Tag Archives: Luminis Books

“Writer uses profits from her literary success to help others”…our very own Jennifer Walkup

WO-Walkup-C-191x300Read this inspiring article about Jennifer that was published in The Essex News Daily

Writer uses profits from her literary success to help others  By: Sean Quinn – Staff Writer
WEST ORANGE — West Orange resident Jennifer Walkup achieved a lifelong dream of being a published author when her young-adult novel, “Second Verse,” was released last year. Now for most writers, seeing their work in print would be enough of an accomplishment, and Walkup said her experience was indeed “pretty incredible.” But she strived for more than personal satisfaction — she wanted to use her newfound success to help others.

That is why Walkup, whose son was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was nearly 5, is donating a portion of her book sales for the month of November to the Epilepsy Foundation. Though she does not have the relevant profit numbers yet, she said just being able to raise awareness for the neurological condition has been gratifying.

“Epilepsy is one of the most common, yet one of the most misunderstood neurological conditions,” Walkup told the West Orange Chronicle in a Nov. 29 email. “Any small part I can do in aiding in that research is time and money well spent. I hope someday there is a cure so that no individuals or families have to endure the often painful reality that is life with epilepsy.”

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 65 million people around the world are afflicted with epilepsy, while an estimated 2.2 million people in the U.S. are currently living with it. That makes it the fourth most common neurological problem, after migraine, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, per the foundation.Those affected suffer from seizures, which the foundation defines as brain conditions causing the “disruption of the electrical communication between neurons.” Epilepsy is commonly treated first by medications, followed by dietary therapies, brain surgeries and other means if symptoms persist.

Walkup said her son had been having seizures for years prior to his diagnosis, though she did not realize what they actually were at the time. She said her boy also underwent prolonged hospitalizations before the right combination of medications to help him was finally found. Fortunately for them, Walkup said he has been seizure-free for the past three years, though he does continue to struggle with the side effects of the medications and epilepsy.
Now, Walkup just hopes to benefit other people facing the same issues her family has dealt with.

“I am very excited to be able to share this issue with the world through my outreach and my books,” Walkup said. “I am simply thrilled with the awareness of epilepsy that has hopefully been raised.”

What is also thrilling for Walkup is the fact that her writing career is really taking off. “Second Verse” recently won the gold medal for teen mystery at the 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. The romantic thriller, which tells the story of a group of teenagers who receive a clue to solving a centuries-old murder after conducting a seance in an old barn, is the culmination of at least 25 years of writing experience, during which time she has written a few other unpublished novels for young adults.

The reason she prefers writing for teen readers, Walkup said, relates to her subject material.

“There is something about writing for that age group that has always very much resonated with the stories I have to tell, as well as my authorial voice,” Walkup said. “Plus, both teens and adults read young adult books, so in some ways it is the best of both worlds as far as readership goes.”

Walkup’s next novel, “This American Life,” which will be released on Oct. 1, continues her trend of writing for young adults. She said the story is about a teenage radio host who must balance life with her alcoholic mother with caring for her young brother who — in a connection to Walkup’s actual life — is epileptic. Though it is more grounded in reality than “Second Verse,” she said her second outing as an author has the potential to please its fans.

“It is intense and heartbreaking in a different way than my first novel, but I do hope the ultimate takeaway for readers is one of hope,” Walkup said.
As for aspiring West Orange writers like she once was, Walkup urged them to never give up on their dreams. If they want to become published authors, she said, the key is to always remain persistent.

“Read and write, and then read and write some more,” Walkup said. “Keep doing both, as much as you can. Get critique partners, learn the craft. Keep learning and submitting your stories and novels, even with adversity, even with the rejection. Publishing is not always a simple path, but if you want to be published, you have to just keep moving forward.”

Visit www.jenniferwalkup.com    To learn more about epilepsy and to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation, go to http://www.epilepsy.com.


