Nature cycles through her paces: earth, air, water, and fire. I suspect there is a connection between these elements and the hereafter.
Propelled forward by a promise, my fellow spirits and I wander the world of the living searching for our purpose.
Will delving into the metaphysical side of death, the science of the afterlife, provide the answers? Maybe if I can understand why I continue to exist, I will be able to rest in peace. That is the goal—the ultimate finale—sans encores.
The soundtrack of my death snakes through my story. On the plane of the dead, I continue to reconcile this existence with the off-kilter dissonance of the ever-present music resounding in my mind.
Prologue: Nature’s Elemental Truths
Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the boogeyman, our questioning of truth begins the moment we uncover the lies.
Woven within the fabric of life, lies take on an existence of their own. Snap out the cloth; let mythology fall like dead leaves in the autumn forest. What remains is truth, green, musky, slippery. Wrap yourself within truth’s folds, for there is nothing warmer on a cold day. Have faith in what is real—the purity of existence.
When you accept the fundamental elements of nature, there is no reason to create comforting, ritualistic lore. Develop a wanderlust and experience for yourself all the magic surrounding your senses when they are exposed to the physical realm. Drink it in; allow it to slip down your throat. Caress it with curious fingers. Embrace the deepest level of tactile sensation. Listen for the dissonant music emanating from all life.
For the unafraid, heaven exists in nature’s truths. I feel the honesty of life because my heart plays the dissonance of the dead.
Pixie Forest Publishing loves the idea of spreading awareness of indie books and anthologies by offering book boxes! Almost all of the books are signed by the authors, who provide swag like bookmarks, candles, pens, necklaces, and more. PFP adds in their own unique swag that’s centered around that month’s theme as well!
They offer up to five boxes of each theme every month. Some past themes include fantasy, horror, romance, kid’s, and young adult. To-date they’ve sold nine different boxes! Upcoming themes include another fantasy box, a Mother’s Day box, vacation themed, sci-fi, and dystopian.
Boxes range from $30-$40 depending on the contents. Every box includes a $5 off coupon for a future box and a collectible snap-charm keyring.
You can read the book blurbs every month and decide for yourself at https://pixieforestpublishing.com/book-boxes/
Miss a month? Don’t worry! All the individual books are linked to Amazon on their website for a month following the box it appeared in, along with the author’s information.
Interested in being a part of a box? Email Jensen and Donise at email@example.com to learn more and have a chance at being a featured book box author, poet, or fellow publisher.
Want to stay up to date with all things Pixie Forest? Join their newsletter and check them out across social media:
Become a groupie for special prizes, head start on contests, and more! https://www.facebook.com/groups/pixieforestpubgroupies/ Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/ca46b4fb6c15/pfpnewsletter Instagram: www.instagram.com/pixieforestpub Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pixieforestpublishing/ Twitter: www.twitter.com/pixieforestpub MeWe: https://mewe.com/page/5c17e900d232df0d3b92733d
William Howard and I have known each other for a few years.
We belong to the same writer’s group and sometimes we share a table at author events. William is a warm and caring person with a wonderful imagination.
He pays special attention to his readers and is eager to speak with them about his fantasy novel or any fantastical story.
He loves words, world building, and creating colorful characters.
Now that I’ve introduced you to William, let’s get to know him a little better.
Hello, William, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
What inspired you to be a writer?
I had a few
good school friends when I was growing up in Northeast Philadelphia but there
were many times I played alone in my room. My sister and I were latch-key
children so my parents preferred that we remain close to home.
When I came home from school, I finished my homework
quickly since my elementary school career occurred in the 70s long before the
era of lengthy homework assignments.
After completing my work, I would play with my action
figures, read, and watch television until my parents came home.
During these hours of play; something I believe is a
luxury that has sadly become unavailable to the current generation, I would
make up stories for my mixed cast of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica,
and Star Wars action figures.
When I entered my early teens, I wrote some of these stories down as fan fiction. In addition, I discovered that my fertile imagination, which my father referred to as my excessive daydreaming, produced original stories about werewolves, robots, Martians, and superheroes.
Is writing your full-time profession?
Sadly, I am still
in the process of, hopefully, becoming an overnight success which
someone has told me takes a great number of years.
