Guest Post: Making Magic Wasn’t Easy by Dr. Kathy Martone

Welcome to TRB Lounge!

Today, we are featuring Dr. Kathy Martone, author of Victorian Songlight: The Birthings Of Magic & Mystery to share a guest post.

About The Author

Kathy Martone

Dr. Kathy Martone is currently an author and artist living in a small Victorian town in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. Before retiring, and moving from Denver, CO to Eureka Springs, AR in 2015, she was a Jungian psychologist in private practice specializing in dream work, women’s spirituality and shamanic journeys. The magical world of dreams has fascinated and intrigued Kathy for as long as she can remember. Inspired by a dream in 2005, she began making velvet tapestries imprinted with the image of one of her own dream figures and embellished with ribbons, rhinestones, feathers, glass beads, Swarovski crystals, antique jewelry and semi-precious stones.  Dr. Martone’s work has been displayed in galleries in Denver, Colorado  as well as in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

In 2006 Dr. Martone self-published her first book titled, Sacred Wounds: A Love Story.  Essays and short stories written by Dr. Martone have been published in eMerge, an online magazine published by The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow.  In addition, some of her writings have also appeared in two anthologies titled Dairy Hollow Echo and Not Dead Yet 2.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email 

Making Magic Wasn’t Easy

It was August 1991 and the hot Arkansas sun beat down on my bare arms.  The summer dress I wore hung loosely from my shoulders, allowing my wet skin to breathe in the intense heat.  I watched as rivulets of perspiration traced a path down my arms, weaving a pattern among my girlish freckles, remnants from a childhood I’d rather not remember.  Standing only yards away from the Little Rock train station, I heard the familiar sounds of rumbling wheels, banging boxcars, screeching brakes, and lonesome shrieking whistles.

I stood in front of the Victory House, about as far north on Victory Street as one could go before falling off into the tangled spaghetti tracks of the rail yard.  Although a block away, I could still smell the odors of diesel oil and creosote hanging in the stillness of the sweltering summer air.  Looking up the three flights of narrow cement steps, I took in the sight of my Victorian masterpiece, so aptly named.  I clutched the black iron railing in my right hand and paused just long enough to remember how proud I was to be the owner of this historic landmark.  Hundreds of people’s life stories had been told and retold inside those 90-year-old walls.  Countless paths of healing had been explored, some with great success, others not so fortunate.  But most people reported an exquisite sense of peace and well-being after spending time inside the hallowed walls of this Healing Center.  Because I was the owner and practicing psychologist, people usually credited me with astounding success.  But it wasn’t easy.

I had just returned from Dr. Glenn’s office and my Radix Bodywork session. As I dragged my feet up the red brick steps to Linda and Austen’s office in their suburban Conway home, I felt an overpowering sense of dread.  I stopped for a moment on the front porch to take a deep breath as I remembered how painful my last session had been.  Taking a long look at the cascading ivy that tumbled off the porch and covered most of the lawn, I could smell the delicious fragrance of the thick white Gardenia blossoms that dotted the bushes next to the porch like so many clusters of perfume-drenched clouds, drunk on their own elixir.  I opened the front door, hearing the familiar creak of the hinges as Linda met me with open arms and a warm, inviting embrace.

Lying on a green mat in the middle of the hardwood floor, I began stretching my body into yoga-like positions to loosen my muscles, then slowly merged into the breathing exercises designed to carry me into the deepest recesses of my mind.  Soon a series of cartoon-like figures materialized inside my head.  A tall, dark man appeared first, etched in red.  Initially, he seemed to carry a red cane.  I could scarcely breathe as I watched this walking stick turn into an erect penis, which he rubbed over the naked body of a little girl.  Then the image folded up like a paper fan, transformed into a vertical black line in my field of vision.  A little girl’s voice spoke out:  “Bad boy!  You were not supposed to come out.”  Next, the chubby fingers of a child’s right hand emerged, holding a key.  She reached over and locked the black line, as if it were a door.

Months later, the dreams began – strange images of a small hysterical child, hurling herself against the fiery red, burning walls of a pit, desperately wanting out.  “We have to know,” she said.  “We have to let the secret out in order for me to be freed.  Please, please help me!”  I had no idea that the life I had been living was about to crumble like so many pieces of stale bread.

In 1992, I began working with a new therapist who encouraged me to continue with my daily, hours-long meditations.  I continued to have really vivid dreams that pointed toward childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.  Previously, I had had no memories of any sexual abuse and this new information drew me to my knees and set me on a path of considerable pain and suffering. 

Prior to this time, I knew little about shamanism but I was about to be educated when I picked up a book titled “Healing and Wholeness” by John Sanford.  In this text, Sanford discusses what is known as a spirit spouse.  “Quite often the shaman acquired a tutelary spirit, a particular spiritual being who became his instructor….In shamanesses, the tutelary spirit was always masculine, and was like her celestial husband.”

It was not long before I began doing shamanic journeys where I encountered a magnificent spirit or ghost whose name was Grandfather.  He stood about 10 feet tall and had massive golden eyes like ferris wheels right in the middle of his large white face.  He wore long ivory robes with golden threads and eventually he became my spirit spouse, the impact of which would change my life forever.  We spent long hours over many years engrossed in deep telepathic debates in which he drew forth many unknown truths about my own life and that of the cosmic universe surrounding us.  I recorded our many conversations in a journal and these records became the basis for my novel, Victorian Songlight.

About The Book

Victorian Songlight: The Birthings Of Magic & Mystery

The birth of a magical child at the time of the Devil Moon sets the stage for heartache and misery, magic and supernatural love. Beset by unrelenting obstacles and bestowed with remarkable psychic gifts, Kate is often accompanied by fantastical black ravens who carry her through time and space. A well known legend in the Ozark Mountain countryside where Kate lives, Grandfather is a ghost with large golden eyes who frequently rides on the back of Pegasus, another Ozarkian legend. Victorian Songlight is a tale of redemption and renewal, death and rebirth, triumph over darkness. But most importantly, it is a love story. Alone and utterly forsaken, adrift on treacherous waters, Kate meets Grandfather for the second time in her life and they become lovers fulfilling a prophecy at the moment of her birth.

You can find Victorian Songlight here:
Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Nobel

If you are an author and wish to be interviewed or if you are a publicist and want to get your author interviewed on TRB, then please get in touch through direct e-mail:

Guest Post: Cocktail Parties by Nick Gray

Welcome to TRB Lounge!

Today, we are featuring Nick Gray, author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party to share a guest post.

About The Author

Nick Gray

Nick Gray is an entrepreneur and author living in Austin, Texas. He started and sold two successful companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Nick is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook that teaches you how to build big relationships by hosting small gatherings. Over 75,000 people have watched his TEDx talk about why he hates most museums. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine called him a host of “culturally significant parties.” 


Website | Twitter | Instagram | Tiktok

Cocktail Parties by Nick Gray

Most adults haven’t made a new friend in years. I moved to New York City and hardly knew anyone. But then I made new friends, and those friends helped me launch a multi-million dollar company.

How? And can anyone do this?

Instead of going to random bars or meet-ups to try to create new connections, I decided to go a different route. Instead of going to other peoples’ parties, I decided to bring the party to me.

What I discovered, through lots of trial and error, is that there’s a specific way to structure parties to make them easy and successful—a “formula,” if you will, that anyone can follow to make new friends.

Over the last ten years I’ve hosted hundreds of these small parties. Then I’ve spent the past few years writing this book and testing every single aspect of it with different people around the world to make sure it works.

My book The 2-Hour Cocktail Party is my formula to “hack” your social life by learning how to throw parties. I’ll show you how to easily host fun events in your own home.

Why parties?

Some people may think a party requires loud music, late nights, and tons of booze. But a party is simply where people get together and have a good time. There can be an explicit purpose such as playing board games, celebrating an event, or meeting new people. But the essence of a party is that you are there to enjoy yourself and to connect with others.

Combining partying and relationship-building may sound counterintuitive. But it works. I’ll show you how throwing small parties in a strategic way can be the easiest method to make new friends and even boost your career.

About the book The 2-Hour Cocktail Party

You know that well-connected friend who only exists in the movies? The one who throws the best parties and can set up any introduction you need?

Everyone wants to know someone magical like this who brings people together. The secret is: you can be that person. You should be that person. The 2-Hour Cocktail Party will show you how.

Discover a simple party-hosting formula with step-by-step instructions that help you meet new people, strengthen your existing relationships, and make you the person everyone wants to know.

You’ll learn which days are the best to throw events (probably not the ones you think!) and what to say to the first people who arrive. Learn how to ensure your invitations get responses and your guests show up excited to mingle. Plus, get helpful pre-party checklists and a breakdown of activities to encourage new connections.

With The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, you’ll make new friends, boost your career, and leave everyone asking. “When’s your next party?”

About The Book

About the book The 2-Hour Cocktail Party

You know that well-connected friend who only exists in the movies? The one who throws the best parties and can set up any introduction you need?

Everyone wants to know someone magical like this who brings people together. The secret is: you can be that person. You should be that person. The 2-Hour Cocktail Party will show you how.

Discover a simple formula with step-by-step instructions to host parties that help you meet new people, strengthen your existing relationships, and make you the person everyone wants to know.

You’ll learn which days are the best (probably not the ones you think!) and what to say to the first people who arrive. Read how to ensure your invitations get responses and your guests show up excited to mingle. Plus, get helpful pre-party checklists and a breakdown of activities to encourage new connections.With The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, you’ll make new friends, boost your career, and leave everyone asking, “When’s your next party?”

You can find The Mystery Of Martha here:

Book Website | Amazon | Read more

If you are an author and wish to be interviewed or if you are a publicist and want to get your author interviewed on TRB, then please get in touch through direct e-mail:

Guest Post: An appreciation of The Mystery of Martha by Eduardo Fernandez Lalanne

Welcome to TRB Lounge!

Today, we are featuring Eliza Harrison, author of The Mystery Of Martha to share a guest post.

About The Author

Eliza Harrison

Eliza has had a lifelong passion for exploring different spiritual pathways in the East and the West and has been a teacher of meditation all her adult life. Alongside her work as a spiritual mentor and guide, she is a photographer and author and has produced several books on the life and landscape of Northern England, including The Light Within – A Celebration of the Spiritual Path, and the story of her own: In Search of Freedom – One Woman’s Journey. Now, with her husband David, she runs Sacred Meditation from their home in Cumbria. 


Author Website | Facebook | Instagram

An appreciation of The Mystery of Martha by Eduardo Fernandez Lalanne

For me this novel has been a guide and inspiration during intense and challenging personal times, offering profound insights into the meaning of love, truth and life. The stories take place in the Holy Land and the British Isles, two places that have a turbulent history but also a profound spiritual heritage.

