Chef and Author, David Ruggerio Discusses His Best Recipe for a Horror Novel

Chef and Author, David Ruggerio Discusses His Best Recipe for a Horror Novel

David Ruggerio is a well-known chef and New York restaurant owner. He mastered his culinary skills in France at its leading restaurants. At the age of twenty five, David rose to fame. He received raved reviews as he worked as a chef at the legendary New York eatery, La Caravels. In 1995, he was recognized as one of the thirteen best young chefs in America.

David Ruggerio is also the author of two cook books. His third book, A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters will be releasing soon. He gives us the best recipe for the makings of a horror novel and more.

David Ruggerio

What made you want to become a horror author?

Though I did not attend college, and my education was limited, throughout my life, I sought refuge from a horrific childhood through reading. In the worst of times, I escaped my surroundings by leaping into the story I was reading at the time. Now, that I’m no longer working behind the stove, I returned to books, but this time, I became the storyteller instead of the reader. I don’t consider myself a true writer, instead, I’m a storyteller in its truest sense.

Did being a famous chef influence your writing?

My fame as a chef took me on a tour of the world. I saw cultures, people and food that I never knew existed. I learned things that later had a great influence on my storytelling. In addition, hosting a television show hones your ability as a storyteller, these were great advantages for me when I decided to trade in my knife for a pen.

Find on Amazon

What is the best recipe for a horror novel? What are some of the twists and turns, scary things, or elements that you added to yours?

I wish I had a secret recipe, but my books begin with either a real place, an actual event, or a nonfictional person. Though fiction, I think using these realities adds a special flavor to my books.

When I decided to pick up the pen, I first read Stephen King’s book on writing. I adopted his formula, I began my first book and allowed the characters within to take me on a journey. I never planned or anticipated any twist or turn within it, and because of that, I have great joy writing about them when they occur!

What is your favorite part of this time of year?

Without a doubt, autumn. With the change of the leaves, the chill in the air, this season reminds me of a saying—“Ghost and Goblins come out to play in October’s final day.”

Where did you come up with the idea to write A Wistful Tale? What inspired you?

I am a true horror aficionado and living in New York, one of my favorite places to visit is Sleepy Hollow. I adored Washington Irvings’ novel and it inspired me. On a trip upstate, I found the village of Brunswick, and I came upon the towns’ abandoned cemetery that some say is the most haunted place in America. It didn’t take much more after that!

What books are you reading this Halloween?

My grandmother left me an original copy of Dracula from 1897. I’m going to enjoy Bram Stocker’s words in its most wonderful original text!

Stay tuned for the release of David Ruggerio’s award-winning horror novel—A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Target, and Barnes and Noble, and will be released on October 31, 2019. You can find and read more about David on his website.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome  and What Can You Do About it?

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome and What Can You Do About it?

You’ve been divorced for a few years and something is happening that you can’t quite explain. Your children are afraid to come over and are saying things that are untrue.  Soon they begin to say cruel things about you that are clearly coming from someone else and it is tremendously hurtful.  It’s more than likely that you and your children are victims of Parental Alienation Syndrome.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome? Certified Divorce Coach and Parental Alienation Specialist Susan Shofer says that P.A.S was defined in 1985 by Dr. Richard Gardner.  “Dr. Gardner concluded that there are 8 clear symptoms that one can use to diagnose this very painful syndrome.

First let’s take a look as Susan Shofer defines P.A.S. using Dr. Gardner’s 8 symptoms, then she’ll discuss what can be done about it.

8 Symptoms of Parental Alienation

Denigration – “This refers to a child who complains in a very consistent way about a parent. Don’t get me wrong, all children complain about their parents at one time or another, but when you can see the pattern and it becomes extreme, then something else is at work.”

Frivolous Rationalization – “When a child is giving a complaint like, I don’t want to go to dad’s, for example, we must ask the question why. If the answer is not grounded in something real, then we can deduce that this might be a symptom of P.A.S.”

