JeanBookNerd Storytellers BOX

Let your adventure begin...

Alexandrea Wise and Lucas Astor


Sean Penn


Barbara Dee


Tom Bilyeu

Impact Theory

Leah Vernon

THE UNION Official Blog Tour

William L. Myers Jr.


Stacy Hackney


E.E. KNight


Robert McCaw


Gregg Olsen


Josh Duhamel


N.E. Davenport


Evie Green


Jennifer Marie Brissett


Barbara Dee


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Amanda Sellet Interview - Belittled Women

Photo Content from Amanda Sellet

Amanda Sellet (pronounced Sell-ay) is a former journalist who has written book reviews for The Washington Post, personal essays for NPR, and music and movie coverage for VH1. She has an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU. After a mostly coastal childhood, she now lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and cats.


Greatest thing you learned at school.
That I could make people laugh! In my extremely nerdy, Type A, pop-culture-referencing introvert way.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I knew from my early school days that I wanted to do something involving writing and stories about people, but it took a while to figure out what form that would take. Professor? Reporter? Film critic? I was well into adulthood when I found the courage to pursue the ultimate dream of being a novelist.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
My first book has a very romantic pastel cover, so I was surprised when my nephew (who was in middle school at the time) put a BY THE BOOK sticker on his laptop. One day a couple of girls came up to him at lunch and asked if he liked that book, because they’d read it too. When he told them that his aunt wrote it, one of them announced to the entire cafeteria: “Elias is low-key famous!”

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
I would love to have written one of Robin McKinley’s fantasies for young adults, because both THE BLUE SWORD and THE HERO AND THE CROWN are burned into my memory as some of the most intense, immersive, and transporting reading experiences of my life. Beautiful prose, indelible characters, thrilling plots: the total package.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Setting aside the universal answer (the pandemic), the biggest distraction for me while drafting BELITTLED WOMEN was second book syndrome. The writing itself wasn’t more difficult but I did struggle to tune out the background noise of having a book in the world. There’s a tendency to think, “this time I’ll do everything right, and no one will have anything to complain about!” Which is a) impossible and b) not a fruitful creative mindset. Striking a balance between artistic growth and being true to your own vision is tricky!

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
On the noble, humanitarian side of the equation, I think storytelling is a wonderful source of empathy – the old walking a mile in someone’s else’s shoes. More selfishly, narrative is the only thing that absorbs my brain so completely it shuts out restless thoughts and worries. I remember my mother telling me when I was a new parent that I needed to find time for “fiction breaks,” even if it was only ten or 15 minutes. And she was right! Escaping into another world was more restorative than a nap.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
How much I enjoyed writing the sisterly arguments. I’m a very non-confrontational person in real life, so channeling Jo was an adventure. She tends to let it rip and worry about the consequences later, whereas I am much more likely to stew over grievances for days. Or years!

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from BELITTLED WOMEN
I have a mild obsession with unfortunate tourist attractions, the cheesier the better, so I particularly enjoyed writing the rehearsal and performance scenes for Little Women Live!

Here’s the beginning of the chapter in which they hold auditions for a new Beth:

“Most would-be Beths followed a standard formula. A faint cough, some handkerchief choreography, a hurricane of piteous sighs. Speaking above a whisper was unheard of, though they got plenty loud when it was time to fake cry. …
More rarely a would-be Beth might stagger in and announce she was back from visiting the poor, sad Hummel children and “suddenly . . . I feel . . . so strange . . . cold . . . and damp . . . so tired . . .”
And crash. Down she went.
Other aspiring Beths took the “scarlet fever” part literally, wearing so much blush it looked like they were seconds from heatstroke.
This year we got a “Mama! I see a bright light!” right out of the gate, followed by a girl who choked so hard at the sight of Laurie that I thought we were going to have to Heimlich her.
The next one came out in barely there dancewear, a marked contrast to the usual floor-length nightgowns, and proceeded to writhe her way through a modern-dance routine full of
reaching arms and falling to her knees.
“Well.” Mom made a note on the audition form. “She seems very flexible.”
“I wonder if she does tap?” Andrea murmured.”

