Jonathan N. Pruitt’s Epic Tale Conjures a World Where Magic Meets the Unknown

Unraveling the Enigma and the Spellbinding Magic, Mystery, and Suspense of The Amber Menhir

Magic, mystery, and suspense—these three elements have the power to transport readers to captivating realms, ignite their curiosity, and keep them on the edge of their seats. In The Amber Menhir by Jonathan N. Pruitt, these elements converge in a literary symphony that weaves a narrative brimming with enchantment, enigma, and heart-pounding intrigue.

Magic: A Force Beyond Imagination

Magic is the beating heart of The Amber Menhir. In this meticulously crafted universe, it’s not just a concept; it’s a tangible, living force. The characters, particularly the scholars within the menhirs, grapple with the complexities of magic, which is as awe-inspiring as it is perilous. The power to manipulate time, the ability to harness unseen energies, and the mastery of arcane arts all come together to create a world where possibilities are limited only by one’s imagination.

Tara Langcraw, the central character, embodies the very essence of magical potential. As the heir to a rare bloodline with the power of time manipulation, she is a conduit for the extraordinary. Tara’s journey from an ordinary life to the extraordinary realm of the Amber Menhir is a testament to the allure and allure of magic. Her discovery and mastery of her powers are a captivating narrative thread that keeps readers spellbound.

Mystery: The Looming Calamity

Mystery shrouds every corner of the world depicted in The Amber Menhir. At the heart of this mystery lies ‘Calamity,’ a celestial body hurtling towards the world, threatening to plunge it into chaos and oblivion. The concept of impending doom permeates the narrative, setting the stage for a story rife with unanswered questions and hidden truths.

Calamity serves as an enigmatic specter haunting the minds of the characters and readers alike. What is its origin? Can it be stopped? What secrets does it hold? The relentless pursuit of these mysteries forms the backbone of the narrative, driving characters to embark on a quest that transcends the boundaries of the known.

As readers accompany Tara, Roland Ward, and Peony Bianchi on their journey, they are thrust into a world where unraveling the mysteries of Calamity becomes a race against time. Each revelation brings new layers of intrigue, adding to the narrative’s depth and complexity.

Suspense: A Perilous Journey

Suspense is the heartbeat of The Amber Menhir, propelling the story forward with relentless intensity. The menhir, though a bastion of knowledge and hope, conceals a dark underbelly filled with rivalries, power struggles, and perilous secrets. Those who dare to challenge the status quo within its hallowed halls risk not only their academic standing but potentially their lives.

The suspense in the narrative is palpable, keeping readers hooked with every twist and turn. As Tara and her companions navigate the treacherous terrain of the menhir, they encounter unexpected allies and formidable adversaries, each contributing to the ever-escalating tension. The constant threat of failure and the looming presence of Calamity serve as constant reminders that time is of the essence.

Will Tara and her friends succeed in their quest to harness their powers and avert the impending disaster? Or will they fall victim to the intricate web of politics and power within the menhir? The suspense keeps readers guessing until the very last page.

An Unforgettable Literary Alchemy

The Amber Menhir by Jonathan N. Pruitt is a literary alchemy of magic, mystery, and suspense. It invites readers to embark on a journey where the boundaries of reality blur, and the unknown beckons with tantalizing allure.

As you immerse yourself in the world of Tara Langcraw and her companions, be prepared to be swept away by a narrative that defies conventions and expectations. Magic becomes a tangible force, mystery deepens with every revelation, and suspense tightens its grip with each passing chapter.

Jonathan N. Pruitt’s masterful storytelling, rich world-building, and well-crafted characters ensure that The Amber Menhir is more than just a fantasy novel—it’s an immersive experience that will leave you craving more.

In this world of magic, mystery, and suspense, you’ll discover that the greatest adventures often begin with a single step into the unknown.

Embark on this spellbinding journey with The Amber Menhir by Jonathan N. Pruitt, available on Amazon.

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Author Spotlight: P. L. Hampton and the Enigmatic World of Shadowland

Blending Supernatural Intrigue with Emotional Resonance: Unveiling the Mysteries of “Shadowland”

In the vast landscape of literature, where imagination knows no bounds, there are authors whose words possess the rare ability to transport readers to realms both familiar and extraordinary. P. L. Hampton stands firmly in this category, a literary master whose storytelling skill has given birth to the mesmerizing world of Shadowland. As we journey deeper into the corridors of his narrative, we unearth not only a captivating tale but also the essence of an author driven by a passion to blend the supernatural with emotional depth.

