Monthly Archives: May 2022

BEYOND THE BIRCH

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Eleven year old Macy dreams of action and adventure that will take her far beyond her family’s farm. But what will happen when that adventure finds her?

Long ago, faeries were banished from the land after a legendary battle. So long ago that many wonder if faeries really exist or if the battle was just a tall tale. But one mysterious night, Macy’s mother is attacked, and ever since, unusual things start happening. Missing items, changing moods, and most strange of all, the family’s sheep start behaving unusually.

Her mother is suddenly determined to get rid of the sheep, and Macy suspects that the reason may be sinister. When Macy meets a boy her age, the aloof and sarcastic Jay, they embark on a journey to discover the truth and save her mother. In this twist on The Wonderful Birch, you won’t find kings, queens, or evil stepmothers. Instead, you’ll find two courageous pre-teens from the outskirts, ready to defend Odele from the magical forces that threaten it.

Read an Excerpt

“Oh, yes,” the old woman sighed. “There was a terrible fire, and I lost my home. I am going to my sister’s to stay with her for a while. If I can make it there.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Laurel smiled at the woman, “If you’d like to rest for the night, you are welcome to stay with my family. We have a farm just outside of town.” Though they didn’t have much, Laurel knew she would be able to spare some bread and find her some blankets for the night. She couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the woman alone in the dark wood.

“I wouldn’t want to impose.”

“Nonsense, we’d love to have you.”

The old woman’s shoulders visibly relaxed, “Oh, thank you! Thank you!” she cried. “You can call me Dores.”

“Well, Dores, I was just heading home anyway. It seems my daughter left the pasture gate open again, and a sheep got out. I was hoping to find him before dark, but it seems I will have to keep searching in the morning.”

“I can’t thank you enough dear,” the old woman said, shivering.

Laurel was used to the crisp, cool night air. Without a word, she removed her shawl and offered it to Dores.

All at once, Laurel was overwhelmed with an ominous feeling in the pit of her stomach. She inhaled sharply and looked frantically about, trying to place the source of the sudden sensation, but it was too late. There was a flash, and both women let out a shriek.

About the Author:

Author Torina Kingsley masterfully creates a world where things aren’t always as they seem. Beyond the Birch is an imaginative spin on an old folktale that reminds us all to hold our loved ones close and always believe in own our capabilities.

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Torina Kingsley will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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ROCK MY HEART

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

She never meant to end up in a rock star’s bed …

By day, Madelynn Crenshaw is the perfect senator’s daughter. By night, she’s a struggling artist. She doesn’t do scandal or media scrutiny, but when wicked rock god Sloan Elliot asks her to paint him for a charity event, she can’t resist. It’s for a good cause, right? She promises herself she won’t become his latest conquest—or have her love life splashed all over page one. During their studio sessions, Madelynn can’t deny their sizzling attraction, but it’s the man behind the rock god persona she really can’t resist. Sloan tempts her, teases her, and makes her long for things she’s never allowed herself to want…

When their affair hits the tabloids, and all hell breaks loose, Madelynn and Sloan must decide if they can risk love—and heartbreak—with the whole world watching.

Read an Excerpt

He led her into an empty dressing room and kicked the door shut behind them. Trapped. In the Wolf’s den? Ha. It was a large room, two walls taken up by vanity mirrors and counters cluttered with makeup, guitar picks, booze bottles, overflowing ashtrays. Smoke and mirrors. Far too apt, as metaphors went.

Madelynn spun away from her doubled reflection, bracing herself for disappointment. “May I have my locket back, please, Mr. Wolf?”

“Always so proper, aren’t you, darlin’?” He prowled toward her, and she tilted her head back, refusing to be intimidated by his damnable rock star swagger. “Even when you’d rather tell off a bloke. Especially when you’d rather tell off a bloke.”

She gave him the same sharp-edged smile her mother had perfected when dealing with reporters. He looked her over, and she resisted an urge to tug at the lapels of her blazer. Not like he could see anything—the silk camisole she wore barely revealed her collarbone, much less any cleavage.

Sloan dug in a pocket and retrieved not a small box, but rather the locket on its chain. Her gaze fixed on his fingers as he held it up to the lights. His large hand should have looked clumsy, clutching the delicate chain, but instead, his fingers looked deft, graceful. Something within her caught with a half-painful lurch.

She held out her hand, but he moved behind her. Madelynn half-turned, frowning up at him. “What—?”

