Sunday, January 31, 2021

#BookReview - The Travels of Ibn Thomas

The Travels of Ibn Thomas

By: James Hutson-Wiley
Publisher: New Generation Publishing
Publication Date: November 2020
ASIN : B08P522C63
Reviewed by Diane Lunsford
Review Date: January 30, 2021

The Travels of Ibn Thomas by James Hutson-Wiley is an insightful read centered around the twelfth century commercial and scientific revolution with faith at its center.

In the second book in this series, Thoma (son of Thomas the Sugar Merchant) is introduced. He is born in Egypt and raised in England. Thoma is privileged to study in Italy at the Salernitan Medical School as he trains to become a physician. While in Sicily, Thoma saves the life of a noble prince and is graced with the prestigious job of court physician. There is a lot of credence to all good things must come to an end and such is the case for Thoma. Tragedy strikes and Thoma manages to escape Italy. However, his journey is just beginning.

Even though Thoma manages to escape, he is captured by pirates. Of the most unlikely of friends he selects, he opts for an assassin and is immersed into political and religious unrest in the Holy Land beyond the first crusade. Often Thoma teeters with his choice of alliances; be it religion or politics. Thoma is deeply entrenched in international conflict and his story is that of one man’s life and the epic experience during the historical events of the twelfth century revolution between commerce and science.

As was the case with James Hutson-Wiley’s first book (The Sugar Merchant), he does not scrimp when it comes to information. There is a map in the first few pages that displays the travels of main character ‘Thoma.’ This is a useful guide to source often throughout the story to orient the reader toward the whereabouts of Thoma’s journey. In the opening chapter, Hutson-Wiley takes the reader back to ‘Eynsham AD 1104, AH 497, AM 4864’. This is a helpful refresh if the reader has read the first book in the series, but also beneficial if one opts to read this book as a standalone. Once again, there is a glossary at book’s end to facilitate dialogue and definition of certain terminology. The body of work reads like a story. However, it also carries a sublime and interesting history line throughout. Perhaps I am biased to a certain extent because I’m a ‘history junkie,’ but I would highly recommend this to a vast audience. The sheer entertainment and depth that has been woven into the tale along with the credibility and lifelike characters developed along the way has a wonderful cadence throughout the read. Bravo Mr. Hutson-Wiley. I look forward to your next book.

Quill says: The Travels of Ibn Thomas is a great reader’s choice that showcases events from Twelfth Century history.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

2021 Feathered Quill Book Awards

2021 Feathered Quill Book Awards

We had planned to announce the winners of the 2021 Feathered Quill Book Awards on Feb. 1, 2021. Unfortunately, the USPS did everything they could to keep authors' books from getting to us in a timely fashion. Even those shipped via priority arrived one to two weeks late. And we, in turn, had trouble getting all those books to our judges in anything resembling a normal shipping time. We switched to using UPS which was better than USPS, but they too, were still delayed. This unexpected delay meant that judges were kept waiting for books to arrive. In order to give them a reasonable time to read/rate each book, we made the difficult, but necessary decision to delay announcing the winners until Monday, Feb. 8th. That date is assuming that the judges' score sheets, which are in transit now, get to us quickly. If at all possible, we'll post the winners sooner. Stay tuned!

Reviewer's Choice Award

Meet Author Michelle Griep - the newest author to win Feathered Quill's "Reviewer's Choice" award. For this award, each reviewer selects their favorite book of the last year. Michelle's book, "The House at the End of the Moor" was selected by reviewer Diane Lusnford. Congrats to Michelle! Other winners will be announced soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

#AuthorInterview with Katherine Spada Basto

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott is talking with Katherine Spada Basto, author of Vestal Virgin: Chosen for Rome.

FQ: You must surely have a favorite character in Vestal Virgin, someone you identify closely with - who would that be?

BASTO: My favorite character is Cornelia, the main protagonist and narrator of the story. She begins the journey as a young, spoiled and demanding girl. Once she accepts that she is “Chosen” she matures, begins to question authority and takes a stand and speaks “truth to power.”

FQ: How did you decide to make the Vestal Virgin Cult the centerpiece for this latest historical novel?

BASTO: I’ve always been interested in Pagan Cults and Goddess Worship through the ages. Both their rise and fall and the historical context of how it happened fascinates me. The time periods when religions clashed and were at a crossroads of change is compelling. I had previously read about the Vestal Virgins and thought it a unique subject.

FQ: How long did it take to write this work, considering all the fact gathering that must have been involved?

BASTO: Two and a half years. My first novel, Days to the Gallows, about the Hartford Witch Panic of 1662 was published in December of 2019. Shortly after, I started my research on the Vestals. I was pleasantly surprised with the plethora of information on the Vestal history. The highlight of my research was going to Rome, walking the old Pagan sites such as the Spring of Egeria, the Forum itself, and the Pons Sublicus, the oldest bridge in Rome. Traveling to Rome enhanced and greatly improved my understanding of the time period I wrote about.

Author Katherine Spada Basto

FQ: Since a sequel is planned for this, built on the parting of Cornelia and Lucius, what historical period/cultural events will provide the focus of the new work?

BASTO: Vestal Virgin: Chosen for Rome ends with the parting of Cornelia and Lucius, with the implication he will return. The Epilogue explains the demise of Emperor Nero. The next book will take place as the new Emperor Vespasian (69-79-AD) begins building the new “Colosseum,” the Christian sect becomes stronger, and the Vestals and Rome itself are challenged with the changes to the cult and Empire. The next novel will also feature Domician, an Emperor worse than Nero in his destruction.

FQ: Do you see parallels in modern times to the rise and fall of Rome as depicted in your book?

BASTO: My first book in the series focuses on the Fall of Nero; the fall of Rome came a few hundred years afterwards. There are certainly parallels between an autocrat and tyrant like Nero, whose answer to a threatening cult like Christianity was to burn them alive at the stake and to make a point to those others who were interested in the new sect.

Nero’s power in Rome was absolute. According to the research, he was behind the Great Fire of Rome, yet during the inferno, he was at the seaside. He also benefited from the fire by taking over the new “real estate” to use the scorched land for his future palaces.

Nero was a tyrant. One can see in our present times, there’s many “dictator wanna bes” and it’s clear if there are no checks on absolute power, these autocrats get others to do their dirty work, then wash their hands afterward and deny any wrongdoing. There will always be tyrants in our government unless checks and balances are in place.