Born and raised in the vibrant city of Seattle, Washington, P. L. Hampton’s journey to becoming an acclaimed dark fiction author has been nothing short of remarkable. With an academic background as a college professor and his pursuit of a JD, Hampton’s eclectic experiences enrich the layers of his storytelling. It is this fusion of academia and imagination that imbues Shadowland with a distinctive flavor, making it a narrative that seamlessly blends the arcane with the relatable.

Shadowland, set to be released by Running Wild/RIZE Press on September 5, 2023, holds within its pages a world that beckons readers to explore the uncharted territories of human emotion and supernatural intrigue. At its heart lies the enigmatic Yoruba Divination Board, an ancient artifact that propels protagonist Aaron Langford into a tumultuous odyssey. The disappearance of Aaron’s children, Asher, and Imani, plunges him into a spiral of despair, with the boundaries between reality and the supernatural blurring ominously.

What sets P. L. Hampton apart as a writer is his uncanny ability to intertwine the threads of emotion and the supernatural, crafting a narrative that resonates on both visceral and intellectual levels. As we accompany Aaron on his quest, we become deeply invested in his struggle against adversity, his yearning for redemption, and his unwavering determination to reunite with his children. Hampton’s prose elicits empathy, drawing readers into the narrative’s emotional vortex.

The Yoruba Divination Board, a conduit between the known and the enigmatic, embodies the thematic heart of Shadowland. Hampton delves into the complexities of African American culture, infusing the narrative with authenticity born from his own experiences and background. Through this exploration, he unravels the multifaceted layers of identity, spirituality, and historical context, inviting readers to reflect upon the nuances of culture that shape our world.

As the story unfolds, Shadowland becomes a philosophical exploration of mortality and the inexorable interplay between life and death. The divination tray becomes a metaphor for the fragility of existence, a vessel that bridges the gap between the tangible and the intangible. Hampton’s narrative takes us on a journey of introspection, prompting us to question our perceptions of reality and the mysteries that lie beyond.

Hampton’s lyrical language lends itself to the creation of a graphic atmosphere, immersing readers in the world of Shadowland. His descriptions of the realm are vivid and haunting, evoking a sense of wonder and trepidation. The narrative’s pacing is a testament to Hampton’s storytelling finesse, as he expertly weaves suspense and revelation, guiding readers through a labyrinth of twists and turns.

As we investigate the mind of P. L. Hampton, it becomes evident that Shadowland is not merely a tale, but a vessel for new exploration. Hampton’s own fascination with the supernatural and his personal connection to the themes of the narrative fill the story with a sense of authenticity that is both rare and spellbinding. It is through his words that the boundaries between reality and the unknown blur, captivating readers in a narrative dance of light and shadow.

P. L. Hampton’s Shadowland is a testament to the power of literature to transcend genre conventions and touch the core of human experience. As we cross the realms of emotion and supernatural intrigue alongside Aaron Langford, we are reminded that most stories are those that challenge our perceptions and motion us to question the boundaries of existence. P. L. Hampton’s storytelling sharpness cements him as a literary luminary, and Shadowland as a work of artistry that resonates far beyond its pages.

Plunge yourself into a narrative that blurs the lines between reality and the supernatural and join Aaron Langford on a journey that will linger in your thoughts long after the last chapter is read. And experience the Mysteries of Shadowland for Yourself! Discover the enigmatic world of Shadowland by P. L. Hampton.

Available for pre-order on Barnes and Noble.

Author Spotlight: : William Stevenson, Inspiring Young Minds Through Adventure and History

William Stevenson, acclaimed children’s book author and retired accountant, has enchanted young readers with his captivating series, “Ricky’s Dream Trip.” Through the magical power of storytelling, Stevenson takes children on thrilling adventures through time and ancient civilizations. His book, “Ricky’s Dream Trip to the Ancient Worlds of Egypt, Greece, and Rome,” combines three award-winning stories in one volume, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of history. Stevenson’s dedication to inspiring young minds and his ability to seamlessly blend education with entertainment make him a standout author in the children’s literature landscape.

