The Buzziest Books of October | 2020

The Buzziest Books of October | 2020

The month of October was a great time for readers with a host of exciting releases from bestselling authors. There were so many page-turning novels that captivated us from cover to cover this month. If you want to catch up on the books everyone was talking about, here are our choices for the buzziest books of September. Happy reading!


A Time for Mercy

by John Grisham

Release Date: October 13, 2020

The third book in the Jake Brigance Series by New York Times Bestselling Author John Grisham… Clanton, Mississippi. 1990. Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a divisive trial when the court appoints him attorney for Drew Gamble, a timid sixteen-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy.

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The Return

by Nicholas Sparks

Release Date: September 29, 2020

The brand new novel from the New Yor Times Bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks… Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he’d inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

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Is This Anything?

by Jerry Seinfeld

Release Date: October 6, 2020

The first book in 25 years from comedian Jerry Seinfeld… Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub “Catch a Rising Star” as a twenty-one-year-old college student in the fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved everything. In this new book, he shares some of his favorite material.

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Where Butterflies Go

by Debra Doxer

Release Date: October 7, 2020

Where Butterflies Go is based on the true story of one woman’s survival during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and her struggle to find meaning in the aftermath… Meira Sokolow was born to Jewish parents in Warsaw, Poland, in 1912. Before she even took her first breath, her fate had been sealed.

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The Sentinel

by Lee Child

Release Date: October 27, 2020

The 25th book in the Jack Reacher Series by New York Times Bestselling Author Lee Child… As always, Reacher has no particular place to go. One morning he ends up in a town near Pleasantville, Tennessee. But there’s nothing pleasant about the place. In broad daylight Reacher spots a hapless soul walking into an ambush. “It was four against one”… so Reacher intervenes, with his own trademark brand of conflict resolution.

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Troubles in Paradise

by Elin Hilderbrand

Release Date: October 6, 2020

After she uprooted her life in the States, Irene Steele has settled at a villa on St. John where her husband had been living a double life. A visit from the FBI shakes her foundations, and Irene learns just how little she knew about the man she used to love. With a little help from her friends, Irene and her sons set up their new lives.

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The Way Out

by Armond Boudreaux

Release Date: September 29, 2020

“Sure to thrill fans of politically focused science fiction.” -Publishers Weekly… The world is changing thanks to a medical miracle. The artificial womb ensures the perfect health and flawless development of every unborn child. Natural pregnancy quickly becomes criminalized as a danger to both mother and fetus. Jessica Brantley is a reporter and makes new enemies every day covering both sides of the controversial new law. Her search for the truth soon leads to an unimaginable discovery.

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The Searcher

by Tana French

Release Date: October 6, 2020

A “taut, chiseled and propulsive” (Vogue) new novel from the bestselling mystery writer who “is in a class by herself.” Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in an Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

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Bestsellers Now in Paperback | October 2020

Take a look at this month’s selection of bestsellers now in paperback! October had a great selection of bestselling books to check out from thrilling mysteries to enthralling literary reads, and insightful biographies. Pick up these latest paperback books by bestselling authors David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Harlan Coben, Danielle Steel, Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, and many more!


Mystery, Thriller & Suspense


Literary Fiction


Fantasy & Science Fiction

Young Adult


Biography & Memoir

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Our Audiobook Playlist For October | 2020

Our Audiobook Playlist For October | 2020

We wanted to share with you some of our favorite audiobooks we’ve been listening to in October. Our playlist includes a little something for everyone from mystery, romance, literary fiction, fantasy, and memoir. Grab your headphones and happy listening!


Empire High Untouchables

by Ivy Smoak

Release Date: July 9, 2020

The first book in the Empire High Series by Ivy Smoak… Everyone calls the Hunter and Caldwell brothers The Untouchables. Well, that’s my best friend’s nickname for them. Since she is the only one that talks to me at my new school, I’ll take her word for it. The nickname probably comes from the fact they come from old wealth.

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Battle Ground

by Jim Butcher

Release Date: September 29, 2020

The 17th book in the Dresden Files Series by New York Times Bestselling Author Jim Butcher… Harry has come up against terrible odds before. He has a long history of fighting enemies above his weight class. The Red Court of vampires. The fallen angels of the Order of the Blackened Denarius. The Outsiders. But this time is different. He must now face a being much more powerful and dangerous.

