, Hawaii. His half a dozen colleges include the Cornish Institute for the Arts in Seattle, Washington and the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He has a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Master’s in Education. He continues to paint, teach, and write in Hawaii.

You can connect with author Riley here:
Author Website


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

 Briefly I have roved the United States as a fine artist before finding myself in Hawaii sleeping on the beach after a divorce 23 years ago.  I remarried and mostly wrote poetry and children’s stories, as well as other short stories in both first and third person.  I remarried and followed my wife around the world on adventures.  I became a special education teacher during this time using the arts as a way to address what educators call core content.

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

Sleeping With Cancer developed without an outline.  I modeled the main character after a lady I met in Boston.  As I continued the narrative, my thoughts as a caregiver in real life with a wife fighting an advanced stage of cancer began seeping into the story.  In a role reversal I wrote my thoughts from the first person of the lady with a boyfriend with cancer.

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

If there is one message, it might be that there are examples of courage all around us that go unseen and without drama, especially with those surviving with cancer.

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

My favorite character is the lead character, Emily.  It is her thoughts that resound through most of the book.  She is THE character, with grit, sarcasm, heart, and I would have to say love.

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

An incident began when my wife and her mom went to Las Vegas and she called so exultant about winning a jackpot of $6000.00.  I began to think, you can win a jackpot, but you still have cancer. 

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

I think this book began about four years ago.

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

I write in different venues.  I would like to publish several more books of short stories as well as novelettes and another book.  I like to think my writing will be a contribution to my fellow human beings.

Are you working on any other stories presently?

I am writing another book, but like Sleeping With Cancer, I am not sure where it is going.  In general, I prefer the tone to be optimistic.

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

I have never written in the first person of a woman for a book as in Sleeping with Cancer.  I suppose I did so to get my thoughts out without naming my wife. I do write in multiple genres.  For example, I have a number of short stories whose characters are insects, crabs, and squirrels.

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

I think the person who inspired me long ago was a teacher at Massachusetts College of Art named Lila Chalpin.  In my twisted journey through New York City, Boston, and elsewhere living on the edges of poverty attempting to be an artist, writing has been my refuge for reflection. Traumas and experiments in living bring a lot of fodder to the mind.

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

I like to write in the morning beginning at Starbucks and later at home. I bring a notebook everywhere to write impressions, such as when I occasionally teach.  I go to a writers’ group once a week to share what I am doing.

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I prefer old school writing first draft by hand in a notebook.  Section by section is then put onto my computer, which functions for me in the editing process and where the writing is made more readable and legible.

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

  1. Anne Sexton, Transformations
  2. Erica Jong, Half-lives
  3. Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror
  4. Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna
  5. Lately… Diana Gabaldon’s books, such as Dragonfly in Amber

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I just write nonsense. I call it my blah blah time.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I think I might say to be careful who your teachers are and to not think too much about the outcome.  As a special education teacher I am aware of different learning styles and that it is sometimes important to give oneself room to go your own way.

Thank you, author Riley, for your insightful answers!

About the Book

Sleeping With Cancer

What is the meaning of life when you can see the end in the one you love?
Emily’s life changes after she witnesses two men kill each other in her apartment leaving a duffle bag with 1.2 million dollars.   With money no longer an obstacle and drifting through a dreamy state of trauma where spirits often appear, she eventually falls in love with a new man.  When he is later diagnosed with cancer, they embark on parallel journeys with an urgency and impatience to absorb the world.
In Sleeping with Cancer by Phillip Riley, Emily’s thoughts on the arbitrariness of life accompany her new love who is engaged in each moment with an appreciation she can only imagine.


You can find Sleeping With Cancer here:
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Author Interview: Nick A. Jameson

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome the author of Rosebud: A Poetry Collection, Nick A. Jameson, from Infinite Of One Publishing, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

Nick A. Jameson is a philosopher-poet with strong progressive convictions and a history of creative endeavors, including the conception of left-leaning political, economic, business and spiritual theories. Residing in Bend, OR, Nick was born in Fort Bragg, CA, and has spent most of his life in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, CA.

Nick has a BA in Business Economics from UCSB and an MA in English from ASU. His projects include works of fiction and nonfiction delving into the disciplines of storytelling, philosophy, poetry, spirituality, sociopolitical theory, nutrition and naturopathy. All of his ideas, projects, discussion boards and blog posts are available at infiniteofone.com.

You can connect with author Jameson here:
Author Website | Facebook | Instagram


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

I’m a natural philosopher-poet spurred by a deep inner force, what I consider the essential Self, or Spirit, to seek answers to the foremost questions arising from humankind’s quest for meaning. Both highly contemplative and highly emotional, my heart and mind have converged to create everything from my own idealistic set of social systems (see my other works, including Infinite of One and Cultural Cornerstones, Recarved, as well as my website at infiniteofone.com), which is why I consider myself an ‘ideologue,’ to poetic, cathartic releases on every emotion with which I wrestle. My progressive convictions and philosophical nature shine through in most everything that I write, including my poetry, as does my strong drive to seek the spiritual, or metaphysical, nature of existence. I’m also highly romantic, and motivated by a chivalrous sense of honor and a platonic idealism valuing ideas and principles above everything but love, which, along with liberal education and the philosophical and poetic arts, I think are highly undervalued attributes and pursuits in the modern materialistic era of corporate dominance. I’ve been a creative, self-driven individual all my life, and much prefer to be the driving force behind my own endeavors than attempt to fit into a box or a role designed for the purposes of others, which is part of why I’ve always been resistant to the concept of the ‘job,’ or even the ‘career,’ in which we’re compelled by forces other than the fired heart and impassioned mind. Instead, my desire is to combine my conviction regarding ownership of one’s work, a semi-socialistic entrepreneurial attitude towards the ‘workplace,’ with my desire to write and create generally. While I created games for friends set to paper as a youth, which I called ‘paper games,’ my creative side has found a grander outlet in my poetry, social theories and philosophical pursuits.

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

Rosebud is an emotional, intellectual and spiritual outlet collected into a series of poems with the power to both elucidate complex ideas as well as to touch upon and assist the reader in cathartically releasing their emotions, especially when those emotions are based upon the unresolved quests for love and self-realization. Like my book Heresies of a Heathen, it experiments with a type of writing I call “reinterpretive verse/prose” in several of its poems, as well as in the post script. While I’m certain that the writing community has another term for this, what I mean by ‘reinterpretive’ is that I’ll be inspired by a work, such as The Prophet and Siddhartha in the subject book, Rosebud, or the collected Gnostic Gospels in Heresies of a Heathen, yet I’ll see the ideas and wisdom that they impart through my own philosophical lens, and thereby come to rewrite them, or portions of them, in my own words, reinterpreted through my own perspective and philosophy. I believe Rosebud contains a ton of value on many levels, including: insights into the nature of Spirit/God; how spirituality and religion aren’t identical, and why; explorations of the emotional and psychological aspects of love and ‘the muse;’ both the suffering and the reward of the seeker; and much more. It is representative of the overlap between the philosopher and the poet. As Emerson said: “The true philosopher and the true poet are one. And a beauty, which is truth, and a truth, which is beauty, is the aim of them both.” 

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

While, per my response to the previous question, it would be all but impossible for me to conflate the book into a single message, if forced to choose one, it may be: while it may sound cliché, one must follow their hearts, for the heart is the focal point of Spirit into matter, and is therefore the bridge to the everlasting wisdom and One Being which we all share, and which, though it shall test you, assailing you with demons, the secretly angelic nature of those demons shall someday be revealed in the incalculable rewards wrought by the stronger self they bring.

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

Writing is an outlet for me; I call it my ‘pressure release valve,’ envisioning my sanity being much like a cannister under pressure. Yet, without the emotional and intellectual pressure, and without the suffering they entail, I wouldn’t be able to delve into the ideas that I do, or be inspired to write what I write. So, it’s a combination of needing an outlet for beliefs and ideas and the fact that I’m what one might call ‘troubled in love.’ I collect muses and unrequited affections, for a number of reasons, and my related fantasies and pains produce much poetry.

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

I’m always writing, and struggle not with ‘writers block,’ but with much the opposite phenomenon: with having too many ideas and too much content, and not knowing exactly how to organize them into particular projects, or to ‘stop’ those projects. This particular book, Rosebud, is based upon a collection of poems produced over about half a year. The two muses whom were in my heart and mind when I wrote it, for example, include the memories of one I was in love with for years, and was writing about in Northern CA, and a newer muse I became infatuated with since moving back to Bend, here in Central Oregon, who has since been, let’s say, very unkind towards me; the word ‘betrayal’ is definitely apt; but who, nevertheless, I’m happy I got the chance to know, because the poet needs a muse, because I got to focus my love on someone new, and because all pain is a lesson in disguise. Six months, going from one muse to the next.

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

It’s difficult to put a limit on such ambitions. I firmly believe that I have a natural capacity to create theories of near limitless social value, to elucidate most any obscurity of the philosophical and spiritual landscape, so to speak (if nothing else, I’m a natural philosopher), and to purge my own emotional struggles onto the page in a manner which others may identify with. Having started my own independent publishing imprint, Infinite of One Publishing, with ‘infinite of one’ being an allusion to the core spiritual belief of mine, a non-dualistic monotheism I call ‘monoexistentialism,’ my ambition is to be a globally-recognized philosopher poet that runs his own publishing imprint in league with a cadre of like-minded creative, spiritual progressives.

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

I write in most every genre; all of it has value. Naturally, philosophy and poetry are my go-to’s, but I write sociopolitical theory and fiction as well, just not as regularly. For me, I love poetry because, as in the book blurb, I believe it to be the freest of writing genres; the one the least beholden to form, structure and style and, therefore, permitting the possibility of the purest conveyance of heart and mind. My favorite poems, in fact, seem to come out of me when my mind is the least aware of itself, and when I’m in a type of trance, seemingly conducting from the very depths of my being without my mind really understanding what I’m writing, or why.

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

I’m a writer by nature, because I’m a thinker and a creative, and because I love language and the exploration of ideas; my particular combination of attributes tells me I’m meant to be a writer along progressive lines, where I create not just for fun or entertainment, but for the quest to understand all the mysteries of human existence. That said, deciding to pursue writing professionally is anything but easy, as I’m sure you and all your interviewees know. And yes, you could argue that it entails sacrifice; heeding what I believe my calling is has, to the dismay of some family members, pulled me away from less risk-averse, seemingly more lucrative paths.

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

I tend to do the most writing early in the day. I read while drinking coffee or tea, usually with classical piano playing in the background, and as I read I’m routinely provoked to write, either because I’m reflecting on ideas or recent happenings in my life with the blood circulating quickly thanks to the caffeine, and/or because I feel the need to respond to what I’m reading. I also have the routine of making ‘notes’ in my phone whenever a thought arises that I believe to be of value, most of these being of a philosophical nature. Let’s check… I currently have 2,759 notes on my iPhone. After I make the note I send it to various outlets, including two different email accounts, and from there I copy and paste the note into collections intended for writing projects, one of which will be a lifelong series I call From the Roots Up: A Progressive, Spiritual Philosopher’s Notebook, which is, per the title, a collection of notations of philosophical value.

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

Per the last response I make a lot of notes in my phone. That said, I write in many different ways. I’ve always had very good penmanship, and I write in a series of journals (the current go-to is a leather journal with a Tree of Life imprint), plus the phone, plus often directly into MS Word.

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

That’s a tough one. Plato, Rumi, Orwell, Thoreau and Wilde. 1984, Walden and the collected works of the other three. I have so much on my reading list! It’s a dense word document on my computer. I’m a bit of a rarity, I believe, in that I write more than I read. Relatedly, it’s long been a goal of mine to transfer some of my cinephile self to being more of a bibliophile.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I don’t really experience this. I’m an ideas guy, and I have the opposite problem: knowing which ideas to pursue, and when to cut them off when it comes to a particular project. I don’t think writing should ever be forced. Inspiration is the force of creation, and if I’m not being inspired by something, whether positively or negatively, I’m not writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Your heart is your truest self. If it tells you to write, write. Don’t worry about popularity or who will read it and what they’ll think, or even grammar/editing. Release it onto the page, even if it’s just for your own emotional and intellectual development; just to explore an idea, to develop your convictions and/or to cathartically release emotion. What to do with it, and whether or not you or anyone else thinks it’s of value and worth broadcasting, is a ‘downstream’ concern.

Thank you, author Jameson, for your insightful answers!

About the Book

Rosebud: A Poetry Collection

Poetry is powerful because it’s free; free from the forms, constructs and constraints of prose. It permits those that wield it to go anywhere, to explore anything, without the restrictions of other forms of lingual expression. In this book of poems, the writer uses poetry for manifold purposes, from wrestling with his inner demons, to seeking that elusive angel amongst his muses, to evoking every color of the emotional spectrum, to pulling progressivism from the greed and controls of prevailing culture and politics, to seeking the nature and imparted wisdom at the very source of all truth and being: Spirit, or God.


You can find Rosebud: A Poetry Collection here:
Goodreads | Amazon

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Review: Whispers Of Innocence by Natasha Simmons

Book Details:

Author: Natasha Simmons
Release Date: 
7th June 2022
Series:
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Thriller, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 272 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
The baby is quiet. Too quiet.
When Madeline checks on her seven-month-old daughter, she discovers the reason for the baby’s silence. Abigail is dead. Madeline is soon living every mother’s worst nightmare among a cacophony of sirens and police interrogations.
Accusations and old resentments can’t stay contained under the pressure of guilt, tears, and the horror of picking out a baby-sized coffin. A line is drawn through Madeline and Brian’s marriage, and a battle begins.
But defining heroes and villains is as difficult as untangling the truth from the impossible web Madeline and Brian have created to protect themselves. Abigail’s killer isn’t the only monster hiding in the shadows. And among the dark secrets, everyone will crumble under the consequences.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Whispers Of Innocence by Natasha Simmons is a very well-written psychological thriller that will make it impossible for you to put down the book for even a second.

As much as this book was emotionally taxing, I loved reading it. The tension throughout the book, right from the first chapter, was wound so tight, that it was impossible to put it aside and do anything else. And that is the best way any author can write a psychological thriller novel, so I am really glad that I read this book. The writing was good, the concept was brilliant, the characterisation was very well developed and the tension and pacing were completely on point.

