The Christmas Parade Miracle

Can a self-destructive addict right the wrongs of his life?

Don’s addictive and self-destructive lifestyle has left a long list of hurt and angry people, but he’s ready to turn a new leaf.

Four of the people he’s used and pushed aside—an alcoholic, a priest, a battered wife, and a jealous husband—are about to experience a few surprises during the annual Christmas parade.

Will Don manage to initiate a miracle that will not only change their lives but their eternities?


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Author Interview: Michael Young


Michael is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Western Governors University with degrees in German Teaching, Music, Educational Leadership and Instructional Design. Though he grew up traveling the world with his military father, he now lives in Utah with his wife, Jen, and their three children, where he creates online curriculum for BYU. He enjoys acting in community theater, playing and writing music and spending time with his family. He played for several years with the handbell choir Bells on Temple Square and is now a member of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

He is the author of the novels in The Canticle Kingdom Series, The Last Archangel Series, the Chess Quest Series and the Penultimate Dawn Cycle (The Hunger), as well as several non-fiction works, including An Advent Carols Countdown, The Song of the Righteous, As Saints We Sing, and The Song of the Saints. He has also had work featured in various online and print magazines such as Bards and Sages Quarterly, Mindflights, Meridian, Nugent Magazine, The New Era, Keeping Tab, Allegory, Liahona, and Ensign. He has also won honorable mention three times in the Writers of the Future contest.

Amazon says you have 32 titles currently listed including both fiction and nonfiction. Are you currently promoting a specific book/series or your writings in general?

One thing I’m focusing on right now are the new audiobook versions of my books that are coming out. The first four are already out with most of the other ones on the way sometime this year. I’m especially excited about the audiobook version of “A Wonderful Day for a Quest”, which is a novelization of a musical I’m writing. The narrator does an incredible job with all the quirky characters, and it’s just a delight to listen to.

Is there a certain theme, themes, or idea that connects your work? Do you have favorite topic to write about?

I’ve always liked redemption stories and those based on unlikely friends who come together to overcome something together. I also enjoy adding historical elements to my books. I did this a lot with my Canticle Kingdom series, which is set during World War II.

Your bio states that you have degrees in German Teaching, Music, Educational Leadership, and Instructional Design. When and why did you start writing? And how did you find time to write?

I started writing seriously when I was in high school, and though I’m very busy, I make time to write a little each day as a way to relieve stress. I use my time on the weekends to do a little more, and I find that it is the small, consistent efforts that add up to finished projects over time. I have worked as a teacher, but now I’m doing instructional design, which uses a lot of my writing and teaching skills together, and so I find it fulfilling.

Do you prefer to write fiction or nonfiction? Why?

They both feel different, but I like writing them both. I think at my core, my first love is fiction because it allows me the most room to be creative. But I also enjoy the things that I learn when researching non-fiction. I get to find out things I would never has stumbled across otherwise.

Do you have a favorite book or series that you’ve written?

I’m especially happy with the Penultimate Dawn series that starts with “The Hunger” and goes on with “The Thirst” and “The Longing.” The main character was a ton of fun to write and poured a lot of myself into him. I really like how the world turned out, and I had a lot of fun writing the magic system. I hope more people will check it out!

What is the best advice you ever received as a writer?

Don’t just wait around once you’ve submitted something. Send something off and then get started right away on something else. Always be working on something, because nothing in publishing goes quickly.


Book Locations: All the purchase links are on www.authormichaelyoung/purchase. (Available on and some of them on

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Author Interview: Tiffany Nicole Terry


TNT is a corporate communications manager by day, an indie novelist by night, and a mother every moment in between. A bit of a bohemian nomad, she has lived in every time zone in the continental United States but prefers to live where she can see mountains on the horizon.

She is passionate about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and believes that the world can be a kinder and more sustainable place. Her books are full of positive empowerment messaging for girls, especially those raised through trauma, neglect, and abuse.

Tell us about your young adult fantasy trilogy, Sister Worlds.

Three girls who have experienced different forms of childhood trauma, come together and form a friendship, a sisterhood, as they protect their worlds from the men, machines, and monsters determined to destroy everything in the name of power.

You also have three children’s books. Tell us about those.

Also available on Amazon, I came up with these stories while I was going through a painful divorce, and my kids and I were in a new home, a new state, with lots of changes.

The Princess King was to fight against the stereotype that you need to be married (as a woman) in order to take care of your kingdom and people. I became a single mom, and it was a story to help my kids know that I can do this without a husband.

Freya, the Lonely Dragon, is about being different and trying to fit in through being kind to others. Since my kids were in a new place, new school, it was important for them to have a story about how to make friends by having a good heart.

The Persistent Tree is about a tree growing up in a barren land. The tree is strong and brave, even though she fights alone through harsh weather. One day, she finally has a small grove of trees around her. This book symbolized that no matter where we go, we can persevere and grow up a family around us.

When and why did you start writing?

I probably started noticing an affinity and love for it back in elementary school. I had a wild, vivid, imagination and was always making up stories, a.k.a. lies. I was told the story of the boy who cried wolf many, many times. But I couldn’t help getting lost in daydreams. Then I just started trying to write them all down.

Your bio says you are a corporate communications manager. How did you go from there to publishing books?

I wasn’t brave or confident enough to try and survive off writing books, so I started working in the corporate world. I became the ‘writer’ of the office and organically grew into a professional writing career. I always wanted to write books, but my story wasn’t complete in my head until around 2019. Then I finally got focused on writing and self-publishing my first trilogy.

You are very honest and vulnerable in your bio. Briefly share who your books are written for.

As part of my healing process from ending familial patterns of narcissistic abuse, they were for me. You have to put your oxygen mask on first. They are for my daughters, to show them the importance of accomplishing your dreams. And they are especially for any girls or young women out there experiencing a form of abuse who want to read about characters finding their truth, finding their strength, and breaking free from patterns of abuse.

I try to write clean, non-triggering stories, where girls make good choices.

Do you have a favorite time and/or place you like to write?

If I didn’t need to wake up early for work and school, I would definitely stay up and write into the night. Alas, I usually try to get some in right after work, and some after dinner, before bedtime. I work and write in my home office, on an L-shaped desk. One side is for work, one is for writing.

Do you have any odd writing quirks?

Is needing a glass of wine or whiskey a writing quirk? Having dogs sleeping below my feet is also a big plus.