And here's a bit featuring “Laurie” and his fondness for shredding shirts:

“With a guttural growl, Laurie fell to his knees, gripping the front of his T-shirt with both fists. The sound of tearing fabric made me jump.
Silence descended as we absorbed the fact that Laurie had ripped his shirt in half. This was followed by another quiet moment during which everyone admired his abs.
Beth cupped her hands around her mouth. “Do you even lift, bro?”
Laurie winked at her.”

What is the first job you have had?
My first paid gig was babysitting, but my first “real” job with a W-2 was working at a dry cleaner in south Florida, with no air conditioning. I spent 20 hours a week there through most of high school, trying not to sweat on other people’s clothes!

Best date you've ever had?
When I started seeing my future husband, I was working as a theater critic for a small newspaper. On one of our first dates, I took him to a funny play, and afterward we ran into a friend of mine who was a chef. She invited us back to her restaurant after hours and fed us half the menu. It made my life seem a lot cooler than it actually was. Stick with me, babe! I own this town!

What is your most memorable travel experience?
When my little sister was in high school, she came to visit me in London, where I was working as a nanny. The two of us flew to Greece and took a ferry out to a remote island. We had very little money to spare, so we decided to hike across to the other side instead of taking the bus. Unfortunately, the guidebook I’d gotten from the library was several years out of date and we ended up lost in the mountains until a goatherd wandered by and we were able to follow him (and his goats) back to civilization.

What's your most missed memory?
I miss the ocean, though I only realize how much when I get to see it again.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
I think about a book I’m writing or one I’ve read, and either replay scenes I loved or work through plot tangles. It’s like telling myself a bedtime story.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
The time I asked my neighbor when her due date was … and she’d already had the baby.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
My year as a nanny in England, especially when we spent a few weeks in Portugal with a hotel full of handsome young actors and musicians who (along with my employer) were performing in a Purcell opera.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
Contortionists. As soon as someone starts bending a limb the wrong way, I’m out.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?
A woman eating raw ground beef like it was popcorn.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
I recently stopped coloring my hair so it’s still a jolt to see a head full of silvery white, especially if I’m wearing a pale nightgown. Jump scare! Ghost bride! I kind of love it, though.

Sharp and subversive, this delightfully messy YA rom-com offers a sly wink to the classic Little Women, as teenage Jo Porter rebels against living in the shadow of her literary namesake.

Lit's about to hit the fan. Jo Porter has had enough Little Women to last a lifetime. As if being named after the sappiest family in literature wasn't sufficiently humiliating, Jo's mom, ahem Marmee, leveled up her Alcott obsession by turning their rambling old house into a sad-sack tourist attraction.

Now Jo, along with her siblings, Meg and Bethamy (yes, that's two March sisters in one), spends all summer acting out sentimental moments at Little Women Live!, where she can feel her soul slowly dying.

So when a famed photojournalist arrives to document the show, Jo seizes on the glimpse of another life: artsy, worldly, and fast-paced. It doesn't hurt that the reporter's teenage son is also eager to get up close and personal with Jo--to the annoyance of her best friend, aka the boy next door (who is definitely not called Laurie). All Jo wants is for someone to see the person behind the prickliness and pinafores.

But when she gets a little too real about her frustration with the family biz, Jo will have to make peace with kitsch and kin before their livelihood suffers a fate worse than Beth.

You can purchase Belittled Women at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you AMANDA SELLET for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Belittled Women by Amanda Sellet.

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Monday, November 28, 2022

|Podcast| The Loophole - Naz Kutub

Photo Content from Naz Kutub

Naz Kutub was born and raised in Singapore, and currently lives in Los Angeles with his partner Benson, and his two furry garbage collectors – Alex and Raffe. He will forever be grateful to fried chicken for being a primary motivator in his early years, and also for preventing him from becoming a fitness model, because writing is much more fulfilling.

JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast


“Every once in a while you come upon a book filled with so much voice it has its own pulse. The Loophole is not only laughing-until-I-cry hilarious, but full of heart. A brave debut that is sure to grant all your bookish wishes.” ―Dante Medema, author of THE TRUTH PROJECT

“The Loophole is a celebration of queer Muslim identity, and a one-of-a-kind story about finding love, family, and--most importantly--yourself.” ―Adiba Jaigirdar, author of THE HENNA WARS and HANI AND ISHU'S GUIDE TO FAKE DATING

“The Loophole is a globetrotting, madcap adventure, filled with magic and plenty of heart. I laughed, I cried, and I had my heart broken, only for Naz Kutub to lovingly mend it back together with a queer story of acceptance and self-discovery.” ―Erik J. Brown, author of ALL THAT'S LEFT IN THE WORLD

“The Loophole took me on a magical journey that I didn't want to end. A perfect balance of heart and hilarity, Naz Kutub's debut had me rooting for Sy by the end of page one. What an absolute delight of a book.” ―Robbie Couch, author of THE SKY BLUES and BLAINE FOR THE WIN

"Kutub writes with humor and heart, which makes this darling debut accessible to many readers. . . . This delightful read will offer readers an ending that feels like a warm hug." Booklist

“Romance buffs will appreciate this not-quite-wish-fulfilling story that explores love from a variety of perspectives with a keen eye for tenderness.” ―BCCB

“Kutub's highly stylized prose . . . and Sy's energetic deep dive into his heritage present an upbeat, wish-fulfillment tale.” ―Publishers Weekly

“It succeeds in covering a gamut of themes, including what it's like being brown-skinned and facing Islamophobia, experiencing heady first love, and exploring one's identity. . . . An intense read that's packed with adventure, humor, and lots of soul.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Your wish is granted! This YA debut is equal parts broken-hearted love story, epic myth retelling, and a world-journey romp to find home.

Sy is a timid seventeen-year-old queer Indian-Muslim boy who placed all his bets at happiness on his boyfriend Farouk...who then left him to try and "fix the world." Sy was too chicken to take the plunge and travel with him and is now stuck in a dead-end coffee shop job. All Sy can do is wish for another chance.... Although he never expects his wish to be granted.

When a mysterious girl slams into (and slides down, streaks of make-up in her wake) the front entrance of the coffee shop, Sy helps her up and on her way. But then the girl offers him three wishes in exchange for his help, and after proving she can grant at least one wish with a funds transfer of a million dollars into Sy's pitifully struggling bank account, a whole new world of possibility opens up. Is she magic? Or just rich? And when his father kicks him out after he is outed, does Sy have the courage to make his way from L. A., across the Atlantic Ocean, to lands he'd never even dreamed he could ever visit? Led by his potentially otherworldly new friend, can he track down his missing Farouk for one last, desperate chance at rebuilding his life and re-finding love?
jbnlatestinterviews, jbnmediainteriews, jbnpodcast, jbnfilms

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Mark Leiknes Interview - Quest Kids and the Dragon Pants of Gold

Photo Content from Mark Leiknes

Mark Leiknes lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his wife and three kids. He produced a nationally syndicated comic strip (Cow & Boy) for eight years and now he writes and illustrates books for kids. Mark studied graphic design in college and honed his comedic chops studying improv and sketch comedy at the acclaimed Groundlings School.


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Stories are how we make sense of the world. We can’t help but see ourselves as the main characters in our own stories. Not all of us write our stories down, but we often share them with those around us. Being able to tell a compelling story helps us relate to one another. It connects us.

Greatest thing you learned in school.
I apologize in advance for my answer. I learned a lot of things in school, but I couldn’t really remember one specific GREATEST thing. But I did learn NOT to eat Frankenberries before reading group in first grade. My teacher wasn’t a huge fan of my disruptive belching, which I found very difficult to stifle while reading aloud. After the third day, she told me to knock it off or I would be knocked down a reading level. Needless to say, I found a new breakfast cereal and I now read slightly better because of it.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Hearing stories about other people’s kids picking up my book and connecting with it. My own kids HAVE TO like my books, or I cut off their allowance :) But when I hear that other kids are enjoying something that I wrote, well, that’s just pretty cool.