The story did have its dark moments, but it was to be expected given that the author had been honest about a child’s death in the blurb itself. So be prepared for some reader’s emotional damage (as I like to call it) but unless it is a trigger for you, you shouldn’t worry about it because the book after all is a dark psychological thriller.

I would strongly recommend this book to all thriller readers, especially all dark psychological thriller readers and fans of the genre.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Some Mistakes of Darwin and a Programmer’s Theory of Life by Daniel G. Vintner

Book Details:

Author: Daniel G. Vintner
Release Date: 
24th May 2022
Series:
Genre: Non-Fiction, Philosophy
Format: E-book 
Pages: 263 pages
Publisher: Boros Dániel
Blurb:
Darwin’s theory of evolution has been widely regarded as one of the greatest accomplishments of science. Except for a few individuals, most scientists have dismissed the issues that have crept up in the last century related to and in opposition to the theory of evolution. However, developments in molecular biology and genetics have failed to address some of the original concerns with the theory and also exposed even more significant flaws that should not be overlooked.
The evolution debate has been raging on the outskirts of academia for two centuries, and the sides have never been further apart than they are now. “Science versus religion” and “evolution versus creationism” was what the audience heard for a long time. In the twentieth century, God was brought down into the fighting pits of scientific society to duke it out with Charles Darwin, and for the longest time, it seemed he had lost the match for good. In recent times, though, God has put his gloves back on and seems to have managed to insert himself back into the debate.

Or has he? Has anything really changed in this debate, which is as old as debates themselves? Did evolution change, or science, or God himself? What is true from the grandiose claims of those who claim to have resurrected God by virtue of their arguments? And what truth is there in the words of the scientists who claim to have buried him?

Some Mistakes of Darwin goes back to the beginning of evolutionary thought and verifies every claim made by Darwin and his successors. Everything is put to the test, and nothing is off limits. No claim is accepted without verification and no argument is beyond questioning. Travel from the birth of genetics and molecular biology, through the advances in software engineering, to the far ends of space and time and beyond. By the last chapter, the book goes full circle and reaches the same conclusion as the philosophers of old have, from the same facts but a different perspective, arguing from science, not from scripture, for a new theory of life.

Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Some Mistakes of Darwin and a Programmer’s Theory of Life by Daniel G. Vintner is a very interesting book to read that will leave you thinking really hard about the age-old debate of ‘science vs religion.’

This book had a very unique premise and to say that I was intrigued by this book would be a huge understatement. After reading the book I was really impressed by the author’s arguments presented in the book and believed them to be true, finding myself leaning toward his explanations and thus, his side, more than I thought was possible. Without giving away any spoilers, I would just like to say that be prepared to be swayed from your one-sided stand after reading this book because the author might just be able to convince you to agree with his arguments.

I would strongly recommend this book to everyone who likes to explore and read about Darwin’s Theory of evolution.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: No Ghosts in the Graveyard: The Lifetime Adventures of a Small-Town Oregon Boy by Bob Crites

Book Details:

Author: Bob Crites
Release Date: 
29th August 2021
Series:
Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir
Format: E-book 
Pages: 429 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
“I had the good fortune of being born with a high biological set point for happiness.”
Walking alone at night, at age nine, selling newspapers on the streets of Eugene, Oregon, Bob Crites was among the last of the American paperboys. In the early 1950s, Bob and his triplet siblings didn’t know the word “homeless”; he thought they were living an adventure camping in the woods with their young mother.As an adult setting out to make a difference in the world, Bob finds his passion: Helping others help themselves.
Follow the funny, sometimes sad, always interesting adventures of “The Incredible Crites” as he saves lives, almost gets killed, and makes a world of difference.

Bob Crites has earned numerous recognition and awards for his service and altruism. In 1964 he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Brazilian hinterlands of Mato Grosso, Brazil, when the country was taken in a military coup. And in the late 70s, he was an Associate Peace Corps Director in Guatemala during a civil war. In the 1990s, he partnered with the “Second Mother Teresa”, one of the 20th century’s most enlightened women, to enrich the education of impoverished students. In 1991 Bob was thrust into the role of agent for an African teen who went on to become an Olympic gold medalist, world record-holding track star voted along with cyclist Lance Armstrong as the two top sports competitors in the world. In 1998 Dr. Jane Goodall personally requested Bob to partner with the Jane Goodall Institute in awarding academic scholarships in Tanzania.
Now retired from a career as an educator and counselor, Bob is an avid backgammon player living with his Brazilian-born wife Dalva in Eugene, Oregon. They love to travel and winter at their beachside condo in Recife, Brazil

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

No Ghosts in the Graveyard: The Lifetime Adventures of a Small-Town Oregon Boy by Bob Crites is a beautifully written memoir that will make you forget everything else as you read this book.

I quite enjoyed reading this book mostly because of two reasons; firstly it was a very well-written book and secondly because the story that the author had to share with the readers was a very interesting one. This book had a lot of aspects to it as the author had shared his long and interesting life through small captivating anecdotes. The book managed to grip my attention from the first page to the very last one and I was left wanting for more.

The pacing of the book felt right and the narrative style was very gripping. I would highly recommend this book to all readers of non-fiction and personal memoirs.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


5 Important Factors To Consider Before Buying A New Car

More often than not, buying a new car, especially one’s first car, is one of the most important and the biggest decisions of one’s life. And just like any other important decision, before taking such a huge step, a careful consideration is important as is market research.

Today I will be sharing 5 important factors that should be considered before buying a new car to help you make an informed decision.

5 Important Factors To Consider Before Buying A New Car

1 Car Type

The first thing that you need to consider is need Vs want. You ming want to buy an SUV, but if you need is that if a small hatchback, then why waste money on an impractical SUV or maybe a shiny new sedan. Or maybe you simply need a practical second-hand station wagon instead of the new convertible that’ll definitely be difficult to park just anywhere.

2 Budget & Financing

The next thing on my personal list is financing. My father was a car collector and owned more than 12 luxury cars in his 60 years of life. The one thing I can tell you from my own experience (and his) is that the first thing you need to consider before buying a car (or anything that expensive) is to figure out your budget and the financing schemes and options available in the market. There might be a million schemes, of course, but you need to make an informed decision and consult a friend or a wealth manager and figure out the best finance scheme that would sit comfortably in your budget and that would easily accommodate the price of the car you’ve been eyeing. Or simply use a webiste like CarPaymentCalculator.net and use their features like ability to calculate car price that fits a monthly payment or loan payment amounts, printable amortization schedules, figuring your MPG, calculating your fuel budget, exploring the cost of underwater trade ins and saving money with biweekly payments.

You can even visit websites like NerdWallet or CreditKarma to better understand your credit scores and figure out the loan amount before actually applying for the loan.

3 Features & Technology

While it is important to know what kind of car you need, it is also important to know what features you want your car to have. For example, airbags, navigation, automatic windows and locking mechanisms, folding seats, air conditioning type, etc. These things also affect the cost of the car so it is always advisable to consider these things before you actually finalise the options.

4 Insurance Policy

Insurance policy and roadside assistance are major players when it comes to buying a car. You need to make sure that the insurance policy and assistance you are going for will cover the majority of the situations or scenarios that you might possibly get involved in. For example, if you are into a lot of road trips then make sure that you have complete roadside assistance and anti-theft and accidental protection as opposed to petty theft and damages.

Age and the premium amount that you are willing to pay, play a big role in determining the quality of your insurance policy so make sure to investigate thoroughly and do the required groundwork with your insurance agent before settling for an insurance policy.

5 Residual Value

While buying a car you don’t just have to think of the present but also the future, so thinking of what the car will fetch you after a couple of years if you decide to sell it off and go for another car is always smart. Some cars and models have a high residual value as opposed to others. If you are sure to not sell then this might not matter much, but most people upgrade their cars on a regular basis -especially keeping in mind the technological advancements, so it is always better to have the option of being able to sell your car in the future for a good price a good idea.

So these are some factors to consider before buying a new car. If you have anything more to add (there are many other things that have not been added in this article for the sake of brevity) then please feel free to share them in the comments below. We welcome all views and comments 🙂

Author Interview: N. Ford

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome the author of The Refuge, N. Ford, from Atmosphere Press, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

N. Ford spends most free time in the open air, usually barefooted and with readily available mango.  An alumni of Taylor University and the University of Central Florida, N. Ford exists somewhere in between a midwesterner and beach bum, currently residing alongside the mountains of Tennessee.  With the steady company of a giant dog and something to write on, anywhere will do. Defined by faith, fueled by tribe, and driven by purpose, N. Ford writes for all; and simultaneously, for just One.

You can connect with author Ford here:
Author Website


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

I am a life-long learner who hopes to continue to learn new skills, have dynamic experiences, study other cultures, and continue in formal education.  I need physical movement nearly all the time, and ideally outside.  I love to be at the sea, or in the mountains, or exploring somewhere new.  I start every day in a Bible and end every day with exercise.  I like nothing more than to be with family and friends, but a day under a tree with my dog, my guitar, and a notebook is also a day well spent. 

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

The entire idea for the book was formulated in 2015, and once I really got started in 2019, it felt like it wrote itself.  Interestingly enough, the majority of the theming centers around war, unity, and race relations – subjects that became highly relevant in the wake of 2020, 2021, and 2022.  It’s my great hope that the messages of unity and human value can seep into our current cultural events in impactful ways. 

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

More than any other, the primary message of the novel is the value of human life.  We humans represent a beautiful and dynamic amalgamation of shapes, sizes, colors, ethnicities, capabilities, backgrounds, nationalities, experiences, etc.  This story celebrates our differences while highlighting our similarities.  We need each other.  And everyone brings a unique value.  That’s the primary message here. 

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

I read somewhere that as an author, there’s a part of you in every character.  Knowing the truth of that, it’s hard to choose a favorite.  I love Jude’s drive toward meaning and his desire to do something purposeful with his life.  I admire Mae’s simple and immoveable nature, along with her love for her people.  I desire to have Matthew’s curious and independent mind, and Faith’s courageous spirit.  I relate to Jonathan’s heart and respect his iron will to do the right thing even though it hurts him deeply.  I want to lead like Issachar, dream like Eden, and rejoice like Jackson. 

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

For me, life is driven by faith.  This project is no different.  This story was placed on my heart to tell, and I did my best to tell it without letting my own voice get in the way. 

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

I wrote the first words to this book on August 15, 2015.  After receiving discouragement at the first try, I gave it a rest for a while.  I had a few successive failures to launch over the next few years and finally dedicated myself to writing it with new strategies and tactics in place.  That was in August of 2019.  By August of 2020, the novel was complete, along with an outline for the rest of the trilogy.  From the first words on a page to publication – it took 6 years and 9 months.  Books two and three won’t take quite that long.

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

Ideally, I’d like to quit my grown-up job and write full time.  I’d like to finish this trilogy, make it into a movie or a TV series, and then get to work on the ever-growing list of writing projects sitting unattended in the notes app on my phone. 

Are you working on any other stories presently?

Other than Book Two of The Refuge Trilogy, no.  There’s a long list awaiting my attention, but graduate school will need to end before I can give it the time it needs.

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

I will write in multiple genres.  I chose this one to begin simply because I felt called to write this story first.  There are many that will be published as nonfiction pieces, and hopefully more in the fiction realm as well. 

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

A few years ago, I found an envelope my parents kept of papers I wrote in school.  They all received high marks, were a mix of subjects, and came from several class years.  Upon further investigation I discovered that my parents always knew I had a skill set for writing.  It took me much longer to discover.  I was one of those kids that had no clue what I wanted to do when I became an adult.  I ended up in my university major by default, not by choice, and chose to make it work.  Discovering my purpose and understanding what I wanted to do on this earth was a deep and difficult challenge for me.  I think that’s why I so deeply relate to Jude’s search for purpose-driven work. 

After an explosive time in my life in which I lost a job, a primary relationship, and had close family move away, I started using writing as a means of catharsis.  That’s what ultimately led me to understand that writing is something I love, something that gives me energy and passion and meaning, and something I feel I can use to make a positive impact.  More than all of that, though, it’s something I feel God created me to do, and I want to pursue it with all that I am. 

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

This novel was written at a time when I was juggling a full-time job, graduate school, and multiple community service opportunities.  It was highly challenging some days to achieve the ritual I committed to completing.  Nevertheless, day after day I would work my job, do the tasks assigned from graduate school, and then force myself to walk to the coffee shops in my near vicinity to write until I couldn’t anymore.  Sometimes this was no longer than twenty minutes.  Sometimes it lasted for hours. 

What I was able to identify that was crucial to my writing process was that I needed music playing in headphones (I chose tracks for this by Audiomachine, John Paesano, Ivan Torrent, Gustavo Santaolalla, etc.).  I also identified that I had to be somewhere that was a dedicated space for writing.  In my home, I had one chair for writing – I used it for no other purpose.  I also selected several coffee shops or cafes that were my ‘writing spaces’.  I didn’t socialize there or do any other work there – only writing.  The psychological and physical separation of these places for writing helped me make progress day after day in ways that I don’t think would have been as successful otherwise.

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

My writing process starts with a pen and a notebook.  Outlines turn into chapter synopses (still in pen and paper form), and once the chapter synopses are complete, I move to a laptop. 

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

Frances J. Roberts is a long-lasting favorite author.  She writes truth with beauty, poetry, and rhythm.  It’s truly unique and distinctly beautiful.  My favorite title by her is Come Away, My Beloved.

For gorgeous and descriptive fiction, Charles Martin is a go-to.  When Crickets Cry among others are true works of art. 

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I do something else.  I walk away, go work out, spend time with family and friends.  Play some music, work on something else.  There’s a separation that must happen for me.  I try not to let it bother me and try again the next day. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I would tell aspiring writers to do everything they can to not strive for a story.  Let the story come to you.  Let it call out to you instead of you striving to create something that you think may be unique or may sell.  The more you can let your experience be about the story you were created to tell instead of the story you think you should tell, the better it will go for you. 

Thank you, author Ford, for your insightful answers!

