Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR N.G.VALENTINA|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author N. G. Valentina on my blog today.

Me: What made you pen down Encounter?

Valentina: ‘Encounter’ is the first book in the series. I was inspired to write the series because we usually read about standard live stories that evolve out of traditional situations. The Fear and Desire Series is a suspenseful tale with a love story that unfolded from an unconventional situation. Those love stories, in my opinion, are much more enjoyable to read about.

Me: It is a romantic suspense. Is it your favourite genre to read as well?

Valentina: Romantic Suspense is definitely one of my favorite genres to write and to read. Although, I also enjoy and dive into non-fictional as well as biographical literature.

Me: Describe both your protagonist in 3 words each.

Valentina: Christine Gareth- three words to describe her: attractive, self-confident, intelligent. Seth Osborne- three words to describe him: sexy, protector, fearless.

Me: Encounter is the 1st book in The Fear and Desire Series. How many more books do you plan to release in it?

Valentina: The Fear and Desire Series will be composed of 5 books, with Encounter being the first one.

Me: Will they follow the same protagonist as well or will be revolve around other main characters?

Valentina: All 5 books will revolve around the same main characters. However, each book will introduce new key characters to add its suspense.

Me: What do you like to do in your free time?

Valentina: During my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, or visiting Disneyland with my kids and husband! I also enjoy world travel.

Me: The cover is superb. How did it come to be?

Valentina: I worked with a professional graphic designer to customize the cover for Encounter. I had the vision in mind, and she produced it perfectly! Also, the red font symbolizes the intense desire that develops in the first book.

Me: Are there any other projects underway?

Valentina: I’m always writing 2-3 different books at a time. Not only am I actively finishing up the remaining books for The Fear and Desire Series, but I’m also working on 2 more novels. Both will be in the suspense/romantic genre.


N.G. Valentina is an author of page-turning romance crime thrillers such as her upcoming debut, The Fear and Desire Series, composed of 5 books. Her books are enjoyed by adults and teens alike, with characters that are relatable, clever and fearless.

A storyteller and visionary at heart, she departed from her career in the dental field to write professionally full-time. Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, California, she is the wife of a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer and mother of two rambunctious youngsters. She has also been a photographer hobbyist, a learner of foreign languages, and a world traveler swimming in the beautiful oceans of Ibiza, dancing with snake charmers and driving up the long, winding road to Andorra, Spain.

When she is not whipping up tasty home-cooked meals or kissing scraped knees, she can be found hiking the outdoors, painting acrylic on canvas, or visiting Anaheim for her much-needed Disneyland fix.

Learn more about Valentina and her books on her website, http://www.ngvalentina.com

Find Valentina on:

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Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR AYESHA HAKIM|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author Ayesha Hakim on my blog today. Her book Message from the Daughters is out now.

Me: What sparked your initial love for poetry?

Ayesha: I grew up in a large family but would spend a lot of time alone by myself in the attic surrounded by books. It was then and there that words would come to entertain me. In that quiet space, I read stories and poems that spoke to me and to what I was feeling. I eventually grabbed a notebook and started to pen my own stories that gave voice to what I was experiencing. Oh how liberating this was!

Me: How important will you say sisterhood and compassion are in instigating empowerment?

Ayesha: Giving space to one another to be, to express, to live one’s truth is highly important. This one act of solidarity can empower and strengthen the bonds of sisterhood and allows us to access compassion for one another.

Me: What made you pen down Message from the Daughters?  

Ayesha: “Message from the Daughters” is a collection of poems that I’ve written over the course of many years. Many served as a form of therapy for me when I was going through trying times. Some pieces were written for the many women I’ve encountered throughout my life. When I revisited them I noticed that there were certain themes and that led me to divide the poems into seven chapters – chapters that represented stages of healing and growth.

Me: How do you develop your poems? Can you guide us through the stages?

Ayesha: Every poem is developed differently and takes on a different process. But in every piece there was always some event, or emotion that required words to help me understand what was going on and often times brought me comfort. Getting these initial thoughts on paper is the first stage. The next stage was finding the structure of the piece. In finding the structure, more of the story appears. Most times, listening to instrumentals helps move words along the paper as if the music and words are in dance – helping ideas to find its place in the piece. Once this happens I find the story is complete and a poem is born.

Me: What according to you is the first step to healing?

Ayesha: Radical self-love is definitely the first step to healing. How that happens may be different for everyone but I think it definitely starts there. For me, it’s always proceeded by that cry, you know the cry you have that seems to take everything out of you? What I found was that when I sit with the memory (of hurt or trauma) and I give myself permission to love me in that moment, those tears would come rushing to comfort and guide me to let go of anything that isn’t nurturing.  I always found that kind of cry cleansing.

Me: What should readers expect from the collection?

Ayesha: “Message from the Daughters” takes each reader on a journey of profound transformation through the lens of the divine feminine. From hardship and heartache to overcoming trauma and healing, this collection depicts a wide range of human emotions as a form of not only self-expression, but solidarity. Readers should expect a cleansing and empowering exhale by the last poem.

