An Unusual Boy- #Interview with #BestSelling #Author #FionaHiggins

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Meet Jackson. A very unusual boy in world that prefers ‘normal’.

Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her only son, Jackson, is different. Different to his sisters. Different to his classmates. In fact, Jackson is different from everyone around him – and bringing up a child who is different isn’t always easy. Then, one Monday morning, an incident at school changes everything; not only for Jackson, but for every member of his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.

Bestselling novelist Fiona Higgins returns with a heart-stopping, devastating, but ultimately uplifting story about loyalty, love and forgiveness.

An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.

Fiona Higgins is the author of four fiction titles and a memoir. She works in the not-for-profit sector and lives in Sydney, Australia, with her stoic husband, three rambunctious children and two aloof goldfish.

Hello Fiona, Thanks ever so much for stopping by to chat with BnV about your new book.  Lets dive right in!  What do you love most about Writing?

I love that writing is an almost magical form of ‘primary production’; writers produce something out of nothing, using only their internal resources.

How did you get your start writing?

Young! As a child, I always loved words – and I still remember, aged nine, the heady rush of winning a poetry competition.  My slightly quirky entry, entitled ‘Ya Local Truckie’, explored the stigma endured by overnight truck drivers. My poem evidently caught the judges’ eye – even though I wasn’t from a trucking family!

What Inspired you to write your book?

I’ve known many children – and adults, for that matter – who are ‘different’ in some way (some with a diagnosis, many without), and witnessed their joys and struggles. An Unusual Boy explores the great strength and beauty that lies in difference, and the healing power of empathy.

I love that.  I believe Empathy, Forgiveness and Kindness are great healers.  Because you have a spiritual perspective, do you have a preferred POV that you write from and why?

In An Unusual Boy, I write from two POVs – that of Julia (Jackson’s mother), as well as Jackson himself. It was quite a thrilling experience, tapping into the stream of consciousness of an eleven-year-old boy! (Two of my three children are boys, which helped me channel the pre-teen male.) Despite understanding Julia’s perspective better, I preferred the colourful, imaginative world of Jackson.

Do your characters dictate what or how your write in any way?

Yes, that’s quite normal for me. They often surprise me. In An Unusual Boy, one of the characters delivered a twist that even I didn’t see coming.

That’s happened to me too.  Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character?

Definitely Jackson. He’s a composite of all the wonderful, vulnerable, interesting and quirky children I’ve ever known. Jackson reminds me of a friend of mine from school, Michael, to whom An Unusual Boy is dedicated.

What sets them apart from the others?

Jackson has a strong moral compass – of which the rest of the world is mostly unaware – that governs his choices, as well as some incredible hidden strengths unlockable with a little patience and empathy.

As a successful author, do you have any tips for an aspiring Author?

Write what consumes you.

I so agree.  Outside of writing, what type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?

 I am a huge fan of fantasy and sci-fi genres, which are wildly different to my genre of contemporary fiction.

Is there a book you consider a must-read- why?

As a writer, one book I always return to is Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. She has some very solid, practical (and humorous) advice for writers.

I’ll have to look for that one!  I’m always looking for my next new thing to learn 🙂 

Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with BnV.

You can find Fiona across these social media networks

Author links

Website

Facebook

Instagram:  @fionahigginsauthor

Book link

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~Morgan~

Serpent Rising – An #Exploration of #Truth through #’WritingtoRaiseConsciousness’ by #Dr.VictorAcquista

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Serpent Rising sparked my interest with its promise of ancient mysteries and overlays of spirituality.  What is Truth?  How do we recognize it?  Where does it lead us?  Do we truly want what it will reveal, or do we only think we do?

For Serena, our heroine, the quest for Truth leads her across the globe in a high-octane, gripping tale brimming with legends, symbolism, and the yearning for healing. Healing from a trauma she suffered in her childhood.  Healing from the inescapable identity-contorting effects of repressed memories.  Her story is compelling and relatable.  Her struggles are familiar and, sometimes, haunting. They draw the reader in and along with her as theories and tensions intensify.

I enjoy reading intelligent stories.  Ones that prompt me to consider diverse concepts, beliefs, and perspectives.  Serpent Rising was as much a Tomb Raider action-packed fantasy as it was a philosophical exploration of harmony,  yin and yang duality and the complexities of metaphysical science.

If you’re looking for a unique tale that engages, compels, and questions, look no further!

