Thursday, September 26, 2019

Interview with Ross Victory Author of Views From the Cockpit

Ross Victory is an American Marketing professional, travel enthusiast, and author of the new memoir, Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son. He spent his early years collecting pens, notepads and interviewing himself in a tape recorder. With an acute awareness for his young age, he was eager to point out hypocrisies and character inconsistencies in children and adults through English assignments. He delighted in provoking a reaction from his English teachers with writing that seemed to wink and smile. 

He enjoys writing non-fiction and fiction projects--stories of captivating, complex characters expressed in all their dimensions usually on a path to self-discovery through suffering. After the loss of his father, Ross has married his love for writing to create a compelling memoir to inspire the world. Ross received his B.S. in Business Administration & Marketing Management.

Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son by Ross Victory is a memoir born from pain. Intimate journal entries morph into a phenomenal dialogue of tender father-son memories, loss, strength and turbulence in a young boy’s life on his journey into manhood. When the author discovers that his father is terminally ill and a victim of elder abuse, he embarks on a journey of reflection and discovery which soars and nosedives, chapter by chapter. Decorated in airplane analogies, with writing you can feel, Views from the Cockpit serves as a catalyst for readers to take perspective of their lives from the highest point. Views is a narrative that provides emotional assurance that readers’ unique experiences of pain, love and loss cannot be recreated or erased, but can be processed in order to not lose sight of their life journeys.


 Barnes & Noble

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m an adventurer! I love flying 10,000 miles away alone to find inspiration and doing fun stuff like skydiving, bungy jumping, cave diving—anything that right at the edge of risk and reward. And of course I love writing!!! I write more than I read actually. I love writing songs, stories and developing characters and the evil and wonderful things that can happen to them. I also enjoy discussing spiritual and philosophical topics.

When did you start writing? 

I’ve been writing forever. My earliest memory is writing a scary story in 3rd or 4th grade that had impressed my teacher and pushed her to reach out to my parents. My book Views from the Cockpit is my first commercial project. I’ve written songs, poems and entered writing contests for decades.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life? 

This is my first commercial writing project. I’m excited to see what happens next. As far as personal development, this is surely a pivotal point of my life. The moment I decided to “give vulnerability a shot,” to own and to share my story with others in hopes that they had something to gain and honestly that my existence was valuable because of that.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

 I love extreme landscapes. If I could go anywhere, I would go to Antarctica to be surrounded by glaciers and icebergs in all directions. I haven’t been on a glacier. Pure white. Pure cold. I’m sure I’d be inspired there.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do? 

I would love to spend 4 extra hours song writing or recording music. It’s very therapeutic and I love vibing with some good music.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet? 

I think it would be cool for a story to be set in the middle of the ocean, maybe a story of merman and mermaid who are the last two creatures existing on Earth and explore the dynamic of the end, but also endless oceanic beauty.

Back to your present book, Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son, how did you publish it? 

I self-published with a global distribution deal through Ingram Spark. I decided that self-publishing was the best option for me since an editor recommended, I not waste any time with agents and publishers. It’s been fun! My input is in everything and a direct reflection of how I view myself and what I hope to accomplish. A publisher’s budget and administrative support would have been nice!

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research? 

No, I didn’t travel anywhere for research, but a lot of the international travel experiences that had already occurred were used as inspiration.

Why was writing Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son so important to you? 

Writing this book made me believe, and still makes believe, that although I have lost my dad, he now exists in a different form and has the ability to enter the hearts and minds of people around the world. This book also indicates my ability to believe in myself and my ability to see something (even deeply personal) all the way through. It’s my saving grace. I think it reads like it, too!

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is? 

I get the best ideas just interacting with people on street and listening to what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. There’s a lot of inspiration within reach. Ideas tend to come to me in nature, too. The beach, a desolate desert, a sprawling forest. I get a lot of descriptions for things in those environments.

Any final words? 