Me: If it is not a problem, will you share a poem from it? A favourite of yours maybe?

Ayesha: Yes, of course! One of my favorite poems is one I wrote when I found myself living in a homeless shelter and the nuns (who I considered my angels) that ran the shelter cared for me as I found myself confronting past trauma for the first time.

A Story by a Little Girl

Interpreted by a Woman

While feeling the fist in her throat and witnessing fire on the bed of waters

I painted the color God on cathedral ceilings for her to gaze upon

When her dolls and will to speak were taken away

I gathered words for her to play with

Her glass was left empty

But I make it appear three-quarters full

Once, we both shouted to old drunken ears who said it would be okay

Only to be sent back to the monster’s ball

I feel nothing, but the little girl feels everything

The entire “nothing” is confused, and the “everything” is amongst the fire

Intertwined, we both fall in and out of life’s doors

The little girl is forever apprehensive

And I am weary of this endless dance with demons

And once the institution came in with microscopic lenses on their eyes

Frightening the little girl who had so much to tell

But I stepped up, feeling the little girl tremble

And said, “It’s okay now, I’ll take care of her”

You see, the little girl may be afraid,

But I will protect her at all costs

Where do we begin to unravel fears when they’re all around?

“Find the bag and move dust off the clouds,”

Whispered Angels at the Inn as they helped 

Loop echoes with fine acoustics for the little girl

And with weaved hands

Prevented us both from falling into the grave

And made our room safe to wail

The little girl is asleep, and I am drained

Wondering if tomorrow we will find a way to tell our story

Knowing we will fight monsters again

Angels at the Inn help us both to keep flight in our dreams

As we rest peacefully through the night

Temporarily secure amongst the unknown shadows

Me: Are there any new projects underway?

Ayesha: None at this time.


Ayesha Hakim is a passionate activist to her core and that’s never changing. Whether it’s empowering her fellow sisters, creating inspiring poetry, or being a loving mother and grandmother, she continually strives to make this world a better place than when she first entered it. Her soul is a determined, empathetic, healing force, and it is seen in everything she has achieved and pursues to this day. From her first spoken word performance and co-founding a social justice initiative, to producing an acclaimed off-off Broadway show, her creative legacy continues to grow and thrive. To discover more about this emerging author and her upcoming poetic ventures, check out her official website: http://www.ayeshahakim.com

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Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MICHAEL FROILAN|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author Michael Froilan on my blog today. His debut poetry book Clouded Thoughts is out now!

Me: What sparked your initial love for poetry?

Michael: It’s pretty funny because one of my childhood dreams was to become a Hip-Hop artist/Rapper. And essentially, it influenced me to develop a fondness for poetry. I know it’s a given, but Tupac is hands down one of my favourite musicians. I remember watching his documentary Resurrection back in 2003, and I was intrigued to find out he wrote poetry before becoming a rap icon. And I think, in a way, that also has been influential.

Me: What according to you is the first step to personal transformation?

Michael: Good question. I’d say it would be admitting to ourselves that we are jagged. We all have deficiencies we have to accept and own. Not many are willing to take that first step because they choose to pacify their vanity rather than building their character. Humility is essential, and it will take you a long way.

Me: How important will you say healing is in helping one make the inward journey you talk about?

Michael: Another insightful question. I’d say it’s pivotal. I think the inward journey is what leads to healing. We are actively diverting our attention towards the outside noise. And it’s almost like a way of sedating ourselves. Rarely are we completely aware. We mindlessly hand out our focus towards insignificant things and people, that we tend to neglect our personal and spiritual needs. And sadly, there are so many malnourished souls out there. 

Even with mirrors in the world, we hardly ever take the time to face ourselves and reflect on our lives. We are quick to dodge our demons and avoid confrontation with ourselves. And it’s just an unhealthy way of living that leads to destructive worries and anxieties. Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Many of us are ailing more in the mind than in the body. We tend to turn to other people for restoration, hoping they’d better our wellness and soothe our pain. Living in such a rapid world, we scramble for quick fixes when it comes to things, including ourselves. We are all broken in subtle ways. And I feel like acknowledging and accepting our shortcomings and suffering is key to healing – which plays a huge part in growing. The journey almost always starts from within. And before all else, we must swallow our pride.

Me: What made you pen down Clouded Thoughts?

Michael: My sweet girlfriend inspired me with her dreams to fulfill my lifelong dream of publishing. Shoutout to my Sweet Virgo Girl! This collection is an accumulation of two decades worth of my writing. Personally, I view it as my mixtape in book form. Ha. 

Me: How do you intend to impact readers with it? 

Michael: I hope those who read it are reminded of their potential and inspires them to challenge their excellence. I hope my vulnerable thoughts and emotions “in-spires” the reader to become more self-reflective and that they lessen their impulse to compare themselves to others. I hope this solidifies the steel in their spine. I hope this book encourages the reader to confront their inferiorizing attitudes and beliefs in order to liberate themselves from psychological hell. I hope this book assists the reader in overcoming their adversities.

