10 Statements – Annika Perry

Although writing has always been a lifetime passion for Annika, her route to full-time writing has been circuitous and she formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness and motherhood gave her an opportunity to pursue her dream.

Annika’s First Prize win in the ‘Writing Magazine’ short story competition was the much needed impetus and confidence booster for her to complete the first novel, ‘Island Girl’, which is currently in the final editing stages. Annika is also working on the last edits of her first short story collection which she hopes to self-publish very soon.

As well as writing, Annika is an avid reader (a world without books is unimaginable for her), a keen gardener, walker and she enjoys travel (in spite of her well-documented fear of flying!)

For the past two years blogging has become an important part of her life and she deeply values the friendships formed here on WP via the warm encouraging and uplifting comments. She lives in the South East of England with her husband and teenage son.

Find me…

Website:  https://annikaperry.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnikaPerry68
 

My personal motto:

The following quotes from ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach have often have often been the keystone in Annika’s life, giving her strength in face of adversity and courage when faced with new challenges.

“The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while, and watch your answers change.”

“Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.”

“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with…  a delicious bowl of cereal, granola, berries and fruit yoghurt in the sunlit living room!
  2. I lose track of time when reading, writing, blogging.
  3. I have always… been true to myself, often at a personal price.
  4. I have never… smoked.
  5. Home means to me… being with my family in a cosy safe environment where I can totally relax and unwind.
  6. I am inspired by… my mother whose strong, positive and loving spirit never wavers and whose trust and belief in life seems unconquerable.
  7. I would like to meet… my Mormor (maternal grandmother) again. I often imagine sitting down to chat with her, give her hugs and most of all introduce her to my son, let her listen to him playing the piano – they are so alike in many ways and I know she would love him so.
  8. My worst character trait… is being a bit of a perfectionist! I can come across as rather impatient at times.
  9. My best character trait… is my loyalty and faithfulness to friends and family and ability to listen and empathise with others.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Believe in yourself, you’re strong.”

 

Extract from ‘The Whiteout Years’ by Annika Perry…one of the short stories featured in her soon-to-be published collection:

Out of the blackness Carl spotted the sign for the village. Two kilometres. His fifth year here and the road felt as familiar as the one he drove every day to work. How could that be? How could he feel so at home in a place he’d visited so infrequently?

He started to in shock, eyes blinded by a kaleidoscopic sheet of colour. Blinking, he saw more rainfalls of brilliant reds, whites, purples high in the sky. Another rocket swerved to the right, evaporating high up in the dark. Firework upon firework followed. Carl was late, the plane had been delayed and it must already be midnight. The start of a new year. As he drew closer to the village Carl saw that it had excelled itself. Now he could hear the distant
thunder of the rockets, the odd whoops of delight from the crowd.

Three years since his last moments with Karin. Three years since days, weeks, months, years ceased to matter. Her parent’s had survived their loss; he never knew how. At their insistence Carl came every year to visit them. Whilst he held himself responsible for the accident, they had taken it upon themselves to save him. A lost cause, he told them repeatedly. He’d tried to escape their care and concern – to no avail. So, here he was again. Late.

Suddenly a wall of brown appeared in his lights. Large eyes gleamed in the headlights and instinctively Carl slammed on the brakes. The car spun to the side and with a smash it stopped; then suddenly it lifted and twisted up into the air before landing on its roof with a cushioned thud. Outside Carl heard the sound of an injured animal, the pained barking of an elk. As the car spun slowly, Carl saw the huge animal steady itself, before sheepishly trekking into the trees.

He heard her breaths next to him, the harsh rasping and puffs of warm air upon his cheek. Tiny wisps of vapour floated in front of his face, warmth meeting cold. Carl started to shake, then thought of Karin and reached out to her, to protect her. The seat was empty. It was all wrong. Where was she? Wasn’t she driving? Why was he in the driver’s seat? She must have escaped? Gone to get help? He heard her voice in the distance, “Keep safe! Live.”

“Karin!” Carl shouted her name until his voice was hoarse, quaking with the cold. His hand, blue and black, fought to release the seat-belt buckle. Karin, he had to find her.

She was driving, laughing, singing away as they took an unknown short cut to her parents. He should have said no. He should have told her to slow down. Be sensible. No, he had told her, she’d shouted back. “Sensible is not living, this is!” and with that she’d turned the wheel first one way and then the other, skidding round and round. He’d been furious, his temper frayed with fear. Seeing this, Karin had thrown herself around his neck, nestled her face into his neck, kissing him, comforting, all the time muttering, “Sorry, sorry.”