A Passion for Education and Adventure:

Driven by a love for learning and a desire to inspire children, William Stevenson embarked on a creative journey to create stories that would ignite young minds. Inspired by his grandson Ricky, Stevenson envisioned a series that would transport children to different time periods and cultures, sparking their curiosity and fostering a lifelong love for history and exploration.

Stevenson’s unique approach lies in his ability to make children the heroes of their own stories. By placing young protagonists like Ricky at the center of the adventures, he empowers young readers to embrace their own potential and instills a sense of agency and self-belief. Through his books, Stevenson imparts a double message of making children the protagonists of their lives and emphasizing the power of love and guidance from grandparents.

Research and Attention to Detail:

Each book in the “Ricky’s Dream Trip” series is meticulously researched, ensuring accuracy and authenticity in the portrayal of historical events and cultural nuances. Stevenson’s commitment to providing an educational experience is evident as he incorporates historical facts, archaeological discoveries, and fascinating anecdotes seamlessly into the narrative. By delving into specific moments in history, such as Julius Caesar’s teenage escapades or the life of Tutankhamun, Stevenson sparks the imaginations of young readers, inspiring them to explore and delve deeper into the subjects introduced in his books.

Collaboration and Illustrations:

William Stevenson’s collaboration with illustrator Paul Fireman adds an extra layer of magic to his stories. Paul Fireman’s stunning illustrations bring Stevenson’s words to life, capturing the imagination of young readers and enhancing their reading experience. The vibrant colors, attention to detail, and expressive characters invite children into the ancient worlds of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, making the stories truly come alive.

Educational Impact:

Educators and parents alike appreciate Stevenson’s books for their educational value. With classroom use suggestions and at-home activities provided in “Ricky’s Dream Trip to the Ancient Worlds of Egypt, Greece, and Rome,” the book becomes an invaluable resource for interactive learning. It encourages children to explore further, ask questions, and engage with the historical content beyond the pages of the book. Stevenson’s dedication to providing a well-rounded educational experience makes his books cherished additions to classrooms, libraries, and personal bookshelves.

William Stevenson’s passion for education, his gift for storytelling, and his commitment to inspiring young minds through adventure and history have established him as a prominent figure in children’s literature. Through his “Ricky’s Dream Trip” series, Stevenson has captivated young readers, taking them on enchanting journeys through time and ancient civilizations.

“Ricky’s Dream Trip to the Ancient Worlds of Egypt, Greece, and Rome,” is a testament to his storytelling prowess and educational values.  William Stevenson’s books are a gift of learning and imagination that will leave a lasting impact on young readers for years to come.

To embark on an unforgettable adventure and ignite a love for history in your child, explore “Ricky’s Dream Trip” on Amazon.

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Author Spotlight: Mark J. Rose

Mark J. Rose is a Renaissance man who has made significant contributions in the fields of science and writing. He is an accomplished writer and a leading scientist, and his diverse background has informed his work in both areas.

Rose is currently the Head of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics at Gossamer Bio, Inc., a biotech startup that is working on finding cures for a range of diseases, including pulmonary hypertension, lymphoma, and multiple sclerosis. Before joining Gossamer Bio, he held various positions at large pharmaceutical companies, including Glaxo, Merck, and Amgen. He also spent over half a decade researching Huntington’s disease for the CHDI Foundation.

Rose’s passion for writing is equally impressive. He has authored numerous novels and screenplays, and his latest work, The Architect, is the fourth book in his historical science fiction series. The series explores the concept of time travel and its impact on history, and The Architect tells the story of 21st century businessman and politician Matt Miller, who finds himself transported back in time to the 17th century colony of Virginia.

The Architect is a captivating novel that blends historical fact with science fiction. Rose’s ability to build worlds is exceptional, immersing readers in the sights, sounds, and smells of colonial Virginia. Through Matt Miller’s journey, Rose explores the role of the individual in shaping history. The Architect is the 4th book of the Matt Miller in the Colonies series.

