Maygest’s Tale

Author C.E. Cannery self-published a high fantasy novel in March 2020. Here’s a synopsis:

Maygest, an old thief, who has been conning people for the last decade, finds his way of life extinguished when the tyrannical Lords of Osskrip join forces and destroy all the fugitive enclaves, the only places people are allowed to be people. With no place to go and fearing that death may be near, Maygest sets off in search of a mythical harp that is said will bring peace to the land in a last-ditch effort to redeem himself before he dies. The problem is, the harp only seems to exist in his mind.

You can find out more about this epic fantasy novelist on her blog or at Goodreads Author C.E. Cannery.

C.E.’s Interview

Science has advanced, and we can now colonize other planets. Do you (1) sign up to be a colonist OR (2) remain on Earth?

I would like to be the person who answers (1), but I know I’m a (2). Earth, meaning not just the dirt below my feet, but also the sights and sounds and cultures, is just too ingrained into me. If I had to stay in a lifeless, air-conditioned box on another planet for the rest of my life, I would go insane.

Great reason to stay home!

You prefer (1) to eat a home-cooked meal with family and friends OR (2) to eat in a big-name restaurant?

I know my answer to this is rather bad, but definitely (2). No one in my family can cook. My mum grew up with TV diners. My dad makes bad stir-fry. (And don’t worry, they already know I think this!) My grandma grew up eating tumbleweeds (or that’s what I’ve been told) in the Great Depression, and she can’t cook either. My other grandma, I’ve been told, could cook Thai food, but I never met her before. So definitely, we’d all be much happier going to a fancy restaurant, together.

Nothing wrong with eating out!

What is your (1) most favorite thing to do OR (2) least favorite thing to do?

(Going with (1) on this question.) Definitely my favorite activity has to be hiking. When I am alone in the forest, breathing the fresh air, hearing the birds, feeling the green–that’s when I feel most alive. Hiking has always been almost a spiritual thing for me like descending back into the womb of our ancestors and hearing that eternal silence of being. (And yes, I know that sounds crazy, but, okay, I just really, really like hiking!)

Lovely description!

Your significant other or child asked you to do something you don’t like to do. Do you (1) grin and bear it OR (2) mumble to yourself while doing the task?

I am a grumbler (2). I moan and complain about everything. People who know me, know this, and don’t really take it too badly, since I just complain all the time for pretty much no reason. However, since I am such an introvert, people who don’t know me, think I am stoic, which is pretty much the opposite of what I am. As for why, I think I actually used to be stoic as a kid, but now I get angry pretty quickly, but also calm down just as quick, so it’s more a matter of me speaking my mind a little too often.

Very introspective!

What is your favorite (1) song OR (2) book?

Catch 22. I love this book. It’s so chaotic and topsy-turvy and mad that I can’t look away. It just feels important (and dire). But most importantly, it is the pentacle of sarcasm! I can’t say how much the sarcasm (and darkness) of this book has inspired me in my own writings. And also the combination of humor with darkness–I just love when a book can marry such disparate elements together in a way that doesn’t clash at all!

Interesting insight!

Thanks for being interviewed, C.E.!

Maygest's Tale book cover
Maygest’s Tale


Conversations with My Dogs

Photography author David Leswick said, “My book is a bit of a mix of genres. It is a mix of photographic coffee table book and series of short humorous stories phrased as conversations … It is a book for all ages.” Here’s a synopsis:

A photographic journey through having three fun and lovely dogs in our family. The journey starts with Eva the Brittany who is later joined by Bruno the Golden Retriever and Agnes the genetically diverse rescue dog. The photos and personalities of each dog are revealed via the imagined conversations (i.e. Dogversations) with or between the dogs. The conversations are lighthearted with clean humour and often filled with misunderstandings and puns and center on how the dogs understand and fit into life with their human family. The humor has been likened to the Smothers brothers and Bill Watterson (the creator and writer of Calvin and Hobbs).

David has created a website for his book at Dogversationsbook. You can send an Instagram message to @theDogWearsPantlers, ask him questions on Goodreads Author David Leswick, or read book reviews of his photographic novel.