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A Resolution at Midnight

by Shelley Noble

Release Date: October 13, 2020

The third book in A Lady Dunbridge Mystery Series by New York Times Bestselling Author Shelley Noble… Roasted chestnuts from vendor’s carts, fresh cut spruce trees lining the sidewalks, extravagant gifts, opulent dinners, carols at St Patrick’s Cathedral, a warm meal and a few minutes shelter from the cold at one of the charitable food lines… It’s Christmas in Gilded Age Manhattan. But the murder of a prominent newsman hits a little too close to home.

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A Borrowed Life

by Kerry Anne King

Release Date: September 22, 2020

For thirty years Liz perfectly played the part of the pastor’s wife and mother. But maintaining appearances for the congregation and catering to her demanding husband takes a toll. When Thomas suddenly dies, Liz feels shock, grief, and, to her surprise, the siren song of freedom. Dare she dream of a life to call her own?

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One Exquisite Touch

by Lauren Blakely

Release Date: October 12, 2020

The second book in The Extravagant Series by New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely… The rules of the masquerade were clear: no names and no identities. I set one more–find a most wicked man for one night, the kind who’ll bring me deliciously naughty pleasure. But as the clock ticks to midnight, he finds me, whisks me away to a secret alcove, and delivers all that dirty bliss and then some.

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Greenlights

by Matthew McConaughey

Release Date: October 20, 2020

“Unflinchingly honest and remarkably candid.” Greenlight is the new book from the Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey. It is an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

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Books To Read If You Like Science Fiction & Fantasy | October 2020

Books To Read If You Like Science Fiction & Fantasy | October 2020

Have you been on the lookout for some new science fiction and fantasy books? Get ready for some exciting adventures because we’ve made a list of some of our favorite new novels! Check out the latest from bestselling authors Marie Sexton, Joanna Campbell Slan, CJ Lutton, Jared Chapman, Brittni Chenelle, Christiane Joy Allison, and many more. Happy reading!


The Lost Ship of the Tucker Rebellion

by Marie Sexton

Release Date: October 26, 2020

An alien invasion has rendered Earth uninhabitable. To survive, humanity now lives in settlements on Mars, the moon, and distant space stations around Jupiter and Saturn. Mining, salvage, and scrap are the only ways people can try and make a living. Twin brothers Denver and Laramie Clayborne’s salvage operation is a small one. Their lives are simple and they like it that way. That was until the day they find something big floating in the wreckage of a battleship graveyard.

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Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Sumatran Rat

by Joanna Campbell Slan

Release Date: September 14, 2020

The first book in The Confidential Files of Dr. John H. Watson Series by Joanna Campbell Slan and C.J. Lutton… The world was not prepared for this story, a conspiracy hatched in the highest levels of the British government. A rogue Minister of Defense plans to turn soldiers into blood-thirsty animals—and Holmes and Watson may be among their first victims. If you like historical thrillers with a hint of the supernatural, this series is for you.

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2HVØRHVNØT: To Have Or Have Not

by Jared Chapman

Release Date: September 8, 2020

Welcome to Fellowship City. The Mighty have all the wealth, fame, power, and superpowers. But even they are subject to the monastery’s control. To maintain peace, telepathic monks see into the past, present, and future to police the other Mighty and the minority of powerless Citizens, who have nothing but their identity tags tattooed on their wrists. Twenty-year-old Mario lives with his kid sister in a camphouse on the island south of the city. Unlike the other citizens, he actually likes his downtown job… Well, he did until the grisly murder of his boss changes everything.

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Eternal Bite

by Brittni Chenelle & More Authors

Release Date: October 20, 2020

Eternal Bite is a brand new vampire collection with nine never-before-released stories. The box set includes: Vampira Crescent Academy by Avery Song, The Dark Prince’s Captive by Stasia Black, Blood Thorn by A.S. Green, Chaste Blood by Brittni Chenelle, Deathly Touch by CC Solomon, His Soul To Keep by Stella Williams, Hunting Haven by Charlee Garden, The Vampire Cure by Kat Stiles, and Blood Prince by Melody Raven.

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Infinitus

by Christiane Joy Allison

Release Date: August 30, 2020

The first book in The Infinitus Saga by author Christiane Joy Allison… The Global Fellowship rescued the Earth from the chaos of hundreds of nations at war. Now, united in peace, all Community citizens have free access to food, housing, education, and medical care. In return, for a few hours a day, they contribute their brain power to the worldwide computer system known as the GRID. If you don’t contribute, you are left destitute on the edge of starvation in a world where GRIDcoin is beyond their reach.