What book project are you currently working on? Do you have plans to publish more books?

I am working on a couple ideas. One is a loose Rapunzel retelling, where a young woman comes out of an abusive family situation to claim her rightful place as heir.

If money were no object, what would you do with the rest of your life?

I would be in a cabin overlooking a lake and mountain view, fireplace burning, cupcakes baking, spending my days reading and writing, and my nights entertaining friends and family.

What does success look like for you as an author?

I think you are successful if you achieve a goal. I had a goal to write and get my books out there, and I did. The next step would be to sell enough books to be able to write full-time and make that my new career.

Is there anything additional you want to share with readers?

Take care of yourself first. Caring about yourself is not selfish. Read books by authors who create the kind of world you want to live in and the characters you want to believe in. And please, stop chasing the bad boys.


BookLocations: Amazon, Barns n Noble. The trilogy is available for .99 cents each on Kindle.


She readied her bow, took one step toward the edge of the trees, and froze.  Crouched in the clearing beyond her was a monster with glistening emerald scales.  It gracefully lifted its long, slender neck, and turned its jet-black eyes to hers.

Every muscle ached to run, but KaLeah couldn’t connect the thoughts to the motion.  Her eyes widened to take in the creature’s massive body and muscular arms as it rose higher on its back legs.  She saw the beast’s muscular arms ended in long, black talons were coated in grass and clumps of mud. 

It had thin, dagger-like spikes along the side of its green scaly head.  The long, pointed snout was shut but revealed sharp teeth poking out through each side. 

A bead of sweat started to roll down the side of KaLeah’s head. 

The creature blew a chunk of mud from its snout.  The noise was so sudden KaLeah jolted and released the arrow she’d been holding tightly docked.  It flew and hit the beast right in the chest, bouncing off its scales and landing on the ground. 

She quickly jerked herself back and dove behind the nearest tree, dropping her bow to the ground.  Her breath came heavy and uneven as she tried to keep from making any noise. 

Is that a dragon? she asked herself.  That cannot be a dragon.  Dragons are extinct.  I’m dreaming.  I must have fallen along the path and hit my head on a rock.  KaLeah made an involuntary whimper, knowing she was most certainly not dreaming. 

Most of the animals on Naldash had evolved from dragons, but dragons themselves had been extinct for many lifetimes. 

She clenched her eyelids shut and reminded herself to breathe.  Her father had taught her in any sort of panic-inducing situation, she must keep breathing steadily to keep her mind clear.  A clear mind is more likely to survive in any situation.

But how do I survive a non-existent dragon?  Is it a ghost?  A phantom? 

She took another deep breath, smoothed a loose strand of brown hair behind her ear, and then cautiously leaned out around the tree trunk for another view. 

The monstrous beast was still standing there in the small clearing.  Its long neck trailed down to a spine-lined back, past a set of silvery transparent wings, and ended in a tail.  It beat open the two wings, stirring up the dirt around it, then pulled them back close to its body and continued digging furiously at a small hill in the middle of the clearing.

KaLeah tilted her head curiously, realizing the sound she had followed was the sound of the dragon clawing into the ground.  It had seen her and yet was much more interested in what it was doing.

Is it trying to get at an animal or digging out a burrow?  Did dragons even live in burrows?  She shook her head violently, what was she thinking?  Dragons.  Are.  Not.  Real.

This is crazy, she said to herself.  She realized it didn’t matter what it was or what it was doing.  It was still a dangerous-looking, beast-like creature, mere steps away. 

I need to get away, now.  I’ll grab my bow and quickly head back through the thicker part of the woods where it will be too big to follow; unless it can break trees, of course.

KaLeah visualized the plan in her head, building up the courage to move.  She began to prepare for a stealthy escape through the woods, bending first to reclaim her bow when… 


She froze mid-bend, fingers on the bow.  She had heard the word as if placed inside her mind. 


Again, the word penetrated her mind, moving her own thoughts aside.  Had the dragon just spoken to her?  She formed the question in her mind.  Are you talking to me?


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January 2023 Storytime Blog Hop

Once again it’s time for a fun adventure. Enjoy my story below, then follow the links to other stories of participating authors in the blog hop.  Leave us comments.  We love hearing from you!

This is the 9th installment of GRIT’s adventure. To start at the beginning for context, start with Grim Failure.

Cataclysmic Disaster

Reapers are required to arrive ten minutes early to their assigned death, or deaths in this case. My training instructor recommended twenty minutes, thirty while in training…just in case.

I arrived at the scene of the coming earthquake an hour early and floated from room to room in the seven-story resort hotel located next to a beach full of swimmers, tanners, and party-goers.

I located my couple sipping champagne in a large in-room whirlpool. I ached to warn them to find a safe location outside of the hotel. The collapse of the building this afternoon will kill the twenty-six persons on the about-to-die list. It could have been worse. Most of the rooms were empty; their residents probably enjoying the beach and the sun.

In the lobby, the other reapers gathered. Eleven in total. I dreaded the prospect of trying to huddle two souls, especially with my career on the line, but I was also grateful I wasn’t one of the poor saps who had to gather three.

The worst part was that I couldn’t expect any help.

I think one of the other reapers, a confident girl a few years older than me, noticed my anxiety.

“Your first cataclysmic death?”

“It’s the obvious?”

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

At that I burst into laughter and it felt wonderful. “My name’s G.R.”

“I’m Samantha. They don’t usually give a reaper still in training a multiple collection. Did you make someone mad in scheduling?”

Everyone. “Let’s just say that I could use a friend in upper management.

“It shouldn’t make a difference but I have an uncle that helps me out. He won’t admit it, but there have been some situations that I believe he stepped in on my behalf.”

“Sounds like a good guy,” I said, a little jealous.

We floated up from the lobby and Samantha stopped on the third floor. “This is my stop. I wish I could help you but as know this is going to be a challenging collection and I’ve got three of my own to round up.”

I guess her uncle didn’t step in for this assignment.

I found my couple in their seventh floor suite, lying together in bed, her head on his chest and both asleep.

It was a good thing that Samantha distracted me because now I didn’t have time to warn the couple. As soon as I entered their room everything started shaking. Within a few seconds the couple sat up, their eyes wide as they held each other tight.

The shaking quickly grew worse and when plaster fell from the ceiling the woman screamed. Her husband held her hand and led her into the bathroom where they huddled in the now empty Jacuzzi.