About the Book

The Refuge

In a world that has ever only known war, generations still swing their swords on whispers of conflict from centuries past.
In Physis, the law of the land is ‘every territory for itself.’  Lineage is everything; racial identification is paramount; and territory loyalty is the code by which one lives or dies.  But when a few individuals decide the given system isn’t working,  everything begins to change.
What will happen to the world when inherited authority is questioned; when standards of judgement are re-evaluated; and when independent thinkers redefine purpose for a new generation of leaders?
In The Refuge, by N. Ford, readers travel from the snowy mountain estates of The Diamond Isles to the clay arenas of warrior life in Agon.  They sail the Physis Sea, chasing mystery and meaning, and swim in the clear pool at the bottom of the Western Bay.  Readers will meet love, loss, and sacrifice anew, while rediscovering what purpose can do when it’s authentic and hard-won.


You can find The Refuge here:
Goodreads | Amazon

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Review: STAR ~ Personality Styles (Volume 1 STAR and RATS): RATS ~ Grow up or be left Behind by R Luciani 

Book Details:

Author: R Luciani
Release Date: 
4th October 2021
Series: Star Personality Styles (Vol #1)
Genre: Christian Non Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 302 pages
Publisher: KoHoE Publishing
Blurb:
Everyone marries with the hope of feeling wedding bliss “until death do us part”. At the time of writing this book, several sources reported that 60% to 85% of marriages are unhappy, and the Divorce Rate (in Canada) is around 38%; this means that 22% to 47% of married couples remain in unhappy marriages until death do they part.
Only 7% of conflicts are due to the words of the message; 93% of conflicts are due to the delivery of the message (quality of voice and body language); it is my intent to help people comprehend and resolve conflicts that are due to a simple misunderstanding of different personality styles – before conflict escalation. With the right rules and the right tools, wedding bliss “until death do us part” is possible for every marriage.
“STAR Personality Styles” is based on principles from the Holy Bible, but don’t let the source of information turn you away. Almost everyone (Christian, Jewish, Islamic and other religions, and even atheists) with whom I have shared the information directly (one-on-one, couples, or small groups) has reported to me that they have benefited from the information contained in this book.

STAR Personality Styles uses principles from the Holy Bible to explain: (1) the Negative, as well as the Positive, Personality Styles; (2) how to deal with people who have Negative Personality Styles; (3) how to overcome Negative Personality Styles within ourselves; (4) Safe, Effective, and Calm Conflict Resolution; (5) a comprehensive set of rules to promote the most satisfying relationship for all Interpersonal Relationships.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

STAR Personality Styles (Vol.1: STARS And RATS) RATS: Grow Up Or Be Left Behind by R. Luciani is a brilliant and insightful book about the workings of people’s personalities and their relationships. Pastor Ross Luciani has highlighted the types of personalities and the ways to deal with such personalities in his latest 2-volume book series, STAR Personality Styles using his knowledge of the Bible to draw parallels and to define personalities and the ways to handle the negative ones.

I am a firm believer that religious texts are mostly written keeping in mind a common man and how this common man can overcome obstacles in their daily life and live happily. Cementing on this belief, I had the privilege to get the opportunity to read and review books by author R. Luciani who draws heavily from the Holy Bible to explain and describe different kinds of people around us and how their personalities bare an influence on their relationships, especially marriage – the most sacred of all relationships.

I think this book would be helpful to anyone in general, Christian or not (which means it is okay if you have or have not read Bible previously) as this book has a lot of useful information about how people think in general and behave according to how they are and the way they see this world. Reading this book would give a really insightful look into the workings of certain relationships and I am sure you’ll be glad after reading this book and, like me, would want to jump on to the next one to know more about conflict resolution too.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Graphic Novel Review: Shrieks and Sounds and Things Abound! (The Quiet Wants of Julien J.) by Drew Palacio

Book Details:

Author: Drew Palacio
Release Date: 
9th May 2022
Series: The Quiet Wants Of Julien J. (Book #1)
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Short Story, Graphic Novel, Poetry
Format: E-book 
Pages: 34 pages
Publisher: Brandylane Publishers Inc
Blurb:
JULIEN J’s frustrating evening takes an extraordinary turn when BLUEBULLET, his favorite comic book superhero, pays him a surprise visit.
After a long day filled with school and homework, Julien immerses himself in the latest adventures of Bluebullet, his favorite comic book. His evening reading retreat goes awry when the neighborhood crow starts incessantly cackling. He attempts to drown the noise but finds himself interrupted again. This time it’s by a group of sneezing, buzzing bees. Julien’s exasperation balloons inside him. Determined to finish, he sticks his nose back into his book. His efforts are finally thwarted by additional creatures, now all simultaneously ruining his day.

This unwelcome commotion unfolds while Bluebullet is at a crucial moment in his battle! The cacophony of noises derail his experience and sends him into a fit of rage. Julien screams at the top of his lungs – so loudly, that it summons Bluebullet himself, who swoops down from the sky, ready to help! Julien’s anger would become the catalyst for a profound learning experience. Bluebullet is a wise, seasoned hero who imparts pivotal guidance to Julien. At this moment, Julien learns to maintain his peace of mind even when confronted with adversity.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Shrieks And Sounds And Things Around! by Drew Palacio is the first book in the new children’s graphic novel series, The Quiet Wants of Julien J.

This book is tremendously engaging and I enjoyed reading it a lot. The illustrations are beautiful and captivating and the writing is really impressive. The book has a big moral to share with its readers in the end and that makes this book all the more precious. The poetry in the book has a great flow and will be easily understandable by children.

I would highly recommend it to all middle graders and early teens and to parents who read books to their children. This book has such a beautiful message for everyone that you wouldn’t want to miss out on it.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Starstruck And Swindled In Paradise by A.H. Nazzareno

Book Details:

Author: A.H. Nazzareno
Release Date: 
1st June 2022
Series:
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Short Story, Humour
Format: E-book 
Pages: 42 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
A discontent and disillusioned author embarks on a road trip to the desert paradise of Las Vegas, teeming with oddball characters. Starstruck And Swindled In Paradise is a fictional short story about a flawed man attempting to reinvent himself while experiencing an unforgettable adventure.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Starstruck And Swindled In Paradise by A.H. Nazzareno is a short story about an author’s (mis)adventures that will tickle your funny bones.

I enjoyed reading this book because it was engaging, fun and light-hearted. I liked the writing and the characterisation and I found the author’s sense of humour to be really good. It is a short and well-written book that I’d recommend to all contemporary humour readers. Also, if you are a writer then you’ll definitely enjoy this book.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Author Interview: Michelle Bennington 

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome Michelle Bennington, author of Devil’s Kiss, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

Born and raised in the beautiful Bluegrass state of Kentucky, Michelle Bennington developed a passion for books early on that has progressed into a mild hoarding situation and an ever-growing to-read pile. She delights in spinning mysteries and histories. Find out more on her website: http://www.michellebennington.com and follow her on her social media profiles.

You can find author Michelle here:
Author Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

I was born to a blue collar family of construction workers, farmers, and factory workers. I was one of the few people in my family to go college.  I’ve always loved books and since the age of 13 wanted to be a writer. But when I was younger, in the place I lived and in a pre-Google era, there weren’t many resources to guide and facilitate my growth in writing. Later, once I got to college, I was introduced to world of writing workshops, craft courses, and a host of other resources, which vastly improved and honed my craft. Since then, I’ve published a few short stories and poems, but writing books was always the primary goal. Now I’m aiming for other goals within the industry. When I’m not writing, I hold down a full-time job. And when I’m not working (which is rare these days), I enjoy crocheting, painting, dancing, reading, ghost tours, distillery tours, traveling, and hanging out with my family. 

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

I really wanted to write a book that featured Kentucky  in a positive light. That was incredibly important to me. Also, I named my character Rook after my grandmother’s favorite card game, Rook. So I wove a few real-life things into the book.

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

I don’t really have a message planted in the book, but I suppose, if there’s a takeaway, it could be summed up in one word: Resiliency. My characters go through things, horrible things, but they remain hopeful and resilient. 

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

I think my favorite character is Prim. She’s a sassy grandmother who has seen hard times and though she’s petite and delicate-looking, she’s tough, wise, and takes no guff.

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

The book concept first began with a half-baked idea about an amateur sleuth who is also a part-time college instructor. I happened to also be a part-time college instructor at the time. While I was generating ideas around that, my husband and I attended a ghost tour at the Buffalo Trace bourbon distillery. Because Buffalo Trace has a long history, there are a few places on the property that seemed a little spooky to me—especially at night on a ghost tour. That gave me the idea of a murder mystery taking place at a distillery. Then not long after that, I read an article about the Pappy VanWinkle heist, which was a BIG deal in the bourbon industry because Pappy is a rare 15-25 year old bourbon and is quite expensive. Then the ideas began swirling and soon the plot for Devil’s Kiss was born! 

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

From conception to publication, it took me about four years total. The actual writing and completion of the manuscript was two years. Then, because I really wanted to do the traditional route first, it took another two years to find an agent and publisher. Once I landed the publishing contract in January 2020, I had to wait an excruciating 18 months! Taking the traditional path to publication has definitely put my patience to the test.  But that’s a character flaw in myself that I needed to work on anyway.

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

I have a long list of books I want to write and publish. A few are already written and need revision or rewriting; a few are partially written and need completion; and many are just idea-seeds right now.  I want to be a full-time writer. I want to write in a few genres (historical, mystery, romance, fantasy, paranormal). While I enjoy writing the fun stuff like cozy mysteries (and I have no intention of quitting those), I do want to write some upmarket books and serious historical fiction, too. I want to grow my YouTube channel and start a podcast, teach some writing workshops, sit on conference panels, maybe even start up my own indie press.  I want to finish the screenplay I’ve started and I would love to have any of my stories picked up for movie / TV production.  That’s where I see my next five years. Will all that happen? Who knows? I’ve always operated with the notion of “Dream Big, Work Hard, and See What Happens.” But I go into my plans knowing that I won’t get everything I want, work for, and dream for.  I might get a much smaller version of what I hoped for. And that’s okay.  Of course I get disappointed when things don’t go as I expected or when I worked really hard for something that doesn’t come to fruition. I accept that it wasn’t meant for me and move on.  I try not to dwell too long on disappointments because it’s a waste of time. I just get right back to work.

Are you working on any other stories presently?

I am working on a lot of things presently. When I signed Devil’s Kiss with Level Best Books, they gave me a three book deal. So, I’ve already written the second book (Mermaid Cove, slated for release in 2023) and will soon begin plotting the third book, Unbridled Spirits (2024). This week I signed another 3-book deal with Level Best Books for a historical mystery series set in 1803 England. The first book, Widow’s Blush, is due to release October 2023, with books 2 and 3 coming out in 2024 and 2025, respectively. I’m also currently working on a Southern gothic cozy mystery, called Dumpster Dying, that I intend to self-publish by October 2022. In addition, I’ve started the rough draft for a historical fiction based on a true crime. I have no idea how long it will take me to write that manuscript because I want it to be upmarket, closer to literary fiction. However, I do anticipate that it will be a 2-3 book series because it involves a ton of characters. I also have begun writing a screenplay, but since I know nothing about writing a screenplay, I’m having to educate myself as I go.  And lastly, I have two completed manuscripts—a romance and a historical fiction—that need to be revised. My plan is to start revising one of those once I’ve completed Dumpster Dying. The romance I plan to self-publish and the historical fiction I would like to see traditionally published. But we’ll see what happens there. 

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

Well, the very first book I wrote was a romance. Honestly, I chose that because I thought it would be easier and therefore I could use it as a means of training myself how to write a novel.  One of those statements is true. I did, in fact, learn a ton about writing a novel, but it was not easier to write a romance. The romance genre doesn’t get enough credit, I think. It’s really hard to grow a believable love relationship between two characters and keep that thread running through a whole book. But I didn’t like writing love scenes. It’s one thing to read them, but writing them felt awkward for me. So I thought, “Why am I not writing mysteries?!  I love mysteries, thrillers, forensics, true crime books, shows, and movies.” It was a simultaneous lightbulb and “DUH!” moment. Because I love historicals, I paired that with a mystery and came up with Widow’s Blush and later wrote Devil’s Kiss. Right now mystery and its subgenres are my primary focus, but I do eventually want to branch into romance, fantasy, and historical fiction. 

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

My writing journey was a long, circuitous route. I began dreaming of being a writer when I was 13 after reading an Edgar Allan Poe anthology. I fell in love with his writing and wanted to impact others the way his writing impacted me. I fashioned a journal for myself and began writing. I wrote a lot of really bad poetry imitating his style. Then in high school my English teacher praised a passage I wrote for a creative writing assignment—and read it in front of the whole class as I blushed and sank lower and lower in my chair. Afterward, everyone sat quiet, looking at me as if seeing me for the first time (many of them probably were seeing me for the first time). It was embarrassing and exhilarating at the same time and something sparked for me that day (I’m ever grateful to Mr. Campbell!). But my road to writing was not an easy one. I grew up in an environment that left me with little or no self-esteem or confidence and some mental health issues. I thought, “That’s a dream for other people, not for a small-town girl from Kentucky.” Add to this that I didn’t have much in the way of resources: computers, internet, books, writing groups, etc. that help so many people develop and hone their writing skills. I tried off and on for years to write and publish, but it always felt like I was in the dark, that I didn’t know what I was doing. 

Through college, even though I continued to receive praise, minor publication, and even small awards for my writing, I was far too shy and reticent to share my dream with anyone or to try to find someone to help me hone my skills. It still felt out of reach. I decided to go into teaching instead.  I did that for a while, but writing was always in the back of mind. I thought if I was a teacher then I could write during the summer months. But I was not very happy in teaching and left that. Then several years ago I came to two conclusions: first, I’m not getting any younger and second, I want to die with as few regrets as possible. And I knew that I would regret never chasing my dream of being a published writer. I was already regretting putting it off as long as I had, that I had let so many years slip by.  So I went and found as many books about the craft of writing that I could find and began reading. I read as much fiction as I could find. I took all the writing workshops I could find and afford. I had to overcome perfectionism. I pushed myself to try to get published and was repeatedly rejected. At first, it stung, but I knew I needed the rejection to make myself better. I got all the feedback from anyone who would give it. Again, sometimes it stung, but I knew that I needed it to produce better writing. My confidence began to grow (my husband was crucial in the growth of my confidence and self-esteem). My biggest hurdle was completing that first novel. But once I did that, it was like the universe opened up to me, as if I had deciphered a secret code. And long story short, I just kept pushing. Resilience. I guess my story always comes back to resilience.

