Book Squirrel Review: The Quantum Soul Anthology

Anthology The Quantum SoulThere are some fantastic authors included in this collection. Lyra Shanti, Claire Buss, E.M. Swift-Hook and Alan Van Meter are authors whose work I’ve read and enjoyed before, but I’ve also appreciated the opportunity to read work from authors that are new to me.

Obviously in an anthology, some will be more to one’s taste than others, but even those that I haven’t really gotten into have been really well written, very interesting and engaging stories. There are some really intriguing variations and blends into the realms of fantasy, magical realism and dystopian stories, as well as more classic scifi stories in this collection.

If I had to pick two favourites – which is quite a challenge – they would be the contributions by Jeanette O’Hagan and Lyra Shanti.

Project Chameleon, Jeanette O’Hagan’s account of Jerren’s experiences of being transformed into a cyborg, is both confronting and thought-provoking. The imagery is sharp and powerful. Writing from a perspective within Jerren’s mind is highly effective in positioning the reader to feel empathy and feel complicit in his thoughts and responses.

The Endymion Device by Lyra Shanti is a Sci-fi detective story with a distinct noir feel to it. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Shanti’s Shiva XIV series, and I love the way she writes. This compelling story is completely unrelated to that series and has a very different premise and setting, but is just as rich in imaginative detail.

This book is jam-packed with great value for the price.
Silver Acorns

It’s a Silver Acorn award for an excellent collection of great stories.

Get your copy today at Amazon.

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Author Interview: James B Peartree

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Welcome back to the Book Squirrel’s “Nuts About Writers” series of author interviews.  

The Book Squirrel sat down recently to interview James B. Peartree, author of Pack: The Three Moons and its soon-to-arrive sequel. 

James Peartree Pack Cover
Thanks for joining us today, James. Why don’t you start by telling us what inspired you to write?

What inspired me to write most of all, was my desire to redefine the werewolf mythos sensitively, without dragging it kicking and howling into the 21st century. Although if I’m being totally honest, I’ve loved writing from an early age and was looking for a suitable excuse to do so.

What’s your favourite book by written by someone else? 
My favorite thing that someone else has written has to be Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf. It’s a book you actually devour and once finished, you want to go back to the beginning and read it all over again.

What are you working on writing now?
I am currently working on the third book in the ‘Pack’ trilogy and another paranormal novel. I think it’s important to keep another project running at the same time as your primary one. It seems to work for me at least.

That sounds like it keeps you busy! What’s the best vacation you’ve had? 
The best vacation/holiday I’ve ever had was travelling to Sri Lanka with my family when I was 10. I’d never been abroad up until then and it really opened my eyes to the world beyond East London and Essex.

What movie can you watch over and over again? 
The movie I could watch over and over again would be An American Werewolf in London. I still love it to this day and strongly believe that it doesn’t need to be remade with modern CGI methods. If they could do a director’s cut of the original where they added back in some of the deleted scenes, this would be good enough for me and most other die hard AAWIL fans.

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing? 
My pet hate is people who are pig-ignorant, bigoted or even worse, both. I wouldn’t say that I’ve made a conscious effort to add these traits to any of the characters in anything I’ve written. Although they are traits that are commonly found amongst evildoers I suppose.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written? 
The one thing I like the most which I have written would be a short story titled Maurice. It would fall into the ‘psychological paranormal’ subgenre if that subgenre even exists. There I go again, creating my own subgenres. It should be published at some point in the near future, probably in a charitable publication.

There’s nothing wrong with creating your own subgenres. That might be an effective way to create a niche market. 
Good point!

Thanks!  What’s the best book you’ve read this year? 
The book I’ve enjoyed reading the most this year was Lies by T M Logan. It had me gripped from the very start and I struggled to put it down; reading until the summer sunrise was repeated until I’d finished it.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?
What aspiring writers should know about being an indie author, is that it’s an arduous process from opening chapter to release date. After which you have to get your next book written and out there whilst promoting the first as well. In short, don’t expect to write ‘The End’ then sit back and watch the royalties roll in. This only ever happens for world best-selling authors I do believe.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier. 
The two things in the world that I wish were easier are:
 a)  Getting aid to areas of the world where it’s desperately needed.
 b)  Bringing those who persecute the weak or defenceless to justice.

I so agree! It’s hard for us little guys to know how to help make that happen, though! 
It sure is, Squirrel.

So, James, where can we find your books?
You can find my books on Amazon.

And finally, can we follow you on social media? 
Sure! I’m on Facebook.

Thanks for being here today, James! It’s been great chatting with you.
Thanks, Book Squirrel!

New Release: The Passing Of The Night by Joanne Van Leerdam

People experience all kinds of night: loneliness, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, pain, and countless other darknesses. 