Lack of Ambivalence – “This one is so interesting because it can be a very clear indicator that something is wrong. Normally, people don’t look at those close to them in black & white terms. When I hear that a child says one parent is amazing and the other is horrible, my training and experience kicks in and tells me that things are not as they seem.”

Independent Thinker Phenomenon – “When a child comes out by themselves without being asked and says that the complaint is all them and they weren’t influenced at all, guess what? These are not his or her words. It’s so complicated, because the child truly believes that these thoughts are his or her own alone. This is why I say that the child is a victim of P.A.S. too.”

Automatic Support/Reflexive Support – “If a child sides with one parent every time he or she is in an argument with the other no matter the topic, this is a symptom of P.A.S. It will stand out particularly when the child’s judgement comes quickly and harshly.”

Absence of Guilt – “When a child is consistently cruel or disrespectful with no regard for a parent’s feelings and no apology after things calm down, then it’s clear P.A.S. is at work.”

Borrowed Scenarios – “To detect this symptom you must dig a little deeper into a child’s story about his or her parent. If they tell a story and then later tell the exact same story using not similar, butthe exact same language, this could be a symptom of P.A.S.”

Spread of Animosity – “When a child’s hurtful feelings about and actions towards a parent spread to aunts, uncles and grandparents there is clearly a problem. Very often they have done nothing wrong other than perhaps defending the accused parent.”

Now that we understand what Parental Alienation Syndrome is, what can we do about it? Here’s where Divorce Coach and P.A.S. Specialist Susan Shofer says you can begin:

“First of all, it’s important to understand that no two situations are the same and therefore, unfortunately, there is no perfect plan that works for everyone. Now, having said that, there are some things that everyone can do if they suspect they are being alienated. Mindset is everything so get real about what you’re going through. You are a victim, but you don’t need to act like one. Here are a few ways you can be proactive.

  1. Keep records of every interaction with your ex as well as your child.  This means every email and every text. This also means write down every conversation that you believe is relevant to the problem. You may need these for court.
  2. Never bad mouth the other parent. This is crucial, both for court and for your child’s well-being.  Remember your child is a victim too.
  3. Reassure your child you love him/her regardless of the differences you have with your spouse. Be hyper vigilant about this.
  4. Always bring up good memories of the past to remind them of the good times. 
  5. Make sure you use to the court to enforce your visitation rights. 
  6. Always keep your word and be consistent when dealing with your children.

Finally, if you are being alienated from your child, I highly recommend that you seek out a trained professional. P.A.S. is complicated and very specific to the situation. Children and ex-spouses can be unpredictable, and the courts can be very difficult to navigate. I know, because I’ve been through it all myself.”

If you’d like more information click on Parental Alienation Syndrome or Susan Shofer and find out what you can do to get your child back in your life.

Young Adult Novels You HAVE to Read

Young Adult Novels You HAVE to Read

If you’re a fan of Young Adult novels, 2019 is turning out to be a banner year.  From romance to magic spells, there are plenty of compelling and fun new books for you to read regardless of your taste. There’s even a dark love story with a young Edgar Allen Poe as the protagonist. Pretty cool.

Now, some of you may enjoy sticking with the trends while others get excited about referrals from friends.  That’s great! But what if you’re looking to find the next book that you can recommend. You’ve come to the right place.

Here are a few YA novels that are making waves this year:

The Engine Woman’s Light – by Laurel Anne Hill

Emotions run high in this action-packed tale as 15 year-old Juanita is charged with stopping a sinister plot perpetrated by the Director of a California Asylum. Set in the backdrop of an 1894 alternate world, the story is both marvelous and terrifying as we follow Laurel’s protagonist on her journey to save the victims from a horrible fate.  Juanita is a very well developed and insightful character filled with conflict and complexity.  As a reader you can’t help but root for her and empathize as she struggles through love, loss and the inhumanity of what she finds.