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

 I wish I had the time to develop a ritual. I don’t have one.  These days, I write when I have the time. Even if I have only five minutes to write a few lines or a paragraph then I consider myself that much further ahead. I write on road trips when I’m the passenger. I have an adapter that plugs into my laptop and the car cigarette lighter. I write on lunch break and after work. I write on weekends, vacations, and holidays. I write when I’m in the airport on a layover. I have written in hospital waiting rooms. I plot and plan stories while driving or in the gym or in the shower.  I don’t mean to make it sound like I never stop. Of course, I do. But if I’m on a vacation or visiting family, I get up earlier than everyone else anyway. So, I make myself a cup of coffee, crack open the laptop, and write until I’m interrupted. That’s maybe a whole hour of time where I can easily get 2-4 pages written. That’s a good chunk. If I’m lucky enough to be in a mental flow where the words are pouring out, but I have to stop, I make a few notes on the page of what I want to say next so I’m ready to go when I come back next time. I’m hybrid plotter-pantser. I always sketch out where I want my story to go before I begin writing. However, I usually go off course about half way through the book because better ideas always crop up once I’m in the thick of it. And that’s okay. I just see where it takes me. So far, with every book I’ve written I complete the whole rough draft before I go back and edit/revise. But then that leaves all  the revision work at the end and I’m not keen on revision; it can be so tedious. It’s the part that takes the longest. I would like to train myself to revise the previous day’s material before continuing on.  I know of many writers who do that, but I’m not sure if or how that would benefit me or if I would like that method. I might try it for my next book. 

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

Computer, definitely.

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

Five favorite books? Oh, gosh. That’s like choosing my favorite ice cream, so I’ll go with authors: Jane Austen, Daphne DuMaurier, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, CS Harris—It just doesn’t seem fair that I can only name five! There are so many!

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I used to struggle with writer’s block a lot when I was younger. And then I read or heard somewhere that writer’s block is a result of not knowing where you’re going with the story. That’s when I started to plot out my stories and that has helped so much. Another thing that has helped is that I usually work on 2 or more books at a time. That way, if I’m not connecting with one book, I can go work on another. If I’m blocked on that one, too, then I’m probably just tired and need a break. So I go do something else for a while. Baking, crocheting, painting, reading, bubble baths, walking or swimming usually help me loosen up my mind. 

What advice would you give to aspiring non-fiction writers?

  1. In the beginning of your journey, read all the books on the writing craft that you can find, join a writing group, connect with a mentor, and take writing courses. There are many online and community-based groups and programs that are low cost or free. Writing groups, especially the in-person variety, give you a safe place to fail. And you need to fail. It sounds contradictory, but failure is actually a good thing if you learn from it, grow from it, use it to improve your work, and as long as you don’t let failure intimidate you. You have to keep trying. Some writers get rejected dozens of times before getting accepted. 
  2. You’re not a writer unless you’re writing. Get in the seat and start writing. Even though I don’t have a ritual right now, in the beginning I did. I tried writing first thing in the morning. I made myself write every day, even if all I wrote was a single sentence. I kept doing those things until I developed the discipline.
  3. Understand why you want to write. If it’s to get rich or famous, you will very likely be gravely disappointed. You have to love the work for the sake of the work. Most writers work other jobs.
  4. Read everything you can get your hands on—especially in the genre you want to write in—but books outside your genre will help your writing, too.
  5. Everything you write is NOT gold. Edit and revise without mercy. 
  6. Let the first draft be junk. It’s called first draft for a reason and that’s what revision is for. Just get it written. 
  7. For the beginning writer, find different authors you like and imitate their writing style when you write. It will help you find and develop your unique voice. 
  8. For those hoping to go pro: When you submit to an agent or publisher, thoroughly read and follow the submission guidelines. And do your research. Understand how to write query letters and what genres the agent/publisher represents, etc.  
  9. If you’re serious about writing find an excellent critique partner who will tell you the truth about your writing—not what you want to hear but what you need to hear. They are rare, but invaluable.

Thank you, author Michelle, for your insightful answers!

About the Book

Devil’s Kiss

Rook Campbell is broke, divorced, jobless, and in desperate need of steady employment, which is hard to come by in the small town of Rothdale, Kentucky. With the help of her friend and neighbor Bryan, she lands a good job at the Four Wild Horses Distillery and meets an attractive co-worker with lots of dating potential. Her life is finally headed in the right direction until a co-worker dies under suspicious circumstances and a shipment of rare small-batch bourbon goes missing. Worse, her personal life begins to unravel as her beloved grandmother falls ill. Normally she can depend on her ex, Cam, for help, but his new fiancée’s jealousy is getting in the way. As the body count rises, Rook becomes ensnared in discovering who’s committing the crimes—or she might be the next to die.


You can find Devil’s Kiss here:
Amazon | Goodreads

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Review: Wrecked by by Nick Stephens

Book Details:

Author: Nick Stephens
Release Date: 
30th April 2022
Series:
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 141 pages
Publisher: Reading Between the Lines pub.
Blurb:
Sam has been stuck on this deserted island for some time. How long? He has no idea. He was just about to give up on trying to survive when Desmond crashd ashore. Unfortunately, not only does Desmond not offer any hopes of rescue, he appears to be insane. Sam must survive the island and Desmond while he attempts to remember who he is and how he got there.

Desmond found himself stranded after his plan for murder goes awry. Perhaps Sam will learn more about himself as he uncovers the truth about Desmond. Perhaps he will find himself descending into madness. Wrecked is a thrilling novel full of suspense, twisting and churning like the rough tides of the open ocean.
Will Sam survive long enough to piece together his past, or will the island, and Desmond, destroy any shred of hope he has left?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wrecked by Nick Stephens is a brilliantly written psychological thriller novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading right from the very beginning until the last page!

This book had a really good concept and the execution was spot on. The characterisation was great and I was able to feel a connection with Sam, the main character, and wanted to see how things would turn out for him. And boy, I was not expecting the end to be the way it turned out to be! Absolutely loved the way the book ended. The tension and suspense ran tight and high throughout the book and I really appreciated it as it made the book an un-put-down-able read!

I would strongly recommend this book to all psychological thriller readers. This book has a great premise and an amazingly written plot that’ll blow your mind!


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Author Interview: Richard Scharine

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author of The Past We Step Into, Richard Scharine, from Atmosphere Press, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

Richard Scharine is from rural Wisconsin. A professor emeritus in the University of Utah theatre department, his honors include University Professor, University Diversity Award, and College of Fine Arts Excellence Award. Dr. Scharine has published two scholarly books, five book chapters, and many articles. A Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the University of Gdansk in Poland, he has directed a hundred plays and acted in seven foreign countries, including the title role in Oedipus at Colonus in Athens, Greece. The smartest thing he did was to marry Marilyn Hunt Scharine.

You can connect with author Scharine here:
Author Website


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

I attended a one-room grade school.  Disadvantages:  No plumbing or indoor bathrooms.  Having to work to the nearest farm with a bucket for water.  Advantages:  Taking 8th grade eight times if you paid attention.  (Seven in my case because I skipped a grade.)  Going to the library meant only walking to the back of the room.

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

In eleven of the twelve stories a woman gives advice to a man—almost always the character based on the author.  Sometimes she shares with him.  Sometimes she blames him.  The title, The Past We Step Into, was taken from Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem.

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

We’re aware of most of what happens in our lives, but it may take a long time before we recognize its importance.  (I call it “the unawareness factor.”)

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

Lynne, the wife of the narrator, appears in ten of the twelve stories.  Two are told entirely from her viewpoint:  In “Hiroshima 1964” she has a miscarriage, and in “Yemaja” she is diagnosed with a fatal disease.  (Believe me, that is not the most important thing in the story.)

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

I didn’t even know I was writing a book until I wrote the 12th story, “Danton on the Kaw.”  At that point I realized I had written a cycle of stories about the same set of characters, set from the 1940s to the early 21st century, but with a gap from 1964 to 1977.  The events of “Danton on the Kaw” happened in 1970.

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

I’m an academic and I’d written two books and a score of articles and reviews in that genre, but I didn’t begin to write “fiction” until my sister died in 2006.  She was the last of my family from that generation (including my wife), and as my academic career slowed down I began investing the richness of their characters in situations where they didn’t always find themselves in real life.

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

Given my age, my ashes will probably be found at the base of the tree that Westminster College planted by the Arts Building in honor of my wife.  If I survive (given my age), I have a lot of stories yet to tell, courses yet to teach, and on-stage roles yet to play.

Are you working on any other stories presently?

Right now I’m working on a story called “Harvest,” which centers on a nine-year-old Wisconsin boy taking part in his first grain harvest in 1947, but the characters who shape his life are a cousin (who never appears) with almost God-like abilities and a hired man with a dark past.  “Harvest” will also be the title of the book, if Atmosphere Press is willing to include a number of other stories I’ve written.

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

Children always make up stories.  Mine were initially based upon 15 or 30 minute radio programs (Superman, Tom Mix, The Lone Ranger, etc.).  My father, who had to go to work in the 6th grade, always had magazines and books around the house.  My favorite was Collier’s, especially the single-page science fiction stories by Ray Bradbury—many of which I still remember today.  As a literary historian, I fell into the habit of teaching history through stories (80 minutes of stand-up).

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

Beats me!  Following army service, I discovered theatre in my second junior year of college.  After a Berlin Wall-based call-up was over, I was accepted into graduate school solely because in those pre-feminist days my wife had been accepted and they felt they hadto take me.  Sixteen years later, I had directed 45 plays and the University of Utah hired me strictly as a classroom teacher.  I’ve acted in seven foreign countries—always with an academic group—and I believe the connection between acting/directing and writing fiction is imagination.  I always see pictures and hear dialogue when I write.

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

I don’t sit down until I have something to say (or a deadline).  Even then I put it off as long as possible.  It’s mid-afternoon before I touch the laptop and I’m there until the early hours of the morning.  I don’t work from handwritten notes unless the story has a particular routine and time period to cover, e.g. a summer of riots and rehearsals in “Danton on the Kaw,” or a farm to farm grain harvest in “Harvest.”

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

The great thing about a laptop computer is the ability to start over again, and to save something that isn’t right at this moment, but may be useful some other place in the manuscript.  You young whipper-snappers have no idea what it was like to write before the days of saved documents and copy machines.  Imagine a 1964 graduate thesis written on a typewriter using four carbons to make five copies.

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

I’ll stick to Americans and also eliminate playwrights.  As a child of the ’30s I was first introduced to Sinclair Lewis and John Steinbeck.  I read every word Thomas Wolfe ever wrote.  (Thank God he died before he was 38.)  Look Homeward, Angel is the most nourishing book I ever read, in that when we were breaking bivouac during a War Games exercise, somebody threw my copy into the egg crate of a mess truck.  I also read nearly every book John Updike wrote, Kurt Vonnegut going back to when he wrote for Collier’s, and twenty years of short stories in The New Yorker.  Alice Munro is almost exactly seven years older than I am, and should she go first, I am planning a Mr. Spock Vulcan mind-meld to get inside her brain.  That girl can really mess with time!           

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I know what I did, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  At the beginning of 2020 I had stopped writing.  “Danton on the Kaw,” the last and longest story of The Past We Step Into (located in the exact middle of the book), was fifty years in the making, based on the Vietnam War protests and Civil Rights riots in Lawrence and at the University of Kansas, where I was working on a PhD in the summer of 1970.  I saw no way of dealing with it.  Then I was diagnosed with cancer, and then the chemotherapy didn’t work.  The answer, eventually, was Imbruvica, but before that was available I experienced some colorful hallucinations, the best of which I wrote as a short story which I hope Atmosphere Press will consider for my next book.  When I got out of the hospital almost exactly two years ago, I couldn’t walk but my mind was clear and, thanks to the pandemic, no one could go anywhere anyway.  In the summer of 1970 I was obsessed with Georg Buchner’s 1835 revolutionary play, Danton’s Death.  Danton was an actual hero of the French Revolution, until it occurred to him that the only way of continuing the revolution was to kill more and more people.  At which point he “tuned in, turned on, and dropped out.”  Shortly thereafter he was on the guillotine.  Shortly after I was home, the protagonist of “Danton on the Kaw” was trying to produce Danton’s Death in the midst of an actual revolution, interacting and in one case, casting, actual participants in the revolution.  As I’ve said, that story turned The Past We Step Into into a book.  My methodology is not practical, but I can walk now.

What advice would you give to aspiring non-fiction writers?

For heaven’s sake, write from your own experience. Already suffering from writer’s block in 2018, I took a college class with other hopeful writers.  My young classmates, whose accumulated ages roughly approximated mine, lived in a world of sexual and economic threats, reasonable fears, uncertain futures, and about the same number of intriguing possibilities.  And I never read so many cliches in my life.  Look around you, I would have counseled.  Of course, given my age, I didn’t have to “look around.”  I looked back, and wrote “Saturday Night in front of the IGA, which became the first chapter in The Past We Step Into.

Thank you, author Scharine, for your insightful answers!

About the Book

The Past We Step Into

“Time is the school in which we learn

Time is the fire in which we burn.”

— Delmore Schwartz

A young couple finds themselves hip-deep in sex, social change, the Arts, Civil Rights, politics, warfare, and — ultimately — children, as they negotiate the paths of self-discovery spanning over fifty years and four continents.

In the twelve stories of Richard Scharine’s The Past We Step Into, we experience the America we remember, the America we want to forget, and the America we dream of achieving.


You can find The Past We Step Into here:
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Spotlight: Devil’s Kiss by Michelle Bennington 

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, we are featuring author Michelle Bennington for her latest release Devil’s Kiss releasing this May!

Devil’s Kiss

Book: Devil’s Kiss: A Small Batch Mystery
Author: Michelle Bennington
Series: A Small Batch Mystery (Book #1)
Publication Date: 31st May 2022
Page Count: 274
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Level Best Books


Synopsis

Rook Campbell is broke, divorced, jobless, and in desperate need of steady employment, which is hard to come by in the small town of Rothdale, Kentucky. With the help of her friend and neighbor Bryan, she lands a good job at the Four Wild Horses Distillery and meets an attractive co-worker with lots of dating potential. Her life is finally headed in the right direction until a co-worker dies under suspicious circumstances and a shipment of rare small-batch bourbon goes missing. Worse, her personal life begins to unravel as her beloved grandmother falls ill. Normally she can depend on her ex, Cam, for help, but his new fiancée’s jealousy is getting in the way. As the body count rises, Rook becomes ensnared in discovering who’s committing the crimes—or she might be the next to die.