The book is written in an exquisite way, in almost Biblical style, full of poetic touches, with compelling stories and profound teachings. While reading, one can travel through time, walk the different paths of each character, and be transported back 2000 years through evocative tastes, smells and visual images. Effortlessly one is able to engage with the trials and tribulations of the different characters, but also be inspired by their personal insights and realisations. It is a courageous move to bring a seemingly unimportant character of the Bible to the fore, but she becomes an inspiration for all those who feel marginalised today. And ultimately both Marthas find the truth of themselves by opening to the experience of compassion and unconditional love. 

The novel enabled me to feel close to Biblical characters for the first time, to sense the depth and truth of each personality: Yeshua, L´azar, Magdala, Maryam, Yehudah and of course Martha of Bethania herself. Despite my Catholic education, I’ve always found it difficult to understand the relevance of many of the Christian stories, but this novel offers a much deeper insight into their meaning. I now realise that the essence of Christian mysticism is rooted in unconditional love.

The stories of the two Marthas are reflections of the path we all walk in order to realise the unity of life – whether experienced within a family context, service to others, intimate relationship or direct spiritual experience. So I shall always be grateful for the precious gift of The Mystery of Martha.

About The Book

The Mystery Of Martha

Two timelines, one truth . . . 

Two women, two millennia apart with seemingly unconnected lives – one from the Lake District in England and the other from Bethany in Palestine. Both experience loss and betrayal, which engender feelings of fear and uncertainty about what their future holds.  

Martha from the Lake District faces challenge and change in 2000 AD as her deepest insecurities are exposed. But supported by her partner Ben, she discovers the mystical Aramaic teachings of Yeshua that offer her a pathway to Self-realisation and freedom.

In Brattleboro, Vermont, a long-forgotten doorway opens, to a land beyond living memory, where two lifelong enemies must journey as allies, to save two worlds, or destroy them.

In 30 AD Martha of Bethany has Yeshua as a friend and guide. From a place of tenderness and vulnerability, she witnesses the last three years of his life as he embodies the ultimate mystery and power of love, which inspires her own journey to awakening. 

These two stories weave together seamlessly until finally they converge in a hauntingly beautiful tale of revelation and redemption.

You can find The Mystery Of Martha here:

Website | Audible | Goodreads

To read more author interviews, click here.

If you are an author and wish to be interviewed or if you are a publicist and want to get your author interviewed on TRB, then please get in touch through direct e-mail:

Guest Post: The Four Secret Ingredients of a Successful Indie Author by Debarshi Kanjilal

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting Debarshi Kanjilal, author of SuperBu: Homecoming, to share some secrets of being a successful independent author.

Note: Read author Debarshi Kanjilal’s interview with TRB here

The Four Secret Ingredients of a Successful Indie Author

I wanted to be a writer since the age of eight but didn’t know the path to becoming one.  At the time, my idea of being an author was being published by Penguin Random House or Bloomsbury. Indie publishing had too much stigma around it.

Years later, when I did end up choosing the path of indie publishing, I was still fighting against similar stigma. But several books, blogs, forums, and courses later, I now know the reason for that stigma as well as the way to avoid it.

A traditionally published author enjoys a few unfair advantages because they’re backed by a big money business. But the unfair advantages created by that money can be offset by the additional effort and time put in by an indie author. So, what are these unfair advantages?


People often jump to the conclusion that big publishing houses sell more because they have a bigger marketing budget. While not untrue, they don’t just put money into marketing. They invest heavily in their editorial team – professional proofreaders, copy editors, substantial editors, they make sure that every book is editorially perfect. An indie author doesn’t always have the budget for all of that, but most rookie indie authors make the mistake of publishing without any editing whatsoever. I have been there and I still have some books out in the market that suffer due to editorial inferiority. But having learnt from those errors, I now have a formula that works – I try to work with at least three beta readers and at least one copy editor and implement their feedback before publishing anything. This ensures that my books have minimal editorial issues without shooting a hole through my pocket.

Typesetting and Formatting

Books are for readers – a very finite market segment. The truth is not many people who are not readers will buy and read your book. And readers are conditioned to expect a certain way of typesetting and formatting books. A good book will just not capture a reader’s imagination if it is formatted or typeset in a way that distracts them. The good news is that the bulk of indie publishing happens on Amazon, and Amazon has a product called Kindle Create that makes it easier to properly format and typeset both print books and e-books. It is important to utilize these resources efficiently.

Mailing List

While big publishers have access to a vast group of readers who are already waiting for their next book, indie authors do not have such a vast pre-existing audience. They need to cultivate that audience and regularly engage with them. A mailing list is the most effective tool to this end. Yes, you can also cultivate your audience via social media, but email is still the most effective way to connect with them on a personal level. A person who receives an email from you will care more about you and your book than someone who stumbles upon your post about your own book on social media. Social media works best when other people start talking about you and your book.

Digital Marketing

Lastly, big publishers have access to thousands of physical bookstores to display their books and therefore putting their books in front of innumerable eyes. As an indie author, you and I may not have this luxury. However, if your book cannot get any eyeballs then your book isn’t going to sell any copies. This is where digital marketing helps. Amazon ads, Google ads, Facebook ads, etc. democratize advertising to the extent possible. Even an indie author can set aside a small budget to test an online ad, see how it performs, optimize it further, and get in front of thousands of eyeballs. This is an opportunity you wouldn’t want to pass.

Being an indie author can be a rewarding as well as a fulfilling journey. But make no mistake, an indie author needs to work harder and keep toiling alone much longer in order to achieve success. That said, a good story supported by these four secret ingredients can make your journey absolutely worthwhile.

About the author:

Debarshi Kanjilal

Debarshi Kanjilal (DK) is an urban fiction writer based out of Bangalore, India. His debut novella, Based on Lies, was touted as a gripping psychological thriller by several reputable reviewers.

His latest novella, SuperBu: Homecoming is an emotional journey of a family and their dog. Debarshi ran the ‘God of Absurdity’ blog from 2012 to 2015, which published humorous anecdotes and reflection pieces.

He is also an accomplished learning experience design professional who has helped shape adult learning strategy for some of the most well-known organizations globally.


Author Website  | Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


SuperBu: Homecoming

This is not a children’s book or a fairy tale. This novella is not all about fun, or that fuzzy feeling you get from stories about dogs. It is a dramatic story of a family who brought home a dog. If you are looking for a book that’ll keep you continuously smiling through the antics of an adorable puppy, this is perhaps not the book for you.

So, now that you know what not to expect, let’s talk about what you can expect from this book. Have you or someone you know ever felt like something is missing in your life and getting a dog could help you fill a void? Did you, or an acquaintance of yours, end up actually getting that dog? Did you and your dog figure out how to navigate through life together?

This is the story of that dog, or a dog like that one. But more importantly, this is the story of that version of you, or that acquaintance of yours, who decided to act and bring home that dog, or of people like you who went through similar experiences in life.

You can find SuperBu: Homecoming 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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post: The Power of Metaphors and Similes by Abby Arthur PLUS A Mega 17 YA Fantasy Book Giveaway

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting Abby Arthur, YA Fantasy author of TWINS OF SHADOW, to share some insights into her process of writing.

Note: Details on the giveaway running for the month of August 2020 are at the end of the post*

The Power of Metaphors and Similes

Ever read a book that sucks you in, describing the setting like a whirlwind of mystery wrapped in the snuggly arms of a wild grizzly bear? 

Or have you found yourself so deep in the thick of a battle scene, you could feel the blood gush from your own arm?

I have experienced this, my friend. And I’ve come to analyze these stories to understand why I was so captivated. 

To give you real-life examples of stories that have sucked me in, there are:

  • SORCERY OF THORNS by Margret Rogerson.

From the very start, the books above use words that paint pictures, pictures that make you feel what the character is feeling.

To do this, the authors use METAPHORS and SIMILES.

What is a Metaphor? 

According to author Pat Pattison in his amazing book, WRITING BETTER LYRICS: 

“In its most basic form, a metaphor is a collision between ideas that don’t belong together.”

Here’s an example: The princess is a delicate lily.

With using a metaphor to describe the character, you can’t see the princess without seeing a delicate lily, and therefore, you instantly know the princess is beautiful and fragile. 

Try this: The princess is a vicious wolf.

In this example, you don’t think of a flower or fragileness. You see a powerful woman with strength, determination, and a dangerous drive to survive. 

What is a Simile?

A simile is a lot like a metaphor, but it differentiates by the connecting word “like” or “as”. A metaphor says the subject IS the descriptor (the princess IS a delicate lily). But a simile merely compares the two (the princess is LIKE a delicate lily). 

I’ve noticed more similes in stories than direct metaphors. Both are beautiful, but I feel saying “the princess IS a vicious wolf” has a more substantial impact on the story verses she is LIKE a vicious wolf. The “IS” transforms her before your very eyes. Don’t you agree?

So How Do You Make Great Metaphors and Similes?

Practice. Take 5-10 minutes a day before you start writing your stories and create metaphors and similes. You can describe your characters, your settings, your cup of coffee, your dinner, your dog… 

The more you practice, the faster your brain will be able to call upon them when you’re writing. 

I promise, it works! 

Try the practice exercise for 7 consecutive days and you will be AMAZED at your progress in such a short time!

Implement Metaphors and Similes in Your Story

When you write, start to watch for moments you can implement a metaphor or simile. 

Just knowing to keep your eyes open will bring forth the opportunity to add them. 

For example, maybe you’re writing something like, “The princess was tall and thin.” Now that you know to watch for a chance to insert a metaphor or simile, you will realize you can say instead, “She was tall and thin, a towering tree overlooking the kingdom like a noble guard.” 

The more you implement metaphors and similes, the more your story will come to life and transport your readers into your magical world (fantasy or not)!

The Major 17 YA Fantasy Book Giveaway

Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for!

For the month of August 2020, Abby Arthur is giving away a total of 17 YA Fantasy novels and a new eReader from Amazon – the Kindle Fire 7, over the course of the next 4 weeks.


The details are as follows, and the link to enter is here:  

Upon entry, every contestant will also receive a FREE eCopy of Abby’s book, TWINS OF SHADOW.

On August 7

Abby is drawing a winner for the current books in Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES series, which includes:


These will be HARDCOVER COPIES! With a total value of $60 US Dollars.

On August 14th

Abby is drawing a winner for 3 books from New York Times Best Selling Authors.

  • CHAINS OF GOLD by Cassandra Clare

These will be HARDCOVER COPIES! With a total value of $80 US Dollars.