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There are many mystical and metaphysical aspects to the story told in this two-volume novel, The Saga of Venom and Flame. You can join Serena on her Circle training, a journey of transformation, and absorb some ancient wisdom teachings along the way. Here are some noteworthy backstory elements:

The book’s cover features two joined symbols: an ouroboros and a yin-yang. The ouroboros is an ancient symbol of cosmic harmony. Its inclusion is meant to evoke the notion of harmony and balance, and also to represent the polarities of masculine-feminine, light-dark, truth-falsehood–all elements of the War of the Two Serpents.

The snake biting its tail is cross cultural inclusive of Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Norse , and other cultures. It has been used by Gnostic philosophers to denote the dual nature of both our earthly and divine nature, matter and spirit. All of these symbolic aspects are woven into a story rich in myth and mysticism.

Serpent mythology pre-dates all modern religion. and is cross cultural worldwide. This fact and my fictionalized “War of the Two Serpents” represent one of the three layers of meaning in the title, Serpent Rising.

Chakras, the energy vortexes that interface the subtle energy body, with a more expansive energy dimension, are an essential plot element in Serpent Rising. Specifically, Kundalini rising through the chakras as they are activated is the purpose of Serena’s Circle training.

From Wikipedia:

According to Hindu tradition, in order to be able to integrate this spiritual energy, a period of careful purification and strengthening of the body and nervous system is usually required beforehand.
Kundalini is considered to occur in the chakra and nadis of the subtle body. Each chakra is said to contain special characteristics and with proper training, moving Kundalini through these chakras can help express or open these characteristics.
Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism. It is one of the components of an esoteric description of the “subtle body”, which consists of nadis (energy channels), chakras (psychic centres), prana (subtle energy), and bindu (drops of essence). Kundalini is described as being coiled up at the base of the spine.

Kundalini is the second of the three serpent elements that comprise the layers of meaning in the title of this novel.

This picture depicts the Virgin of Candelaria appearing to the Guanches. Careful observation reveals lettering in the hem of the Virgin’s garments. These represent 7 mysterious words and phrases that have NEVER been deciphered. These are important story elements in both book one and in book two, Revelation, that tell the story of The Saga of Venom and Flame. Research suggests the Guanches have roots in Atlantis. More info about this picture and the strange lettering can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_of_Candelaria

I had wanted to write a novel where the central theme had to do with truth and mankind’s difficulty distinguishing truth from falsehood. In this time of fake news, media manipulation, and propaganda, it’s a timely topic.

During lunch with a close friend, we discussed his mother who was gravely ill. He told me she was a nurse and had been quite a force of healing stating, “…and she is a Candelaria.” I didn’t realize this was his mother’s maiden name and took it to be a title denoting a great healer, a light bearer, a force for good. This notion of a Lightbringer who carries the Flame of Truth to dispel darkness is central to the story and the social theme I wanted to address. My unfamiliarity with this surname led to a very rich storyline with the Candelarians acting to address and heal a great social ill–humanity shackled by ignorance and manipulated by lies. The truth shall set us free…

The cover image of  The Cosmic Serpent is rather intriguing. The double-helix coil of the DNA molecule evokes a serpentine analogy, but there is much more going on here. DNA as a carrier of information, an encoded source of both knowledge and a coded blueprint for spiritual enlightenment are what DNA is designed to do. DNA is the third of the three serpent elements that comprise the layers of meaning in the title Serpent Rising.

What amazes me is that I had already outlined the snake/serpent aspects of DNA as a carrier of genetic code to guide spiritual growth. I only learned about Narby’s excellent work as confirmation of the hypothesis I had already outlined. There is truly something cosmic about that and it points to some aspect of universal consciousness. Narby’s book did have additional information about Peruvian shamanism and the use of ayahuasca that was helpful.

DNA is an extraordinary molecule. The statements made by Serena’s friend Bryson about DNA emitting and receiving both light and sound energy are just some of the remarkable features about DNA. As an information storage molecule, it is unparalleled. And this is important not only to understand Serena’s genetic destiny, but for us to appreciate as well.

Victor Acquista has become an international author and speaker following his careers as a primary-care physician and medical executive. He is known for “writing to raise consciousness.” His multi-genre works include fiction and nonfiction and often incorporate social messaging to engage readers in thought-provoking themes.

He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America, the Florida Writers Association, Writers Co-op, and is a Knight of the Sci-Fi Roundtable.

When not pondering the big questions in life and what’s for dinner, he enjoys gardening and cooking. He lives with his wife in Ave Maria, Florida.