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Spellbreaker

by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release Date: November 1, 2020

As a girl, the orphaned Elsie Camden learned that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic-user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man.

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The post Books To Read If You Like Science Fiction & Fantasy | October 2020 appeared first on NewInBooks.

Must-Read Books For Fans of Literary Fiction | October 2020

Must-Read Books For Fans of Literary Fiction | October 2020

Literary Fiction readers have a host of new novels to start reading right now thanks to these amazing must-read book releases! Don’t miss our latest recommendations from Tanya E Williams, Debra Doxer, Rumaan Alam, Suzanne Kelman, Anna Ellory, and David Biro. Enjoy your new literary fiction books!


All That Was

by Tanya E Williams

Release Date: October 20, 2020

Emily Reed is a first-year attorney who refuses to dwell on her emotions. When she is assigned a church archival project, she dives into the records to hide from her own heartache. When she soon discovers her parents were married in this very chapel, she is forced to confront the grief she buried a decade ago.

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Where Butterflies Go

by Debra Doxer

Release Date: October 7, 2020

Where Butterflies Go is based on the true story of one woman’s survival during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and her struggle to find meaning in the aftermath… Meira Sokolow was born to Jewish parents in Warsaw, Poland, in 1912. Before she even took her first breath, her fate had been sealed.

Buy on Amazon

Leave the World Behind

by Rumaan Alam

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award… Leave the World Behind is the new novel from the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty. It is a suspenseful and provocative book that explores how in moments of crisis, our closest bonds can be reshaped and unexpected new ones are forged.

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Under a Sky on Fire

by Suzanne Kelman

Release Date: October 13, 2020

London, September 1940. The German Luftwaffe have started a terrifying bombing campaign known as the Blitz. Thousands have been evacuated to safety but Lizzie Mackenzie finds herself heading to London. She wants to help in the war effort but has another reason for leaving her Scottish village… the illegitimate child she gave up for adoption nearly five years before.

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The Puzzle Women

by Anna Ellory

Release Date: October 20, 2020

Berlin 1989. Siblings Rune and Lotte are shaken awake by Mama and told to follow her quietly into the night. The last time they ran away from Papa, with Mama bruised and broken, they were back within a week. But this time their Mama says they are starting a new life. A new life where nobody can ever hurt them again.

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This Magnificent Dappled Sea

by David Biro

Release Date: November 1, 2020

In a Northern Italian village, nine-year-old Luca Taviano has been diagnosed with Leukemia. His only hope for survival is a bone marrow transplant. After an exhaustive search, they finally find a match three thousand miles away from a rabbi in Brooklyn, New York.

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The post Must-Read Books For Fans of Literary Fiction | October 2020 appeared first on NewInBooks.

Hot New Romance Book Recommendations | October 2020

Hot New Romance Book Recommendations | October 2020

Whether you’re a reader of sweet, steamy, or paranormal romance, we’ve got some hot new book recommendations for you! Don’t miss the latest from Amanda Uhl, Ivy Smoak, Nana Malone, Lauren Blakely, Willow Winters, and Lynsay Sands. Enjoy!


Cross Waves

by Amanda Uhl

Release Date: October 19, 2020

The second book in the Mind Hackers Series by Amanda Uhl… Gifted with a psychic talent, Geneva Ericksen can’t risk letting Rolf Jorgensen in her life. If she does, she might accidentally kill him. When Rolf’s sister goes missing, Geneva and her extraordinary abilities may be his only hope to find her.

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Empire High Untouchables

by Ivy Smoak

Release Date: July 9, 2020

The first book in the Empire High Series by Ivy Smoak… Everyone calls the Hunter and Caldwell brothers The Untouchables. Well, that’s my best friend’s nickname for them. Since she is the only one that talks to me at my new school, I’ll take her word for it. The nickname probably comes from the fact they come from old wealth.

Buy on Amazon

East End

by Nana Malone

Release Date: October 20, 2020

The first book in the Hear No Evil Trilogy by USA Today Bestselling Author Nana Malone… My name is East Hale, and these are my confessions. I might be a member of the Elite, but I’m done being a gentleman. It’s my job to keep Interpol Agent, Nyla Kincaid, away from our operation. If she won’t stop, she’ll force my hand. I’m just as ruthless as she is and she will bend to my demands.