On August 16th
I’m drawing a mid-giveaway bonus winner for Starr Z. Davies’ YA Dystopian duology: ORDINARY. 


These will be AUTOGRAPHED TRADE PAPERBACKS! With a total value of $25 US Dollars. 

On August 21st

Abby is drawing a winner for Holly Black’s series: FOLK OF THE AIR.


These will be HARDCOVER COPIES! With a total value of $80 US Dollars.

On August 28th

Abby is giving away the grand prize, which includes the eReader and 8 eBooks at a $150 value:

Kindle Fire 7

  • 1 A SONG OF WRATHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A Brown
  • 2 THE KINGDOM OF BACK by Marie Lu
  • 3 WICKED SAINTS by Emily A. Duncan
  • 4 THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION by Kiersten White
  • 5 CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi
  • 6 THE CURSED CHILD by J.K Rowling
  • 7 SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
  • 8 SORCERY OF THORNS by Margaret Rogerson

Enter NOW for your chance to WIN!

Click here =>

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Go to the link above
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Follow Abby on her social platforms (Gives you 50X more chances to win!)
  4. Share your lucky URL (extra 20X chances to win per friend to enter)

Good Luck, my friend!

About the author:

Abby Arthur

Abby Arthur writes young adult fantasy in a fascinating modern world full of magic and adventure that lingers even after the last page. With over 20 years of writing experience, she loves giving readers an escape from reality and is constantly creating new stories. Her magic portal is located in small town Iowa, protected by herself, her husband, and their son. Her first book is Twins of Shadow.


Website | Twitter  | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads


Twins Of Shadow

A crown prince and his twin brother are secretly skilled assassins…

…killing for a cause they both despise.

A crown prince and his twin brother are secretly skilled assassins…

…killing for a cause they both despise.

Bound to a dragon by a powerful spell, Tarrek and Albree are sent on their deadliest mission yet: Overcome an archangel, capture an innocent snake whisperer and smuggle him across foreign soil, alive. If they fail to comply with the spell’s demand, it will drive them to insanity. Yet a deadlier force commands their attention when an ice-wielding slave trader freezes several civilians in a local village, ensnaring Albree’s love interest in the process. Will the twins choose to complete their near-suicide mission or fight insanity to save innocent lives?

All eBook formats Free at


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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post – My Writing Journey by R.J. Parker

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting R.J. Parker, author of Requiem, Changing Times, to share some insight about his writing journey and his writing process through a short guest post.

My Writing Journey

It is great to do a guest post on, “The Reading Bud!” I am RJ Parker, author of Requiem Changing Times. I still do not think of my self as an author. I wrote some stories by my teachers’ invitation in Junior High. I even won some awards. But I never gave it another thought as I started into sports, music and dating. Popularity went straight to my head and I couldn’t get enough of the limelight. That started to change when my mother and sister were in a car accident. My sister passed away and my mother was in a coma. When she came out, she was completely different. Life went on with the most wonderful wife, four kids and a promising career. Then everything changed.

I had back pain all my life, but it was getting worse. I had to keep working to take care of my family and worked with the doctors. What turned out to be just an inconvenience became serious within a few months.

I was first diagnosed with lower back deterioration. That wasn’t so bad. Through all my physical activity, sports, and hard work. I had crushed my lower back. That wasn’t so bad. I herniated some of my spinel disks into my nervous system. That wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t until the disks had rubbed so much against the nerves in by spine that I said it was bad. I started to lose feeling and mobility in my leg and begin the wonderful opportunity for doctors to really work on me. I have had several surgeries and procedures. In the time I had of being flat on my back, I read. In reading I was wished I could change the stories I read. So I started to lay the foundation of what I liked to read and what I wish someone would write.

To keep what little sanity I had I begin the story. I found inspiration all around me. I had difficulty writing fast enough before the next story would hit. When I finished, I went back and worked on it repeatedly. I kept at it until I got it to the point it is today. From that time on, I loved to write stories. I have finished four with three more on the way and two more being printed. It has been a humbling journey. I wouldn’t wish what I have been through on anyone, but I wouldn’t change the lessons I have learned for anything.

– R.J. Parker

About the author

R.J. Parker

Russell Parker was born in Bountiful, Utah. As his father was a safety manager he had to move around until his senior year of high school, when he came to Cache Valley, Utah to stay. He married the most wonderful woman in the world and they are the parents of four fantastic kids, with one crazy dog. Russell played all kinds of sports and was an outdoorsman until an accident brought him to writing. A writer since high school, encouragement brout his stories to life.


Author WebsitePublisher Website  | Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook


Requiem, Changing Times

Clint and Corbin are having a weird day. Best friends for life, things are getting a little strange around their town, and at school. When they’re followed by a strange man looking for Clint and later attacked by an imp, it makes sense to retreat to the safety of home. But when strangers from another world, Banks and O’Neil, arrive with their medley of allies, things get even weirder. Why are they here? What do they want? And what is The Requiem that everyone keeps talking about? As Clint and his friends and family are drawn deeper into a thrilling adventure, only one thing is for sure. They may not be getting out alive. And class with Mrs Christenson will seem like a walk in the park after this.

You can find Requiem, Changing Times here:

Amazon | Goodreads | Olympia Publishers

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post: Thoughts And Musings By BDL

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting BDL, author of Alexandria: World Class Life Story, to share some insight into her book and writing process through a short guest post.

Thoughts And Musings

Hi everyone! I’m BDL and super excited about my debut inspirational novel, Alexandria: World Class Life Story. Please allow me to share a few personal thoughts and musings. First, I should say that I didn’t wake up one day and just decided to become an author. In fact, to be honest, I rarely ever read fiction. The only way I typically experience fiction is when viewing movie adaptations. I love those! So I guess the question for now is why did I write a fiction story?

Well, certainly not because I’m “gifted” or have “arrived” on a white horse. Heaven knows, not because my story will save the day because it’s the “greatest”. Remember I don’t read fiction, so I wouldn’t know anything about that either way. The first reason for writing Alexandriawas strictly for me. In 2014, I was facing a tough time in my personal life and desperately needed a mental escape. Secondly, I was led to spend the entire year of 2016 writing the story. Therefore, I went underground to dedicate myself to Alexandria.

Thirdly, I struggle to maintain my personal beliefs and often flatter myself into thinking that my troubles are uniquely mine and that no one else resides on Depravity Street alongside me. I hurt, I feel pain, I’m constantly “fascinated” (never frustrated) by life’s journey, and I keep falling off the wagon in my pursuit of defeating addiction. Sugar is a very powerful substance and king sized chocolate bars are the worst. Yet, I start over every morning to fight onward. And for the few of you out there who’ve also visited the dungeons of depravity then we can keep each other company through a story that’s uplifting, inspirational, relatable, drama-filled and thought-provoking. As for me, I began to actively pursue some healing while writing the story and hope that others will too.

All of those reasons framed the embodiment of Alexandria. A drama that offers a realistic, gritty, honest, adaptation of experiences that many of us actually do face in life. Of course, there are some exceptions to this as some people actually do live a pristine existence or at least aspire to that. However, living in a world without sin, crude language, violence, sex and socio-political controversies is a dream; not realistic. Therefore, those things are all interwoven in the story.

As background, my approach to writing Alexandriawas to simply make it read like a movie I’d want to watch. And this made me free to write a contemporary tale the way intended; no holds barred. I liken writing Alexandriato making a sandwich just the way I like it. If I were to make you a sandwich to eat then I’d make it exactly the way I like it until and if you stipulate otherwise. So that was the method used while constructing Alexandria. The ingredients includes: an omniscient narrator driving the pace of the storyline, a strong main character (MC) who is super flawed and evolved, a comprehensive A- to Z- narrative from beginning to ending, a sports drama element, the grind of private life, an interwoven political plot, compelling supporting characters, realistic humor, unpredictability and uneasy scenarios that may be a bit uncomfortable yet keeps you invested for the outcome. All told from a worldview perspective.

A good story depicting the dark side of human nature instead of through some artificially engineered villain lends to authenticity. For similar to real life, villainous behavior is commonly perpetuated by the people we know, love and trust, more often than by some stranger. This is what the relatable characters of Alexandriaportray. Reality based human intricacies that we all encounter in the game of life.

The concepts for Alexandriawere derived from my personal tastes. I have always loved sprinters, my favorite type of athlete. And the conception came about once I realized that I had never ever before seen an extensive fictional portrayal of one. I wanted to be swept away into the sprinter’s world and to add a real life dramatization to these most dynamic athletes. Therefore, Alexandriahas given me the chance to pay homage to the unsung world class runners by creating a protagonist that could drive and inspire themes of love, sacrifice and fortitude.

Next, I realized my concern for what’s happening in the world today increased along with aging. Hence, the speculative political angle that determinedly shifts the story. Finally, my favorite types of non-fiction books are biographies. So using those ideas to create a fictional MC embodying such experiences gave birth to Alexandria. Therefore, it seemed natural to make Alexandriaa fictional multi-genre epic of a world class athlete that chronicles common human struggle, failure, growth and triumph. All essential components to a powerful drama set against the backdrop of the American society from the MC’s lifetime.

This is where the prospective political climate of America converges in Alexandria. The narrative of sports and politics make for a provocative ambitious drama laced with themes of humanity, morality and resolution. A subjective ode to my beloved sprinters. My personal fantasy, made real by the characters and plotting portrayed in Alexandria: World Class Life Story. Get a sneak preview of the race that went past the finish-line toward the “End Game” by clicking on the book trailer at So, please come. Join me. Let’s take the journey, together.


About the author:

BDL is a proud American from the Southeast. The Author sends a warm sincere thanks to TRB and to all for taking interest. Also, BDL would love to hear from you on Twitter and email. And honest fair reviews are always welcomed. Alexandriais a marathon, not a sprint. Happy reading and cheers!


About the book:

Ruth is a legendary runner of the late twenty-first century whose biography inspires a dynamic political resistance to a future Judeo-Christophobic America. Her incredible World Class Life Storyis paralleled by a quest to salvage her beloved nation from extermination. But, she must first find a way to embolden a new generation of patriots to stand against dystopia.

Alexandriais a powerful drama that ambitiously explores what happens in this type of society. Will this be the end of America? And liberty? Discover the importance of following through with commitments no matter the cost. Are you ready to see how this provocative epic tale unfolds? So get set. Get ready. And gear up for the spellbinding dramatic “End Game”.

“She raced past the finish-line toward the End Game—because she loved her country.” ~ BDL

Check out Alexandria: World Class Life Story‘s book trailer on YouTube.

get the book here:

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post: Forgiving The Unforgivable by Emily Stroia

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author Emily Stroia, author of Into The Light.