Find Victor through these Links:

BHC Press detail page

Author website

Facebook author page

Twitter

Amazon Order page

Book Club Discussion Questions

Podcast with opening scene narration

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I would like to thank Dr. Acquista for the privilege of reviewing and learning more about his work.  Thank you for the generous gift of your valuable time and talent.

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~Morgan~

Desire of God

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I don’t want to die
Things are going so well right now
People are listening to me
Hearts are being touched
Lives are being changed
The crowds follow me everywhere
They love my stories
Stories of farming and young men
Stories of pearls and tares
Stories of harvest and sowing
They long for my words
And pay attention when I talk
They need me
 
It just can’t be time for me to go
This ministry is touching too many people
The lame walk
The blind see
The deaf hear
The cripple stretches forth his body
The leper becomes whole
Diseases go
Demons flee
Water to wine
Fig trees whither
So many good things are going on
So many wonders are bringing people from afar
Miracle after miracle
Healing after healing
There are so many more than need a touch from me
 
I have so much more to do
There are other women with issues of blood
Other harlots who need forgiveness
Other centurions who need their servants healed
There are so many abuses of your word
Pharisees seeking the higher place
Moneychangers robbing the people
Pious ones praying but empty
Clean but filthy
Wrong but thinking they are right
Leading so many astray
Showing so many the wrong way
How can I leave now when so many are deceived
Hearts to mend
Minds to cleanse
Lives to change

It can’t be my time
I want to stay here
To minister to the masses
To give more to those who need my help
I want to touch more lives
To heal more
To deliver more
To forgive more
To bring more back to life
To rebuke those who are misleading your people
If I leave who will they turn to
Who will they follow
Who will shepherd them
I can’t go yet
I have so much more to do
 
That is my will
My way
My wish
 
But it is not yours
Your purpose is greater
Your love is stronger
You know what is best
You know how all can be blest
You know there is only one way to truly set them free
One way to bring complete healing
One way to ultimate deliverance
You have brought others alongside me to continue the ministry
It will not die
It will stay alive
It will be your church
Your people
Your way to touch lives
Your heart’s desire
 
So not my will
Not what I want
Not what I desire
Not what I would do if I had my way
Your will
Your desire
As much as I want this cup to pass from me
I want your will more
I must die
I must die for your kingdom to go forth
I must die for you to be glorified
I must die for them
All of them
They all need forgiveness
They all need a sacrifice
Pure and holy
Undefiled by sin
You have kept me
Protected me
Enabled me to be at this place
At this time
All I want is what you want
All I desire is to do your will
Not mine
Not my way
Let me be your servant
Let this flesh die
So the Spirit can come
Your will be done
 
 

My #Books For #FREE

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Grab your free copy TODAY!

. I confess, this is a blatant, no holds barred Invitation to Readers/Reviewers who find themselves interested in my books to provide a review in return for a FREE Ebook. BooknVolume now has a new dedicated page (At the top of the homepage) to REVIEW MY BOOKS that I am sharing with all of you today. Thank You for your Kind Support, For Any Shares/Reblogs you choose to Offer, and, if nothing else, for humouring me 🙂

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This page is information about Dark Fey and The Mercy Series for those who may be interested in providing a review of my books. A FREE Ebook is available in return for an honest review. My only proviso being, please post your review on your Amazon marketplace, Goodreads and your blog or website.

After looking through the provided information, if you find yourself interested, please contact me via the contact info at the end of this page.

Additional Links for Information about my books: Cynthia A. Morgan Author Website

Creativia Author Page

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Ayla was discovered at a very young age to have an especially rare combination of gifts: empathic telepathy, discernment, and the gift of healing. She was dedicated by her parents to become a Guardian of Childfey and spent her young years in the seclusion of the Temple where she studied magic and the ancient rites; where she was taught about the mortal enemy of all Fey of the Light, The Reviled; and where she attempted to learn how to protect herself from the emotions and thoughts of others, although never successfully.

Gairynzvl is a Fey of the Light who was abducted by The Reviled at the age of seven and suffered the intentionally cruel process of neglect, abuse and deprivation is designed to turn childfey from the Light and twist them into monsters. Now fifteen years later, he is a Dark One. He comes in shadows and silence; lingering near Ayla and trying to communicate with her. After many months and while she is alone guarding a childfey, Gairynzvl crosses into her home, but he is also unlike anything she ever imagined a Dark One could be. Rather than opening a portal for his Legion so they may enter and take what they want; he commits an act of treason against his own kind and closes it; protecting her as well as the youngling in her care from their cruelty, but what he wants from her is just as terrifying and equally as dangerous as a full Legion of Reviled. Through her extraordinary gifts she listens to him when no others will; she touches his pain and discovers she cannot turn aside from helping him, but the conflict that unfolds is vicious and exceedingly costly, pushing them to their limits and forcing them to grow beyond them.

