Thursday, August 17, 2017

Nominations Are Open! #BookAwards



It's that time of year again ... nominations are now open for the Feathered Quill Book Awards. We are currently offering an "Early Bird" discounted nomination rate until Sept. 1 (so judges can start reading now - it really helps them with all the books they have to read). We have a few new categories this year AND now include "Judges' Comments" for all entries. Learn more and nominate at:

#BookReview - Dog Dish of Doom


Dog Dish of Doom: An Agent to the Paws Mystery

By: E.J. Copperman
Illustrated By: David Baldeosingh Rotstein
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: August 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-08427-9
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: August 17, 2017

After finishing law school, Kay Powell wanted to start her own business and the one thing she knew for sure was that she preferred working with animals over people. With a background in theatre, as her parents are both stage actors and she was once involved in their act growing up, she decides to start an agency that represents animal actors. Little does she know how this will change her life...

With her new business, Kay sees all kinds of animal talent from many different species including cats, birds, reptiles, and even dolphins. Her latest client, however, is a lovable dog named Bruno. As soon as Kay meets Bruno she can see he has potential to be a great actor for he’s obedient, calm, and above all has a face that all of the audience will fall in love with. Unfortunately, Bruno’s owners Trent and Louise Barclay are not as simple to deal with, making it twice as hard for Kay to seal a contract for Bruno. For you see, Kay is so close to getting Bruno the part of the dog Sandy in the play Annie, if only she can convince Trent to keep his opinions to himself about the director, Les McMaster.

After some negotiation with both parties, Kay thinks she has the role captured for Bruno and is proud of her client’s bright future, but everything takes a drastic turn when the next morning she is informed that Trent Barclay has been murdered. Suddenly Bruno’s future is not so bright as an investigation starts to find a motive for Trent’s murder. This is when Kay finds herself in an odd predicament - she represents Bruno and by all means wants to look out for his best interest and keep him safe. However, if someone was angry enough to murder Trent then Bruno could possibly be in danger too. The situation becomes even stranger when Trent’s wife, Louise Barclay, accuses Kay of dog napping the morning of Bruno’s first rehearsal. Louise doesn’t seem to recall that Kay called her many times to arrange a drop off time for Bruno. Instantly distraught, Louise tries to get Kay arrested, but is quickly told there is no grounds for arrest. Louise, angry with the whole situation, storms away leaving her dog yet again with Kay.

Because Kay is in the center of all the theatre drama, Detective Rodriguez, who has been assigned the case, asks for Kay’s help in searching for clues. At first Kay is a little apprehensive for shouldn’t the police handle all of this business? But then, knowing that the safety of her client Bruno is in her hands, she agrees to help and soon uncovers a dog pile of secrets.

Before I even started to read this book I was pulled in by the unique main character of Kay Powell, for being an agent to the animals is just such a fun and creative place to start. Then throwing in a lovable dog like Bruno, I was instantly hooked to the bond this pair had throughout the story. It was perfect for the reader to see the dog’s perspective in a unique way for the main character keeps the reader in tune with all that is transpiring with Bruno, while still keeping up with a fun dialogue between the human characters. This is a great first novel in this series and I’ll be looking for the second one.

Quill says: Could not ask for a more unique and fun story!






Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#Book Review - A Measure of Murder


A Measure of Murder: A Sally Solari Mystery

By: Leslie Karst
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: February 2017
ISBN: 978-1-68331-018-1
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: August 15, 2017

Leslie Karst tantalizes her audience with her savory new ‘Sally Solari Mystery’: A Measure of Murder.

Sally Solari is a busy gal. Her balancing act includes working in her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s on one hand, while planning the autumn menu for Gauguin, the restaurant she inherited from her aunt on the other. Sally also loves to sing and joins a chorus. It was a no-brainer to join when she learned it would be performing a newly discovered version of her favorite Mozart composition, the Mozart Requiem. On her first night of rehearsal at the church, accomplished tenor, Kyle, falls to his death in the church courtyard. His soprano girlfriend Jill isn’t convinced this was an accident. Jill knew Sally solved the mystery of her aunt’s untimely death; which happened to be murder and convinces Sally to dig deeper into Kyle’s death.