Buy on Amazon

One Exquisite Touch

by Lauren Blakely

Release Date: October 16, 2020

The second book in The Extravagant Series by New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely… The rules of the masquerade were clear: no names and no identities. I set one more–find a most wicked man for one night, the kind who’ll bring me deliciously naughty pleasure. But as the clock ticks to midnight, he finds me, whisks me away to a secret alcove, and delivers all that dirty bliss and then some.

Buy on Amazon

But I Need You

by Willow Winters

Release Date: October 20, 2020

The second book in the This Love Hurts Series by USA Today Bestselling Author Willow Winters… Some love stories are a slow burn. Others are quick to ignite, scorching and branding your very soul before you’ve taken that first breath. You’re never given a chance to run from it. That is how I’d describe what happened to us.

Buy on Amazon

Immortal Angel

by Lynsay Sands

Release Date: September 29, 2020

The 31st book in An Argeneau Novel Series by USA Today Bestselling Author Lynsay Sands… For almost two centuries, Ildaria Garcia has been on the run, a trouble magnet with a knack for taking down bad guys. Lately, her vigilante tendencies have drawn unwelcome attention to her fellow Immortals. She is meant to lay low but quickly entangles herself with six and a half feet of muscular, tattooed trouble.

Buy on Amazon

The post Hot New Romance Book Recommendations | October 2020 appeared first on NewInBooks.

Interview with Debra Doxer, Author of Where Butterflies Go

What can you tell us about your new release, Where Butterflies Go?

This book is based on the life of my great aunt, a Holocaust survivor. I’ve always known my extended family was smaller than most. I didn’t have any aunts and uncles and cousins spread out all over the place like most of my friends seemed to have. When I was older, I learned that my father’s side of the family was almost wiped out in the Holocaust. I knew the Holocaust was a terrible thing, but it seemed so removed from my world. It stayed that way until my great aunt came to visit when I was in junior high, and she showed us a scar she had on her arm. She also had a story about how she got that scar. It was when she was in a concentration camp during World War II. As she proceeded to elaborate, tears sprang to my eyes. After that, the Holocaust was no longer a nebulous thing to me. It was real and stark and terrible. Her story stayed with me, and as I grew older and heard about groups of Holocaust deniers or others who believed the death toll was exaggerated, I knew it was important for my great aunt’s story and stories like hers to be told.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Reading is what inspired me. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and it was my love of reading that made me want to write.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

My all time favorite book is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I’ve probably read it four or five times now. Other favorites are A Simple Plan by Scott Smith, Story of My Life by Jay McInerney, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Since she wrote my favorite book, I’d love to interview Donna Tartt. I’d probably be terrified and intimidated, but I’d want to know about her process. She is a true artist, and I believe it takes her about ten years to write a book. I’m such an impatient writer, I’d want to know how she finds the patience to stay with a book for such a long time.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Writing is hard. I have a love/hate relationship with it. My favorite part is finishing the book. Then I miss it, and my least favorite part is that it’s finished.

What is a typical day like for you?

I work full-time as a technical writer for computer software. I’m also a single mom to a ten year old. My days are pretty busy, especially now in the pandemic. I work remotely all day while my daughter attends school in a hybrid schedule. The weeks she’s at home, it’s pretty hectic. These days, all my fiction writing is relegated to a few hours in the evening before my eyes finally shut.

What scene from Where Butterflies Go was your favorite to write?

I enjoyed writing one of the lighter scenes when Meira meets Max in New York City for the first time. It shows her spunk and her humor. I really enjoy writing scenes with romantic chemistry and underlying tension.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

My general philosophy is that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. This is something I try to live by, and I’ve tried to instill this philosophy in my daughter.

Debra Doxer is the author of the new book Where Butterflies Go.

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Interview with Amanda Uhl, Author of Cross Waves

What can you tell us about your new release, Cross Waves?