This newly released collection of profound lyrical poems explores the poet’s own experiences and observations of both dark and light, revealing her determination to not only survive, but to conquer whatever tries to overcome her. 

At the end of it all, the poet demonstrates that the smallest sign of light is enough to help a wandering soul find hope in the passing of the night. 

The Passing Of The Night is available on Amazon and all other major digital stores.

Book Review: Four American Tales by Jack Messenger

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On starting this collection with the first story, Wichega, I was immediately drawn in by the wistful, melancholic voice of Sweet Pea, telling her story so powerfully. This story is so evocative of memories, of sights and smells and sensations, that I almost felt that I was right there in the scene. This story is such an engaging way to open the quartet of stories.

Messenger’s writing is equally powerful and emotive in the other stories. The characters are developed richly, each having their own distinct voice and mannerisms that portray far more than what is told of them in the stories themselves.

These stories, and the characters in them, are varied enough to keep the reader engaged and curious throughout the book. There is neither cliche nor repetition in the plots, characters and imagery delivered by Messenger.

These stories are, without doubt, American in both style and setting, at different times reminding me of the imagery and eloquence of John Steinbeck.

This is the first of his books that I have read, but I definitely hope to read more of his writing. I enjoyed Four American Tales very much.

Four American Tales is available on Amazon.

Author Interview: Betty Mermelstein

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Hi folks! I’m back again with another fantastic Indie author interview. Today, I’m chatting with multi-genre author, Betty Mermelstein. Welcome, Betty!

Thanks, Squirrel!

Tell me, Betty, what inspired you to write?

I have always loved to read and was interested in learning vocabulary and grammar even in elementary school, so I decided I wanted to tell my own stories with the written word.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Gone With the Wind: oh, the drama!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Since I was nine, I wanted to be a teacher because of my love of learning. I kept that desire and got my college degree in teaching. I retired after having taught preschool, elementary, and junior high.

Wow! Kids of all sizes!

That’s right!

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

You have to be willing to find the support as you struggle to format your books to get them self-published (especially as an ebook), find a means to advertise your books, and work your way through technology as you set up and maintain a website/blog. However, you don’t give up!

That’s right! Don’t give up!

*Betty and Squirrel give each other high fives*

What’s your favorite season?

It’s a toss up between Fall and Spring. I was born in the Fall, and it feels comfortable to me: the smell of leaves on the ground, the brightness of the foliage, the crispness in the air (of course, I haven’t lived in a climate that supports that for many years, but the memories make it palpable!). Spring makes me shiver inside with anticipation of newness and opportunities. It shows its beauty in its blooms and rejuvenates my soul with its breezes.

Oh! I love fresh blooms! It’s like… every bush is a salad!

Right…

Yeah. Back to the interview…
What the best book you’ve read this year?

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. I love historical fiction, and this one is set in WWII in France and New York, following characters who are part of the Ravensbruck concentration camp.

What’s your favorite thing you have written?

That’s a hard one. I also write poetry and short humorous essays, some of which have been published. I guess I feel most accomplished in putting together my collection of short stories that deal with relationships, entitled Seven for Reflection.

What are you working on now?

I mostly continue with my short humorous essays for my blog on Tumblr. There’s always something I experience in my life that I can poke fun at.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled in Canada, Europe, and around the U.S. One of the best trips was last year when I returned to our family’s summer cottage on a lake in Michigan with my husband and sisters. We connected with extended family and proved that you can go back!

What are two things in life that you wish were easier?

I wish my expectations (which covers a wide range of situations) could be met more than they are. I always tell myself my expectations make me delusional! I also wish I could learn things more quickly, especially in technology. In my twenties, I thought I could learn anything: again, delusional!

Thanks for joining me today, Betty! 

Thanks for having me, Squirrel!

Betty Mermelstein’s books can all be found at Amazon, and you can follow her blog on Tumblr

‘The Truths We Tell’ by Sarah Northwood

Sarah Northwood gives voice to thoughts and feelings commonly experienced, but often not so thoughtfully expressed, by people in all walks of life.

Divided into three sections – fear, contemplation and love, The Truths We Tell explores the ways in which we respond to the situations and feelings that challenge us and those things that fill and complete us. The reality of being haunted by regret and the “what ifs” of life is contrasted with the whimsy of fleeting happiness and the irresistible, transforming power of love.

Through all of this is the reminder that life is what it is: “Feeling the breeze on her cheek she knew, the wind can never be the sun.” (Unique)

Without the fear, we cannot fully feel bravery or confidence. Without grief, we can fully experience neither love nor joy. Life is the sum of all its parts.

That is the truth that these poems tell. 

Author Interview: Lissa Dobbs

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The Book Squirrel sat down recently to talk with Lissa Dobbs, fantasy author extraordinaire.