It wasn’t clear to me how they would die until suddenly the floor gave way and they plummeted down with a full Jacuzzi following from above.

In total they must have fallen three or three and a half stories before coming to a rest, buried beneath tons of rubble. The shaking stopped and I had to float through gaps and openings before I found the mangled, unrecognizable bodies of the couple.

I was near a panic because in the few seconds it took me to locate them, their souls had time flee and I didn’t have a great history of chasing down escaping souls. How would I ever capture both? But I had to or else. I didn’t want to think about or else.

Just before I shot up through the rubble to see if I could locate the direction they left, I heard a calm, quiet voice. “Are you here for us?”

I turned to see the couple’s souls holding each other and looking grief stricken at their dead bodies.

Relief overwhelmed any sympathy I might have otherwise had.

“You didn’t run!” I shouldn’t have sounded so excited when they were trying to come to grips with the fact that they were dead, but the words came without a thought.

“We’re together, and that’s all that matters,” the husband said.

This was fantastic because it meant I would keep my job and maybe collecting two souls at once would help get me off of probation. I might even pass my training period.

“I need to take you—”

A scream rang out from below and I recognized the voice. Samantha.

I darted down but caught myself and stopped. I looked back at my assignment, the two love birds waiting. Maybe I could deliver them first and then help Samantha.

But then another desperate scream rang out from a little father away the best I could tell and I shouted at my collection. “Stay here! I’ll be right back!”

I float into the lobby just in time to see Samantha fighting multiple souls. They disappeared so quickly I didn’t have time to count.

I followed and when I saw five angry, vile souls ganging up on a lone reaper I yelled, “Stop!” As if I had the authority.

The souls paused but only long enough to curse and tell me to mind my own business. I had at least delayed them, but what could I do to help? And what reaper was responsible for the other souls that had joined Samantha’s collection?

I wanted to go for help. The souls entrapping Samantha were evil and no doubt trying to drag her to Hades with them. I had read about instances like this during our training sessions but the instances where a reaper gets overwhelmed by multiple souls is rare, especially since we unionized and bargained for extra safety measures to prevent situations like this one.

Our training instructor warned us to only engage with adequate backup. The manual stated the proper response to this situation is to get help. There wasn’t time to go for help. If I left, I would simply be filling out paperwork to document what had happened. Once the souls had Samantha in Hades, they would be there forever.

And I didn’t want to join them.

I didn’t want to end up in Hades.

“G.R. Help! Please!”

But I couldn’t ignore Samantha. “Let her go.” I tried to yell but it barely came out audible. I cleared my throat to try again but couldn’t make myself heard over the raucous laughter of the souls. Not only did I fail to help Samantha but I thoroughly embarrassed myself in front of her. At least she wouldn’t be around to ever tell anyone.

What kind of thinking was that? If I had time I would be ashamed of myself.

I rushed forward, demanding they let her go. When I flew by without stopping they quieted and anger replaced their laughter. 

Only the worst characters want to drag a reaper to Hades and bypass processing. How did this many evil souls end up together? Maybe the mob had a convention at the hotel. Or maybe it was a time share seminar.

I thought if I could get them to chase then I could lure them outside to where the reapers were handing off their souls to the collectors. It seemed like a good idea. It was my only idea.

Unfortunately, before I cleared the ceiling of the lobby, two souls had me in their grasp. I was now useless.

The realization hit me that I would soon be in Hades. I wanted to cry but I held it together—too ashamed to further embarrass myself. I would have plenty of time to cry in Hades. Exactly forever. My vanity was ridiculous, especially in light of my dire situation. I’m not proud; only honest.

Samantha screamed as if that would do any good. I joined her.

“Shut up you fools!” One of the nasty souls roared.

Another shouted, “Let’s get them to Hades so we don’t have to listen to them any longer.”

Just then the couple I had left alone to come after Samantha appeared (descended) from the ceiling along with Stan. It was the first time I had been glad to see Stan and I secretly hoped the scowl on his face was directed toward the souls and not toward me. It was probably both.

If I avoided Hades, I would certainly have to pay for my actions with Administration. Not only had I abandoned my two assigned souls, but I had gotten myself captured and now had probably put Stan and the couple at risk. So much for my job.

“Let the Reapers go and come with me,” Stan ordered.

His tone frightened me and I would have obeyed, but the evil souls just laughed as if this were some kind of game. Stan’s scowl grew meaner, if that was possible.

Do you really think you can over power us, Reaper boy?” one of the souls asked.

“Maybe, maybe not.”

Just then a dozen more reapers and collectors flew into the room and surrounded the vile souls.

“But I think you’re outnumbered now.”

They quickly gathered the souls and the collectors took them away for processing.

Continue reading GRIT’s adventures:

GRIT – Part 1
GRIT – Part 2
GRIT – Part 3
GRIT – Part 4
GRIT – Part 5
GRIT – Part 6
GRIT – Part 7
GRIT – Part 8
GRIT – Part 9

Check out the other stories in the blog hop and leave us comments.

Fiddle of Gold by Barbara Lund Author
The Origin of a Reluctant Supervillain by Vanessa Wells
Help Wanted by Juneta Key
Fishing Expedition by Laurie Hicks
The Deed by Chris Makowski
Fetching Water by Katharina Gerlach

Posted in Blog Hop, Grim Reaper in Training, Stories | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

November 2022 Storytime Blog Hop

Once again it’s time for a fun adventure. Enjoy my story below, then follow the links to other stories of participating authors in the blog hop.  Leave us comments.  We love hearing from you!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Grim-Training-189x300.jpg

This is the 8th installment of GRIT’s adventure. To start at the beginning for context, start with Grim Failure.

Passing the Buck

Once again I paced nervously outside of the administration building waiting my fate—this time all alone and with no hope Shelia would arrive to comfort me.

In case I had misunderstood her message, her dad and seven brothers arrived just to circle me and explain what would happen if I ever had contact with her again. Trust me, I got the message.

Contrary to popular human belief, reapers aren’t eternal beings. That’s why we’re constantly training new recruits. We grow, we get old, and we die. But unlike humans we don’t have a soul that lives forever. When we die, we cease to exist.

There’s no danger to us when interacting in the human’s physical world; that’s why we make good reapers, or collectors of the souls. We can’t be harmed.