FQ: Do you have a favorite author who has influenced your choice to compose historical novels centered on a strong female lead?

BASTO: There are many! When I was a middle grade teacher, I read and recommended to my students the YA author, Ann Rinaldi. She always has a strong female lead and uses historical time periods such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the Salem Witch Trials to name a few. I also love Laurie Halse Anderson, an award winning author of Chains and Forge. She also has strong female characters and brings history to life and spins a good yarn as well.

FQ: Which episode in this wide-ranging story was the most compelling to imagine and compose?

BASTO:I personally enjoyed “imagining” some of the rites and rituals of the Vestals, in particular the Feast of the Bona Dea. A women only rite, this was one of the only times a woman in Rome could drink wine, called “milk.” Cornelia is allowed to partake in the festival and drinks too much.

I learned a lot imaging these rites and this also includes the chapter on Cornelia’s initiation. The Romans were a very superstitious lot and everything had to be done in a certain order or “bad luck” could ensue.

FQ: What advice would you offer to other women who might wish to undertake works in the historical novel genre?

BASTO: First, read widely in the genre! See what time periods you are drawn to. Do the research and weave the facts with your own imagination. And try not to mess with the facts known in history. This is a no-no! Make your protagonist a strong, enduring character who grows throughout the story.

I find the more research one does, the better. If you can visit the sites you are writing and researching, you will have a strong foundation for what I call “worldbuilding.” You want your reader to feel like they were present way back when. Details into what people wore, what they ate, weather, how they spoke will all strengthen the worldbuilding and setting.

Yet you want to make the history accessible for contemporary times and this includes access to unchanging human emotions such as love, fear, anger, sadness...all emotions that humanity has carried with them throughout the ages. This helps to develop your characters into three-dimensional people, who all have their hopes, wishes and dreams.

The exciting aspect with historical novels are that there are so many interesting characters that have their own stories to tell, within their own time periods, and events. Perhaps your leading character is created by you; this is great, as long as you play by the extenuating circumstances you write about.

Enjoy the process of research and bringing the characters to life. The greatest compliment I receive from readers is that they write, “I enjoyed the book and learned a lot.” This in my opinion, is a winning combination.

#BookReview - Appellate Judge: A Jack Ludefance Novel

Appellate Judge: A Jack Ludefance Novel

By: Behcet Kaya
Publication Date: November 2020
ISBN: 978-8564432993
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: January 26, 2021

Crime thriller readers and fans alike, rejoice, the scar-faced Floridian, Private Investigator Jack Ludefance, has returned for the third time in the new novel by author Behcet Kaya, Appellate Judge.

Fresh from a much-needed cruise vacation through the Panama Canal with his sister Margeaux, and his late father’s companion, Deloris, PI Ludefance finds himself agreeing to investigate another case. This time he’s being hired by a distraught woman, Cindy Hastings, who is the devoted daughter of the deceased, highly respected, Judge Russell Hastings of the Florida First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. Unfortunately, it’s been a year since his presumed murder, and the police have hit a wall; all initial suspects have been cleared, and there are no new leads.

Judge Hastings was discovered in his judge’s chambers when he failed to return to the courtroom, after a break during an appeal trial where a big pharmaceutical company was found guilty in a wrongful death lawsuit. After reviewing the records from the murder scene, PI Ludefance begins his own extremely meticulous research by reinterviewing suspects (much to their dismay) beginning with the judge’s immediate family, as he attempts to piece together what happened prior to the man’s death. He hopes to narrow down who remains the most likely to have committed the murder. Throughout his exhaustive investigations, Jack uncovers bits of new evidence, and fingers start pointing in a few directions, one of which is the sexually insatiable widow, Kelly, and even possibly one of her many lovers. But PI Ludefance doesn’t let any stone go unturned, and he’s quickly pulled into two other equally plausible directions. One of which is a possible revenge plot spurred on by the recent pharmaceutical company conviction, while the other motive for murder revolves around Judge Hastings’ hobby and weekly pastime, playing violin in a quartet at a local lounge.

So between a grieving family riddled with their own abundant personal issues, pushing and pulling Jack in a myriad of directions, and the possibility that the victim had enemies outside of his family who also could have had motivation to murder, PI Ludefance has his work cut out for him. But will he be able to use his expert investigative skills to delve in deeper than the police could (often going far beyond what the justice system would allow them to), and ultimately extract the critically missing information, and uncover who appellate judge Russell Hastings’ murderer was, or will he get too tangled in the current situations to pull himself out?

Author Behcet Kaya has once again presented readers with an emotionally intense crime thriller. Appellate Judge has classic mystery twists and turns that will keep readers engaged and guessing, but perhaps not as shocking and unbelievable as the previous Jack Ludefance novel. However, this shouldn’t dissuade anyone from either continuing to read this third novel in the Jack Ludefance series, or from picking this particular book up for the first time and reading it. This is because the author presents an excellent standalone thriller mystery with well thought-out characters, and a story that will keep readers hooked from beginning to end. The author also treats his veteran readers to more character development with Jack Ludefance that greatly enhances the overall storyline. This reader particularly enjoys the fact that over the course of the series it is revealed that Jack is a down-to-earth kind of guy who isn't too cool or pretentious of a private investigator (unlike some PIs who prefer to zip around places in their red Ferrari) to shop at a Walmart for clothes, and stay at a budget Best Western Hotel.

Quill says: Get ready for another engaging crime thriller in the Jack Ludefance series by author Behcet Kaya. Appellate Judge is one crime thriller you don't want to miss.

For more information on Appellate Judge: A Jack Ludefance Novel, please visit the website at:


Saturday, January 23, 2021

#BookReview - The Triskelion

The Triskelion: A Post-Apocalyptic Adventure (New Earth Chronicles Book 2)

By: Victoria Lehrer
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Publication Date: September 2020
ASIN: B07VJ772F5
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Date: January 21, 2021

In her second of the New Earth Chronicles, author Victoria Lehrer focuses on a thwarted romance, an impending execution, and the possibility of a widespread injection engineered by tyrants to quell a rumbling rebellion.

The central character in this enthralling sci-fi fantasy is Dora D’Arc, a young woman of aristocratic heritage living now in Transtopia. She has fallen in love with Caellum, who is leading an insurrection known as the Sovereignty Movement. This movement has determined that all inhabitants will have equal rights at governance. Meanwhile Charles Scholtz, the Imperial Governor, holds sway since the earth was devastated by a Solar Flash in an era not far in the future from our own. Charles is determined to implant all rebels, including Caellum who is imprisoned and facing death by hanging, with a device that will make them docile workers for his self-centered regime.