You can find Devil’s Kiss here:
Amazon | Goodreads


About The Author

Michelle Bennington

Born and raised in the beautiful Bluegrass state of Kentucky, Michelle Bennington developed a passion for books early on that has progressed into a mild hoarding situation and an ever-growing to-read pile. She delights in spinning mysteries and histories. Find out more on her website: http://www.michellebennington.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and GoodReads.

You can find author Michelle here:
Author Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads


If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Review: Infernal Relations: A Quintessential English Comedy by P.S. Rover

Book Details:

Author: P.S. Rover
Release Date: 
4th April 2022
Series:
Genre: Literary Comedy, Humour
Format: E-book 
Pages: 270 pages
Publisher: Forte Books
Blurb:
Eloping Has Never Been So Criminal
Another academic season is in the offing at Lockwood Institute, the eclectic finishing school for those who’ve been barred elsewhere. When Spencer and his interloping cousin, Monty, are summoned back for a special assignment they quickly find themselves in the thick of it with a trophy-hunting Brigadier on a quest to slay a mysterious beast, while his daughter, Natalia, proves a temptation too much for the fantastical Monty. This heady concoction provides the perfect ingredients to rock institute life to its foundations.

As one staggering revelation unfolds after another, does Spencer have the fortitude to cope? Monty couldn’t possibly have done what people think, could he? Is he culpable? Is he capable? As Spencer desperately tries to pull Monty’s chestnuts out of the fire, a head-spinning discovery awaits them. Skulduggery is afoot!

“It IS funny. Just what we all need”

Cassandra Clark (Acclaimed author of the Brother Chandler trilogy and more.)

“A great story.” 
LoveReading

“An intricate and well-written book. Filled with atmosphere … I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to other literary fiction fans.” 
LoveReading

“The beauty of this book is in the writing. Rover has a wonderful way with words and I found myself laughing out loud at several lines where Spencer gave his unusual views on life around him. I thoroughly enjoyed Infernal Relations by P.S. Rover which I have awarded 4.5 stars.”
(Whispering Stories) 

“Rover is excellent at crafting unique sentences … with a poetic touch… Readers will leave the book impressed by his ability to squeeze all the juice out of the English language.” 
(Independent Book Review)

“A rollercoaster ride” 
(Independent Book Review)

This book will especially delight fans of:
The Ransom of Red Chief (O’Henry), The Harpole Report (J.L. Carr), The Ascent of Rum Doodle (E.W. Bowman), Diary of a Nobody (Grossmith), Augustus Carp Esq., James Thurber, Mark Twain, Wodehouse.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Infernal Relations by P.S. Rover is a brilliantly crafted booking roaring with intricately woven English humour.

I recently happened to re-read The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer for my book club’s genre challenge and reading this book right after that one was like stepping into a different version of the same book. I don’t mean that both the books are the same, but what I do mean is that the author of Infernal Relations heavily draws from the sense of nostalgia that is invoked while reading Mark Twain’s masterpiece. I might not have noticed it so acutely had I not just finished re-reading TDOTS right before picking up this one! But I am glad that happened because it made the reading experience of this book even more enriched. The differences in both the books were pretty evident and both the books are very different, yet they are very similar (again you’d notice it only if you’re very observant or, like me, had recently, read both the books so close to each other.)

Moving on from comparing the two books, I loved this book a lot. The writing was marvellous and I enjoyed the lyrical quality of the prose, which is so rare these days, to find in contemporary fiction. I liked how the author used his brilliant sense of humour and an acute sense of using phrases to his advantage to bring out the subtlety of satire in the best possible ways. I chucked more than I was expecting and giggled probably more than I should have. The story had a great flow and the pacing was really good and kept the flow very smooth. I enjoyed reading this book right from the beginning to the very end.

I am not a literary expert, although I am somewhat of a self-proclaimed book aficionado, and hence I’d like to say that, for me at least, the author’s style resembles a lot to that of the revered Mark Twain and therefore, I really really enjoyed his writing and in fact, I am looking forward to reading more of his works in the future (hopefully soon!)


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Audiobook Excerpt Reveal: Ballad Of Jasmine Wills by Lee Rozelle

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author Lee Rozelle who’ll be sharing a couple of excerpts from their latest audiobook Ballad Of Jasmine Wills.

About the Book

Ballad Of Jasmine Wills

A zany twist on the Southern Gothic, Ballad of Jasmine Wills is a wild and heartfelt tale of abduction and revenge, body shaming and media fame. Lee Rozelle’s debut novel is the story of overweight banker Jasmine and her kidnapper, the enigmatic reality TV mastermind Preston Price. Trapped inside an egg-shaped studio in the secluded backwoods, Jasmine is tortured with haute cuisine, brainwashed with self-help videos, and badgered with cardio exercise routines for her growing mass of livestream fans. Filled with flashbacks of adolescent nuttiness and ennui in the 1980s, Ballad of Jasmine Wills goes bizarro to explore links between reality TV and the real, intervention and exploitation.

You can find Ballad Of Jasmine Wills here:
Author Website | Amazon | Goodreads

Audio Excerpt #1
“Jasmine and Suzie Work Out”

Overweight banker Jasmine Wills has been kidnapped, placed in an egg-shaped dome, and forced to watch self-help videos. Suddenly a monitor pops on and she hears techno…


Audio Excerpt #2
“The Ossobuco Catastrophe”

Reality TV chefs Annon Martiz and Morris make a special Mediterranean meal for kidnapped Jasmine.


Audio Excerpt #3
“Preston’s Deliverance”

Preston searches for Jasmine in the woods but finds a gang of suspicious-looking pig hunters instead.


About The Author

Lee Rozelle

Lee Rozelle is the author of the novel Ballad of Jasmine Wills and nonfiction books Zombiescapes & Phantom Zones and Ecosublime. He has published short stories in Cosmic Horror MonthlyHellBound Books’ Anthology of BizarroShadowy Natures by Dark Ink Books, If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3, and the Scare You to Sleep podcast

Learn more at leerozelle.com

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Review: Sidelined: How Women Manage and Mismanage Their Health by Susan Salenger 

Book Details:

Author: Susan Salenger 
Release Date: 
10th April 2022
Series:
Genre: Non-Fiction > Health
Format: E-book 
Pages: 224 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press
Blurb:
DON’T MAKE ANOTHER HEALTHCARE DECISION WITHOUT READING THIS BOOK 
“If men had cramps, they’d have cured this by now…”
“I told my doctor about my pain for years, but he told me it was all in my head…”
“My doctor removed my IUD without anesthesia because ‘there aren’t any nerve endings in there.’ Boy, was he wrong!”
These and countless other comments from women who’ve suffered at the hands of the healthcare industry are frighteningly common… but they don’t have to be. 

Sidelined: How Women Manage & Mismanage Their Health discloses how women have been marginalized and hesitate to take control over their own healthcare. But what’s behind this nationwide medical crisis? 
Too often, women:
· Ignore their symptoms to avoid being “difficult.”
· Downplay their suffering out of fear of being branded “hysterical.” 
· Are reluctant to question their doctors’ assessments, even if they don’t seem right.
The end result could be inferior care, which can lead to serious consequences.
In Sidelined, writer and researcher Susan Salenger explains why women are misdiagnosed more often than men, and why their symptoms often go unrecognized or even disputed. 
This book teaches readers how to:
· Take charge of their health.
· Communicate their medical needs with their doctor.
· Make informed decisions about their own healthcare.
· Leave their appointments with answers instead of just questions.

Knowing how to advocate for your own healthcare can mean the difference between healthy outcomes and years of needless agony or even death.
This important women’s health book equips readers with the knowledge, language, and skill sets they need to overcome the gender bias that is present in the medical industry and get the best healthcare possible.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Sidelined: How Women Manage and Mismanage Their Health by Susan Salenger is a keenly essential and extremely well-researched book on women’s health that should be read by all women and even men so that they can know the challenges and help out and, when required, take better care of their partners, mothers, sisters and friends.

This book simply BLEW my mind as it had so much relevant and essential information that I had not been expecting at all. I mean, of course, I was expecting some information and advice, but this book turned out to be a whole treasure trove of valuable insights, practical examples and experiences, advice on what to do, how to do and what not to do and if to do something then how exactly to do it. This book even covered the misconceptions harboured by doctors themselves and how these could be way more harmful to patients that the disease itself. So ladies, start by choosing the right doctors and gynacs for yourself. No more going for the douche doctors who think period pains are “just in your head.”

To summarise in one sentence, this book is a must-read for all women and even men, who have women in their life whom they really love. I would strongly suggest this book to EVERYONE on this planet! GO, get this book and read it!


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Spotlight: The Life of Plants In A Changing Environment by Rishikesh Upadhyay

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, we are featuring author Rishikesh Upadhyay for his latest release The Life of Plants In A Changing Environment.

The Life Of Plants In A Changing Environment

Book: The Life of Plants in a Changing Environment
Author/Editor: Rishikesh Upadhyay, PhD
Publication Date: 1st January, 2022
Page Count: 270
Genre: Environment, Nature, Botany, Ecology, Gardening, Reference 
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, United Kingdom


Synopsis

Plants experience stress due to environmental changes, either in biotic or abiotic form, during their life cycle. Non-heritable modifications in morphological, physiological or biochemical characteristics tend to reduce or decrease growth and productivity, and sometimes lead to death.

This book presents an exhaustive overview of the specific effects and modifications that could occur in this regards, and will serve to consolidate the ideas to promote standardization of plant adaptation to these changes in the environment. This book returns to the facts of both biotic and abiotic stress, detailing an essential aspect of plant life in the context of stress response.

The text is a comprehensive, current reference that effectively addresses issues and concerns related to plant stress in natural environments. Although many reference books about abiotic stress and other environmental stresses have been published, they all exist in relative isolation from one another, covering only one specific topic. This book is, rather, a comprehensive review of all aspects of the responses of plants to changes in the environment.

You can find Into the The Life Of Plants In A Changing Environment here:
Amazon | Goodreads | Google Books | Google Play


About The Author

Rishikesh Upadhyay

Rishikesh Upadhyay PhD, also known as R K Upadhyay, is a multi-award winning Indian author, Assistant Professor and research writer. He was born and grew up in a small Nepalis’ hamlet, Bhanjang Basti via Mahadev Tilla, just a few kilometres of Haflong, the district headquarters of North Cachar Hills (now Dima Hasao district), India to Late Pitamber Upadhaya (father) and Nandakala (Bawni) Upadhaya (mother). His research and teaching works has focused largely on the environmental physiology, stress biology and biochemistry of plants.

You can find author Rishikesh at:
Twitter | Goodreads | Bookbub


If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Author Interview: Rick Rosenberg

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author of Jewbilly, Rick Rosenberg, from Atmosphere Press, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

At the ripe age of 9, Rick moved from the big city to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, aka the “Secret City.” It was around then he had his first experience with the literary world, publishing a short story in Grit Magazine. Somehow surviving a fraught, pimple-filled adolescence, he attended the University of Tennessee/Knoxville where he earned a Bachelors in Communications. Since then, he’s lived in multiple cities and has managed to win accolades for copywriting and screenwriting. He has one child adopted from Vietnam. Jewbilly is his first novel.

You can connect with author Rosenberg here:
Amazon Page


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

My first breath was taken when my mother birthed me onto the warm, wet leaves of the Borneo jungle. Although I couldn’t quite see yet, I sensed the wide, angry eyes of a proboscis monkey glaring at me. Ok, wait … that didn’t happen. How about this: I live an interesting dichotomy. For normal, everyday life events, I always show up early. Yet, for life’s big things, I’ve always been late. I was late to puberty. I got married later in life. I had a kid later in life. I wrote my first novel later in life. I’m also planning on showing up at death’s door as late as possible.

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

Yosef is the main character, and most of the book is written from his POV. But there are several chapters in the third person narrative about his parents and grandparents. Young Yosef’s mostly unaware of their histories, and I felt it was important to show why his folks were the way they were. What happens is the reader starts to understand his parents and grandparents better than Yosef himself does.

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

The only one, true religion is love.

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

Well, I guess it makes sense since he’s the main character, but Yosef is my fave, for sure. He’s so innocent, yet so self-centered, while being funny and impressionable. It was really fun to write him. He’s also somewhat close to who I was at that age.

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

JEWBILLY is a highly fictionalized version of my life when I moved from the big city to a small town in Tennessee. I didn’t have to look far for inspiration since it’s based (very loosely) on what I experienced. Over the years, I’ve also been very affected by Neil Simon’s stories. I think JEWBILLY has a similar vibe to a lot of his work. Years back, I took a comedy writing course taught by his brother, Danny. I got to know him and he used to talk about Neil all the time. So there’s a bit of a personal connection there, as well.

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

All in all, it probably took a year and a half. I had the basic story and most of mycharacters in my head before I began.

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

JEWBILLY is my debut novel, but I am working on a new one. It’s a different genre, so it’s a whole new challenge. As far as 5 years from today, I’d like to still be eating, breathing, and cutting my fingernails when and where appropriate. On a larger scale, it’d be grand to make the transition from an advertising copywriter (my current gig) to a full time novelist … that gets paid! Guess we’ll see.

Are you working on any other stories presently?

My new novel is about a Chicago couple who’ve been trying to have a baby. When they finally make the decision to adopt from Vietnam, they travel there, and something unfathomable happens. Soon, they embark on a crazy, dangerous journey in a country they know virtually nothing about.

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

For me, the concept chooses the genre. I have all types of ideas; sci-fi, thriller, comedy- drama – so whatever genre the idea fits best with is the one I go with. But I think JEWBILLY is proving to be a “genre-bender” of sorts. Yes, it’s a coming-of-age story, but it’s also a religious story, a family story, a love story; it’s even historical fiction. This is probably not smart from someone trying to make a living as an author, but I try not to pay too much attention to genres. I think it can be stifling. But that’s me. Also what’s been interesting is that the JEWBILLY audiences who seem to enjoy the book are varying. Several editorial reviewers have said it’s perfect for young teens. That’s fantastic, of course, but all my very positive reader reviews – so far, anyway – have come from adults.

