Friday, 22 November 2013

Ethereal Influence #2 The Inquisition

Good morning! Before you all retire for a warm and cozy weekend - an interview, a review and a giveaway to help you push through the 24 hours between you and your paradise. Happy Weekend Novel-Worms. 

Wanna share your weekend gossip and novels? Leave a comment or post in Novel-Worms Facebook page

About Lana Bradstream:

Lana Bradstream has spent 11 years as a newspaper reporter, columnist and freelance reporter for the Timber Lake Topic, the Mobridge Tribune, the Custer County Chronicle, the Rapid City Weekly News, the Box Elder Horizon, the Rapid City Journal and Demand Media Studios.
Her work has garnered her numerous awards, such as the South Dakota Newspaper Association (SDNA) First Place Best New Story (2001) and SDNA Second Place Outstanding Young Journalist (2001). She was also a featured poet at the Medora Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Mrs. Bradstream has been a Type 1 diabetic for 23 years. She has been married for seven years with one beautiful 6-year-old daughter and an infant son.
Social Links:

Title: Ethereal Influence: The Inquisition
Author: Lana Bradstream
Genre: Christian Fiction/Contemporary Fantasy


The Inquisition is a time of turmoil and fear. It is a time of horror and atrocities, when the faith of people waiver. Inquisitor Nikolaus is experiencing a lack of faith as he orders torture and death for scores of people - some of whom he believes were innocent. Lorenz, an angel of God, is sent to restore his faith and bring him back to God. But, the fallen angel Jakob is intent on capturing Nikolaus' soul with the aid of Ayla, a real witch who has surrendered her own soul.

Available on Amazon.

Other works by Lana Bradstream:

Title: Ethereal Influence: The Birth
Author: Lana Bradstream
Genre: Christian Fiction/Contemporary Fantasy

A person's faith can waiver when life becomes difficult. It is during those times when God's angels can appear and attempt to deliver guidance. Alas, God is not the only one with angels. The death of Laura's baby shakes her faith to the core, leaving her open and vulnerable. With her faith in the balance, her soul becomes the battle ground between good and evil. The angels Ben and Ryan war with one another over whether or not Laura's faith can be restored or her plunge into darkness will continue.