After a while the car chilled and conscious of the time and the fireworks display, they set off. “Please, Carl, sensible is okay but remember to live, to live wildly, madly. Promise me.”

“Wildly, madly,” the words echoed in his mind, around him. “Please live…” the silent voice begged of him.

 

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10 Statements – Michael Okon

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

Find me…

michaelokon.com

@IAmMichaelOkon

facebook.com/IAmMichaelOko n

snapchat.com/add/iammichaelokon

twitter.com/IAmMichaelOkon

instagram.com/iammichaelokon

 

My personal motto:

“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates and fills the interspaces of the Universe. A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with…  bacon, eggs and cheese, then research and development of my subject.
  2. I lose track of time when I’m playing video games with my kids.
  3. I have always… known I was going to be entertaining people.
  4. I have never… done drugs.
  5. Home means to me… being around our backyard fire pit with my wife and kids.
  6. I am inspired by… classic horror movies.
  7. I would like to meet… Steven Spielberg.
  8. My worst character trait… I bite the inside of my lip when I’m deep in thought.
  9. My best character trait… I can make a joke and laugh at any situation.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Eat bacon. Don’t jog.”

Monsterland

Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.

Wyatt Baldwin’s senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

Print length:  219 pages

To be published:  2017-10-13

Buy links eBook:  books2read.com/u/4XorkN

Books
> Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Horror > Monsters
Kindle eBooks
> Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Coming of Age
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Paranormal > Vampires

 

10 Statements – Saiswaroopa Iyer

 

 

Formerly an analyst with a Venture capital firm, Saiswaroopa’s interests include Startups, Economics, Carnatic Music, Philosophy, Politics, History and Literature of India. She won a state level gold medal from TTD in rendering Annamacharya Kritis. She holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

She currently lives in London and loves to read and write.

 

Find me…

Website:  https://saiswaroopa.com/
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/Sai_swaroopa
Amazon:  Saiswaroopa Iyer
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSaiswaroopa/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14706559.Saiswaroopa_Iyer
 

My personal motto:

“To discover the lesser known characters and stories from Indian literature, history, scriptures and folklore and explore them as subjects of my future works.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with…  a cup of Chai! Creativity is hidden in the leaves of tea! 😀
  2. I lose track of time when I am with my mother or with a favourite book!
  3. I have always… been a just in time person. Believed I can figure out things on the go.
  4. I have never… planned very early (Now I know these are very relative statements. But there is a chance that things have been changing in the recent times).
  5. Home means to me… where my family is. I am what I am because of them.
  6. I am inspired by… those who are focused and positive.
  7. I would like to meet… self-made achievers. They always have actionable advice that respects my time and theirs.
  8. My worst character trait… impatience. Looking for results ‘too soon’ at times.
  9. My best character trait… optimism.
  10. The best advice I was given… (Will limit it to writing related advice)…”To believe in my characters guiding my story.”

 

Avishi

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of Rig Veda
But forgotten to the memory of India
The Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement, but at a high cost.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

If stories about ancient India, especially those with strong women characters interest you, then Avishi is a story you must read!
Saiswaroopa Iyer is an IITian and Venture Capital professional turned author. Her début novel Abhaya, published in 2015, was a tale set in the Mahabharata period, exploring the legend of Narakasura Vadha. She likes to focus and expand on ancient Indian stories with strong female characters. She tweets @Sai_swaroopa.

Print length:  388 pages

Published:  2017-08-12

Buy link eBooks:  books2read.com/u/ml5EW9


An Excerpt

“I am the Queen! This will be my throne!” The seven-year-old chirped leaping from the middle of the porch towards the broken mortar which served as a mock throne. “You will be my guard!”

“Guard?” the man pondered scratching his unkempt beard.

“No.” He shook his head and smiled seeing her indignant eyes. “I will be the Queen’s elephant.” He beamed.

Sukratu stepped out of the house to see his daughter in action, perching herself on the tramp Loha’s back, pretending in all earnestness that he was her elephant. He smiled and was about to set out for his duty as the night guard of the King. A sudden lightning appeared in the eastern skies. Sukratu had barely walked a few paces when a deafening thunder made him instinctively turn towards home. He heaved a sigh, finding Loha shielding the girl as if he would, his own child.

“Father, don’t go.” The girl pleaded.

Sukratu smiled and shifted his gaze towards the sky. He saw dark clouds loom over the city. The monsoon winds had started to make their presence felt. He had to reach the palace soon. “Isn’t my little Queen brave?” He called out.

