Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Vault by Brian Harrison

Why would a multibillionaire create a customized vault that is controlled by watch mechanics inside and have a self-destruct mechanism inside to destroy the billion dollars worth of artifacts inside?

Simple, because he can.

On paper, Sam Montgomery is your typical eccentric philanthropic pharmaceutical billionaire whom has literally mailed five dollars to everyone in the US so they can “pay it forward.” But what people didn’t know when made a rare public appearance was that he was announcing he had leukemia. And more shocking was that when he said, “I’d rather die than give my sister the opportunity to save my life,” no one even knew he had a sister.

Elena Diamante nailed the sit down interview – at his small home on the tiny island of Antikythera in Greece. She was only planning on getting the scoop about Sam and his apparently estranged sister but she was also going to be the first journalist to see inside Sam’s custom made vault. It was built using watch mechanics, so it was completely self-sustained, and only opened once a year. It was even rumored that if it were ever tampered with, everything inside would be destroyed in a custom acid.

Come to find out for Elena, there would be one item inside Sam’s vault that could save his life, or end it even quicker, it was just a matter of whether or not the vault would open in time.

The vault explores Sam’s family dynamics and how they inspired him to become the successful man he is. The story is also told using Sam’s own family photos growing up, as well as text messages and Facebook/Twitter. There are even hyperlinks within the novel as “Easter Eggs” for those readers that want to explore even more of Sam’s personal life, further blurring the lines of fact/fiction.

Silently in the night by Clayton Graham

A collection of tantalizing tales with more twists than braided hair:

Here you will find mystery, murder and mayhem – plus a moment of romance. All the stories will make you stop and think, even question your role in the world and the universe. Just what are we doing here, and where are we going? Easy questions with problematic answers.

This anthology of sixteen short and thrilling tales of unusual, extraterrestrial and conspiratorial stories is the latest compilation from Clayton Graham, the author of science fiction novels Milijun and the soon to come Saving Paludis. The characters in this eclectic collection are mostly ordinary people whose reactions to their fears and to unexpected events will have you guessing at every turn of the page.

This collection is intriguing reading which, among many other things, encourages the reader to:

Sympathize with a doomed husband and connect with an altruistic robot. Explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.

From the light-hearted to the darkest depths of the human psyche you would be hard pressed not to find something to like about Silently in the Night.

Many different visions of the future are within these pages. And as a bonus, there is an excerpt from the soon to be published Saving Paludis, which introduces the reader to two of the principal protagonists in this tale from the edge of mankind’s known universe in the year 3898AD.

If you love mystery with a hint of the paranormal, and the interplay of human foibles, grab this smorgasbord of short stories then get yourself a copy of Milijun, the mind-bending sci-fi novel by Clayton Graham.


Cathy Lynn Brooks, Not My Story to Tell

My journey through grief: loving and losing a daughter with bi-polar disorder

Cathy Lynn Brooks spent her career working with children with special needs, but despite her professional experience, it was still heartbreaking for her to witness the challenges faced by her daughter, Justine.

Justine always reminded Cathy of Annie Oakley. She was fierce and protective of the vulnerable, but she was also plagued by her own troubles.

At a young age, Justine was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. As Justine grew up, she often made bad choices due to the traumas of her past and her mental illness. Through it all, Cathy never stopped loving her daughter.

In this revealing and powerful book, Cathy takes you back to the early days of Justine’s childhood and the events that led to her diagnosis. Cathy watched her daughter try time and again to change her life, amazed and awed by Justine’s persistence, courage, and compassion.

Cathy hopes that her daughter’s journey to a place of healing and peace will inspire others struggling with mental illness or caring for a family member with the same issues. She shows families that, while there are many obstacles on the road to better mental health, there are amazing joys waiting for you as well!

Amazon link:cid:E775FC0F-4CF6-4747-9EAD-1325827A662B@Home

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Brenda Mohammed’s book: I am Cancer Free

I am pleased to welcome Brenda Mohammed with some information about her book

Book Description:

Winner of Mc Grath House Indie Book Awards 2016 in the category Best Non-Fiction. I am Cancer Free – A Memoir, is a touching and emotional true story of a woman’s battle with ovarian cancer.

The killer disease threatened her life and financial well- being.

Her strong faith in God saw her through all the trials she had to undergo.

Five-Star Review of ‘I am Cancer Free’ by Brenda Mohammed.

I Am Cancer Free by Mrs. Brenda C. Mohammed is the poignant memoir of the author’s personal battle with cancer. Her faith in God and proving that ovarian cancer need not be a death sentence are what make this memoir a heartrending read. The author’s ‘never say die’ attitude, the decision not to give up in life, and finally being cancer-free will encourage everyone who has been diagnosed with the disease or who has suffered from cancer. The memoir recounts from the time of diagnosis the experiences the author went through during the treatment, her emotions, fears, finances, until the successful treatment of the disease.

It is a courageous story of survival, faith, and strength. 

The author chronicles every step of her journey methodically, without leaving anything out, making the narration very personal, honest, and palpable to readers. The presence of God in everyone’s life, a positive attitude, and the power of prayers run through the memoir. The author reiterates the fact that faith in God removes all obstacles in life. The conversational style of writing connects well with readers, making it easy for them to understand her journey. The author has also shared the poems she wrote during that phase in her life, where she again speaks about her story, faith in the Lord, and a Higher Power. For all those who are suffering from cancer and are battling the disease, this book is a must-read as it will give them hope, strength, and courage to fight the disease.