Available on Amazon

Ethereal Influence: The Inquisition


The soles of his leather shoes had already worn thin. Running like hell through brush and creeks and over dirt and rocks was not making the soles any stronger. Sharp pains shot through his foot whenever he slammed down on a sharp rock or thistle. It did not slow him down. He had to get home and give his daughter his most treasured possession – a small gold crucifix. He always carried it with him. Even though they lived in poverty, he would not part with it. It had been in his family for generations. His father had given it to him. His father’s mother had given it to him. He made sure the crucifix was safely attached to the new leather cord around his neck and tucked under his shirt. He was not going to risk getting it caught on a tree or losing it if he should stumble.
Behind him, he heard men’s voices and the rustling of horses. The small tree plot he had run into was going to buy him some cover and some time, but eventually, they would find him. The soldiers of the inquisitors always found who they were looking for. 
The time he had left was very small and very precious. He knew they would take him away, ask him questions, torture him and then execute him. All because someone accused him of witchcraft. 
Why? He had taken the crucifix from around his neck and had set it down on a table at the local inn. After a few pints of ale, he had picked it up again and the old leather cord broke, causing the crucifix to land at his feet in an inverted position. A little old man screamed it was the devil’s work. He and the other patrons in the inn had told the little old man to be quiet and they kicked him out. The old man got his vengeance. 
Only a quarter of a mile left to his small farmhouse. His feet were leaving behind spots of blood. The soldiers were not using dogs and it was getting darker every minute. He was sure they would not be able to spot his trail. 
Behind him, he could hear the pounding of hooves on the ground and the rustling of leaves. The soldiers had split up. Three were in the trees, searching for him. He heard another three soldiers racing through the open field. He knew they would be far ahead and out of sight by the time he left the trees. Fortunately, navigating the horses through the trees was proving to be difficult for the other soldiers, especially with the setting sun. He trusted in that knowledge and held them close as he continued to push his legs and feet. 
He was breathing so hard, his throat started to burn. His lungs felt like they were in fire, but he had to get home. He had to give his daughter his crucifix. If he was not able to get there, he knew the soldiers would just take the crucifix. It was gold, after all – something that had been given to him by his own father. 
Once he broke through the last of the trees, he paused for a moment to catch his breath. The soldiers were not immediately close and he had to take a few seconds.  The trees ended on a gentle slope of a hill and his house was on the other side. When a twig broke loudly behind him, he knew it was time to hurry again. 
He tried to make his running as quiet as possible, but to him it sounded like an army crashing through the tall grass. The soldiers were making such a racket, they probably could not hear his frantic footsteps anyway. He knew it was only a matter of time before some of them found his house. When he neared the top of the hill, he wanted to drop to his belly and crawl. He would be an easy target if he was spotted, but he also knew if he did crawl, it would not make a difference. He was still going to be captured. 
His legs pumped faster over the top of the hill. He heard shouting behind him and he knew he was spotted, but at least he could see his house. It was so close! The fire from inside was flickering, letting light shine through the windows. He pushed himself harder. He was almost there and he did not hear the telltale sound of heavy, quick hoof beats yet. He knew he was going to make it, but he also knew his time was quickly fading. 
His feet bleeding and caked with dirt, he rounded the corner of his small dirt and stone house, which his grandfather had built. He burst his way through the door, slamming the wooden door shut behind him. His wife and daughter jumped up from the table where they had been eating their supper. 
“Father! What’s wrong?”
His daughter Ayla rushed over and put her arms around him to help him sit down. He did not have the breath to speak. As soon as she seated him, he grabbed her hand and placed the crucifix in her palm. 
“What is this?” she asked him, even though she knew what it was. He rarely removed it from his neck and he liked to tell her that, if nothing else, the crucifix was going to be the one thing he would leave her. 
“I hear horses!” his wife yelled. She peeked her head out the window to watch three soldiers gallop down the hill toward the house. “What happened?”
“They’re . . . . take me.” His lack of breath and now the pain in his chest made his speech muddled and full of holes. 
“Take.” He grasped his daughter’s hand around the crucifix and looked into her eyes, hoping his eyes would be able to tell her what his mouth could not. He would miss her. He did not know how old she was, but she was a young woman who would no doubt be married soon. She was very pretty with her large, brown eyes and thick blonde hair. Her full lips would frequently part into a wonderfully wide smile. Most young women in the nearby town looked like they were made of skin and bones from the lack of food, but he had always managed to make sure enough food was on their table. Her face and womanly shape had caused her to gain male admirers. He had insisted she pick a husband that she loved. Otherwise, she would already be married. 
He was going to miss her so much.
The door to the house was kicked open by a soldier who had his sword drawn. His daughter and wife screamed. Two more soldiers hurried inside. One soldier pushed his wife into a corner. She slid down the wall, crying and curling into a ball on the floor. Another soldier grabbed his daughter’s arm and flung her toward her mother. A hard push on her back completed her journey and she landed in a heap at her mother’s feet. His hands were already bound in front of him and the tip of the sword was at his throat.
One soldier stood guard over them as the other two descended on him. He was still sitting in his chair when he felt a fist slam into his nose. His head flung back and tears sprang to his eyes. Another fist crashed into his jaw. He was almost certain it was broken. He felt a pair of hands hold the back of his head, making it impossible for him to move. A small stick was being shoved into his mouth. A rope was tied to one end of it. The soldiers wrapped the rope around his neck, around the back of his head and tied the other end of it to the other side of the stick. 
“You’re not going to be able to cast any spells on us, are you?” The soldier leaned over, leering in his face, breath hot against his swelling skin. 
He felt one of the soldiers lift him under his arms, making him stand up. His legs were still tired from running. His feet were numb. Unable to hold himself up, he collapsed. Yelling at him to get up, the soldiers kicked his body mercilessly. He curled into a fetal position to cover his head. The pain from the beating was overwhelming. He laid on the floor, suffering their punishment, for what seemed like an eternity before they finally forced him to get up. They took him outside and held him up. One soldier tied some rope around his bonds. The other end of the rope was tied to the saddle. 
“You’re going to walk or we’re going to drag you. Either way is fine with me.”
He had no strength to cry and he did not want the soldiers to see tears anyway. He had to concentrate to get his feet and legs to cooperate. Inside, he heard the last soldier speaking to his wife and daughter. They were crying and would occasionally scream, which was followed by laughter from the soldier. He wanted to yell at the soldier to get away from his family, but the stick that was tied into his mouth prevented him from uttering anything but a few muffled groans. A soldier punched him in the eye and told him to be silent. 
The laughter grew louder and he heard the soldier walk out of the house. He brought something close to his nose and inhaled. In his hand, he held a large piece of long, blonde hair.
“You sure have a pretty daughter. I might come back and take her off your ugly wife’s hands.” The soldier rubbed the hair in his face, laughing as he struggled. He hated soldier and swore in thought that if he were not tied, he would kill him. 
He could still hear crying coming from inside. All he could think about was if his wife and his daughter were sound, that they were not hurt too bad or violated. By a miracle, both his wife and Ayla poked their heads through the window and looked at him. There was no blood on their tear-streaked faces, but Ayla was missing a large chunk of hair. The soldier had cut it with his dagger and at the same time, cut her scalp in many places. The hair surrounding the empty space was streaked with blood. 
The soldiers got into their saddles and spurred their horses. His arms were jerked forward and he kept trying to twist his neck, to keep his wife and Ayla in his view as long as possible. They were holding onto one another in the window, watching him leave. His wife was wailing, but Ayla was silent, even as the tears wet her cheeks and dripped onto her clothing. As he began to reach the summit of the hill, Ayla held the crucifix up in her hand, showing him she still had it. The light from the fire glinted off the gold and flashed at him. If he could have flashed her a smile, he would have.