“Hold still.”

As if spellbound, she watched in the wall of mirrors as he fastened the necklace, his fingers skimming her nape. Shivers rippled across her scalp, down her spine.

About the Author:

Nadia Blair writes steamy contemporary romance featuring outrageous bad boys and gutsy girls who give as good as they get. She has a thing for snappy dialog, humorous situations, and swoon-worthy happily-ever-afters.

When she’s not having conversations with fictional people, she enjoys summer thunderstorms, top-shelf whiskey, and rockin’ out to a classic guitar solo.

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The Group

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The Group
by Kevin R. Doyle

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

Sure, Ron Green had made a mistake, but it wasn’t one that millions of other guys hadn’t made before him. And maybe he deserved some sort of punishment, like his wife leaving him or his kids hating his guts. But this? Being the main suspect in a single murder was bad enough, but at the same time knowing he was a potential victim of a serial killer was even worse. However, before Green could convince the cops of his innocence, he first had to convince them the serial killer actually existed, and at the moment they weren’t believing a thing he said.

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NOTE: The boat is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

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EXCERPT

Hollis fell silent as the ME went about her business although even he could pretty much guess what had happened. With no exit wound, the small caliber bullet had no doubt buried itself somewhere inside the skull, probably after ricocheting around for a while.

“So how many does this make?” she asked without looking up. “Have you all hit the triple digits yet?”

“Actually,” he said, “we passed the hundred mark at the end of last month. I’m not sure what number this one makes.”

“Well,” the ME said as she stood up and stripped off her gloves, “I won’t be able to put anything down officially till I get him on the table, but it’s pretty obvious what happened here.”

“One bullet back of the head,” Hollis said.

“Right. Which gets back to the oddity.”

“How did he end up lying face up?”

“Exactly. Even a .22, in the back of the skull, should have sent him tumbling forward. This looks almost apologetic. Could it have been some sort of a robbery?”

“That’s the nice thing about it, Hollis. My part’s easy. I just have to come up with the means. You guys get to do the whole motive and opportunity thing.”

Hollis grimaced as she walked off.

“Oh by the way.” She turned back to him. “I checked with the office before I left. This makes number one hundred twelve for the year. And only sixteen days to go.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A high-school teacher, former college instructor, and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of numerous short horror stories. He’s also written three crime thrillers, The Group, When You Have to Go There, and And the Devil Walks Away, and one horror novel, The Litter. In the last few years, he’s begun working on the Sam Quinton private eye series, published by Camel Press. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award for Best First PI Novel. The second book, Heel Turn, was released in March of 2021, while the third in the series, Double Frame, came out in March of 2022.

Web site: kevindoylefiction.com
Facebook: facebook.com/kevindoylfiction
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6473241.Kevin_R_Doyle

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Kevin R. Doyle will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Disaster Dates – Trailer Premiere

Here it is folks! The first trailer for the Improv Comedy film, Disaster Dates.

Disaster Dates – Trailer Premiere

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Hold on to your seats folks! Saturday May 7th at 6pm we will be uploading the 3 minute trailer for the Improv Comedy film Disaster Dates.

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AUDLEY ENOUGH

TourBanner_Audley Enough

Audley Enough: A Portrait of Triumph and Recovery in the Face of Mania and Depression
by Lesley Whyte Reford & Patricia Lavoie

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GENRE: Non-fiction, Biography/Memoir

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BLURB:

Audley Enough follows Audley’s journey through “The Matrix,” specifically his mental health. The book describes his adventures into his mania and depression that occurred during the peak employment years of his life, from 27 to 38 years old. It takes one through the spiritual essence of his being, and gives one steps to travel through mania and depression. After reading his book, one comes out stronger with multiple coping tools. The book is about Audley refusing to let his bipolar diagnosis define him, nor stop him from leading a mentally, healthy, and productive life.