The first book is titled Journeyman, by Mark J. Rose is an enthralling adventure novel that follows the story of scientist Matt Miller, who finds himself stranded in Colonial America with nothing but a backpack. As he navigates this new world and tries to find his place in it, Matt faces unexpected challenges and struggles to survive in a society where he has no relevant skills or connections. With a well-crafted plot, vivid characters, and a thrilling storyline, “Time Lapse” is a must-read for fans of time travel and historical fiction.

The second book, titled Prophet, is an exhilarating novel by Mark J. Rose, following the journey of 21st-century scientist Matt Miller, who finds himself in Colonial Virginia with nothing but his backpack and wits. As he leaves for Philadelphia to make his fortune and claim the woman he loves, Matt faces unexpected challenges and a sworn enemy who will stop at nothing to destroy him. With an intricate plot, well-developed characters, and unexpected twists, Prophet is a must-read for fans of time travel and historical fiction.

The third book is titled Virginian, is a thrilling science-fiction novel by Mark J. Rose, following the journey of Matt Miller, a 21st-century scientist, summoned to London by Ben Franklin to investigate the disappearance of a British leader. Alongside another time traveler, they embark on a mission across two continents to change the destiny of Western Civilization. With an intricate plot, unexpected twists, and well-developed characters, Virginian offers a unique perspective on history, politics, and time travel, making it a must-read for fans of science fiction and historical fiction.

Rose’s work has garnered critical acclaim, and his ability to blend science and history has made him a respected figure in both fields. He has received numerous awards for his scientific research, and his writing has been praised for its ability to captivate readers.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Rose is a man of many interests. He enjoys riding his Harley Davidson, golfing, collecting Tiffany lamps, and running on the beach with his sheepadoodle, Misha. He also appreciates exceptional restaurants and food and owns an impressive collection of whisky and wine.

Mark J. Rose is a rare talent who has made significant contributions in both the sciences and the arts. His ability to blend historical fact with science fiction is exceptional. As he continues to push boundaries in both fields, it will be exciting to see what he produces next.

Grab a copy of The Architect now on Amazon. Check out another spotlight author here.

Spotlight: Horror Writers Association

The ninth volume of Poetry Showcase, which comprises never-before-published dark and spine-chilling poems, was published as part of the Horror Writers Association’s yearly poetry collection release. The collection, which Angela Yuriko Smith edited, includes an anthology of 50 poems by various authors chosen by judges Lee Murray, Maxwell Gold, and Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito. Only 50 of the approximately 300 submissions from multiple authors were selected to be included in the ninth book. Pick up this book if you’re seeking a fantastic collection of poems to satisfy your appetite for bite-sized horrors!

Let’s look first at what Horror Writers Association is all about!

Horror Writers Association

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals worldwide dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it.

Horror Writers Association was formed in the late 1980s. With over 1400 members in countries such as Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, and more, it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for writers. As an organization, HWA is dedicated to recognizing and promoting diversity in the horror genre; they’re also strictly practicing anti-harassment policy in all their events.

Who Can Join HWA?

Anyone can join Horror Writers Association. HWA has different membership levels based on the person’s experience. The person must apply for the group they fit into, alongside proper documentation to prove their experience. The membership levels include (1) Supporting Ally, for those who are not professional writer but has an interest in Horror, reading and watching horror movies. (2) Associate Ally, this is for non-writing horror professionals such as booksellers, agents, illustrators, editors, and more) (3) Academic Ally is for those who are working as an academic and has an academic interest in the field of Horror or dark literature (4) The Affiliate Writer membership is for those who published a little at professional rates. Lastly, (5) Active Writer or Editor (voting member) is for those who are already established professional writers or editors. It’s easy to send an application and provide proof of experience with your application. 

Aside from a chance to get featured for the upcoming volumes of the HWA Poetry Showcase, joining HWA can reap many benefits. HWA can help further your career with their career-building programs if you’re an aspiring writer. There’s the Hwa Mentor Program for educating beginning writers in the craft. HWA also helps writers find agents by providing comprehensive contact info for agents who specialize in the horror genre. Many networking resources exist for producers, publishers, editors, and agents. For librarians or booksellers, you’ll have an inside track on talented writers and the hot new book and award winners. If you’re just a fan of Horror, HWA can still help you by giving you access to the writers you genuinely love.

What are you waiting for? Come and be a member of the Horror Writers Association now.