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“Unilateral” described as “inspiring” by The Examiner…

Read the entire review below and order your copy today- Unilateral


Unilateral by Chris Katsaropoulos

Unilateral was so good that after reading it, I immediately wanted to read Antiphony, Chris Katsaropoulos’s previous novel written in 2012. Read together they make a nice contrast in plot development, writing styles, and epiphany experiences. Antiphony is the story of a physicist whose attempts to explain his life’s work at a conference of his peers and insure his promotion to department head become sadly derailed. He loses his notes before his presentation, and spirals into a psychological abyss in which he either discovers the meaning of the universe, or loses his grip on reality, depending on the reader’s point of view. His responses to his life crises are compelling, and encourage pondering of relationships, religious experiences, and physics, especially its New Age interpretations. The book exhibits the author’s extensive knowledge of string theory, music, and the academic life. If you like an experimental style combined with metaphysical content, you will enjoy this book.
Unilateral was inspiring because of the character development, dialog, and descriptive use of setting to advance the story line. Theological implications are presented in a humanistic light, and the relationships are very true to life. Amel is a female Palestinian student and Ra’anan is a young Israeli bomber pilot whose destinies are intertwined in much the same way as the lives of the main characters in Antiphony but with a very different outcome. The story is convincing, and the treatment of the conflict in the Middle East is timely. The reader really cares about what happens to these two young people who face so many challenges in their lives in these war torn areas. It is a short book that holds your attention to the end. Read them both if you want to experience a double epiphany.
Reviewed by Sylvia Andrews- The Examiner


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“SHELTER” recommended by Library Connection

This book is written in first-person present tense from Miguel’s point of view. At 15, Miguel lives with his oldest sister, mother, and abusive father. They move to a shelter after a particularly brutal evening, where Dad injures mother, sister, and dog. Although they are told not to give away the shelter’s location, it’s hard for Miguel and Ellie to keep quiet and they text their friends often. When Mom, Miguel and Ellie return to their home to retrieve their possessions, Dad threatens Mom with a gun. Miguel uses his Tae Kwon Do training to break Dad’s arm and dislodge the gun. The dynamics of abuse, from the attack to apology to another attack, are vividly portrayed. Information about shelters, court dates, and restraining orders is also included. This novel would be of interest to teen readers, especially those dealing with an abusive relationship.

Library Connection- Alexey W. Root, PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of Texas, Dallas




Order your copy of Shelter at Luminis Books

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SECOND THOUGHTS “packed with action, romance, wit, and unexpected twists…” ~Foreword Reviews


Second Thoughts-

High-school struggles and a teenager voice bring relatability to this paranormal romance drama.

As her senior year at Northbrook Academy approaches, Lainey Young is dealing with all the usual worries of a girl in her final year of high school: friends, college, and her boyfriend. For Lainey, though, having a vision of her own death complicates things even more. In this second installment of the Sententia series, Second Thoughts, Cara Bertrand once again delivers a dramatic paranormal thriller with all the mystery, secrets, and threats one could handle.

Now accustomed to her unique gifts, Lainey still has to figure out what she’s going to do after graduation … if she even makes it that far. On top of everything else at school, Senator Daniel Astor, the leader of the Perceptum, has taken an unlikely interest in her future, and the vision she had at the end of last year of her boyfriend, Carter, causing her death is as vague as ever. Unable to tell anyone the truth about either of these things, she finds her secrets mounting as time runs out.

As a former middle-school literacy teacher, Bertrand knows how teens talk—and don’t talk—to each other. Her dialogue rings true throughout, and the relationship issues her characters face will be familiar to anyone who has ever gone through the struggles of young friendship and dating. Placing these struggles in the environment of a boarding school where half of the kids have paranormal abilities adds immeasurable drama and suspense to the usual coming-of-age story. For example, it’s pretty common to have a girl in school who goes after other girls’ boyfriends, but when that girl is a siren, it really kicks the drama level up a notch.