One step at a time! One word at a time! One sentence at a time! One life at a time! My dad—the original Mr. Victory who is the father behind Views from the Cockpit taught me to exist in my time zone and try not to compare myself to other journeys. I share that message with you!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Interview with Annelies George, author of Quest to the Unknown & Darkness and Light

Title: Darkness and Light
Author: Annelies George
Publisher: BI Publishing
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Paperback/Ebook
On Tour: September 9-November 29

DARKNESS AND LIGHT is set five years after the brutal attack in Jessie’s apartment. From Miami to the Seychelles, the now married journalist continues her life journey. The metaphorical meaning of darkness and light are central themes throughout the story. Hatred, greed, betrayal, lies, the desire for power, far reaching jealousy, unconditional love, forgiveness and the noticeable changes in today’s climate are some of the spellbinding features of this plot.In the second part of the Jessie Golden Earth series once more today’s business jungle is intertwined with the intangible world of the other side. This results in an easily readable exciting story set in various countries around the globe, leading to a surprising unexpected end to this part in the series.


Title: Quest to the Unknown
Author: Annelies George
Publisher: Hybrid Global Publishing
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Paperback/Ebook
On Tour: September 9-November 29

Quest to the Unknown revolves around up-and-coming Dutch reporter Jessie Golden, ready for her first holiday with business mogul and playboy Carlos Gomez, with whom she is engaged in a budding romance. Her journey begins when she finds a folder full of information on a mysterious woman named Nancy and her son Paul, leading her to an unexpected quest. Soon thereafter Jessie is confronted with a series of unexplainable supernatural occurrences. She realizes there is no such thing as coincidence, although she can’t unravel the true meaning of her quest nor her link to Nancy and her son. At the same time Jessie believes Carlos’ father has ties with some questionable characters. Startled by a series of unexpected events she reaches out to Ed Turner, Carlos’ right-hand man. In order to protect the one she truly loves, Jessie starts an investigation that points to the murky world of the mob. When a stranger is constantly following her, Jessie’s life is in serious danger. Can the ones she implicitly confides in, still be trusted? The first part of the Jessie Golden 21st Century Earth Series, introduces the main characters of the saga in an intriguing story of exceptional mother love, the far reaching consequences of choices in life, genuine feelings, blind faith and brutal deception, set in a multitude of countries in today’s fast moving business world.


Please share a little bit about your current release.

Darkness and Light is the second book in the Jessie Golden Earth Series and the sequel to Quest to the Unknown. The story continues five year after the end of book one. Again I have intertwined today’s business world with semi-autobiograph elements alongside the heroines spiritual journey in life into a new fiction story, with once more an underlying message for those who read between the lines.This time the metaphorical meaning of darkness and light is the red thread in the book.

What inspired you to write this book?
I took my inspiration from the current situation in the world, combined with the metaphorical meaning of darkness and light in the broadest sense of the word. When writing the book I reflected on something I wrote. This resulted in the start of Loveable Light, a personal initiative, centered around the beautiful light we all harbor within called Love. The ultimate aim is to create more positive energy around the globe.

Please share an excerpt:
The following excerpt can be found in chapter 24. Jessie Golden, the heroine of the saga, is reading a speech a medium delivered in trance. This is a little part of that speech:

“What the world looks like today is the aggregation of combined intellectual capacity, resulting in a flow of good and bad energy, two needed extremes normally creating a balance in which we can learn and grow.

Transformation will only take place when one individual changes his or her way of life. This affects somebody else, who in turn influences yet another one, snowballing in a positive or negative direction.