Me: How do you develop your poems? Can you guide us through the stages?

Michael: Most of my poems started as journal entries. I don’t have a fixed schedule when it comes to writing. And to be honest, I hate writing. I feel like you can’t force it. It just comes to you. Well, for me at least. It’s hard for me to sit and pick at my brain to try to come up with something to write about (hats off to the writers that can). So, usually, I have to feel it first more than anything. And that’s when I let the ink bleed for me. Editing comes many weeks later.

 Me: If it is not a problem, will you share a poem from it? A favourite of yours maybe?

Michael: It isn’t easy to pick just one because there are many meaningful pieces to me. But since we’re talking about healing and transformation, I’ll share with you this one:

REAWAKENING

Today I find myself 

looking in the mirror,

searching for answers.

An aspect of me is about to die.

Maybe I know which it is,

Maybe I don’t.

I don’t sweat it.

Every moment something is changing.

Regeneration is routine.

We are not the same person overnight.

Some would argue that we are.

I say it’s our outlook that doesn’t switch on impulse.

Today’s sunrise won’t be the same hereafter.

We can’t spot the wind alter

but it’s happening

before our aging eyes.

As far as one can tell,

change is encouraged

until your betterment makes others unsettled.

Your improvement will cause discomfort.

You will soon encounter

those who think they know you

striving to remind you of your past

rather than exerting energy to facilitate their future.

The worst of you is what they’ll use

to try to disfigure your refinement

– A sad case of crab mentality.

There’s a difference between change and transformation.

A lot get old but never mature.

Millions will go to bed tonight and sleep on themselves.

Tomorrow they will wake up and smell the coffee, but they won’t rise.

Some want to level up.

Some only want leverage over others.

 Me: Are there any new projects underway?

Michael: Time will tell. 🙂


Michael Froilan is a Filipino-Canadian poet and artist. He was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in Scarborough, Ontario.

He self-published his first poetry collection Clouded Thoughts on Valentine’s Day of 2021, dedicating it to his family, friends and significant other.

His work illustrates themes of Personal Transformation. Awareness. Humour. Duality. & Empowerment.

He’s a student of Revelation and an advocate of Gratitude.

Find Michael on:

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Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PETER HARRETT|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author Peter Harrett on my blog today. His novel The Rings of Hesaurun is out now!

Me: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Peter: I have a creative spark that extends to all elements of life.

Me: What made you pen down The Rings of Hesaurun?

Peter: Just started writing after helping my daughter with a writing project, and keep on writing.

Continue reading “INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PETER HARRETT|AUTHOR INTERVIEW”
Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR HAMZA ABOULFETH|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author Hamza Aboulfeth on my blog today.

Me: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Hamza: Not really no, however everyone around me wanted to share my story with everyone, and the best way to do that is through a book.

Me: What made you pen down The Startupper to Cancer Fighter?

Hamza: An email out of the blue from a famous publishing company that wanted to write a book about me, I didn’t go with them but that was definitely the trigger.

Me: It explores a major part your schooling and education. Where do you think the system is going wrong?

Hamza: The educational system as it is now is going nowhere, I think the best way would be a customized education from a young age, teaching kids what they really do enjoy and not what they should learn.

Me: How do you intend to impact readers with your book?

Hamza: The idea is to inspire any youngster, wannabe entrepreneur struggling with his business.

Me: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Hamza: Starting businesses and facing everyday challenges.

Me: Would you tell us a little about your journey with being diagnosed with and fighting cancer?

Hamza: Getting diagnosed with a cancer before turning 30 isn’t fun, well, not sure it is considered fun at any given age, but that’s definitely a life lesson if you live through it.

Me: Apart from direct and obvious impact it had on your health, both mental and physical, how did it affect the perspective of your life?

Hamza: This just confirmed the way I was living actually, we will end up dead at some point, so we’d better do what we really want to do before it is too late.

Me: Was revisiting and documenting all of it in this book, taxing or was it liberating for you?

Hamza: It was hard to be frank, the cancer chapter was the chapter that took so much time, as I started writing and remembering things, I had to stop because it did bring back so much bad memories, but I had to keep going… I had to let it out.

Me: Are there any new projects underway?

Hamza: Always 🙂


Hamza is a 35-year autodidact tech serial entrepreneur who started his first business at the early age of 17. He dropped out of college at 21, became ICANN accredited at 24, attended the World Economic Forum at 25, and went to Harvard at 26 and Hajj and Burning Man at 27. He got married at 28, with a baby girl on the way at 29, and he fought through Cancer before 30.

Find Hamza on:

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Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR STEPHANIE MCBAIN|AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author Stephanie McBain on my blog today. Her debut book, A Night at the Dreslen is currently available for purchase.

Me: Have you always wanted to be a writer? 

Stephanie: My whole life I thought I was going to be an actress and a couple years into my Los Angeles journey that dream changed to becoming a Director and with that came the need to write something in order to direct it and from that point on I fell in love with writing.

Continue reading “INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR STEPHANIE MCBAIN|AUTHOR INTERVIEW”