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EXCERPTS

Aside from giving him the personal physical and spiritual release from racism, dance also exposed him to a more “uncoloured” world. Through the arts, he became more accepted in the white world. Audley says he didn’t have to pretend anymore. Despite now being seen as a black—and questioned as perhaps gay to some—person, he felt he was nevertheless being accepted as a human being. Audley says he felt that the arts trumped the racism. He started street dancing and threw himself into training in jazz and ballet. He tried out for a street dance group and was accepted, and soon began to do the circuits at colleges and other local venues. Through his training, he met fellow ballet dancers, mostly girls from good families and hence he began living the life of a white person. Many people called him “Oreo Cookie” because he was black on the outside but white on the inside. His world was opening up to things he never would have seen without dance. He met all kinds of new people who admired him for his talent and ignored his colour. They started taking him places, introducing him to people, and taking him to cultural shows. With his interest in dance and his personal confidence growing, in 1978 Audley enrolled in the highly reputable Roland and Romaine School of Dance in Toronto where he studied for two years. In 1979, he won the “Most Promising Dancer Award” at the school. People started recommending him for work in the field of dance. Roland himself said he was an outstanding talent and inspiration to all.” It was a stage in his life when he was truly happy. He says when he was on the dance floor, “that’s when I lost that whole racism thing.” Audley had found his calling, despite the never-ending and ever-expanding stereotypical labels trailing along with him.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Audley Coley is a mental health coach, a philanthropist, the subject of a book and a Friend of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign. He is often called upon to host forums on mental health awareness and was more recently seen on CBC’s You Can’t Ask That describing his life with bipolar disorder and on Facebook, hosting the live broadcast to the Alianait Arts Festival for the Nunavut community alongside his lovely daughter.

His ability to soar above mental illness is something he credits to many things. His support system: a strong Jamaican, God-fearing, and closely knit family, first. Sports and physical activity come in at a close second. Audley has always been extremely active. He played hockey, soccer and was a dancer/choreographer, most of his life. At the fine age of 62, he can be found at the Atwater Club teaching a class that could put people half his age to shame. Just ask his Yummy Mummies who subscribe to his workouts and carefully crafted playlist. And then, it’s about food for Audley. He perfected his culinary skills working as a chef in Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit) and today, cooking is truly his labour of love. He takes his vitamins (his medication) regularly and frequently visits to Up House, a place where he goes to get centered and to give back to those who once gave to him. The last and perhaps most important box he checks off on his self-care list is REST.

Audley’s objective is to tell his story often so people may recognize themselves, to provide hope for families of those affected, to share a recipe for success that he knows works and to have the opportunity to change someone’s life in the same way that Patty Duke’s openness changed his.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

LESLEY WHYTE REFORD is a seasoned writer who has a passion for communications and storytelling. She obtained her Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Queen’s University in 1993 and went on to build her career in Corporate Communications and Public Relations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. As she raised her two sons, Lesley put her career on hold but continued with her writing when time allowed. Engaging in small contract freelance opportunities and volunteer work, Lesley published a centennial book commemorating the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s contribution to the Montreal community titled “100 Years of Stories” in 2004. In 2013, she collaborated with Audley Coley to author “Audley Enough”, an inspiring resource to share his journey with bipolar disorder and help combat the stigma of mental health issues. Lesley is currently a full-time grant writer at One Tree Planted, Inc., a global reforestation non-profit organization.

PATRICIA LAVOIE has been writing and producing feature films and television series for many years including seventeen seasons with Sesame Street (CBC) in Canada where she honed her pre-school expertise. She developed the original concept for and produced the first Heritage Minutes, a multi-million dollar television and cinema project based on anecdotes of Canadian history, as well as many award-winning preschool and family productions for broadcasters such as CBC, Radio-Canada, YTV, Treehouse, Animal Planet, TVOntario, TFO, Télé-Québec, Discovery Channel USA and PBS.

Ms. Lavoie also co-produced several feature length films with international partners in Australia, New Zealand, France, Japan and the USA. Her online game productions were created for PBS, National Geographic, CBC, Radio-Canada and Treehouse.
As a broadcaster, Ms. Lavoie also served as interim Director of Yoopa, a multiplatform brand comprised of a television channel, an online community for children and parents and a magazine for parents.

Audley Enough is her third book.

CONNECT WITH AUDLEY COLEY

WEBSITE – Audley Coley (audleyenoughbook.com)

FACEBOOK – Audley Coley | Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Audley-Coley-105730245370234

INSTAGRAM – Audley Coley (@audleycoley) • Instagram photos and videos : https://www.instagram.com/audleycoley

TWITTER – Audley Coley (@audley_coley) / Twitter : https://twitter.com/audley_coley

GOODREADS – Audley Coley (audleycoley) – Montreal, QC, Canada (15 books) | Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/147728134-audley-coley

LINKEDIN – Audley Coley – Motivational and Keynote Speaker on Mental Health & Wellness – Audley Coley | LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/audleycoley/