Reapers also can’t directly hurt each other.

So why did Shelia’s dad and brothers scare Hades out of me? Because there is one way that reapers live forever. If we are thrown into Hades before we die we will live forever, just like the human souls, in eternal torment.

I don’t understand how it works exactly, but they told us enough horror stories during our training sessions to convince me to avoid that route at all costs. All costs! That’s why when Shelia’s dad and brothers threatened to drag me to Hades, I vowed to never go near her again. I didn’t vow to them, I vowed to myself.

Stan had said he wanted to pin the whole fiasco with Daniel on Rick and I hoped he was serious. He didn’t seem like the type that would joke, ever, so I felt fairly confident that was his intention.

I still didn’t trust him though. How hard would he try? And I didn’t know if he had the persuasive powers to pull it off. How would Stan wield the kind of leverage to spin the story so a collector gets blamed instead of the reaper, especially a reaper in training? If it blew up in his face they might send us both to Hades. Why couldn’t I just follow the rules?

Finally Stan emerged with the scowl he always wore, which gave me no indication of the results of his meeting. Still, hope fluttered within when I saw he walked alone. Surely if we were in trouble he would be escorted or already locked up.

When Stan drew near his face broke into a wry smile. “You’re in the clear. They pinned the whole incident on Rick.”

My heart soared, and then crashed just as quickly. “What will happen to Rick?”

Stan waved his hand in an unconcerned manner. “That pompous windbag will be fine.”

I understood Stan’s disgruntled attitude toward his partner as I hadn’t seen much in Rick that I liked. But still, I didn’t want to see him thrown into Hades. Or fired. He was annoying and a stickler for rules, but he was good at his job.

Stan must have picked up on my concern and put my mind at ease. “Rick has a stellar record so they only demoted him.”

“I-I don’t understand. Why would they demote him for one mistake if he’s such a great employee?” This didn’t bode well for my own future.

“Like I said, he’s an arrogant prick. Nobody likes him.”

That didn’t sound fair. “So this was an excuse for them to punish him?”

“Welcome to the politics of Grim Reaper administration, kid.”

I appreciated what Stan had done for me but I didn’t like that it was at the expense of Rick.

Now for the scariest question. “What’s going to happen to me?”

“I have your next assignment.”

I threw my hands in the air, screamed, and then threw my arms around Stan. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

He wrestled away and I saw his fist ball up. I ducked and covered my head and waited for the impact that never came.

“Get up you big sissy. I’m not going to hit you. I don’t like physical contact and you’re hugging is getting on my nerve is all.”

I offered him a fist bump instead but I guess it was too late as he glared at my hand like he could melt it with his eyes.

“You’re off the hook for Daniel, thanks to Rick,” Stan chuckled before continuing. “But you’re still on probation. And I won’t mince words, even though they blame Rick, you didn’t collect your last soul, again, and you’re on your last chance. Screw this up and it’s over for you, understand?”

“What’s the assignment,” I asked, hoping it was a reasonable task. I suddenly missed Shelia and her encouraging manner.

“An earthquake in two hours. Twenty-six dead.”

That sounds worse than it is. In situations where there are massive deaths, multiple reapers are assigned to work the scene because there’s no one way for one person to keep all those souls corralled and they can easily escape. This means there are others on hand to help me if I had any trouble.

“You have a newly married couple, Jerry and Annette.”

Newly married? How tragic. But two? I can’t even capture one soul and now they assigned me two.

“They’re on their honeymoon so they’ll probably stay together. Should be easy. Besides, some reapers were assigned three souls. Between retirements, vacations, and an extra high death rate today, administration is short handed.”

Oh no, everyone had several souls meant I wouldn’t be getting any help. I was in big trouble!

Continue reading GRIT’s adventures:

GRIT – Part 1
GRIT – Part 2
GRIT – Part 3
GRIT – Part 4
GRIT – Part 5
GRIT – Part 6
GRIT – Part 7
GRIT – Part 8
GRIT – Part 9

Check out the other stories in the blog hop and leave us comments.

Ark-Ship One by Katharina Gerlach

A Halloween Costume by Jodie Nahornoff

Midnight At Christmas by Juneta Key

I Do Believe In Faeries by Vanessa Wells

Summoning Spell by Jacquilyn Walker

Posted in Blog Hop, Grim Reaper in Training, Stories | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Author Interview: Alice Ivinya


Alice is a USA Today Bestselling author. She lives in Bristol, UK, and has loved fantasy all her life. Her favourite authors are Brandon Sanderson and Holly Black. When she’s not off gallivanting in other worlds, you can find her looking after her young son, working as a small animal vet, hanging out with her church family, or walking the best dog in the world with her husband.

You have a variety of reading options available for readers. Briefly tell us about your other books.

I have published more than ten books, mostly young adult fantasy and fairy tale retellings with unusual heroines and detailed world building.

My most popular series is The Kingdom of Birds and Beasts trilogy, which is a retelling of The Goose Girl.

Lady Brianna, must pretend to be the person she hates the most to win the heart of a disinterested prince. If anyone finds out who she really is, it will be war and she will be executed. But the cost of deceit is higher than she ever imagined.

Do you prefer writing short stories or novels? Why?

I love both, but probably full length novels are my favourite. I love the chance to really be able to sink my teeth into world building and characters.

In addition to your fantasy stories you have a couple of Christian books. Talk about those, why you wrote them. Does your Christian faith influence your other stories or do you compartmentalize them?

I have two contemporary Christian fiction books which are very close to my heart and written for new adults in the UK, particularly university students. In a great part they were a reflection on my own experiences and what I’d witnessed at university. I tend not to publicise them widely, however, as fantasy is where I love to write most.

My faith means a great deal to me, and a lot of the values I get from my faith come across in my books, such as loyalty, honesty and serving others when you are in power.

My new series, Kingdoms of the Faery Path has some lose Christian allegory in it, similar to Narnia, but more subtle.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? The most enjoyable?

Hardest: is often making everything fit together nicely in the end! I can get a bit chaotic and my developmental editor must be close to despairing sometimes!

Most enjoyable: World building, magic systems and inventing new characters.

If money were no object, what would you do with the rest of your life?

Write, read, parent, and help my local community.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I have to write in absolute silence. I also tend to write all the key scenes in my head, sometimes out of order, then go back to the beginning and fill in the rest.