Unfortunately the ball is rolling in the wrong way, with us getting caught up in a reality of jealousy, greed, power, war, hatred, violence and sorrow. Darkness is threatening to color our daily lives. Are we still able to turn this destructive trend around before the Earth decides to take its own measures to restore balance in an act of purification of the planet?”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I just published a new book called “A Whisper of Thoughts” in which I share more than 50 quotes about Love, Life and Self-Awareness, illustrated with pictures. I am working on three books in parallel! First of all The Prophecy, part 4 in the Jessie Golden Earth Series. Secondly another fiction book based on internet dating and the dangers it can entail (Unpredictable Affairs) and last but not least the final editing of my non-fiction work (Learn To Understand Your Original Self) based on my research in the paranormal world and my own supernatural experiences. Actually I wrote this book 3 years ago but was a bit hesitant to have it published due to the unusual content. Furthermore, I felt it needed some thorough editing to make it more easy to read and understand. The booking has some unusual drawings. With the latter you have to think of figures that I made in PowerPoint and visualize what I am trying to explain.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Already when I was about 10 years old. I received a postcard collection and started to write short stories with my sister Marianne during the summer holidays. When I went to the Gymnasium I did not have time anymore to continue writing. So I actually considered myself a writer when I started to write about my business encounters with men when working as a managing director for an affiliate of a US based finance company.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, I wish it was true. At the moment I work fulltime as a development and operations director for an international services and finance company. Since I only need 4-5 hours sleep at night, there is plenty of time after work to continue writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A fast paced story with an underlying message set in today’s fast moving business world, intertwined with the intangible world on the other side.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A fashion designer! Unfortunately the fashion academy wasn’t so thrilled with my designs so I ended up in the fast moving IT finance business world!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

I am inspired by a lot of things, but most in particular the current situation in the world, the increasing natural disasters, the theory of Quantum Physics, Munay-Ki and some amazing life stories of psychics I met. It all led to the Jessie Golden Earth Series and Loveable Light, an initiative I started when writing Darkness and Light. Through video’s and posts on my Facebook Page I aim to create more awareness about the increasing negative influx of energy around the globe and would like to encourage people to help the Earth experience more energy of positivity, light and love.

Annelies George was born on 4 August, 1964 in Bussum, After the gymnasium, she followed a one-year course as an international secretary in Amsterdam. Immediately afterward she started to work for a law firm, studying finance, management and law during the evening hours with the goal of becoming a lawyer herself. A move to a different town brought her into the fast IT world, where she was employed by GE Capital, marking the start of a successful career in the international IT Finance world. Due to the intensity of the job and long working hours, she abandoned her plans for a law degree. At the age of 30, she was appointed to Benelux managing director of a US based lease company, a rare phenomenon at the time, since few women were holding similar positions in the specific branch in the Netherlands. Thereafter she accepted a variety of EMEA and regional management and sales roles with Cisco, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard. Annelies still lives in Bussum and is taking care of her 83-year-old mother. She loves, among other activities, to paint and design necklaces when she is not writing. On occasion she likes to travel to discover new places and understand the different ways of living around the globe.

You can visit her at: 

Tuesday, September 10
Book featured at Review From Here

Wednesday, September 11
Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

Friday, September 13
Book featured at The Writer's Life

Monday, September 16
Book featured at As the Pages Turn

Tuesday, September 17
Book featured at Book Cover Junkie

Thursday, September 19
Guest blogging at Book Bloggin' Princess

Friday, September 20
Interviewed at A Title Wave

Tuesday, September 24
Guest blogging at She Writes

Wednesday, September 25
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish

Thursday, September 26
Interviewed at Straight From the Author's Mouth

Friday, September 27
Book featured at Read My First Chapter
Read More »

Friday, September 20, 2019

Book Feature: MALL by Pattie Palmer-Baker

Pattie Palmer-Baker
* Dystopian *

Title: MALL
Author: Pattie Palmer-Baker
Publisher: Del Sol Press
Pages: 272
Genre: Dystopian

A Novel by Pattie Palmer-Baker Winner of the Del Sol Most Promising Novel, 2017
MALL is a sparkling alternate world where everyone is beautiful, employed with enough income to consume and to experience a myriad of pleasures including drugs, gambling, theater, holographic adventures. No poverty and little or no crime. A lot of sex.

But what about the Mall Code? And what happens when Sara, a 21st century woman, accidentally finds her way into this alien yet familiar world? Nona, a MALL mental health practitioner treats Sara upon her arrival and goes against the Code to help her acclimate. Sara seems to be just what she needs, an antidote to Nona’s secret and growing boredom.