Matters become more complex in Sally’s life as rehearsals intensify and demands at both restaurants escalate. Tempers and jealousies are rearing their ugly heads at rehearsals. To add to her challenges, when a fire breaks out during a busy service at Gaugin’s one evening, Sally is more than convinced the reason behind the fire is because she was getting closer to establishing murder as the real reason for Kyle’s unfortunate death. The fire may have been a setback, but it doesn’t deter Sally from forging forward to solve the mystery. What she doesn’t know is more greed, jealousy, secrets and another death lies in wait in her path ahead.

Leslie Karst creates a great recipe of mystery and intrigue in her latest novel. Like a culinary master, she has mixed up a batch of yummy characters who are full of zest and individual personality. She has accomplished the golden rule when it comes to writing a murder mystery in that she delivers the body to her audience in a timely fashion. There is a nice ebb and flow throughout this read of rich and engaging scene set ups that is followed by equally credible dialogue. At story’s end, the reader is treated to the bonus of a handful of recipes in the back of the book—recipes that were showcased in the story. I find this to be innovative as much as creative when an author shines a light on yet another facet of their creative ability. I have not had the pleasure of reading Ms. Karst’s first book in her Sally Solari Mystery series and hope to do so at some point in the future. Meanwhile, I give a thumb’s up to A Measure of Murder. It’s a well-rounded murder mystery without a lot of blood and gore, but certainly a bounty of ‘who done it’ at the turn of each page.

Quill says: A Measure of Murder is the perfect recipe of one-part mystery and two parts engaging which makes for a dish served well with a glass of wine and a comfy chair.





#BookReview - How To Change a Life


How to Change a Life

By: Stacey Ballis
Publisher: Berkeley
Publication Date: August 2017
ISBN: 978-0-425-27662-4
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: August 15, 2017

Foodie novelist Stacey Ballis is back and delivers yet another delightful read in her latest novel, How to Change a Life.

Eloise has a comfortable life. She is a successful private chef and couldn’t ask for more perfect clients. Her corgi sidekick, Simca, is the only member of her immediate family which is fine by her. Eloise reflects on her high school years and experiences a pang of melancholy when she thinks of her ‘besties’ Lynne and Teresa. She thinks about Mrs. O’Connor and how she was the one teacher who made a difference in Eloise’s life. Aside from her loving parents, Mrs. O’Connor helped Eloise see there was more to her life than being an Olympic contender once those dreams were quashed due to an injury in her senior year. Time moves forward, friends move on and here she is today, months away from her 40th birthday. When she receives the sad news of Mrs. O’Connor’s passing, Eloise had no idea the event would end up being yet another gift of wisdom and hope from her dearly departed teacher.

How fitting the three women would reunite at Mrs. O’Connor’s funeral. They became fast friends in high school thanks to Mrs. O’Connor. When they reconnect, they decide to reignite the flame to their senior class assignment. Each girl was to make a list of things to accomplish before their respective fortieth birthdays in a few, short months. Lynne is a successful advertising executive and has no time for domestic responsibilities. She must get a dog. Teresa has mastered the art of being the perfect mom and homemaker. Her role of wife could use some spicing up and her challenge is to do just that. Eloise has been off the dating scene for more than a decade which is more than too long. Her goal is to start dating again. While the occasion for the reunion was a solemn one, it doesn’t take long for the three to rekindle their friendships. Or maybe the years have paved the way to show their true colors. Perhaps the resurrection of their ‘bucket list’ wasn’t such a great idea after all. Only time will tell if the three women make it to forty together with friendships intact or perhaps they will find themselves achieving their goals solo.

