Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Brothers' Keepers by Matthew Peters - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Matthew Peters will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Matthew Peters, here, author of The Brothers’ Keepers and Conversations Among Ruins. I’ve been challenged to share five things you’d probably never guess about me. These can be fun, interesting, edifying or even embarrassing. Hhmm… Let me see.

The first thing that you would probably never guess about me is that I’m a high school dropout. I dropped out of high school at the beginning of my junior year, failing everything, even gym. This was a very difficult time in my life. However, and this is the good news, I went on to enroll in a community college, where I got my A.A. Subsequently, I obtained my B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. So, basically, I’m a high school dropout with a doctorate.

The second thing you would probably never guess about me is that I’m dual diagnosed, meaning I have a mood disorder and chemical dependency. This condition affects 6 out of 100 people. In my case, I have Major Depressive Disorder and alcoholism. These conditions manifested early on and were part of the reason I dropped out of high school. Famous individuals who were dual diagnosed include Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, Sigmund Freud, and Robin Williams.

The third thing you might not guess about me is that my secret weapons against depression and feeling poorly in general are musicals and Disney movies. This may come as a surprise since the things I write about are pretty heavy. But I’m convinced that it’s impossible to be sad while watching The Sound of Music. And try being down when Cars is on, or Monsters, Inc., or Brave. In fact, my ultimate weapon against depression is Disney World. My girlfriend and I have been twice and we’re going again in the fall of this year. If that place doesn’t put a smile on your face, then I don’t think anything can :-)

The fourth thing you’d probably never guess about me is that I’m addicted to Smarties, the Canadian roll candy. I must have Smarties every day, preferably right after dinner for dessert—three rolls, please. I’ve essentially made this candy a basic food group. I may not get my veggies, but I’ll be darned if I don’t get my Smarties. So Canada, please keep them coming!

Finally, and this is sort of a combination of things, but you might not guess that I love classical music, especially Bach and Beethoven. Yet, despite having a large classical collection (mostly on vinyl), I own just about every recording Iron Maiden and AC/DC ever made. Yes, my musical tastes are quite eclectic. Related to music, I started playing the violin at the age of four, but gave it up when I was thirteen, because I didn’t think it was very cool. This is one of the greatest regrets of my life. But I deal with it by listening to classical music whenever I read and write.

Those are a few things about me that you’d probably never guess. Now it’s your turn. What is one thing about YOU that I would probably never guess? I look forward to hearing from you!

Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus’ purported spouse, Mary Magdalene. But what about Jesus’ siblings? What role did they play in early Christianity?

Contemporary Jesuit and renowned religious historian Nicholas Branson is about to find out…and the answer will shake the foundations of the Judeo-Christian world.

It all starts with the murder of a United States Senator in a confessional, and the discovery of a strange religious document among his possessions. At the urging of his FBI friend, Branson joins the investigation. His effort to uncover the truth behind the murder draws him into the search for an eight-hundred-year-old treasure and into a web of ecclesiastical and political intrigue.

Accompanied by a beautiful, sharp-tongued research librarian, Jessica Jones, Branson follows a trail of clues, from the peaks of the awe inspiring French Pyrenees to the caves of war-torn Afghanistan. Along the way, shadowy powerful forces trail the pair, determined to keep safe a secret buried for centuries.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The bus moved up Viadotto and turned right onto Rene. Smells of fried food and burning incense wafted through the open windows of the bus. A left turn brought them to Emilia, past white stone buildings, statues, and street vendors, past the fountains toward the heart of Pisa. The further north they went, the closer they came to the Arno, where a vast migration of darkly-clad figures moved in the opposite direction, southeast toward Rome. It was a black exodus of grief, one of almost unreal proportions; swarms of people with lowered heads and bent postures, heading desperately, slowly, inexorably toward a common ill-fated destination. The dark edges of the black clothes stood out in stark contrast to the gray day that blurred the corners of buildings and churches. Rain fell, blended with human tears, and smudged the scene like a charcoal sketch. Open, dark umbrellas resembled the conical piles of volcanic ash upon which the country was built. On that gray morning Pisa wore a death-mask.

About the Author:
Dual diagnosed* from an early age, Matthew Peters dropped out of high school at sixteen. He went on to obtain an A.A., a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. He has taught various courses in a variety of disciplines throughout North Carolina. He is committed to increasing the awareness and understanding of the dual diagnosed. In addition to The Brothers’ Keepers, he is the author of Conversations Among Ruins, which features a dual diagnosed protagonist. Currently, he is working on a sequel to The Brothers’ Keepers.