Dark Fey The Reviled is an epic fantasy filled with suspense, mystery, action, magic and romance. It shares the inspiration of positive hope; the resilience of love, and the power of forgiveness through a tale that is rich with beauty and horror alike.

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Gairynzvl risked everything to escape his captivity in the darkness, including committing an act of treason against the Reviled. Yet, in spite of the dangers involved and the very great risk of sparking full-scale war with the Reviled, Gairynzvl has an irrepressible need to go back into the darkness to rescue as many of the childfey trapped there as he can find. The success of his plan will hinge upon more than courage and military strategy; it will call upon the unique skills and magic of each individual who chooses to join his band of Liberators, and it will require a level of dependence upon each other for which few of them are prepared. Their actions will test all of their limits, could easily divide loyalties, and will shake the foundations of everything The Fey of The Light have accepted as truth for thousands of years.

Slipping into the darkness through darkness is easy. Escaping out again with terrified childfey is another matter, but if they are captured by the Reviled, the band of Liberators will pray for death long before it comes. The risks are enormous and the possibility for success is doubtful, but the compulsion to do what is right and what is necessary is too great to ignore.

Inspired in part by the true-life events of the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA, a rebel militant group in Uganda that commonly abducts children and forces them to commit horrifying acts of violence against each other and their own people in combat, Standing in Shadows reaches deeper into the darkness, but never strays entirely out of the Light. Relating a tale of both fear and hope, the story allows readers to share Gairynzvl’s journey into a restored life; his challenges in making new friends and forging alliances, and the struggle to trust, rather than fear, those around him.

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Breaking into the Light relates the inspiration of Hope and the power of forgiveness through a tale that is brutally beautiful.

The Reviled are the enemy; merciless, untrustworthy. They embody brutality and devastation. The Fey of the Light have lived with these truths for millennia. Daring to think otherwise invites tragedy.

Gairynzvl was a Reviled Fey and lived the riotous life of all Dark Ones; yet now he is rescuing younglings from the darkness. The actions taken by him and his band of Liberators are fulfilling Ancient Prophecies and proving long-accepted beliefs to be inaccurate. Those who have lived in the Light all their lives, who enjoyed the luxuries of abundance, are suddenly faced with unavoidable questions.

How is Peace achieved? Can Light unite with Darkness?

Will the Fey of the Light sacrifice everything to achieve that which seems impossible or will they turn their heads and ignore the shadows weeping all around them?

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It’s the year 2446, and the first three Horsemen of Revelation’s Apocalypse have ridden. Pestilence, War and Famine have changed the world into a dictatorship ruled with an iron fist. Commoners have few rights, and liberty is a distant memory. Before the final Horseman is released, the Archangel of Mercy – Tzadkiel – makes a bold plea, asking for permission to find even one human who remembers the meaning of mercy and compassion. He is given 100 years, until Death will sweep across the land. Taking human form and coming to Earth, he finds a place ruled by greed, hatred and fear. With time running out and Death growing impatient, can Tzadkiel find what he’s looking for… and how much will he need to sacrifice?

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It’s the year 2446, and the final horseman of apocalypse – Death – is preparing to ride. The Archangel of Mercy, Tzadkiel, has come to Earth and found the last merciful person among the callous human throng. Together, Tzadkiel and Lourdes escape to the French countryside, but are relentlessly tracked by a sadistic officer determined to control the Archangel and claim Lourdes for himself. Forced to make choices neither ever anticipated, they discover more than simply how to survive. Yet while love blossoms, Death grows impatient. Unable to ride until released by the Archangel, he unleashes a calamity that will push them to their very limits. To succeed they will need more than hope and love. They will need a place of mercy. .

Review Request

If you find yourself interested in reviewing Dark Fey, please complete the following and I’ll reach out to you about delivering your free eBook 🙂

Note: Please only apply if you have time to read this FREE EBOOK within 30 days from date of receipt.

IMPORTANT: You will NOT be paid to write a review. Amazon does not permit reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind, including payment. Amazon accepts authors giving a free or discounted copy of their book up front in exchange for a review, whether it be positive and negative feedback. If you receive a free book in exchange for your review, you are welcome to say it was for a honest review.

