The Perfect Revenge: The Next Hot Saga

The Perfect Revenge: The Next Hot Saga

Releasing October 20th, The Perfect Revenge has us counting down the days until its big reveal. This contemporary women’s fiction is part one of The Dragonfly Rises saga. The reader follows main character, Zoey. We see her grow from a scared child to a serious tough cookie as she takes matters into her own hands. This book is thrilling to read and is jammed packed with romance, street justice, drama and more. So, here’s the inside scoop about The Perfect Revenge.

What makes your book series un-put-down-able?

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The main character is highly relatable, and readers will be eager to find out how she’s overcome the tough challenges she’s faced—as well as discover ever-emerging secrets about her past.

What is something interesting/cool/unbelievable you discovered while researching your book?


I patterned most of the characters in this book after real people I’ve met down through the years. The book’s central villain is a textbook narcissist, as well as a complete obsessionist, alcoholic, and (sometimes) what’s known as a “dry drunk.” As I delved deeper into these particular textbooks, I also climbed into the mind, heart, and soul of this neurotic character, which was a frightening place to be.

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


I’d choose Pink. She’s powerful and ever-ready to take a stand for what she believes in—like Zoey. The lyrics to one of her newest songs, “Hurts 2B Human,” capture Zoey’s fierce bond with herself and with those she holds dear: “You know I’d have your back…”

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


Zoey:
Anna Kendrick, because she can be shy and hopeless but at the same time demonstrate incredible strength.
Amy Adams, or Karen Gillan, or Rachel McAdams—all have the ability to transform from the girl-next-door who’s completely unaware of her potential, to a badass who can defeat powerful enemies.
Max:
Ray Liotta, because he can act charming while completely slimy and vicious inside.
Bryan Cranston, because can deliver a dominating presence and be extreme in the characters weaknesses.

Tell us something about you that no one else knows.


I was once kicked out of a straight-laced writer’s group for my work being too “racy.”

What three books are on your To Be Read list this summer?


What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics by Rachel Denhollander

Devoted by Dean Koontz

The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

Recommend a book that is similar to yours. If people like X, then they’ll love your book because…

The late Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo shares heat and color with The Perfect Revenge, bothreplete with intrigue and power and violence and abuse and global finances and eroticism. The Perfect Revenge takes the reader further inside, however, as it’s told from the first-person viewpoint of the female lead. It’s Zoey’s story told by Zoey.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?


Research regarding Zoey’s biggest secret, to be revealed in Book 2.

What was the most rewarding part of writing your book?


The opportunity to inspire women to find empowerment and take control of their lives, and then to use their influence to drive society in a more positive direction.

What book made you cry and why?


The Color Purple—so many women throughout history have suffered in heinous situations against which they were powerless. That list includes my own mother, which is the driving force behind this project.

What is the second line on the 42nd page of your book?


But any time he was gone was precious to that scared eleven-year-old.”

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


No matter how bad your situation, or traumatic your past, you can turn your life around and achieve self-fulfillment. I know this firsthand and have witnessed such transformation by women with much worse childhoods than my own.

Rapid Fire Questions

James Bond or Laura Croft?
Laura Croft, of course

Meat or Veggies?
Both

Skinny dipping or mountain climbing?
Skinny dipping

Formal attire or yoga pants and a hoodie?
Neither

Horseback riding or ATV?
Horseback

Kanye West or Taylor Swift?
Taylor Swift

Kittens or puppies?
Baby tigers

Ninja or pirates?
Ninja

Reading or writing?
Writing

Alice in Wonderland or Lord of the Flies?
Lord of the Flies

Coachella or Broadway?
Broadway

Chess or Fortnight?
Chess

Invisibility or mind reading?
Mind reading

London or Istanbul?
London

Miley or Selena?
I take the fifth

E.L. James or J.K. Rowling?
A potent combination

Make sure to pre-order your copy of The Perfect Revenge now!

Sheryl Benko – Everything You Need to Know

Sheryl Benko – Everything You Need to Know

Author Sheryl Benko is well known in the media industry. She has worked on over thirty films amongst the titles are the Acedemy Award winning blockbusters, “TITANIC,” Quentin Tarantino’s “INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS,” Kenneth Branagh’s “THOR,” for Marvel Films, Oliver Stone’s “SAVAGES,” and the Jon Favreau hit, “CHEF.”  Wow, impressive!

Sheryl is currently working on dual projects, serving as the Post Production Supervisor for the upcoming feature “UNCLE FRANK” which just premiered at Sundance. She is also working on “DON’T LOOK DEEPER”. We can’t wait to check them out!

Her love of movies is expressed through writing screenplays and producing and directing short films. Becoming an author has been an interesting transition for her with her first novel “The Last of Will”. We just HAD to learn more about this new book from this impressive media superstar!

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

Octavia Spencer.  I had the pleasure of working with her on two movies years ago, and she is one of the kindest, warmest people I have ever met.  When writing the character of Helen, it was Octavia’s voice that I always heard.  She informed so much of that character.  I ran into Octavia recently at the PGA Awards, and we are going to try to catch up soon – so, fingers crossed!

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration? 