Interview with  Lana Bradstream:

1)  Do you believe that writing is about "Inspiration and not perspiration"?
 I do not. Writing is both. You need the inspiration to get you started, but then you need the "perspiration" to finish it. Granted, there's not a lot of actual perspiring, but writing is hard work. It's definitely not for anyone who is looking to make an easy buck.

2) Which force drives you, motivates you to push yourself harder and farther?
Trying to establish a better life for me and family is the primary force. I want to be able to give them everything that they need and want. I do not want them to have to worry about which priorities they can afford in a given month. 

3)  Is writing your goal, passion or just a hobby?
Writing is all three. I have wanted to be a writer since I was a kid and it was something I fantasized about a lot. When something means that much to you, you find every opportunity to spend time with it. It becomes more than a hobby - it becomes a true passion.

4) What are your best and worst experiences in Publication Industry?
My worst experience in the publishing industry is the rejection. I have received numerous rejection letters from agents, without so much as a reason why they will not take on my idea. It can be difficult to deal with, but I have to remember my writing is not for everyone. The best experience I had was when an agent expressed interest in my work. She requested more of my manuscript. When I received that letter, it was exhilarating!

5) Who is your ultimate guide?
My ultimate guide is Jesus. I ask myself "What would Jesus do?" a lot during the day. If I cannot envision Jesus doing or saying something, I try my best not to do it, either. And sometimes, it is hard to do something that you are certain Jesus would say or do, but you know it's the right thing. In those hard times, when you actually do it, you get a warm feeling in your soul. It makes it all worthwhile. 

6) Do you believe that every writer needs a "Day Job"?
Starting out, yes, every writer needs a day job. Bills have to be paid. Food has to be purchased. But, if you can make it big - quit your day job and focus everything on the creative writing process.

Thank You Lana for your cooperation!

As usual, it's time for Review!

 Rating: 3/5

The Inquisition is the second book in Ethereal Influence series but to be honest I never knew or realized that. It's a perfect stand-alone novel. So, on the plus side there is no need to have read the first book or read the next. On the negative side, there is no need to have read the first book or read the next one! 

Every culture have their forms of Inquisitions and sadly even today there are parts of world where people are tortured and accused of being a witch or demon. The theme of the story is faith and God's love and forgiveness but until and unless you already do have an unwavering faith in God, this is not the moral you are going to learn from the book. 

