Month: January 2015

Blog Tour: The Genesis Saga #1 – Passion & Struggle


I’m grateful to my host of this thirteenth post of THE GENESIS SAGA TOUR, and to Nonnie Jules of 4WillsPublishing who arranged it all! The full lineup for this tour can be found @

My purpose, is to give readers a greater familiarity with planet Genesis – within the Equations universe created by author and friend, Kenneth Tam.

Book CoverTo this end, we embarked upon a series of interviews of some key players in Book One of The Genesis Saga: PASSION & STRUGGLE. Nonnie Jules of the famed interviews, Who’s On The Shelf With Nonnie Jules?’ agreed to lend her formidable skills to this process. She gave me the nickname “Fio” a while back – so keep that in mind in case she opts to use it!

In our last episode, Nonnie and I disappeared from the Campus Café after Annie and Marie left to track down Marco. We reappeared in the formal living room of Marco’s campus home, several weeks later.

NJ:       (Nonnie looks around at the familiar room and is visibly calmer.)

            This is Marco’s house, Fio. Where is Marco? Is he alright?

JF:        Yes, you are correct on both counts, Nonnie. I know you love a good romance, so I thought you might like to have a peek at Marco and Marie’s first date.

NJ:       (Indignantly) I’m no peeping Thomasina, Fio! I suppose we’re invisible again…

(Her statement is cut off as a tall black man arrives in the front foyer from the rear of the house. Nonnie’s jaw drops and she looks at me raising an eyebrow in question. The man doesn’t see us and proceeds to open the door, graciously welcoming Marco and Marie.)

NJ:       Fio, who is that guy! The butler?

JF:        (Chuckling) No, that’s the third member of Marco’s security team… shhh, let’s just watch and listen…

As Marco and Marie exited the car and approached the front door, Drury parked the vehicle in the small garage. Gallo followed them as far as the door. Agent Ben Grafton ushered Marco and Marie inside, and then Gallo did a thorough inspection of the grounds with Drury. Since the Inauguration, they were extra careful. Marco led Marie into the living room and offered to get her a drink while he finished the dinner preparations.

“May I keep you company in the kitchen, Marco?”

“You want to make sure I don’t have any hired help doing the cooking,” he chuckled, good-naturedly. “Maybe I’ll put you to work. Can you pour us both a glass of wine?”

“Sounds good to me,” she chirped, as she followed him through the dining room and into a spacious kitchen. “You haven’t moved yet. Will this be the official residence for the Vice President? It’s… cute.”

“Thank you, Marie, but it’s just temporary. The President of the University offered to let me stay here until Genesis House is completed.”

“So both you and the President will live at Genesis House? How will that work?” Marie asked, as she opened the bottle of red wine and poured two glasses. Visions of Rossini and Hastings – both single – living under the same roof filled her mind’s eye. That didn’t sound appropriate, and she judged the Church was not going to approve.

Marco bent over to check the roast in the oven, and then added a few potatoes wrapped in foil. “Off the record – the building is designed with three separate wings. One wing will house the President, and his or her family, on the second floor, with business offices for the President and staff on the first floor. A second wing houses the Vice President and family – a similar setup on each floor. The third wing will have kitchen facilities, a large ballroom for state affairs, etc. The basement areas will feature the Command and Control room, recreational facilities, a gymnasium, and staff quarters. Now let’s see, do you mind preparing ingredients for the salad while I prepare the dressing?”

Marie smiled, “I might manage that.”

“Wait. Let me get you an apron to protect your clothes.” He snatched an apron hanging on a hook by the kitchen door, and chuckled as he strode towards her. The black material sported white lettering which read, ‘I COOK BECAUSE MEN DO IT BETTER!’ Grinning, he held it out to her. Marie feigned insult as she read the apron, then giggled as she wrapped it around her. “It was a gift from Pat… honest!” Marco protested.

They both relaxed and worked companionably getting the dinner ready to serve. Marco had set the dining room table beforehand, creating an intimate setting complete with a centerpiece of brightly colored flowers, and candles for romantic lighting. As Marie lit the candles, she felt very special. Marco had gone to a lot of trouble for her. She shook her head remembering the other Neanderthals she had dated – she gave and they took. She wasn’t used to this, but she loved it.  Marco interrupted her thoughts as he carried in the salad and the wine bottle.

“Sit, Marie, I’ll serve.”

He refilled their wine glasses and served the salad. With a flourish, he snapped her cloth napkin open and laid it on her lap. Once sitting, he raised his glass and proposed a toast.

“Let’s drink to new beginnings.”

As they ate their salads, Marie suddenly noticed that they had been alone since the agent had ushered them in the door, “Marco, where did the security people go? Aren’t they eating dinner?”