Lissa, it’s great to have you here today. 

Thank you! It’s great to be here.

What inspired you to write?

We did a project in the fourth grade that required us to write, illustrate, and put together a book. I was hooked from that moment on.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

I’m not sure. I think my characters are more realistic in my YA work in progress, but there’s something about the Ethan Grimley series that I love.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

Raymond E. Feist’s Midkemia books will always be my most favorite.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Coraline.

Oh cool! I love Neil Gaiman!
What are you working on writing now?

I have several projects going, probably too many. I’m working on a YA novel, several short stories, and the ‘story that never ends’, which is a trilogy I’ve been working on for almost three years that just doesn’t want to cooperate.

What is your pet hate?

Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing? I’m not a fan of lying and cheating, and, yes, it does sometimes show up.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

The Hobbit trilogy and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Dr. Strange. The Harry Potter movies. The Smurfs (the real ones).

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An author. Ever since the fourth grade. There were times that other things got in the way, and they still do, but that’s the number one dream. I’m just glad I can take some time to work on it now and again.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I love winter most of all, when we get one. I prefer the cold because it’s easier to adjust your own temperature. Once you get to skin, it’s over, so I’m not a fan of hot weather (says the person born and raised in the US Deep South). There’s also a peace about the winter months, a feeling of rest, that doesn’t exist in the other months.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Raymond E. Feist, H.P.Lovecraft, and Nathaniel Hawthorne

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

Being an Indie author is actually pretty cool, though there are parts of it that are extremely difficult and time consuming. It’s nice to have complete control over my creation, even when what I create isn’t perfect.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

I wish it was a little easier to learn graphic design so I could make the covers I really wanted, and I wish it was a bit easier for me to have to confidence to really promote my books.

Where can we follow you on Social Media?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shadowwalkersofgrevared

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LissaDobbs

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lissadobbs/

Author Central: http://amazon.com/author/lissadobbs

Where can we find your books?

All my books are available on Amazon, though the short stories are not appropriate for children.

Rise of the Mad Gods: The Slave’s Caress: https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Mad-Gods-Slaves-Caress-ebook/dp/B06XCT53HB/

Rise of the Mad Gods: Broken Treasure/For Love of Her: https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Mad-Gods-Broken-Treasure-ebook/dp/B06W59CBNZ/

Aradia’s Secret: https://www.amazon.com/Aradias-Secret-Lissa-Dobbs-ebook/dp/B06XSRKCXV/

Wolf in the Shadow: https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Shadow-Annals-Walkers-ebook/dp/B01HNNEHQE/

Yuletide Sparkle: https://www.amazon.com/Yuletide-Sparkle-Short-Story-Grevared-ebook/dp/B01DIR26RG/

The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: https://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Ethan-Grimley-III-Book/dp/B06XCV2S6L/

A Walker is Born: https://www.amazon.com/Walker-Born-Chronicles-Ethan-Grimley-ebook/dp/B01E9A4LVK/

Cronus Attacks: https://www.amazon.com/Cronus-Attacks-Chronicles-Ethan-Grimley-ebook/dp/B01ENYSHOE/

Revenge of Cronus: https://www.amazon.com/Revenge-Cronus-Chronicles-Ethan-Grimley-ebook/dp/B01MFD4CF5/

Toasty Hands: https://www.amazon.com/Toasty-Hands-Fingerless-Gloves-Crochet-ebook/dp/B00U7L39YQ/

Soft and Fluffy: https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Fluffy-Simple-Crochet-Washcloths-ebook/dp/B015CWA0V4/

A Friend for Me: https://www.amazon.com/Friend-Me-Cuddly-Crochet-Heart-ebook/dp/B00U77G0SW/

Daddy’s Little Man: https://www.amazon.com/Daddys-Little-Man-Crochet-Heart-ebook/dp/B00VKPIBMI/

My Cross to Bear: https://www.amazon.com/My-Cross-Bear-Crochet-Centerpiece-ebook/dp/B015ANTRNW/

Great! It’s Pumpkin Time!: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Its-Pumpkin-Time-Decoration-ebook/dp/B016N8JUP8/

Simple Charm: https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Charm-Crochet-Pendant-Necklace-ebook/dp/B00UF0NUN4/

Bootie Slippers for All Ages: https://www.amazon.com/Bootie-Slippers-All-Ages-Crochet-ebook/dp/B00UG33RXS/

Little Purses for Little Things: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Purses-Things-Crochet-Heart-ebook/dp/B00UFXC28A/

Whoa! You’re prolific! And terrific! And… and…

Aww thanks, Book Squirrel.

You’re welcome, Lissa. Thanks for chatting with me today. 

Thanks for having me!