Stacey Ballis is the quintessential author when it comes to spinning a light and balanced read. How to Change a Life introduces three women (besties in high school) years later and Ms. Ballis manages to craft events and dialogue to portray a ‘that was then, this is now’ allure which is believable. The level of drama is tempered, but it does manage to surface at opportune moments in the story. Eloise is the grounded and nurturing type, Teresa is the loyal friend and Lynne is the jet-setter who may want what Eloise and Teresa have, but will never admit it. Ms. Ballis nailed the balance of conflict and kinship individually and as a group beautifully. I’ve had the pleasure of reading other titles by Ms. Ballis and, once again, say I am a fan of her work. I look forward to the next ‘foodie’ adventure.

Quill says: It’s never too late to change a life and become that someone you were always destined to become.





Monday, August 7, 2017

#Interview with Author Steven M. Moore

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Lynette Latzko is talking with Steven M. Moore, author of Rembrandt's Angel

FQ: I read that you have penned a plethora of novels and short stories. Do you have any unfinished stories that never made it to a final published form?

MOORE: I’ve been collecting plot ideas, character sketches, themes, dialogue snippets, and potential settings for years. My muses know this, so they’ve been after me to turn them into stories since I became a full-time writer. That’s a fanciful explanation for my many stories during these last ten-plus years. I’ve never had writer’s block, and I love to write. I often have several projects going (three right now).

Unfinished stories? You bet. My first novel, written during the summer I turned thirteen (not finished because I had several possible endings) wound up in the trash can when I left for college. It wasn’t all that bad (similar to the plot of the movie City of Angels with the masculine and feminine main characters’ roles reversed), but that trash can is definitely the appropriate place for most first novels.

When I start a story, I never know whether it will be a short story, novella, or novel. The first two often appear as free blog posts (serialized for novellas or longer shorts) and later as PDFs free for the asking. I can’t and won’t publish everything, although I think some of the short fiction is entertaining too, enough so that I’ve published a few short story collections. With projects in the works right now, we’ll see what their fate is. An author doesn’t have to publish everything s/he writes. The important thing is to keep writing.

FQ: If you could talk with your younger self, is there any advice that you would give him pertaining to your writing?

Author Steven M. Moore

MOORE: Yes. My biggest mistake was to use my own name instead of a pseudonym. My advice to all new authors is to choose a pen name if their real names are as common as mine. Name recognition is so important nowadays when there are so many good authors and good books to tempt the avid reader.

I’ve somewhat avoided another mistake. Like many writers, I have more fun writing and not so much doing what needs to be done after. Today one can’t ignore that, and I’ve learned not to do so. While most writers are nerds like me, we all have to leave our comfort zone from time to time too. There are no sufficient conditions for book success, but we can do a lot toward establishing the necessary conditions for that to happen.

FQ: In a synopsis for Rembrandt's Ange you asked, “To what lengths would you go to recover a stolen masterpiece?” I’m curious, how would you answer that question?

MOORE: I think it’s appalling that some unscrupulous people will steal art and sell it to other unscrupulous people who selfishly keep the public from enjoying it. That said, I’m sure I don’t have my main characters’ skills to do something about it except to serve as cheerleader for those who do.

FQ: What do you believe makes Rembrandt’s Angel stand out from other detective mysteries, and how is it similar to the classic Agatha Christie novels?

MOORE: I call my book a mystery/thriller because it has elements corresponding to both genres. Crime fiction and suspense are also possible genres. The book begins like a classic mystery, hopefully doing due diligence to justifying its dedication to Christie and her great characters, Miss Marple and Monsieur Poirot. I’m sure the great mystery writer would feel right at home when Esther Brookstone visits her old school chum in Oxfordshire at the book’s beginning. The mystery becomes more complex as Esther and her paramour, Interpol agent Bastiann van Coevorden, uncover a complicated conspiracy that takes them into a more thriller-like storyline.