What is the best writing advice you ever received? How did it change your writing/career?

Just keep writing and don’t look back. I get better and more experienced with every book. I think if I hadn’t stayed focused forwards, there would have been times where I would have been tempted to keep my writing just to myself.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love reading, walking the dog, playing superheros and sea monsters with my son and sleeping in whenever that is possible!

What does success look like for you as an author?

Having people who love my books and doing better every year than the year before.

Is there anything additional you want to share with readers?

If you subscribe to my newsletter, get at least two short stories for free!

Also come join in the fun on Facebook:


Book Locations: My books are exclusive to amazon and are in Kindle Unlimited.

Excerpt:  From The Widow and the Beast

The hilt of the fae dagger in my belt dug into my palm as I stepped onto the bridge with firm steps, not looking back. The only sound was the click-clack of my boots on wood and the muffled gurgle of the water rushing around the rocks below.

As I crested the peak of the bridge, the other side became visible under the eaves of the woven roof. I squinted at the blinding white and frowned. Why was it so bright? I stepped to the end of the bridge and hesitated. The way was covered with deep, crisp snow that sparkled in the sun. How could there be snow at this time of year?

“Are you sure you want to pass?” croaked a voice.

I jumped and stifled a scream. A short figure sat on a low stool in the shadow of the bridge. It wore a black cloak with the hood pulled up.

I took a step back. “Excuse me, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there.”

The figure tilted its head up so light fell on its face. Coldness seeped through my body. Its skin was a greyish green and the face was too wide, the mouth too stretched. It reminded me of a toad. This wasn’t how I’d imagined the fae folk.

“Before you lies the Faery Path. I would advise you not to cross.” It tapped its walking stick on the bridge.

I glanced back at the snow and my first view of Faery. The Isle of Barra was gone. No footprints marred the snowfall, and dark pine trees reared up on either side of a wide path. In the distance I could see mountains unlike any that I knew. Their peaks were tall and sharp.

I started to speak, but my voice was too quiet, swallowed by the snowy air. I cleared my throat and forced the words out louder. “My husband came this way three weeks ago. Caelan. He’s twenty summers old and is tall with curly brown hair.”

The toad-person cocked its head. “He passed. I advised him not to cross. But he smelled of pride.”

My heart lurched. I leaned forward. “Do you know where he is?”

The figure lifted its head so I could see two round golden eyes. Straggly black hair framed the stretched face. “My job is to guard the way in and warn humans of the danger. That is it.” The eyes didn’t blink.

My shoulders sagged. “I must find him. Please let me pass.” I tried to keep the desperation and grief from my voice.

“There is a toll to cross the bridge.”

“What is that?” Most of what little money I had, I had already paid to the fisherman. Would it take the silver bells?

“Your shadow.”

I took a step back. “My shadow?” I swallowed. “Why?”

“Every human who crosses must give me their shadow.”

I glanced at the floor, just to make sure my shadow was still there. “What do you do with them?”

The toad-person patted a large clay jar beside it. There was a leather lid fastened around the neck with twine. “I keep the shadows and use them to find you if you break the rules.”

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Author Interview: Lillian Brummet


Lillian & her husband Dave are the team behind Brummet Media Group, high-fiving cheerfully as they pass each other on the way from checking off one item or other from their long to-do list. Their business includes Dave’s music studio & percussion accessory products & graphic design work as well as numerous award-winning non-fiction books & popular blogs.  Visit the Brummets @:  -&- drop by their Amazon Author page @:

Tell us about your recently revised book, Purple Snowflake Marketing.

Purple Snowflake Marketing – How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd (May 2021) is a step-by-step guidebook for authors shows how to create effective & frugal marketing plans for every book they write, one that suits the author’s unique situation at that moment & time. Purple Snowflake Marketing offers a realistic view on what an author can expect upon publishing a book & how to make a memorable first impression. Learn from the experience of seasoned writers, be inspired by effective advice & discover quotes from PR experts, members of the media & agents. Readers will also learn how to run the office efficiently; discover business operation, succession planning, budget-friendly advertising advice & tax tips.

We share 3 decades of researching, learning & hand-on experience, hosting radio shows & podcasts, professional book & product reviewing, staff writing & freelance positions that we held, managing blogs & newsletters or managing & starting up businesses. The main focus of this book is to guide the author to design frugal, unique book launch & marketing strategies that will have their book standing out in a snowstorm like a purple snowflake. We have plans to give this book a fresh cover design & new formats for people to enjoy later this year

You have a wide variety of books, from poems to recipes. Briefly tell us about your books & your publishing goals.

There’s the 2-book series in the poetry genre: Playing In The Sandbox Of Words, which includes Towards Understanding (a survivor’s journey to understanding one’s purpose & the value of life) & Rhythm & Rhyme (a collaborative collection on grief, music & life).

Trash Talk – It’s Easy To Be Green is a 2-book series in the green living genre sharing information about reducing waste, extending budgets, helping communities & reducing consumption of water, fuel, etc. 

We’ve already touched on the writer’s guidebook… & the cookbook is:

From One Small Garden – Over 300 Delicious Nutritious Recipes (Feb 2021) – the ultimate guide to utilizing fresh fruits & vegetables from backyard gardens to farmer’s markets – the purest source of food we can draw from. This book is not only loaded with nutritional & historical information, it also shares tips to save water, reduce energy costs & food waste & other frugal ways to extend your budget. Learn how to make your own chicken coating, or taco seasoning, air fresheners & cleaning supplies – – without the use of harsh chemicals, packaging & numerous plastic bottles.

You have experience in radio, product reviews & blogging. Talk about those ventures. Do they tie into your writings?

Yes in the 25 years in this career I’ve worn many, many hats. (She laughs) I ran the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show for 15 years – it aired 3 times per week with guests showing how they were making a difference in the world. I also ran the Author’s Read podcast for 2 years; this was a quick half hour weekly program that featured other authors reading from their books. I worked for 2 publications & one book review agency providing book reviews for about 6 years or so… & this enabled me to donate around 300 books annually to local literacy organizations.

Today we run the Brummet’s Conscious Blog which has been active for about 18 years & focuses on creating positive change.  The Drum It With Brummet blog began a couple years ago & is mainly Dave’s forte as it deals with music. We also run the fairly new Brummet Media Channel on Youtube. Dave provides all the images, audio, ads & technical know-how to make all of these activities possible.