He looked up and gave her a wide smile, “Let’s not tempt the fates. The boys said they were not going to hover, and they’ve kept their word. After only two weeks, I’m surprised at how well we get along. Are you comfortable being alone with me?”

Marie blushed slightly, thinking his question implied that perhaps she didn’t trust him. “I’m fine, and I’m enjoying this salad.”

“Good. Let me get the main course served while you finish that salad.”

It took Marco two trips to the kitchen to bring in the main course meat platter and bowls of vegetables. He’d checked outside the kitchen window, but hadn’t seen his three agents. Rossini shrugged and gave thanks that they could enjoy their food in privacy. He reclaimed his place at the table, hoping somewhat nervously, that the meal had turned out well.

As he sampled the portions on his own plate, Marco was reassured that the meal was delicious – one less worry. Marie was quick to compliment the dinner, and she ate with obvious relish.

“Marco, do you think that people will object to the cost of Genesis House? It sounds as if it’ll be a palace.”

“Liz and I were concerned too. But the Congressional building committee and the High Chancellor thought that both Congressional Hall and Genesis House should be impressive – symbols that the planet is moving into a new era. Do you think the buildings should be scaled back?”

Marie thought for a moment as she savored a mouthful of tender beef, “I can see the symbolic importance, but I question the cost. We just finished an expensive war, and the ongoing social reforms aren’t cheap.”

Marco sighed, “I suppose there will be grumbling. But I imagine that most people will reserve judgment until the building is done. Liz and I figure it will be a year before we can move in.”

The conversation continued, revolving around Marco’s expectations, politically, in the months ahead, and the social reforms being, slowly and painfully, put in place. After enjoying a light dessert of fresh fruits and coffee, they cleared the table, put the food away, disposed of the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. Marco poured them each a small glass of liqueur and led the way into the living room where they settled together on the couch.

Marie perched on the edge of the couch and turned so she could face Marco. “Here we are, finished dinner, and we haven’t swapped any of our stories yet. I meant what I said at the party. I want to get to know you, and I don’t want to play games.”

Marco nodded, and she continued. She described her career and the hurtful relationships she had endured, noting Marco’s reactions. He listened intently and reached for her hand as she shared the painful moments.

“So I decided that if I was going to see you socially, I‘d talk about myself honestly,” she concluded. “I hope you’ll do the same.”

Rossini closed his eyes for a moment and squeezed her hand lightly to reassure her. Not sure why, he believed that he could share his feelings honestly with Marie. They were kindred spirits, in a way – lonely, wary from difficult relationships in the past, both longing for honesty and understanding. Pat Conroy was the only human being Marco had ever trusted with his personal failures and longings… but he admired Marie’s candor and was encouraged by it.

“I’ve had bad experiences too, Marie. At the risk of scaring you away, I’ll be honest with you. Except for my friendship with Pat, and now Sarah, my personal life has been disappointing. So I’ve given up my dream of having a loving wife and family. I don’t know what I expected last week, but it certainly wasn’t you… a woman in whom I could confide.”

Marco paused a moment before continuing. “Marie, five years ago, I deliberately closed myself against the possibility of a serious relationship with a woman. I understood that meant giving up my dream, but I also believed that I could never survive another Melanie.”

Marie looked into his eyes and gave his hand a squeeze. “I’m still here, Marco, and I’m not scared. Tell me the story.”

Rossini lowered his head for a few moments, took a deep breath, and recounted his tale. Marie listened, without interrupting, and her heart reached out to his tortured soul. She didn’t understand how she could instinctively trust a man she barely knew, but she realized that it was right to do so.

Marco searched her face as he fell silent. In the dimming light, unshed tears glistened in her soft, brown eyes. Her quivering lips beckoned his own. The last remaining stones, of the wall he had erected around his heart, fell away. He felt an overwhelming desire to crush her against his chest and never release her. The thought frightened him. He couldn’t risk rejection. Agitated, he got up and paced over to the window.

NJ:       Oh Fio, they are such a cute couple!

JF:        Yes they are. Time to go…

Join us for our last installment of the Genesis Saga Tour…

Author Bio:

 Author PhotoJohn Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008.

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.

The Genesis Saga Trailer:





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Goals For 2015 Pt. 7: Publication and Short Fiction

Soccer Ball Hitting NetOne of my goals for 2015 is to submit up to six short stories to SF&F magazine markets. I currently have one story under consideration with one market and I’ve almost completed a second story. But why would I bother with short fiction when I’ve got numerous books to write and one I’m definitely preparing for publication later this year. Here are several reasons:

1. I hope to show readers I have a wider ability and scope with my fiction writing. I think it’s important that readers have an idea of what they’re getting from my fiction and submitting short fiction is an outstanding way to attempt this goal. If a reader likes my short stories they are more likely to like my books too.

2. Being published through a magazine market provides greater credibility for me as an author. If a reader trusts my fiction content they will certainly look further in to my books and perhaps become a fan. Gaining fans is the best way to increase the number of readers for my fiction because they spread the word.