Those who haven’t read the first book in this series, Lost in Thought, will want to start there. There are too many spoilers and not enough backstory review to begin with the second novel and not feel a little lost. Those who have read the first book will find that Lainey’s life is just as complex as ever, though sometimes in different ways than before, as she fine-tunes her control over her powers and is drawn into the influence of the senator. Packed with action, romance, wit, and unexpected twists, this novel, and the series, will appeal to fans of supernatural teen romance. ~by Christine Canfield - Foreword Reviews, Young Adult Fiction



To order your copies of Lost in Thought and Second Thoughts go to Luminis Books

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“Consolations” receives praise by Gangaji, Internationally Renowned Spiritual Teacher and Author

Consolations is extraordinary—beautifully written and compelling!
So intimate, so human, so divine. I couldn’t put it down. What an accomplishment!”

-Gangaji, Internationally Renowned Spiritual Teacher and Author

To learn more about the Author of this compelling book click here- Consolations



Consolations- Luminis Books

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Congratulations to Jennifer Walkup on winning the Golden Leaf Award in the YA category!!!




Luminis Books is beyond thrilled and so pleased to share that Jennifer Walkup won the

Golden Leaf Award in the YA category for her book “Second Verse” at the New Jersey

Romance Writer’s Association.

This book was also the winner of the Gold 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Teen Mystery

Congratulations, Jennifer!!!




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“Second Thoughts” keeps readers “right in the middle of all the action”…

“Second Thoughts” is proving to be an excellent and thrilling sequel to  “Lost In Thought”the first book of the Sententia Series.  These reviewers share why they loved this paranormal book so much. LitPick even gave it 5 stars!

This has to be one of the most exciting Paranormal Romances to be released in a long time. Unique, filled with adventure, romance, heartache and many twists and turns, I loved everything about this read. Compared to some of the greatest YA PNR to ever hit the shelves, this book, for me, reminded me in many ways of The Seraphina Parrish Trilogy.

Book one ended with such a cliffhanger and I could not wait to climb right back into the action. Would her vision really come true, could Carter really do something like that? I was enthralled and couldn’t put this book down for a second. Of course, other than the threat of her own demise looming over Lainey, she had plenty of other obstacles to get over. Although gifted with a very rare ability, she was still very much a normal girl who had to face normal girl problems. Add to that all the drama with senator Astor and I’m not sure how Lainey managed to get through it all.

The ending to this book was not exactly a cliffhanger but it was very surprising. I didn’t quite foresee the events that took place at the very end, and even though I could understand by Lainey made the choices she made, it still hurt my heart because it wasn’t quite the ending I was hoping for. I can only pray that there will be a third book and that everything will work out for these amazing characters.

This was a great read that flowed right off the pages. I think readers will be delighted with the magical qualities this book has to offer. A superb read from cover to cover.” ~ Roxy Kade





“Book Two of the Sententia Series is sure to grab your attention just as well as Lost In Thought did. Although Lost In Thought was a very good book, you don’t need to read it in order to understand Second Thoughts. This book was very interesting and definitely kept me turning the pages. Cara Bertrand certainly made me feel like I was right in the middle of all the action. The vocabulary used was good for the recommended age, although there was some language throughout the book. Overall, as the reader, I believe that this book was a very, very good read.”  Five Stars ~McTower


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An incredible review you don’t want to miss for “Complex Knowing”

“It is the serene beauty of his [Katsaropoulos’] writing that mesmerizes and results in starting the book again once finished that proves this is a man of letters who has an enormous gift and future. COMPLEX KNOWING is most assuredly one of the more important collections of poetry by an American writer to come before the public….we can only hope that he will pause frequently to offer poems such as these.”