This novel is neither a classical who-done-it nor a simple thriller. Life is complex; so are my stories. I dedicate the book to Agatha more for the entertaining times I enjoyed as a young lad reading her books, but I always wondered why she didn’t have at least one novel where her two famous sleuths formed a synergistic team.

FQ: There is a debate that is still going on about whether the artwork obtained for the Hitler Museum was outright stolen, sold by forced coercion, or legally purchased. What do you personally believe happened?

MOORE: That could depend on your definition of “stolen.” If I’m not mistaken, Hans Posse and others sometimes paid a pittance for some paintings and/or used coercion. The fact that half the paintings in the treasure trove associated with “An Angel with Titus’ Features” have never been found is for me a strong hint that they were effectively stolen, often from groups persecuted by the Nazis, and some unsavory people still possess these stolen goods.

There was a lot of this going on during the war, but not all stolen artwork was destined for the museum either. Stolen art was often considered by many Nazi VIPs to be better plunder than gold bullion when designing their escape plans. The movie The Monuments Men documented a bit of that. I wrote my book before that movie, though (Esther and Bastiann both have cameos in other novels in my detective series).

FQ: Esther Brookstone is an unusual character because of her advanced years. What drew you to creating someone who isn't your typical young, or even middle-aged, character?

MOORE: With Miss Marple, Agatha Christie showed age isn’t much of a factor when solving mysteries. Sleuths of advanced years are common in mysteries, especially cozies. Of course, Esther Brookstone is a 21st century version of Miss Marple and a bit younger. They say sixty is the new forty, and if women can (and should be able to) serve in the military, that alone is sufficient reason to have a main female character.

Her advanced years do weigh on Esther a bit, though. She says toward the end of the book that she’s physically tired and rightfully so, and her doubts about retirement are probably ubiquitous among people at that age. What do you do when you retire from that stressful day-job not to become too bored? Esther doesn’t immediately have an answer. Bastiann might help there.

I’ve always admired strong, smart women and often think the world would be a better place with women more in charge. Testosterone seems to play too large a role on the world’s stage. And age doesn’t matter that much anymore. The story shows that Esther is young-at-heart and enjoys being with young people. The coincidental encounter with the thief of the Bernini bust at the Scottish castle Esther inherited (the coincidence is found in the inheritance, not the fact that the thief was hiding there—she knew the place from her teenage years), and the lively repartee between Esther and the young hacker from MI5 and his friend confirms how much she understands and commiserates with young people.

Many older adult readers have enjoyed Harry Potter and still enjoy other young adult tales. At book signings, I’ve found tweens interested in my mysteries and thrillers and elderly people interested in my sci-fi while I expected exactly the reverse. Being old and thinking young is very common now, so why not write about it? And those tweens show young people have a surprising maturity these days.

FQ: Why did you decide to write about the world of art theft and forgery? Do you have any artists that you're particularly fond of besides the two featured artists in your novel, Rembrandt and Bernini?

MOORE: I admire most creative people and their creations, and I admire them all the more if I can’t do what they do (I usually cannot). My favorite artists are impressionists, but my father (obviously a favorite) was primarily a landscape artist. In the book I also mention Botero and Obregon, two Colombian artists; their works are also favorites. One’s art appreciation is like one’s preferences for wine: it’s all subjective and everyone’s tastes are a wee bit different. What one likes is important, not what some critic says should be liked.

I believe I already mentioned how appalled I am by art theft and the resale of stolen artwork. The theft at the Gardner Museum in Boston (I lived and worked in the area for twenty-three years) and the discovery of a treasure trove long hidden in an apartment in Germany both motivated my interest in the black market in stolen and forged art. The latter was briefly mentioned in the novel (Esther’s case involving cruise ship auctions and her suspicions about the Rembrandt), and that’s appalling too. Most of my novels have themes woven in and around the plot. Art thievery and associated crimes represent one theme in Rembrandt’s Angel; two others are terrorism and the illegal drug trade.