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
My writing career came from me just wanting to draw. I love comics and visual storytelling. So, I initially wrote things just to give myself something to illustrate. But now that I am a writer, I find IMMENSE joy in the writing process itself.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
Right now, it’s all about Quest Kids. I am in the middle of the second book, which should be out next fall. Then, a third Quest Kids should be coming out the year after that. And, hopefully, even more Quest Kids books will follow until people just tell me to knock it off.

In your newest book; QUEST KIDS AND THE DRAGON PANTS OF GOLD, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
It’s about a group of 11-ish-year-old questers that live during the middle ages and roam the countryside looking for adventure. These “Quest Kids” have ATTEMPTED many quests, but they have yet to COMPLETE a single one. Plus, people are super reluctant to hire children to handle their delicate questing needs. But when a dragon threatens to destroy an entire mountain village unless he gets a stylish golden track jacket to go with his golden lounging pants, it’s the Quest Kids who step up to the challenge.

Quest Kids roll call…
Ned - Fearless leader who took up questing to track down his missing parents.
Gil - Ned’s fake-beard-wearing best friend who’s a wizard-in-training.
Terra - 700-year-old elf who still looks 11 and is a crack shot with a bow and arrow.
Boulder - Sensitive rock troll who prefers cooking dinner to crushing folks.
Ash – Fiery, flatulent pig-dog-thing.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
Hopefully, they’re just laughing ’til their sides hurt. I don’t necessarily try to instill themes or messages in what I write. Those just sort of become apparent once I get the words on paper. This book seems to be about overcoming failure and embracing who you really are. So if someone takes anything away besides sore abdominals from laughter, I guess it would be that.

What part of QUEST KIDS AND THE DRAGON PANTS OF GOLD did you enjoy writing the most?
I like just being present with the characters. In a way, I feel like an unofficial Quest Kid who sort of accompanies them on their journeys. I don’t really know where any particular story is going to go. So being surprised with them along the way is definitely the most joyful part.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing QUEST KIDS AND THE DRAGON PANTS OF GOLD?
The most unforgettable moment was getting to share with my wife that Quest Kids had just been picked up for publication. I had just gotten off the phone with my agent, Stephen, who had delivered the good news. I quickly called my wife and the second I heard her voice, I choked up. I nervously told her to sit down, I think she thought someone had died. Then I somehow, through a weird combo of half crying/half hyperventilating, relayed what had just happened. It was one of those surreal standing outside of yourself moments.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would introduce Ned to Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. They’d love swapping stories, and Ned would learn a ton from Gandalf’s experience and just overall wizardly wisdom. Gandalf would get a kick out of Ned’s youthful enthusiasm and stick-to-itiveness.

Last thing you made with your own hands?
 Other than drawing a picture, or bending a wire hanger to retrieve something that I had dropped behind the sofa, I would say that I must have built something from Legos. Most likely some kind of a robot, which I’m sure my kids proceeded to make fun of.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Write a book! You don’t need to publish it or anything. Just coming up with something that never existed before is the fun part.

What is your greatest adventure?
This sounds corny, but it’s my family. Meeting my wife and having kids has been my greatest adventure by far. Waking up everyday surrounded by people that seem to enjoy my company and sometimes laugh at my jokes makes my life worth living.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Probably just being 10 or 11 years old, and it’s the middle of summer. I’m hanging out with my brothers and we’ve enlisted the neighborhood kids to make some homemade sci-fi action movie with our oversized 1980s video camera. We’re all cracking each other up, and no one has anywhere else they’d rather be.

What was the most memorable toy you played with from when you were little?
The Green Machine! It was like a big wheel, but also sort of like a recumbent bike, and you would steer it using a couple levers. I never had one, there was a kid down the block who did. So it was a sort of a forbidden fruit type thing. I just remember really, REALLY wanting one for some reason.