I received a glimmer of hope when my sister spoke to Susan Stoker about my writing. When my sister informed Ms. Stoker that I was a writer, she told my sister I was on the right track, not to give up my day job, and to take advantage of every opportunity to write in my spare time.
For now, I work as a Special Educator in a preschool classroom for the special needs agency, Northeast Growth and Development.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been making up stories since I was 8 years old.
My mother gave me her manual typewriter when I was 13;
after my father purchased an electric typewriter for the household. On this old
typewriter, I started a few novels I came close to finishing.
It wasn’t until I joined the Neshaminy Writers Group in 2015 that I found the determination and persistence to finish my first novel.
How many books have you written?
I have written a single novel, The Eye of Hermes,
and hope to write additional novels within that same literary universe.
Which genre do you write for?
What do you find most challenging about writing for
this genre? Making the characters believable and sympathetic amid fantastical events
occurring around them.
What are you working on now? I am working on a novel entitled Marigold, which takes place in the not-too-distant future. It‘s about an android named, Marigold, who has been sheltered her entire life.
She wakes one day to find that her creator has disappeared, and that someone has accused her of a murder she didn’t commit.
What has been your most rewarding experience since
publishing your work?
Having a small slice of celebrity as a published novelist;
especially when people ask me, “did you write this book?” or “are you the
However, connecting with other published authors, as well
as aspiring authors, and learning about their literary journey has been even
What advice would you give to authors just starting
out? Keep writing every day. Even if you only write a page or two, a paragraph,
or a single sentence. It will bring you that much closer to having a finished
Also, always care a notebook with you or use the note section on your phone
because you never know when inspiration will strike.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you? If you meet me in person, I might inadvertently give you detailed information about my literary universe.
I’ve noticed that when this occurs I suddenly see a confused look, come over a readers’ face. If this occurs, my advice is to provide the complement, “that sounds extremely interesting,” and purchase one of my novels so you can find out more fully what I was talking about.
What message are you sharing in your books?
Tolerance. There are people in this world who don’t look
like you, don’t think like you, and may live their lives in a way completely
different from you, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are as human and
imperfect as anyone of us.
I hope through my literary work people might stop to think, that given how brief our time on Earth is, it is more beneficial to celebrate the commonalities among others rather than searching out reasons to hate complete strangers.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a huge fan of Frank Herbert, William S. Burroughs,
Douglas Adams, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Diana Gabaldon and Terry Pratchett.
What are your favorite movies, TV shows? I gave up on TV because all the stuff I like never gets renewed. Still
heartbroken over Timeless not getting renewed for a 3rd season.
But if I was locked in a windowless room and had a remote
control surgically implanted in my hand — you see how my mind works — then I’d
probably watch The WalkingDead, Timeless, Maniac, Lost in Space
(1967 and 2018), the X-Files, Star Trek and Dr.Who.
When you aren’t writing where can we find you? Thinking about what I will write next, but at my day job working with
preschoolers with special needs.
What inspires you? Random acts of humanity and kindness. Thinking about how we are such a small part of the universe, but also that it is a miracle we are here at all.
Do you have a new release coming out soon?
Hopefully, my new novel, Marigold: the Chlorophyll Chronicles, will
becoming out in early 2019.
Amy Bernal is an explorer. Every day she travels to different worlds through books, letting the words carry her on new and wonderful adventures.
Once she returns from these amazing experiences, she shares them with the world on her blog My Books My World.
disabled, Amy finds joy in helping authors reach their dreams. She lives in
Georgia with her husband.
Now that I’ve introduced you to Amy, let’s get to know her a little better.
welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this
Thank you for
inspired you to be a blogger?
My inspiration to be a blogger is to help different authors that write in different genres to get more exposure to different readers.
As a reader, first, I love to know what is new. I have met New Authors whose books are just so amazing, all they need is more exposure.
Can you tell
us a little about your blog My Books My World?
Yes, for the last two years I’ve been doing interviews with authors every Monday through Friday and sometimes on weekends. These authors tell us more about themselves and their books.
