Four More Words (Author Interview)

1.     What inspired you to write a love story set against the backdrop of academia and anthropology? How do you think Christine's career shapes her as a character?

-I chose a romance novel with characters that are deeply academic because I wanted their conversations to be wrapped in a shared love for education. It shapes the way they behave and influences the way they speak to each other. Christine’s background in anthropology makes her see the world in a different way than the average person would. She’s more aware of the behaviors and connections between people. She’s better at observing and analyzing her family and friends and even Declan. She sometimes wishes she wasn’t so good at reading people because she is more aware of peoples’ behavior and motives, even when she doesn’t want to know what they’re thinking.

2.      The book starts with Christine slipping on ice. How does this seemingly minor incident act as a catalyst for the story that unfolds?

-Christine slipping and hitting her head on the ice connects her to Declan instantly because not only does he carry her off to safety, but he has experienced similar head injuries in his past. Throughout the story, head injuries seem to pull Christine and Declan toward each other.

3.     Declan Price is introduced as the best friend of Christine's twin brothers. What made you decide on this particular relationship dynamic between him and Christine?

-I chose to have Declan in Christine’s past as her twin brothers’ best friend because I wanted Declan to have reasons to be around Christine even when she doesn’t want to be around him. I also wanted them to have a history that connects their lives.


4.     Your book delves into the conflicts of career vs. love. How did you approach writing about such a deeply personal and often divisive issue?

-It was easy to write about Christine’s determination to focus on her career in anthropology because she’s never been in a relationship before. She doesn’t personally know how impactful a relationship can be. To her, relationships are a complication because that’s all she’s known. Her parents divorced when she was younger, so a relationship seems more like baggage than romance. But Declan inserts himself into her life and relates with her through their similarities. He loves linguistics and culture, just like she is intrigued by cultural anthropology. Their careers bring them together and Declan is able to show her that a relationship can be just as important as a career. And if she lets him in, she’ll see that love can become more important than a career.

The Blue Zone (Author Interview)

Your novel, "The Blue Zone," captures the essence of a decaying American city once known for its blues music. What inspired you to set the story against this musical backdrop?

I wanted the reader to feel like the city is a character in the story, a presence that would permeate on each page, and I thought music was a way to bring that out.

Mayor Candace Washington is an intriguing character - young, ambitious, and gifted in so many ways. What were the influences behind crafting such a multi-dimensional protagonist?

The image of a strong, African American woman having to go head-to-head in a world of men pulling the strings was one of the first I had when thinking about the book. I kept picturing someone like Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State. Someone tough as nails, resourceful, and perhaps does not always play by everyone else’s rules.

The idea of creating a ten-block square area, The Blue Zone, where crime is virtually non-existent is an ambitious vision. Is this concept rooted in any real-life initiatives, or is it purely a work of fiction?

It’s loosely based on the campaign to lower crime in New York City in the 1990s. Of course, nothing like the Blue Zone was tried back then, but the idea of trying to deter any and all crimes in a given area was an intriguing one. But the actual concept of the Blue Zone in the book is entirely from my imagination.

Through your book, you touch upon issues of urban decay, racial dynamics, politics, and the healing power of music. What do you hope readers will take away from these intertwined themes?

That there is hope for American cities. The problems in the book can be found in many cities across the United States. So much division. I needed something that could unite people beyond politics and racial issues. Music is something everyone can relate to.

Epic Adventures of Bond James Bond: THE PURSE DOG CHRONICLES: Book One (Epic Adventures of Bond James Bond THE PURSE DOG CHRONICLES 1)

"Epic Adventures of Bond James Bond: The Purse Dog Chronicles" is a captivating collection that invites you into the enchanting world of Bond, the suave pit bull with a penchant for turning everyday moments into extraordinary escapades.

In these heartwarming tales, Bond takes you on a journey through life with one of his many trusty purses in his mouth and a mischievous glint in his eyes. From hilarious misunderstandings that lead to uproarious laughter, to acts of heroism that remind us of the power of compassion, Bond's stories are a delightful blend of wit, wisdom, and pure canine charm.

In "Epic Adventures of Bond James Bond," you will witness Bond's encounters with a colorful cast of characters, his reflections on life's simple pleasures, and his uncanny ability to find adventure in the everyday. With each tale, Bond offers a unique perspective on the world, reminding us to embrace the magic of the present moment.

Inspired by the timeless wisdom of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince," Bond's stories capture the essence of connection, the significance of cherishing each passing moment, and the joy of sharing life's joys with those we hold dear.

Join Bond as he embarks on journeys that are both epic and endearing, reminding us that even the smallest actions can create ripples of joy, laughter, and love. "Epic Adventures of Bond James Bond: The Purse Dog Chronicles" is a must-read for dog enthusiasts, dreamers, and anyone who seeks a delightful escape into a world where imagination knows no bounds.