PURCHASE LINKS AUDLEY ENOUGH

AMAZON.COM – https://amazon.com/dp/022887128X

AMAZON.CA – https://amazon.com/dp/022887128X

AMAZON KINDLE – https://amazon.com/dp/B09PGRX8PW

INDIGO CHAPTERS – https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/audley-enough-a-portrait-of/9780228871286-item.html

BARNES & NOBLE – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/audley-enough-lesley-whyte-reford/1140837677

BOOK DEPOSITORY – https://www.bookdepository.com/Audley-Enough-Lesley-Whyte-Reford-Patricia-Lavoie/9780228871286

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Lesley Whyte Reford & Patricia Lavoie will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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BookCover_Audley Enough

BLOOD OF AZURE SERIES

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Blood of Azure Series
by Jonathan J. Michael

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GENRE: Epic Fantasy

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BLURBS:

BLURB: BLOOD OF AZURE SERIES

Four races with powers dictated by the seasons seek balance and prosperity. However, life instinctively primes itself for survival, and when one race commands the touch of death, all others fall in line. Tyranny plagues Azure as an immortal ruler governs the knowledge of the seasons and those wielding its power.

Four young protagonists, Stone, Jaymes, Goose, and Astor, each navigate their way to escape his shadow and reclaim their freedom. Simple ambitions for young souls. But little did they know, they would uncover the secrets the realm is built upon, and the unique talents they each carry. Their ignorance allows the knowledge of the seasons to escape into the world around them little by little, and with it, a power loosing anarchy upon the realm. A power most aren’t worthy of wielding. It is up to Stone and his companions to tame that power and reclaim the balance.

Four seasons to balance the land. Four sages to balance the life.

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BLURB: SEASON OF SACRIFICE, BOOK 1

Courage is for the bold. It is not for Stone McLarin. He’s been in hiding for four seasons after being orphaned by the Taoiseach. He doesn’t care for the heroic antics of avenging his parent’s death or securing his freedom. He only desires one thing—to protect his sister’s life.

This proves challenging when his sister, Jaymes, possesses a rivaling power of decay to that of the tyrant ruler’s. She’s a threat to his dominance, and there will be no escaping his shadow.

When the Taoiseach manipulates his way into Jaymes’s life and steals her away, Stone has no choice but to follow. He must venture into the heart of the tyrant’s domain and figure out how to penetrate the impenetrable. And if he succeeds there, he will have to slay the most powerful man in Azure.

In a world ruled by decay, what chance does life stand?

Season of Sacrifice is part one of the Blood of Azure series—an epic fantasy full of grim encounters, heroic adventures, unique magic, and a captivating world to explore.

Author’s Note: Contains explicit language and some graphic descriptions.

Book Two Season of Suffering

BLURB: SEASON OF SUFFERING, BOOK 2

A villain in his own mind, Stone McLarin is labeled the hero for murdering a man.

Not only is Stone weighted down as a hero, but he’s idolized by the dominant religion, and he’s the sole protector of the knowledge of the ages. The pressure of the entire realm is on his shoulders.

Carib Reign, a shapeshifter building an army of immortals, plans to purge the Crimson Capital to find this hidden knowledge. His motive, to give the people of Azure the freedom they deserve.

With many adventures along the way, Stone will lead the charge to defend the Crimson Capital against the Immortal Army. Should he fail, anarchy is inevitable. Death for all Azure, a possibility.

Where there is life, death anticipates. But what if death is abandoned? Life will rebel.

Season of Suffering is part two of the Blood of Azure series—an epic fantasy with both light and dark hearts. You’ll experience many fantasy tropes, clashing swords, unique magic, fantastical beasts, and a wide range of Azure’s scenic terrain.

Author’s Note: Contains explicit language and some graphic descriptions.

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EXCERPT

EXCERPT I: SEASON OF SACRIFICE – GOOSE

My heart beats heavier. I inhale and, with the back of my hand, brush a drop of sweat that has found its way down my forehead. I know what these tracks be-long to. But why now? Am I projecting my ambitions—to slay a Creature of the Night? I grab a handful of Everweed from the ground and reluctantly head in the direction of the trampled vegetation.