My grandma.  She was always writing poems and short stories.  She was so creative, and could come up with the most engaging rhymes and prose.  She was always entering writing contests, and often won!  Her dedication to craft always makes me want to work harder, and keep striving to find the most entertaining, eloquent way to tell a story.  Whenever I “feel” my Grandma while I’m writing, I know she’ll point me in the right direction.

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

Adele.  I always remember her speech from an awards show, where she said that she and her friend were “pissing themselves laughing.”  I hope that my book would do the same for her! 

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

In terms of Greer, I’ve never had an exact actress in mind.  For me, I feel Greer’s “essence,” and have an image of her in my head, but it doesn’t translate to a known actor – or, at least, not one that jumps to mind.  For Greer’s father, Will, I’ve thought of many actors over the years, but the most recent has been Jason Bateman.  Aside from being a very good actor, he has a self-deprecating quality that allows him to be funny without trying to be.  Will has been beaten down by life when we meet him, and Greer has to partially pull him out of the abyss.  An actor like Jason Bateman could be really fun and engaging in that dynamic.

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

Author Sheryl Benko

I have a few stuffed animals.  The soft, plushy kind – not taxidermy.  And I occasionally talk to them.  By the way, any adult who tells you they don’t have at least one stuffed animal is probably lying.  And if they have more than one stuffed animal, they definitely talk to them.

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

That while we are all different and unique, we have more in common than we know.  Finding that connection and that shared language is a fascinating journey.  We just have to be open to the ride!

Q. Give us the scoop on your book. 

I am outlining the screenplay, which will be the next venture.  Greer and Will deserve a road trip movie.

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Night owl.

Q. Reading or writing?

A. Writing.

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A.  Both!

Q. The beach or the mountains?

A.  Mountains.

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A.  Road trip.

Q. Tea or coffee?

A.  Coffee.

Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. Bowling.

Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?

A.  Fly.

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A.  Group photo.

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

A.  J.K. Rowling.

The Cheeky Bilal Alaji Tells All

The Cheeky Bilal Alaji Tells All

The fun, inspirational and multi-talented Bilal Alaji has written his own memoir to share with the world. With it he hopes to help those struggling to find their path, give guidance and reassurance that any situation can be changed by declaring “This Ain’t My Life”. Bilal’s story keeps the page turning, find out how he manages all of life’s obstacles.

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

     I would give my book to Iyanla Vanzant because she deals with therapeutic methods to heal people who have experienced trauma’s in their lives. My book This Ain’t My Life would be a great compliment to her show “Fix My Life”. It would be amazing for me to work with her helping people by sharing from a males perspective.

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

     I have been moved by many books and authors throughout the years but I think the book that had the biggest impact on me in my impressionable years was the Autobiography of Malcolm X written by Alex Haley. This book was my introduction to a fascinating world of literary exposition.  This book melted into the fiber of my being, giving me purpose to define my destiny.

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

     I would give it to Alicia Keys. She has amazing vocal talent and the ability to see beyond the words. With her musical talent she would transform the book into a musical right away allowing me to see and understand my story in a completely different context.

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

     I’m not sure there is anyone who could play the lead as good as I can. So, I’m going to have to nominate myself for the lead on this role. Eminem played the lead in his movie debut Eight Mile, centered around his life. My religious and musical background makes me a unique character to play, a challenge I’d rather take on myself.

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

Bilal Alaji

     My left butt cheek is larger than my right— just kidding. I have a great sense of humor. Those closest to me state that I should have been a stand up comedian. My humor has been my saving grace throughout the years. It has also acted as a buffer when tensions are running high. I now know that the humorous side of me is a skill set that I don’t take for granted.

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

     I want those who read my book to know that there is something great lying dormant inside of them. Never give up on yourself, never give up on your dreams, and never give up on your ambitions. It is through your darkest moments that you will find victory. Keep believing in YOU.

Q. Give us the scoop on your book.

      The book chronicles my life as a Black Muslim who was lead down an arduous path by my father. I had aspirations of being a recording artist that was shattered by life altering events. I remained diligent in my passion to pursue my dreams, however, I became a husband and parent at a young age. This would lead me through a web of drama, betrayal, depression, and confusion. As I try to shake to web to find some sort of normalcy, I was too deep entangled, losing myself, my dreams, and my ambition. I found hope through my faith. I began the process of transformation for the life that I’ve always dreamed of. I continued to remind myself that, This Ain’t My Life. It was because of this mantra that I was able to redefine who I was and find my divine purpose.

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Most definitely a night owl. I have no problem burning the midnight oil. During late hours are when I receive the most inspiration

Q. Reading or writing?

A. Both. This is a tie. I love to read just as much as I love writing.

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A. I’m a cat lover. Actually, I’m an animal lover, so tie again.

Q. The beach or the mountains?

A. I love the beach. I do mountains too but beach wins this one.

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A. Cruise ship. I have done several cruises as well as road trips. I think I enjoy being pampered and not having to work at all.

Q. Tea or coffee?

A. I’m a tea man. Tea all the way baby!

Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. Both. I love being active and I’m also extremely competitive.

Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?

A. Mind reading. This will make for such a powerful weapon— I mean skill set.

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A. Group photo. I guess I have all the time in the world to take pics of myself.

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

A. J.K. Rowling. She is an absolute beast with her imagination.

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.

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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.