At first Sara desperately wants to get home, and, as she seeks a way out as well as answers about her new reality, Nona begins to see MALL in a new light. Is abundant gratification enough?

Things aren’t all beauty and pleasure. Sara experiences dancing in a dangerous orgiastic dance club on a lower level. She attends a gambling session where people bet on living more years when their “number’s up” and a “passing ceremony,” where Mallites are supposedly resurrected into a new life.
Junkers, outsiders lurking on the fringes of MALL, have been fighting Mall Management’s control by creating increasingly dangerous disturbances. For years they have struggled to discover an exit, based on rumors of those who made it Outside and were never heard from again. Through them Sara and Nona meet someone who might help them escape. They both must make the choice that will change their lives forever.

Who will risk leaving and who will decide to stay?

MALL by Pattie Palmer-Baker was recently published by Del Sol Press and winner of the Del Sol Press Most Promising Book, 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-9998425-5-3.


What a suspenseful journey Mall was—a real “page-turner”-  imaginative with firm command of psychological expression and dialogue! Pattie Palmer-Baker captures some of the sexual contradictions, insecurities, and darker motivations of her female characters, and the complex relationships between women. The “surface” allusions to sex and violence throughout the story line work well with the superficial world she describes. Sex all the time—and yet, really, not much explicit writing about actual sexual encounters—the same for violence. This tension of content and form works well for me. What gives pleasure? What gives pain? The many hallways and mirrored rooms give the setting a creepy fun-house effect and increase the sense of a closed world and claustrophobic doom. Her descriptions of the Mallites’ physical appearances and their individual choice of costume in this strange place is creative—a breath of lightness in this frank examination of our quandary about the meaning of freedom in an existential existence. What is real? I was “on the run” with Sara for the entire read! And what a turn at the end!
— Cathy Cain, Portland poet and artist




“I want to be clear, Natalie: are you saying that you’re having sex with this man more often than the Code dictates unless pair-bonded?” Nona asked, fidgeting slightly.
Natalie nodded, red curls bobbing. “Sometimes. The sex is good, but that’s not why I seek out his company. I can’t find the words to ...”
Puzzled, Nona stopped listening. Was Natalie trying to say the sex was not good enough to pair-bond? If that were the case, any Mental Health Practitioner would know how to remedy it. If Natalie’s actions weren’t against Mall’s Code, Nona would interrupt and tell her. Surprisingly, this restriction pressed on her in an unfamiliar manner, a physical pressure in the area just above her stomach, like the sting she sometimes felt when she adminned a dart. But relief would have to wait.
Natalie’s voice dropped again to almost a whisper. “You won’t tell, will you? That we have sex secretly? Or that we meet to talk in one of our quarters?”
Nona’s interest quickened. “No, anything you say in here is protected by client/patient confidentiality. May I ask why you meet in your rooms when that also is expressly forbidden?”
“Are you sure you won’t reveal anything I say to you?”
“Yes. Please know, Natalie, that even if I wanted to, Mental Health Practitioners cannot.”
“We meet, well, to talk about what he believes is wrong with Mall.” She paused to search Nona’s face. “Okay, I’ll tell you the part that you can never tell: he’s a Junker.”
The confession stunned Nona into silence. Never before had any of her clients divulged such a shocking fact. Before she could speak, as suddenly as it had been happening so often in the last few weeks, the lights went out. “I do apologize. You probably have also experienced this annoying event too many times. Usually the lights go...” Light flooded the room at that moment. “See, no harm done, and I will add two extra minutes to your session.” Nona inched up in her chair to look more closely at Natalie. “I confess that I am taken aback by your admission that you’ve been meeting with a Junker. Of course, I will not reveal this, but I can’t understand why. We all know that Junkers are causing the disturbances occurring throughout Mall. How do you feel about pursuing this strange relationship with someone who belongs to this group?”
“I admit I find it troubling. But not so much that ... Oh I don’t know what to do!” She wrung her hands and lowered her head.
Nona was at a loss. Most of her clients wanted to revitalize all kinds of things, from virtual reality rock climbing to interactive story creation and, most often, sexual experiences. Except for Natalie, the complaint was the same for everyone: the experience lacked novelty, and the client wanted to rekindle the thrill. And strange, wasn’t it, that the boredom Nona felt when she listened to the repetitive and stale grievances was for her a symptom of the same problem? The only subject she did find interesting was clients’ fear of death, but most refused to discuss it in much detail. All she had to go on was body language—those subtle, involuntary physiological effects revealing intense discomfort. If only she could persuade them to go into detail, but that, too, would be against the Code. Never insist that someone talk about a subject that would make the speaker uncomfortable, and that even included Mental Health Practitioners. She certainly did not feel bored with Natalie. Excited and, yes, a little scared. Not only did Natalie know a Junker, she had a relationship with him. What should she do? She wished she could discuss with her colleague and former pair-bond, Royce.
Suddenly, the entry gong sounded, startling her out of her train of thoughts. Natalie gasped, rising from her chair. “God of Reincarnation, am I in trouble?” She fell back into her chair when the door slid open and a black-and-silver uniformed man strode in.
“Pardon me, may I ask why you are here?” Nona asked, stepping back. She seldom encountered a Finance Policeman.
“Your presence is required soon at a Mall Management meeting,” he announced in a deep, authoritarian voice.
“Please excuse me. I am confused—why me? Mental Health Practitioners never attend those meetings.”
“They do not inform me about the subject of their meetings. Even if I did know, I would not divulge it.”
“Yes, of course,” she hastened to reassure him. “I have never been to Level 100, so please, can you tell me when and where to go?”
“Not necessary. I will return and accompany you at the appointed time.” He spun around and out the door.
Natalie sighed audibly. “Oh, God of Reincarnation, I thought somehow you had alerted the Finance Police about my code violation.”
“No, as I said, I would not and cannot. Please continue.”
“I wonder what the meeting will be about.” Natalie looked over at the door. “I’m afraid for my friend ...”
Nona interrupted. “Please excuse me for cutting in. You said friend. Do you have a heart- friend contract with him?”