The Last of Will – by Sheryl Benko


Now Available: The Last of Will

Why would a normal teenage girl give up her summer vacation to deliver a stranger’s ashes out of state? Hilarity ensues when Greer Sarazen is forced to road trip with her father who’s on a mission for a local cemetery. A stranded van, a clown, a rodeo, a disco-dancing nerd and a belligerent dwarf threaten to throw off the itinerary, while the departed “passenger” becomes an unexpected friend … proving that, sometimes, the things we truly need are the last things we would ever expect in this truly heartfelt and wonderful novel.

The Lonely Heart’s Bar – by Konni Granma

What happens when Connie, a young woman filled with hope, travels to Los Angeles to study directing and screenwriting, but on the way, meets an unlikely traveler at a roadside bar?  Destinies are linked and our heroes haven given up everything to follow their dreams, team up for a wild adventure. What’s in store for the young rebels in Los Angeles? Does a dream have another side, one that’s just as enigmatic and invisible as the far side of the Moon?  This book is a fun ride with characters that come to life with every emotion they feel and every decision they make.

Growing Up Hollywood – by Tara Botel Doherty

Anything can happen in Hollywood, it can be both a dangerous place and a place where dreams come true. After all, Hollywood is the land of hopes, dreams, and make believe. On these tarnished and run-down streets, especially Hollywood Boulevard in the 1970’s you need to watch your back. Annie and Gracie live on a street above the Boulevard up in the Hollywood Hills in a California Craftsman with large picture windows. Although the picture looks perfect, pictures are often deceiving. With a mother and father on the edge of divorce, these two young girls are left to their own devices and try to make sense of their surroundings on this unfriendly, dead end street. Go on the adventures with these two sisters as they grow up among the famous landmarks, and meet the people who make Hollywood the destination to find fame and fortune among the stars on the Walk of Fame. 

As you can see, 2019 is truly a great time to be a fan of Young Adult novels.  So whether you’re heading off to some exotic location for vacation or just hanging on the patio on a hot summer night, grab a new book and let your imagination take over for a while.  You may even discover that a new author has become a new favorite.   

Let’s Talk Love with Barbara Morriss

Let’s Talk Love with Barbara Morriss




Barbara Morriss writes relatable romance stories with historic backdrops. Brining readers back to the glory days of courting and romance. But her novels are more than just love stories, she adds a twist of mystery and a pinch of danger. We cannot get enough of Morriss’ work and hope she continues writing these addicting pieces. Her newest book, A Promise in Autumn is releasing soon, we wanted to find out more:

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?

I would love to give my book to Rob Reiner. I think he’d like it.  My book, A Promise in Autumn, is a romance between two likable, and very different individuals.  Rob Reiner seems to understand the complexities of a relationship and what happens as two people explore a friendship and then a romance. Remember “When Harry Met Sally”?

 

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

I love reading historical fiction and non-fiction.  When I read The Boys in the Boat, a gripping story of non-fiction by Daniel James Brown,  I was inspired to tell stories based on historical facts. I am looking forward to reading his most recent book, Under a Flaming Sky.  His books read like novels. He portrays his characters with so much heart that a reader genuinely cares about them.

 

Q. If could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why?

I don’t know, maybe Adele.  I think she’d like my story.  Maybe she’d even identify with the heartbreak?

 

Q. Give us the scoop on YOUR great love story!

My book A Promise in Autumn is a good love story peppered with an antagonist, stolen jewels, and enough twists and turns to keep you engaged.

 

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

For the female lead I would choose, Irish actress Saoirse Ronan to play Keagan.  She would nail the accent and I think she’d pull off the relationship dynamic between an Irish Catholic and an English protestant. Alden Caleb Ehrenreich would make a perfect Raymon, Keagan’s love interest.  I think Saoirse and Alden would have great chemistry like my characters.

 

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?

I admire and have a fan crush on tennis great, Roger Federer. I’ve seen him play several times, but never was close enough to say hello. I hope one day to cross that off my bucket list.

 

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin. Mother Theresa

 

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Morning person – love the mornings.

Q. Reading or writing?

A. This is a difficult choice. I love to read good books and the creative process of writing.

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A. Puppies –They bring me joy, so do adult dogs.