You can check out HWA Poetry Showcase Volume IX on Amazon.

For more information about Horror Writers Association, you can visit their website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Read another Author Spotlight about Stuart Waldner here.

Author Spotlight: Deborah Levine Herman

Writer and literary agent Deborah Levine Herman releases the 2nd edition of her book Spirtual Writing: From Inspiration to Publication. Deborah has a vast knowledge of the literary world, that marks her as an expert in her field. Her knowledge is paramount for authors who strive to become successful.

Deborah Levine Herman is an author, literary agent, and publishing entrepreneur. Deborah Herman is the CEO of Micro Publishing Media, a niche and kitsch indie publishing company. Micro Publishing Media offers complete editorial services, design, and marketing for entrepreneurial authors.

When asked what this new edition can teach writers, Deborah said, “The first part will help them center and focus on being a positive vessel for higher information. I stress the need to move above ego. The seven lessons are laid out clearly for writers to understand their individual journeys.

Then these writers will learn everything they need to know about how to navigate the publishing industry, but more importantly, how to create success with the many alternative opportunities. I stress that becoming a bestselling author may not be the goal. It could be the result. However, the important thing is to be accessible to those who need the message they convey. The book includes sections on platform building and digital marketing that didn’t exist when I first conceived of the book.”

Deborah Herman’s latest book was a collaboration with Dianne’ Snake’ Lake, the youngest member of the notorious Manson Family, who, for the first time, shares her survival tale and how she contributed to the arrest of Charles Manson and the other killers. As a lawyer/journalist Herman contributed to the most recent Manson book, Inside the Manson Jury: From Deliberation to Death Penalty, written by Jury Foreman Herman Tubick in 1973 and was founded by his daughter in 2017. Deborah inserted well-placed transcript portions when MPM published the book to demonstrate Manson’s attempts to influence the proceedings and verdict. Like a puppeteer, psychopath Manson got all the accusers to do what he said and give their lives to clear his name. In the end, the court refused to give him the power to make decisions.

While still in her first year of law school at the Ohio State University College of Law, Herman set her sights on authoring works similar to this. Herman was approached to interview comics for a nearby entertainment magazine by the comedy club proprietor where she was unwinding her 1-L overworked skull–this sparked a passion for writing and a voyeuristic attitude toward personality profiles.

Aside from those, Deborah Herman has also written on other subjects such as parenting and motherhood. She has a book tailored for writers titled Spiritual Writing from Inspiration to Publication this book is now being revised to fit and reflect the digital age. Herman also co-authors Jeff Herman on the industry bible titled Write the Perfect Book Proposal: Ten Proposals that worked and Why.”

Deborah Levine Herman

Regarding Deborah Herman’s interests; horses, jewelry-making, bead weaving, drawing, and painting are some of Herman’s passions. Deborah Herman currently resides in New England.

Make sure to grab a copy of Spiritual Writing: From Inspiration to Publication 2nd Edition. This book is ideal for you if you’re a spiritual writer looking for a book to help you with your writing process.

You can check out Spiritual Writing: From Inspiration to Publication 2nd Edition on Amazon.

You can visit their website for more information about Deborah Levine Herman and her other books. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Author Spotlight: Stuart Waldner

Activist and author Stuart Waldner is up to release his debut novel ‘Escape the Meatrix: Eat Plants, Feel Great, and Save the Planet!’ this October 11, under Houndstooth Press. But before we talk about the exciting details of his upcoming book, let’s get to know Stuart Waldner.

Stuart Waldner is an author/activist of the upcoming book ‘Escape the Meatrix: Eat Plants, Feel Great, and Save the Planet!’. The book Escape the Meatrix was written after Stuart switched to a plant-based diet in 2008. 

Stuart Waldner is living in Lexington, Kentucky, in the United States. Lexington, Kentucky, is one of the country’s poorer and least educated areas with unhealthy individuals. Despite this, it’s one of the most beautiful places filled with genuine people, which Stuart appreciates. Growing up, Stuart witnessed those around him become ill, so he decided to make some changes in his lifestyle that could offer him the best chance to avoid the illnesses he saw in his relatives and the people he grew up with. In 1985, when Stuart was 23, he stopped eating meat and started exercising. It was not until 2008 that Stuart entirely went with a plant-based lifestyle. People may see it as a foolish decision, but Stuart’s life experiences prove that it was a big, good decision.

After transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, Stuart discovered the connection between food choices and global crises such as climate change. The more Stuart learned about the statistical data that links dietary choices and the current global crisis, the more he was eager to convince other people to wake up.

When not advocating, Stuart Waldner spends his free time playing with his dogs, cooking plant-based foods, running, and restoring his 128-year-old Victorian home. Stuart’s doctor and the people around him can’t help but notice his excellent health—all thanks to a plant-based lifestyle.

 ‘Escape the Meatrix: Eat Plants, Feel Great, and Save the Planet!’ is an environmental, health, and wellness nonfiction book which features personal experience and data supported with research and scientific evidence. Here, Stuart Waldner boldly tells the truth about the Meatrix and how it led people to believe that animal-based products are natural and necessary when it was only conditioned to use them. Supported by science and research, the book illustrates how switching to a plant-based lifestyle can positively affect and improve a person’s health. It also averts the effects of climate change which can be a more significant problem for future generations. Stuart Waldner invites the readers to challenge the status quo and don’t sway with the growing animal-based consumers. The evidence is presented in the book. It’s up to you to decide whether you accept the action or stay the same.

You can check out and pre-order Escape the Meatrix: Eat Plants, Feel Great, and Save the Planet! on Amazon.

For more information about Stuart Waldner, you can visit his website. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

Author Spotlight: Steven Joseph

Steven Joseph is an attorney and a remarkable writer. He experienced writing comprehensive legal briefs to pen award-winning non-fiction for children and adults. Aside from that, Steven is also a professional negotiator, marathon runner, and comedian whose humor can be seen significantly in his books. He lives in Hoboken, New York, and is a proud father of a grown-up daughter, Vita.

Steven is also a Holocaust survivor’s son, which explains his recognition and celebration of his Jewish heritage. Most of his writings circle the concept of survival and crankiness, which came from the household he grew up in, and the acknowledgment he has learned through his Zen practice. As a crankiness expert, Steven Joseph can help manage one’s emotions, embrace inner crankiness, and improve communication with friends and family.

Steven’s goal as a writer is to tell a story that nobody ever imagines. He wants to tell a funny story but, at the same time, has an important lesson for the readers to ponder. He wishes his readers to come away with an optimistic view of themselves and their world through his books. 

Steven also mentions having a great time collaborating with his illustrator Andy Case. After putting the story into blocks, he describes what exactly he sees in the scene. Andy will then add pleasant surprises unto Steven’s vision. Both are open to changes and mutually supportive of each other. Steven Joseph’s books are put to life by Andy Case, a long-time and experienced freelance illustrator and cartoonist from Nottingham, UK. You can find more about Andy Case on his website.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

 “I have a story on my website called “Can’t Make This Stuff Up CrankaTsuris.” We always say that you can’t make this stuff up when the unusual happens. I turn that around and say that when you go through the same motions every day, it becomes your rut. And you get cranky! So, never be afraid to use your imagination to make stuff up.” – Steven Joseph.

Steven Joseph has written a couple of books, namely A Grown-up Guide to Effective Crankiness: The CrankaTsuris Method and the Mom’s Choice Award-winning Book The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris. His upcoming book Snoodles, Kidoodles, Poodles, and Lots and Lots of Noodles is a feel-good, smell-good, and taste-good story for children (as well as children at heart) that is up for an early January 2022 release! 

When asked about Steven Joseph’s plan for future books, he mentioned that he plans to write a second Grown-up Guide to Effective Crankiness! He is also working on a story with Willy Nilly, Dilly Dally, and Nervous Nelly as the main characters. There’s no news yet, but it’s going to be a fun read as well. Steven urges the readers to stay tuned for more updates!

You can check out his books at Amazon.

For more information about Steven Joseph, you can visit his website or find him on Facebook and Instagram.

Finding Self-Sufficiency in Babe in the Woods

May involve taking advice from strangers.