FQ: There are several countries in this novel that the characters travel through; what are your favorite places that you’ve traveled to in the past?

MOORE: Fascist fanatics can be found anywhere, of course, so I apologize to my Austrian and German friends for stereotypically locating the main villains in Austria and Germany (I’m half-German and my mother only spoke German until she was eight, by the way). Mexican drug cartels are probably more infamous than South American ones now, but I knew the area around that corner of Colombia and Peru a bit better, so I have to apologize to my Latino friends too (I lived in Colombia for more than ten years). My experience with Great Britain and Ireland is more limited.
Today an author can use books, the internet, or cable channels to “visit” almost anywhere, many times in more detail than the average tourist. But it happens that I’ve lived and traveled abroad, and I’ve found different countries, people, and cultures so fascinating that I’m hard put to name my favorite places. I have fond memories of many places in North and South America and Europe. I celebrate the diversity I’ve found in our world in my life as well as in my books.

FQ: If Rembrandt's Angel were to become a big Hollywood movie, who would you like to be cast as the characters?

MOORE: My novels are probably too complex to be made into a movie. Some novels are, of course, and that probably guarantees some good plots and characters, but two hours cannot really do justice to the lengthy and complex tale told in a novel. That said, I’ll give a partial answer to this question I’m often asked.

I’d maybe choose Helen Mirren for Esther Brookstone. Ms. Mirren’s movie career has taken off since 2000. She is great in serious roles, and the comedy/thriller movie Red, where she plays a retired assassin, shows she could play Brookstone, although she’s possibly about ten years too old now. Unfortunately David Suchet, who probably did the best job of playing Poirot, is too old for Bastiann van Coevorden. I’m sure some other actors from the PBS Mystery Theatre and BBC TV’s series could do well playing these characters’ roles, though. My failure to make my answer more precise is why Hollywood doesn’t hire me to do their casting, although they haven’t been terribly good at it either.

FQ: Are you planning to write more exploits of Esther Brownstone and Bastiann van Coevorden? I’m sure readers are curious if Bastiann will become hubby number four!

MOORE: Several readers have made this same query. A sequel is possible. I’ve also been thinking of a prequel about Esther’s experiences in the British intelligence services before she joined Scotland Yard; they’re barely hinted at in the novel. Of course, that wouldn’t mitigate the curiosity associated with Esther’s future with Bastiann! I’m just going to have to wait until Inspector George Langston, Esther’s friend, immediate superior, and chronicler, decides to tell me what’s happening over there in merry old England and Scotland concerning Esther and Bastiann.

To learn more about Rembrandt's Angel please read the review at: Feathered Quill Book Reviews.






























#BookReview - Rembrandt's Angel


Rembrandt's Angel

By: Steven M. Moore
Publisher: Penmore Press LLC
Publication Date: May 2017
ISBN: 978-1946409027
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: August 2017

Aging Inspector (and three-time widow) Esther Brookstone, remarkably skilled in the Art and Antiques Unit with Scotland Yard, has a few major life decisions to consider. Should she quietly retire from a lengthy and productive career with the Yard, or should she, as Dylan Thomas once penned, "...rage against the dying of the light" and continue to pursue her passion as a specialist in stolen art? Almost as if to instantly answer her quandary, Brookstone comes across an invitation to a private showing of "An Angel With Titus' Features" by the artist Rembrandt van Rijn. She is fairly certain that this piece of artwork is either the long-ago stolen original by the Nazis, or, more than likely, a black market forgery, and sets out to pursue the dealers and investigate the criminal activity, putting aside any thoughts of retirement. To assist her in this wild endeavor, she joins up with Bastiann van Coevorden, who is not only a well-respected Interpol Agent, but also Brookstone’s significant other. Together their hunt takes them traveling through numerous European countries and all the way to South America and they are briefly assisted by a cast of special agents from America and Germany, as well as numerous nefarious characters, who are hell-bent on thwarting their efforts to uncover the truth behind the artwork and put a stop to a potential plot that will create a worldwide disaster.