Presenting Emily Stroia…

Forgiving The Unforgivable

For the longest time I didn’t know how I could forgive my parents. All I ever wanted from them was to have a loving healthy relationship. I couldn’t understand why or how they became the way they did.

Growing up in an abusive home showed me experiences that I didn’t need to see. Experiencing sexual abuse from my Father destroyed any last hope that things could truly be different.

I hoped that every time we talked it would be different and that miraculously he would be the Father I always dreamed of. My hope turned slowly into resentment and anger.

There simply wasn’t anything left in me to forgive a man who kept repeating the same behaviors.

In turn it only made me worse in my relationships with partners, friends, myself. My pride in my own beauty and integrity started to fade. The woman I’d wake up to in the mirror I didn’t know.

I’m not sure I ever truly knew her then.

I harbored a resentment so grand that it blocked me from trusting other people and from trusting myself. I wanted to believe that the world wouldn’t hurt me but my thought process was “If my Father could do this to me then anyone most definitely can”.

So life went by and I had armor around my heart and a cynical mindset that just wouldn’t budge.

I knew I wanted to heal this but I just didn’t know how so I tried nearly everything. I went to hypnotherapy, studied with meditation gurus, explored healing through intuition and spirituality.

The one thing that was missing was me; me allowing my pain to have a voice.

I felt ashamed about the sexual abuse. I felt like it was my fault and that everyone would see it that way.

Only through years of intense therapy, transformational workshops and yoga training did I finally allow what was buried inside of me to have a voice.

The more I screamed and cried about it the better I felt. The more I began to understand who my parents were as people not just as two people who raised me.

The word forgiveness creeped into my mind and for the first time I could feel myself feeling true forgiveness in my heart towards them.

I could feel myself freed from a lifetime of pain and nightmares that haunted me.

We can read a million quotes, books and take enough trainings to save our life on forgiveness but it truly comes down to willingness.

Are you willing to forgive the unforgivable?

If the answer is ‘No’, then let it be no without shame, without judgment.

Own your feelings and slowly freedom will find you through this process.

I wasn’t willing.

Until I realized that I was suffering more than I needed to.

Living a fulfilled and happy life was more important to me than holding resentment and anger in my heart towards someone who is simply living life their way.

Could things have been different?


But it wasn’t. This is the story I was born into but it definitely doesn’t have to be the ending.

A poem from my new book, Into the Light:

Forgiveness is letting go

Of the story of how it should be.

Accept what was,

Surrender the fight,

Loving the dark & the light.

By freeing ourselves from the attachment that this experience or this person could have been any other way we take our power back.

I know that is what my heart desires.


About the author:

Emily is an intuitive teacher, spiritual leader, author and artist. Emily first discovered her gifts of intuition and creativity as a child and was placed in a highly gifted program for children. She often explored her gifts through writing, art, and experienced frequent visions and dreams that would turn out to be accurate. Not understanding fully why or how she was able to do this, she decided to study. She has always felt a strong attraction to the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of life and continues to delve deeper into each. Believing strongly in her intuitive gifts, as well as wanting to express her deep desire to help people, Emily decided to utilize her abilities to turn her passion into a profession.

Contact Details:


About the book:

Into the Light is a memoir-inspired poetry collection in seven parts. The book shares the author’s life from a transformative perspective of experiencing trauma & darkness to finding hope, miracles and light.

In the final part, there are notes to the reader and finding one’s inner peace after adversity and healing through brokenness. This book explores trauma, abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, loss, healing, spirituality, meditation, inspiration and empowerment. This book is for anyone who has ever experienced loss, grief, brokenness, depression, abuse, trauma and heartbreak.

Book Links:

Book site: 

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post: Tone Is Everything by Tyfany Janee

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author Tyfany Janee, author of The Invitation: To Journey Through A Conscious Mind.

Presenting Tyfany Janee…

Tone Is Everything

Tones are categories that characterize the dimension of a given text, the emotion that must be evoked in the reader. They, therefore, define the scope and usefulness of a literary text.

The tone of a text is a particular way of telling an event. By using different methods of writing and highlighting certain themes, it is possible to provoke in the reader or spectator various emotions: laughter, sadness, anguish, terror … The tone of a text Does not necessarily depend on its genre – a novel, for example, can be comic and pathetic. In a text, one can meet the tones tragic, pathetic, lyrical, epic, comic, ironic, fantastic …

Furthermore, the tone is everything your text needs to stand out. Some Types of tone and its uses include:

  1. Tragic tone

The tragic tone is the tone of terror/fright and pity. It is a frequent tone in classical tragedy and in the theater of the twentieth century.

It is about man facing forces that surpass him (gods, fate, passions). Fate is like an infernal machine, as it has no way out for the character, usually of high rank, posed to his dilemmas. There is no happy outcome to provoke catharsis, the purgation of the passions of the soul.

Processes used: sustained register, figures of amplifications such as hyperbole, opposition figures, exclamations, apostrophes, interrogations, supplication, complaint, impotence, fault, death.

  1. Comic tone

This is the tonality that seeks the expression of laughter and entertainment. In addition to this, the comic can have a critical reach. Laughter can highlight the defects of the man to seek to correct them. In this, he joins the satirical tone.

It is a frequent tone in comedy but can be found in other literary genres.

Four types of comics play the springs of the comic: the comic situation, the comic character, the comic of words, the comic gesture.

Processes used: the burlesque (contrast between the subject treated and the style: serious subject on a vulgar style for example), parody, satire, figures of repetitions, current or familiar register, the effect of misunderstanding, Effect of rupture, exaggerations, play on words.

  1. Pathetic tone

It is the expression of suffering that inspires the reader with powerful emotions. The pathetic term comes from pathos in Greek which means compassion, pain. If the pathetic tone arouses a violent emotion, it does not contain a notion of fatality, contrary to the tragic tone that is close to it. It is also linked to the lyrical and elegiac tones that are reciprocally the expression of feelings and the expression of sentimental suffering.

It is a common tone in the great literary genres: poetry, novel, theater.

Processes used: amplification figures, lexical field of strong feelings, exclamations, interrogations, injunctions.

  1. Epic tone

This tonality seeks to provoke admiration or fright. It is used to narrate the warrior and wonderful adventures of a hero. It is found originally in the epic, then in medieval narratives, in certain theatrical texts, in certain novels, in certain historical narratives when it is a question of narrating a grandiose act.

Processes used: amplification, superlatives, hyperboles, enumerations, accumulations, personifications, intensity adverbs, action sequence, marvelous.

  1. Fantastic tone

This is a tone that seeks to arouse anguish, fear, hesitation. It is particularly present in the novels, the news belonging to the fantastic genre. It involves bringing mysterious facts into the real world.

Emotions are caused by the uncertainty in the interpretation of what is happening: is it natural or supernatural? Rational or irrational? Doubt is, therefore, the founding element of the fantastic tone.

Methods used: intrusion of the mysterious into everyday life, internal focus, narrative breakdown, lexical field of the strange, modalizers of doubt (adverbs, conditional mode), lexical field of fear, hesitation.

  1. Polemic tone

It is the tone of anger or indignation. This term comes from polemos in Greek which means war.

It is a tone that is found in debates, argumentative texts, essays, speeches. All these texts fight ideas and arise in conflicting argumentative situations. These are energetic denunciations.

Processes used: attempts at discredit (antiphrasis, litotes), marks of personal commitment, marks of emotion (exclamations, interrogations)

  1. Deliberative Tone

This is a tone of doubt, of hesitation. It is a matter of unraveling a situation involving two choices. We confront the arguments, we discuss them, and we make a choice. It is a rhetorical tone in the case where deliberation seeks to convince someone. It is found in the debates.

Processes used: presence of arguments and counter-arguments, rebuttals.

  1. Learning tone

The didactic text seeks to explain or to teach a knowledge through explanations or a morality. These are the explanatory texts, the argumentative texts, the essays, the maxims …

The methods used: an objective style, a neutral vocabulary, declarative sentences, present.

  1. Epidemic tone

It is the tone of admiration, praise, or blame. It is the art of portraiture in the novel genre, in the theatrical genre, for example. It is also the art of discourse, a rhetorical art. It can be found in poetry, in funeral orations, too.

Epidural tone celebrates qualities or denounces someone’s faults.

Processes used: image enhancement or devaluation, a vocabulary pejorative or melliative.

In conclusion, the tone consists of the attitude adopted by the author concerning a specific character, place, or development. Helping, thus, the reader to determine the feelings of the author. It is the emphasis it conveys through the solemn, the serious, the critical to the witty, and the ironic and comical. To make a literary work interesting and lively, the importance of the tone cannot be overemphasized.

About the author:

Tyfany Janee is a devoted mother and a graduate of Strayer University in Virginia. She is a prolific writer, author and poet and she has an upcoming plan of releasing a debut novel in 2018 that she titles; “I Used to Love Him.” and another book titled “RSVP: To Be You Unapologetically.”

Tyfany Janee’s love for poetry has gained her several publications in Anthologies as a young adult for poetry. Her recent book is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a much needed element of humor when it comes to exposing the true nature of humankind. Tyfany devours inspiration wherever she can get it, from cult classics, to just about anything she can see.

Contact Details:



About the book:

The Invitation: To journey through a conscious mind, is a showcase in talent from author and poet Tyfany Janee. She’s eloquently produced the anthology through plaintive artistic angst. Injecting the essence of her soul into her prose. The diverse collection of poetry which lies between the covers is the result of an entire life’s work experimenting within her vocation.
Her work is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a succinct hint of humor as she tears away the facade from humanity. The works shed light on relative issues that we’re all faced with in our easily waywardly led astray lives, and the monotony that makes up our existence.
The Invitation: To journey through a conscious mind is an ode to the beat generation of poets that carved their names in literary history. Any creative mind will revel in the inspiration that lies between these pages, it’s full of daring attitude, and celebration for the authentic. A unique look on love, that you have to dare to delve within. It harnesses true devotion, with a stark, hair raising element of modern reality.

Book Links:


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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post: The 4 Biggest Financial Lies Being Taught To Americans Right Now by Donnie Masters

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author Donnie Masters, author of Start Winning With Money: Your Guide to Personal Finance, Small Business Growth, and Building Wealth.

Presenting Donnie Masters…

The 4 Biggest Financial Lies Being Taught To Americans Right Now

I love living in America. I really do. There are so many opportunities available to people that live in this great country. But when it comes to the public education system, and specifically the way we are teaching the current generation of students about finances, we are really screwing it up.

I am sorry for being so brutally honest, but I was a child of the public education system. The things that some of my teachers taught me about life and money were simply wrong. Sadly, we are still teaching some of the same things to today’s children.