Thank You Ever So for your interest in my books. I shall contact you soon.

~Morgan~

Shades of #Autumn- #Poetry of #SeasonsChanging and the #NaturalWorld

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Shades of Autumn

Shades of Autumn Tempt my Thoughts

In nodding Whispers of Shimmering Dreams

Soft upon the auburn wing

As Weary Summer Quietly Gleams.

~Morgan~
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Beautiful Photograph found on Pinterest.   Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Photographer

#Autumn Whispering- #Poetry and #Photography of the #NaturalWorld

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Shades of Autumn, Whispering

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Whispers of Summer, Lingering

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Lingering Reminders, Beckoning

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Beckoning Glimmers, Lilting

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Lilting Hues, Dancing

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Dancing Splendor, Shimmering

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Shimmering Autumn, Whispering

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~Morgan~

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Beautiful Original Photography by:
Tammy Hughes
Nella Pascal
Roeselien Raimond

Others found on Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to ALL the Gifted Photographers. Thank You~

Surfeit – #Poetry of the #NaturalWorld

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Red-autumn-morning

Walking in the Autumn Morn,
October chill upon the Air,
Late, Sol rises from the Celestial Bourn
To Kiss the Frost with Brazen Flair.

Smiling Morning, Singing Light,
Huddled in Evening’s Dulcet Affection,
Linger Warm upon my shoulder
Like sugar and spice Confection.

Silence Rouses from slumbering,
Midnight turns her Cheek away,
Daytide stretches forth her Hand,
In an Unsullied Surfeit Array.

~Morgan~

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Lovely Image found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Photographer.  Thank You~

Anguish – #Poetry and #ThoughtsforChallengingTimes

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Anguish Settles

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Sanction Not the Loss of Life,

the Rending, Tearing,

Corrupting, Destroying,

Maiming, Hurting,

Riotous Calamity

That falsely names itself

Truth

Prompting War; Intolerance, and Violence

On All Sides,

For where Hate Meets with Battle

Where Lies are Raised Vitriolically,

Anguish Settles her Bitter Shadow

And Shall Not Be Moved.

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~Morgan~

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Moving Image found on Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original photographer.
Thank You~

Wisdom’s Voice – #Poetry for #ChallengingTimes

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Wisdoms Voice

When Passions change
And Choices Tangle,
Daylight fades while we
Consider the angle.
Pause from Rushing,
Hear Whispers Confiding,
In Stillness Discover
The Light that is Guiding.
Silence is Golden
When Practiced by Choice
For only in Silence can we
Hear Wisdom’s Voice.

 

 

~Morgan~

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Image found at: insightsforchristians.wordpress.com

Perfection in Union- #LovePoetry for #SoulMates

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Soul Mates

Long We have been separated, Love,
Though in the Dawn of Existence we Kissed Each Other Sweetly.
Born of One Spirit,
Lingering in Breathless Anticipation,
Sharing Each Thought,
Each Breath,
Each Moment,
Unified in Perfection, Perfection in Unity.

Birth brought division, separation, desertion,
Calamity of loneliness and confusion.
Each day I have sought You,
Seeking the Beauty of Your Eyes,
Listening for the Allure of Your Voice,
Reaching for Your Exquisite Hands,
Yearning for the Splendor Your Touch,
Desiring none but You.

Alas, Love, my Search was Fruitless.
Stolen Time, Ineffectual Years,
Breaking the Hourglass of Patience,
Diminishing Essence to Pallor.
Inescapable Longing.
Silence.

Until A Glimmer Escaped the tedium,
A Question Poised on Possibility,
Hope Sprung from her hiding place deep within my Heart
At Seeing You,
Recognizing You,
Though I knew not Your Name,
Certain only of the Pounding of my Spirit,
The Trembling of my Heart,
The Longing Intensified disproportionately.

Waiting
In Patience, Praying
In Diligence, Believing
In Expectant Certainty.
You Are He!
Made For Me, Made With Me,
Sweet Handsome Harmony to my solitary Melody.
Breathe with Me, Again, My Love,
Unified in Perfection, Perfection in Unity.

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~Morgan~
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Breathtaking Artwork found on Google Image Search: Acknowledgement given to the original artist, Unknown.

Playing in the Rain – An Inescapably Claustrophobic, Diabolically Mind-spinning Ride!