Rembrandt’s Angel, by Steven M. Moore, is a thrilling, globetrotting adventure that provides readers a glance into the world of art forgery, Neo-Nazi conspiracies and even links to ISIS. The duo of Brookstone and van Coevorden can be favorably compared with utmost respect to Agatha Christie’s classic characters, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Esther is a strong, well-liked character with a saucy disposition, while Bastiann, though he plays costar and lover to Esther, is able to hold his own with regards to likability. In addition to Esther and Bastiann, there were quite a few other characters in the story and while the author did include a "Cast of Main Characters" (which was used extensively throughout the book) this reader found it quite distracting to the overall reading flow. Perhaps if there were fewer characters or if their descriptions were a little bit stronger, it would make it easier to remember everyone involved.

The plot is complex, taking readers to many different locales, intertwining characters both new and old and this can lose the reader if they do not carefully follow along. Also, this reviewer found the subplot that included the character Sylvia Bassett to be a bit farfetched. Specifically when Sylvia, who is on the run, just happens to be discovered hiding out in Esther Brookstone’s recently inherited Scottish castle. However, despite the few issues Rembrandt’s Angel may have, this reviewer believes that Steven M. Moore’s novel should be read by fans of the mystery genre. Particularly because the author has a keen ability to weave a great storyline that is not only filled with suspense, but captures a reader’s attention. A few quotes stood out as quite descriptive and remained with this reader well after the book was completely read, for example, "In the ice cream shop of crime, there are many flavors" and "A committee of clouds enjoyed a private meeting over the manor." Finally, the character Esther Brookstone provides readers with an unusual female protagonist who is more than just a senior Scotland Yard Inspector, she is a memorable and tenacious dame who readers will undoubtedly enjoy throughout the novel and will look forward to reading any of her possible future exploits.

Quill says: Rembrandt’s Angel is a complex thriller with several plots intertwined throughout the story. It is recommended for serious mystery fans who are looking for not only a challenging read, but also one that allows readers to become an armchair adventurist and detective, along with Brookstone and van Coevorden, spanning many different parts of the globe.

For further information on Rembrandt's Angel, please visit the author's website at: www.stevenmmoore.com





Wednesday, July 26, 2017

#AuthorInterview with Aruna Gurumurthy

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Anita Lock is talking with Aruna Gurumurthy, author of A Beginning to the End: A Poetic Journey.

FQ: You are a pre-med student turned poet. A few of your poems give a glimpse to this sudden change you made, particularly in “Wow-Wow World.” Would you mind sharing with your audience details into your powerful transformation?

GURUMURTHY: Well, I was a pre-med but my transition into writing was not sudden. I have worked in several medical labs and volunteered with the underprivileged world. These experiences served as the “meat and potatoes” of my writing. Over the course of time, I wrote short essays on social media, that were basically observations and reflections of my work and the world around us and how it must change for the better. The jump to poetry was certainly sudden, as one morning I woke up from a dream and started penning poems. It was a moment of epiphany. In 21 days I had the manuscript for my first book of poems, Spark.

FQ: How does A Beginning to the End differ from your previous books, DIYA and Spark? How are they similar?

GURUMURTHY: Well they are all books about change. Peaceful change. They are all written in an intense, albeit humorous and expressive fashion.

DIYA is my first publication. It is the light, a dream about bringing change, first to our minds and then in the world. It is prose articulated with bits and pieces of poetry.

Spark is my first poetry book about dreaming to dare and daring to dream and how we can transform the world with our “dreams” and “dares.”

A Beginning to the End, also a full-length poetry collection, some of the poems being autobiographical. It is a derivative of my inspirations and/or personal struggles, “how I view the world” and victories towards social justice and peace.

Author Aruna Gurumurthy
FQ: Please tell our readers the inspiration behind “To Sir, with Love” from section one, New Day, New Hope.