Part of Charles' maniacal plot involves Dora, who has, he believes, just the sort of sweet, loveable face needed to tout his evil scheme to the unsuspecting masses. But as Dora grows closer to Caellum even during his captivity, she allies more and more with his ideals. When Charles insists that she marry his son Rolf to produce an heir, the promise of Caellum’s release is too powerful to resist, so Dora finds herself caught between the two sides. Two rebel allies called “runners,” Adair and Eena, hiding out in the tangled forests of Cedarhenge, will assist Dora and help her realize her own innate powers.

Lehrer is a teacher who turned to writing inspired by the understanding that all people have traditionally learned much about the world through well-told stories. In the broad tapestry of the New Earth series, she draws together threads of science, human morality at its best and worst, and a number of strong daring women who willingly take on the task of saving their world from despotic rule. There are glimpses of the past – automobiles and airplanes are still in use in her dystopian future world – as well as an occult overlay that incorporates druidic lore, Native American legends and the symbolism of the Celtic triskelion, a decorative device with multi-layered meaning. There are real places like Quartz Mountain to remind us that the setting is earthbound. Eena is one of the memorable figures drawn from the earlier volume, The Augur’s View. The specter of mass inoculations will strike a chord in the current era, while the prospect of a return to older, simpler ways will give encouragement to many.

Quill says: This new offering from Victoria Lehrer is constructed carefully to prepare her fans for a powerful sequel, composed in the manner of Tolkien and Le Guin, offering glimmers of hope and higher possibility beyond the darkness of oppression.

For more information on The Triskelion: A Post-Apocalyptic Adventure, please visit the website:


Thursday, January 21, 2021

#AuthorInterview with Christi Ely

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Holly Connors is talking with Christi Eley, author of Mr. Flopsy Whispers From God: A Lesson On Being Still.

FQ: What inspired you to write a story about an energetic child? Was is personal experience, suggestions from others, or ? 

Author Christi Eley

ELEY: I was inspired to write about an energetic child for two reasons. First, because I had a very energetic child of my own (who is now 25-years-old). When she was young, I searched for any resource to help me parent her in a positive way and help redirect her high energy. Secondly, I have been working with children for over 20 years in my ministry, Mrs. Cottontail and Friends – doing bunny programs for children in many different settings. During this time, I have encountered countless children who have high energy and I’ve seen the challenge it presents to parents and teachers on a daily basis. It really has been my passion to come up with ways to help these children. The bunnies have such a calming effect and the theme of the book culminated in all my experiences thus far.

FQ: I love the idea of using a rabbit to share God’s message. Where did that idea come from?

ELEY: I have had a deep love for rabbits since I was a young child and my grandfather and I raised a rabbit together. I took this passion and introduced my own children to rabbits from an early age. After many years of being around rabbits, I realized that they had such a calming nature, that they really could be used in many ways to help people learn valuable lessons. This is how my Mrs. Cottontail and Friends ministry was formed. I started doing educational and therapeutic bunny visits for people of all ages. It didn’t take long to see how you could bring out so many wonderful emotions and messages while being around the rabbits. People would share very personal things with me, memories, lessons learned. The rabbits represent pure unconditional love and that is God’s message.

FQ: I see that you have rabbits. Is Mr. Flopsy based on one of your own rabbits?

ELEY: Yes, Mr, Flopsy is definitely based on one of my beloved rabbits! He is a 5-year-old Holland Lop, blue eyed white rabbit. He has the sweetest personality, loves going out and being around people and even dressing up! You can find many pictures of him on my Facebook page and on my website. He even does personal video messages for children around the world!

FQ: On your website you offer “Bunny Programs.” Would you tell our readers a bit about them? 

ELEY: My Mrs. Cottontail and Friends ministry is for people of all ages! I do programs for children at daycares, schools, children’s museums and birthday parties. I also do programs for the elderly at nursing homes and retirement centers. In addition, I will do community events during the year. These involve bringing 4-5 bunnies, allowing people to interact with the bunnies. They will have the opportunity to safely pet/hold the bunnies depending on the situation. For educational programs, I will teach rabbit facts and read books. For birthday parties, I will do rabbit games and crafts. The bunnies also do something very unique – they wear costumes! We have over 25 different themes that people can choose from or we can custom make a theme for your event. We have different themes for holidays and times of the year – right now we have over 100 costumes and this time of year, we are doing Chinese New Year!

FQ: I have to ask – where do you get your bunny outfits? Do you make them? They’re absolutely adorable!

ELEY: Thank you! I really have a wide range of where I get the costumes – I have several ladies that make homemade costumes for me. They are amazing and do such terrific work! Then I am always on the lookout for extra small dog clothes that might fit, doll or teddy bear clothes and novelty party items that sometimes will work. It keeps things exciting to always be looking for new ideas. Last year at this time, we got an extra small dog costume for the Kansas City Chiefs when they won the Super Bowl along with a little football to hold! Of course, the rabbits only wear these clothes for a very short amount of time when they are out doing programs. When they are home, they are all natural!

FQ: With your Bunny Programs, you must get to see a lot of interesting interactions between your rabbits and young children. Would you tell us about one experience that is particularly meaningful for you? 

ELEY: Oh my, this is a great question! After so many years interacting with children and bunnies, you are correct, I’ve had so many amazing and meaningful encounters. One that comes to mind is a boy I worked with last summer with private bunny visits. He was having many behavioral issues and after just a few visits with the bunnies, he opened up, wanted to hold them, interact, have great conversation and was excited about our next visit. The mother cried tears of happiness every time I left because she was so overjoyed at his reaction with the bunnies. On a broad scale, I would say that this seems to be a common reaction – children who are dealing with problems, behavioral issues, fear, high energy seem to relate very well to the bunnies. Also, every time a child says to a bunny, “I love you,” it makes my heart happy!

FQ: How did you find your illustrator, Aries Cheung? As a debut author, did you know before you began working together exactly how you wanted the characters in your story to appear? Did you have specific instructions for him or did you simply give him the story and ask for his ideas? 

ELEY: Aries Cheung is an amazing illustrator! I have actually known him for 15 years. He illustrated another project of mine called Angel Bear Yoga (a children’s yoga program focusing on positive character traits and nature). When looking for an illustrator for that project, I was given some very good advice. I was told to look through my favorite children’s books and contact those illustrators and that’s just what I did. We had a wonderful working relationship and kept in touch all of these years. For this project, Aries was given the story and the only instructions I gave him was what type of bunny, so he would model him after my white, blue-eyed lop bunny at home. Other than that, he had free reign to do whatever he wanted. I completely trusted that he understood the message of the book after we discussed it and I was blown away when I saw the finished product. Every page was exactly how I imagined it – I couldn’t be happier with the finished product.

FQ: You also offer a workbook, Mr. Flopsy Workbook. Is this a stand-alone product or meant to be used in conjunction with your book? What sort of things can parents/readers expect to find in the workbook? 

ELEY: The workbook actually can be a standalone product. It is a culmination of all the activities that I’ve been doing in my bunny programs and parties for the last 20 years. I include “all things bunny” – bunny trivia, educational facts, several bunny crafts, several bunny games, bunny decorations, bunny food ideas, and a few exercises related to the Mr. Flopsy story, but could standalone on their own as well. I think it is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers who want to do bunny related activities at home for parties, sleepovers, homeschooling or in the classroom. It would be great around Eastertime when teachers are always looking for bunny related activities. Of course, if they have read Mr. Flopsy Whispers from God, then it is an excellent resource to expand upon that story as well.

FQ: Mr. Flopsy Whispers from God is part of a planned series, Mrs. Cottontail and Friends. Please tell us a little about the series, what the next title/topic will be and when readers can expect to see it hit the stores.

ELEY: Yes, we are planning for this to be a series of books! Book two is already written and the illustrator, Aries Cheung has already begun working on it. The theme will follow Mr. Flopsy as he encounters new characters including friends at school and an adorable bunny named Baby Bleu. The message will be LOVE and we will have a corresponding bible quote to theme the story around again. We are very excited to continue sharing these very important lessons with the help of Mr. Flopsy!

FQ: Your faith is very important to you and it’s wonderful to see it brought so lovingly to a children’s series. In this ever-increasing secular world, what advice would you offer parents who are worried about how to share the love of God with their little ones when there are so many distractions today?

ELEY: Yes, this is so true. I believe we have to make this a priority, and from my own experience, the easiest way to do this is to teach through experience. I had years of experience working with rabbits, so that is my easiest way to teach the message. For someone else, it would be something different, but when children see our passion for something, they are more willing to listen to what we have to share and that’s when we should take the opportunity to share our faith. I think it’s important to take time out every day, even if it’s just a few moments to concentrate on our faith. The simple suggestions I give at the end of Mr. Flopsy will help parents and teachers take a few moments with the children to do just that.

Monday, January 18, 2021

#BookReview - Mr. Flopsy Whispers From God

Mr. Flopsy Whispers From God: A Lesson On Being Still

By: Christi Eley
Illustrated by: Aries Cheung
Publisher: Cottontail Publishing
Publication Date: January 2021
ISBN: 978-1735968001
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: January 18, 2021

Cam is a sweet young boy who has too much energy – he runs around all the time and makes lots and lots of noise. Will he ever learn how to be still and quiet?

Cam loves to run around the house, run around at school, and run and play everywhere he goes. Crash, bang, splat! All that running and playing is causing a bit of a mess as well as quite a lot of noise. “…talking, yelling, asking questions.” Cam enjoys the noise he makes as he runs about – after all, it’s fun! But his parents, teachers, and others are not as enthusiastic about Cam’s high energy level. They ask Cam to “…slow down, sit still and be quiet!”

Why does Cam have to slow down? What’s wrong with having fun? What’s wrong with making a mess and lots of noise? He doesn’t understand what the adults want. He also hears people quote Psalm 46:10 – “Be Still and Know That I Am God…” What does it all mean?

Fortunately, Cam has an amazing best friend - Mr. Flopsy. Maybe Cam should ask him what it all means.

Mr. Flopsy is an adorable white bunny with long, floppy ears. Cam loves his bunny and thinks perhaps Mr. Flopsy might be able to help him. After all, the bunny is very, very good at sitting quietly in his favorite spot, barely moving. How can he do that when he also loves to hop around? Will Mr. Flopsy be able to help Cam learn to control his energy and find stillness and peace?

Debut author Christi Eley has penned a wonderful children’s book with a strong Christian focus in Mr. Flopsy Whispers From God. The author reminds children of God’s love through the use of a little bunny. Mr. Flopsy is full of wisdom and carefully explains to Cam all about God’s love in words that little ones can understand. At one point, Cam asks Mr. Flopsy if he ever gets scared and if so, what does he do? Mr. Flopsy replies that it can be hard but that the “...thing that helps me the most is thinking of you holding me. I feel so safe and love that the most.” The message of God’s love continue throughout the story and as Mr. Flopsy explains each lesson, Cam begins to relax and breathe. He is learning how to listen and feel the love of God. In addition, the illustrations are absolutely perfect – bright, playful, and engaging. This truly is a beautiful story about God’s love and is a great way to share that message with the young children in your life. At the back of the book is a page of additional suggestions to help children learn to be still and quiet as well as additional Bible Verses for the topics covered in the story.

Quill says: Mr. Flopsy Whispers From God is a delightful book, with enchanting illustrations and a great message that will help energetic children cope with their abundance of energy and understand how, and why, they need to learn to find stillness and peace.

For more information on Mr. Flopsy Whispers From God, please visit www.mrscottontailandfriends.


#BookReview - The Queen's Dog

The Queen's Dog (Empire at Twilight Book 3)

By: N.L. Holmes
Publisher: Wayback Press
Publication Date: June 2020
ISBN: 978-1734986877
Reviewed by: Skyler Boudreau
Date: January 17, 2021

The Queen’s Dog is a political thriller novel in the Empire at Twilight series by N. L. Holmes. Set mainly in Ugarit, a vassal state to the kingdom of Hatti, it follows Nahish-shulmanu, nicknamed Naheshi, a eunuch slave to the queen of Ugarit. He is infatuated with her but is eventually coerced into spying on her disloyal activities by the king’s mother. As an Assyrian in Ugarit during a time of potential war with his country of origin, he stands at a unique risk. This is something people do not shy away from taking advantage of, much to Naheshi's detriment.

I haven’t read any other book set in an ancient Syrian kingdom before, and it was exciting to learn a little bit about such a complex and fascinating culture. It’s so wildly different from the Western cultures many historical novels are centered around, and it’s a refreshing setting to explore. Audiences have to navigate the politics of not only the main characters’ own courts, but the social consequences of who they associate with. Each decision they make has personal and professional ramifications that have the potential to come back and haunt them.

N.L. Holmes builds a set of complicated relationships between her main characters, all of which are heavily influenced by whatever positions they hold at court, and who has power over whom. Every seemingly sincere action is soured by an ulterior motive, creating a fast-paced, quickly thickening plot of political drama.

Holmes’s strength for building complicated relationships between characters also unexpectedly develops one of the novel’s greatest weaknesses. As the queen’s chamberlain and supervisor of the household staff, her main narrator, Naheshi, is expected to interact with many other slaves and servants, one of which is an older eunuch named Agripsharri, who he is somewhat afraid of. At one point in the novel, Agripsharri briefly ends up in a position of power over Naheshi, as a blackmailer. He then uses that power over Naheshi to rape him.

While initially the incident is treated as horrible and wrong, it’s later excused by implying Naheshi deserved the assault for treating Agripsharri unkindly. While this is clearly dealing with a different time and culture, the victim blaming plays no other role in the story beyond being a “character development” moment. Naheshi is a generally unlikable character, but him realizing he “deserved” the rape is treated as personal growth. Even taking the culture differences into account, it’s a scene that feels out of place in a novel published in 2020, and has the potential to alienate some of the author’s audience.

Most, if not all, of the main characters are very unlikable. The queen is self-centered and has an excuse for every mistake she makes. Naheshi is an easily manipulated coward. Every major political power is out solely for themselves. While this makes it impossible to connect with any of them emotionally, this detachment does allow the reader to really think about the political decisions being made. The contemptible nature of the characters seems to be a deliberate decision of the author’s, to keep the main focus on the political drama unfolding across Ugarit.

The Queen’s Dog is a plot-centric political drama that explores the complex relationships between the vassal states of the kingdom of Hatti. With its focus on plot, it’s not the ideal read for a reader who prefers character-driven stories. However, the fast-paced plot will keep its target audience engaged and eager to keep devouring the unfolding court disasters. The Queen’s Dog is sure to find a home among historical fiction fans with an interest in more plot-centered novels.

Quill says: The Queen's Dog is an interesting dive into ancient Middle Eastern politics.

For more information on The Queen's Dog (Empire at Twilight Book 3), please visit the author's website at:


Meet Author Christi Eley

Meet author Christi Eley, the author of the children's book, Mr. Flopsy Whispers From God: A Lesson On Being Still in Feathered Quill's Meet the Author section: 

Friday, January 15, 2021

#AuthorInterview with E.J. Michaels

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Ellen Feld is talking with E.J. Michaels, author of The Size of the Moon.

FQ: Tell our readers a little about yourself. Your background, your interests, and how this led to writing a book?

MICHAELS: I grew up doing theater all through elementary and high school (my mother directed several of my plays ), and I was involved in a few professional productions after college. While I enjoyed acting, I loved creating my own tales. Before completing my first novel, I battled doubt about whether I’d be able to write a book and thought it a goal well out of reach. I wrote short story after short story, and soon my stories grew longer and more complex. Short stories became novellas. Novellas soon needed chapters for characters to grow and worlds to be created. In time, a full-length novel became a published book. And in the near future, a published book will blossom into a series.

FQ: Tell us a little about your book – a brief synopsis and what makes your book unique.

MICHAELS: The Size of the Moon asks the question: if elves existed in our world today, what would they truly be like? My vision of what they’d be like and the world in which they exist in turns the myth sideways, and the intersections and clashes between the culture of elves and the world of humans is what Marcus Besnik must navigate as he attempts to find a cure for a devastating virus while also battling for the life of his son and the woman he loves.

FQ: Please give our readers a little insight into your writing process. Do you set aside a certain time each day to write, only write when the desire to write surfaces, or ...?

MICHAELS: Although some authors find it beneficial to schedule their writing times, I write best when the idea to write is strongest in my mind. Often, ‘writing’ involves working the story out in my head while sitting and staring at a blank screen, walking, or thinking in bed before I go to sleep. Even if no words are being typed, I’ll still be ‘writing.’ For me, a schedule wouldn’t work. When the chapter is ready to be put to paper, I’ll start typing regardless of the time, even if that means I get up from bed at night and write for a few hours – or many hours. I’ll continue to type the next day as soon as I am awake (and have the time) and continue until the next break in the story when I’ll write by staring, walking, or lying in bed thinking about it.

FQ: The genre of your book is fantasy. Why this genre?

MICHAELS: As a child, I read the Dragon King trilogy by Stephen R. Lawhead. Since then I’ve loved the fantasy genre, though I’ve written books and stories in other genres: futuristic science fiction, contemporary action, contemporary literary. The Size of the Moonis a melding of modern action adventures with mythical characters in a way that could almost be real (at least that’s my intention). In many ways it’s easier to write in the science fiction or epic fantasy genre since the worlds created are purely from an author’s imagination.

FQ: As an author/writer, what famous author (living or dead), would you like to have dinner with, and why?

MICHAELS: I’d love to have dinner with Edgar Rice Burroughs and ask him why none of his books seem to have happy endings. It’s a storytelling tool I’ve grown fond of and sometimes employ the use of in my tales...a terrible habit to have. You’ll be happy to know that The Size of the Moon doesn’t use...well it’s a happy ending, though perhaps since it’s the first part of a trilogy, it’s ending is...hmmm...needing another few books to feel complete.

FQ: If you were to teach a class on the art of writing, what is the one item you would be sure to share with your students and how would you inspire them to get started?

MICHAELS: If I were to teach a class on the art of writing, I’d tell my students to learn to accept time. It takes time to craft a story from start to finish and there are many time-taking steps: pre-writing, draft creation, editing, rewriting - sometimes scrapping whole chapters and parts and writing others, more editing, more rewriting, until finally completing a final draft that you’ll read and see more things you’ll want to change. Once you can accept time, all these steps will take care of themselves. One step will flow into the next. It’s best to just start creating, whether it’s a short story, poem or novel. My students would spend a lot of time writing, editing and writing.

FQ: Is this the first book, the second, etc. in the series and how many books do you anticipate writing in this series? 

MICHAELS: The Size of the Moon is the first book in a three-part series. Due to the nature of the characters’ long lifespans and extensive and ancient histories involved, after the initial series is finished, I plan on writing other books telling the past stories of the other characters.

FQ: Tell us a bit about the series. Do you know where the series will take the characters or are you working that out as you go along with each book? What has been the reader response to your series? 

MICHAELS: The series follows the relationship between Marcus Besnik (a human) and Autumn (half human/half elf) and their battle against dark forces manipulating viruses and genes in an effort to gain more power. The second installment sees Marcus undergoing a physical and emotional transformation that will test his beliefs and convictions and either strengthen or weaken his love for Autumn. At the same time, the two factions of elves are heading toward civil war, a war Marcus doesn’t want to be involved with since he needs to find something Autumn needs.

The reader response has been excellent and positive, and I’m being asked for the sequel.

FQ: Tell us about the protagonist in your story.

MICHAELS: Marcus Besnik is a former Marine who was injured and discharged before serving his full term. His wife died at the hands of the strigoi, leaving him to raise their only son Michael. Marcus hasn’t recovered from the loss of his wife but finds himself in a relationship with Autumn, who’s lived over a thousand years but has only married once. He’s conflicted about his feelings since he still loves his late wife who is dead but may not be destroyed yet (spoiler alert)...

FQ: What was the most difficult scene to write and why?

MICHAELS: I don’t like when characters die, especially the good guys. Stories often take on a life of their own, and characters make choices only they would make. One of the characters I created and fell in love with dies. It wasn’t planned, meaning, I didn’t create the character knowing death would come calling. Perhaps just as difficult to write was the scene where Marcus finally takes the action needed to resolve his tie to his past sorrow by destroying what he was keeping needlessly alive.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

#BookReview - Hanging Softly in the Night: A Detective Nick Larson Novel

Hanging Softly in the Night: A Detective Nick Larson Novel

By: Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra
Publisher: Thrills&Kills Press
Publication Date: November 2020
ISBN: 978-0986209543
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: January 13, 2021

Called in to investigate a suicide, Detective Nick Larson and his crew soon discover reasons why it must have been murder. When, where and how are readily established, but who did it and why will be the stuff of mystery for reader and protagonist alike in this eerie tale by award-winning writer Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra.

The scene was set up to look like death by hanging – but the victim, Isabel Creasy, was on the verge of a new and fulfilling change of life. Creasy shows none of the signs of horrific strangulation or psychological collapse that would suggest self-destruction – signs Larson of the NYPD knows all too well. He lives with the haunting image of the death by hanging a few months ago of Angie, the woman he tried to love. That memory will both disturb and compel him as the team will discover another, and another, feigned suicide.

Larson, in tandem with his partner Victor Sacco, are under unusual pressure because there is a flu running rampant in the city that is forcing them to take on extra work. Interviewing and investigating the known friends and colleagues of the bodies piling up in the morgue becomes a constant. And for Larson, there’s more: he’s seeing a shrink to help him process Angie’s suicide, while contemplating, with serious reservations, a romance with Laura Howard, victimized by her psychopathic sister with apparent murderous intent, but more than willing to start a new relationship with the handsome, empathic Detective Larson who handled her case. As more and more clues surface around the first faked hanging, stress is mounting on Larson from all directions. But he’s tough, and that’s how it has to be.

Alonso-Sierra, a world-traveled author, initiated her Detective Nick Larson series with a prequel short story, Mirror Mirror, offering an early portrait of the man and his manner of dealing with crime and criminals. She has fleshed Larson out in this new book: a street-smart yet sensitive guy whose instinct for solving problems enhances his profession, but sometimes causes him to think too much about personal dilemmas. Throughout this offering, the author shows him wavering about a new relationship, while revealing solid reasons for the trauma that prevents him for committing. But his commitment to sniffing out the monster who is perpetrating the faux suicides never flags, as he moves from clue to clue looking for some linkage among the victims.

Quill says: Hanging Softly in the Night is a page-turning read with snappy dialog and hardcore action that will charm fans of gritty, police-procedure whodunits, with enough latest technologies, cross-cultural characterizations and social savvy to engage a newer generation of fans.

For more information on Hanging Softly in the Night: A Detective Nick Larson Novel,please visit the author's website at:



#BookReview - Vestal Virgin: Chosen for Rome

Vestal Virgin: Chosen for Rome

By: Katherine Spada Basto
Publisher: Painted Turtle Press
Publication Date: December 2019
ISBN: 978-1733390071
Reviewed by: 978-1733390071
Date: January 12, 2021

A little girl is sold to a religious cult, grows beyond the trauma and becomes a stalwart force for true righteousness in this history-based novel by Katherine Spada Basto.

Cornelia Cosa, growing up in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero, is excited; it’s her tenth birthday. Little does she realize she has been entered into a lottery, the winner of which will become one of the virgin followers of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. Vestal Virgins are revered in Rome and overseen by Nero himself. To her shock, Cornelia wins, seeing her father receive bags of gold for the “prize.” 

Cornelia is forced into a new life at once, leaving behind all she has known. Despite the many restrictions placed upon her by the order, she gradually learns the powers and ceremonial enjoyments of being a member of the sacred cult. Her acceptance of her fate is bolstered in part by the kindliness of Lucius, a young man serving as an augur in Nero’s court. One of Cornelia’s fellow virgins tells her in secret of a Nazarene named Jesus, whose teachings of a single deity supersede the mythological pantheon of gods and goddesses touted by the Roman authorities. Cornelia will have a chance to hear the preaching of Paul, opening her mind to fresh possibilities. By contrast, she is plagued by the memory of Nero’s personal, brutal assault on one of her Vestal sisters. Then Nero goes mad, Rome burns, and the young teen will have a chance to exercise her Vestal powers.

Author Basto has garnered awards and recognition for this novel, written with gusto and grounded in recorded fact. From the beginning, the reader will feel the stress and sadness of the child Cornelia describing her abandonment to a strict religious cult. The story quickly expands, with many plot twists that are all believably set in ancient Rome at a critical time in its history. Christianity is making itself felt and will affect Basto’s brave young heroine, sharpening her perceptions of the true meaning of spirituality. The author has drawn from historical annals both the names of several of the main characters, including Cornelia, and some of the notable incidents enlivened in the account. She deftly weaves these names and snippets together into the larger tapestry of the known world in a time of crisis, with Cornelia as sharp-eyed observer and bold participant.

Quill says: Basto’s Vestal Virgin combines her storyteller’s arts with intriguing slices of legend and real events to excellent effect, constructing a broad panorama with cinematic potential.

For more information on Vestal Virgin: Chosen for Rome, please visit the author's website at: 


Meet Author Ruth Maille

Meet author Ruth Maille, the author of the children's book, The Power of Positivity: The ABC's of a Pandemic in Feathered Quill's Meet the Author section: 

#AuthorInterview with Georgina Le Flufy

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Holly Connors is talking with Georgina Le Flufy, author of April's Window.

FQ: First, I have to ask – is April, the little girl in the story, based on a child you know?

LE FLUFY: I think all my characters are based loosely on a child or person I have known...or a part of myself! I think April evolved from the story itself. She was the child that brought all the different scenes and households together - as so often children can do.

FQ: A similar question – is the village based on a village you have traveled to (you mention loving to travel on your author bio), or is it all from your, or your illustrator’s, imagination? I ask because while it could be any little town, it seems to have some very distinct images that could only come from seeing such a town.

LE FLUFY: When I wrote the piece I think I was envisioning the different scenes in the window more so than the village itself, however Francisco, the illustrator, and myself are both from Europe and I believe our visions of the village coincided with each other. Francisco created the village and when I first saw it, I couldn't have been happier! It was exactly as I thought it should be.

FQ: Why a book about a child’s curiosity during the pandemic instead of, for instance, a silly book about playful animals? What drew you to this topic?

LE FLUFY: Funny you should mention that - my current project is a silly book about playful animals!

I think my own curiosity first drew me to this project! Everyone was very curious about what people were doing, and could do, in their homes when the first lockdown was issued. Kids were stuck inside and families were trying to stay entertained and I wanted a book that brought different households together, even though we were all apart.

FQ: I’d like to repeat a question that appears on the publisher’s page for the book so our readers can understand better – why do we need a children’s book about curiosity?

LE FLUFY: I work as an Early Childhood Educator and sparking a child's curiosity has always been a key part of engaging children in learning. If a child is curious about their environment and community, the ability and willingness to learn naturally follows. I believe the continuation of learning - however that may present itself to someone - is vital to understanding the world around us and finding our place within it.

FQ: April’s Window is very simple yet says so much. When you first visualized the story, did it have more text? Why did you decide to go with a simpler format?

LE FLUFY: It has definitely been edited but the format was always the same. I wanted to create a story that all ages could engage with. Language that would appeal to young children and a story older children could relate to.

FQ: How did you decide what to put in each window? I assume the prose was written first? Did you work the text around windows that you wanted to include or was it more a selection based on what fit into the flow of the prose?

LE FLUFY: I wrote down all the different images I saw or heard happening in homes around me, and across the world. I created the rhythm and then worked on the rhyme.

FQ: I loved that you included a tribute to first responders, nurses, etc., all those who have kept us safe through this trying time. What prompted you to include this tribute in your story instead of just a note at the end thanking them?

LE FLUFY: Thank you. I felt it was a natural end to a story that journeyed through the community of a village. I wrote it as a bedtime story and I wanted to comfort young children that there are always people in our community who want to help keep us safe. My mother is a nurse and worked night shifts when I was a child, I suppose I wanted young children who have parents and family members who work in healthcare and community roles to feel proud and not alone.

FQ: Writing a story about a current event is a very time-sensitive project. Did you ever feel like you were under a tight schedule to get the book to press?

LE FLUFY: I was lucky to have the freedom to write at my own leisure when creating this story. The publisher came onboard after receiving my manuscript, so I never felt pressure to get the book out. Although the story was inspired by current events, I also wanted it to be accessible over time, so we changed a few aspects to be more universal.

FQ: I was not aware of Ethicool Books before I read your book. Would you tell us a little about them and why you selected them as your publisher?

LE FLUFY: They are a wonderful publisher who genuinely care about publishing books that educate, entertain, and address environmental sustainability and current issues. I commend their forward thinking and courage! I knew little about the company before working with them, but Teigan and Stu have always been very kind, open, and supportive throughout the process.

FQ: What was the process like working with your illustrator, Francisco Fonseca? The book’s illustrations have such a strong sense of what April’s world looks like. Was it a collaborative effort or did Francisco envision the village and then share it with you, and then you’d suggest changes?

LE FLUFY: Francisco is a very gifted illustrator with a particular talent for creating villages and houses, that I immediately fell in love with. After seeing his portfolio, I was confident he would do wonders, and after an initial meeting over Zoom, he had free reigns to create - and he didn't disappoint! I received proofs as he went along and minor adjustments were made before we went to print. I couldn't be happier with a final creation, and what came to be April's Window.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

#AuthorInterview with Isu Yin and Fat Yang

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Anita Lock is talking with Isu Yin and Fae Yang, authors of Grims’ Truth Book 1: The Spinner’s Web.

FQ: Which authors would you say inspired you to become writers?

YIN: For me, I’d have to say Tolkien, Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, and others to be certain. 

YANG: This is difficult for me to answer because I didn’t originally set out to be a novelist. I aspired to be an artist, but I ended up being a better writer and it seemed much more achievable to turn such a large project into books. I enjoyed reading when I was younger but I wasn’t specifically inspired by any particular authors. However, I have enjoyed Albert Camus, Haruki Murakami, and the unique descriptions in Clive Barker’s work. 

FQ: What books drew you to zero in on fantasy as your chosen genre? 

YIN: It wasn’t what I read but what I didn’t read that drew me to work on Grims’ Truth. Fantasy had these great big worlds that felt full and deep. I loved that but I had a hard time suspending my disbelief in a lot of it. I wanted other elements to my fantasy. Something that made it feel rough — gritty even. I like horror and existentialism for these qualities. They feel dirty and often made me queasy, which sounds like a negative, but it really struck me and this stuck with me. In yet another way, I was naturally drawn to sci-fi for the incredible imagery and mind-blowing concepts, but it often seemed too clean, too empty. In the end, I wanted something that had it all. There are authors that do that for me. More and more, I see incredible writers pushing boundaries. I love it. I want to join them in the ultimate storytelling experience.

YANG: Yin’s answer was kind of incredible. I wish I had something that honorable to say but I didn’t really think about the genre that deeply until I had already written for several years. I never really stopped to think, “Oh, wow, what genre should I write?” Grim took a life of its own and I let it drag me along for the ride. Somewhere along the way, I realized that it was existential, fantastical, and even gritty. These are things I love in a story, so Yin and I work hard to bring something unique and full into this world. In a way, I want it to feel real and raw despite the elements of fantasy. 

FQ: “For as long as we can remember, we have been either plagued or blessed with dreams of the vast universe we call Euphoria.” What would you say sparked your dreams that eventually inspired the Grims’ Truth series?

YIN: Good question. The Universe? Who knows? My dreams have had a life of their own for as long as I can remember. I’m just the passenger and I don’t tell them how to voice themselves— I just write it down so I can sleep.

YANG: I think not knowing is part of what compels me to write it. Readers often jokingly say that not fully understanding Grim is part of reading it and I feel that it is the same for us co-authors. We understand the Universe entirely but how it got there? Well… I suppose that’s a mystery in itself. 

FQ: There are a total of sixty books in the works for this series. What stimulated you to create such an ambitious project?

YIN: Sixty books is not an accident — it’s quite intentional and that's about all I’ll say on that. It may seem ambitious, but I often worry if we can fit it all in.

YANG: Compulsive desire? Obsession. Like Yin said, everything is very intentional. The book count, the arcs, the organization of the series as a whole. We outline our plans over and over to make sure we can fit everything in. We’re asked how we intend to keep things interesting for sixty books and, meanwhile, we’re stressed about fitting everything into sixty books.

FQ: Your strong imagination has produced an incredibly detailed kingdom that includes relatable characters. If you were to put yourselves in the story, which characters would you wish to be, and why?

YIN: Each book is from a new perspective, so I guess I would have to say all of them. I live with them as I work on their part in the story. I’m not sure I’d wish to be any of them though. This is a dark story. I’d like to be someone before the Fall I think. That comment probably doesn’t make sense yet, but it will. LOL, that’s just the way of Grims’ Truth.

YANG: Yikes. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be a character in Grims’ Truth. They suffer too much. Though, readers might identify with different characters. That said, there’s definitely a character whose lens I gaze through when I’m working. It’s not much of a secret but I still like to see who readers think we’re most like rather than answer directly. It’s part of the fun! 

FQ: What do you envision to be your ultimate target audience, and why?

YIN: Adults or teens with adult minds. There are some disturbing situations in the series that would be excessive for a young mind. 

YANG: I find that our readers are usually either mid-twenties or in their forties. Occasionally, we have senior readers as well. I suppose we exist in a peculiar corner because of the cross-genres and complexity of the series. Sixty books is a long commitment for anyone. Readers who like to pick up context clues and read between the lines tend to enjoy the series the most. What I hope for is an audience who will debate over details and theorize. The story isn’t black and white, so it needs an audience who yearns to explore the areas of gray. 

FQ: Are there any plans for The Spinner’s Web to become a movie?

YIN: I would love to see this story in a visual medium. If only people could see what we see… now that would be something. A movie? The story is so big. I’m not sure how one would accomplish it effectively. A series maybe? Trust me when I say that it’s even bigger and more impressive than we can write so turning it into something people can see would be ideal. We do our best, but it has a mind of its own. I’m open to anyone who wants to tackle this beast with us though. 

YANG: I agree with Yin. I’d love to see this in a visual medium but it would need to be a series because of the size of the story. I think we reasoned that a season per arc or two seasons per arc, depending on the length of the episodes, would be most effective. Visually, Grims’ Truth has a lot to offer. Like Yin said, we do our best but we’re still learning to maximize its potential. 

FQ: Do you foresee continuing writing fantasy once you’ve completed the series?

YIN: I started laughing a bit when I read this. This series is so massive and encompassing that it is hard to see past it sometimes. In all honesty though, we both have side projects that we work on.

YANG: What Yin said. If I’m being entirely honest, we have this entire series mapped out and it’s a twenty-year plan if we launch an arc a year. Even though we have other projects, Grims’ Truth is all-encompassing. We really must dedicate every spare breath to it. Sixty books isn’t the entire history of this Universe, so who’s to say we won’t branch off into more Grims’ Truth after this? Even we don’t know. 

FQ: What words of encouragement would you give to those who have dreams of becoming a writer but are afraid to take the plunge?

YIN: A: You can’t succeed if you don’t try.
B: Don’t avoid it — even if it scares you.
C: Don’t overthink it. Get it down on paper and then once you have it — rework it until it’s what you want. 

YANG: Write for yourself as much as you write for others. There’s a fine balance between the two. Find the right motivations to do it. If you’re passionate, you will overcome obstacles, even within yourself. Despite what you think, there’s always room for improvement. Don’t assume that your first draft was perfect. If you feel it was good, make it even better. Ask yourself what you love in a story and constantly study the craft. Someone out there can appreciate your ideas but it’s important to write well so that they aren’t distracted from your work. 

FQ: You include a Book Club Guide at the end of the book. Do you have any other plans that would help engage the reading community with your series?

YIN: We made a full and growing database. It’s complete with images that we both made. You can see how we see the characters, regions, and much more. We have maps of the locations, a general breakdown of the Language of Ages, Clans, Breeds, Factions, and the likes. 

Like I said before, this series is massive. We want to help readers immerse into the universe Euphoria— learn about the people, their cultures, governing systems, and beliefs. This isn’t a simple story. If it appears straight forward, look again. Our beta readers have almost systematically returned to The Spinner’s Web after completing Arc 2. I think it takes a minute for people to realize how far we’ve actually gone. It’s a bit deceptive, but that’s just how this story goes. Neither Yang nor I want to keep the lid on this story. I can’t even tell you where it is, and I have no intention of looking for it. That being said, we have mapped it out to the point of obsession. 

Go see for yourself at

The series is designed to take you somewhere else and yet feel an uncomfortable familiarity as the reader delves deeper. There are no accidents in Grims’ Truth — you found a mistake? Are you sure? Maybe you should rethink it and try to imagine the scene in a different perspective. We have multiple main characters so the reader will grasp the severity of what is coming next. No single perspective is without flaws.

Film producer Robert Evans said, “There are three sides to every story — yours, mine, and the truth.”
For Grims’ Truth you must follow the varied perspectives to discover the truth and in a universal scale story — there are a few.

YANG: Yin just about covered everything. The biggest part of reader engagement is the engagement that readers have with each other. That probably sounds redundant but since this whole series is about perspective, it takes numerous reader perspectives to piece everything together as well. Beta Readers who sit down with us to discuss the story usually come up with new theories together because they process information differently than each other. We’re frequently asked if it’s possible to figure everything out before the infamous book 12. The short answer is yes. Going back to The Spinner’s Web from later books will make the information you previously missed very glaring. Readers always come back and say, “I can’t believe how much you two put in plain sight. It was in my face the whole time.” Indeed. We’re not trying to pull a fast one.