*The term dual diagnosed refers to someone suffering from a mood disorder (e.g., depression) and chemical dependency.


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  1. Who are the author's favorite writers?

    1. Hello, Mai,

      Sometimes people say that choosing your favorite authors is like choosing your favorite children. But I long as the list can be extensive :-)

      Here are some of my favorite authors, not necessarily in order: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Cheever, Capote, Wright, Baldwin, Eliot, Camus, Hesse, Gogol, and Mann.

      There are several others, but this is probably my core of favorite authors.

      Thanks for asking the question.

      All the best,

  2. Replies
    1. Why am I not surprised that Disney movies resonated with you, Heather :-)

    2. Heather, I forgot to ask. What is your favorite Disney movie and your favorite park/ride?

    3. Movie: The Little Mermaid
      Park: Magic Kingdom
      Ride: Haunted Mansion
      Snack: Mickey ice cream sandwich
      Princess: Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
      Villain: Ursula
      Oh my, I could go on and on!

    4. I knew you were one of my favorite authors for a reason--lol.

      I have to agree with the whole Magic Kingdom, Haunted Mansion thing.

      The Little Mermaid was awesome.

      I'll have to try a Mickey ice cream sandwich :-)

  3. My life is so dull, it would bore you to tears so I'll ask you another question: How long after dropping out of HS did you finally get yourself together to get on with your education? And I agree, it is hard not to smile when munching on Smarties and watching a Disney film. I prefer Lady and the Tramp or Cinderella. I love the animation. I grew up watching The Wonderful World of Disney on TV when it was still in B&W. Tinkerbell was my favorite character then.

    1. Karen H, I watched The Wonderful World of Disney when it was in B&W as well. We used to go over to my aunt's house because she owned a color TV when those came out. We didn't have one for years after.

  4. If I remember correctly, Karen, it was less than a year. But I had never learned to study, so when I got to community college it was a total shock to my system.

    I remember the WWOD.

    I confess to being a Pinocchio fan.

    Lady and the Tramp is my girlfriend's favorite :-)

  5. I have been following you long enough to know all of these things and I enjoyed following you on this blog tour. :)

    Matt, you can still take up the violin. The violin was my youngest son's first instrument. He hadn't played the violin in years and has been in rock, blues, and he just quit a Doom Metal band. He plays various instruments on stage and plans to include his violin as well. I think you should take it up again. ;)

    Very cool about the vinyl. My husbands first love in music is classical. We have lots of vinyl as well.

    Of course I also love Disney and Disney movies.

    All the best to you.

    1. I just wrote a reply and it didn't go through :-(

      So, I'll summarize its main points--lol.

      You are terrific. Your husband and I have a lot in common. I hope we can all meet one day.

      What is your favorite Disney movie?

    2. Matthew, the first Disney movie or it might have been my first movie I ever saw in a theatre was Lady and the Tramp. We have many animated Disney movies, both older and newer that I'm saving for grandkids. My kids went to a lot of Disney movies.

      I think my all time favorite Disney movie was Pollyanna, which we have and I still like to watch. I also liked Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap. And I loved Mary Poppins. One birthday I received all the 45s for it when it came out. It was a great birthday.

      Not Disney, but we also have The Sound of Music. I saw that in the theatre when it came out. When I was a kid, at home we had a sun parlor where a stereo was. I used to sit and listen to Broadway albums and sing along with the songs. Probably my favorite then was singing to the Mary Martin version of The Sound of Music.


    3. What great memories, Susan!

      You have such a wonderful life :-)

      I can't help but feel good whenever we communicate.

      I have Mary Martin in Peter Pan on VHS, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

      Have a terrific Thursday, my friend!

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Rita.

      I hope you enjoy it.

      It was a pleasure to write, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.

  7. How fascinating about your educational background. I think it's wonderful that you get so much enjoyment from musicals and Disney movies that it helps you with depression etc. Two things about me that you couldn't guess would be that I can't whistle or click/snap my fingers.

  8. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jess.

    Yes, I had a very non-traditional educational experience. As Aristotle wrote, "Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity." It was certainly a refuge for me.

    Yes. I came across the Disney movies with the help of my girlfriend. She loves everything Disney and took me there for the first time a few years back. I fell in love with the place. I feel it's truly impossible to be unhappy while you're there. And I got my love of musicals from my mom.

    That's interesting about not being able to whistle or snap your fingers. I can only snap the fingers of my left hand (I'm left-handed).

    Have a great day and a glorious weekend :-)

    All the best,

  9. Love the excerpt, Matt. Smarties and classical music; now those are two things worth being addicted to.

  10. Thank you for sharing. I love Disney too.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?