Cross Waves is a labor of love. From start to finish, it took me four years to perfect the storyline. Early reviewers are using phrases like, “a non-stop reading experience,” “fast-paced,” “heart-pounding,” and (my personal favorite), “I couldn’t put the book down.” The characters are fun, unexpected, and likable. The heroine possesses a dangerous talent. The hero guards a dark secret. The hero’s grandmother plays a pivotal role. And one character, who readers meet towards the end of the book, surprised even me, seeming to appear on his own without conscious thought on my part and setting the series up nicely for the yet unwritten book three, Dream Waves.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I never intended to be a writer. Writing meant forced school assignments and seemed a lonely profession. I wanted to be an actress. Who wouldn’t want to see themselves on a big screen, travel the world and be seen by millions of fans? I have fourteen siblings and as a child, there was little money for acting, singing or dance lessons. Instead, I read books, dozens at a time, wrote large volumes of poetry and dreamed up stories in my head. One day I’ll write them down, I thought. It would be many years before I did. I made up lots of excuses over the years—I was too tired, too old, too busy, too afraid. All the while, I fought the urge to write fiction—and not just any fiction, but romance, where a happy ending is guaranteed. One day in 2015, the desire to write romance grew so big and wide, I couldn’t hold it inside any longer. I tossed aside my fears, dug deep for courage, and began writing. I haven’t stopped since. My books have won awards—you can read about them on my website: https://amandauhl.com/awards-honors/.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Just five? Oh boy, it’s hard to choose, but I managed:

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Amaryllis by Jayne Anne Krentz

A Matter of Class by Mary Balough

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

This is hard because I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of my favorite writers and ask them questions. However, if I had to choose, I might like to speak with Nora Roberts, who I’ve yet to meet. I’d probably ask her what she sees as the biggest challenge in the industry or a similar question to get her talking about the business. Then I’d sit back and listen and absorb whatever gems she might offer.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love stories. When I was little, I used to spend hours making them up in my head. I still to do this today—it’s what makes the writing process so much fun. I also love the act of writing itself, and there’s a bit of myself in every novel. Working out the feelings of characters means I have to put myself in a wide variety of emotional situations. It’s cathartic.

What is a typical day like for you?

I work full-time managing a team for a large corporation. A typical day involves sitting at my desk for eight hours developing and implementing communication and training strategies. I do all my creative writing at night. I love it when the house is quiet and I can think and dream to my heart’s content.

What scene from Cross Waves was your favorite to write?

There is a scene towards the end of Cross Waves, when a new character magically appeared and came to life. He is mysterious and troubled, the perfect combination of hero, and will be the subject of the next book in the series, Dream Waves.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I do—I wear it on a bracelet around my wrist to remind myself: “Creativity takes courage. Don’t give up.”

Amanda Uhl is the author of the new book Cross Waves.

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Interview with Jared K Chapman, Author of 2HVØRHVNØT: To Have Or Have Not

What can you tell us about your new release, 2HVØRHVNØT: To Have Or Have Not?

The numeronym title 2HVØRHVNØTcame to me in a serendipitous moment while driving with my family. I remember thinking about To Be or Not To Be, while pondering the idea of the Haves and Have Nots. Seeing the numeronym appear in my head, I envisioned it as a defaced identification tattoo on a wrist of someone oppressed by the government. The whole story developed from trying to figure out how that would have happened.

2HVØRHVNØT: To Have or Have Notis a fast-paced, genre-bending murder thriller set in a dystopian future where the superpowered Mighty oppress the powerless Citizens. Mario’s identity tag is 24VØR4VNØ, but he defaced it when he was a kid to spell out the numeronym To Have or Have Not, after the Mighty took away his parents and left him to raise his younger sister Zelda. The whole story takes place from 5:46am to 8pm in a single day, starting with Mario waking up late for work.

As he waits in line, he has no idea his boss is dead, and an adjudicator named Tanalia, who is one of the telepath-seer monks that police Fellowship City, is on her way to arrest him for the undetected, grisly murder.

The book is split into three parts with Mario being the primary protagonist of part I. However, in part II, his sister’s adventure begins as she searches for her brother in a city besieged by a monstrous killer.

This book combines some of my favorite things to read: science fiction, fantasy, superpowers, post-apocalypse, dystopia, and horror. There’s also elements of romance and suspense, and it is littered with subtle pop cultural references and social commentary throughout. I write what I want to read (or watch). My hope is that others like what I like, because I’ve got a whole world I’m building, and I’m ready to entertain.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

In third or fourth grade, I wrote and drew a short little story that our school published for books to sell to parents. I remember seeing my work in print and thinking it was the best thing ever. From then on, I knew I wanted to be published again someday. I wrote my first novel in sixth grade, which was some sci-fi fantasy Star Wars/Star Trek mishmash that I have no idea if it was any good or not, as it was never returned to me from a classmate reading it. I’m not exactly sure what or who inspired me to become an author. I just remember those two moments vividly in my memories.

