A Shifting of Stars by Kathy Kimbray

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: May 28th 2019

Summary:

A squandering emperor. A handsome stranger. A reluctant heroine. And the ancient magic that will capsize a kingdom.

Seventeen-year-old Meadow Sircha watched her mother die from the wilting sickness. Tormented by the knowledge that the emperor failed to import the medicine that would have saved her, she speaks out at a gathering of villagers, inciting them to boycott his prized gladiator tournament.

But doing so comes at a steep cost.

Arrested as punishment for her impulsive tongue, Meadow finds herself caught up in the kind of danger she’s always tried to avoid. After a chance meeting with an enigmatic boy, she’s propelled on a perilous trek across the outer lands. But she soon unearths a staggering secret: one that will shift her world—and the kingdom—forever.

Filled with longing and heart, surprise and wonder, A SHIFTING OF STARS is the first book in Kathy Kimbray’s gripping Of Stars trilogy.

 



AMAZON LINK: https://tinyurl.com/y63j45kg


CHAPTER ONE
I should not be here. I’m foreign to this village of broken rooftops and dull stone walls. I brush my fingers over a pillar. Its coldness burns my skin, makes me pause.
Go home.
The words sing loud like a taunt as moonlight slithers across my shoulders. The parchment digs like thorns in my palm. I imagine its shape, every fiber and ink blot.
Something moves near my feet and I jump. It’s just a rat, one of hordes from the city. They’ve grown bolder during these past few seasons, always darting out of alleys and running by arches, desperate—like us—to fill their bellies.
As it squeaks away, nails tapping in rhythm, I inspect the darkened street before me. Lamplight glows from a crooked post, but the shadows are still and the windows are empty. A leaf-strewn house looms in the distance, enticing me over the cobblestone ground. That house is the reason I’ve ventured so late into this weary part of town. Beside me, buildings cringe with moss. Walkways glisten with dirty puddles. Teetering balconies slouch from walls with garments strung between casements like cobwebs.
But that smell.
I halt to sniff the air. It wafts from the dwelling ahead of me. It winds from beneath its splintered panes—the pungent scent of broth and ale.
            I wish it were stew.
Saliva brims on my tongue at the thought of meat cooked with spices and oils. The last time venison passed my lips, my mother was alive, my father smiled, and the future stretched before us, unending. Those were the days of Emperor Komran, a king who lived and bled for his people. I barely remember the white of his beard or how he limped through the fields during harvest. And it’s the same with my mother. I’m losing her, too. The curve of her cheek. The shade of her tresses. When she died, we set her afloat in the Geynes, and I sat on the bank with my toes in the water, not wanting to break that connection to her.
It’s a year tonight.
My chest starts to cave, but I fight and I fight to be still, to not cry. At least the dead are not hungry, not in turmoil. They do not see what Centriet has become.
I urge my feet toward the house. Komran would never have driven me here. When he reigned, our streets were routinely swept, and fountains dotted the well-kept pavements.
And medicine was—
A loose stone clacks. Forgetting my thoughts, I dart to an alcove. Since Komran’s son became our emperor, soldiers lurk where you’d least expect them.
In the dark, I steady my breaths, in and out. Not that I’m breaking any laws—that I know of. I listen to the night: crickets chirping, a soft breeze, and the whinny of a horse that’s so indistinct, perhaps it’s from Sledloe, the next village over.
I wait longer, just to be safe. Many of the soldiers are kind, though not all. Father says they’ve been granted more powers, but that we won’t know what it means for a while.
I hate not knowing. Just like tonight. I hate not knowing what awaits in the house. When the street remains silent, I rejoin the road, but my ankles wobble when I try to walk.
So I jog.