Prepare to be captivated by Bond's tales of courage, companionship, and undeniable charm. Order your copy of "Epic Adventures of Bond James Bond: The Purse Dog Chronicles" today and discover the magic that unfolds when a dashing dog named Bond takes center stage in a world brimming with laughter, love, and unforgettable moments.

The Eldridge Pact

When people lose their freedom, humanity will fall. We never anticipated that it could happen, but the second that our technology began to feel-We were already beat. Nobody knows that better than Abigail Harrison- A lower class orphan of Eldridge. People like her are born to serve the higher ups. The androids. Abigail grew up getting used to the idea that nothing could ever change. She made peace with that fact. That is, until everything began to unravel, starting with herself.

Turnaround (Author Interview)

What was your primary inspiration behind writing "Turnaround"?

It has been years since I have been involved in the Angolan conflict. Even though I tried to put some of the events behind me, I struggled with some of the darker chapters and decided I will write this story, based on true events, in an attempt to find closure.

The scene described in your description paints a vivid and emotional picture. How did you approach writing such a gripping opening?

I just closed my eyes and re-lived the event that would haunt me even to this day…

The main theme seems to revolve around the internal battle between good and evil. How do you personally define this dichotomy?

In certain situations, as in an armed conflict, it is not always easy to differentiate between good and bad. I had to create an environment to define the two concepts from my captured perspective in order to regain the balance needed to make the paradigm shift from evil to good.

Joe Zeiler and Sam Haines come together to maintain their faith in life. Can you discuss their dynamic and how it drives the story forward?

Joe brought a sense of adventure and he was a bit of an enigma who longed for normality while Sam provided stability in a world conducive to bring around the repair both sought to stabilise their lives.

Who is the "man who believed that good can conquer evil"? Without giving away too much, can you hint at his role and significance in the story?

If you had no hope at all to conquer evil, what is the purpose of living in a world wrought with evil? The person in Turnaround perpetrated acts of violence and witnessed gross injustices and due to his experiences, he could instill the belief that all is not lost - that love and trust are what is needed to conquer evil.

The book blurb mentions a force that could drive someone to commit a heinous act against their loved ones. How did you research or develop this concept?

You live it - you carry it….

How did you approach writing the emotional and psychological turmoil experienced by the characters, especially in the face of such intense challenges?

Every emotion, every fear, every little victory, all the countless little prayers and every setback contributed to describe a roller-coaster ride of emotions in an effort to successfully cope with every intense challenge and situation. I threw everything together and hoped that the emotional and psychological warfare going on in each besieged mind would level out in order to regain sanity.

BASH: Love, Madness, and Murder

Ashley Roper, Afghanistan War combat veteran, is now a writer and tabloid publisher in Charleston, SC. The nearby Blakemore Anderson State Hospital (BASH) for the criminally insane, is offering up a rich variety of potentially juicy stories including an escaped murderer, a patient released by a jury, the violent murder of a staff member, and illicit drugs finding their way through the barbed wire perimeter of BASH.

Ash decides to investigate from the inside, but through a series of unforeseen circumstances, ends up trapped in the hospital as a patient. Ash's headstrong wife Sally J and her lawyer buddy and former lover Roswell take on the system to try and spring Ash. The romantic and legal sparks fly inside and outside of BASH on a hot July Fourth weekend. A roadside cafe owner, a charming weather forecaster, a meth cooking biker, a crooked cop, a homicide detective, battling lawyers, and a variety of incompetent bureaucrats cross paths in this engaging and dramatic adventure.

Bartos writes with an accomplished flair resulting in a relaxed read, his words flow easily creating memorable and engaging characters. Gritty and very realistic, BASH by Mike Bartos is highly recommended =Artisan Book Reviews

"Bartos' sharp writing is fast-paced and packed with detail..."

"An intriguing premise..." -Kirkus Indie,- a service of Kirkus Reviews

..."with themes that echo One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and quirky, hard-bitten characters reminiscent of Elmore Leonard's." -Blue Ink Review

"BASH is an enthralling read"
"Darkly comic and hair raising..." 
Napa Valley Register

"Bartos maintains a high level of reader interest by introducing numerous intriguing elements."
"Readers will be compelled to read onward and will be rewarded..." 
-Clarion Review

Gloriously satiric while simultaneously real, magnificently written, Bartos turns up the heat in a novel that conflagrates and sparks. 