Before I go on any further, let me say that I do not have any resentment towards my teachers. I don’t believe for a single moment that any of my teachers were intentionally trying to steer me down the wrong road, I just don’t think they knew any better.

It has taken me a lot of years, and some big financial mistakes, to finally overcome some of the beliefs that I was taught regarding money and finance. My financial education, or rather lack thereof, truly placed a mental road block that I had to free myself from before I could find success.

I specifically cover all four of these financial lies in my book, Start Winning With Money. While each of these financial myths appears to be sound financial advice on the surface, I specifically break each one down with factual evidence as to why they are not necessarily your best financial move.So without further delay, here are the 4 biggest financial lies that I was taught and are still being taught to our children today.

Lie #1 – You Must Get A College Education

The fact that we continue to expect each and every student to go to college is just plain hypocrisy. Statistically, we now know that the ever increasing amount of debt that is taken on to afford college does not offer you any better opportunity in life. Yes, a college education is required for some specific jobs. However, unless there is a huge difference in salary, the amount of debt that you must pay back over time does not warrant taking the risk for a lot of degree programs.

Lie #2 – You Must Buy A House

Your personal residence is not an appreciating asset, nor is it a good debt. Yes, there is an argument to be made about the tax savings of owning a residence versus renting, but the reality is that your personal residence does not appreciate in value any faster than overall inflation.

Lie #3 – You Must Save A Lot Of Money For Retirement

By now it is fairly common knowledge that you cannot out save inflation. But did you know that you probably cannot save enough for your retirement either? A good 401(k) plan, and aggressively saving your money will put you in a better position than most,but the only way to thrive in your retirement is to begin building streams of passive income during your working years.

Lie #4 – You Must Avoid ALL Debt

Avoiding bad debt during your lifetime will afford you opportunities that others can only dream of. However, avoiding all debt completely, could actually cost you money in the long term. For example, if I offered to to pay you $900 for $600 on the first of every month would you take it? Of course you would, and why wouldn’t you?

Not knowing the difference between good debts and bad debts is really the bigger issue at hand. Any savvy real estate investor would take the $900 for $600 deal all day long. In fact, most highly profitable businesses run on far smaller profit margins than the 50% profit margin that we just used in our example. Knowing how to make money and when to use debt properly will change your financial future for the better.

About the author:

Donnie Masters is the current owner and president of Masters Investment Group. He is an accountant for a small private business, as well as an American book author. Donnie was born and raised in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

In 2015, after having spent more than 15 years as a restaurant manager and retail store manager, Donnie began working on his first book. was published in June 2016.

Mattress Buying 101 is a how-to book on properly buying a mattress. The book was written as a guide to help the average consumer purchase the best mattress for their budget. Donnie’s inspiration for writing the book was based on his career at Sleepy’s, where he rose from salesperson to district manager in just 3 years time.

After his first book’s success in the small niche genre of mattresses, Donnie decided to write again on a couple more subjects he knew about, business and money. Start Winning With Money was started in September of 2016.

In early 2017, Donnie founded the Masters Investment Group and began focusing his energy on financial education. He continues to actively work as an accountant and write full time.

Contact Details:

Twitter: @realdonniem

About the book:

If you are looking to make millions of dollars while sitting in your pajamas, then this book is not for you!

Start Winning With Money is financial book that offers high impact, real world solutions for life’s many money questions.

Want to better your personal finances?
Want to open your own successful business?
Would you like some real clarity on the cost of higher education?
Want to address the issue of debt in your life?
All of that and more is available to you.

Start Winning With Money will teach you:
Why your current income has nothing to do with obtaining wealth
Challenge the popular belief that all debt is bad
Address the issues with public education and why you were taught to fail with money
Define a proper budget
Why good debt can help you grow wealthy
Explain the importance of money in achieving financial freedom
Redefine true wealth

Book Links:


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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post: A Sense of Place by A.P. McGrath

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author A.P. McGrath, author of A Burning In The Darkness.

Presenting A.P. McGrath…

A Sense of Place

The small town in south Tipperary in Ireland where I grew up had a population of 5,000 and when I was a teenager I began taking black and white photographs of local people in the places where they worked and lived. My mum knew the editor of the local newspaper – everybody knows everybody in a town that small. He liked the pictures I was taking and offered a weekly slot entitled ‘The Town and Its People’. I would approach shop owners, butchers, pub owners etc. and ask them if I could drop by someday soon to take their picture. I realised they would dress up a little and strike a certain pose, but people reveal themselves through these self-conscious acts as much as they do when they are caught unawares. These folk had a certain pride in their living or work places and I wanted to capture these spaces as much as the people themselves. I was interested in the details of the old shops that were giving way to the more modern out-of-town shopping. I liked the light and the tonality and the resonances of past times. The weekly portraits were a hit with the townsfolk. Indeed on more than one occasion I remember my mum remarking to me “Oh, I hear Mrs O’Reilly is disappointed you haven’t taken her photograph”. The townsfolk wanted themselves seen in and certain light and, in truth, I probably had my own slightly selfish reasons for taking the photographs. I knew that I wanted to leave and I was developing a skill that might get me a ticket out.

Probably all of the world’s biggest airports have a quiet prayer room offering sanctuary before a journey. A traveller might be embarking on a whole new life in a new country. Maybe he or she has planned an escape from an anxious past or is simply going on a welcome family holiday in the sun. Travel can also be a dreary necessity. We may need to make a business trip or a journey because of events that are beyond our control, as in the death of a family member or loved one. One friend told me she was about to go on a business trip when she miscarried her second pregnancy. She was in her mid to late forties and knew it was probably her last chance to give her young son a brother or sister. She entered the quietness of the prayer room and had a think and a good cry before she carried on with her journey. The prayer room had been a welcome and necessary shelter.

Image Credit: AP McGrath

In a novel, place is inseparable from character and events. Indeed it can become an effective character in itself, a protagonist or an antagonist, soaked in mood. My novel A Burning in the Darkness begins in the prayer room of one of the world’s biggest airports. There is a tiny confessional box and in its anonymous darkness a voice confesses a murder to Father Michael Kieh, but a young boy has witnessed the killer go into the confessional. Father Michael becomes the main suspect in the murder investigation because of a group of pitiless antagonists, but he doesn’t betray the identity of the young boy nor break the Seal of Confession.

Image Credit: AP McGrath

A large airport is a cinematic place. It is a frenzied cathedral dedicated to travel. It is also a lonely place. Michael is one of a number of faith representatives tending to the needs of more than 80 million passengers who pass through its gates each year, yet he rarely gets to see members of his flock more than once. His environment is constantly changing and he begins to question his faith. He is drawn to the companionship of an art dealer, Joan, who frequents the airport for business trips.

Michael grew up in Liberia in the midst of its brutal civil war. His childhood experiences shaped him and made him what he is: a good man. I wanted to explore the idea that he had the freedom to think differently from his environment. He had the ability to strike out against its dominant mood because he wanted the world to be good and not characterised by the destructive madness of war. And he had the strength of character to do it.

I studied English and Philosophy at University College Dublin, but I also trained and studied as a photographer. In the late eighties I had the opportunity to go to the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat and used my time there to take portraits of some of its people. Some months ago, after I’d finished writing the novel, I was doing a clean-out of the attic and came across the photographs which had been hidden away for many years. I was struck by the way they explore the intertwined relationship between character and environment. In technical terms the portraits are taken with a wide-angle lens so that you see both the person and the surroundings. I was drawn to the looming Soufrière Hills volcano at the centre of the island and it becomes the backdrop to many of the photographs. However, in July 1995, the volcano erupted and destroyed most of the main habitable areas, including the principle town, the airport and docking facilities. Two thirds of the population were forced to leave, mainly to the UK.

Most of the photographs were taken in parts of the island ravaged by the volcano. This area was designated an exclusion zone and it covers more than half of the island. So, there is poignancy to these photographs that capture a world now lost.

Several months before the publication of my novel I realised I had to set up a web site. I’m not a corporate person. I couldn’t see myself in a smiling brochure portrait, passing myself off as a kind of salesperson. But I could see that the photographs of Montserrat might say as much about me as they do about the people in the photographs. The quality of the relationship between the subject and the artist is crucial. The degree of imaginative sympathy for the subject is something that sets a good work of art apart from others. The ultimate skill is not in mastering the camera or a fancy ability with words; it is getting the subjects to reveal themselves – even if the subject is entirely your invention.

You can find more portraits of Montserrat on my web site:


About the author:

AP was born and grew up in Ireland.

He now lives in London and works in TV. He is a single father with three beautiful teenage children.

He studied English and Philosophy and then post-graduate Film Studies.

A Burning in the Darkness is his first novel.

Contact Details:


About the book:

A murder at one of the world’s busiest airports opens this simmering crime story where a good man’s loyalty is tested to its limits. Michael Kieh is a full time faith representative serving the needs of some of the 80 million passengers, but circumstance and evidence point to his guilt. His struggle to prove his innocence leads him on a charged journey that pitches love against revenge.

Michael’s loneliness was eased by a series of brief encounters with a soul mate. When she confides a dark secret, he is motivated to redress a heart-breaking injustice. Together they must battle against powerful forces as they edge dangerously close to unmasking a past crime. But Michael faces defeat when he chooses to protect a young witness, leaving him a burning spirit in the darkness.

Michael’s commitment to helping those in need was forged in the brutality of the Liberian civil war. Protected by a kind guardian, he too was a young witness to an atrocity that has left a haunting legacy of stolen justice and a lingering need for revenge. More poignantly there is a first love cruelly left behind in Africa because of the impossible choices of war. When Michael and his former lover find each other once again they become formidable allies in proving his innocence and rediscovering their lost love.

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post: God, Myth and Mystery by K.M. Aul

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author K.M. Aul, author of Synesthesia.

Presenting K.M. Aul…

God, Myth and Mystery

The fourth book in the Senses Novels series, Synesthesia, deals with the concepts of immortality, God and myth. The book, while part of a limited series, can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

The story begins with the resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus. The Bible does not go into a lot of detail about Lazarus after he is raised from the dead. There are many stories and claims about the man and his life. Several places claim to be the final resting place of Lazarus, but nothing definitive. Synesthesia takes a different view.

In Matthew 16:28 Jesus is speaking to the disciples when he says, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming into His kingdom.” This pronouncement has been the subject of heated debates throughout the centuries. Was Jesus being allegorical or literal?

Some aspects to the story of Lazarus make it unique in all the Gospels. First, Jesus weeps when He finds out He is too late to save His friend, as though He were expecting to arrive in time to save Lazarus’s life. Second, Lazarus appears to be just that, Jesus’s friend, and possibly even someone He knew prior to starting His ministry. Finally, this is the only instance we know of where Jesus did not physically touch the dead person to bring them back from the dead.