David’s Interview

You see an amusing incident while grocery shopping. Do you (1) record what happens in some form OR (2) do nothing?

I will record it. I will use cell phone camera if it’s an oddity involving a sign or item that needs to be seen to be appreciated. But if it’s something that involves an interaction or person, I’ll just make a mental note of it instead of invading privacy by pulling out the camera. I will then tell the story to my wife or friends when appropriate. I don’t post about these things on social media as I try to be thoughtful about what I share online and always endeavor to respect the privacy of others.

Respecting another’s privacy is a wonderful trait!

Are you a person who (1) makes and follows New Year resolutions OR (2) never bothers with resolutions?

I often think about making New Year resolutions, but rarely make them formal. The reason that I don’t want to make them at New Years is because we should be able to make changes any time of the year, not just on January 1st. That being said the best resolution that I have made recently (I think it was a mid January one) was to not let data get stale. I’ve tried to apply this at work, at home, and with my photography. For my photography it includes timely sorting, editing, sharing and posting. I don’t always achieve this goal, but when I do it feels great.

Such an admirable goal!

Which is more important: (1) a reduction in global warming OR (2) reduction of communicable diseases?

This has nothing to do with my book and my response is neither clever nor witty, but I feel that I have to answer it as it is a very important and topical issue. I strongly believe that we need to reduce global warming. The science is overwhelming on the topic and our future will be bleak if we do not address it. There are also solutions out there that we must prioritize and adopt for the good of all creatures on earth.

Understandable reasoning!

You’re shopping for a present for a child. Do you buy a stuffed (1) purple elephant or (2) lime green with red spots dog?

The lime green with red spots dog. Elephants are great, but when it comes down to most decisions where a dog is an option – I always go with the dog. That might explain why we have three of them.

LOL of course the dog for you!

What is your (1) favorite book quote OR (2) favorite movie quote?

My favorite movie quote is from Thor in Avengers: Infinity War. When he declares that he needs to go to Nidavellir, Drax challenges him saying “That’s a made up word”. Thor’s response “All words are made up” is just perfect because these five words are at the same time unexpected, accurate, succinct, true and hilarious. Plus the title of my book is a made up word so I think of the quote often.

Interesting explanation of your favorite!

Thanks for being interviewed, David!

Dogversations book cover

April’s Heart

Author Shilah Ferr has published a coming-of-age romance novel. Here’s a synopsis:

Autumn 1977. Thirteen year old cheerleader April Schweiter falls hard for Mitch Hudgins, putting an end to childhood and changing her life forever. April embarks on a coming of age journey full of angst and unanswered questions. And her dysfunctional family is only one of the problems in her way.

Classmate and wrestler Mitch Hudgins can’t get enough of April either. She stirs in him surprising passion that is new, unfamiliar and needs to be explored.

But they say goodbye when they attend schools in different towns, far away from each other. Surely staying together wouldn’t have a chance of working out. But they were crazy for each other! Would breaking up have a chance of working out?

“You guys are the nicest friends anyone could have!” April choked down a sob. She was still emotional at the realization of the future of her romance with the guy who took her virginity, the guy who once told her he loved her, the guy she fought for, the guy with whom she was really very happy with. She was heartbroken but didn’t know it yet.

This romance novel is the story of young love, hot and heavy, with all the drama of high school in the eighties. The ebook contains almost 40 Spotify music links on all the songs in the story, taking you there.

“What are we going to do Mitch?” April whispered.

“I don’t know April, I just don’t see how…” This time it was April who kissed him. She didn’t want him to say what he was going to say. Mitch didn’t want to say it anyway. They wanted things to stay the way they were, but that was impossible.

Find out what happens to the star crossed lovers with the on again, off again romance riddled with breakups.

You can read reviews of her coming-of-age romance novel on her April’s Heart website. You can follow her on Facebook at AprillovesMitch or on her Shilah Ferr page, send her a Tweet, or ask her questions on Goodreads Author Shilah Ferr.

Shilah’s Interview

You prefer (1) to eat a home-cooked meal with family and friends OR (2) to eat in a big-name restaurant?