You also have experience as a musician, both playing & teaching. Talk about that venture.

Dave is the musician, teacher & service provider. Dave has performed on stage for nearly 4 decades with a variety of cover & original bands during that time frame. He spent many years as an on-call studio drummer as well, & at one time he visited schools to introduce percussion to youth.

Today, he operates the Angle Hill Studio, located in the lower half of our home – where he creates the audio & graphic needs for our business, hosts jams, band practices & teaches students. His services to percussionists & drummers include tuning & repairs, refurbishment, cleaning & polishing, purchase advice & set-up help for those that are looking at purchasing new or used instruments.

Are your activities leading you to feel like you are chasing various interests, or is there something deeper that ties them together?

The theme that ties them all together is our desire to be resting at the end of each day feeling as though the time that we were given was spent wisely, thoughtfully & we found ways to create positive change. In our home life we are passionate recyclers & find ways to reuse & repurpose items that would have been destined for the landfill. We donate when we can & because of our productive gardens we are able to give food to 5 houses around the neighborhood, various students, friends, family & coworkers. We garden using biodynamic, bio intensive, permaculture & organic methods, starting with building healthy soil first – & that means composting. We gather leaves & grass & cardboard from neighbors & landscape companies to help us build that valuable nutrient-rich soil.

Both this home & our last 3 homes attained certification with various wildlife, bird, bee, butterfly & organic organizations. Those homes were also modified to be more eco-friendly re water & energy conservation. We adopt from animal shelters, dog sit & work with connecting volunteers & nonprofits together. We give others in the realm of media & writing exposure through our blog, musicians through our other blog, & run several online groups as well for networking, entrepreneurs & volunteers.

Our passions carry forward to our business – we have strict green in-house policies & use our interactions with the media & writings to continue to create positive change. Our aim is to educate & empower people, help them realize the incredible power they have to create positive change in their own unique way with seemingly small daily actions.

What book project are you currently working on? When do you expect it to be published?

Right now we have a trilogy celebrating Dave’s late father’s lifetime of writing & photographic collections – but this has been set aside due to a variety of things causing delays that we are working through & hope to get the first 2 books out before Christmas.

In between this, as mentioned, we have the updates to the Purple Snowflake Marketing book to do… & we plan on making our books available in more formats by spring 2023.

I do have a manuscript that I attack occasionally, as time allows – it is a back yard garden guide that my late master-gardening parents & I began working on about 20 years ago or so. My mom was dying & I wanted to get all her knowledge on paper, & I was taking on 5 acres of market gardens while running a spa – so having the information on hand was important to me. Since then, we’ve added to it & have a huge file of notes & information to go through, lots of graphic imagery to create, etc. So I’m slowly working on the draft manuscript behind the scenes whenever the schedule allows it. I find spring – late summer is the hardest season to get intensive work done in the office, due to the heavy workload dealing with the gardens & processing garden harvests.

Talk about the challenges & joys of writing together as a married couple?

We have 2 separate offices – mine is where the dining area is traditionally located in a home, & his is down in the studio. Dave works a full time job & plays in 2 bands, so his time can be very limited – which brings in the extra challenge of trying to accomplish the goals in our annual action plan, while balancing that with understanding & elasticity.

My time is also limited because I manage the house, office, dogs, gardens, & do most of the menu planning, food prep /processing, appointments, the budget, etc. I find my day is often split in half – half in the office, half dealing with the home life.

This year we had a minor flood in the basement due to water from a heavy storm coming over the foundation wall so we ended up having to take apart the studio, cut the drywall, clean the carpets, all that fun stuff. There always seems to be something to interrupt our plans & we’ve learned to take these unexpected events with some grace… most of the time 🙂 We have monthly meetings and create a new action plan at the beginning of each year that we use to keep us on track.

Websites: Find us online via these landing pages:

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Author Interview: Lucy Winton


Lucy loves to write (and read!) stories with adventure, mystery, discovery, friendship…and a little romance as well! She first started writing when she was four; hopefully, she’s improved since then. She also loves trying out new recipes, daydreaming, and buying more books than her bookshelves can hold.

Tell us about your newest book, Secret Angels.

It’s a YA urban fantasy, and it’s the story of four girls – Zara, Lexi, Jess and Nikita – who have just started their first year of sixth-form college. In their world, you can either be Gifted with a power or be Giftless. As far as people are aware, the girls are Giftless…but then a Gifted attacks a shopping centre and everything changes.

It’s also the first of a series.

Judging by your website and Amazon author page, you have several series in process. Tell us about your other published books and where you are at in those series.

I’ve got four series on the go: Waterdrop, Secret Angels, Roses and Tales of Askarr.

Waterdrop was supposed to be a three-part retelling of the fairytale Prince Lindworm (the second book comes out later this year). Somehow it’s morphed into a six-part series with two other retellings included.

So far there are only two novelettes in Tales of Askarr and they’re both fairytale retellings: The Goose Girl and King Thrushbeard.

Roses is an original series, but it’s been put on hold until further notice. There will be two more full books in the series, though.

When did you start writing and why did you decide to publish?

I first started writing when I was about four. My decision to publish came after reading a memoir by the actress Felicia Day; I was at a crossroads in my life, and something struck a chord in me while reading that book. Maybe it was because I wanted something different. But that was when I started taking my writing seriously.

Where and how do you come up with your best story ideas?

I’m honestly not sure. I have ideas all the time; some are worth developing, some aren’t.

What is the best writing advice you ever received? How did it improve you as an author?

Make an outline. I tried writing without one and it was a disaster. I know discovery writing  works for other writers, but sadly I’m not one of them.

Do you have any writing quirks?

Um…not sure.

It appears you write predominantly YA fantasy. As you age, do you find it harder to relate to and write in the young adult realm?

Actually, no (and I’m not THAT old!). Some of the stories that are being told in the young adult realm are the kind I want to tell myself. Stories about becoming your true self, learning and growing, finding out who you truly are, discovering who you want to be, finding your courage, making a stand, making a change and learning how to forgive.

Do you have a favorite character that you’ve written? Tell us about them.

I’ve particularly enjoyed writing Milly (Wild Rose), Isabel (Dark Rose) and Zara (Secret Angels). They’re all free spirits, but they’ve all got things keeping them caged.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love taking photos, walking by the water and exploring new places.