“No—I would, but he refuses because…I don’t think I want to talk about this anymore.”

Nona quashed the desire to try to persuade her. “Do you have anything else to discuss? Our meeting is drawing to a close.”

“Sort of. At work, Delta stole one of my ideas. I planned on letting Stan know because I earned the extra credit …”

Again Nona’s attention veered away. What was this meeting she was summoned to? Was it about the disturbances? Just the other day her office went dark twice, both times during sessions, and one of the blackouts lasted a half hour. The next words out of Natalie’s mouth snagged her attention.
“Delta must have heard or seen him enter my quarters. She red-mailed me into keeping silent about her creative theft in trade for her not revealing that Code violation. To make it worse, she overheard him tell me before entering my room the date for the Junker’s next meeting. He wanted me to attend.”

Nona shifted in her seat. What should she do? How could she help her? “I, as your Mental Health Practitioner, would not want you to take such a risk. If you are experiencing curiosity, I can prescribe something that will eliminate that undesirable feeling—have you heard of the new pharm, Freedomfrum?” Before she could stop herself, Nona asked, “Did your friend tell you where the meeting would be?”

“Thank you for the offer of the pharm prescription. I really don’t need it. It’s not exactly curiosity. I just can’t explain it. I do have an idea where they’ll meet: somewhere on one of the lower Levels.” She raised her head abruptly. “Why do you want to know?”

Why was a good question. Was it because she wanted to be a proper Mallite and report this meeting? No, that wasn’t it. She couldn’t, anyway. Did she want to meet a Junker? Was that what she really wanted? No one knew who they were or where they met. What was this unusual tenseness she was feeling? Strangely, it was not unpleasant. The chance to talk with a Junker excited her—that was it—a feeling she had not experienced for a very long time.       

Before Nona could answer, an alert gong sounded, followed by a loud voice announcing, “Mall Emergency! You are the MHP on call. Guards will contact you in thirty seconds.” Nona stood abruptly and said, “Please excuse me, Natalie; it would be best if you left at once. We can schedule another appointment later.”

