Book Review – Ring of Lies – Victoria Howard

A Romance with Dimension

Ring of Lies is a suspenseful romance with strong character development and an engaging plot, making this a very satisfying read.

We start the story with Grace as she says her final goodbyes to her husband, Daniel. What she doesn’t know, however, is she is also saying her final goodbyes to the illusion she was living. Her life was based on lies created by Daniel, and on his death, the lies fall away like a house of cards.

Until this point, Grace has led a simple life, although not necessarily a happy one. Her husband was a controlling man, making her doubt her own ability to function. Despite this, she is pushed out of her comfort zone as an intimidating stranger begins to harass her and new facts come to light (such as the fact her husband bought an expensive vacation home without her knowledge). Grace decides she must unearth the truth. Frightened and still suffering from a damage ego (again, thanks to her controlling husband), she reaches out to a man she met who works for the FBI, Jack. The two met when she was on vacation, and they very nearly ended up having an affair. Grace was unhappy at the time, but being a highly ethical person, she did not follow her desires.

As you can imagine, being forced to go out in the world and face many unsettling and frightening things, she begins to grow as a person and learns to trust herself more and more. But one of the most intriguing things I found about this character was what did not change: her strong moral compass. This is why she did not have the affair, this is what drives her to search for the truth when her life falls apart, and this is why her husband despised her. The man had controlled every part of her life except this one thing, which also happened to be the one thing he lacked himself. In my opinion, this made Grace remarkably strong, even though she did not know it; as much as she loved her husband, as much as she handed over so much of her life to him, she never let that part of her be altered or even touched. And this core strength comes in handy, because Grace soon learns her problems are bigger and more complicated than she ever imagined. I’ll let you read the book to see what I mean by this, but my main point here is that it is this contrast between being weak, yet not weak that made her one of my favorite characters.

Her love interest, the FBI agent Jack, was also a very likeable and complex character. His life is a bit screwed up when Grace asks for his help. He has a girlfriend who has recently given birth to a daughter. Jack is trying to do the right thing, providing for his girlfriend and his child, but he has a HUGE problem: The girlfriend hates the baby. What a terrible problem to deal with when you are trying to work a day job as an FBI agent. And then here comes Grace, the woman he’s still in love with. He’s having one heck of a week.

Another aspect of this book that I loved was the setting (once the investigation begins): Florida. It felt almost like going on a tropical vacation. The backdrop just added another satisfying layer to a highly enjoyable read.

Bottom line, this book was top-notch, and I highly recommend it.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Ring-Lies-Victoria-Howard-ebook/dp/B009BA0WLW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1518975027&sr=8-2&keywords=Ring+of+Lies

 

© The Literary Librarian 2017

Interview – Mansu Edwards

Book Name and Description: Emojis Vs. Punctuation Marks: Battle Of The Keyboard. The Punctuation Marks are feeling neglected and unwanted in a digital world controlled by the powerful Emojis. They are trying to stay relevant in this new age. A war occurs. An African American girl, Danna, and her family are caught in the midst of the conflict.

 Interview Questions: 

What gave you the idea for Emojis Vs. Punctuation Marks: Battle Of The Keyboard? I was in one of those writing zones and the idea popped in my head while sitting in the kitchen. It was an idea from God. He used me as a vessel to create the story.

What got you into writing in this genre? I choose stories to write and and decide if it’s worth publishing. I don’t think about the genre.

How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing for 9-10 years.

Tell us about your past books and stories?I’ve written “The Disappearance Of Hate”, “Mental Diet”, “Biscuits And Yogurt Vol. 1”, “Texting In New York City” (1st and 2nd Ed.), “Vertical Algebra” and “Exotic Ignorance: Ep. 8 Camouflage Pizza. Each book is different. The themes range from poetry, personal development, a self esteem cookbook, a satirical self esteem handbook, sci-fi personal development and a dating forum mystery.

What is the writing process like for you? I’ll write for a certain amount of time. I don’t give myself a set amount of hours. I go with the flow and try not to force the creative flow.

What is your writing day like? I’ll spend time writing and reading. I try to be in a relaxed state. I’ll eat a meal and write during the day or at night.

 What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers? The tools I feel that are must haves are pen, paper, pc, phone, tablet, imagination, fearlessness and ambition. I believe you can’t write and publish anything without ambition, fearlessness and imagination. You have to believe in yourself before you write or type a word, well at least if you want to become a successful author.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author? The best piece of advice I received was from a book entitles killing the sacred cows of publishing by Dean Wesley Smith. He mentions the importance of writing fast and not being bogged down with writing one novel. It keeps writers from obsessing over reviews and writing the perfect novel.

What are you doing next? I’m working on the novel: Can I Help You Please?

What advice would you give aspiring writers? Believe in your gift and never be afraid to add your unique spin to storytelling. Keep writing and read everything.

bio: Mansu Edwards is a prolific artist who continually challenges art forms with boldness and creativity. He delights in using autonomous monikers to signify a transformative experience when engaging in innovative artistic creations. In 2016, Mr. Edwards produced, wrote and directed his first short film, “Texting In New York City”. A work inspired from people’s responses to the street marketing of its paperback (text) edition. Later on during the year due to positive feedback from the Harlem Writer’s Group in regards to the movie script, he released a literary screenplay version of “Texting In New York City”. A film trailer would soon follow. Past works by Mr. Mansu include; The Disappearance of Hate (2009), Mental Diet (2010,2011), Biscuits And Yogurt Vol. 1 (2014) and Texting In New York City (2014,2016). He has appeared on Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s Max And Natalie LIVE! and several podcasts including: The Citizen Heroes, Julio And Dr. Chan, The Curious World Of Vandal Truong, Lawrence J. King’s Book Talk Radio and Let’s Talk Books With Lady Essence. He’s currently working on the experimental novel, “Can I Help You Please?” and a multitude of book projects.