What does success look like for you as an author?

Knowing that people like what I’ve written.


Book Locations: You can find Lucy’s books on Amazon.

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Author Interview: Jim Potter

I met Jim Potter in early 2018 when he drove from Hutchinson to Newton for my book signing at the Newton Public Library. If I remember correctly, he saw the signing advertised in the Hutchinson newspaper. I’ve enjoyed seeing him at different author events since then and can’t recommend his books highly enough. Jim’s a great writer and he knows his subject well.

I also have to say that if you get the chance to meet him in person, do it. He’s one of the nicest individuals you’ll ever meet. I promise. I hope you enjoy this insight to him and then go visit his award-winning website to pick up one of his books!


Retired Reno County Deputy Sheriff Jim Potter, a former School Resource Officer, has just released his latest book, a novella titled Deputy Jennings Meets the Amish. Potter is an award-winning writer for his play, Under the Radar: Race at School. His memoir, Cop in the Classroom: Lessons I’ve Learned, Tales I’ve Told, recalls his career in law enforcement. His contemporary, character-driven novel, Taking Back the Bullet: Trajectories of Self-Discovery, is about people who are stigmatized. However, once they discover their true identities, each is empowered to begin the journey of life’s purpose.

Jim and his wife, J. Alex Potter, reside outside Hutchinson, Kansas, in Greater Medora.

Tell us about your newest book, Deputy Jennings Meets the Amish.

Deputy Tom Jennings, a patrol officer for the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Office, is a caring cop. He doesn’t understand the Old Order Amish and they don’t understand him. After being assigned to investigate the theft of soil from a county ditch, he meets Mrs. Rosanna Borntrager Yoder. Rosanna, and Adam (her husband) help Jennings begin to learn how the Amish and the English are different, and alike.

When and why did you start writing?

In college I learned the joys of research and composing, especially as part of my MA degree’s thesis on a Civil War regiment. Research meant studying the regiment’s original muster roll located in Springfield, Illinois. A trip to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. allowed me to read the pension records of “my” men. While I was focused on nonfiction, the work required me to use my imagination, to tell stories, and to learn the rules of writing.

I wrote a short play, Under the Radar: Race at School. It was awarded a fellowship for playwriting by the Kansas Arts Commission and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Over a long weekend, while preparing for a workshop I was leading about exploring and valuing diversity, an idea struck me. I wanted to find a way to personally involve workshop attendees in a fictional racist encounter at a high school. The play, read in a group setting with fourteen characters, became an effective tool that guaranteed participation while encouraging an examination of different mind-sets.

Tell us about your background in law enforcement and the role that has played in your writings.

One funny fact is that after 33 years working in law enforcement, it’s difficult for me to write fiction without a cop showing up in the story.

My years as a patrol officer writing reports made me a much better writer. It taught me to pay attention, to observe and listen, and to interview people. Our reports had a definite deadline. We couldn’t go home until the paperwork was complete. 

You are the president of the Kansas Author Club District 6. Why is it important to you to meet regularly with other authors and why did you choose KAC?

The KAC is a friendly group of people who range from novice writers to experienced authors. Writers and authors find support at KAC. It’s also gratifying and inspiring for me to see people I know improving their skills. When I have a literary or marketing question, the KAC is a knowledgeable place with answers.

I understand trying to do everything myself, but sometimes it takes a village to publish a book, from first readers to editors, from formatters to designers.

You manage an award-winning website. What can people expect if they visit your website?

People have access to over 200 blogs I’ve written. They range from tips on writing, to book reviews, to historical fiction, especially on the sheriffs of Reno County, Kansas. It’s also the place to purchase my books directly from me.

What is your favorite part about writing? What is your biggest challenge?

Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, like a parent, it’s difficult to choose a favorite part of fun. It’s exciting to come up with an idea for a book and to brainstorm the possibilities. Creative writing and editing are work, but they’re also very rewarding. Editing is required and involves patience. It’s part of the process to improve the story.

Marketing is often ignored, but it’s part of the publishing process. A book is only new for so long. If you don’t promote your book, it’s often ignored or soon forgotten.

What writing tip most improved your writing?

Take it a step at a time.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love reading but getting outdoors to garden and do lawncare is my opportunity to get a brain break. I call it dirt therapy.

What does success look like for you as an author?

Personally, it’s writing a story or a book and being pleased with the result. Professionally, it’s being regarded as a very good writer. However, we all need to be careful when we allow others to label us.

Is there anything additional you want to share with readers?

Nowadays, most businesses have an online presence with advertising and selling. However, currently I’m having a blast marketing my books the old-fashioned way. The Amish-Mennonite communities across the country are my target audience. I advertise in a country-wide weekly newspaper, selling direct to customers who send me a check in the mail, not by using my website or ordering from

Very soon an audiobook of Deputy Jennings Meets the Amish will be available to purchase online. Also, I’ve started brainstorming and planning a sequel. The working title is Deputy Jennings Visits Amish Country.

Excerpt (Audio, narrated by Bob Neufeld):

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Author Interview: Thomas Kast


I’m an award-winning independent photojournalist and illustrator based in Zurich, Switzerland, and have published a number of photography art books. I’ve spent a big part of my life in Israel, where I taught photography and illustration at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and other Israeli colleges. My debut novel The Great Convergence is an absurdist-philosophical science fiction piece. It evokes many of my real-life experiences fused with unhinged fantasies.

Tell us about your debut novel, The Great Convergence.

In a nutshell, it’s a tale of revenge and a skewered mirror of humanity. 10.000.002 A.D. A cantankerous scholar slipping into obscurity is out for revenge. He time-travels to the year 2022 to stop his nemesis, Scott — a successful scientist at a competing university — from thwarting his research into the origin of a mysterious phenomenon, the Great Convergence. Cunning and ruthless, Scott will stop at nothing to defend his tenure track. The feud quickly spins out of control, and the damage to reality grows unchecked.

Caught in the crosshairs are three characters responsible for triggering the Great Convergence: an art-hating professional art critic who, unbeknownst to him, spontaneously switches between universes wreaking havoc as he goes; a talentless artist whose sculptures act as trans-universal portals; and a schizophrenic astrophysicist trying to avert the invasion of alternate versions of himself from different realities. As their paths converge, the apocalyptic event takes place, and the inescapable tragedy of human existence unfolds. 