The book is available at Amazon:


Brenda Mohammed, a former banker, is an award-winning, multi-genre writer and a cancer survivor. In 2013, Brenda wrote her first book, “I am Cancer Free”, after her near death experience with cancer. She wanted to tell the world that cancer is not a death sentence, but a battle that you have to fight and win. Her travel opportunities, thanks to her banking job, has helped Brenda with the creative process of an author. Her book “Travel Memoirs with Pictures: Exploring the world” is a travelogue compiling her picturesque travels around the globe. Brenda is blessed with a supportive family and acknowledges friends who have encouraged her throughout her life and her writing career.

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A sampler of all my books – In Their Own Words

Once in a while, I have a really good idea. It doesn’t happen all that often, but it is always pleasing when it does. And especially when I still think it is a good idea a few days later.

I had one recently – to create a ‘taster’ book for potential readers to enable them to see if they were interested in buying any of my books. I wrote a very brief introduction and then showed the cover, table of contents and two pages from three or so chapters from each book.

My working title was ‘my book of books’, but I asked around for something better. My daughter-in-law came up with “In Their Own Words”, since all my books consist of people discussing their lives in their own words. Voila, it was done.

This is particularly useful when you write books which are very different from one another, as I do.

A few author friends concurred that it was a good idea and one copied it to develop her own book of books.

You will find a free copy on the cover of my website Feel free to download it and see what you think.


What is unique about my books?

Yesterday, I was interviewed by an author website run by Fiona McVie about my writing.  Here is the full interview

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie. Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

76 (in one week)

Fiona: Where are you from?

I never know how to answer that question. I was born in the US (Washington DC), spent my teen years in New York City, but married an Englishman and have lived in London since 1968.

Fiona: A little about your self (education, family life etc.).

I went to a mid-Western university and then took a ‘junior year abroad’ to London. There, I met an Englishman who I subsequently married and my life trajectory changed completely. After a period in the US, we moved to London, had two children and now also have two grandsons. We have been married 54 years and are closer and happier than ever.

I worked as a social researcher for many years, first in an academic setting, then a policy institute, and finally for myself, i.e. freelance. I particularly loved working for myself – I was a researcher/writer/editor/thinker for hire, which was a constant challenge as every job was a new one. I learned a great deal throughout.

Somewhere along the line, I did a PhD at the London School of Economics, so I am officially Dr Richardson, although I rarely use the title.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I was writing in every job I ever had, but especially as a researcher, where I needed to write up the results of interviews and other investigations. My first book was published by Routledge Kegan Paul in 1982, on the concept of public participation, a somewhat extended version of my PhD thesis.

Since then, I have published 11 books, but only three are currently ‘live’.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

During my working life, I considered myself a social researcher and writer, but when I retired and concentrated solely on writing, I decided to call myself a writer if anyone asked.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Of my three current books, the first was published (by HarperCollins) in 1992. Wise Before their Time is about people living with AIDS/HIV when it was a life-threatening disease.

The idea came from a discussion with a good friend who was running an international conference for people with HIV/AIDS in London. We carried out interviews with over twenty participants, whose honesty about living with the stigma and other difficulties of the disease was incredibly moving. I have only very recently re-launched this book with a new cover.

Sir Ian McKellen wrote a Foreword in which he said “these true stories are as powerful as any great classic of fiction”. You can’t get a much better quote than that, in my view.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Those interviewed, most of whom were under 40, were coping with facing their own death, rather like much older people. They had a wonderfully positive attitude to enjoying whatever remaining life they had, which I found inspiring. The title seemed apt.


Apple iBooks, Kobo etc        

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I have a very particular style, because I write using passages from interviews, with only minor interjections from me (a bit like a TV documentary). All interviews are recorded and fully transcribed. Those interviewed, to whom anonymity is promised, invariably have important things to say – and say them clearly and often highly imaginatively. It makes reading each book feel like you are talking to a friend who is explaining something important to them in an honest and intimate way.

I have since published two further books in this style. One is about what it is like to work in end-of-life care, called Life in a Hospice (based on interviews with nurses, doctors and others working in hospices). This was published by Radcliffe Books in 2007 and was Highly Commended by the British Medical Association in 2008. It has a Foreword by the late Tony Benn, MP. I have recently re-launched this book, again with a new cover, and it is selling surprisingly well.


Apple iBooks Kobo etc         

The other is about what it is like being a grandmother, because I find it a fascinating status and not so much has been written about it. The book is called Celebrating Grandmothers and covers the joys and challenges of being a grandmother. It was independently published in 2014.


Apple iBooks, Kobo etc        

Fiona: Is there a message in your books that you want readers to grasp?

No one ever asked me this before, but yes, there is an underlying message that, whatever their circumstances, people are very much the same and experience the same joys, pain, irritations, anxieties etc as others.

I wrote Wise Before their Time to help readers to understand that people with AIDS were just ordinary men and women coping with very difficult circumstances and not dreadful monsters (as often portrayed at the time), as well as to help mothers whose sons were dying to understand that they were not alone.

I wrote Life in a Hospice for people to see what wonderful care can be provided by ordinary people put in the situation of looking after the dying.

I wrote Celebrating Grandmothers for people to see that grandmothers go through many of the same emotional highs and lows of love and disappointment as everyone else.

I have no idea whether any of my books achieved these aims, but I like to think so.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

At my age, you do not think in terms of careers – you think in terms of how you want to spend the rest of your life. I like writing and would like to write more before I am done. Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

I would encourage people to follow their heart. If you want to write romance or crime, you will do better financially as far as I can see, but if your heart lies in something not so popular, like literary fiction, go for it. You will feel much better in yourself, which is worth much more than the money.

My books might as well be literary fiction as they are not popular reads. On the other hand, I am exceedingly proud of – and fond of – each and every one of them, which means a lot to me. They are all on serious subjects and will help readers reflect on the nature of their lives.

To see the original version, go to×4