I completely prefer to have a home cooked meal with family and friends, in fact, cooked by me! I am an avid and fairly accomplished self-taught cook, and I’ve been cooking for years. I even made baby food for my children back in the day and did not buy baby food! I also have done some catering, just because it’s so much fun! We live in Virginia Beach, and when friends or family come to visit I love to entertain in our sunny backyard with a home cooked meal!

A self-made chef among many other accomplishments!

Your significant other or child asked you to do something you don’t like to do. Do you (1) grin and bear it OR (2) mumble to yourself while doing the task?

I am very accommodating. I feel compelled to help. Sometimes when asked, and sometimes without being asked. Everyone needs help attaining their goals, or achieving the greater good. I hold the line if asked to lie or cheat, that is a tough sell for me. There’s got to be a better way. When the going gets tough (I’ve got stories!) I feel protective of the feelings of those in need and prefer to not complain. My dad says I am good at being neutral, and not taking sides.

Neutrality it is!

Do you write (1) when the mood takes your OR (2) at a set time?

I write, and do most other tasks, when the mood or moment strikes me. April’s Heart flowed out of me once all the pieces of the basic plot came together. I wrote every moment I could, feeling so inspired, and enjoyed every minute of it. I was “living” in my little 80’s world there for a while, I was engrossed. When I do not feel like doing something, (like cleaning the house) I try not to fret about it because I have learned time and time again that eventually the mood will hit me and the task will get done!

Definitely working to Glen Miller’s song!

You prefer to watch (1) a sunrise OR (2) a sunset?

As I’ve stated, I live in a beach community. Although I’ve witnessed WAY more sunsets than sunrises, sunrises are truly special. Maybe part of the reason is that you’ve got to be awfully lucky to catch one! Once when temporarily living a block from the beach for a few months, my husband made a point of waking us up a couple times to get our butts up to the sand to watch that first sliver of sun show itself at the horizon. In April’s Heart, April and Mitch spend one special night on the beach and revel not only in the sunrise, but the “Golden Hour”, as it’s called, that occurs once the sun is up. Also something to behold!

Beautiful description!

What is your favorite (1) song OR (2) book?

Some of your readers may know that April’s Heart has almost 40 (37 to be exact) 30 second Spotify music links embedded on all the songs in the ebook edition. Those songs have become (if they weren’t already) very important to me. I think I’d have to say “Strange Magic” by ELO has to take the top prize. So haunting, so angsty, it embodies the raw emotion I love, and tried to emulate for April and Mitch in the story.

Interesting explanation!

What provides more inspiration to you: (1) art OR (2) nature?

I am more inspired by nature than anything. I rely on it. I notice lines and colors, and trust they will work when compiling my own designs. For example, when renovating our home after the washing machine (located upstairs) malfunctioned and flooded the whole house, one simple sea shell became the color pallet. White, beige, and shades of blue have helped us create a beautiful living space! My husband still has the shell somewhere.

Wow! Sounds lovely.

Thanks for being interviewed, Shilah!

April's Heart book cover
April’s Heart

Overnight Delivery

A Hank Anderson Thriller

Raymond Parish, author of four nonfiction books, self-published his debut thriller novel in November. Here’s a synopsis:

Small of stature but big of heart, psychotherapist Hank Anderson has a gift for helping clients face serious issues and heal life-altering traumas. But this talent intersects with darker truths, an insatiable curiosity and a life-long penchant for personal risk that will soon threaten to violently shatter every aspect of Hank’s life.

Kenny Jensen is just the kind of client that piques Hank’s appetite for intrigue. Referred by Hank’s imposing friend Detective Phil Evans, Kenny is a delivery man and a thief. He readily admits to the crime that led to his recent arrest, and his rambling origin story of family addiction resonates with Anderson’s own history. But at the end of his first session Kenny hints at a more terrifying reality, one that becomes a threat to Hank’s precious daughter, the ex-wife he still pines for, his aging father, and his beloved and beleaguered colleagues. Kenny is the catalyst for Hank’s descent into a world of drugs and death that hides just beneath the surface of his town’s Midwestern calm and conservatism. His compulsion to help Kenny pull himself from the chaos runs Hank full speed into desperate people willing to remove any obstacle – or person – that stands in their path.