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

My father wrote short stories. Although I’m not aware of any specific point where I realized I wanted to write as well, for me, it started when I was 11. That was when I wrote my first short story. It was published in a very, very, very, small children’s newspaper called GRIT. Afterwards, I started making small films. Then I went back to short stories. I eventually made the decision to become an advertising copywriter. I’ve had a successful career writing and producing everything from print ads to TV commercials to online videos. I’ve also written several feature screenplays. If I’ve sacrificed anything, it’s been sleep! Since I’ve had a day job for years, I would get up at 5am to work on the novel or a screenplay, then commute to work where I actually got paid for writing. No complaints, though. I can sleep when I’m dead.

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

These days, I like to write from about 9:30pm to 12:30 or so. The house and neighborhood are mostly quiet, and as long as I’m not too tired, I’m usually fairly productive. But there are some nights when I write a paragraph and that’s it. I don’t sweat it, though; the next day will be more.

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I’m a Mac laptop guy, Microsoft Word. I also use a bulletin board with yellow sticky notes if I have a thought I want to tackle later.

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

My favorite books are Lonesome Dove, A Confederacy of Dunces, Love Story, The Prince Of Tides and Rabbit, Run. Also, anything by Michener, John Irving.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

Depends on how you define writer’s block. In a sense, I don’t get writer’s block, because I learned long ago that creating a full outline and extensive character bios – BEFORE writing – would keep writer’s block at bay. And it does for me. If I’m stuck on a chapter, I just move onto the next one – it’s right there in the outline so there’s no excuse. But if I get stumped earlier, ON my outline, then that’s block, I suppose. Outline block? And yes, that happens sometimes. The best cure for any kind of writer’s block is to step away from it. If you’re a creative person, the ideas will come.

What advice would you give to aspiring non-fiction writers?

Run. Fast. Hard. Now! JK. Depends on the level of writer. If you’ve literally never put pen to paper (finger to key?), then just start writing. Anything; journaling, blogging, cursing. Whatever works, whatever you need to get words out of your head and onto your Word doc. Some people just need to write that first novel. Do it! Don’t think too hard about it. Just write. If it sucks, so what. You wrote. If you continue, you’ll either get better, or eventually quit. Either is fine. There are two amazing books I recommend for aspiring writers: “Bird By Bird” by Anne Lamott, and Steven King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.” Also, Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman have Masterclass courses that are brilliant.

Thank you, author Rosenberg, for your insightful answers!

About the Book

Jewbilly

Jewbilly is a funny, heartwarming, coming-of-age story about the importance of family, spirituality (wherever a person might find it!), and how friendships can really bloom in the most unlikely of places. Get ready to experience culture clash like never before as a young Jewish boy’s life is uprooted and relocated to the South – sparking a journey of growth, adaptation, and dramatic change.Yosef Bamberger is a typical, 11-year-old Jewish kid in 1973 Brooklyn; scrawny, naive, and excited for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. He lives with his extended family, and a not-so-extended penis that won’t grow no matter what Yosef does. Still, he’s mostly a happy kid. Until the night of his 12th birthday party. When his father arrives late, Yosef’s world is shaken beyond comprehension; a real oy gevalt on the Richter scale. Apparently, his Dad just got a new job – in a small town in Tennessee. They’re moving. Like a gefilte fish out of water, Yosef now has to not only navigate a completely different world, but he also has to find a friend. At least one. And he does. A Southern Baptist, highly-freckled, miscreant named Calvin Macafee.
With the help of his new companion, Yosef manages to balance two religions, while becoming involved in drugs, alcohol, sex, and a murder investigation – all in just under two years.


You can find Jewbilly here:
Kirkus | Goodreads | BookBaby | BookShop

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Top 3 Strategise To Retire Comfortably

After having spent our entire lives studying, working and earning money, retirement seems to be like the light at the end of the tunnel for many, but for other, it can be a dark and cold cloud; it all depends on how you plan for it and how well you prepare.

Many people don’t have the habit of thinking ahead, at least not so far ahead that they start preparing for their retirement until it is too close. But this is where most people go wrong and hence, the dark and cold cloud lingers.

In order to have a comfortable and peaceful retirement, it is important to strategies and plan as soon as you can possibly begin, no matter how young or old you may be. Today, I am here with my Top 3 Strategise To Retire Comfortably which will offer you an insight into how you can start preparing for the sweet sixty (or fifty in case you retire at 50.)

Top 3 Strategise To Retire Comfortably

1. Invest Wisely

Investment is the one thing that will keep you happy and secure when you walk into your retirement. All the investments that you’ve invested in in your younger years will bear fruits once you retire. Therefore it is necessary to invest in notably affordable but smart investment schemes, possibly taking help with a financial advisor (in case if you lack the knowledge.) Make sure to invest not only in government but also in profitable private bonds and schemes too. And do not forget to invest in a good medical plans. Click here to find some great investment solutions in Australia.

2. Downsize Your Debts

Start downsizing or if possible finishing off your debts. You do not want to walk into your retirement with the worry of paying mortgages or to lenders once you stop working and earning. The lesser debts you have going into your retirement, the more peaceful and secure your retirement would be. So start now and work towards clearing off your debts.

3. Keep Your Insurances Updated & Renewed

Never default on your insurance, especially when you are near your retirement. Insurance companies always try to find loopholes in order to hold off your money, so don’t be naive or lazy and give them a reason to stop or delay your fruits of labour. Make sure all your insurances are repaid and renewed in time so that once your time of maturity comes, you can claim your money without any hassle.

So these are some tips on planning an easy and comfortable retirement. There are many more ways in which you can make your retirement a comfortable experience for not only yourself but also for your family, but this is a great place to start. Start now, start small and slowly and steadily build from there. It would be far better than not having prepared for your retirement at all.

If you have any more suggestions to add to this list then do let us know in the comments below.

Book Review: Δrakon by Wallace Knucker

Book Details:

Author: Wallace Knucker
Release Date: 
31st March 2022
Series:
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Format: E-book 
Pages: 392 pages
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd
Blurb:
Dragons were powerful and formidable warriors, they could use fire very differently than the warriors of the fire. It was like they could command the element, like fire was part of them. The scariest thing about them though, was their real form. Just a handful of people had seen it and survived long enough to tell the story.

The only thing I know about this form is that it was giving them tremendous speed and power beyond any imagination and that just a look at it was enough to make your blood freeze in your veins.
When war began among humans and dragons, our annihilation was certain. At the last battle, one hundred thousand humans, with the help of the elves, faced two thousand of those monsters. The magic of the elves combined with the sheer will and determination of the warriors led to victory. This was the battle in which dragons were wiped from existence. 

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Δrakon by Wallace Knucker is an enthralling new epic fantasy novel featuring **drumrolls** DRAGONS!!

I was sold on the D-word alone as I am a big-time fan of the creatures, but the fact that this book was based on the concept of their extinction, which is obviously re-imagined, had me by the throat! And I am so glad that this book did not disappoint. On the contrary, it proved to be a pretty great read!

The writing was great, the characterisation really good and the execution of the plot and the magic system was simply outstanding! The tension graph of the book had me sitting at the edge of my seat through most of the book. The story had a great flow and I was able to finish the book in one sitting – which says a lot about how good the book was.

I would strongly recommend this book to all fans of the fantasy genre and to those who especially love reading about dragons (with some elves and the elven magic system thrown in.)


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Building Resilience And Finding Meaning in Life by June Rousso

Book Details:

Author: June Rousso 
Release Date: 
17th February 2022
Series:
Genre: Young-Adult, Non-Fiction, Inspirational
Format: E-book 
Pages: 83 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Building Resilience and Finding Meaning in Life: A Guide for Teens is an interactive book meant to engage readers in learning how to face adversities in life and to find meaning in these experiences. It gives the message that we have a treasure chest of inner resources that can be called upon in the face of adversity. These resources must be discovered and, in some instances, developed to build resilience and find what holds personal meaning. Along with discovering meaning in adversity readers are encouraged to look for meaningful moments in their lives rather than engaging in activities that often lead them to feel empty inside.

The guide also can be read by counselors and educators to help teens cope and live a more meaningful life. The guide was inspired by the teachings of Dr. Viktor Frankl, noted author of Man’s Search for Meaning, and by the research findings on character strengths presented by the VIA Institute on Character.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Building Resilience And Finding Meaning In Life by June Rousso is a very inspirational young-adult book on practical and easy-to-follow strategies and instructions for facing everyday adversities for teens. The main thing that I loved about this book is that it is tailor-made for teenagers, which is pretty rare and also abundantly helpful because the author has especially highlighted problems and solutions faced by teenagers regularly.

The author’s writing is simple, succinct and very undeviating, which I found to be most appropriate, as the author delved directly into the strategies she has to offer without the jargon that spoils most books in this particular genre. So I really appreciate the author’s directness.

This book has a lot of meaningful and practical life lessons for teenagers (and even for adults if you want to read this book being a non-teenage or an adult.) If you have a teenager in your family then you should definitely gift them this book as it will help them tremendously


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Author Interview: Ethan Avery

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author of Sword & Sorcery: Frostfire, Ethan Avery, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

Ethan Avery believes in the power of stories. As a child growing up in Ohio, they gave him a chance to see a bigger world, and to hear what life was like for people that didn’t look like him or believe what he did. And now years later, he hopes to do the same for others. 

You can connect with author Ethan Avery here:
Author Website | YouTube | Twitter


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

Hi, I’m Ethan Avery, author of the upcoming novel Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire, thanks for having me! I guess a bit about myself now is that I work between writing novels and movies, so it’s storytelling for me all the way! In addition to the book coming out this month, I also have some exciting potential Hollywood movie news, but I have to be hush-hush about it for now. I’ll probably make an announcement later on YouTube or Twitter. As far as an introduction goes, instead of giving a long and boring list of awards and accomplishments, I’ll just say that I’m a storyteller. I studied at The Ohio State University with a focus on both storytelling as well as the social aspect of politics. Things like why people believe what they believe in a theoretical sense, as opposed to the individual issues themselves. And that’s actually been an invaluable tool as a fantasy writer.

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

Oooh, that’s a good one. I guess I’ll keep it spoiler-free. Sword and Sorcery is not only a fantasy adventure, but it’s written from multiple perspectives to really show the world through more than one person’s eyes. Primary socialization, which is a fancy term for how people learn about life in their youth, was one of my big points of study in college and that’s translated to helping me write the book, because the way you grow up truly does affect how you see the world.

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

Oh my, another good one. Personally, I try to keep myself from influencing a reader’s experience by telling them what they should or shouldn’t learn. Sword and Sorcery will probably be a book that different people get something different from, and that’s no problem to me. In fact, I’d love to hear from readers when the book releases about what they feel it might have been about. And I’m always open to connect on Twitter!

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

Uh-oh, that’s the kind of question that gets writers in trouble, and honestly, I know people think it’s the easy-way-out answer, but I truly can’t choose. From the main cast to the most seemingly-insignificant little side-characters, they all feel to me like the most important person in their own little world, and I try my best to write them as such. Real-life, I think, is similar in that way, in that most people view themselves like the main character of their story or video game, but we all share this space together. In that sense I guess life is less like a traditional RPG game and more like an MMO or giant D&D campaign!

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

I was honestly obsessed with fantasy as a kid, and still am now, of course! I’ve read, watched and played pretty much every kind of fantasy story I could get my hands on. Perhaps it spoke to me because in fiction, and fantasy in particular, we get a chance to remove ourselves a bit from the biases of our own world and see the problems societies go through from a fresh, more objective perspective. And I think there’s a lot we can learn from that.

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

Sword and Sorcery was written over the course of about 15 years, so it’s been a blast crafting and building the world of the book, which is always one of my favorite parts of making fantasy stories!

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

Whew, that’s a tough one, hopefully I’ll have written a few more novels.

Are you working on any other stories presently?

I am indeed. Other than the secret movie project, and another book in the Sword and Sorcery series, of course, I’m also beginning to develop another series, but it’s still very early in the creative process at the moment.

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

Ah, perfect timing on that question. The series I’m starting to develop is a sci-fi universe, so I’m definitely a multi-genre kind of storyteller.

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

It happened in several parts. I had a few poems published when I was like 14, and that gave me the confidence to be like, you know, maybe I can do this. But even though I was working on Sword and Sorcery then, I didn’t really have much direction in terms of how to pursue getting a novel published. So I wrote a bit here and there and kind of put the story off to the side. Fast forward a few years and I’m doing film and animation in college and learning screenwriting, which shares the basics of storycrafting with novel writing, but they both branch off in their own fun and interesting ways. And it was here I think I truly realized I’d become a storyteller. I had a college exam once worth a big portion of the grade for the class, and I skipped it to finish a story I was working on at the time. And I also remember a moment listening to Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow, in the Ron Howard/Jay-Z Made in America documentary, where Andrew mentions that he once pictured himself going back to school and becoming a rich lawyer, and then he realized that if he did that, all he’d want to do once he got there was make music. Anywho, after skipping that college exam, I worked on a lot of film stuff for some years, and yes, there were some rough years but I did indeed survive, then when I had more time on my hands in 2020, due to the pandemic, unfortunately, I decided to dust off my old Sword and Sorcery notes and finally finish the story.

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

I do a lot of outlining, which is sort of ridiculous because most of the time I end up writing pretty spontaneously and going away from said outline. But when working in a world as big as the one in Sword and Sorcery, it’s nice to at least know what my plan was before I deviated to something else that I think is better.

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

Desktop computer for sure. It’s gotta go there eventually anyway, so it’s easier to just start that way, though I still jot down scenes or notes on my phone or notebook when I’m away from my pc.

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

Oh no, I’ve been put on the spot. I honestly can’t choose, mostly because the list is forever updating. I’d be remiss not to mention anything though, so how about I recommend Michelle Knudsen’s highly underrated Trelian series. And I think people that have read both of our books will know exactly why.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

It’s honestly never been a problem for me. If I’m stuck on a scene where I know the ending I’m writing for it isn’t right or I don’t know what scene to go to next, I just jump to a different part of the story and start writing that. And if it’s a more deep-rooted problem I’m having, like plot/character stuff, I usually get up and take a short walk to clear my head. By the time I’m done, I almost always have a solution!

What advice would you give to aspiring non-fiction writers?

Figure out if you want to do this. Or need to do this. And if you need to do it, what kind of writing do you need to do? There are writing jobs out there that are a lot less hit or miss than being a novelist or screenwriter. You might find you enjoy telling stories as a columnist, journalist or even starting a cool and awesome blog like The Reading Bud!