“Oh, God of Reincarnation, a Mall Emergency! I’ll leave immediately,” Natalie said, voice shaking. She scurried to the opening door and hurried out.


Pattie Palmer-Baker is a recognized award-winning artist and poet. Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest. Locally and nationally she has won numerous awards for her art and poetry.

An accomplished poet, Pattie had been nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in many journals including Calyx, Voicecatcher, Military Experience the Arts, Minerva Rising and Phantom Drift. In 2017 she earned first prize in the Write to Publish contest, and in 2019 she won first, second, and the Bivona prize in the Ageless Poetry contest.  She has served as the poetry co-editor for VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices and visions.

Del Sol Press awarded MALL first prize for the most promising first novel in 2017.

Pattie lives in Portland, Oregon with her beloved husband and rescued dachshund.

Her website is

You can follow her at Facebook at
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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Blog Tour & Interview: The Witch Port Video Game by Leonard Bassed

Leonard Bassed
* YA *

Author: Leonard Bassed
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 108
Genre: YA

Leonard Bassed had no plan to write a novel titled THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME when he set out to create a movie script with a similar name.  “I had written the pilot script first and I kept the same ending for the novel…everything from the script I wrote found its way into the finished book version of ‘The Witch Port Video Game,’ said writer-singer-actor Leonard Bassed.  “I was able to spend more time developing the characters and their world…the whole thing was just such an organic experience and extremely enjoyable, creative for me.”

THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME tells the story through the lives of three ordinary teens who live in the fictional town of Cradle Creek, USA – a small town they hope to one day escape, attracted by the bright lights and promise of the Big City.  All three are students at a prestigious performing art school with hopes of one day making names for themselves in the entertainment world.

Mr. Bassed continued about his story, “A chance encounter the three have with a girl named Bianca Morris threatens to derail their plans. Bianca introduces them to an enticing video game, ‘The Witch Port Video Game’.  This encounter, coupled with the arrival of the MacQuoid brothers sets in motion a series of bizarre events that spins their lives into chaos and disarray as the three head into a world of sorcery with an ultimate fight for survival.”

As a young boy growing up in South Africa, Leonard dreamed one day of working in the arts.  He wanted to write, to act, to sing.  While drawn to acting and song writing, he was also a good story teller.  “The auditions I would go out for as an actor were never reflective of the kinds of roles I was after to play. It was this realization that led me to writing the pilot script which I planned to pitch to TV and movie producers.  But, once I finished the script I’d grown too attached to the characters and the wonders of their world that ultimately led the script into the shape of a full novel,” he went on to say.


“While the book’s final moments leave us with a rather sudden, enigmatic ending, an end note does indicate a sequel Witch Port Igniting the Coven on the horizon. For those who enjoy the entertaining literary chemistry that results from inquisitive teens and their foray into the mysterious world of sorcery, Bassed’s venture should prove an intriguing reveal.”
–Pacific Book Review

“Filled with cheeky references to famous pop-culture stories of sorcery and mixed with some classic teenage angst, this book is a fast-paced, suspenseful story. The novel’s premise that some teenagers gain special powers through a video game is an updated, modern take on magic and suits the story quite well for a 21st-century setting. The author sets up the story mechanisms so that everything that happens through the students’ video game play also happens in real life. The author states that this novel was originally a screenplay, and those elements shine through, from the descriptive settings to the fast pace in which the action occurs on the page. It will be interesting to see how the protagonists grow with their powers in the sequel.”
–The U.S. Review of Books