Bartos surest gift is a Tarantino-esque ability to find abstract humor amidst contextual brutality.
BASH is a strong showing from a new fiction author 
Palmetto Review

“Vivid and immediate writing.”
“I really liked 
BASH; it’s a great story…”
“…hugely exciting…

Night Train to the Dakotas

By age seventeen, Colton Andreassen had lost both of his parents. Growing up in Hawaii, he had a traumatizing relationship with his mother and had a distanced connection with his father. The damage of his life is about to predicate a life of pain and misery. That is, if nothing is done to heal the wounds. His father, right before he passes, bestows upon Colton a dying wish: travel by train from Portland, Oregon to Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. What ensues is an unforgettable journey that encompasses the magic and beauty of the West. As the sleeper progresses deeper into the heart of America, Colton must confront the past and go within. This is an adventure full of unusual circumstances and vibrant characters. A coming of age story for all generations.

A Real Head Scratcher

Two fleas go on a dangerous yet slightly comedic journey for survival. They encounter new threats, new struggles and put their differences aside to live. They not only have to overcome the challenges they face but also their own inner wants and desires, questioning themselves and each other. Will the two flea brothers, Tim and Nigel make it out alive? Get their happy ending? Settle? Or find a new place in the food chain?

Step Into The Magic

As you read this book, you and I will be unfolding together. We will be discovering what wants to emerge from the darkness into the light: your greatness and purpose, wrapped in a deep sense of love and respect for yourself and all of life. In order for this to come through you clearly, you must release the old patterns that are not of service and do not align with the truth of your brilliance. You are a unique expression of love and grace, and you are a gift to this world. From all this exploration and release there will arise a confidence that you can handle anything in life and a foundation of integrity that even the greatest of storms will not crumble. Your inner and outer lives will become congruent, giving your powerhouse of creative energy freedom to express and dream anew! Through these 12 chapters you will be guided to:*Release old unsupportive beliefs*Create new stories and beliefs to unfold the life of your dreams*Discover the peace within, stronger then any storm*Access your powerhouse of creativity*Align your heart, body, and mind with your genius*Create a relationship with life where all is your ally* Step into the Magic of abundance, integrity, love, purpose, and power! All through playful games, intriguing storytelling, transformational explorations, and insightful invitations towards living life full and free. 

Author Bio: Damion Sharpe is an author, actor, filmmaker, musician, improv-artist, and workshop facilitator. Curious from a young age, Damion began exploring meditation and the world of energy, spirituality and transformation. His deep connection with the earth and desire for peaceful existence has motivated him to follow a philosophy that incorporates play, humor, body awareness and depth. Today, he shares his unique understanding of the world with those who are inspired to lead the life they want to live. Discover the Workshops, Music, and Books:

The Lumen Caligo: Fallen (Author Interview)

The Lumen Caligo looks like a great book!  What can you tell us about it?

There are three types of people in the world. Those with white wings. Those with black wings. And those with none. Every 350 years a 4th is born called the Lumen Caligo. One side of his wings there is white. On the other side, there is black. Throughout time, the Lumen Caligo acted as a peacekeeper for all the nations, leading them to times of peace, prosperity, and power… Then, the Lumen Caligo of the 1600s mysteriously vanished at the brink of war between the nations. His last letter was something called “The Isolation Order". It requested that the nations return to their lands of origin. Fearing the destruction that could unfold and respecting the title of The Lumen Caligo, the nations returned to their lands and vowed to remain isolated from the rest of the world until the Lumen Caligo returned... On a sunset beach in California, a man sits in solitude... Not knowing the role he will play for the changing and shaping of the world…This is where our story begins.

The story follows a young wheel-bound boy by the name of Cyrus. A brilliant boy with two different colored eyes and overprotective guardian he affectionately calls Martian. Things change when he begins tutoring a young Hawaiian girl by the name of Auli’I and her father shows up demanding they return home to the forbidden island from which they came.


Any plans to turn it into a series?

Very much so. All 7 books were planned out while coming up with the idea. Now that the first book is out, the rest will quickly follow.


What motivated you to write the book?

The story has lived rent free in my mind for 14 years. It was either let it continually torment me with the ‘what if” or strap in my seatbelt and go for the ride.


How did you come up with the title for the book?

Light and darkness are a part of everybody’s life on this walk of life. My title ‘The Lumen Caligo’ translates from Latin to ‘the light and darkness’ or ‘the lighted darkness’. Light always wins out against the darkness. It is just the absence of light that darkness is allowed to thrive.


What inspired the idea for the book?

A multitude of things inspired ‘The Lumen Caligo’. To name a few though; my love of quality stories, dreams, being made fun of, my experiences in life, my travels across the world and curiosity of people overcoming challenges despite the odds being against them.


What challenges did you overcome in the writing this book? 

Knowing where to start. I know where I want it to arrive but starting and finishing tend to be the most difficult things of any project. Currently though … dealing with imposter syndrome.


If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours?

Watch my trailer and decide for yourself.


Where can readers find out more about your work? and any social media. Simply type in Lumen Caligo and you will find me hovering between the light and the darkness online.