It soothes my jangled nerves, and I reach the house, breathless and flushed. Planks board the four square windows; rust from the nails seeps into the woodgrain. The stones are all different sizes and shapes, charred by the remnants of a long-ago fire. Ivy clings to the rutted surface, its end pieces curling like ribbon from the door.
You should leave, Meadow.
But I raise my fist. All I need to do is knock. I’ve already abandoned my stonebrick at dusk without letting Father know where I have gone. The loss of my mother hits me anew—the pain a reminder of why I have come here. That I’ve come to move on, to at last let her go. Even though I’m not sure what that means anymore.
Or if I can.
“Are you here for the Gathering?”
The question shatters the bracing air. Someone’s behind me and I spin to face him, shrouding myself with my long dark hair. But I’m wrong. There are two. One’s tall and strapping. The other is smaller in every way. As they chance another step, I notice that they’re young—about my age, seventeen.
“Why I’m here is not your concern,” I say.
“We do beg your pardon,” the smaller boy says. He has a scar on his brow like a cutlass. And another on his forearm, dark as molasses. He gestures to the vacant street behind him. “Have you ever visited Yahres before?”
“Yes,” I say, though my words are false. It’s safer to make them believe I’m a local.
            “And your name?” asks the boy, but I shake my head at the same time his companion lets out a grunt.
            “Don’t bother,” he snaps. “We leave tomorrow.”
            The smaller boy nods, looking slightly embarrassed.
“We watched you for a bit,” he tells me.
“And what did you see?” I ask.
He smiles. One of his teeth is chipped. “We assumed you’d turn back many times.”
My pulse quickens at their presumption, especially since it’s mostly true. The slums of Yahres are outside the walls. My home lies inside in the village of Maytown. In Maytown we’re warned to always tread wisely in places like Yahres, Florian, and Sledloe. Perhaps that’s why I’d appeared so unsure. Yet neither of the pair looks remarkably dangerous.
“You proved us wrong,” the boy continues.
“No hard feelings,” I say.
He laughs. “Come inside with us.”
He holds out a hand, but I back away.
“Forgive me,” he says, withdrawing swiftly, color blotching his cheeks. “We lodge with the man who hosts these gatherings . . . and I noticed you had a parchment to read.”
“You saw?” I jolt, clutching it tightly, blood surging through my legs and arms. Since Mother’s passing, it happens quite often. My heart beats fast, and I need to run.
“You don’t have to read it,” he says.
I swallow.
“Although you can if you want to, of course. Unless you didn’t come here for the Gathering?”
“I doubt she’s here for anything else.”
It’s much too hard to read his expression, but the taller boy speaks with a dash of disdain. He sidesteps his friend with two no-nonsense strides.
“You don’t know my business,” I say.
“Oh, please.” He comes in close, reaching past me, and the scent of leather and steel is intense. It reminds me of sitting in my father’s workroom when he’s mending quivers for the elder archers. The boy raps on the door with his knuckles. Three times, then nothing. The way we’re supposed to. “Of course you’re here for the Gathering,” he says, as metal grinds and a peephole opens.
My need to bolt escalates.
“Get in. You’re the last,” says the face inside. The cumbersome timber shifts outward before us. It breaks the leaves and they flutter in spirals.
“After you,” the tall boy says.
The parchment feels like a stone in my hand. It dawns on me how stifled this is—this narrow black corridor, deep in the kingdom.
I brush the still-dangling leaves to one side. The passageway stretches a good twenty paces. I could perish in there and no one would find me.
“Are you waiting for something?”
“No,” I say.
Ignoring the boy, I stoop to enter, trying to focus my thoughts on the brickwork. The blocks have eroded from years of scuffing. They smell like lichen and tarnished copper. Light spills through the distant doorframe, and our guide clears his throat to urge us on. I double my pace, though the boys hang back. The weight of their presence behind me is strong.
 