So, if Lazarus were not only restored to life, but given a form of immortality along with it, would that make the story more or less incredible? In Synesthesia, the premise of Lazarus being immortal or, at least, having a greatly extended life is used as one of the primary plot vehicles. The other is the unique ‘disability’ that comes with this new life and the abilities which seem to spring from it.

In Lazarus’ life he encounters and we discover explanations for many of the so-called myths and mysteries history has left us:

  • Why are dragons a recurring theme in so many cultures?
  • What caused the Mayan civilization to vanish almost overnight?
  • What is the truth behind the statues on Easter Island?
  • What do the various monoliths and stone circles around the world have in common?
  • What ever happened to the Ark of the Covenant?

Ultimately, this novel is tied into the series as Lazarus and others prepare to face the greatest threat to all life on our planet. It is a story of life, death, change and challenge.

About the author:

KM Aul is the Best-Selling author of the Senses Novels series of books.

KM Aul started writing fiction at the age of six and hasn’t put the pen down since. KM’s writing consists of short stories, novellas, and even a published game. His first full-length novel, AURA was put into written form in 1988 and has undergone multiple revisions until finally published in 2015.

KM Aul’s personal life consists of his much younger bride, youngest daughter, a three-legged dog and pursuing his relationship with God. When not writing, his passion is for feeding the hungry by donating to his local food pantry. Mr. Aul spent time in Europe, Mexico, Canada and Asia and through it all, discovered that there is no country on earth more beautiful than the United States of America. Having travelled across our fair country multiple times, and meeting people from every walk of life and every circumstance, KM has found that there are lessons to be learned everywhere. The most important of these are, no matter your race, religion or country of origin, every life matters and everything you do in life has meaning.

KM currently lives on a small private lake in the beautiful state of Georgia.

About the book:

The Best Selling Christian Fiction/Fantasy Series Continues!

Time has run out. The world as we know it is coming to an end and a handful of heroes are all that stand in the way of the final darkness.

Born in an age of brutality and miracles, Eli was raised from the dead to start a new life unlike any other. His touch can heal; his pain can destroy. He has not only seen the rise and fall of civilizations, his power has been the cause of them. Prepare yourself for an adventure through time, prepare to face the greatest challenge humankind has ever known.

Book Links:


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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through email at

Guest Post: Why I Wrote Deanna by Kate Trinity

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author Kate Trinity, author of It’s The Demon In Me.

Presenting Kate Trinity…

Why I wrote Deanna

It is the Demon in Me is the story of Deanna, a girl with supressed abilities that keeps her family on the run from the inevitable. And the inevitable is catching up. Deanna is about to learn the truth of who she really is, whether she likes it or not. She is going to come into her true power, to save her family, but the release of that power brings much bigger problems to their door and she isn’t sure she’s ready to be the one dealing with them.

I’ve always had a very active imagination. And I’ve always made stuff up and written it down. But very few of those imaginative stories every made it to completion. It is the Demon in Me is one of the first to do that – and it only took me three books to find out what happened to Deanna.

It is the Demon in Me is about power – who has it and who doesn’t. And where it can take you when you realise you have more than you thought. It’s about defending those who are weaker than you, standing behind your decisions, and facing your demons. In Deanna’s case this was literal.

And I guess I was battling some of my own at the time. Deanna helped me escape into another world, one that I could control. But she soon took over, the story coming from the decisions her character made as much as from my own ideas. Not every choice she made was the right one.

To begin with I was just writing for my own enjoyment, to see where the story went. It wasn’t until I was shown an article about an author self-publishing that I even knew that was possible. So, I figured I might as well give it a shot.

Whilst the story is technically set in the real world, it’s filled with Demons, Monsters, Angels, and the occasional God. As well as rather a lot of their offspring. And parts of the story take you to other realms and other worlds. My favourite place is the library in the underworld – every book ever written lining shelves in a circular room.

The doorway revealed a huge library with a marble floor and shelves that stood over two floors. She could see a partial gallery type walkway around the top part of the library, and a peppering of gilded ladders that ran on tracks around the large circular room. About every three bookshelves there was a gap with a large window and seat set into it.

There were various people around the room, up the ladders and reading in hidden away seating areas. When Deanna finally brought her attention back to the centre of the room she saw a huge ornate wooden and green leather desk. In the large, high backed green leather chair behind it, a man sat watching her intently.

It is the Demon in Me, Kate Trinity

That man would change everything for her. In ways she never imagined. And plenty ways she never wanted. Deanna must come to terms with who she is and how the people in her life impact her decisions. But all the answers she needs are available to her if she’s willing to ask.

Sometimes I wonder how Deanna is getting on in her world. And it’s tempting to go back and find out -what’s she doing now, did the war happen, who won- but I don’t think it’s a story that will ever be more than those three books. It is the Demon in Me, Sheriff of the Eternal Law, and Becoming the Demon.

But who knows, maybe one day I’ll set another trilogy in the same world but with different characters.

About the author:


11 countries, 2 degrees, a love of animals, and all things supernatural. When Kate isn’t writing she’s baking and loves to decorate cakes in unusual ways. Brought up around steam trains, her father was an engine driver and her mother a nurse in St. Luke’s. The eldest of five siblings and with 2 children of her own her family is a large one. After the break up of her marriage and becoming unwell Kate began to write, and never stopped. Her world is filled with gods and demons, monsters and fae.

About the book:

A wickedly good novel about magic, curses, witches, and demons.
Born a witch, Deanna knew she had powers but not the extent of them.
Her parents and their coven bound her to keep her safe from the demons that wanted to find her.
But as her powers grew, the bindings weakened and they were found.
She must be unbound quickly as only she has the power to fight off the demons.
But what she discovers changes everything.
Her place in this world is not as she thought.
The time has come to make a decision and the lives of her family and their coven rest on it.
‘It Is The Demon In Me’ is the first in a three part series about Deanna, her family, and their true bloodline.
When your whole world changes, do you use fight or flight?

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through e-mail at

Guest Post: Writing is a Lot like Making Music by Jon Budd

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author Jon Budd, author of The Legend Of The Washo Gold.

Presenting Jon Budd…

Writing is a Lot like Making Music

Writing is a lot like playing music. The goals of both are to create something that you can feel good about. The challenge is how to do it. One of the hardest parts is starting. When you begin something, whether it’s a piece of writing or learning how to play an instrument or a song, you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out. You’re not really sure if you can even create anything worthwhile. Sometimes it can be like stepping out of your front door to go on a long journey without knowing where you are going. Fear of the unknown can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. A good quantity of blind faith is required. Sometimes, the crucial first step of any endeavor is to say, “Damn the torpedoes” and just take that step and start!

Commitment is also an integral part in creating music and literature. This, especially in the face of long dry periods where despite your efforts, there are no, clear, positive results readily apparent. It can be so easy to just give up. But, this is where the rubber meets the road. One has to fight through these dark periods.

There is probably a hatful of tricks to help the artist work through these droughts. The one that I have found useful for both music and literature is to focus my goal not necessarily on the outcome, but on the process. Just how do you do that, you ask? Well, the answer is I reward myself every day that I write or practice music by keeping a very simple, handwritten, data sheet documenting my work. For example, for my music, I take a sheet of lined, notebook, paper. At the top of the page, I write, “Guitar Practice” and the year. Then, I number the lines below from one to twelve. These numbers are for each month. Then, for each day of the month that I practice for at least one hour a day, I list the calendar number for the day (i.e. 10: 1, 2, 3…). Then, I challenge myself to make and break records of consecutive days that I practiced. My current record is 141 consecutive days. Using this technique, you can actually see progress, if not immediately in your performance level, then in your commitment level. You are rewarded for increasing your commitment. When you increase your commitment, you work yourself closer to achieving your goal of actually improving your art and creating something worthwhile. I have these sheets going back years now and it has helped me achieve things musically that I thought I would never come close to. I even track my scales and songs that I work on in this manner.

Like music, an artist can also use this simple technique for creating literature. Instead of practicing guitar for an hour, write as hard as you can for one hour a day. Make your data sheet, shut out the world, and begin by focusing on one chapter per day. Below the list of months on your data sheet, when you begin, list the chapters one to ten. It’s alright, you will eventually end up with many more chapters, but ten is good number to start. Then, put a little hash mark next to each chapter as you work on them each day. For example, the first day, you work on Chapter One as hard as you can for just one hour. Start by just explaining to yourself what this chapter is about. Then, put a hash mark down for Chapter One. On the next day, do the same thing for your Chapter Two. Do this until you have worked through the entire ten chapters. You now at least have a beginning and an end to your novel, with maybe some good stuff in between. This is your first rough draft. You spend the rest of the time improving it.

If you are doing fiction, you can even list your characters and put hash marks by their names on your data sheet. Spend an hour a day, just writing about your characters. Who are they? What are they like? Who do they remind you of? This is one way you can develop deep, rich, fictional characters.

Hopefully, with this first step out of the door and the commitment you document on your data sheet, you will look up from your work somewhere down the road and see some real movement toward the goal of creating something worthwhile that you feel good about.

About the author:


Jon Budd is an author, musician, and an archeologist. He is also known by his formal name, Jonathan Budd. He grew up in Northern New Mexico playing music and studying ancient Indian ruins. Jon started playing professionally for school dances when he was fourteen years old. By the time he was sixteen, he was performing in nightclubs. When he came of age, he lived and performed in Albuquerque, Houston, and Denver. It was in Denver where he began his university training in archeology. He moved to Los Angeles and recorded his original music album entitled, “Musical Ontology”. This album consists of ten original songs that Jon composed as well as a drum solo he performs. Jon wrote and produced all of the music. He sang all of the songs, played drums, keyboards, most of the guitars, as well as some of the bass guitar. There are some really talented musicians who also recorded on Jon’s album including Andy West (bass), Cornelius Bumpus (saxophone), and Steve Richards and Mike Richards on Guitars. This album is available as a compact disc album as well as individual song downloads at Jon now performs in and around Austin, Texas – the Live Music Capitol of the World!

You can reach him at:


About the book:

To prevent a repeat of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Hank, a modern day Native American Indian, overcomes his doubts about his tribe’s ancient religion and leads a war party to recover a cursed Indian treasure.

Succumbing to the genocide brought down upon them during the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush, the Washo Indians were teetering on the brink of extinction. With the help of a mysterious stranger, they devised an ingenious plan to survive. Many years later, when the secret of their survival is threatened, the tribe appoints a modern day warrior to lead a war party to San Francisco to recover stolen Indian treasure and secure the secret of the Washo Gold.