I try to showcase any books they talk about. The authors open up a little about their lives and what inspires them to write and how much their love of writing means to them.
do you write about?
write reviews on the books I have read, author interviews , author book
releases and author cover reveals.
your full-time profession?
I am partially disabled, so I feel as if this is my way to help others since I
can’t work a full-time job. I love this, and I feel very fulfilled.
have you been blogging?
Over two two-and-a-half-years, but I have been working with authors for over five years now.
I have been a Personal Assistant with authors for five years. I love it!
books have you reviewed?
300 books and counting.
do you review?
have reviewed ALL genres. After I have read 10 books that are paranormal then I
go read a few fantasy then I move onto romance and so on. I must admit though
that I have a love for paranormal.
What do you
find most challenging reviewing for these genres?
As a reviewer there are books that, in my opinion, are lacking in a good story line. If I find a book that I feel is below a 2 star rating, I contact the author and let them know what I found and why I felt that it was below 2 stars.
I ask them if they’d like me to post that review or not. For me, I just want them to know and understand why I felt the way I did when reading their book.
If they’d like me to post the review, I will and if not, I still did my job of reviewing but just gave it to the author instead.
What are you
I just started reading The Rise of Fame by Shay Stone.
been your most rewarding experience since you started blogging?
new authors and new friendships.
would you give to bloggers just starting out?
keep doing what you love that is rewarding in itself.
anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I have been through a lot in my life and reading has kept me sane. Books and authors have helped me continue to explore new and amazing worlds.
Words have taken me to places and have given me the courage to continue to move forward in my life. I have made some really great friendships with some authors and I am so grateful that I have them in my life.
Like I said earlier I have gone through many personal struggles in my life and without them and their words I don’t know where I’d be right now.
are you sharing in your blog?
I’m hoping that if anyone gets any message from my blog, it’s from the author interviews. They are the reason this blog keeps going.
They express to anyone and everyone, if they want to write KEEP GOING and DON’T GIVE UP. I think this can be said in every aspect in our lives.
your favorite books/authors?
Oh my. I have MANY. I am a big fan of Cassandra Clare. Her series The InfernalDevices is my FAVORITE.
I listened to them on Audible many times after I had brain surgery. Then I read them once more.
I also love Lisa Renee Jones. Her The InsideOut series is so close to my heart. I have read every single book she has written and in every book something always makes me want more.
your favorite movies, TV shows?
LOL…don’t get me started. I am a major fan of movies and TV shows. My favorite movies of all time are Forrest Gump and Byzantium.
TV- I’m a major fan of The Originals, Shadowhunters,A Million Little Things, and so many more.
not blogging where can we find you?
with my cats or outdoors taking pictures.
How can an
author have their book reviewed by you?
I met Yusuf El at the Fifth Annual Independent Authors Book Expo. Although a prolific writer, I found Yusef to be composed and one who doesn’t squander his time with silly chatter.
He is confident enough in his own skin, that clogging up the silence, instead of appreciating it, is time wasted on self-reflection. When he has something to say, he expresses it through his poetry and many books.
Yusef was born
in Chicago and grew up in Pembroke, Illinois. He received a B.A. from the
University of New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree from Governor’s State
passionate about poetry and enjoys speaking in many locales about his work and
Now that I have introduced you to Yusef, let’s get to know him a little better.
Hello, Yusuf, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications .
Thank you for having me.
inspired you to be a writer?
My first poem found me. I had given no
thought to becoming a writer nor was I impressed with my first fruits.
your full-time profession?
My full-time profession comprises writing, publishing and selling my books, and public speaking.
Have you won
My latest book, Thank You & Please,
won the IABX award last year for Best Children’s Book. This book also placed as
a finalist in the Best Book Awards for Hardcover, Children’s Book, 2017.
have you been writing?
Since 1967. I
have published since 1973.
books have you written?
Twenty to twenty-one, including editing and publishing five anthologies.
do you write?
What do you
find most challenging writing for this genres?
What are you
working on now?
My Father Knows, a children’s book heralding the wonderful world of fatherhood.
been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
Interacting with the people who tell me
how a book or poem of mine spoke to their souls or told a part of their story.
would you give to authors just starting out?