Hank is compelled to uncover the truth and guide Kenny to safety, but at what cost to himself and those he loves?

You can tweet this suspense & thriller author at @ParishAuthor or ask him questions on Goodreads Author Raymond Parish.

Raymond’s Interview

Do you consider yourself (1) an introvert OR (2) an extrovert?

I present a workshop to counseling professionals, Introversion in an Extroverted World, so this is a topic of great interest to me. I am an introvert. I love being with people, especially individuals and in small groups. I love to interact with audiences, yet don’t enjoy the free style social events after a meeting or conference. Large gatherings, even those I chose freely and fully engage in, deplete my energy and I replenish in more solitary activities: writing, bicycling, playing guitar, and mowing my lawn with headphones tuned to anything from Motown to progressive rock.

It’s essential to my life that I have close relationships with introverts and extroverts. My introverted companions can quietly join me for a concert, and listen to all of the music. We can hike or bike in silence. My extroverted friends and family keep me from spending too much time inside of myself. They are catalysts for the noisier, fun-loving, adventuresome parts of who I am.

Introspective insight!

You prefer (1) to eat a home-cooked meal with family and friends OR (2) to eat in a big-name restaurant?

Most definitely a home-cooked meal with family and friends. Some of my most memorable times with loved ones are the meals when time was suspended; we had no where else to be and just the right people had come together. In particular, helping to prepare and then serving a meal to people I care about and enjoy is an immense pleasure. My adolescence and young adulthood included years in the restaurant business, and I still get a kick out of providing simple, tasty food.

The intimacy, laughter, candid discussions, and occasional conflicts that are attached to meals with family and friends makes the food the supporting cast, with the stories and connections being the main event.

In these times of caution, I have found outdoor meals with folks a powerful, and necessary, way to stay close to the people I don’t live with. A great cup of coffee and just one more lemon poppy seed muffin are wonderful finishing touches to the blend of a meal, quietly staring at the trees, and great conversation.

Awesome and inspirational too!

Your significant other or child asked you to do something you don’t like to do. Do you (1) grin and bear it OR (2) mumble to yourself while doing the task?

I’ve done both. Plenty of times. And I’ve learned.

I’ve learned that because I am a father and husband, I will gladly, or reluctantly, participate in activities that I would not have experienced unless I loved my children and wife. I would not have cared much about shoes, if not for having multiple fashion conscious females in our home. Now, I possess quite a collection of cool suede shoes. I would not have come to embrace the arduous journey of buying just the right gifts if I did not have the good fortune of finding my life partner, who doesn’t just give gifts, she sends love. I would not have drifted beyond mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, and books directly related to my life’s work, if not for a son who introduced me to the fantasy fiction of Robert Jordan.

It is also true that one way I know that others care about me is that I still get invited to participate in their lives as I mumble and complain. Fun loving curmudgeon is not necessarily an oxymoron. In my life, that is.

No oxymoron for you!

Do you prefer to read (1) an e-book OR (2) a paperback?

Without a doubt, paperback. I value the ways in which e-books have made it easier to reach more readers at a very reasonable cost to authors and readers. I appreciate the portability of e-books. And still, I’m old school. I love the feel of a book in my hands. Much like I still read the liner notes on my vinyl records, I enjoy the book’s cover art, the cover blurb, the author bio, the acknowledgements, all printed on paper. The book becomes solid, tangible, real.

I have had the opportunity to have two non-fiction books published, and self-published two additional self help books, all in paperback, before releasing Overnight Delivery. I can still close my eyes and remember the moment the delivery person (not featured in my novel) arrived at my office with a large envelope…my first publication. After opening the envelope, I stared at it, cradling the book as if it was a very special creation. The sensation of holding that proof copy of Overnight Delivery, years later, was much the same.

For me, another perk of paperbacks is the trip to a bookstore or library. I have spent hour after hour perusing the paperback sections of my favorite independent bookstores and local libraries. As a youth, my family moved around a fair bit and one of my first actions as a new kid in town was to locate the town library and acquire that new library card. My current library card is more worn down than any other card I hold in my wallet.