It's Good vs Evil but you just can't help wondering which is which. As for forgiveness, that's a hard one. 

In Desperate Housewives there is a quote,
"Monsters are often created by other Monsters"

So if I have to summarize the story in one line, it will be monsters creating monsters. 

It always astonishes me how cruel men become in the name of Kind and Loving God. In a way the story is a trial, a trial of the characters' faith, a trial of our faith.

Nikolaus is an Inquisitioner  who is later guided by a good Angel Lorenz and Ayla whose father was tortured by the Inquisitioners is guided by Jakob, a fallen Angel. I happen to like fallen angels and I know I am supposed to cheer for the good side but I couldn't find any. They were all evil and cruel in their own way. So, until and unless you have a strong, unwavering faith in God and a stronger belief in Christianity, the book can be more enraging than soothing.

Arushi Raj

My beloved Novel-Worms, it's time for Giveaway!

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Free e-books


Letters From a Murderer (special edition)

The search for dad

A Shadow in the Flames (The New Aeneid Cycle 1)


American Historical and Literary Curiosities, Part 13. Second Series

Women and the Alphabet A Series of Essays

Solar System For Kids! A Comet Book: Fun Facts & Pictures of Space & Comets With Comet ISON (Kids Space Series) 

American Historical and Literary Curiosities, Part 15. Second Series

Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois - Complete [Court memoir series]

Shelburne Essays, Third Series

The Kingdom of God - Past, Present or Future? (Search for Truth Series)

The Book of Deacon 

Apocalypse (The Wasteland Chronicles, #1)

Sentence of Marriage

The Historical Nights' Entertainment First Series

Giotto and his works in Padua An Explanatory Notice of the Series of Woodcuts Executed for the Arundel Society After the Frescoes in the Arena Chapel

Morgan's Point (Book One)

In A Small Town (A Small Town Series: Book One)

Arushi Raj

Sunday, 17 November 2013


Title:   PODs
Author:   Michelle K. Pickett
Genre:   Science Fiction>Dystopia, Young Adult, Zombies, Romance
Published:   June 4th 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
Page Count:   312 pgs

Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

About the Author in her own words!

I'm a wife, mother, author, reader, although not always in that order. I've been an avid reader since a young child. I began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a degree that didn't encourage creativity is a mystery to me.

I'm addicted to Reese's peanut butter cups and eat way too many while I write. I have a weird obsession with hoodies and can't write without wearing one. I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows.

I'm an unabashed romantic and love swoon-worthy happy endings that give me butterflies for days.

Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, I now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive, not to mention gorgeous, husband, three amazing school-aged children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a cat that thinks she's queen.

I write adult and young adult Sci/Fi, urban fantasy and paranormal romances.
My work includes:

The Amazon Bestselling young adult novel PODs
Milayna, March 2014
Milayna’s Angel (Milayna #2), September 2014
The Infected, a PODs novel, November 2014
The Innocent (Milayna #3), April 2015.

I love to hear from readers and other authors, so drop me a note and say "Hi!"

Social Links

Review Time!

Title: PODs (PODs #1)
Author: Michelle K. Pickett
Genre: Sci-fi Dystopia, Young Adult, Horror, Romance
Rating: 3/5

It's a good book if you have never ever ever read any other book of this genre. If you did then it's awfully repetitive. While the protagonist Eva isn't a dumb blonde, she can come pretty close to it. She comes across as slow and silly at times but ironically she can identify every blonde airhead except her.

 I hate stereotypical characters and sadly in PODs we have a butt-load of them! The worst case would be of "Jai Li" (Yes her name is Jai Li, No I have no idea why anyone keep their character's name Jai Li). She is Chinese but has grown up in California, USA. Apparently she is really smart, have a social security number and is chosen to be a part of handful of survivors and she doesn't speak English at all. People in China can speak English but a super intelligent person living in USA can't speak English? Truly, that's racist! The explanation is that she studied in Mandarin speaking school and spoke Mandarin in home. Plausible? Maybe. But when Eva is teaching her that this is "Milk" and this is "Water", I want to shoot myself. Milk and Water? Even the people of remotest areas in India know what Milk and Water means. How were they shopping for groceries for so long?