Be true to your
muse. Be true to yourself.
anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I am self-taught. I have never taken a poetry class. I write what comes to me the way it comes to me.
are you sharing in your books?
My books are
pages from an ongoing memoir.
your favorite books?
My books are my
your favorite movies, TV shows?
I have no favorite TV shows unless I
binge-watch. I could never discipline myself to sit in front of a TV at the
same time each week to see what my show is doing.
aren’t writing, where can we find you?
Simply living. I have no time set aside to write. I write when things come to me.
I need not be inspired. I write what comes
to me. A poem that comes to me inspires me. I have no way to attract it, so a
poem itself is an inspiration.
Do you have
a website/Facebook page, etc.?
Yes. My website is www.rawtears.com. You can find me
at Yusuf Ali El on Facebook.
Book covers, and photos are found on my
Thank you, Yusuf, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!
Then again, how do you end something that never really started?
Now, three months later we’re being thrown back together for the sake of an investigation and forced to coexist.
I thought falling in love with someone who didn’t want to be loved was hard but going into witness protection with the man who ignorantly took my heart? Yeah, that was going to be impossible.
Time and distance were what I needed to forget Laney Thompson. A Jack and Jill bathroom and the bedroom next door was what I got instead. Witness protection on her family’s farm? I was skeptical too, especially with our icy reunion. But the longer I was around her the more I realized how much I needed her.
With her, it was easy to forget.
Forget about my life and who I was, and why we needed things to fade between us in the first place. All I needed was one tragic reminder.
“So, how have you been these last few months?” Jackson asked with a slight pitch in his voice.
I tried not to let out a big fat sigh. I really didn’t want to talk about how miserable I had been or how many times I had cried myself to sleep. So instead. I said, “Good but busy. How about you?”
He did let out a big sigh and readjusted his hands on the steering wheel. “Rough… They’ve been rough.” He trailed off with a strong tick in his jaw.
So many parts of my heart wanted to hear why his last few months were rough and ask if he missed me. But asking why his last few months had been rough would eventually lead us back to the topic of the breakup, and I wasn’t ready to broach that yet.
So, I changed the subject. “So, are you ready to be on a farm? Want any pointers?”
Jackson let out a small laugh and dug into his can of almonds which was his version of road trip food. Mine, however, was a bag of Funyuns, Cheez-its, Red Vines, and trail mix.
“I don’t think I will ever be ready for the farm, but I would love some pointers.” Jackson tilted his head and looked over at me, the bill of his hat tipped back just a fraction, making him look like he really did belong on a farm.
I sifted through the pile of trail mix for the M&Ms and started in.
“So, first thing you need to know is no one will respect you right off the bat. You’ll need to be willing to put in the work and earn it,”
I dumped the rest of the trail mix back into the bag. Jackson noticed and chided, “Stop it. You know I hate it when you only eat the M&Ms.”
I shrugged and started hunting for more.
“You’ll probably be asked to clean up horse poop and collect eggs, maybe even move a few hay bales.”
Jackson carefully peeked at me before watching the road again. I was sifting through another pile of trail mix when he ripped the bag out of my hands.
“No! Jackson don’t!” I yelled, trying to reclaim the bag.
He had it shoved in between his hip and his door, out of my reach, and even if I could reach it, I’d have to get really close to him to do it.
“Give it back,” I held out my hands expectantly.
He was still watching the road as a smile crested his face. “Not until you promise to eat some almonds.” He was always trying to get me to eat healthier, which was discourteous because it wasn’t like I was pushing my artificial flavors or processed sugar on him.
“No. It’s mine. Give it back,” I demanded again. Jackson peered at me again and gave me a grin that said he was going to like what he was about to say way more than I was.
“Come and get it.”
I knew it.
I fucking knew he was going to turn this into some game. I let out a sigh and crossed my arms.
“Forget it. I’m not in the habit of feeling up man-whores.” It was a low blow but so was finding out he took someone else to Italy.
**Available in KU.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in Nebraska. Raised everywhere under the sun but grew roots in Central Oregon. Married to the shy guy from high school who grew up to be hot as hell. Four kids, three of which are little women and one little princeling. My life is full, fun, and amusing. I became a writer to fund my expensive reading habit.