About the Author

 

Kathy Kimbray is a YA author from Australia. She loves summer, dancing and dreaming up big ideas. A SHIFTING OF STARS is the first book in her thrilling new YA fantasy series.


Author Links:
  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png 



Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Game of Revenge Francis Scott-Wren Series Book 2 by Charlotte Larsen

Game of Revenge
Francis Scott-Wren Series Book 2
by Charlotte Larsen
Genre: Crime Thriller

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”— Confucius

Heart crushing international thriller from
a bestselling Scandinavian author.
In 1944 a snitch denounced a couple and their eldest son for resistance
activities. The mother was separated from her husband and son and
sent to Bergen-Belsen. The husband and son sent to Dachau. None of
them returned.
Years later, their grandson, James takes on a revenging role towards the
affluent descendants of the snitch. One by one he takes them down.
But along the way, Francis Scott-Wren picks up the scent and sends in his
agent Jo Vermeer to stop the destructive rampage of James.
However, the relationship between her and her target brings her a dilemma of
loyalty, that unstable her significantly.
As we travel with the characters through Copenhagen, Marrakesh and into
a jungle monastery in Sri Lanka, we must ask ourselves: What are our
true values? And how far will we go to defend them?
Game of Revenge is a nail biting standalone crime thriller and
a gripping exploration of human nature.
If you like a passionate heroine, spine-chilling suspense, and a fight
for what is right, then you’ll love Charlotte Larsen’s fast-paced thriller.
Buy Game of Revenge to be captured in a brave fight against evil today!
Charlotte Larsen is a bestselling Scandinavian author of more than twelve
books, including the bestselling crime thriller GAME OF
GREED, and a series of management books.
A graduate of Aarhus University and University of New South Wales,
Charlotte is highly recognized as a specialist in managerial issues.
Besides working on her next novel, she serves as a high-end management
consultant for high performing industries such as the legal
profession, finance, and defense.
Charlotte keeps a blog on creativity, writes for a Danish broadsheet,
and is generally an opinion maker in the Danish business community.
She lives and writes in the Danish countryside and keeps a closet full of business
suits in a flat in Copenhagen.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

 

Their Baby Dragon by Annie Nicholas

Their Baby Dragon
Annie Nicholas
(Not This #5.5)
Publication date: May 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Paranormal, Romance

COUNT DOWN TO DRAGON BABY

Eoin, Harbinger of Smoke and Darkness, and Angie, Angel Dragon of New Port are very pleased to announce they are expecting the birth of their first child in the Spring of 2019.
The popular celebrity couple cannot wait to meet their newest addition. They were recently spotted at the premiere shifter obstetrician’s office looking upset.
Stay tuned for updates.
Warning: DO NOT approach couple, take pictures, or trespass on their land uninvited. Trust this reporter’s advice comes from firsthand experience.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with a twist. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon’s ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont.

Annie writes for Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

 

His Red Eminence Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu by Laurel A. Rockefeller Genre: Historical Fiction

Priest. Lover. Statesman.
From the author of the best-selling
“Legendary Women of World History” series …
Cardinal Armand-Jean du Plessis, duc de Richelieu is one of the most famous —
or infamous politicians of all time. Made a villain in the popular
Dumas novel, “The Three Musketeers,” the real man was a
dedicated public servant loyal to king and country. A man of logic
and reason, he transformed how we think about nations and
nationality. He secularized wars between countries, patronized the
arts for the sake of the public good, founded the first newspaper in
France, and created France as the modern country we know today.
Filled with period music, dance, and plenty of romance, “His Red
Eminence” transports you back to the court of King Louis XIII in
all its vibrant and living color.
Includes eight period songs, plus prayers, a detailed timeline, and extensive
bibliography so you can keep learning.
Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller
is author of over twenty books published and self-published since
August, 2012 and in languages ranging from Welsh to Spanish to
Chinese and everything in between. A dedicated scholar and
biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education
and improving history literacy worldwide.
With her lyrical writing style, Laurel’s books are as beautiful to read as
they are informative.
In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels,
attending living history activities, travelling to historic places in
both the United States and United Kingdom, and watching classic
motion pictures and classic television series.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

Kingdom of Sand & Wishes: A Limited Edition Collection of Aladdin Retellings

Out from Under You
 
Publication date: May 24th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Aladdin, but not as you 



remember it….

On the dusty streets, around the bustling bazaars, being overlooked by a Sultan’s Palace was a land. A land of magic, secrets and treasures buried deep beneath the desert.
Through Arabian nights, dark forces are at work. Dark forces that can threaten the peace of everyone in the Kingdom. Watch our authors as they answer the question, can three wishes save the day?
Join our award winning and USA Today best selling authors for nine action packed fantasy and contemporary retellings with Sultans, sorcerers, romance and more magic than a genie’s lamp can hold.
One click now for your happily ever after….
 