This novel enables the reader to experience the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush from the perspective of a tribe of Native American Indians who lived through it.

Related Post: Author Interview: Jon Budd

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through e-mail at

Guest Post: Why I Write By Patrick A. Roland

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author Patrick A. Roland, author of Unpacked Sparkle.

Presenting Patrick A. Roland…

Why I Write

For 40 years of my life I was basically a victim. I was the type of person things – usually bad – happened to. I did absolutely nothing to change my fate. I was simply a bystander in life, moving from one abysmal low to the next.
You know how you see a car accident when you are driving on the road and no matter what you do, you can’t turn away from it? You see the mangled debris. The charred flesh. The danger. The destruction. People crying. Lives forever altered. That was me; I was the car accident. And for the longest time, I couldn’t get out of my own way. I just kept staring at the mangled mess that was my life. I was paralyzed with fear. I didn’t want to change. Well, maybe I did; but I was too afraid to change.
Then I started writing. Soon I realized my pain could become my power. I knew I was on to something as what became my book poured out of me in about 12 days when I had 100 days of sobriety. It was during this time that I wrote myself out of pain and morphed from victim to survivor. It was the first time in my life I stood in the truth of everything that had really transpired in the wake of my partner’s sudden death. Yes, it had all happened. Yes, it had all been painful. Yes, I had tried to end my life on more than one occasion. Yes, I had been saved repeatedly. And yes, I ultimately felt telling my story could benefit others. I knew I had been spared to give others hope that they could make it through whatever trial or tribulation you are going through. Because the truth is – you can and you will.
I’m not saying it’s easy. Committing to being happy is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. It takes work every day. Remember, I’m bi-polar. I have a symphony of loud voices in my head trying to cause my very undoing on a daily basis. But I have to keep fighting because I’m worth it. And guess what? So are you!
The truth of the matter is that in every situation that caused my downward spiral, the common denominator was me. I was there for all of it. I allowed it. I was party to it. But I’m not willing to allow it anymore. You could say that I’m woke. Im no longer afraid to use my voice. And I’m calling out all the bullies who made me so afraid And feel so worthless I tried to jump out of a 26-story window in Las Vegas, my final act of cowardice that gave birth to two years and counting of sobriety that now makes me fearless and strong.

To the boys in Kindergarten who used to throw rocks at me at the bus stop, making me scared to even go to school: I’m not afraid of you anymore.

To the boys in the third grade who mocked and ridiculed me the day I wore a black and red jacked like the one Michael Jackson wore in “Thriller”: You probably wouldn’t like my sparkly shoes. Too bad. I do.
To the boys in sixth grade who pretended to be my friend on the last day of school and tricked me into eating a Ding Dong laced with Ex Lax: I’m not falling for crap like that anymore.
To the boys in high school who were so mercilessly cruel they dubbed me “The Whipping Boy” when they weren’t drowning me in the pool or trying to push me off roofs: My friends call me “The Sparkle King” now and we will never see each other again.
To the guys my freshman year in college who attacked me in the hallway, forced me to the ground and beat me in the face with socks they stuffed to resemble large penises: I question why you were all hanging out making phalises out of socks in the first place, but whatever, I’m undaunted by your attempts to make me feel bad about being gay.
To the boyfriend who beat me, kicked me, chocked me, tried to kill me, spit on me and violently berated me with a daily mix of harmful names: you don’t ever get to hurt me again.
To the family of the man I loved, the one who made me a stranger in the home I built with your father, brother and uncle and forbade me from attending the services that would have allowed me to grieve the way I deserved to as his lover and best friend: he was right; you didn’t deserve to know me and you’ll never get to.
And to the drugs I did to the point of near death to get over all of the above: you have no power over me anymore; I choose sobriety because I deserve to live a life filled with joy and possibility.
That’s what Unpacked Sparkle is to me. It’s not just a book about things that happened to me; it’s a movement about me taking my pain and making it my power. It is my hope that in doing so, I will inspire others to take a look at their lives and find the strength to move through whatever they need to to survive and thrive. I didn’t want to go through this for the sake of going through it, I wanted to be an example – a cautionary tale even – of what happens when you become a bystander in your own life. Because the fact of the matter is, what you want in life is yours for the taking, but you have to want it and you have to fight for it. You have to believe in yourself and know your worth. I do; and I’m never backing down from myself again.
And that’s how I shifted from feeling worthless to knowing my worth. I now identify as a bi-polar, drug addict, alcoholic, widow who is sober, happy and healthy; and I do so because as long as I stand in my truth and own my stuff, nobody can hurt me anymore with their words or their actions.
I didn’t choose to be bi-polar. I didn’t choose to be an addict. I certainly didn’t choose to be a widow. But I do choose to sparkle. And you can too. It all starts with love.

About the author:

A new voice in self-help, author Patrick A. Roland, in partnership with Az Publishing Services, has released his new memoir about grief and recovery, Unpacked Sparkle, now available on Amazon.
Unpacked Sparkle chronicles Roland’s transformative journey upon finding his partner Pack dead in January 2014. It begins on the day of the funeral that he was uninvited to by Pack’s homophobic family and details the nearly two year journey back to a now thriving, joy-filled life he experienced after attempting to jump out of a twenty-six story Vegas casino after a weekend of intended Britney Spears and Mariah Carey concerts that he mostly missed in the throes of grief and addiction. He was instead hospitalized there after his mother miraculously found him. There, he began to take the vital steps necessary to take back control over his life.

About the book:

Over a year ago, I left a Mariah Carey concert in Las Vegas after six songs. I had gone on the trip as a present to myself for turning forty. But I couldn’t enjoy it. I was high on multiple drugs, but mostly crystal meth, and extremely drunk. I had been this way the majority of the year and a half since my partner Pack had suddenly passed away.
I found him dead on the bathroom floor one January morning while I was getting ready for work. The police told me I had no rights in my own home and asked me to leave. This was before gay marriage became legal. Life as I knew it changed instantly.
His family pretended I didn’t exist. They mauled our home the day he died, leaving it a ravaged mess. I was kicked out of that home. I was also disinvited to his funeral. In eight days I lost everything that mattered. Not even the law protected me from this.
So I got high in an effort to shoulder the pain. It didn’t work. I carried the heavy weight of unresolved complicated grief and addiction on my back. It was like an elephant. A large, unwieldy elephant that wanted me to die.
No longer able to participate in anything that mattered and unwilling to bear this burden anymore, I went back to my hotel room on the twenty-sixth floor of a casino and looked out on the sparkly lights below. I wanted to be in the light. So I opened the window and decided to jump.
But God intervened. My mother had somehow found me. Help came and I surrendered to the powerlessness of my situation. I asked God to help me. I stayed and I fought and I learned how to love myself. I put on a pair of sparkly shoes I had bought for that barely attended concert and I walked in to the rooms of Crystal Meth Anonymous. I had bought the sparkly shoes hoping Mariah would see me in the audience. Though she didn’t get the chance, you did. You all embraced me and my sparkly shoes. They have become my calling card of experience, strength, and hope.

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through e-mail at

Guest Post: Writing by Jen Benjamin

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author Jen Benjamin, author of Follow Me Home.

Presenting Jen Benjamin…


Some people knit. Some bake. Some build cars or race cars or collect cars, while others prefer to take a trip back in time and ride horses. There are those who like to jog and those who like to garden. There are movie buffs and frequent museum visitors and people who spend hours upon hours playing chess. Or Candy Crush.

This world is flooded with ways people can amuse themselves. I amuse myself by writing.

I’m definitely not special. There are plenty of people who write as a hobby. And, if I’m going to be honest (which I can easily do when I’m staring at a computer screen instead of a person), we writers may among the more narcissistic members of the human race. Not in the pathological, personality disorder kind of way. Writers can be very lovely people. But when I write it’s fun because it’s a little like being God.

Hold please while I wait for lightning bolts…

Okay. I’m clear. God knows what I meant. It’s all good.

When I write novels (which I do in more than one genre and more than one name), I get to create a world that fits onto pages and characters to fill it up. And, like real, live humans, they don’t always do what they’re supposed to. I can make a person look a certain way, have certain mannerisms, use certain slang and, somehow, they always end up surprising me. Sometimes they get themselves into big messes and I have to rescue them.

It’s intoxicating.

I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. I wish I could say that writing for so many years has made me into a master wordsmith, but that hasn’t happened yet. What has happened is the realization that I will never grow tired of making up stories.

My first romantic comedy is called Follow Me Home and my first romantic comedy heroine is a little like me. She’s a writer, she has bad hair and she’s a little socially awkward. But the similarities end there because, unlike me, she’s a bestselling author who has a book being adapted for film.

The idea for Follow Me Home came to fruition thanks to a bizarre, embarrassing dream I had one night. In the dream, I was engaged to a young celebrity (young as in I’m in my thirties and he was in his twenties). It was a bizarre dream where I took him to a high school reunion and told all my friends it was an arranged marriage. As though an arranged marriage in the 21st Century is less odd than some old cougar with a young, tall drink of water…

Not long after I had the dream, November came along. Many people know that November means National Novel Writing Month. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when over-caffeinated writers from all over gather together on the Internet as they each try to pound out a novel in thirty days for no reason other than to make themselves do it. It’s pure torture and so much fun. Some people run marathons. Other people write entire novels in a month. And if there are people who do both, they need to be captured with giant nets and studied because I’m sure they’re not human.

That particular November, I didn’t have any certain idea for a novel so I decided to write one based on one of my recent dreams. I tend to have vivid, peculiar dreams so I had a few to choose from. The one with the engagement to the young celebrity was the least bizarre and seemed like the best route for a story. That was the birth of my first Rom Com.

Follow Me Home is a lighthearted tale that I hope will make people smile, because I wasn’t setting out to write a literary masterpiece. I amuse myself by writing and my only hope is to amuse the reader who gives me a chance.


About the author:

Jen Benjamin is a newspaper writer who enjoys fiction when she gets time away from writing facts. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, daughter and various furry creatures. When she isn’t writing, Jen enjoys photography, reading, catching re-runs of Frasier and playing the violin. She used to play the violin for church and various other events, but now just plays for herself (and still has nightmares about her one gig as a strolling violinist!).

Contact Details:
Twitter: @jenbenjam.

About the book:

When writer Katie Kendall moves to LA to turn her best-selling novel into a film, she is pretty sure it should be the happiest time of her life. But with an unsupportive husband who suddenly files for divorce, the paparazzi assuming she’s having a fling with the leading actor, and her friends left miles away in her old hometown, she begins to think she’s made a big mistake.
Can her new crowd of friends help her through these times? And could those paparazzi snappers have a point about that leading actor…?
This witty romantic comedic debut novel by Jen Benjamin is a tour de force that will have you coming home to it again and again.