Thank you, author Avery, for your honest (and fun) answers!

About the Book

Sword & Sorcery: Frostfire

If you could change your life by trusting in a stranger… would you?

Erevan has a problem. He grew up on the unforgiving streets of Bogudos and has the scars to prove it. His friend, however, is stuck in jail because of his mistake. But when a suspicious courier offers him a chance to fix things, should he lift his sword and journey across treacherous lands to aid her cause?
Meanwhile, Aireyal has been accepted into the wealthiest and most prestigious magical school in all the land. There’s just one problem. She can’t do magic. But that’s far from the only secret within the walls of Darr-Kamo. And what she discovers might just change the world.
Swordsman & Sorcerer
Scholar & Spiritualist
All four have enemies. And all four need help to get what they want. But help is never free.

What would you sacrifice to get what you most desire?


You can find Sword & Sorcery: Frostfire here:
Amazon | Goodreads

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

ARC Review: Pay Me To Do Nothing! How a Lazy, Broke and Tired Boy Found His Calling by Otto Bocktopus 

Book Details:

Author: Otto Bocktopus 
Release Date: 
1st June 2022
Series:
Genre: Humor, Fictional Memoir, Corporate Comedy, Self-Help
Format: E-book 
Pages: 142 pages
Publisher: Purple Piggybank Press
Blurb:
You probably never met anyone who thinks like Otto – laugh your way to a new life perspective!
People always told Otto that working hard would lead to being more successful and that being more successful would lead to being happy. But that wasn’t true.
Shake your head at his antics, giggle at his tales, and come away with a whole new perspective on companies and work and laziness and happiness.
At his first job, Otto Bocktopus busted ass and made $3.35/hour. Last year, like most years, he was paid about $700K and he did nothing. He does only what he wants, yet he is always getting paid. How did he get from there to here? And, can you?

If you believe that working hard will lead to being more successful and that being more successful will lead to being happy, and you find yourself planning to work hard your whole life until around the time your body starts to fail, then this book can teach you the fallacy of your thinking and help you find true happiness.
Told through the lens of his outrageous work experiences, Otto will make you laugh and make you think. You may shake your head at his antics but you will come away with a whole different way of thinking about companies and business leaders and work and laziness and happiness.
Don’t miss out on the hilarious online quizzes at the end of each chapter! Test your understanding of Otto’s perspective and laugh! Check out the quiz on Otto’s website.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pay Me To Do Nothing! How a Lazy, Broke and Tired Boy Found His Calling by Otto Bocktopus is a funny fictional corporate memoir that has tons of life lessons for its readers.

I loved reading this book, admittedly more than I had been expecting because it had so much to offer. First of all, I loved the way the story (the fictional memoir) was told through the POV of Otto, a character, almost everyone can relate to in some way or another. Secondly, the sheer value of the lessons covered in this book is simply outstanding. In spite of it being a corporate comedy, the lessons from this book can be applied to any area with a little tweaking. And lastly, I loved the humorous undercurrent that ran through the book. I appreciated the author’s clever and subtle sense of humour and it made reading this book feel like a very smooth ride.

I liked the writing style of the author. The characterisation was good and felt apt for the purpose this book was written. I loved the situations that were covered in this book and overall I think this book has a lot to offer to everyone. Therefore, I’d highly recommend it to all readers who’d like to read about a quirky character and learn tons of life lessons in doing so!


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


5 Tips To Make A Great First Impression With New Clients

“First impressions matter. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes.”
– Elliott Abrams

When it comes to making a sale and developing long-lasting relationships with your clients, one must make sure to present their best self to create not only an impressive but also impactful first impression. Your first impression of a client will most likely be the deciding factor whether the client chooses to go ahead with you or your business or company or not. And as you already know, this choice would be detrimental to your as well as your business/company’s growth.

But how can one make sure to put the right foot forward when it comes to making a great and long-lasting first impression with new clients? Read on to find out my 5 tips to make a great first impression with new clients.

5 Tips To Make A Great First Impression With New Clients

1. Research Your Client In Advance

A little research on who your client is and what their general business model or style is will help you figure will go a long way. It will not only give you an advantageous starting point but will also help you in steering the conversation in the right (or fruitful) direction. Spending some time in finding out about your clients’ needs will help you in presenting yourself in a better way because you will already know what is it that they are seeking. New clients welcome eager candidates and always appreciate the work you will put into the research.

2. Be Punctual

Never be late for a meeting! Ever! This is the unspoken rule of any client meeting, new or old. If you are late to your first meeting with a new client the message that you send across is that you are unreliable and that is never a good way to start off a meeting with someone who can cost your business. So always be on time, better yes, be 10 minutes early. Spend that time going over your notes for the meeting and giving your client research a quick once over. You can also use this time to calm your nerves by doing some breathing exercises as it will help you put forward a relaxed posture.

3. Be Polite

Always be polite; not too over-friendly and loud or too reserved and intimidating. Try to develop a cozy rapport with your client and a smooth rhythm that will instantly put your client at ease. This will be very crucial as the first 5 minutes of the meeting will set the tone for the rest of it. So make sure you are polite and greet them with the required curtesy, a firm handshake and a confident smile on your face.

4. Be A Good Listener

Don’t just talk, give your client enough time to share their ideas, vision and goals with you. Try to understand what they say and go ahead according to what they tell you. After sharing the details of your proposal always give enough time to and encourage your client for asking questions or doubts they may have regarding your presentation. Listen to those concerns and try your best to answer their queries with as much assurance as you can. This will give your client the much-needed confidence to go ahead with you or your business thinking that your customer service will be reliable.

5. Focus On Your Body Language

Be relaxed yet attentive. Smile and nod often. Don’t come off as either too eager to please the client or too off-putting. You have to maintain a straight-backed yet forthcoming posture, letting the client feel relaxed and comfortable in your company. The client needs to feel at ease while talking to you and should be able to trust you and what you are trying to see (whether it is a product or a service or an idea.)

So these are the ways in which you can make a great first impression with new clients. If you have any more tips or some experiences related to this then feel free to share them in the comments section below!

Book Review: Essential Life Skills For Teens: 13 Different Ways To Use Your Critical Thinking, Manage Your Time Better, Set Your Smart Goals, And Navigate Social Media Safely by David Skiddy

Book Details:

Author: David Skiddy
Release Date: 
15th February 2022
Series:
Genre: Non-Fiction, Productivity
Format: E-book 
Pages: 136 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Beyond Classwork – How to prepare for a successful adult life to achieve your dreams and live life how you want to
How prepared are you to leave the nest and start living on your own – away from your parents’ shadows?
Are you about to be of age but feel inadequate to move out and run a household on your own?
Would you like to understand the 8th wonder of the world – adulthood and everything in between?
Adulthood comes with its share of joys and challenges, and age doesn’t always mean that you are ready to live independently.
Known as the advent of adulthood, teenage years mark a period where you need to make crucial decisions that will set the pace for your future.
It’s the best time to gather all the bricks and building materials you need to transition into adulthood.

Life skills form the foundation of the future you’ve always dreamed of and admired.
While learning and developing these skills is a continuous process that never ends, the bulk of it occurs during your teen years.
This guide is designed to help equip teenagers with the tools they need to maximize their potential and enjoy a fulfilling life.
In Essential Life Skills For Teens, you’ll discover:

  • Life hacks to help you think more critically and reason your way out of difficult situations
  • How to become financially savvy by learning how to manage, budget, save, and spend money wisely 
  • Goal-setting strategies that ensure you set practical goals and steps to achieve them 
  • The bittersweet side of social media – how to leverage technology for your own good, stay safe, and avoid losing yourself in the likes and dislikes
  • How to solve problems like a pro and avoid getting stuck on a challenge for longer than you should 
  • Executive functioning skills you need to make every minute of your day count towards your life’s dreams 
  • 20+ innovative ways to make money as a teen using readily available resources no matter where you live

And so much more!
There are many essential survival skills you need for successful adulting that aren’t included in the syllabus at school – yet you’ll find them right inside.
As you get older and take on more responsibilities, you’ll be equipped to do many of the adult tasks your parents seem to breeze through daily.
Filled with practical insights, easy-to-follow tips, and thoughtful guidance, this handbook will empower you to make good choices – both now and in the future.
If you want to experience the future you envision and prepare for adult life, then scroll up and click the “Add to Cart” button right now.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Essential Life Skills For Teens by David Skiddy is an informative and important book that will not only teach teens (and even adults) how to navigate through the tricky waters of today’s digital and stressful world but also excel with remarkable results.

This book is written in a simple writing that has a great flow and is easily understandable. The structuring of the book is done well and helps navigate the pages and the advice of the author in a clear way. I took down a lot of notes while reading this book and I feel so glad that I read it because no matter what your age is, it is always great to stumble upon texts of information that have the power to simplify your life.

I would strongly recommend this book to all non-fiction readers and to those who have teens in their homes or families.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Audiobook Review: A Dog Of Many Names by Douglas Green

Author: Douglas Green (Director of The Hiding Place)
Narrator: Kelly McNair
Release Date: 3rd January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Coming-Of-Age
Series: 
Format: Audiobook
Length: 4 hours and 17 minutes
Publisher: Circuit Breaker Books
Blurb:
Born a runt, Rascal is destined to be an underdog. Despite what looked like an unbreakable bond with the daughter of the family who bred her, Rascal’s devotion is discarded when the mother loses her job, forcing the family into a financial crisis. Bitter and resentful toward a dog they can no longer afford to keep and who was never really wanted, the family throws out the young dog like garbage. Driven out to the country and left roadside, Rascal has nothing but a few pieces of kibble to help her survive the night.

Abandoned and alone, Rascal must learn to fend for herself and embark on a harsh and dangerous journey through wolf terrain in the mountain wilderness of Northern California. Along the way, she meets new families and strangers and is given many names. But will she ever settle with one family and one name? A Dog of Many Names is a courageous story of survival, seen through the eyes of a scared and desperate dog who just wants to love, be loved, and be given one last name.

REVIEW

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Dog Of Many Names by Douglas Green is an inspiring yet gut-wrenching story of a dog who is abandoned and has to fend of herself until she meets new people and families and her journey to find herself and a new home continues.

This book elicited so many emotions in me that at one point it got very, very triggering for me. But I had to get through it as I wanted to know what happens with the story of the beautiful dog that Rascal is. Being an animal activist and someone who actively engages in the rescue missions for cats, I am well aware how people abandon their pets and leave them away from home not caring a lick about what they would do or how they’d survive. So it was deeply disturbing for me to read about it but I appreciated the author’s honesty because these are facts of life and have to be told to people so that they understand that doing so is not only wrong but also inhumane!

Coming to the book – the writing is great and had a very nice flow and the plot was crafted very carefully. Although it was a difficult read because of the concept and my close relation with the rescuing of animals, I am glad that I read this book. It is very informative and agonisingly real and I honestly think it is a must-read.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Author Interview: Brett Shapiro

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author of Those Around Him, Brett Shapiro, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

Brett Shapiro is an American writer and the best-selling author of L’Intruso – a memoir published in Italy (Feltrinelli) that was later produced into an award-winning film and theatrical production. He is also the author of two children’s books, one of which was the recipient of Austria’s prestigious National Book Award. Several of his short stories have been performed in theatres throughout Italy, where he lived for 25 years, and his essays and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers in Italy and the United States. While in Italy, he made many guest appearances on Italian television, including as commentator for 60 Minutes, and was a regular guest lecturer at the University of Siena. Brett is a veteran writer for the United Nations and currently lives by the beach in Florida.

You can connect with author Shapiro here:
LinkedIn


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

Now this is a challenge: an introduction (brief or otherwise) about a life lived for 66 years and still going strong! I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and moved to Manhattan after university to pay my dues as a budding writer who thought he could change the world – and to make the necessary connections to do so! After 11 years in the Big Apple, I moved to Rome, where I lived for 25 years with my partner and our two sons. When my partner and I uncoupled (very amicably), I decided to return to the USA, where I chose a quiet beach spot in order to shift into a lower gear.

I wake up early each morning and walk to the beach with my dog to watch the sun rise. I spend no more than three hours a day doing my “bread and butter” work – drafting and editing documents for the United Nations and giving writing webinars for UN staff all over the world. The rest of the day is mine to do with as I please. I am semi-retired, after all! In those free hours, I always put in at least two hours of writing each day. 

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

Those Around Him is a meditative book. I was more concerned with how people think about the things that happen to them; less concerned with the things that happen in themselves. Of course, there is a plot and an arc, but they tend to be unremarkable undulations, as life often is. There is a lot of “interiority” going on in the book, but of the accessible kind. Promise! 

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

I’m not sure there is a message that I’m trying to convey in the book. It’s more of a mood, a rhythm, a way of turning things about in our heads that I’m trying to capture and tame so that readers think “Oh my gosh, I can relate to that,” detail after detail, page after page, and in an enriching way.  

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

I’m sure I sound like a parent when I say that I don’t have a favorite. I really care about all of my characters, complete with their various crimes and misdemeanors. I have to care deeply about each and every one of them; otherwise, their complexities won’t emerge and they’ll wither on the page.  

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

I would say it was an idea that inspired me more than anything else – the power that youth and beauty can have over someone whose own youth and beauty have long since faded. The power to create minor disturbances and to unsettle. A “Death in Venice” kind of theme, but the similarities stop there. Thomas Mann is Thomas Mann.

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

There was about one year of what I call “writers’ avoidance”, where ideas about the book were percolating in my head but not spilling over onto paper. Once I overcame that, it took me two years to write it.

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

My only writing ambition is to continue playing with words every day. I wouldn’t even call it an ambition. For me, it’s more of a necessity – like continuing to eat clean or to walk along the beach at sunrise. I’d be perfectly content if, five years from today, the routine of my daily life remained unchanged and I was still in excellent health – and with another novel or two under my belt.

Are you working on any other stories presently?

I completed another novel – Late in the Day – about eight months ago; after making the rounds of publishers, it should be going to press this summer or autumn. I am also about one-third of the way through the first draft of another novel, provisionally called Henry’s Version.

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

My novels fall into the category of literary fiction (although I’m not really sure what “literary fiction” means). I didn’t choose the genre and then proceed to write myself into it. I write, and my writing consistently falls into that genre. I don’t think I could write in multiple genres. I’m not in my skin with a lot of “multis”. I can’t be working on multiple stories at a time. I can’t be reading multiple books at a time. But I’m a whizz at putting together a five-course meal in no time flat.   