What were you doing at midnight last night?
Dreaming, I suppose :)

  • 1 Performed sketch comedy in college
  • 2 Favorite movie is Jaws
  • 3 Named own child after a character from Jaws
  • 4 As a child, I was the last of my friends to stop playing with toys
  • 5 As a grown-up, I still sort of play with toys
  • 6 Sold cars and furniture while coming up with Quest Kids
  • 7 Drew a syndicated comic strip
  • 8 Eat M&Ms everyday (I try not to, but it just happens anyway)
  • 9 Worse at bowling than almost everyone reading this right now
  • 10 Have way too many streaming services and freeze up when I think about canceling a single one
Your journey to publication 
Publishing Quest Kids came about from a personal failure. I had grown up dreaming of becoming a cartoonist, which came true with my comic strip, Cow & Boy. But after eight years of living that dream, my comic strip was dropped from syndication. I wasn’t sure what to do after that. I didn’t want to create another comic and have it meet a similar fate in an ever-shrinking newspaper market.

Instead, I looked to what my kids were reading. Which turned out to be A LOT of graphic novels. The one that created the biggest impression on me was Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Kinney’s combination of comics and prose was just so inventive. When I discovered that Jeff had also strived to be a syndicated cartoonist, that sealed the deal for me and I started down this new path.

I had a degree in graphic design, but I took up jobs selling cars and then furniture so I could funnel ALL my creativity into making books. I submitted numerous proposals to agents, self-published a few things, and then I eventually came up with the idea for Quest Kids. Soon after, Writers House signed me and we shopped a manuscript around until Union Square Kids picked it up.

It took about 8 years to complete this journey, with a lot of starts and stops along the way. And, like I mentioned, I never try to write intentional messages or themes in my books, but it’s not lost on me just how much failure I had to endure to before writing a book about overcoming it.

Comics artist Mark Leiknes delivers a laugh-out-loud story set in a fantastic world of dragons, rock creatures, and golden loungewear.

The Quest Kids are ready for their first real quest. This time, they won’t oversleep, they won’t be put off by a little rain, and they won’t accidentally burn down the village that hired them. All they have to do is find the Golden-Fleeced Rage Beast, shave it, and make a really nice golden tracksuit to appease a furious dragon. Simple, right?

Meet the Quest Kids crew: Gil, a wizard (well, wizard in training . . . the beard isn’t his); Terra, a 700-year-old elf kid; Boulder, a rock troll who is more of a cook than a fighter; Ash, a flatulent pig-dog-maybe-lizard hybrid; and, Ned, the intrepid and overly optimistic leader with his own personal quest to find his missing parents. With humor, magic, mystery, and at least one acid swamp filled with skeletal alligators, Quest Kids and the Dragon Pants of Gold is a richly illustrated saga of fantasy friendship for readers from all kingdoms!

You can purchase Quest Kids and the Dragon Pants of Gold at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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Monday, November 21, 2022