~Grady HarpPoet, War Songs Critic, Literary Aficionado, Art Historian, The Art of Man and Vitruvian Lens and PoetsArtistsWriter for art museum catalogues



Everything outside our little tube of limitation is more than we can ever hope to know.  Occasionally a diamond so settled in the crust of the earth can go unnoticed, perhaps lacking the light it requires to send dazzling prisms to the eyes of the chaotic mass of shufflers preoccupied with the instant gratification of technologies competing with the air itself for push-button attention. Such is the case with this mesmerizing collection of poems COMPLEX KNOWING by the Indiana writer Chris Katsaropoulos, a book so eloquent and brilliant that it requires time – that precious entity few seem to have saved for exploration of the arts – to explore this obvious treasure. It is related to the great works of literature – James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Solzhenitsyn, Dante Alighieri, Roberto Bolaño, Seamus Heaney, Proust, Kazantzakis, Kafka, William Blake, and Percy Bysshe Shelley are a few that come to mind. We have been dazzled by his novels ANTIPHONY and FRAGILE and the manner in which he seduces/invites the reader to explore our sixth sense – that extension of our thinking that enters the realm of the unconscious or dream state or feelings not accessible immediately to the other five senses. Reading Katsaropoulos it is obvious he believes a reliable critical course can be plotted by following a poetic sixth sense. Chris Katsaropoulos’ mind is so attuned to poetry, classical music, metaphysics, physics, science in general and mans search for meaning that his poems have passages, not unlike cadenzas in a piano concerto where the artist takes a pause from the orchestral score to expound on a note or phrase or thought that shows muscular and spiritual dexterity before returning to the work as a whole, that sing like few other poets can write. It is this gift that Katsaropoulos displays in this masterful work. One of the ways he accomplishes this is his apparent disdain for the confines of phrasing or punctuation or the manner in which he places his poems on the page: once the reader takes the time to read the poems aloud, the myriad levels of meaning surface – levels influenced by the life circumstances and experiences the reader brings to the poem. He writes as though a passing word or phrase or thought draws him to pen and paper and form that initial seed his imagination and stream of conscious sensitivity weave extraordinary images. He allows a certain ambiguity of thought that opens a passage for the reader to enter the creative process, introducing here and there phrases that may be read with several levels of meaning. Gently tucked into his poems are moments of strangely chosen rhyming words that adds to the mysteryof the fluidity of what he is expressing. Make no mistake: once his individual poem is completed the thought process is there: it is the discovery of the process, that idea, that 6th sense place that is the joy of reading his work.Chris Katsaropoulos knows what he is about: he has served in the roles of editor and publisher with such prestigious houses as McGraw-Hill, Pearson Prentice Hall and Macmillan, he has authored trade and technical books (some dealing with the Internet as business) and he and his wife founded Luminis Books after encountering out-of-body experiences. This is a collection of fragments not unlikethe encounters we all face in life – moments that seem coincidental and unimportant at the time but which later lead to insights and even behavior changes completely unexpected. But most of all it is the serene beauty of his writing that mesmerizes and results in starting the book again once finished that proves this is a man of letters who has an enormous gift and future.

~Grady HarpPoet, War Songs Critic, Literary Aficionado, Art Historian, The Art of Man and Vitruvian Lens and PoetsArtistsWriter for art museum catalogues


Order your copy here at Luminis

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“Second Thoughts” release day begins with a spectacular review

If you are a fan of Cara Bertand’s first book “Lost In Thought” and just couldn’t wait for the sequel to find out what happens to Lainey Young- wait no longer!  Second Thoughts is available today and the reviews are off to a great start!  Read the review here-Second Thoughtsand order your own copy of the book by simply clicking on this link- Luminis Books


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Great review for “Shelter” by Books YA Love

“A great #diversebook from my 48 Hour Reading Challenge last weekend – ask for Shelter at your local library or favorite independent bookstore. In memory of its author, the publisher is donating part of the royalties to the women’s shelter where she volunteered before her death in 2012.  Share Miguel’s story with others once you’ve finished – for some it will be interesting information; for others it will be the hope and knowledge that they need to escape family violence.”  ~Books YA Love


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