Q. The beach or the mountains?

A. The beach – I have always chosen to live near one.

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A. Road trip – We love to hit the road with our pug, Dudley. Our itineraries always include hikes, beer tasting, and sidewalk dining.

Q. Tea or coffee?

A. Coffee – We need several cups of caffeine every morning.

Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. If I could sing, it would be karaoke hands down.

Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?

A. Those are two scary choices. Although I fear heights, I think if I could fly like a bird it would be breathtaking. I’m not sure I would want to know what others are thinking. Although when I write, I have to get in the heads of my characters.

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A. Here’s another secret. I hate having my picture taken – group photo for sure.

Q. E.L. James or J.K. Rowling?

A. J.K. Rowling – talk about creative! The thing I love most about her writing is the vocabulary she invents to tell her stories.

Q. Bacon or Tofu?

A. Bacon, one of my guilty pleasures. I should prefer tofu.

 

Pre-order a copy of her latest book on Amazon!




Meet Your New Favorite Author: Konni Granma

Meet Your New Favorite Author: Konni Granma




The fun and free-spirited Konni Granma gave us the inside scoop to her latest novel “The Lonely Hearts Bar”. The story is a must read for anyone who loves cinema and all things Hollywood. We love Konni’s unique writing style. Her zest for life and adventure is captured perfectly in her stories. We sat down with Konni and learned a little more about what made her tick:

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?

A. Ethan Hawke, because when I was writing “The Lonely Hearts Bar”, as the hero of Mr. BB, I saw him. For some reason it seems to me that he will understand this character like no other.

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

My mom and dad, and their faith in my dreams.

Q. If you could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why?

A. It would be the composer Thomas Newman, because I wrote “The Lonely Hearts Bar”, listening his compositions from the movie “Meet Joe Black”.

Q. Give us the scoop on YOUR great love story!

A. I am 21 years old and the only love story in my life is my crazy love for the characters of my books.

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

I believe that this will really happen, and on the cinema screens I will see the inscription “The Lonely Hearts Bar”, and in the main role of Mr. BB I will see my dear Mr. Ethan Hawke in a black T-shirt, dark gray jeans and purple converse. And it will be incredibly cool to watch how, after 30 years, the scene from «Dead Poets Society» will be repeated, only now he will be in the role of John Keating. This is very touching.

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?

I’m not sure that I have any secrets. After all, I wrote a book and published it, and this story is a huge collective image of my life. I am very honest with my readers. Today, I am saving up new secrets for the next book calling “Pulse” 🙂

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

A. I want the world to forever remember the words of Mr. BB, that… there is a beginning of what we believe in. And when it gets scary, “throw everything to the wind.”

 

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Early Morning person! J

Q. Reading or writing?

A. Writing

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A. Puppies… and kittens 🙂

Q. The beach or the mountains?

A. The mountains

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A. Road trip!!!

Q. Tea or coffee?

A. Coffee and more coffee!

Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. Karaoke

Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?

A. To fly

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A. Group photo

Q. E.L. James or J.K. Rowling?

A. J.K. Rowling

Q. Bacon or Tofu?

A. Tofu! Yummy 🙂

Find your copy of The Lonely Hearts Bar on Amazon!




A Love Story You’ll Want to Read This February

A Love Story You’ll Want to Read This February




Next Therapist Please tells the journey of Janie as she recounts the tragic moments in her life and her everyday experiences. After Janie loses her husband and son in an unexpected accident she is forced to start again. Struggling with not only her grief, but other various mental illnesses, Janie attempts to pick up the pieces of her life and find happiness. Her witty sense of humor and sarcastic tone create comic relief that keep the serious topics light.

Although Janie misses her former family, she decides to enter the dating world after a chance encounter with her prior, and very desirable, therapist. She struggles with her various options as a couple very different men show an interest in dating Janie. However, this novel is more than just a light romance story, it packs a punch with it’s relatable take on the struggles of mental illness and reinventing oneself.

If you’re looking for a love story to read this February, look no further than Next Therapist Please.  This romantic comedy will have you flying through the pages to discover what happens next. A fun and relatable story perfect for Valentine’s Day.