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When the effects of a hypnosis inducing drug fade, April slowly begins a conscious awakening. Memories of her past are unclear and she has no recollection of her identity or her whereabouts.

As the days slip by, April realizes there is more to life than existing when she is introduced to an occupant who does just that—her sister. The more she learns about her environment the more she wants to escape.

Will April remember her past, her sister? Will she have the courage to leave? And if she does, where will she go?

Experience through April’s eyes her struggle to remember and her determination to escape in this sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, suspense story.

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My Review – 5-Stars

You awake in an unknown environment.  You can’t remember who you are or where you’re from, but you know where you are now is not where you ought to be.  You feel trapped, because you are. You feel alone, because ….because…You can’t remember why, but you know you weren’t alone before.  Before waking up whereever you currently are.
Lead character, A2, is in a facility called C.E.C.I.L:  the Contagion Eradication Center for Intelligent Life.  There is a man named Jasper there, who provides and controls everything, including the drugs she is being pumped full of, because ….because….she doesn’t know why.  Danger and mystery meld with confusion and hazy memories of a life she only barely recalls.  A2 meets B2, and they discover they were sisters, before….before whatever happened that brought them here….whereever they are, though neither know why.
 Jackson’s first book in the Escape Series, Playing in the Rain:  When All That Matters is Freedom pulls you right into the story from page one, slowly yet inexorably, leaving you as dazed and confused as A2.  Page after deliciously-mystifying page, you follow A2 and B2 as their situation goes from bad to worse, yet gets better and better.  If you love immersing yourself into a story body and soul, where you can end up exhausted from the remarkable confusion the author maintains chapter after chapter, dragging you and her characters along an unforseen path to an undisclosed conclusion while spinning in a web of intrigue that will leave everyone ensnared and gasping for breath, then prepare yourself.  This one will not disappoint you.
It will not give up its secrets quickly or easily, either.
Settle in and prepare for the inescapably claustrophobic, diabolically mind-spinning ride of your life!
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A graduate of a 3-year Graphic Design program, Sandra J. Jackson has always been creative, from drawing and painting to telling stories to her children when they were young. Her wild imagination lends itself to new and exciting ideas.

Sandra’s debut novel, Promised Soul, was originally released in 2015 by her former publisher. A short story, Not Worth Saving, was published in New Zenith Magazine’s 2016 fall issue. She also has had several sports articles published in a local newspaper. She holds a professional membership with the Canadian Author Association and is a member of Writers’ Ink. Sandra’s second novel, Playing in the Rain – Book 1 of the Escape Series, released in September 2017 also by the same former publisher.

Sandra lives with her family in a rural setting in Eastern, Ontario. She is currently working on Book 3 of the Escape Series, her first trilogy.

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~Morgan~

Introduction for an Archangel – #Fantasy #Characters Come to Life

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Elena Dudina.  You may recognize her amazing artwork or you may have never heard of her before.  She is an extremely gifted photomanipulation digital artist. Her creations stir the imagination (They have stirred mine since the beginning of BnV!)

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They are breathtaking and exquisitely detailed, filling the mind with far-away realms and magical places.

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They are delicate and beautiful and each one is unique.

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She is a poet of images, forms and colour; shades, shapes and textures.

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When I first began writing The Mercy Series, I confess, it wasn’t one of Elena’s images that inspired my imagination.  It was one by an artist called Aenaluck

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This image is definitely stirring, but my main character Tzadkiel quickly took on a life of his own. He became real to me, as every character I have ever created has done.

“The ruddy glimmer of the late day sun, slowly fading into a crimson haze behind the distant clouds, played through the layers of his shoulder-length blonde hair and sparkled across the perfection of his features. He was neither rugged nor boyish, but strikingly handsome.  His physique was tall and powerful, but not burly and his appearance was undeniably beautiful while still masculine. He wore a gray leather harness across his back with a scabbard to carry a sword, though the weapon was currently sheathed in the scabbard at his hip.  He bore no scars of any kind and wore around his neck an amethyst crystal upon a silver chain. The deep violet of the unworked stone matched the color of his eyes precisely and glowed faintly as if it contained an internal light.  Standing there upon the vast ocean shore, he was the most stunning sight for countless miles. – An Excerpt from Misericorde 

Although Aenaluck’s character inspired, I wanted a true representation of Tzadkiel.  One I could share with readers (And use for marketing without copyright infringement).  I decided to look into commissioning a work through a digital artist and it only took about 10 minutes for me to find Elena’s website.  10 minutes after that, I was emailing one of my all time favourite artists with a query.