 

 

Dawn of the Hunters Hunters of Infinity #3 by Ryan Wieser

Dawn of the Hunters

Hunters of Infinity #3

by Ryan Wieser

Genre: Space Opera, SciFi

Pub Date: 5/7/19

Even the Hunters of Infinity are splintered when faced
with the greatest battle in the Daharian galaxy’s history . . .
Jessop has proven herself to be an unstoppable force from Aranthol to Azgul, inarguably
the fiercest warrior the Hunters have ever seen. And her abilities only seem to
strengthen as her rage grows. With the two men she holds dear by her side—one
good-souled, one with a treacherous past, and both deadly with a sword—she
prepares to enter the most important fight of her life, with the most personal stakes yet . . .
Armies are divided and reforged, and battle lines are drawn. Blind loyalty drives some
while others are sworn to protect the galaxy at all costs.
Bonds will be tested.
Lives will be lost.
Consequences will be devastating.
“This thrilling, action-packed debut ties together strong characters with a building
story line that will have readers clamoring for the next volume in this new
series.” —Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW, on The Glass Blade
The Shadow City
Hunters of Infinity #2
The Hunters of Infinity have guarded the Daharian galaxy for ages, but when betrayed, they can
become a vicious enemy . . .
Jessop, the first woman to join the Hunters, has finally been reunited with those who mean
the most to her. In her quest for vengeance, she has left many embittered and
betrayed, chief among them Kohl O’Hanlon, the Hunter who once loved her.
Now, as the feared Falco Bane leads his forces into the Hunters’ territory, Kohl attempts
to retaliate, flooding their infamous Shadow City with his own followers.
Jessop must fight a war on two fronts, testing her commitment to the ones she
loves and challenging her abilities as the most elite warrior among the
Hunters. With the future of Daharia’s leadership at stake, Jessop is determined
to protect those closest to her at all costs . But when allies turn into
adversaries, the real threat comes from a place least expected . . .
The Glass Blade
Hunters of Infinity #1
The Hunters of Infinity have been
protecting the Daharian galaxy for years, but there has never been a female
Hunter—until now.

In a seedy bar in the shadowy corners of Daharia,
Jessop comes to the rescue of young Hunter Kohl O’Hanlon. Impressed by her
remarkable sword-wielding skills, the Hunters invite her to their training
facility, the Glass Blade, though not all are pleased with the intrusion. But
they soon discover that Jessop learned to fight from the rogue leader of the
Shadow City of Aranthol—and escaped.
Now they want to use her intimate knowledge of their enemy to destroy him.

As Jessop grows closer to this elite brotherhood,
their leader succumbs to a mysterious ailment,
and Kohl learns that Jessop is hiding dark secrets, raising suspicions
about the enigmatic woman who saved his life. Has the Hunters’ security been
breached—or do they have a traitor in their ranks?

Allegiances will be questioned.

Loyalties will be betrayed.

Vengeance will be brutal.

“This thrilling, action-packed debut ties
together a strong characters with a building story line that will have readers
clamoring for the next volume in this new series.” —Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW, on The Glass Blade

**Only .99 cents!!**
Ryan Wieser completedher B.A. in Sociology and Socio-Legal Studies before going on
to complete her MSc. in Experimental Psychology. Having been raised in Africa and
educated across multiple countries, Ryan has a passion for travel and an interest in
diverse cultures. She currently resides in Wyoming with her husband, where she
is writing her next book.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ a review for TinkerActive Workbooks ☆☆☆☆☆




Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD
FIVE STARS
MY REVIEW 
☆☆☆☆☆

 TinkerActive SCIENCE Kindergarten is cleverly presented. Unlike
many workbooks the book quality was a surprise and such a treat! The paper
quality is thick and the back cover is hard board, YES! No matter where you
choose to work with your 5-6-year-old; carpool line, older siblings’ sports
practice, anywhere a busy mom’s life takes you. Also, the paper quality means
your child is likely to review the work, as if reading a fun book.
The pages and exercises are varied. There is active engagement,
including stickers! The activities use a wide variety of skills, to stimulate
young curious minds. They also allow the child to draw, which enhances
self-esteem and individuality.
I particularly liked how the exercises are presented using what
children observe and interact with often in their lives.  That is the best way to present hands-on
problem-solving skills.
I highly recommend the book as much for parents who like to  supplement their children’s school curriculum
as for parents who home-school.

 
 
 

Tinker, make, and engineer to learn through play! With TinkerActive
Workbooks, learning leaps off the page and into the real world. Start with
interactive and entertaining exercises that cover the essential kindergarten,
1st Grade, & 2nd Grade, math, science, and problem-solving skills. Then,
apply what you’ve learned in exciting hands-on tinkering, making, and
engineering activities that utilize only common household materials. Plus, the
charming cast of characters, the MotMots, guide kids through every new concept
with cheer and humor. Once you’ve completed the workbook, unbox a collectible
magnet hidden in the back cover!
Vetted by award-winning educators, TinkerActive Workbooks are designed
for all learners. They build your child’s fundamental math & science skills
AND inspire them to try new things, discover new skills, and imagine new
possibilities.