Book can be purchased at the author’s web site at 


“I begin to hear an eerie chant being recited in unison as the first three naked women make it to the dark summit. Holding long, makeshift brooms, in their right hands, they chant: “Drink the flight broth, wood in hand. Burn the root ...” An elderly woman with lanky hair picks up the goblet, takes a sip of its contents, and inhales the smoke of an already burning smudge stick. The chanting continues: “Then dive from the cliff...” This is perhaps the most startling scene I’ve ever witnessed. The woman runs off the edge of the cliff, seemingly to plummet to her death, but I hear “Not by wind nor by wings, airborne sisters thou shall soar.” Suddenly, the woman who vanished off the cliff reappears, hovering in mid-air on a broom. She begins cackling, and the louder her cackles, the higher she floats. Soon a host of other women mimic her actions, cackling into the night air.” – By Leonard Bassed

        This is one of my favorite excerpts from my novel, ‘The Witch Port Video Game’ because of the imagery it conjures.
        My novel begins with Martin’s recollection of a vision he once had. In the vision women are seen diving of a cliff and flying on their brooms, true to the stereotypical portrayal of witches in the media and western folklore.
        The women are depicted inhaling something resembling a smudge stick this leaves the reader unsure whether they’re indeed flying or having some sort of hallucinogenic experience brought on by the smoke.


Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a singer/songwriter and actor so when I’m not writing I spend my time in studio, recording my music or simply getting my ideas down.  Auditioning for various theatric projects and commercials or taking class.

When did you start writing?

I’ve written all my life mainly for my own enjoyment. I’d start off with the best of intentions but would lose steam, up until now I couldn’t find subject matter that really resonated with me as profoundly as The Witch Port Video Game does. The whole thing came to me fully formed as though it were the book I were always meant to write.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When I initially adapted the pilot script into a novel I did so with the intention to self-publish. I had the realization that the book would turn out to be exactly what I wanted it to be; there was something so satisfying in that for me.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

This is a hard question because I enjoy traveling in general. Ideally, I’d love to write at any coastal or cabin setting, I’ve glamourized the idea of being secluded with nothing to do but write. I’d also love to visit Amsterdam again, but I doubt I’d get much writing done.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

In a perfect world I’d respond by saying I’d write, but I have so much administrative things to do outside of my craft I’d probably choose to tackle that.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I would like to set my next book in a fictional town that I’ve yet to coin.

Back to your present book, (The Witch Port Video Game), how did you publish it?

I chose to self-published my novel, I wanted to maintain full creative control.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

It was my traveling that sparked the idea to write my novel, but I only began the writing process when I returned home to South Africa from Los Angeles, California, USA. I was fortunate enough to participate in a Baltic tour seeing much of Europe a few years prior and all these experiences served to enrich my writing.

Why was writing The Witch Port Video Game so important to you?

I was an out of work actor when I wrote the pilot script; the projects I’d audition for weren’t reflective of the roles I hoped to book. This realization led me to write The Witch Port Video Game pilot, but upon its completion I was hooked and knew I had to carry on writing, at that point I was too invested.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I get my best ideas every time I’m isolated from the outside world, whether I’m out in nature or somewhere where communication with me is limited. I’m an introvert so I guess that’s when I feel most comfortable, and when you calm and in your element that’s when creativity flows.

Any final words?

In closing I’d like to thank you for this interview, much appreciated. For more on my book please head over to my website

Writer-actor-singer Leonard Bassed was born in the town of Middleburg, Mpumalanga and raised in Johannesburg.  He started taking vocal lessons at age eight and studied drama throughout his high school years.  A mentor encouraged him to pursue an acting career.  Leonard went on to complete acting classes in both South Africa and later Los Angeles.  Currently, when not writing or singing, Leonard continues to study acting techniques with the renowned Margie Haber Studio in Hollywood. In his free time, he enjoys travel, reading and movie going.