The girl nodded. He saw the fear fade. From her eyes. From her heart. She knew she was the queen! Pride filled his heart. His mind ached to stay home but duty beckoned. Tearing his gaze away from the one he treasured the most in his life, braving the drizzle that would soon turn into a storm, he unwillingly walked towards the King’s residence. Sukratu’s house was in the third ring of the concentric structure of Vrishabhavati. In the centre, was the structure, that served as the residence of the king and as the centre of all trade activity of the city. Here no wealth or goods could change hands without the king’s knowledge and approval. The residences of the noblemen formed the two rings around it. The guards and soldiers forming the outermost circle with the citizens living around them.

As per the protocol, Sukratu approached General Ugra’s residence quite ahead of his reporting time— an hour before the moonrise. He walked into the empty courtyard. But the rain made it impossible for him to stand there any longer. He knocked at the giant wooden door fervently. The doors creaked as a strange woman clad in a dark indigo garment opened them and glared at him with a frown on her forehead.

General Ugra, Sukratu knew was never faithful to one woman. His superior’s romantic exploits were not his concern either. But something about the woman at the door disconcerted him. “Please let General Ugra know that…”

“He has already left for the palace!” The woman frowned before attempting to shut the door.

“What? How ca…” Sukratu’s words hung in air as the door slammed on his face and the woman disappeared from his line of vision all of a sudden. Something did not feel right. He knocked at the door again. Firmly this time, as though seeking answers. Any change in the reporting time would have been announced the day before and he remembered that nothing of the sort had happened. His knocks went unanswered. Frowning and muttering under his breath, Sukratu hurried towards an empty cowshed three houses away from Ugra’s place hoping to catch his companions who he knew would be equally surprised.

The first to arrive was Khela, the eighteen-year-old guard, holding a metal shield above his head. The newest addition to the King’s guard, Khela was related to General Ugra and Sukratu felt that his position in the King’s guard was largely a result of undue favours that Ugra showered upon an otherwise impudent boy.

“Sukratu! By the great Varuna, I should have come to you earlier!” Khela hurried towards him. Pausing for breath, he added. “Our platoon has been given a relief tonight! It was a sudden decision and I personally informed all the others.”

“Relief for tonight? That happens only when…”

“Our guarding hours change from night to day!” Khela completed in a hurry. “Now, come with me.” He turned towards the western direction and the javelin he held started to sway dangerously and came close to grazing Sukratu’s arm.

The older guard’s instincts made him dodge the cut. “Where?” Sukratu hissed, visibly annoyed, first with the fact that he was kept in dark about the change in guarding hours and then about Khela’s irreverent behaviour. “And watch who your weapon hurts, boy.”

Khela shrugged and changed the position of his weapon. “We are now going to the place.” He winked, stretching his hand in the direction. “Follow me, this is the only night we get to have some fun.”

Sukratu did not move. The place he knew implied the tavern where wine was served. “We cannot drink tonight, Khela. When do we have to report tomorrow? By sunrise?”

“You ask too many questions. The rest of us are there too!”

“That does not answer my question.”

“Well, I don’t know, and I don’t care to. The palace is paying for the wine. Are you coming or not?”

The last sentence sounded more like a threat than an invite. Sukratu had all the mind to give the youth a piece of his mind and storm back home. His daughter would be overjoyed to see him before she went to sleep. It gnawed at Sukratu’s heart every day to leave her under the care of Loha— the tramp who had begged him for shelter about six months ago and then became a part of his life. The girl liked him instantly and had begged Sukratu to let Loha live with them and he, despite his misgivings about the tramp’s origins and his unkempt appearance, could not refuse his only daughter. Over time, Sukratu felt grateful for Loha’s company. Now his daughter did not have to be all by herself every night. The guard’s home would have been unguarded if not for that stranger. Sukratu brushed aside these thoughts and had almost decided to go home when the thought of meeting other senior guards and clarifying the confusion struck him. He followed Khela’s lead, making no attempt to hide his displeasure.

When they reached the tavern, Sukratu to his dismay, found many of his brothers in arms deeply drunk. “When did they reach here and when did they…”

“Quite some time before. I just forgot to tell you in advance!”

Sukratu’s eyes scrutinized the men and women of the tavern who were serving wine to the guards. There were no other citizens or travellers in the tavern.

“Just for us, the whole night!” Khela said as if reading his thoughts, bringing him an earthen goblet.

The older guard accepted the goblet taking his first sip with a sense of foreboding.

“Where were you all the time, old friend?” The voice belonged to Tunga one of the senior guards in the platoon.

The grin on his friend’s face brought a smile to Sukratu’s lips. “Tunga, what is this about the sudden change in our guarding hours?”