 

Links: 

  1. https://payhip.com/b/0puH
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Emojis-Vs-Punctuation-Marks-Keyboard/dp/0692068457/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519592260&sr=8-1&keywords=Mansu+Edwards
  3.  https://www.wattpad.com/story/139743377-emojis-vs-punctuation-marks-battle-of-the-keyboard
  4. instagram: Mansu Edwards
  5. www.twitter.com/ohassa
  6. www.facebook.com/mansuedwards
  7. www.facebook.com/textinginnewyorkcity
  8. https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=&search%5Bquery%5D=Mansu+Edwards

 

© The Literary Librarian 2018

Interview – Holly Lyn Walrath – Glimmerglass Girl

Glimmerglass GirlBook Name and Description: Glimmerglass Girl

Glimmerglass Girl is about femininity and feminism, how we negotiate our past as women and our present, how we other ourselves into creatures and what we pass on. VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts calls this book “. . . an intersection between ethereal loftiness, humorous speculation, and poignant consideration . . . a collection of poetry and images that encourage readers to be more than they perceive themselves to be.”

Interview Questions:

What gave you the idea for Glimmerglass Girl?

The title of this book comes from the lead poem, “Espejitos,” (appears in Isacoustic: https://isacoustic.com/2018/04/14/person-holly-lyn-walrath-one-poem/) which refers to the Spanish name for the glass-winged butterfly and translates to “little mirrors.” When I started to research this butterfly, I discovered that although it appears to be delicate and fragile with transparent wings, it’s actually quite poisonous and capable of pulling up to 40 times its weight. I thought this was a fitting metaphor for womanhood because women are often expected to be fragile or more sensitive when, in fact, we are quite resilient. Butterflies also have a long tradition in folklore as being representative of the souls of the dead, so this mascot appealed to my love of dark things.

 What got you into writing in this genre?

I’ve written poetry since I was in high school. Poetry is my first love, and my friends can tell you that I will try to convert anyone I meet to the cult of the poetic. Poetry wraps all my favorite things about writing into a neat package: lyricism, imagery, voice, sound, rhythm, and concise word choice.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve worked at a jeans store, as a financial advisor, at an ice cream shop, at a print shop, as a receptionist, any number of odd jobs. About four years ago, I told myself I was going to commit to my writing. It just happened to happen at a time when my life was shifting and I was able to quit my job. I started freelancing and writing full-time. I don’t regret that decision at all, I just regret that it took me so long to get there.

What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?

My writing routine changes all the time because my schedule as a freelance editor is constantly shifting. On a good writing day, I sit down to read on my patio and get some inspiration from books I love. Then I’ll write for an hour or so, sometimes working from prompts or just playing around. There are times where I write every day, but for the most part I have to take the time for my work. It’s not easy to juggle all the demands of the world. I also like to play with writing every day in NaPoWriMo and NaNoWriMo.

What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why? What book disappointed you and why?

One of my favorite books is The Lord of the Rings. When I was a little kid, my mom would read The Hobbitto me and do all the voices. In middle school I got obsessed and read the whole series, but I was so devastated when Gandalf “died”! Now when I look back on those books, I realize that they have shortcomings too. These days I’m reading more women’s voices and trying to widen my scope of reading experience. But I still have a soft spot for Gollum . . . my precious.

What piece of your own work are you most proud of?

One of my favorite stories that I’ve written is “The Joy of Baking,” which first appeared in Luna Station Quarterly and is available in audio version on my website. (http://www.hlwalrath.com/thejoyofbaking.html). I wrote this story for my spouse, who is a physical therapist in a cardiology unit at a children’s hospital. He deals with death, and in particular the death of children, on a daily basis. I like to bake and James will often help me out in the kitchen. One day, I was looking for a new story idea and he begged me to write a story about baking . . . which quickly evolved into a little tale that answers the question: What if purgatory came with free cake?

What are you doing next?

I’m working on several projects at once because I get bored easily. My ongoing project is a series of erasures of male canonical authors like Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy. I’m also working on a series of tiny poems, trying to compress my writing as much as possible. And of course, I’m always working on short stories in the science fiction and fantasy realm.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

I love the writing advice of Chuck Wendig, “You do you.” I think being yourself and advocating for the things you love is one of the best ways to approach writing. We all want to be successful, to get our names out there, but if you’re not doing what you love, what’s the point? Even though the things I write are often cross-genre and intersectional, combining art and words or realism and the fantastical, I don’t mind that these are considered “experimental.” I write what I love, what excites me, what feels true. That’s the best advice writers can follow, as corny as it sounds.

bio:

Holly Lyn Walrath’s poetry and short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Luna Station Quarterly, Liminality, and elsewhere. Her chapbook of words and images, Glimmerglass Girl,will be published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Texas and a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She is a freelance editor and host of The Weird Circular, an e-newsletter for writers containing submission calls and writing prompts.

Links:

Author’s Website: http://www.hlwalrath.com/

Author’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/hollylynwalrath

Author’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/holly__lyn/

Order Glimmerglass Girl: https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/glimmerglass-girl-by-holly-lyn-walrath/

© The Literary Librarian 2018