That being said, I read a lot of Stephen King from the age of 10 on, as well as Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, and others throughout high school. I think they inspired me to continue my dream. However, one of my biggest supporters was my adopted grandmother Bibby (we adopted each other, as she was my cousins’ grandmother). She always encouraged my writing and was so proud when I won awards for a poem in high school and short story in junior college. I wish she could be here today to see that I’ve finally become a published author, something she always knew I had in me, even when I didn’t.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

My tastes change with the seasons, so my top 5 today may not be the same the next time I’m asked. So, with that caveat in mind, here are today’s top 5 in no particular order: Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide series, and Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: Lost Stars. By the way, this is really hard to limit myself to 5 books. I chose these, because I could read them over and over again.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

If I could have any guest to be on my show, I’d want my first guest to be Stephen King. However, I would love to have both Stephen King and George R. R. Martin on the same show talking about their writing styles, but that’s not what was asked, so I’ll get back to the question at hand.

The first thing I would ask Stephen King is how. How is able to produce so much? What does an average day look like for him? How can I become more like him?

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love world-building. I’ll formulate the world I want to write in, creating its rules, customs, and history. I strive to produce vibrant, colorful worlds filled with interesting characters. I’ll spend weeks planning the world out and mapping it, so I know where everything happens, before I even put pen to paper to write one story. I believe that a fully fleshed out and compelling world is not restricted to only one kind of story. While my first story is technically a murder thriller, I could just as easily write a political espionage or a hard science fiction technothriller in the world I created. Seeing the endless possibilities in something I thought of and how others respond to what I’ve created are my favorite things about writing.

What is a typical day like for you?

I’d like to say, “I wake up before morning and watch the sunrise, have a light breakfast and begin to write,” but that would be very far from the truth. I work better at night, so I tend to stay up late and sleep in later than I should. My wife goes to work and leaves me with our three-year-old, who sometimes falls asleep with me and other times makes me get up to make him breakfast. I have an 18-year-old and 16-year-old also living at home, so sometimes I can get them to watch their little brother, so I can do some writing or other book-related function. I can usually get some things done while the 3-year-old is having quiet-time after lunch, and then it’s much more difficult until he goes to bed. Then, depending on my wife’s work schedule, we may watch a little TV before she goes to bed and I go to work on my laptop trying to write before falling asleep and starting it all over again. Although I can’t wait for COVID to be over, so I can go back to having more time to write without distraction, I truly enjoy this time I’ve been able to spend with my family.

What scene from 2HVØRHVNØT: To Have Or Have Not was your favorite to write?

There are so many favorites, but I cannot say anything about them, or they would spoil one of the twists. I loved writing the twists. They seem to just come out of nowhere and I hope that’s the experience the reader gets.

So, my favorite scene I can safely not spoil is the very beginning and its reprise. I love the interaction between Mario and Zelda. It’s short and sweet, and really shows who they are with one another. The first time we see it from Mario’s perspective, but in the second part of the book when Zelda becomes a primary protagonist, we get her take and it spins it a little bit. I like how Mario thinks about her and she thinks about him, and neither realize truly what the other is thinking.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

When I became a dad I said, “You can’t be a dad without getting a little snot on your shoulders.” I think I live my life by that philosophy. There are always consequences to our actions, and if we don’t act, there is no possibility of a positive consequence. I think Yoda’s “Do or do not. There is no Try,” is also something that influences me in the same way. It encourages me to push and make it happen, being positive about who I am and what I can do. I have a little sculpture of that on my desk, so I can look at it and be inspired. This is the way.

Jared K Chapman is the author of the new book 2HVØRHVNØT: To Have Or Have Not.

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Tis the Season to be Spooky by Molly Fitz

Tis the season to be spooky!

We over at the Black Cat Crossing Collective love cats. We love them so much that we collected 11 stories of spooky black felines and threw them together in one awesome mix of Halloween stories. But to really enjoy Black Cat Crossing, we need to take a few moments to appreciate all the adorable and terrifying murder mittens that came before. Let’s take a look at our very subjective list of the top 11 spook cats!