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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Book Blast! THE LOVE MAP by Jeannie Daly-Gunter #thelovemap @couplesseminars

Jeannie Daly-Gunter, MA
* Self-Help *

Author: Jeannie Daly-Gunter
Publisher: Phoenix Rising Press
Pages: 232
Genre: Self-Help

If you aren’t growing together in your relationship, you are likely growing apart. The Love Map: Reignite, Reconnect and Repair Your Relationship, gives couples a blueprint to help navigate the inevitable ups and downs of love. This book is a practical guide, an engaging story, and a workbook. Unlike many of the psychological relationship books on the market today, The Love Map is a compelling ‘teaching story’.  This story follows the marriage of the main characters, Taylor and Jaymie, as they work through an ongoing conflict that has been weighing them down for a year. Sophia, Taylor and Jaymie’s marriage counselor, guides the couple through ten sessions of relationship lessons, that ultimately supports the couple in working through their conflict. Along the way, the reader is encouraged to do the relationship exercises at the end of each chapter as “home play” along with Taylor and Jaymie. This comprehensive ‘self-help story’ is endearing, motivating and practical all at once.  In addition, there are links to workbook pages and videos to support couples in integrating the lessons in the book. The Love Map has been recommended by therapists and those in the personal growth industry as a powerful resource for couples wanting to deepen their connection and create a more conscious and meaningful relationship.





Can You Please Just Listen?!

Sophia waited until they were settled on the couch before she continued. “During our first session, I like to take some time for us to get to know each other. I know this is a big deal for you to reach out for support, and I’m honored that you have chosen to work with me. Did you watch the intro videos, and do you have any questions for me before we dive in?” 

Taylor squirmed a bit. “Well, I’m wondering how long this is going to take and if it’s really going to work.” 

Jaymie shot him a did-you-have-to-say-that look?

Sophia smiled. “That’s a fair question. Based on my experience, I recommend starting with ten sessions. That gives us a chance to create a really strong foundation of understanding and essentials for helping you communicate better, learn how to deal with conflicts over time, and experience what it’s like to work through some issues. Some couples need more sessions than that to start with, and it’s something we can check in around along the way. You can also stop at any time if you feel like this isn’t for you. Some couples prefer to meet in a long-weekend intensive and some couples like to pace this out over time.”

“That makes sense,” said Jaymie, wanting to get off to a smoother start. “I like having homework between sessions, so doing this over time makes sense to me. You know, I would love just a bit more clarity on the differences between coaching and therapy, just so we know what to expect.” 

“Sure,” said Sophia. “I know we talked a bit about this on the phone, but basically I combine a lot of approaches based on what you need. In a nutshell, coaching looks more toward what you want to create in the future, while counseling or therapy excavates some of the underlying emotional undercurrents of your present conflicts. Although a lot of couples get stuck in conflict, I think it’s equally important to keep putting proactive energy into our relationships. There is a saying I heard once that, ‘If you’re not growing, you’re dying.’ I believe that is really true in love. I’d say that most couples let their relationship flat-line at some point. They’re too busy or too stressed out dealing with work and family to tend to their love. I like to think of my work as a ‘jump-start’ to help couples reinvigorate their love again.” 

“I like that,” said Jaymie. “I think you’re right, sometimes we do get too busy with other things we think are more important than our relationship. That’s weird isn’t it?”
“Unfortunately,” said Sophia, “I see it all the time. There are three main reasons couples come to see me. They need to repair a conflict or betrayal, they feel emotionally disconnected and they are growing apart, or they want to breathe love back into their relationships. Successful couples are always doing ongoing work to repair, reconnect, and reignite their love. 

After this introduction, Taylor and Jaymie took turns explaining their perspectives on their main conflict and how they had been arguing about the same thing for a year. Taylor began to warm up to Sophia and feel more engaged in the process. 

“We love each other and want to work through this; we just aren’t sure how,” concluded Taylor

Jaymie sighed, “Yeah, we just aren’t getting anywhere with resolving this and it’s turned into a yelling match at times.”



Jeannie Daly-Gunter, MA is an author, speaker, relationship coach, seminar leader and Co-Founder of The Transformative Loving® Institute. She has facilitated personal and professional development programs for over 25 years. Jeannie and her husband Mark have committed to walking the path of their relationship as a personal and spiritual growth path. Their passion is to support other couples on that path, and help them to create the extraordinary relationship they really want. They combine various modalities in the healing arts, rites of passage, and psychology, to create a powerful container for couples to do their healing work together. Jeannie and Mark make their home near the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Boulder, Colorado.



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