My experience with these beasts is nonexistent, but then again, there isn’t another who can claim otherwise. They’re the type of animal man stays far away from, which was the primary reason for choosing this location as a refuge. We chose to risk being mauled by the Creatures of the Night over the public execution we would have inevitably encountered by hiding in a small village. Some would consider us the biggest halfwits in all of Vedora, all of Azure even, for making the decision we made, but I know Harris Martelli personally, and the fact he is capable of persuading a strong-willed and morally sound man like my father to do what he did is far more threatening than any beast living in the wood.

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Author Pic

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jonathan J Michael was born and raised in the greater Seattle area in the scenic state of Washington. Jonathan is an advocate of science, nature, and exploration, which has a heavy influence in his debut series, Blood of Azure.

When I drive down the freeway, I often want to veer onto the backroads and head for the mountains. When I’m at an evening gathering, I’m eager to step outside and gaze at the stars. When I’m on a ferry, I’m at the guardrail staring into the depths wondering what kind of leviathans lurk below. I’m an explorer, and since I’m not on the next Crew Dragon headed for the ISS, fantasy novels let me have what I seek. I write to explore a world of wonder.
~ Jonathan

SOCIAL LINKS
Website: https://jonathanjmichael.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.j.michael.author
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jonathan_j_michael/

BUY LINKS
Season of Sacrifice – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08T1XV54W
Season of Suffering – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NSM62N8

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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INTERVIEW WITH …

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?

I do weird things whether I’m alone or not. Weird is the new black. You ain’t cool unless you’re weird. Honestly, talking to myself is probably the weirdest thing. I’ll whine to myself. I’ll praise myself. I’ll talk in weird voices and start making up little jingles. But I only do this when I’m alone. Maybe when my kids are around too. But my intention is to rub off on them, so they have awesome weirdness, too.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” ~Plato

I’m the silent type (except when I’m alone and talking to myself). I think this resonates with me because, when I was younger, I always wondered why some people were so talkative and had so much to say. Those who were louder seemed to be more important, and it made me feel insecure and inferior. And not that I believe every talkative person is a fool, but it gave me clarity that I don’t have to be talkative to be useful. Then, I learned what an introvert is, and that there are so many others like me. This quote has stuck with me as a reminder that I don’t have to be vocal to be useful.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Brent Weeks. Brandon Sanderson a close second.

Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy is what got me started in writing. As I was reading about Durzo Blint, a callous assassin, and his apprentice, Kylar Stern, I thought, I can do this. I want to do this. And my world building began. I was also reading Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy at the time. Another great series that inspired me because of the magic system involved. The concept of metallurgy and how different types of minerals interact with the body differently blew my mind. Both are incredible series and worthy of picking up if you haven’t already.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

My answer might change depending on the year you ask me, but as of right now, I’m focused on the character arcs. The world building is exciting, and it’s why I started this journey, but the world is just a backdrop to what really matters—the characters. Figuring out what their fears are, their flaws, their passions, is all so important. It must be relatable and delivered in a fashion that allows a reader to connect and wonder what will happen next. I’m far from excelling at this, but I do treat it as a top priority and know I will create a self-proclaimed masterpiece someday.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

I knew it needed to be based in a fictional world with a magic system. That’s what I enjoyed reading, and what I wanted to write. From there, I allowed nature and science to inspire me. I took to the seasons. I live in the Pacific Northwest (the Inland Northwest to be specific) where we get to experience four identifiable seasons, and this is what inspired the magic system. The changing seasons can be beautiful and harsh. And they bring a balance to our world. Life doesn’t exist without them. We are interconnected. And my magic system was born.

Anything quantum physics related is also a huge inspiration. I don’t write sci-fi because my brain doesn’t quite wrap around the ideas, but it fills me with wonder. And I try to incorporate that wonder into the worlds I create. For example, gravity can differ from world to world. Time can differ depending on the pull of gravity. Subatomic particles can be entangled with one another. And all of this, in some fashion, can help set the physics and rules of a new world. This aspect is primarily behind the scenes and unwritten.

After the physical world was created (and constantly evolving as I came up with new ideas) I had to create the history and the culture. Being that I wanted to stick to a more balanced theme, I wanted to incorporate a collage of cultures. Admittedly, I’m not worldly, so I did my best by using hierarchal terms from several cultures, the Taoiseach being at the top (pronounced tay-shuh).

Regarding the plot and characters, I also wanted to maintain balance. Because what is light without dark? What is good without evil? So, I knew I must have heroes and anti-heroes. I knew I must have science and faith. I knew I must have extremes in all directions to express the diversity of the world.

Aside from that, the rest evolved as I began writing.

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