Chloe Liese Interview - Two Wrongs Make a Right

Photo Content from Chloe Liese

Chloe Liese writes romances reflecting her belief that everyone deserves a love story. Her stories pack a punch of heat, heart, and humor, and often feature characters who are neurodivergent like herself. When not dreaming up her next book, Chloe spends her time wandering in nature, playing soccer, and most happily at home with her family and mischievous cats.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
At the time that I decided to start writing romance, I’d been an avid romance reader who loved the genre but also struggled with its implicitly and, unfortunately, too-often explicitly ableist, exclusionary messages about who was beautiful, desirable, and worthy of a happily ever after. It was story after story about folks with basically “flawless” lives and bodies, bottomless bank accounts and breezy existences. As someone who is neurodivergent and who lives with chronic conditions, whose community was rarely represented in the love interests of the romance novels I read, I felt sad and disappointed that I couldn’t find many romances starring real people with real bodies, struggles, and vulnerabilities, and I realized I wanted that to be a part of changing that. I took a chance, wrote a romance novel, and fell in love with the process of writing from my heart and belief that everybody deserves a love story.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why?
There are so many books I adore, I truly can’t pick a single all-time favorite. The following titles are by no means my only favorites, but they are a few that have profoundly resonated with me and that I go back to reread, time and again:
  • Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient, an empowering, funny, deeply sexy romance that made me realize I, like Stella, was neurodivergent. It was such a gift to encounter this truth through seeing such a positively portrayed autistic heroine and a hero who adored her for her quirks, needs, and unique strengths.
  • Talia Hibbert’s Get a Life, Chloe Brown was the first book I read with a love interest who had chronic conditions and pain. Talia’s rich, witty narrative voice, and the novel’s brilliant structure and craft absolutely blew me away.
  • Tessa Dare’s The Duchess Deal was my first ever historical romance that made me fall in love with the subgenre. It’s a gorgeously funny while also deeply emotional Beauty and the Beast retelling that tackles internalized ableism and tenderly reveals the powerful intimacy possible when we lean into vulnerability.
  • Alison Cochrun’s The Charm Offensive was a superbly moving, wry, compassionate portrayal of nuanced queer identity and complex mental health struggles. It’s a heartfelt, empathic story of finding love as you find out more about who you are.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Any time a reader messages me and says that my book made them feel seen, whether it helped them recognize and love a part of themselves they hadn’t felt able to before, or it gave them the gift of being represented for once in some aspect of their lived experience portrayed in a love interest, that is the greatest gift I can receive as a writer and undoubtedly my most rewarding experience thus far.

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
As I mentioned earlier, The Kiss Quotient unequivocally changed my life. I recognized myself in Stella’s idiosyncrasies, strengths, and struggles, which were compassionately, authentically, lovingly portrayed. That made an indelible mark on me. I realized how much it meant first, to see yourself in love stories when you haven’t before, and second, how big a difference it made to see your lived experience and identity positively, empathically, and thoughtfully portrayed. Not only did The Kiss Quotient give me the gift of recognizing my neurodivergence, it gave me the courage to write romance that (I hope) gives some of its readers the same gift Helen’s story gave me.

Can you tell us when you started TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT, how that came about?
I’m a big Shakespeare dork, and I love the film adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh. As I was watching it, I got to the scene where their friends and family decide to trick Benedick and Beatrice—who both swear they detest each other and that they want nothing to do with romance—into falling in love with each other, and I had this epiphany: it would have been such a different story if Benedick and Beatrice found out earlier on that they’d been duped into recognizing their feelings for each other, and the idea of a romance whose main trope was fake dating for revenge was born. Of course, I knew I wanted to include real human experience, and I decided this would be a great story to explore two neurodivergent leads who, while on paper sound all wrong for each other, actually discover a deep compatibility in part because they make each other feel safe and understood as neurodivergent people in a way other people in their lives routinely fail to. It was joyful and healing to write their fake dating journey, their pretending which became so very real in the many ways these two made each other feel seen and accepted.

What is the first job you have had?

Best date you've ever had?
A tight space at a wine bar, legs tangled, heads close, talking for hours when it felt like only minutes had passed.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
The book I’m working on and ideas for what I’m going to write the next day.

Writing Behind the Scenes
I can never start a book until the opening scene is crystal clear in my head. Even when I have my characters sketched out, their names and backgrounds chosen, until I can picture exactly how the book begins, I hold off. When it finally comes to me, it’s like the opening sequence of a film, and that’s when I dive in. If I can picture it and watch it unfold in my mind’s eye, I know I’m ready to write it.

Opposites become allies to fool their matchmaking friends in this swoony reimagining of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.

Jamie Westenberg and Bea Wilmot have nothing in common except a meet-disaster and the mutual understanding that they couldn't be more wrong for each other. But when the people closest to them play Cupid and trick them into going on a date, Jamie and Bea realize they have something else in common after all—an undeniable need for revenge.

Soon their plan is in place: Fake date obnoxiously and convince the meddlers they’re madly in love. Then, break up spectacularly and dash their hopes, putting an end to the matchmaking madness once and for all.