As I mentioned earlier, the Great convergence is a satirical piece posing as sci-fi. I would say it’s more of literary fiction rather than sci-fi, mainly since I use the sci-fi elements to convey a specific message. Among other things, my book tackles our perception of reality which may be an artificial construct that doesn’t even exist.

Another message concerns the general purpose of human existence: many things we hold dear have no real meaning. Many things we consider insignificant turn out to be crucial in the grand scheme of things. And the tragedy that unfolds is that we’ll never know.

All my characters are pretty obnoxious people. Their choices are either random, or they are motivated by low instincts. Even my characters’ perceived idealism is exposed as a side-effect of maniacal relentlessness for the sake of it, petty jealousy or complete lack of consideration for anything outside of narrowly-defined short-term interests.

Did your background in photojournalism and illustration influence your novel?

Yes, illustration especially. The world of the future I describe in the Great Convergence is rooted in my psychedelic style, and stems from my bizarre illustrations. And it’s a really bizarre world. At the future-university, for example, there’s a lab where the scientists grow universes to experiment on. There’s an old, baroque-like fountain spewing streams of time instead of water in the university’s courtyard. There is a site with portals connecting different universes, much like the Four Corners Monument in the US. It’s frequented by tourists taking selfies with a hand in one universe and a leg in another.

I suppose, like with my illustrations, it starts making sense, but only after a while, once you’ve taken the effort to decode it.

Why did you decide to start writing fiction?

It all started at primary school. As a six-year-old kid, I watched my teacher draw the letter ‘a’ with white chalk on the blackboard.

‘A’, she said.

‘A …’ the class echoed in one voice.

I was bewitched. From that moment on, I knew I’d dedicate my life to those ‘sound-describing’ symbols. And the rest is history …

Do you have plans to write another book? Why or why not? If so, do you know what your next story will be? Have you started?

Currently, I’m working on the humorous and philosophical comic book series Bablah’s Odyssey, which is scheduled for by the end of 2022. Bablah’s Odyssey features a mad scientist, lord Bablah and his mutant creation, Pet-Thing. As they travel across the universe, lord Bablah teaches the Pet-Thing about the ’wonders’ of progress and civilisation. Witnessing many uncanny worlds, the Pet-Thing asks the right questions but gets the wrong answers. As his brainwashing continues, he becomes continuously confused about what’s right and wrong.

Bablah’s Odyssey aims to turn the reader’s attention to many ethical, environmental and societal problems, but with a healthy dose of humour. Along with the growing popularity of comic books, I think there’s also a strong need for content directed at a more ambitious reader.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? The most enjoyable?

The hardest part of writing is — as always — thinking. Or, more precisely, connecting many external elements integral to the writing process. The most enjoyable one? Being constantly inspired. By everything and anything. The conversations I have with people I know, with those I don’t know, and with myself in the shower. Sunsets happening too early, and sundowns happening too late. Forgotten breakfasts and overdue dinners. Blast from the past. A sudden pang of remorse. The smell of rhododendrons I walk by in the park. Voices in my head. Voices outside of my head. Sounds both sudden and uninterrupted. Surprises and lack thereof. Things I see and those I pretend not to notice.

Talk about what you learned while writing your first book? What would you do differently if you started over?

It took me about ten years to finish the Great Convergence, and so it was quite a process. I’ve learned a lot not only about the craft of writing and editing, but also about myself and the world around me. Essentially, a different kind of person started to write the novel, and an entirely different one finished it.

Do you have an interesting writing quirk?

I don’t know if it’s a quirk — it’s more of a general idea of what writing should be. For me, writing is just the last component of the long and arduous process of creating literature. So what’s writing about, as far as I’m concerned?

Procrastinating, for instance. I just love it. Procrastinating keeps my mind at rest. Thinking: you wouldn’t guess how much time I spend simply staring into the void, pondering grave philosophical matters, until I collapse from mental exhaustion. As an antidote, I then watch a lot of silly cartoons. Until I collapse from mental exhaustion again. Getting sucker-punched by my anger therapist: brings me down to Earth a little. Just a little. Spilling my guts to a random stranger, I met on a park bench at 2:00 AM. Getting my heart broken. Then mended. Then broken again. Dying inside. Feeling alive. Drinking. Staying sober. Shaking my fist in the air, overcome with anger at a random act of social injustice I’ll likely forget the next day. Worrying too much. Worrying too little. Forgetting why I’m writing in the first place, or what I’m actually trying to say. All of this and all at once.

What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?

I’ve been diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (Asperger’s syndrome as it used to be known). This means that, on the one hand, the intricacies of social interaction remain a total mystery to me. On the other hand, thanks to having way-too-many brain connections, I’m uniquely predisposed to quickly examine the world around me in a very pragmatic and unemotional way and see things others can’t. I’ve been an outsider most of my life (which I don’t regret), and so are my characters.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I sleep. Or try to. I illustrate, paint, plan photography projects. Get angry with myself at things I shouldn’t get angry about. Disregard things I definitely should be more attentive to. Fantasise a lot and discard any trace of realism attempting to capsize the perfect — albeit unrealistic — picture of reality surrounding me.

What does success look like for you as an author?

To be proud of and happy with your work. No more, no less.

Is there anything additional you want to share with readers?

If you’re into subversive philosophical science fiction and enjoy social satire — check out the Great Convergence. It will take you out of your comfort zone, exposing the absurdity of many ethical and intellectual ideals.

Works well for the fans of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, or the philosophical insights of Stanislaw Lem.

And remember — each time you write a positive review on Amazon — somewhere — an innocent puppy gets saved and a large oak tree springs out of nowhere 🙂



Book Locations: Amazon


There is an old legend which originated in the Lacerta Cantus Nebula. It explains how most universes got their shape. It goes like this:

A long, long time ago, there was a school for young Gods. At the beginning of each learning season, each God would get his own universe to study and to play with, under the keen eye of the instructor. On balance, the universes were sturdy pieces of work. They could take a lot of damage, often reversible, but not always. And there was a lot of damaging going on, because not all the Gods treated their universes well.

The school programme was brief and much to the point. Gods graduated quickly and moved onto different matters with far-reaching consequences. They’d leave their universes behind, to be studied and played with, by the next generation of deities. This would go on and on, until the universes would become altogether unusable. What would happen to the battered, pass-me-down universe nobody wanted anymore? The legend doesn’t say.

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