“The King… that imbecile, has finally remembered that we are human too!” Tunga guffawed, emptying his goblet, waving vigorously at a woman of the tavern who obliged with a seductive wink.

She approached them, skilfully distributing her attention between both the men, winking at Tunga and pouting her lips at Sukratu. Her brows rose at Sukratu’s filled cup. “Don’t keep the Sura nor this Sundari waiting, my love…” Serving Tunga his wine, she placed her fingers upon Sukratu’s shoulders, digging her nails into his skin for a moment locking her gaze with his and turned around swiftly, letting her light upper garment rest on his face for a fleeting moment.

It was a wilful invitation and Sukratu knew it. His attention though was caught by the colour of the garment. The Indigo hued garment! All the women of the tavern wore clothes of the same colour. So did the woman he saw in General Ugra’s house! Was Ugra at home while the woman lied that he was at the palace? If the General and the whole platoon of the night guard were lying down drunk, who was minding the security of the King? Sukratu looked at the rest of the guards. No one seemed sober enough to talk. The only sober man Khela had disappeared!

“By the great Varuna!” Sukratu exclaimed aloud and rushed out, pushing the woman who tried to stop him away.

He raced to the King’s residence, as fast as his legs could carry him. The huge wooden gates of the structure were closed and secured from inside. The rain lashed drowning his cries. Misgivings regarding the King’s welfare made him shudder. He had to meet General Ugra. Something told him that the General had his own reasons to send the whole platoon of guards to enjoy a drunk night. He was a guard who had sworn to protect the King with his life. The general owed him an answer. Sukratu rushed to General Ugra’s house determined to confront him.

That, Sukratu realized was the biggest mistake of his life.

At the gates of the general’s residence he saw a familiar figure hurrying out of his house, a heavy bundle on his shoulders. “General Ugra!” he called out, feeling relieved.

The figure started, and the bundle fell to the ground. Sukratu came to a sudden halt as he realized it wasn’t a bundle after all, but a blood-drenched corpse. A stroke of lightning from the sky revealed the face and the very familiar greying curls. Sukratu froze for a long moment before he could speak.

“K… King…”

Something hit him on the head even before he could utter the name. Sukratu staggered, reeling at the impact, clutching at his long sword in a vain attempt to defend the next move.

“Finish him!” The General shout behind him.

Before he turned around, Sukratu felt the cold metal tear into his back. Lightning struck revealing the contours of the person. Khela! The javelin stabbed him again. Thunder drowned his screams. Falling to the ground with the weapon still stuck to his back, Sukratu lifted his sword and managed to slash Khela’s palm though the latter, unlike him was vigilant and alert. Crawling away from the menacing duo, knowing very well that he could not last more than a few moments, Sukratu’s thoughts, went to his innocent daughter. She would now languish as an orphan remaining in dark about the monsters who killed her father. Or would they kill her too?

Sukratu would never know.


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10 Statements – Kirk Raeber

Kirk Raeber is an emergency room physician. He has always had a strong interest in World War II history and especially in the war in the Pacific. He served in the US Navy and was stationed in Japan for one year. Forgotten Letters is his first novel. He lives in California with his wife and his three Anatolian Shepherds.

Find me…

Website:  http://theforgottenletters.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KirkRaeber
Amazon:  Kirk Raeber
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/people/Kirk-Raeber/100015256728909
FB Forgotten Letters:  https://www.facebook.com/Forgotten-Letters-814455975239863/
Book trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z36V5Lqdjhk&feature=youtu.be
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15419661.Kirk_Raeber
 

My personal motto:

“Be Prepared, Be Honest, and Be Kind.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with…  a greeting and pet to my three Anatolian Shepherds.
  2. I lose track of time when working in the yard.
  3. I have always… loved adventure.
  4. I have never… eaten Fugu.
  5. Home means to me… stability and security.
  6. I am inspired by… reading a new book.
  7. I would like to meet… Clint Eastwood.
  8. My worst character trait… too much clutter on my desk.
  9. My best character trait… hard worker.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Go to college and keep on learning.”

Forgotten Letters

A trove of forgotten letters reveals a love that defied a world war.

In 1924, eight-year old Robert Campbell accompanies his missionary parents to Japan where he befriends a young Makiko Asakawa. Robert enjoys his life there, but the dark tides of war are rising, and it won’t be long before foreigners are forced to leave Japan.

Torn from the people Robert has come to think of as family, he stays in contact by exchanging letters with Makiko, letters that soon show their relationship is blossoming into something much more than friendship.

The outbreak of total war sweeps all before it, and when correspondence ends with no explanation, Robert fears the worst. He will do anything to find Makiko, even launch himself headfirst into a conflict that is consuming the world. Turmoil and tragedy threaten his every step, but no risk is too great to prove that love conquers all.