To convince everyone that they’ve fallen for each other, Jamie and Bea will have to nail the performance of their lives. But as their final act nears and playing lovers becomes easier than not, they begin to wonder, what if Cupid’s arrow wasn’t so off the mark? And what if two wrongs do make a right?

You can purchase Two Wrongs Make a Right at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHLOE LIESE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Daemon Manx Interview - Abigail

Photo Content from Daemon Manx

Daemon Manx is an award-winning American author who writes horror, suspense, supernatural, and speculative fiction. Daemon has recently been nominated for the 2021 Splatterpunk awards for his debut, Abigail in the best short story category. In 2021 he received a HAG award for his story The Dead Girl. He is a member of the Horror Authors Guild (HAG) and has been featured in magazines in both the U.S. and the U.K. Daemon lives with his sister, author Danielle Manx and their narcoleptic cat, Sydney where the patiently prepare for the apocalypse. There is a good chance they will runout of coffee far too soon.


When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill? 
I have always been a creative, but originally, I was drawn to music and writing lyrics. However, later on, when I found myself behind the walls of a maximum security prison, I knew I had to dig deep and find a creative outlet or I would surely go insane. Writing helped pass the time, occupy my mind, and ultimately saved my life.
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre? My all-time favorite book is actually a series, and that would be The Dark tower by Stephen King. I love an epic journey, and I especially love the way King was able to weave his own created world with our own. The story of a lone gunslinger traveling through a world that has moved on, in pursuit of his nemesis, the man in black, is a tale I often return to and have read multiple times. A piece of this world will always live within me now that I have experienced this journey firsthand. If you are a like-minded individual who has also followed the path of the beam, I say, Long Days and Pleasant Nights.

Outside my own genre would be Fall of Giants by Kem Follett. This is part one of a trilogy and an epic journey as well. The historical fiction of World War I told by the author is accurate and gripping. It allows the reader a quimps of what was happening in the world at the time while it sprinkles in a history lesson that is both gripping and thought-provoking.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
I wish I wrote Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I feel there has never be a book that captures the feel and emotion, and presence of Halloween quite like this one. It encapsulates the sense of wonder and mystery I remember feeling as a child the moment October rolled around, the air grew cooler, and the leaves started to change. It is a perfect piece of literature where every single word is perfectly place and well thought out.

Can you tell us when you started ABIGAIL, how that came about? 
I started and finished Abigail while I was serving time in the prison system. I had struggled with addition for years which resulted in my incarceration. It’s an old story that happens to a great many individuals, so I won’t go into too much detail. Well, you need a creative outlet on prison, or you will go crazy. Mine was writing. I always loved to read horror and wanted to try my hand at a few stories of my own. Well, I noticed that despite the fact that everyone in prison was in the same boat, there was still a great deal of marginalization taking place. What I witnessed was men who had come from marginalized backgrounds, had been oppressed their entire lives, had zero tolerance for men with alternate gender identities and sexual preferences different than their own. This was the initial inspiration for Abigail, although you would never guess that by looking at the cover.

In your new book; ABIGAIL, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
Strange things come in small packages.
Adrian Billard believes he knows what it's like to be different and has nearly given up hope of ever finding happiness. But a strange package left on his doorstep is about to turn his entire world upside down. Adrian is about to meet ... Abigail.

Adrian has never fit in, has never belonged, and has been bullied for being different. He carries the scars from his childhood and is positive he will never find happiness. Then, on what should be the happiest night of Adrian's life, his world is turned upside down by a strange package left on his doorstep. A baby-like none he has ever seen stares up at him from the tangle of pink blankets.
"A wide pair of violet eyes looked up at him. Silver flecks around the reptilian pupils flashed in the pale glow of the porch light. A hypnotic chimera washed over him as he fixed on the strange gaze. Suddenly, he felt weightless and out of the body; the sense that he was floating several feet above the ground was consuming. Adrian found himself face to face with the most peculiar vision. A small note accompanies the odd little girl."