The story itself is a mash-up of Resident Evil and 2012. But unlike those movies, the book had zero sense of urgency. The world is ending, people are piling up food and other stuff and Eva goes on a shopping spree with her mother AND they order Pizza! I knew Pizza Hut and Dominos pride themselves for their service but I am guessing when there is a lethal virus on lose and people are dying every week, they won't be delivering pizza. If not for personal reason then for the sake of public safety and health issues.

There is absolutely no feeling of loss or determination to rebuild the world. Recently Kedarnath was flooded and destroyed. People were trapped, many died, many lost everything they had. For months the whole country and International aide along with Indian Army tried to rescue people and work on reconstruction but when the whole world is ruined by lethal virus and is filled with monsters then nobody gives a Sh*t! As for writing - extremely juvenile. The book could have profited with a better editing. There are times it can be a nightmare.

But after a point Eva does a grow a little and became more likeable? bearable? David - Eva's love interest - might make many girl's swoon. He is a perfect YA guy. Loves her a lot, will do everything for her, give up everything for her, etc, etc. The thing I really liked was it works perfectly as stand alone.

PODs - either you will love it or you will absolutely hate it. It depends what kind of reader you are. Personally - as my mum says - I removed my brain from my head, kept it aside and then reattached it. It's an easy read. Until and Unless you don't think or rationalize or try to look into detail, it's a good book but if you are a Novel-Worms with OCD when it comes to reading books then Avoid!

Arushi Raj

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1 signed copy of PODs and some Swag!

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

A secret worth Keeping

A Secret Worth Keeping by Lakisha Johnson

Book Description

 October 2, 2013

  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Delphine Publications
  • Tour Organized by: Everything Marie

Shelby is a career woman turned housewife who enjoys the friendships that have been built with her 5 best friends; Camille, Lynesha, Raylin, Kerri and Chloe. They are all career women with different businesses or careers, husbands and even children but something is missing, something they can’t find at home, in a store or even in a book. So, they search for this missing piece in the beds, arms, cars, offices and even in storage rooms of other men who don’t mind paying for what Dem Dam Divas can offer. They enjoy the thrill of sneaking, creeping and even vacationing on someone else’s dime but what happens when it all becomes too much? From being found guilty with no evidence, secretly wanting someone who doesn’t want you, loving only to not be loved back, caught up in a dream that you’re about to be awaken from; will it be worth it in the end? Will their secret lives be revealed and will it become too much to handle? Will they regret their actions or stand by them? Will they finally question whether this secret is really worth keeping?
Excerpt 1

“Good morning, Ray; Mr. Johnson is waiting to see you in his office.”
Thanks Ashley, I said. I knocked on the door that was already slightly open. “Hey, you wanted to see me?” He motioned for me to come in while he finished up a call. Once he hung up, he looked at me with the slight hint of an attitude and said, “Yea, since I didn’t hear from you this weekend!”
“Oh, do I detect an attitude?  Seeing that I am not your wife, I don’t have to check in.”
He said, “You may not be my wife but I pay you like you are!”
“Yea, you pay because it’s worth every dollar and I do the things your wife doesn’t. Now, if you don’t want anything I have some work to do.” 
He grabbed me by the arm before I could move and pushed me up against his desk. He pushed the intercom, “Yes, Mr. Johnson;” said Ashley.
“Ray and I will be busy for the next 30 minutes, no interruptions!” he barked.
“Yes sir,” she said.

He pushed up my pencil skirt and ran his fingers between my legs, surprised that I had no panties on as he hurriedly tried to undo his pants.
“Slow down baby, she ain’t going nowhere.”
“I know but dam, she’s so hot and wet!” he said. 

“Yea I know but remember we are at work and I don’t need you screaming like a girl!”
He laughed and said, “Then put something in my mouth to shut me up.” I, of course obliged.
I pulled my skirt the rest of the way up, pushed myself back on his desk and spread my legs wide enough for his head to nestle right in between them. I wanted him to get all the glory of my freshly shaved candy box and his tongue hit the bull’s eye on the first try and I was in Heaven. He parted my lips and sucked like he was trying to find how many licks until he got to the tootsie roll center!