Print length:  275 pages

Published:  2016-06-28

Buy link eBooks:   books2read.com/u/bapZxq

Book is available for sale on:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble (online)
E book is available:  Kobo, Smashwords, I Tunes, Scribd, Nook, and Aidiko
Audiobook:  Audible


The inspiration for “Forgotten Letters” came to me ten years ago in the form of a dream so vivid that I began to see it as the starting point for the story portrayed in Forgotten Letters. The dream began with an earthquake in the early 1900’s somewhere in Japan. My most vivid memory from the dream was not so much the destruction, which was devastating, but the strength and courage of the Japanese people in resurrecting their lives in the face of such tragedy.

Over the years, I researched the many earthquakes that are such a regular occurrence across the Japanese Islands and decided that the “Great Kanto” of 1923 seemed to best mimic the one from my dream, in particular the unstoppable fires that destroyed most of Tokyo and Yokohama. This is where the book begins.

Ironically, the two cities were again destroyed during World War II and, as they were after the “Great Kanto,” have been rebuilt by the dedicated, hard-working people of that amazing country.

The story starts with Fumiko and Ichiro entering their recently deceased parent’s house. They enter the house with thoughts of childhood memories and what to do with the dilapidated home. Fumiko and Ichiro are both dealing with personal problems that seem to consume most of their thoughts as they wander through the house.

Ichiro finds a trapdoor to the attic and enters a dark and dusty area that has not been visited for years. They look around the room and see old furniture and trash. Ichiro pulls out it military footlocker with his father’s name printed on the outside. Ichiro states “This was Dads”. Ichiro has some difficulty opening the footlocker but is finally successful. Inside he finds an old World War II officer’s uniform and a precisely folded cream and red colored kimono.

Underneath the two garments they discover a box which is wrapped in red foil and secured with a white ribbon that is squashed flat. Fumiko and Ichiro look at each other thinking what secrets are in this special box. Ichiro unties the ribbon, unfolds the paper and removes the lid. Inside the box lie rows of letters, yellowed and stained. The letters are in random order the earliest postmark is 1931. The letters are correspondence between their parents. Fumiko opens a letter postmarked 1931 and reads aloud “Dear Robert”.

When one reads Forgotten Letters it is important to remember three words that are in the beginning of the book and then are revisited later on. I think the reader will smile when they read these words again. The three words are spider, baseball and birthmark.

My hope is that you will find Forgotten Letters a very enjoyable read.

Thank you,

Kirk Raeber


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10 Statements – Linda Smolkin

Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an advertising agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. Her début novel, Among the Branded, was released in May 2017. When not in front of the computer, she’s behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog.

Find me…

Website:  https://lindasmolkin.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lindasmolkin
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16454819.Linda_Smolkin
Amazon author page:  Linda Smolkin

My personal motto:

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

10 statements

  1. A typical (work) day begins with… heading to the office (luckily with a short commute) for my full-time writing job where I grab my first cup of coffee, sift through email, and tackle my to-do list. On the way to/from work, I think about my novels and what I need to do at any particular stage, whether it’s writing, researching, revising/editing, or marketing.
  2. I lose track of time when I’m looking at photos on Instagram.
  3. I have always… dreamed of taking a cross-country road trip, but I’m allergic to traffic so I’ve always put it off!
  4. I have never… been asked such a tough question! There are many things I have never done. For starters, I’ve never gone skiing. Growing up, we always took beach vacations.
  5. Home means to me… hanging out with my family, wherever that might be.
  6. I am inspired by… stories about people who have grit.
  7. I would like to meet… author Judy Blume. My favorite childhood book was “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and when I reread it a few years ago, it was still as great as I remembered. And since drumming is a hobby, it would be really cool to meet some favorite drummers: Neil Peart from Rush and Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters.
  8. My worst character trait… impatience.  [And maybe others if you asked my coworkers.].
  9. My best character trait… loyalty. [And maybe others if you asked my friends.].
  10. The best advice I was given… by my father; he always told me not to sweat the small stuff.

Among the Branded

What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. She’s at first drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers. Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

Contemporary fiction with a historical touch, AMONG THE BRANDED explores family life, an unexpected friendship, and moral conflicts that make us wonder what’s more important: our livelihood or our beliefs. This moving début novel by Linda Smolkin is a great addition for readers who enjoy books by Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah, and Liane Moriarty.

Print length:  264 pages

Published:  2017-05-02

Buy links – Amazon author page:  Linda Smolkin


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