Today I bring you an author spotlight for S. Faxon. She has one novel out now and another one due out next month!
Growing up in San Diego, S. Faxon always kept her eye on the horizon. Determined to experience adventure, S. Faxon left her home in California to attend university in New York City. While there, her imagination took flight and the characters in her world came to life on the page. She completed writing five full length original novels while receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at St. John’s University over a period of four years. Her stories take place in the same fictional world and revolve within twenty years of each other. Minor characters in some of her stories appear as main characters in others. S. Faxon believes that, like in real-life, everyone is connected and has a unique story worth telling.
S. Faxon’s first published novel, The Animal Court is available in paperback and e-book format on Amazon. In her writing career, she has completed fourteen full-length original novels and has seven more in the works. To learn more about the creative projects of S. Faxon, visit her website www.sfaxon.com.
S. Faxon is currently an administrator at an internationally acclaimed museum in her hometown, San Diego. In her previous career, she was an administrator in a human rights advocacy nonprofit at Columbia University in New York City, where she assisted in regional-political, social development programs in countries throughout the world. S. Faxon’s greatest desire is that her words provide for her readers an escape from their daily grind of nine to five.
The Animal Court
Published: October 7, 2017
The Animal Court transports you to a country on the verge of collapse. Realizing that he has been blinded by the advisors in his court, the country’s king turns to his brothers for aid, but rivalry among royal blood proves to provoke old hatreds. One crusader for the people remains, but as the only lady within the king’s court, no man is willing to listen. The infuriating stagnation in progress beckons the crusader Gertrude to retreat to her idyllic country life, if only to hide in the comforting arms of her own skeletons. However, she knows that unless she can help enact rapid and drastic changes to tame the beasts within their government, the country she loves will be lost to the animal court.
Foreign & Domestic Affairs
To Be Published: October 2019
Twenty years have passed since the failed revolution. Though iron hands fell to quell the passions of the masses, the fate of Vitenka is in jeopardy once again.
Whispers from abroad and shadows in their court threaten to dismantle all that the king and queen labored to rebuild. While mourning the unexpected death of their youngest son, Breyton and Gertrude are faced with the impossible decision of prioritizing their family or their thrones. With the eyes of their nation upon the royal couple, will the challenges that brought them together now tear them and their beloved Vitenka apart? Will the foreign and domestic affairs prove to finally usurp the great Malleus reign?
Today we are bring you an Author Spotlight for Bill Mathis and his two published novels. Kim will also be sharing her review on his newest novel, The Rooming House Diaries: Life, Love & Secrets. Mathis’ other novel Face Your Fears will also be featured.
Bill Mathis’ second novel, The Rooming House Diaries: Life, Love & Secrets was published in August 2019. Bill began writing after retiring from careers in YMCA camping and foster care. He lives with his partner overlooking a river in southern Wisconsin and writes, reads, volunteers and travels. His first novel, Face Your Fears, is about disability, LGBTQ and family. A companion to his second novel, The Rooming House Gallery: Connecting the Dots, is under contract to publish in June, 2020. A fourth novel, psychological mystery and crime in a farm family, is well underway.
The Rooming House Diaries: Life, Love & Secrets
Published: August 9, 2019
Six fascinating and touching diaries are discovered in an old rooming house that detail the lives of the owners and tenants spanning over a century of change in Chicago’s Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood. An unwed pregnant teen shows up; a teen from Paris, France appears, the result of a relationship during World War I; the first Mexican in the neighborhood is given a room and eventually inherits the place, his diary describes his young life running the streets in Tijuana, Mexico and how the rooming house served undocumented AIDS clients. The matriarch leaves a long-hidden diary that details her undisclosed life of brothels. Filled with love, life and family secrets, The Rooming House Diaries prove DNA does not always make a complete family.
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The author provided a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I’m very glad I read this book; it’s a lovely story with many interesting characters. I love multiple timeline historical fiction and The Diaries gave me that. So many stories from the same family made it easy to get to know them and become emotionally involved. I enjoyed reading each story and learning more from each writer.
I really don’t have too many criticisms except for two, and those are just based on personal preference. Mainly, it’s about ratios. I don’t have any problem with gay people, but you’ll have a hard time convincing me that there were that many gay people all in one circle of people like that. Plus, back through this many decades, I really don’t believe that this many people, even in the same family, were that progressive in their thinking. It just got a little unbelievable, especially at the end.