Self-sufficiency requires identifying three things: what’s within your control, what’s beyond, and what falls in-between. Yvonne Wakefield tells how she finds all three in Babe in the Woods: Self Portrait, a story of what happened after building a log cabin for herself as a young adult. After the unfortunate death of her parents, Wakefield uses what little money she has left to her name to purchase land and build a home by herself. Whether you grew up in the city or in a rural area, her story of perseverance and self-sufficiency will inspire and likely remind you of your own experiences.

In a similar fashion to how she learned a lot while building her home in Babe in the Woods: Building a Life One Log at a Time, she begins a new chapter of her life upon purchasing a truck. She quickly learns how being “safe” can take on many different meanings. For instance, she appreciates the safety offered by the canopy from rain and heavy coastal fogs. That being said, it is not enough to protect her sketchbook from the morning moisture and she quickly learns to wrap it in a plastic bag before sleeping. Despite the safety offered by the canopy from the rain, she also understands it cannot provide safety from greater dangers. She spends many sleepless nights on the roadside watching headlights whizz by. She found it most helpful to practice drawing a gun, aiming, and being threatening overall, with a fierce “I shoot first… ask questions later”. 

Whenever things became overwhelmingly tough on her journey, she was lucky enough to obtain advice from both strangers and new friends. Some of this advice was important, such as how her friend Del told her to always watch for ripped up stumps and windfalls because those were signs that the bears were out and about. Some of this advice was painful, such as keeping whiskey on hand for when injuries occurred; she notes that whisky is good for not only wounds, but also for loneliness. 

Perhaps one of the best pieces of advice she got was also the simplest; so long as you keep warm and fed, you will survive. She had no time to be self-absorbed because crying over her losses was a luxury she could not afford; she instead kept her eyes on the prize of survival and focused on staying warm and fed. 

In times of self-doubt and fear, Wakefield worried that the glue holding her together might crack. She makes a conscious effort to keep herself intact by focusing on herself and having confidence in the many skills she’s acquired along her journey. While most readers will not find themselves in this exact situation of living alone in a homemade log cabin, Babe in the Woods: Self Portrait will still inspire you to be self-sufficient in whatever environment you spend time in.

A Romany and an Englishman in Always a Princess

Will their love prevail?

If you start reading Clyve Rose’s Always a Princess and find yourself waiting for the classic meet-cute, such as the handsome prince catching the enchanting gaze of the prettiest girl at the ball, it is time to throw that expectation out the window. Like much of the historical romance genre, this novel will more than satisfy your cravings for smoldering desire, fiery passion, and the excitement of uncontrollable love. Unlike much of the historical romance genre, this story begins with a gunshot, a Romany family who exists on the outskirts of the English, and a very angry Princess.

If you find yourself confused on who the “Romany” people are, look no further than the Author’s note at the end. Rose explains the background of the disconnect between calling this population “gypsies” versus “Romany”. By supplying you with both contextual information on the Romany and a bit of their language, Rose differentiates herself from the rest of the genre to guarantee that you will want stick around for the rest of this three-book series.

Although you may already be familiar with the ins and outs of how the English live in the Regency period, Rose kickstarts this series by throwing a Romany family into the mix. Princess Syeira, the oldest daughter of the Romany King, takes on the unfortunate duty of witnessing her oldest brother Valkin in a duel that ultimately forces her to cross paths with Englishman Captain Warwick “Wil” Clifton.

Syeira struggles to control her emotions when tending to her brother’s resulting injuries since he is “sher-engro”, meaning Head of the House in Romany. While the extent of the damages Wil had inflicted were unbeknownst to him at the time, Syeira’s unfiltered temper immediately clued him in. This duel set into motion a story of two people from opposite cultures who met by chance, blend them together in a whirlwind of emotion and erotic tension.

            Rose gives life to Syeira’s character in a way that surpasses any stereotypical gypsy tendencies you might have expected. From the moment he first lays eyes on her, Wil is intrigued to say the least. Initially torn between admiring and fearing her wild spirit, he struggles to keep his feet on the ground around this woman who he instinctively knows would make a great wife. In stark contrast to the English women he has grown accustomed to, Wil quickly learns to respect Syeira’s devotion to the House of Brishen and the mighty strength of her moral standards.

            Despite existing in a world where the English and the Romany have different mindsets and codes of conduct, Wil and Syeira throw caution to the wind in Always a Princess, the first of a three-book series. Find your copy on Amazon now.