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

The writer imperative struck when I was a teenager. I always enjoyed reading books as entertainment, but during adolescence I realized that books could be so much more (thank you Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy and a slew of others). As I was reading and marveling over these books (and reflecting on them long after I’d closed the back cover), I was also thinking, “I want to do this too. I must do this too.” Against my parents’ wishes, who wanted me to be a doctor, I majored in literature. All I wanted to do was read great books, analyze them and write papers about them. My parents refused to pay tuition for such “nonsense”, and I had to work full-time while going to university. This double life, which seemed so unfair at the time, actually served me extremely well, as it was a division that I’d have to face and manage carefully even after graduating: I needed to work, I wanted a family, I needed to write, and I wanted to do all of them well and with pleasure. During the years of raising my sons, my writing output certainly decreased. But the books I managed to have published during those years were successful and kept me in the writers’ loop, which was important to me – if only to stave off my parents’ admonition, “What nonsense”. When my sons left the nest, I dug back into writing longer works, and I carved out a space of time each day in which to do so.    

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

My writing ritual is quite simple. I write best when I feel that all the business of the day has been taken care of. For years, I have made 5:30 until dinner time my writing slot. By 5:30, I’ve finished my quota of UN work, my errands, my phone calls, and my domestic chores. I can afford to be untethered and spin off into my creative zone. Of course, this means that I might eat dinner at 7:30 or I might eat it at 10:00. (Fortunately, I eat a light meal.) I take my computer and whatever scribbles I may have made during the day to the screened-in front porch. Then I sit down and I write. I have a large back yard, with a deck and a pool. But it’s private, and I like to observe the occasional passerby while I’m writing. I’m not sure why. I think it has something to do with reminding myself that people are my main characters and that any idea I’m trying to elaborate needs to come through the characters in my book and not through an invisible but intrusive narrator. The front porch has beautiful shrubbery wrapped around it. Anyone who is walking down the street can’t see me, but I can observe them. Very sneaky. 

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I prefer using my laptop. I can see the words as they would appear on the page of a book, which helps me to scrutinize them better. Using a computer also enables me to keep the copy from getting too messy. I don’t work well with messy copy. I keep a sheet of paper and pencil by my side to make notes about things that might need addressing but that I don’t want to address during that particular writing session. I type up the notes on a separate document and review the notes the next morning to decide whether I should incorporate any of them when I return to the front porch in the evening.

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

Trying to choose five favorite books is an impossible task. As soon as I set myself to thinking about it for more than thirty seconds, I find myself facing a mountain of titles. I’ll offer a knee-jerk reaction: American Pastoral; To the Lighthouse; Enormous Changes at the Last Minute: The Hours; and The Magic Mountain. I read these books years ago, some of them decades ago, and I still can’t shake them off. As far as authors, my knee-jerk reaction would be Philip Roth, Virginia Woolf, Alice Munro, Flannery O’Connor and Grace Paley. I ask forgiveness of the scores of books and authors who didn’t make the list. You know who you are. 

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I’ve never experienced writers’ block. When I sit down to write, something always gets written. It may only be one sentence in an hour, or it could be an entire page. But the page is never blank. What I used to experience was what I mentioned before: “writers’ avoidance” – continually finding reasons not to sit down to write. This was magically overcome when I attended a one-week writers’ retreat. There was something about a community of writers gathered together to share their work, critique the work of others, have discussions about writing in general – and, most importantly, disperse themselves onto verandas and benches and lawns to write for two-hour intervals each morning, afternoon and evening – that calmed me down and made me realize that the effort was a human effort, not a superhuman one.  

What advice would you give to aspiring non-fiction writers?

There is only one piece of advice, and it’s so commonplace that it seems almost banal: Write. Even if it’s only ten minutes a day (to start). Thinking about writing is a lovely idea, a noble idea, but it’s only an idea. 

Thank you, author Shapiro, for your insightful answers!

About the Book

Those Around Him

Andrew returns to the beachside town of his father, Charles, who is dying. In the throes of middle age, Andrew is trying to come to terms with the fact that not everything is still possible, that horizons shrink and parts break, and that he may no longer be desirable – or desired. On one of his routine sunrise beach walks, he is greeted by Lex (whom he calls “Ex”), a young man whose physical beauty and emotional warmth and exuberance completely unsettle the quiet and measured rhythm that Andrew is trying to establish in his new home and his own advancing years.
The intimate relationships between and among the three generations of men, each with his own needs and hopes – and darknesses – unfolds during hurricane season. When the season is over, carrying off much with it, Andrew has begun to understand his place along the continuum and the quiet balance that he has been seeking amidst his wisdom and foolishness, and through the arrivals and departures of those around him.


You can find Those Around Him here:
Amazon | Goodreads

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Author Interview: Rhema Sayers

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author Wind Out Of Time, Rhema Sayers, from Atmosphere Press, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.

About The Author

Rhema Sayers is a retired physician who started in Family Practice on the Mexican border and then switched to Emergency Medicine after ten years. She loved the ER and spent the rest of her career being an adrenaline junkie. Her husband and she adopted three little girls from China in 1998-99. The girls are young women now, off living their own lives. Rhema took up writing when she retired and has had nearly one hundred articles and short stories published. Living in Arizona near Tucson, she and her husband and her dogs love the desert, the mountains, and the climate.

You can connect with author Rhema Sayers here:
Author Website


Interview

Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. 

I have wanted to be a doctor since I was about 5 years old. One night our family dog chased a car and unfortunately caught it. Badly injured, we brought him inside. Upstairs from us lived a family whose daughter was my best friend and whose father was a surgical resident. The young doctor worked on that dog for hours. I stayed with surgeon and dog well through my bedtime, fascinated by what he was doing. Finally my parents retrieved me and put me to bed. During the night, Shiner died. But that did not dampen the flame the incident kindled within me. I was going to become a doctor.

After college, I applied to several med schools and was placed on waiting lists, eventually to be rejected. Then I met the love of my life. We were married within 7 weeks. We moved to the Boston area so that he could finish at MIT. Meanwhile, I once again started applying to med schools. University of Connecticut School of Medicine placed me on a waiting list and I got my acceptance letter in June. 

We ended up in Arizona on the Mexican border after med school and a family practice residency in Pennsylvania. A decade in, family practice was enough for me. I discovered that I hated office practice and loved the ER. I switched to emergency medicine and spent the next two decades in ERs, until I was no longer able to keep up the pace. Then I did urgent care for a few years and retired.

I have also always wanted to write and that was my plan for retirement. I thought I was pretty hot stuff as a writer. Then I started taking writing classes and discovered that I had a lot to learn. After several years, I have indeed learned a lot. I love writing, although procrastination is also a favorite pastime.

Since retiring, I have had over 90 short stories, historical and other articles, and even a couple of poems published. With that foundation, I approached the massive project of writing a novel.

Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?

I had a wonderful childhood with parents who loved all three of their children. I got a good education and never went to bed hungry. Basically, I did not have the background to write the ‘Great American Novel’. I was happy and had no major psychological scars. I wanted to write a novel that would entertain people, that would take them elsewhere for a few hours, that would make them laugh and possibly cry but would not make them feel uncomfortable. I wanted to write something beguiling but not dark and gloomy. The result is Wind out of Time.

What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?

A strong woman can do whatever she needs to do. And when you find yourself in an untenable situation, you do not stand around wringing your hands and sobbing. You do whatever it is that you have to in order to resolve the problem.

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

Actually I really love Denim, the blue roan stallion with a wicked sense of humor. But I like Andrea a lot, too. She is smart, not easily daunted, has a good sense of humor, and loves animals. I’m afraid I based her on my idealized concept of me. Obviously I need to get my self-esteem under control. But I don’t cook and she has a passion for it that I just don’t understand.

What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?

I have always been so annoyed by the Arthurian legends. Everyone is so noble and so damnably stupid. They always, always do the wrong thing. So I brought in a moderator, someone who knows that the wrong path will lead to disaster. She steers the characters down the ‘right’ paths gently – or with a cattle prod if needed.

How long did it take you to write this particular book?

Three years. But I’m about ¼ through the second book now.

What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? 

I hope to have written another 3 or 4 books, along with a large number of short stories and articles. I just had an article come out in The Desert Leaf, a local upscale magazine. The article is about Gleeson, Arizona, a ghost town in Cochise County near Tombstone. It was a boom town in the late 1800s with mines producing silver, gold, and lead. I write a lot about the history of southern Arizona and have gained enough knowledge to become a lecturer on the subject.

My favorite stories have a lot of action. Right now I have about seven stories sent out to magazines with hopes of getting them published.

I want to make Wind out of Time a trilogy and am writing the second book now. I also have a novel in the back of my head about an emergency department woman physician in Tucson who finds a body in the desert when she’s running with her dogs. She’s already becoming attracted to a TPD homicide detective. I plan to follow it from two points of view: the doctor and the killer.

Are you working on any other stories presently?

Oh, yes. A number of them. I am researching a story about the Mountain View Hotel in Tucson, a highly popular hotel whose clientele included Buffalo Bill Cody, senators, and other politicians, run by William and Annie Neal, a black couple who defied the color barriers in the early 1900s. I am also writing a science fiction story, a story of a dog and a young man who find each other, and a story about a sparrow. 

My stories tend to be eclectic. I wander around through the genres. I don’t do erotica, but I have written a horror story that I’m trying to sell. I write whatever occurs to me at the moment. The first story I sold was about a man who was so boring and so bored with his life that one day he sat down on the bench at the subway station and evaporated. The kid who stole his clothes found it really weird.

Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?

I write murder mysteries, dog stories, bird stories, fantasies, horror stories, medical stories, and some stories that are just plain odd. I let my imagination run wild. Unfortunately, sometimes it comes to an abrupt halt and refuses to go any farther. I have a dozen stories tucked away, looking for an ending, because my imagination refused to go any farther.

When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?

I discovered that I could spin tales when I was just becoming a teenager. I found my own imagination rather fascinating even though that sounds sort of egotistical. But I wrote stories and some very bad poems in high school. In college I took enough creative writing courses and literature courses that I ended up minoring in English lit. But then I met my love, married, and started med school. I kept a diary intermittently while I was a doctor, but it turned out to be very intermittent. It wasn’t until I retired that I had the time to write.

As far as sacrifices are concerned, the most I’ve given up for a story is lunch. I read voraciously and listen to books in the car, hoping some of the brilliance of the authors will rub off on me.

What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?

I sit down at the computer, play a few games, then go to whatever I’m working on. I write a few sentences or pages, sometimes play a few more games, depending on whether I have any idea of where I’m going with the story. As I said, I’m very good at procrastination.

How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I love my PC. On rare occasions, I may take a notebook with me to an appointment and spend the downtime writing. Usually something new, whatever pops into my head.

What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)

  1. The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Witches of Karres – James Schmitz
  3. The entire Honor Harrington series and the Safehold series – David Weber
  4. Wasp – Eric Frank Russell
  5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

While I wouldn’t rank any of his books with these five, I absolutely love John Sandford, especially the Prey series. Also Craig Johnson and Walt Longmire, David Rosenfelt and Andy Carpenter.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

Basically I ignore it. If I can’t write, I can do housework, wash dogs, take a nap, pay bills, or engage in any number of other thrilling activities. Eventually I go back to the computer.

What advice would you give to aspiring non-fiction writers?

Write. Every day. Your first work will usually be poor. You’re a newb. What do you expect? Keep on writing. Take courses in creative writing at your local college or junior college or on-line.

Remember – the more you write, the better you’ll get. 

And then rewrite. Not once or twice, but ten, fifteen, twenty times. 

That’s all – write and rewrite. Every day. 

Also – remember that you will never be published if you don’t submit your work to editors who will criticize what you’ve done. 

That’s their job. You need to learn to roll with the punches. 

Good luck.

Thank you, author Sayers, for your insightful answers!

About the Book

Wind Out Of Time

FBI Special Agent Andrea Schilling is chasing a terrorist around the world when they both are forced to go through a time portal. To her horror, Andrea finds herself in the 5th century in King Arthur’s court. Seriously?
When she can’t return home, she takes over the kitchen, becoming chief cook for King Arthur. But this king is named Ardur, and resides in a falling down castle where the knights are lecherous drunks. Andrea finds the situation untenable. So, with the help of a perplexed king, two huge dogs, a bad tempered stallion, the servants, and Guinevere, Andrea transforms the kingdom of Camdhur to Camelot. Well, almost.  
The ancient legend is turned on its head as a strong woman, organized, smart, trained to fight, takes the kingdom apart and puts it back together again, along with the king’s heart.


You can find Wind Out Of Time here:
Amazon | Goodreads | Atmosphere Press

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

ARC Review: A Disappearance at the Bonne Nuit Hotel by Dominique Daoust

Book Details:

Author: Dominique Daoust
Release Date: 
31st March 2022
Series: The Deadly Exclusives Trilogy (Book #1)
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Historical Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 210 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Secret sources have a whole new meaning.
Newbie reporter Rita Larose is tired of getting assigned boring stories at one of Montreal’s most popular newspapers. It’s 1930 after all, women don’t need to only write about household chores anymore! But when a high hat socialite gossips about the New Year’s Eve party at the Bonne Nuit Hotel, a riveting mystery falls right into Rita’s lap. This is her chance to prove to herself and her underestimating colleagues that she has what it takes to write the hard-hitting articles.
While going undercover as a maid to get the scoop, Rita will soon discover unexpected friendships and an unusual gift of her own to contend with. Will she be able to juggle this newfound ability while not blowing her cover and jeopardizing her career-making article?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Disappearance At The Bonne Nuit Hotel by Domonique Daoust is a cleverly plotted and well-executed cozy mystery laced with historical elements and twists. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book right from the first page to the very last one and the ending, surprisingly, turned out to be satisfying. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in this trilogy as there are some answers that I still seek from the sequel (which I am sure will be answered in the next part or maybe the one after that, but I am patient.)

The characterisation was really well-developed and the writing felt very smooth, which was surprising as this is the author’s debut novel. I was impressed by the number of details and their impact on the overall plot. I would highly recommend this book to cozy mystery fans and to readers of light historical fiction brimming with light suspense.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon