Broken ankles were a turning point in Margot Pickard’s career. With an avid love of words, she’d always considered writing a book, but having a career within editing she never quite got around to it. Until, she was forced to take her life back. Margot’s fascinating tale Red Teddy Bear Candles is a thriller with twists and turns that centers around a woman who creates a new identity to deal with childhood trauma.
“I’ve been fascinated by words since I was a young girl. I often wonder if others sit and ponder, as I do, how threading simple words together can create such emotional, tear-inducing moments, yet still have the capacity to deliver devastatingly psycho-destructive consequences.”
Semyon Bokman is a talented Russian American composer, poet and author. He was a pupil of renown Russian composer and teacher Galina Ustvolskaya from 1968-1974. Semyon lived and breathed Galina’s music, experiencing it in all of its unique facets. Over the course of twenty years he wrote Variations on the Theme Galina Ustvolskaya: The Last Composer of the Passing Era.
Born in 1919, Galina was the favorite student of Dmitry Shostakovitch. Her music is not big in volume, but with a huge degree of tension, it has concentrated the main ideological problems and contradictions of our time.
After spending most of her career as a nurse in a level two trauma center, Catherine Bybee began writing romance novels in 2008. She has since written thirty-four books with massive success, landing on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists. In 2016, Catherine’s home was caught in a California wildfire. This real-life event served as the inspiration for her powerful new novel, My Way To You, that tells a story of hope and renewal. In talking about her real experience and the book that came out of it, one thing stands out: Catherine wants to spread hope.
Growing up in Russia, Vera’ Spiller’s earliest influences were that of classic Russian literature. Her debut novel, Pride and Punishment, is an impassioned look at the revolutionary deeds of the famous men and women in Russian literary history, the violent conspiracies they hatched and their successes and failures in the process of creating what they believed would be an improved Russia. Vera has taken classic Russian authors and combined them into a fictitious story of history and rebellion. With twists and turns, she speaks of a revolution that left society stunned and the people behind the unrest to face the consequences of their actions.
Ageism is the last acceptable prejudice in society and renowned novelist, Rich Marcello, is out to firmly change this in his latest novel The Latecomers. Rich is the author of four novels (The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, The Beauty of the Fall, The Latecomers) and the poetry collection The Long Body That Connects Us All. He also teaches creative writing at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative. Rich’s novels are always intelligent, timely and deal with life’s biggest questions including self-discovery, love, loss, and in The Leftovers, aging.
Marsha James provides women the motivation to change the game plan of their lives in her debut book, The Making of a Phenomenal Woman: The Ultimate Belief to Move Ahead: Chess or Checkers. Just like planning out the next move in a game of chess or a checkers match, the book is a tactical course of action in effective strategies for the future. Marsha provides actionable steps for self-improvement, triumph and victory. The self-help guide book also gathers anecdotes, excerpts and stories of life-changing experience by women who have become successful in their respective fields.
Author Bill Pinnell reminds us that secrets never stay hidden for long in his new novel The Offspring. It is a tale filled with horrifying secrets and a macabre, deadly consequence. The novel follows Hughie Decker, a man on the road to a striding career who, after an ominous circumstance, leaves him with no alternative but to confront a horrible truth ingrained in his family background. It is a gripping narrative filled with convoluted schemes and a secret that destroyed so many lives.
“I’ve been told writing is therapeutic.
Born in London, Brian Finney is English Professor Emeritus at California State University. He is married to fine art photographer J.K. Lavin and lives in Venice, California. He has published eight books including a biography of writer Christopher Isherwood, winner of the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Book Prize.
“It is never too late to learn something new.”
Brian’s latest release, Money Matters, was declared a finalist in the Best New Fiction category of the 2019 Best Book Awards. The unconventional novel is firmly embedded in Los Angeles culture, taking place over six days surrounding the the 2010 mid-term election.
In Letter from Santa Claus, a children’s picture book by Robin Jones, readers are introduced to five-year-old Robin who is hospitalized with pneumonia leading up to the Christmas of 1949. It’s a heartwarming story, complemented by charming artwork that embodies the magic of Christmas. We caught up with Robin recently to find about more about him and the story behind the story.
This interview has been edited for brevity, readability, clarity and conciseness.
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I’m the middle child of five, with three sisters and a brother, and I’m from a mixed heritage family – which is very important to me.