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through e-mail at

Guest Post: E-Book Revolution by Kenneth Eade


Presenting Kenneth Eade…


When I was going to college, I loved to go to the library to study, slink into a nice comfortable chair, and read until I drifted off to sleep. When Borders came out with their neighborhood blockbuster book stores, I did the same thing, and often left the store with a book I had the pleasure of sampling in the same comfortable way. Now, most people buy their books on the Internet, and read them on their Kindle.

A phenomena of the Internet has been the consolidation of retailers into new monopolies. Retailers such as Netflix replaced blockbuster stores such as Blockbuster Video, who found it impossible to sustain its brick and mortar retail stores against the power of the Internet and the popularity of download streaming. Newspapers have been outdated by means of publishing the written word more expeditiously, and, as a consequence, journalism has had to adapt to try to maintain some kind of quality.

The same has happened to the publishing industry, and the brick and mortar bookstores. Borders, one of the “Blockbusters” of books, was gobbled by Barnes and Noble, who now finds its biggest competitor to be Amazon. Amazon has developed a suite of tools that allow authors to enter the publishing industry, a place once reserved for the elite, and more closed than the world of Hollywood filmmaking.

A recent study found that nearly 70 percent of consumers say it is unlikely that they will give up on printed books by 2016 (per this story at, and the British marketing research agency Voxburner recently surveyed more than 1,400 people, ages 16 to 24, about their media-consumption habits; the survey found that 62% of the respondents said they prefer printed books to eBooks (per this story at

I was surprised by these findings because I was sure that ebook sales had been growing at an exponential rate. The annual BookStats Study reports that 457 million ebooks were sold last year; a 4456% increase since 2008, when 10 million were sold ( Although paper titles sales are higher, you cannot ignore the steady increase in the number of ebook sales, which I still think is the future of publishing. I think you have to account for the demographic, in that most older readers will naturally choose a print book, whereas younger readers, who tend to do their homework on their laptops, will opt for an ebook.

According to successful New York Times Best Selling Author Hugh Howey, who has turned his back on the publishing industry and now publishes his own books, he makes more money self-publishing and it frees his time that he would be using chasing agents and publishers to write more and better books.

Print books are still being purchased because the non-Generation Y readers are slow to convert to Kindle. They prefer having a printed book in their hands, so there will be a market for the printed book in the near future. However, ebook Sales are still up, and older readers are buying Kindles. Impulse buying is much stronger with eBooks, which are delivered instantaneously, and they are cheaper than print books. I think the reading public will still prefer print books, but, as time goes by, eBook sales will overcome them, merely due to the demographics.

My ebooks both have printed versions that sell on Amazon and are also offered at Barnes and Noble. Although they sell only online, online book sales account for more than 50% of all book sales, as recently reported in Digital Book World ( I think that the trend is toward online sales taking over traditional retail outlet sales. We have observed many book store closures and consolidations in the past few years and I think we can continue to see more. I myself will miss being able to go into a book store, pick up a book and relax in a soft chair while sampling its passages to see if I feel like buying it, but you cannot deny the trend. My ebook sales are still running about three times higher than my printed book sales, but the option is there to appeal to both markets, and that is what Amazon is doing with giving authors their “Create Space” platform.

I think publishers have to offer both ebook and print book formats to appeal to both sides of the market. In the end, it is the quality of the book and the promotions that are used to bring awareness to it rather than the medium that is going to control. Like any other product, you have to package and offer it to the consumer in a way that appeals to his or her buying habits.

However, as the reading public ages, new readers will be almost exclusively eBook oriented. I regret the demise of the printed book, but I don’t see that there will be anything that can be done about it, except to preserve them in libraries and museums. With the trend toward iPads and Kindles, and public schools even proposing issuing iPads to students, young people will eventually grow up not knowing what it is like to read a printed book. Technology will do the same thing to the book that it has done to the printed newspaper.

About the author:

Described by critics as “one of our strongest thriller writers on the scene,” author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, “An Involuntary Spy.” Eade, an award-winning, best-selling Top 100 thriller author, has been described by his peers as “one of the up-and-coming legal thriller writers of this generation.” He is the 2015 winner of Best Legal Thriller from Beverly Hills Book Awards and the 2016 winner of a bronze medal in the category of Fiction, Mystery and Murder from the Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards. His latest novel, “Paladine” is currently a quarter-finalist in Publisher’s Weekly’s BookLife Prize for Fiction. Eade has authored three fiction series: The “Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series”, the “Involuntary Spy Espionage Series” and the “Paladine Anti-Terrorism Series.” He has written sixteen novels which have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

About the book:

From the best-selling & award winning author critics hail as “one of the strongest thriller writers on our scene” comes the continuation of the unforgettable story of an unlikely “anti-hero,” Robert Garcia, a dangerous and unfeeling assassin of jihadist terrorists, exalted by social media as “Paladine”, a living paladin whose mission is to rid the earth of evil for the betterment of mankind, is an assassin working covert black ops for the CIA. In this installment of the series, Paladine seeks to retire from the assassination business and finds himself fighting a band of Syrian sex traffickers.

Please Note: This book is on sale till 13th March 2017 on US and UK Kindle for 99 cents and all royalties will be going to Prajwala ( to benefit victims of human trafficking.

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through e-mail at

Guest Post: Self Discovery: The Foundation to Finding Yourself by Jasmine Farrell       

Today, at TRB Lounge, we are hosting author Jasmine Farrell, author of Phoenixes Groomed As Genesis Doves.

Presenting Jasmine Farrell…

Self Discovery: The Foundation to Finding Yourself

My initial step on the path to self-discovery wasn’t an intentional one. I merely woke up one morning in December of 2014, remained in bed for a few minutes in silence and focused on my breathing. Prior to that moment, I was beginning to question my faith, what I had been taught, my level of self-love and whether I honestly viewed myself in a positive light (which wasn’t so affirmative, I should add). Hence the not-so random-subconscious decision to wake up one morning in silence. In the days after that morning in 2014, I began to meditate on the things and people I was grateful for. From there I would alternate between silence and gratitude. I eventually began to read some books about meditation, its benefits, the reason for its demonization and its correlation with self-discovery.

Self-discovery is not a beautiful journey that makes you smile and feel giddy all the time. It’s sometimes messy because when you self-reflect, you begin to hold yourself accountable for the decisions you make. You begin to discover parts of yourself that aren’t so nice and flaws that would make you cringe if you knew someone else who had those same flaws. Nonetheless, the journey is imperative—and priceless!

If you are not sure where to start, why don’t you try the challenges below:

Media Detox:

We are all media junkies. Let’s be real. Whether it’s social media, television, news articles that are doused in yellow journalism, gossip magazines, YouTube or everything all at once, we love to spend hours feeding ourselves whatever media is on offer. While social media has its benefits, as does as a moderate consumption of media too much of it can flood our minds, causing us to drown out what our gut is attempting to say—in addition to muting our own insight and yelling out what media has to say for us. We’ve drowned ourselves with such a copious amount of media that we sometimes look to media to think for us. Because God forbid we might have a mind of our own that isn’t in alignment with media.

Challenge: Do not grab your phone and check your social media accounts when you first wake up and just before you go to bed. Subtract two hours of your television viewing or your video streaming time. Substitute it with an activity that involves connecting with a loved one—in person OR on the phone (this does not include texting). If no one is available, how about making some arts and crafts or coloring? Yes, I said it: Color in a coloring book.

Side note: Some of you have jobs that require you to engage in media. If so, then hustle, Queen. Nevertheless, you can still cut it back during your personal media surfing time!

There Are Beautiful Moments Surrounding You:

Gazing outwardly and taking in life as it plays out around you is a lovely habit to adopt. While walking to work or venturing off to the store, look around you. Stop internalizing what you did wrong the other day. Roll your eyes and move forward from that person in front of you who randomly stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to check their phone. Breathe in slowly, exhale and really look around you. Did you catch the baby giggling at the sight of big bubbles being blown by the mother, or feel the light breeze on a hot-ass I’m-about-to-be-a-cooked-meal-for-a-cannibal day?

Being in the present moment aids you in discovering what you like and what you abhor. It allows you to open up and truly observe the things and people you may have been depreciating. Sometimes in the midst of being present in the moment, you may realize the main person you have been depreciating was yourself.

For me: Being in the moment also helps my common NYC anxieties and my intrusive thoughts. If I’m focused on what’s going on externally, I won’t be too harsh with what’s going on internally.

Challenge: Whenever you can, slow down. Walk a little slower, look at the trees, the homes and the colors that grace your eyeballs. Breathe. Slow down. Observe. Breathe and repeat!


Remember the hobbies or activities you used to engage in a few years back that made you smile like you were related to Mr. Kool-Aid? Reflect on that allotted hobby or activity and really consider if you lost interest or whether life happened and you became too busy.

Challenge: Find time for the activity/hobby you love. Make time for it! The time you surrendered from social media can be used for this challenge!

In a society that encourages us to love and be ourselves unapologetically, yet dehumanizes, exploits and subtly belittles us, it can be quite natural to second-guess our value. It is understandable that you may feel as though you are unworthy to wholeheartedly love yourself. Many of us were taught to put ourselves last, in order to obtain happiness or rewards in the long run (how is that working out for you?). A few of us were even discouraged from even showing an ounce of confidence lest we became “cocky”. Confidence is not cocky. Knowing you’re dope all by yourself just as much as the next person isn’t cocky. Devaluing another being while boosting up your own self-esteem—that is cocky.

Push through the cognitive dissonance with a new mentality that is receptive to this:

You ARE worthy to love, know and understand yourself.

How else will you shed your light brightly, love others and live life with purpose?

About the author:

jasmine_farrell_jpgJasmine Farrell is a freelance writer and blogger. From Brooklyn, NY, she has a Bachelor’s in Communications and she loves red velvet cake. Writing in her Grandmother’s memo pads is included into her repertoire of writings. Creative writing is her niche. She loves reading, randomly dancing and creating off-key ballads.

About the book:

phoenix_coverPhoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is a collection of poetry that draws the reader into the world of personal identity, inner growth and the complexity of human relationships. Ordinary and common images, especially ones found in nature, are used to craft poems that appeal to the uncommon, the suppressed and the others. Filled with incredible grace and accessible wisdom, the poems explore a wide range of complex emotional themes. With unexpected metaphors and sparkling similes, the pieces vary in rhythm and theme making each one like a foil-wrapped candy: something to savor, enjoying each new bright color on the tongue.

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’s guest post on TRB, then please get in touch through e-mail at