“Please take care of my daughter. Her name is Abigail.”
Honestly, I think the blurb sums it up best.

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from ABIGAIL
Adrian sat at the bar picking at the microscopic particles of lint from his razor-pressed Marconi shirt that only he could see. He stirred a glass of sparkling water, which looked more like a cup of fruit cocktail rather than a beverage. With precisely one slice of lime, one lemon wedge, a twist of orange peel, and two maraschino cherries, there was little room left for liquid in the slender high-ball glass.

There was little that was subtle about Adrian if anything at all. He was flamboyant and overt, with a definite flair for the dramatic, especially when it came to displays of emotion. He had once been told by a former boyfriend that he wore his pain like a chartreuse ascot; loud, proud, and in your face.

When all the projections of the unforeseeable future were reduced to one moment and all the pretentiousness of the “so-called” modern world were stripped away, the beauty of acceptance and unconditional love was all that mattered. The ability to love one of God’s creatures unencumbered by prejudice or fear was a quality that Adrian had seen little of in his lifetime.

“What on earth are you, Abigail?” he asked as he stared in wonder. “How am I going to take care of you when I don’t even know what you are?” Adrian stared at the strange child that had been left for him on his doorstep. She was like nothing he had ever seen before and clearly possessed powers beyond comprehension.

What is your most memorable travel experience? 
That would be the time I traveled to California to appear on the game show Wheel of Fortune. It was surreal and it is difficult to express in a short paragraph. But the episode is on You Tube if you want to check it out. Dec 21st 1999 episode, of course I wasn’t using a pen name back then. You will know me because I am wearing a suit almost identical to Pat Sajak’s. Also, I am the guy who, Had A Hunch; You will understand if you watch it. Enjoy.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today? 
Prison. It’s supposed to change you after all. There is something about having that kind of time to reflect on your life, your past, your mistakes, and hopefully your future, that allows an individual to focus on what matters most. When a man in stripped of all his possessions and isolated from the ones he loves he finds himself at the jumping off point where he can either follow the path he is currently on, or he can do something about it. Change is an inside job, and there’s a whole lot of time to focus on change when you’re on the inside.

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why? 
I would want to be Paul McCartney. The Beatles influenced pop culture and the world in such a major way. They were the first to write their own music, play their own instruments, and ultimately own their own label. They are the original rock band and the reason why every kid wants to pick up a guitar. Some will deny that, but it would be impossible to name one band that was not influenced by the Beatles, to claim otherwise would be inaccurate. I chose Paul because he seemed to be the fun guy in the band, the happy one, and in my opinion, the most prolific. I couldn’t even imagine the life the man has lived and would have loved to have spent one day in his shoes.

What event in your life would make a good movie? 
My life is a movie, and it would be impossible to narrow that down to one event. In 1991 I worked on the sets of Saturday Night Live and the David Letterman Show, I got to hang out behind the scenes and rub elbows with the celebrities and was involved in a car accident with Ronald Reagan’s limo. 1999 I was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, and I won a Chevy Tahoe. In the early 200s I fell victim to the opioid epidemic and became hopelessly addicted, I ended up in prison where I met a retired mobster who would ultimately mentor me and help change my life. I had everything, I lost everything, and then I got it all back. Honestly, you couldn’t make up my life if you were the best writer in the world.

On what should be the happiest night of Adrian's life, his world is turned upside down by a strange package left on his doorstep.

“Please take care of my daughter. Her name is Abigail.”

But there is something strange about baby Abigail ... something very wrong.

A wash of emotion overcomes Adrian, and he is compelled to take care of her. His life is turned upside down and he can't help but notice that it all centers around Abigail, who appears to have a mysterious effect on anyone who comes in contact with her. How can Adrian care for such a strange creature, where could the child have come from, and what exactly is she?

But for every answer, there are even more questions about the child with violet eyes, reptilian skin, and horns. The unimaginable ending will offer the reader a glimpse into their own demons and the evil that resides within us all.

You can purchase Abigail at the following Retailer:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CREATIVE EDGE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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