Elena and I have worked closely for a week, trading emails while I provided detailed descriptions about Tzadkiel and a plethora of images to help her visualize what I saw in my mind.  Remarkably, and due in no small part to her immense talent, she drew the archangel out of the depths of my mind and brought him ….and his extraordinary sword Jshunamir….to life!

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I would like to introduce you to The Archangel Tzadkiel in human form from The Mercy Series

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It’s the year 2446, and the first three Horsemen of Revelation’s Apocalypse have ridden.

Pestilence, War and Famine have changed the world into a dictatorship ruled with an iron fist. Commoners have few rights, and liberty is a distant memory.

Before the final Horseman is released, the Archangel of Mercy – Tzadkiel – makes a bold plea, asking for permission to find even one human who remembers the meaning of mercy and compassion. He is given 100 years, until Death will sweep across the land.

Taking human form and coming to Earth, he finds a place ruled by greed, hatred and fear. With time running out and Death growing impatient, can Tzadkiel find what he’s looking for… and how much will he need to sacrifice?

 

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I can’t wait to hear what you think.  Personally, Im over the moon and want to take this opportunity to thank Elena for her gift, that has inspired me many times over the years, and for her patience as she worked to bring this character to life.

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~Morgan~

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Find Elena Dudina on DeviantArt and Facebook

The A.S.K. Principle

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I am convinced that everyone prays. Even an atheist has a way of expressing their needs to someone or something other than themselves.  They too need help through difficult times.  There is something deep within every human being that cries out for help. When trouble comes our way or when someone we know is going through struggles, we reach out.  Major religions around the world each have their own view of what prayer should consist of.  There are also many ideas on how prayer should be delivered.  Some require a set schedule of prayer, while for others it’s more a form of meditation.  Prayer is a vital element of the human soul.

I was raised in church.  My mom was the church secretary in a small congregational church in Massachusetts when we were growing up.  We had to be in church!  I sang in the children’s choir. Our family was involved in everything that went on at church. At 13, I was confirmed and started being a teachers helper in Sunday School.  A friend and I ran a small teen hangout in the church for a while. We were at church a lot  

We learned to pray at an early age.  Reciting our bedtime prayers and praying over meals were the two ways we practiced.   But when I reached the rebellious age of 16, I wandered away from church and set out on a road of self-destruction.  Drugs, alcohol, sex, and parties were all that seemed to matter.  Church was ignored.  Even then, I can remember praying at certain times.  It is something that stuck with me even when I was away from God.  I wasn’t even sure at times who I was praying to.  I just knew I had to call out to something greater then myself. 

In 1976, I made a trip to Iowa.  We attended a service earlier in the week.  The preacher had me convinced I was going to hell, and I knew I did not want to go there!  The night before I was going to head home, my friends pastor came to his trailer.  There, in my best friend’s mobile home, I prayed the sinners’ prayer.  I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

I was saved that night.  Upon returning to Massachusetts, I started attending that same congregational church I grew up in.  Two years later, on a return trip to Iowa, I met my future wife and moved to Iowa in 1978.   We were married by years end.  Three children and five great grandchildren have come along and we will soon be celebrating 40 years together.

This was a time when I really started to grow in the Lord and learn His ways.  I was focused on building a family and growing in the Lord.  Long hours were spent in prayer and in the word.  Reading through the bible several years in a row brought understanding.  Studying things I did not understand were all priorities of mine.  Seeking God for wisdom was at the top of my list during those years.  I became a worship leader in my small church.  Some lay ministry and prison outreach occurred.   I developed a prayer life, but I always sensed there was a lot more than I currently realized.

What is prayer?  When should we pray?  How should we pray?   Why should we pray?  How can we pray effectively?  I had so many questions about prayer through these years of my walk with the Lord that I decided to study and learn for myself.  In 1990 I earnestly sought the Lord with these questions and developed the basics for what I thought would eventfully be a book.  After finishing the study, it sat on a shelf at home.  Recently, those notes were found in a house cleaning session.  I decided to take another look at it and make it book ready.  Ideas and concepts were added that I learned since the original study. I used this on my blog over a period of a month to get feedback from fellow bloggers.  I was pleased it was so well received.

My desire is that together we can get a better understanding of the inner workings of prayer.  Many of you might know much of what I will share.  I hope all will gain new insights into their own prayer lives.  