Paperbacks for you!

What is your favorite (1) song OR (2) book?

This is such a tough question, which is no doubt what makes it so popular.

I’ll go with an answer to both. Song: What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye.

Why? Genius. He captured the times in his lyrics, and they have also become timeless. If you haven’t heard it recently, give it another close listen.

The layers of vocals and instruments were far past the cliche of, ‘ahead of it’s time.’ The complexity, the spacing, the ethereal quality of his voice.. Unique in all the universe.

The book. There are so many, but the first that rose up in my thoughts when I read the question was Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.

Why? To the best of my knowledge I have no Irish DNA. Yet, when I read this book it seemed as if I could hear Irish folks speaking in my head. The use of language and McCourt’s writing style are beyond vivid. This is a memoir that read like a page turning novel. The pain, the humor, the people, the grace. There is also a graciousness in what is often a tragic story about family, country, and culture. I cannot think of another book that has combined truth, education, dramatic tension, and hope any better than Angela’s Ashes.

Interesting explanation of your favorites!

Thanks for being interviewed, Raymond!

Overnight Delivery book cover
Overnight Delivery

Through Hell & Highwater

Author Victoria Liiv self-published a young adult fantasy novel in November. Here’s a synopsis:

In university Volo Noscere, located in Rome, where new academic year brings forth alot of new challenges and questions. When the world becomes increasingly unpredictable, are the humans reason for it all, or is there more to it?

Evyline and Lisanna believe there must be magic behind the changes. Tylon doesn’t care about what doesn’t affect him and RocTar just wants to make it through the year without failing class.

Like it or not, they get pulled into discovering what the world has in store for them.

You can find out more about this young adult fantasy author on Facebook or at Goodreads Author Victoria Liiv.

Victoria’s Interview

Science has advanced and we can now colonize other planets. Do you (1) sign up to be a colonist OR (2) remain on Earth?

I would love to travel to another planet and see places nobody else has laid their eyes on. I find it exciting to experience something as significant as colonizing another planet, but the only way I would truly leave the Earth would be if my partner comes together with me. No adventure would be worth being separated from him.

With partner, will travel!

Do you find it (1) easy to give a witty retort OR (2) think of what you should have said after the conversation is over?

I’ve always had trouble coming up with great responses in conversations and I am the person going pondering about seven hundred different ways how the conversation could have turned out, had I responded differently. I could blame my sister on my bad conversation skills, as she always took point in most of the conversations when we were young and didn’t really let me chip in, but she is the more talkative of us to begin with. I’ve always felt more comfortable writing than talking. The act of simply writing down things gives me more time to think over my ‘retorts’ and perfect them.

Interesting insight!

Are you (1) a morning person OR (2) a night owl?

I absolutely need my sleep. I get grumpy without a good night’s sleep; the headache that mostly follows could have something to do with it. Therefore, I am certainly not a night owl. I go to bed quite early on some people’s standard. I do wake up with a renewed will to complete chores, go for a run or do anything productive, really. That feeling slowly dissipates as the day goes by. I am definitely most productive in the morning.

Mornings for you!

Do you write (1) when the mood takes you OR (2) at a set time?

I tend to write when the inspiration hits me, although I did set up a schedule to finish Through Hell & Highwater and participated in NaNoWriMo to complete the word count. Having a set schedule does help you reach your goal a lot faster, but a lot of the time I might simply be sitting behind the screen, scrolling through Tumblr or Facebook feeds, while I should be writing. Having the mood to write is incredibly important to me, as I believe you can not force greatness into existence, it comes when it wants to.

Out with a schedule and in the mood!

Do you (1) love shopping OR (2) hate shopping?

Now, at the time of online shopping, I could scroll through endless pages of good’s-to-buy for hours, mostly clothes and books. I can always find more things that I can afford, which can be incredibly frustrating, but doesn’t stop me one bit. I do not enjoy waltzing through the stores, tough, unless they are furniture stores or interior design stores. I absolutely love walking into one of those.

Online shopping for you!

Thanks for being interviewed, Victoria!

book cover
Through Hell & Highwater