 

Giveaway Details:

 

3 winners will receive their choice of one of the TINKERACTIVE WORKBOOKS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/20/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review- 1st Grade

5/21/2019- The suburban lifestyle– Review- 2nd Grade

5/22/2019- The
Pages In-Between
– Review-
Kindergarten

5/23/2019- Do
You Dog-ear?
– Review-
Kindergarten

5/24/2019- ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ– Review- Kindergarten

 

Week Two:

5/27/2019- 100 Pages A Day– Review- 1st Grade

5/28/2019- Wonder Struck– Review-
2nd Grade

5/29/2019- BookHounds– Review-
1st Grade

5/30/2019- Two
Chicks on Books
– Spotlight- All
Workbooks

5/31/2019- Little
Red Reads
– Review- 2nd Grade

 

Giveaway Details:

 

3 winners will receive their choice of one of the TINKERACTIVE WORKBOOKS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/20/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review- 1st Grade

5/21/2019- The suburban lifestyle– Review- 2nd Grade

5/22/2019- The
Pages In-Between
– Review-
Kindergarten

5/23/2019- Do
You Dog-ear?
– Review-
Kindergarten

5/24/2019- ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ– Review- Kindergarten

 

Week Two:

5/27/2019- 100 Pages A Day– Review- 1st Grade

5/28/2019- Wonder Struck– Review-
2nd Grade

5/29/2019- BookHounds– Review-
1st Grade

5/30/2019- Two
Chicks on Books
– Spotlight- All
Workbooks

5/31/2019- Little
Red Reads
– Review- 2nd Grade


 

Title: TINKERACTIVE WORKBOOKS
Author: Various Authors & Illustrators
Pub. Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Odd Dot
Formats: Paperback
Pages: Differs per workbook
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

Tinker, make, and engineer to learn through play! With TinkerActive Workbooks, learning leaps off the page and into the real world. Start with interactive and entertaining exercises that cover the essential kindergarten, 1st Grade, & 2nd Grade, math, science, and problem-solving skills. Then, apply what you’ve learned in exciting hands-on tinkering, making, and engineering activities that utilize only common household materials. Plus, the charming cast of characters, the MotMots, guide kids through every new concept with cheer and humor. Once you’ve completed the workbook, unbox a collectible magnet hidden in the back cover!

Vetted by award-winning educators, TinkerActive Workbooks are designed for all learners. They build your child’s fundamental math & science skills AND inspire them to try new things, discover new skills, and imagine new possibilities.

 

The Lady Raven A Dark Cinderella Tale by Rebecca Henry

In The Lady Raven, Rebecca Henry tells the tale of Zezolla, a little
princess abandoned by her father into the hands of her evil
stepmother and wicked stepsisters. A familiar fairy tale you may
think but all is not as it appears. The reader is soon drawn into a
web of witchcraft, lies and deceit, and gradually realises that this
is no typical fairy tale but a dark and macabre take on one. Zezolla
is treated with the utmost cruelty, neglected and vilified, and left
to live in the damp cellars of the castle. The only friends Zezolla
has are her beloved raven and her pet wolf. Her only comfort lies in
the loyalty of the creatures of the forest and her mother’s hazel
tree. Will Zezolla have the power to escape her torment and
ultimately save herself from the unscrupulous clutches of the king?
The Lady Raven is a compelling tale and one that is not for the
faint-hearted.

Goodreads * Amazon

Rebecca Henry is a newly published author. Her debut novel is The Lady Raven,
A Dark Cinderella Tale, which was published in 2017. The Lady Raven,
is for those who have an infinity for fairy tales retold with a link
to witches, magic and the macabre. Her second novel, Louisiana Latte,
a chick lit comedy was released February 28th 2019. Louisiana Latte,
is a feel good comedy that focuses on the bonds of sisters, and how
audacious life can be when you have a diva for one! Both books are
available on amazon as well as Barnes & Noble.
Rebecca Henry is a world traveler living abroad in England. Besides being an
author of two published books, Rebecca is also a podcast talk host on
the show The Latte Talk. The podcast was inspired by her latest
novel, Louisiana Latte and her diva sister Deb. She is a serious
vegan, gardener, crafter, wife and mom who practices yoga. She loves
to laugh, her drug of choice and loves all things witchy with a hint
of the macabre. Her favorite holiday is Halloween and her favorite
movie of all time is Practical Magic.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

An interview with a very funny guy; Michael Barakiva author of Hold My Hand

Hold My Hand
Michael Barakiva
Published by: Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: May 21st 2019
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Alek Khederian thinks about his life B.E. and A.E.: Before Ethan and After Ethan. Before Ethan, Alek was just an average Armenian-American kid with a mess of curly dark hair, grades not nearly good enough for his parents, and no idea of who he was or what he wanted. After he got together with Ethan, Alek was a new man. Stylish. Confident. (And even if he wasn’t quite marching in LGBTQ parades), Gay and Out and Proud.

With their six-month anniversary coming up, Alek and Ethan want to do something special to celebrate. Like, really special. Like, the most special thing two people in love can do with one another. But Alek’s not sure he’s ready for that. And then he learns something about Ethan that may not just change their relationship, but end it.

Alek can’t bear the thought of finding out who he’d be P.E.: Post-Ethan. But he also can’t forgive or forget what Ethan did. Luckily, his best friend Becky and madcap Armenain family are there to help him figure out whether it’s time to just let Ethan go, or reach out and hold his hand.

Hold My Hand is a funny, smart, relatable take on the joy and challenges of teenage love, the boundaries of forgiveness, and what it really means to be honest.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

  • I am attracted by the book cover and the storyline. It feels light hearted but you tackle big social issues. How did you balance it?

As a closeted double genocide descendant, comedy is a survival mechanism.  My people – the Armenians, the Jews, the Russians – are pros at using comedy to defuse, to deal, to surprise, to cope. I suppose it wouldn’t occur to me to tackle big social issues any other way.  And also, what sounds more boring that big social issues sans comedy?

  • In reading your bio I must ask if there are echoes or reflections of your own experiences in life?

The entire thing is made up.  Any resemblance to real life is 100% coincidental. I’ll give you an example – Hold My Hand is set in a (fictitious) town in Central New Jersey approximately 40 miles south of New York City called South Windsor.  I grew up in a non-fictious town in Central New Jersey approximately 40 miles south of New York City called East Windsor.  See – no resemblance at all.

  • As you come from both an Armenian/Israeli what was the impetus to make the character Armenian vs. Israeli?

Maybe it’s because I grew up feeling closer to my mom (Armenian) to my dad (Israeli).  Maybe it’s because I grew up in a predominately Jewish suburbs, so being Armenian made me feel special-er.  Maybe it’s because Armenian stories aren’t often told.  Maybe it’s because the Armenian genocide isn’t acknowledged.  Maybe it’s because Armenian appears before Israeli alphabetically.

  • As a parent I am thrilled that today’s generations have a freedom of expression, was there a goal to help LGBTQ teens while entertaining?

OMG yes – when I was a teenager, we had so few LGBTQ characters and they were all victims of assault, HIV poz, or both. Most of the queer people I know (and I’m in the theatre, honey, so I know lots of ‘em!) do not define themselves by their queerness, or at least not solely by it.  I wanted to tell those full stories.  And because I’m a theatre person, for gods sake, yes, keep it entertaining. Ha-cha!

  • I also love that you tackle issues of honesty, forgiveness and teenage love. Those transcend to every culture and every sexual inclination which opens a broad audience. Forgiveness is often hard for people, what did you tap into to harness the feelings and convey them in paper?

As someone who is incapable of forgiveness, I had a lot of work to do.  First, I had to imagine that I had a heart, instead of a cold dark lump of coal that powered my body.

But seriously… I am blessed to have people in my life who forgives other people (like me) with great and effortless grace.  My husband Rafael comes to mind, as does my work wife Mary Beth Bunge, who is Episcopalian.  I like Episcopalians.

  • Anything else you would like to share with our visitors at❧Defining Ways❧?

I typed up all my responses to this whole interview and then MY COMPUTER DIDN’T SAVE THE DOC and I redid it all because I care.

Thanks Michael, best wishes for the greatest success, M.C.V. Egan

Author Bio:

Michael Barakiva, author of One Man Guy, is a theater director and writer of Armenian/Israeli descent who lives in Manhattan with his husband, Rafael. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Juilliard School, an avid cook and board-game player, and a soccer player with the New York Ramblers.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1