GURUMURTHY: Well, this is a poem that reflects the need for us as individuals and nations to grow, mature and move on. I am reaching out to all of us to give clarity and grace to our actions, to love and let live/ love, to undo discord and embrace unity within diversity.

FQ: In Love and Whatnots you created a bittersweet poem titled “It’s a Girl.” Explain what inspired you to write this.

GURUMURTHY: “It’s A Girl” is the ironical journey of a woman. What starts as a precious, beautiful birth sometimes progresses into the arms of discrimination and cruelty. I got inspired to write this poem because I want to see such huge waves, dunes and ripples gone from women’s lives. I have worked with women from impoverished backgrounds and the kind of life they succumb to is sad. Furthermore, there are consequences to physical aspects like women wearing short skirts, or long scarfs or whatnots. I want women to come out of their “covers” and men, some men to change their perceptions. Every child is born the same way, through the fusion of an egg and a sperm, then WHY this disparity, why this dysfunction?

FQ: I love your alliterated title, Discrimination, Dogma, Dirt. Which one of these poems in section three stands out the most in your mind? Explain why.

GURUMURTHY: I value all my poems. They are all my babies! In Discrimination, Dogma and Dirt, they vary in severity ranging from political upheavals, to moments and people in life that have made me cringe and cry. The maljudgments, the jealousy, the injustice, the you-know-whats. Here, I muse over some tough struggles and how I have been tenacious in making instrumental transformations, including the influence on people’s minds.

FQ: In My Inspiration, My Love you include a poem titled “Monday Morning” based on an encounter you had with your young daughter. Please tell your readers the significance of that encounter.


GURUMURTHY: It was just another Monday morning and I was driving my daughter through the back roads. I was not particularly in a great mood and the poem talks about how my little, shiny girl elevated my mood, my spirits. It’s simple.

FQ: Here’s a unique title: “Solving the World’s Problems with My Hair Conditioner.” Explain the significance behind this poem.

GURUMURTHY: Ha-ha! I swim quite a bit, and while swimming I weave my mind through people’s minds and think about bigger issues such as discrimination, dogma, and world peace. Transforming individuals can change the world. After years of the best concoction of hair conditioner, I am finally nailing down the best product for my hair (and you may say, for the world)!!

FQ: What poem would you like to discuss from Abstractions, Precisions, and Solutions — one that would round out your themes and bring a perfect close to your work?

GURUMURTHY:

A New Day 
 In this day of darkness and world of demagoguery
Where wolves bark and demons lurk
Anxious minds feed negative human tendencies...
When ribbons of wind twirl and turn and
Cause
Calm minds to Whip...
The mindless despair
Revolutions
Today becomes forgiven and
Tomorrow becomes doable

FQ: If there is one message from A Beginning to the End that you hope to convey to your readers, what would that be?

GURUMURTHY: Everything is a message! Put some thought into the way you treat people. Stigma happens because an ill child, or an elderly individual, or a shy woman, or even someone from another part of the globe are viewed that way. Everyone one needs care, empathy and an equal status. This is a beginning to the end. Let us make this a better place.

FQ: Do you have a new project in the works, and if so what do you think the thematic overtones will be?

GURUMURTHY: Yes! I am always thinking about something. ‘What’ that something will become, is a surprise to you and to me!

FQ: I noticed that you self-published A Beginning to the End. What made you choose the self-publishing route rather than go the more traditional route of finding a publisher?

GURUMURTHY: I chose a self-publishing platform that aided me in making my manuscript into a book. Self-publishing is fast and easy. I get it my way 100%. The book turns out professional because I have control over the interior, cover and everything in-between. The editors are great. I don’t want to be slowed down by traditional publishing if they take a couple of years to get my book out. Prestige is my work and my work is prestige. There is no shame in self-publishing. It is a matter of pride to create and publish your own book.

To learn more about A Beginning to the End: A Poetic Journey please read the review at: Feathered Quill Book Reviews.