11) Furguson Michael Jordan Bishop – New Girl

Nick and Jess might be the main will they won’t they couple, but Winston and his life partner, Furguson Michael Jordon Bishop, was the true love story! Winston always had a rough time, but when he adopted this furry partner in crime it gave his character, and the show, a whole new dimension. As for the spooky factor, it’s scary how much Winston loves his feline companion!

10) White Cat – The Mummy

For such a pretty kitty that isn’t even named in the movie, this girl sure is memorable! When the mummy Imhotep sneaks into Evelyn’s room, the only way to save Evelyn is to barge into the room holding up the kitty like a weapon. Though the scene-stealer isn’t named in the film, the novelization of the movie names her Cleo. Spook Factor: Any kitty that can send the Mummy running off with his tail between his legs is a force to be reckoned with!

9) Mr. Bigglesworth – Austin Powers

Proving you don’t need a full coat to be terrifying, Dr. Evil’s companion has laser sharks at the ready and isn’t afraid to use them! Although Mr. Bigglesworth was originally a long-haired Persian, his hair fell out during the freezing process in the sixties, giving him the iconic and intimidating look he’s known for.  Spook factor: “That makes me angry. And when Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. (Meow) And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, people die!” Need we say more?

8) Jonsey – Alien

Ripley is undoubtedly one of the original strong female characters portrayed on film and her pet cat, Jonsey, was the perfect companion. He provides softness to her strength and isn’t afraid to hiss and claw at that inconvenient alien whenever he gets too close! Spook Factor: He’s one of the only creatures to survive the horrifying and acid bleeding Alien. You have to be tough to survive that!

7) Miss Kitty Fantastico – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

With a name like that, you know Miss Kitty Fantastico is a force to be reckoned with. And you for sure don’t want to get on her mammas’ bad side. When Tara and Willow snuck their new kitten onto campus, you best believe all of Sunnydale was straight up SHOOK by the cuteness factor. Spook Factor: Does it get spookier than a kitten with not one, but TWO witch mommies?

6) Orion – Men in Black

This orange and white kitty seems like a small side character at first, but he ends up tying the entire movie together. A true sign that animals are universal, this little guy made such a big impact on his alien owner that the big guy trusted the entire galaxy to his pet kitty, Orion. Spook Factor: He has the entire galaxy on his belt! That’s pretty spooky.

5) Mrs. Norris – The Harry Potter Films

There might be a lot of terrifying occurrences at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but nothing struck fear into the hearts of the students like seeing Mrs. Norris skulking around. The caretaker’s pet cat spent her time looking for troublemakers and wasn’t afraid to tattle. Spook Factor: If even Hermione Granger is scared of Mrs. Norris, what chance do us mere mortals have?

4) Church – Pet Sematary

This might be the saddest and most terrifying entry on this list! Winston Church was so beloved by his family that when he was suddenly struck down by a car his family just couldn’t let go. He was laid to rest in the titular Pet Sematary but didn’t stay resting. However, when he did come back to the family, he came back… A little different. Spook Factor: Two words – Zombie Cat.

3) Goose – Captain Marvel

Is it cheating if this kitty isn’t a cat at all? Captain Marvel’s orange feline companion isn’t of this planet. Goose is actually a Flerken, a very dangerous alien creature that has a bite MUCH bigger than their meow. Spook Factor: Goose is so scary that she’s the reason Nick Fury wears an eye patch. She has claws (and tentacles) and isn’t afraid to use them!

2) Salem – Sabrina the Teenage Witch

This kitty might not be the most physically imposing, but his sarcastic barbs and sharp wit could leave even the best of us wounded. But his need for power is only matched by his loyalty and this little guy is a friend we could all use. Much better than having him as an enemy at least. Spook Factor: Considering Salem was cursed to live as a cat because he tried to take over the world, we wouldn’t turn our backs on this one…

1) Thackery Binx – Hocus Pocus

Be still our twelve-year-old hearts! Thackery Binx was every little girl’s dream. With a sweet English accent and a caring, brave, and determined personality, he becomes Dani’s number one ally in taking down the Sanderson Sisters. Spook Factor: He’s immortal and won’t stop until he’s reunited with his sister. Don’t mess with this murder mittens with a heart of gold!

If you can’t get enough spooky kitties, be sure to check out Black Cat Crossing! This anthology features 11 heartwarming and spine-tingling Halloween stories featuring our favorite noir felines.

Have a happy, and cuddly, spook-tober from all of us at Black Cat Crossing Collective!

Molly Fitz is the author of the new book Black Cat Crossing.

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