“Oh my God!” is all I could say as I grabbed this man by the head.  As I begin to have an orgasm out of this world, he stood and I took every inch of his long, thick cock as I wrapped my legs around his back.  I put my hands on his ass and I pushed until I made sure I had it all. 
“Dam girl!” he said as I laid back a little further to make sure he was feeling every bit of me. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I love this sex but I won’t let him see it. I grabbed his arms and rocked with him until we both came together. 
“Baby, you will make a man sign over his company for that shit!”
“Yea, I know. Consider that a thank you for our trip this weekend,” I said as I walked out passed Ashley smiling before he even had a chance to respond. 
Excerpt 2

This has been a long day!  After hanging out with the girls, I knew better than to schedule this shipment today but I have some sexy new plus size outfits that are sexy yet sophisticated enough to show off the right curves at the right time. Now, its 7PM and I’m sitting here daydreaming about this new lingerie even though I need to get to home.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” this voice says!
Shit, you scared me and who are you calling ma’am?”  I asked.
Good God, I thought to myself as I turned around to see a man that made by mouth fall open.

“I apologize, I didn’t mean to scare you but the door was open and I’ve been trying to get your attention,” he said.  “I forgot one of your boxes on my truck this morning.”
“Oh, that’s fine you can sit it over there and thank you for bringing it back,” I stated.

“No problem. I didn’t want you to be angry with me so I decided to not wait until Monday. My name is Xavier, by the way.”
“Xavier, nice name and it fits you well,” I threw in.
“Thanks, I got it from my dad,” he said.
 “Baby, if your dad is as fine as you; he can deliver me anything at any time.”
He laughed and said, “Why does it have to be my dad?”
I replied, “Because you might not be able to handle all this woman.”

He turned to walk away and I thought I had scared him off but when he locked the door and began walking towards me, licking his lips saying, “I might not but I’d sure love to give it a try,” my panties got wet.  Hell, even my nipples got hard.
I began licking my lips and making direct eye contact with him. I was standing there looking good in my black skirt, thigh high boots and low cut shirt and I couldn’t wait until he took it all off.

“Are you sure you can handle this?  I don’t want you to have to quit your job because you’ll be scared to come back,” I said.  He walked over and put his tongue in my mouth which was answer enough for me. He picked me up and believe me when I say; he wasn’t scared to handle this big girl!  Baby, he picked me up so high; I thought I was going to fall but he said “Just relax and enjoy it.”

He placed my back against the wall and wrapped my legs around his head while he was standing. “Shit, Shit, Oh Shit” ….this man licked my lady like it had been months since he’d eaten. Whew, I felt things that I had never felt before. I was so wet that I could not contain myself.  All, I could do was scream out as he licked me clean. He then put me down gently as I pushed him away from me.  My legs felt like jelly but I couldn’t let him see me sweat.  I ordered him to take off my skirt, leaving me with my black see through bra, panties and thigh high boots.
“Come here,” I ordered and he said “Yes ma’am” with a smile on his face. I could see the print of his cock through his work pants and my eyes were screaming OMG, I’m going to enjoy this. 


Purchase Links:

Amazon US:(ebook): A Secret Worth Keeping
Amazon UKA Secret Worth Keeping
Amazon US:(paperback)A Secret Worth Keeping (Delphine Publications Presents)
iBooks: A Secret Worth Keeping - Lakisha Johnson
Barnes & Noble: (ebook): A Secret Worth Keeping
Barnes & Noble: (paperback): A Secret Worth Keeping

About the Author:

LaKisha Johnson is a girl after God’s own heart; doing what she believes to be her purpose..writing.  In addition to being a self-publised author, she’s also a wife of 15 years, mother of 2 and native of Memphis, TN. She comes from a huge family and has always been the go to girl whenever someone needed a poem written or read, an acknowledgement that would convey just what they were thinking or even an occassion written for that special day. She’s an all-around talented lady that makes everything she touch turn to gold. She has 2 degrees from Southwest TN Community College both in Information Technology and has worked in the corporate field for over 15 years. She is also a dedicated blogger, delivering a devotional blog 5 days per week entitled ”Kisha’s Daily Devotionals.”

LaKisha wants readers of her books to step outside the box and read with imagination.  She wants them reeled in from the front cover to the last word, enjoying every second in between, asking for more.  She doesn’t proclaim to be the best writer or even author in the world..she just proclaims to be blessed because her motto is ”God’s purpose is bigger than any problem!”

Web Links

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Author Site -
Email address

Arushi Raj

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Muckydum: The Story of a Haunted Man

Muckydum - The Story of a Haunted Man
Bill Hammond lives a lonely life yet shuns any intimate contact with the people around him. He is haunted by visions of people from his dysfunctional relationships, but does his best to ignore or avoid them. Conjuring up fleeting memories of his wife and teaching Shakespeare at the local college provide him with his only semblance of happiness. When he uncharacteristically befriends a withdrawn student in one of his classes he is inadvertently taken on an emotional roller coaster that sends him deeper into despair. On a frantic search for answers he comes to realize that he must affirm his own indiscretions in order to come to terms with how his life has come to pass.

Ten years later on a sunny spring morning Breanna Sutton is reluctantly meeting with Bill, who is now a recluse in an isolated cabin up in Northern Ontario. He had inexplicably started Breanna off on a rewarding and lucrative career that makes her feel bitterly obligated to the old man. She discovers Bill adrift in a world of fantasy and in severe need of medical attention. But the stubborn old man insists that she listen to his recount of his romance with his wife and its tragic conclusion before consenting to get the help he needs. Through the course of an agonizing day, Breanna learns what family truly means and about the obligations that come with it.

Muckydum will take you on the journey of a tormented man's pursuit to clear his conscience before it's too late and a woman's realization that life isn't measured solely by one's successes.

Author's note:
Some of the events in Muckydum are based on a true story. Back in the late seventies when I was in a college in Ontario there was a course elective called The Relevance of Shakespeare. The course had a reputation as being the best elective in the school. Everyone tried to get it as their semester elective.
This was based solely on the spirit of the professor who taught the course, Bill. He looked like an old fisherman, something right out of The Old Man and the Sea. He wore an old Greek fisherman's cap, jeans and white shirt and always drove his utility bicycle through the halls of the school to get to his classroom.
Bill's classroom was set up in a small lecture room, tiered up three or four oversized steps covered with plush red carpet. He would have the students lounge among pillows as he presented them with fascinating facts about Shakespeare and how his stories related to the present day. Bill would always video tape each student at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester to evaluate what they had learned.
The semester before I joined the class Bill had made a close friend of a shy, awkward student. During the summer break this student had committed suicide. Every class we had started out with us watching the video of this student and analysing if there was anything to indicate why he may have taken his own life.
I, being young and expecting to have fun, became bored with the class and began skipping most of them. But later in life I always wondered what Bill was hoping to find in those videos, and why he was so intent to find out why.
Muckydum gives me my explanation.

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 Stephen Chiarelli was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and currently resides in the Niagara Region. He's been an accountant, a forklift driver, a computer technician and an administrative assistant. When he's not cruising down in the Caribbean looking that one great shot, he's working on his next novel. His first book The Connected was released in 2008. Muckydum - The Story of a Haunted Man was released in 2012. Stephen is working on two new novels as well as trying to establish his photography into a new venture.

Stephen Chiarelli's Website
Goodreads Author Site


Stephen Chiarelli  (
Address - P.O. Box 1143, Virgil, ON L0S 1T0
Phone# - 905-468-8622

There is only one way to find more about someone, Interview them! Hence, a sneak peek into the writing world of Stephen Chiarelli.

1)     Was it difficult to get published? Did you ever thought to just quit it?

I would say it is next to impossible to get published without establishing a strong presence over the previous 5 to 10 years. Unfortunately, quite a few new authors can’t devote the time required to establish that kind of exposure, due to responsibilities and/or obligations. We always hear about the ‘bestselling’ author coming out of nowhere and receiving a lucrative multi-book deal, but that’s equivalent to winning a multi-million dollar lottery considering the amount of writers without publishing contracts trying to get noticed. I sent out dozens of query letters to potential publishers and agents and received responses from approximately one-third in the form of rejections. The others didn’t even bother. That’s why I went the CreateSpace route. It seems to be one of the few ways to break into the spotlight without a publishing house. And if you use the time to market yourself that you would have used on countless query letters then you may just get noticed. Anyways, it seems like the POD’s are becoming like the minor leagues for the big publishers now.

I never thought of quitting writing. I enjoy the writing process. Even if I only have ten people read my book it wouldn't matter. Writing enriches my life, I would never give it up.

2)     Writing was always your passion or you just tumbled on it?

I've been writing sporadically since I was a teenager, but never considered trying to publish anything. There were always too many distractions and wrong turns preventing me from sitting down and contemplating if writing was something I should take seriously. It wasn't until my life became more balanced that I thought about making a go of it. Now, I wish I would have taken the prospect of writing more seriously thirty years ago and attempted to get published back then, but it’s just the way things happen. It is just one of my passions now.

3)     Is it difficult to separate yourself with your characters?

When I’m establishing a story-line I find I attach myself to just one of my characters. I feel that character’s emotions, his frustrations, loneliness, heartbreak and what have you. His dialogue is how I may react given what events happened in his past and the influences of his environment. Sometimes I do find that I have to pull myself away so I can have the character follow the storyline rather than say or do what I would have done in such an instance, and that can be difficult because the character becomes unreasonable to me. The other characters in my book are usually based around a combination of the different attitudes and emotional aspects of anyone I may have crossed paths with throughout my life.

4)     Do you ever feel like you can't write another word?

Never. I've always got ideas going through my head. Currently I’m working on two novels at the same time. Sometimes I find I have to step away from a novel. I give it a rest for a couple of days so I can think about a particular scene I’m writing because I don’t like the way it’s progressing, but that’s all part of the process. Quite often if I find I have to do that I come up with some new twist within the story and I get re-energized. There are times I give writing a break to concentrate on my photography or some other project but I know that I will start writing again.

5)     How does it feel like reading a) good review b) and a bad one?

I can’t lie, a good review brings me a sense of accomplishment, some happiness that I struck a nerve with a reader. When one of your readers says that they were thoroughly immersed in your story, that’s everything you were trying to achieve, a story that made your reader think or made them happy. It is a very good feeling.

The first impulse I have when I read a bad review is to ask ‘didn't you get what I’m trying to say?’ But I know that what I write isn’t for everyone. I know my novel isn’t going to be picked up only by people who will enjoy the story or how I wrote it. Everyone is unique and not everyone will be in a place in their life where your novel will have some meaning to them.

6)     What was the first complement for your writing you ever got and from whom?

My first complement was from my wife with a look of disbelief on her face asking me ‘You wrote this?’ She went on to laud me with praise for the short story I had given her to read and encouraged me to ‘get out there and get published.’ She’s the reason I have continued to pursue my writing at this stage in my life. With everything I write, she makes me believe I can make it all happen.

Okey, dokey. Time for the Final Verdict:

Title: Muckydum: The Story of a Haunted Man
Writer: Stephen Chiarelli
Rating: 3.5/5

I guess it's pretty obvious from the title that the story have a supernatural element but the intensity of it kinda ambushes you because even though you start reading the story prepared for ghosts and demons but the normalcy, almost mediocrity of the characters derails you. There is this very old guy remembering his wife, complaining about his pot belly and joints. Normal, isn't it? We all had a college professor or school teacher like him. While complaining about the loads of homework we got or bitchy and strict checking of our test papers did we ever wonder or even considered our professors as people who actually have a life, a story? Personally, I used to go into a state of shock when I accidentally stumbled upon my class teacher buying tomatoes in super marker or my Sanskrit teacher eating kulfi in mall. We somehow assign people around us boundaries, restriction. They are what we see them as. It is almost unreal to imagine them beyond those circles. Which is exactly what takes us by surprise when we find out that the old professor have a family curse and disastrous past.

Getting in the book is a little difficult. For first few pages as readers you become extremely confused about what is happening. The fact that the story jumps between past and present doesn't help that much. But still somehow it manages to instill curiosity and a sense of foreboding which pushes you page after page. All in all, it's a good book.


Arushi Raj

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