Other than that, the stories were engaging and I didn’t want to put the book down. Each writer added a little bit more info and a lot of their individual personalities. I’d like to believe that if modern society had this kind of connected family unit, we’d have fewer problems in the world. I really liked this book and would recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction, centered around people, as opposed to plot.
Face Your Fears
Published: July 14, 2018
Face Your Fears is filled with vitality as it challenges the traditional concepts of normalcy, family, disability and love. Nate is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy raised in a family of achievers. He must be fed, dressed and toileted, yet has unique skills and abilities he gradually becomes aware of. Jude is able-bodied, one of 10 children raised on a hardscrabble Iowa farm. He can change diapers, cook, fix equipment, milk cows, and discovers his vocation as a physical therapist. Both experience tragic teen-age losses, navigate family tragedies, and come to peace with who they are individually as gay men, and eventually together.
This book shows how normal comes wrapped in different packages, yet inside each package, people are the same, whether able-bodied, disabled, black, white, brown, green or LGBTQ+.
Today is publication day for her newest novel The Suspects, and today I bring you an author spotlight for Katharine Johnson:
Katharine Johnson was born in Bristol and now lives in Berkshire. She’s worked as a journalist on lots of magazines and has written a history book about Windsor. When not writing you’ll usually find her with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, restoring a house in Italy, walking her spaniel or playing netball (although not usually at the same time.)
Katharine’s New Novel:
Publication Day: Today, May 10, 2019
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Shallow Grave meets The Secret History in this quirky psychological thriller
Bristol, 1988. Five young graduates on the threshold of their careers buy a house together in order to get a foot on the property ladder before prices spiral out of their reach. But it soon becomes the house share from hell.
After their New Year’s Eve party, they discover a body – and it’s clear they’ll be the first suspects. As each of them has a good reason from their past not to trust the police, they come up with a solution – one which forces them into a life of secrets and lies. But can they trust each other?
Purchase The Suspects NOW.
A short Q&A with Katharine:
Why did you write The Suspects?
I love stories that involve a small group of people in a claustrophobic situation. The shared house gives my characters something they’re desperate to hold onto but that also traps them. They’re thrown together as almost strangers but suddenly have to depend on each other to stay ahead of the police – but they’re also increasingly worried about the enemy within. When it comes down to it, will they stick together as they’ve promised, or save themselves?
When did you start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed making up stories and wrote my first book aged nine. I’ve made a living out of writing as a journalist but I came back to writing fiction around ten years ago when my three children were all at school and I had a bit more time. I wrote some stories for magazines, got lots of rejections, wrote some more, got a few published and then I enrolled on a creative writing course and finally decided to have a go at writing a novel I’d been planning to write for years.
What do you find the hardest aspect of writing a novel?
I love the early bit – getting the ideas, seeing where the plot goes. I like the early revision too but going over the final manuscript is hard because I always see things I want to change and it’s so hard to spot your own silly mistakes.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Getting into the heads of different characters as they try and think their way out of a situation.
What do you like least about writing?
There aren’t enough hours in the day to keep on top of all the marketing and promotion while trying to write your next book. It all seems to take me much longer than everyone else!
What’s the best advice you’ve had about writing?
Keep going until the end of the first draft – it might be terrible but no one’s going to see it. Then when you’ve got to the end and have the whole picture you can worry about fixing things, putting in foreshadowing, hooks etc.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just finished Our House by Louise Candlish – it’s so brilliant I want to start all over again!
Katharine’s Other Novels
The Silence and The Secret are both set in a villa in Tuscany. Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings is a 1930s crime story. What links all of Katharine’s books is that they are about ordinary people who because of a bad decision find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Published: June 8 , 2017
Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle – and a secret that could destroy everything.
When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity.
In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.
Buy The Silence here.
Published: June 1, 2018
Love, Lies, and Betrayal in Wartime Italy.
Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences.
Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War, friendship is tested, and loyalties are divided until a chance encounter changes everything.
Their lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house in their Tuscan mountain village, while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher.
But neither marriage nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people’s lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind.
Decades later, a tragedy at the villa coincides with the discovery of an abandoned baby, whose identity threatens to re-open old wounds among the next generation.
Buy The Secret here.
Published: August 13, 2016
Nothing much has gone right for Jack since he graduated last year. His career has failed to take off, his fiancée has ditched him for someone with better prospects and now he’s received an invitation to their wedding. He dreads going to the wedding alone, surrounded by his high-achieving friends, so when he meets a beautiful girl who offers to accompany him he jumps at the chance.
But by accepting her invitation he finds himself drawn into a world of intrigue and murder.
Buy Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings here.