3. Short fiction is a great way to continue improving my craft. While my goal is to write books they take a long time to complete. A short story gives me the chance to hone my writing skills while taking less time. Gaining acceptance of any short story at a paying market also validates that I’m improving at the craft.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

4. If a short story is accepted it becomes a great source of secondary income. The goal of my writing is to entertain well enough to make some money at it. A short story can be sold several times through podcasts, re-prints and anthologies so they offer several pieces of pie to an enterprising author.

5. I enjoy writing and short stories are a lot of fun to write. I wouldn’t be writing if I didn’t like it and short fiction by its very nature provides loads of enjoyment for me. I get to develop ideas in all kinds of settings with all kinds of characters all in a small package. There’s far less commitment of time for development and writing which makes this a pleasant break from the grind of a novel.

6. Short fiction is inherently challenging. A short story requires an author to weave a tale in limited space. The goal is to tell a lot with far less words so you have to be conscious of the length at all times. Brevity is a great creative exercise.

So those are my reasons for spending time on short stories. Do you like to read or write short fiction? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so The Black Bag by P H Solomoncheck my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Cover art provided on commission from Chris Rawlins

Fantasy Authors Unplugged: C. S. Boyack

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule.

Q:Your book has been featured here recently but please refresh everyone about your new book.

Cockof the southA: The book is a Greco-Roman fantasy, involving characters of alternate races. They are being persecuted into extinction by the Remsian Empire. One young dwarf, Cobby, thinks they can carve out a place in the world, but they have to overcome prejudices against each other first.

Q: How are your initial sales and reviews?

A: Reviews have been awesome. Sales have been small. Part of my 2015 efforts have to go toward extending my reach. More people would enjoy this story if they only knew about it. I recently joined Goodreads and there has been a small spike of interest in all my titles. The Rave Reviews Book Club has been really helpful in getting me noticed too.

Q: Is there anything special of note you can share about the book’s background – ideas and development?

A: I really wanted to read a good dwarf story. Elves seem to get all the attention in modern fantasy, and I wanted something else. I found some fun stories, and some that fell short. Along the way, I decided to write my own. In order to write this, I decided I had to bring something different to the table. I didn’t want to concentrate on another story with the same themes. This is when I came up with the Greco-Roman setting. The setting required races that are different than Tolkienesque fantasy. This book is full of centaurs, satyrs, and cyclops. It’s still a dwarf story, but different too. There are humans as well, but they’re Paeonians, Goths, Jews, and Amazon’s.

Q: What keeps you going creatively?

A: I love creating something new, but it’s my friends who keep me going. A positive comment on a blog post, a retweet, a nice review, these are the things that drive me forward. I come across something and it spurs my imagination. It could be on DeviantArt, television, another book, song lyrics, almost anything. Ideas come and go, but some stick around longer. These are the ones I outline to see if they make the cut.

Q: What are your thoughts regarding being an independent author?

A: In many ways, it’s independent or private. There is nothing wrong with writing for private amusement, and many people are. The gatekeeper system got so restrictive that I explored self publishing. Self publishing is kind of like being one salmon in a vast school. Thousands of new books are released every day. Readers have access to more choices than ever before. The challenge is to stand out. Invitations like this are incredibly valuable.Part of my time has to be spent exploring ways to get noticed. We’re all learning as we go, but the blogging community is very generous when it comes to sharing what works, and doesn’t work.

Q: What are your writing goals beyond this current book?

A: I limit myself to three closely related genres; Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal. This helps me stay dedicated. It may not work for others, but it works for me. I can avoid the stagnation that sometimes catches me by changing things up. I have a Paranormal story called Will ‘O the Wisp nearly ready to go. Several people have advance reading copies right now, and the early reports are wonderful. I’d like to keep putting out one or two novels per year. I’m also toying with the idea of a book of short stories. This could be a great way to inspire readers to check out my longer efforts.

Q: How consistent was the final version of your cover with your original concepts?

A: Not very, to tell the truth. It is an important scene from the story, but I envisioned something a bit more grandiose. It will serve its purpose, for now. I may change it up to all marble using carved letters and a cockatrice medallion. It has to wait for another day. A cover has to do several things. It has to catch the reader’s eye. It has to illustrate the genre and setting. It also has to be intriguing enough to make the reader click the blurb or a sample chapter. My cover has the Field of Jars and a cockatrice, that’s interesting and screams fantasy. The clothing and chiseled lettering illustrate the setting. It’s serviceable, but I may change it someday.


Craig author picI was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.


You can follow Craig at the following places:

His blog, Entertaining Stories.

On Twitter.

You can pick up a copy of The Cock of the South at

Thanks to Craig for the interview. Take some time to view his links and check out his latest novel.

If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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