I pray this book will strengthen the kingdom of God in these last days.  I pray it will glorify God for the wonderful gift of prayer that He has given us.    We desperately need an outpouring of effective prayer in our world today.  I pray this book will start a tsunami of prayer that will sweep the church, our nation and our world.

If you would like a copy of “The A.S.K. Principle” it is available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and also through my web site at www.theaskprinciple.com

#Orators of the #ModernAge – An Insight into #AudioBook #Narrators and #VoiceOverArtists

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Audio books.  We love them or we hate them, there’s usually not a lot of middle ground, but regardless of our love-hate relationship, the completion of an audio book project is a journey not many have taken.  Fewer yet are the interviews with audio book narrators.  We know little to nothing about these orators of the modern age who fill our lives with complex stories, tales of woe and strife, steamy romance or the inconceivable.  This is why, after working the narrator who is currently transforming Dark Fey into an audio marvel (if I do say so myself!), I decided to spotlight her.

So without further ado, please meet  Jessica Gober.  Jess is a lover of all things book related. From an early age, she discovered that books and stories could transport her to places like the world of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the cabbage patch. Since then, she’s been on a never-ending reading journey. Her vocal talents were acquired while attending Northern Arizona University for a degree in Theatre Performance. She has done voice-overs for plays like Why We Have a Body and various student films. Her audiobook recordings include The Dark Fey Trilogy, Dust and Roses, and a book of poetry titled Blue Crayon.

Hi Jess 🙂  Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us.  Let’s dive right in, shall we? What prompted you to begin narrating/ doing voice overs?   I was a theatre major in college and often did voice-overs for plays and small projects for my friends. One day, a co-worker of mine heard a mock up of an advertisement I had created for a class and said, “You know, you have a great voice for audiobooks. You should look into that!” I thought to myself, “Now why didn’t I think of that?!”

What sorts of preparations do you undertake before recording?   Before narrating I read through the piece of writing to help me understand the feel of the characters, voices and mood of the piece. Then, I prepare a giant tankard of coffee and get underway!

Is there specific information you prefer to have that helps you in the creation of a character?   Age and where they are from mostly. The needs of the character usually come out in the first couple of chapters of the reading.

What do you like the most and least about the narrating process?   I enjoy getting to explore new books. I am a bibliophile to the core and love to get a chance to read. The editing process is a beast. Listening for every accidental beep of a watch or click of a fingernail on a surface is tedious work!

Not to mention time consuming, I bet.  Just how long does it take to record a chapter and/or complete a project?   Dependent upon the length of the chapter, it can take anywhere from twenty to fifty minutes to record a chapter. Editing that chapter will usually take about double the time it took to record it.

So basically a chapter can usually take about 3 hours to complete.  Who knew!  I imagine you didn’t realize that when you started out.  What other things do you know now that you wish you would have known before you started?    I don’t really think there is much I wish I had known previously. Each opportunity is to learn something new is a gift and our struggles are what lead us to that higher learning.

Do you have any tips to help prospective narrators?   Take your time and really feel what you are creating. If you are not satisfied with the recording, feel justified in starting over. In the end, you are producing something that will make you proud.

I feel much the same way about writing.  In the end, I want to be proud of what I’ve written.  With so many options out there, is there a certain type of character that is easiest for you? Or most difficult?   Very demure characters are difficult for me. I don’t relate to characters that could come across as wimpy, so I really have to dig deep to make them come to life. I love a good strong-willed character who finds their strength through struggle.

Like Gairynzvl! You’ve brought him to life in an amazing way I never anticipated.  Now I understand how you did it. Is it the same with genre?  Do you lean towards a specific genre or find some easier than others?   I love science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.

Is there a genre you wouldn’t choose to narrate?    There is a lot of erotica to be read and, though I have no problem with the genre, as a full-time public educator, I don’t feel it would be appropriate for me to narrate something overtly sexual and put it in a public forum where my students or parents might stumble across it!

I agree.  I’ve been asked to collaborate on several erotica projects and have declined for similar reasons.  Well, I have to say Im very glad you gave us an insight into the world of the narrator…or perhaps to be more accurate, voice-over artist.  You spend so much time on other people’s stories, Thanks so much for sharing YOURS.

Jess has done a marvelous job creating the realms of Jyndari and the Uunglarda for Dark Fey, not to mention bringing the characters to life!  If you’re intrigued, I have several copies of Dark Fey The Reviled available on Audible that are currently FREE!  Just let me know you’d like one!

Or find The Reviled on Audible

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~Morgan~