Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Straight Chatting with the Library - The Brother's Keepers by Matthew Peters

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.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

My favorite books when I was a child were THE LITTLE HOUSE books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have two older sisters, and I found the books among their possessions. I think I was initially attracted to them by Garth Williams’s fabulous illustrations. But once I started reading them, I couldn’t put them down. I had a rather turbulent childhood, and I always found peace in those books, especially the strong sense of family that they conveyed. I turned to them many years later, during an especially difficult period in my life, and they brought me solace.

What is your favorite book today?

My favorite book today is THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV by Fyodor Dostoevsky. In my humble opinion, the philosophical, psychological, and spiritual insights of that book are unparalleled. After I finished reading it, I felt that Dostoevsky had said everything there was to say about so many things.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

A Jesuit seeks a treasure that will shake the Judeo-Christian world. That’s actually eleven, but I used “a” twice. Thank you, Twitter!

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading a fabulous YA novel called ACT OF ABDUCTION. It is part of a series, the JOSÉ PICADA, P.I. books, written by two of my favorite authors, the brother and sister team of Heather Fraser Brainerd and David Fraser. I highly recommend their books.

Do you have any bad book habits?

I do have some book habits, though I’m not sure they’re all bad. First, I have to read every single word in a book I’ve decided to read. What this means is that I can’t skim a book, or skip over any passages, I’ve either read a particular book from cover to cover or I haven’t read it at all. This habit made college and graduate school rather difficult at times! Second, I often find myself critiquing a book, rather than enjoying it. I think being an author has a tendency to ruin reading to some extent. It’s a little bit like knowing how a magician performs his/her tricks.

E-Reader or print? and why?

You know, a couple of years ago, I would have said print, unequivocally. Then my girlfriend gave me an e-reader for my birthday, and I have to say I was pretty much hooked from the get-go. I’ll always cherish print, because there is nothing like holding a book in your hands, and I love the smell of books, both old and new. But the advantage of an e-reader is it allows you to adjust the size of the print, and that is a real plus. I buy old books at thrift shops and sometimes the print is tiny. You don’t have that problem with an e-reader. One problem I find with an e- reader is it’s harder to flip back through the pages, and underlining passages is easier in a print book, at least for me. So both have their advantages.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

Definitely bookmark! I can’t bring myself to dog-ear a page. There is something almost sacrilegious about it. I have a collection of bookmarks people have given me over the years. I have fun picking out the right one for the particular book I’m reading—different types of books call for different types of bookmarks.

Favorite book you've read this year?

Well, I love reading books on writing, so I do so as often as possible. My favorite book I’ve read this year is Robert McKee’s STORY: SUBSTANCE, STRUCTURE, STYLE, AND THE PRINCIPLES OF SCREENWRITING. Ostensibly about screenwriting, the book is really for anyone interested in telling a good story. I found it both practical enough for immediate use and theoretical enough to leave me with several points to ponder. I highly recommend it to anyone who writes.

How do you keep your books organized?

I keep my books organized alphabetically, by the first letter of the author’s last name. My girlfriend has an MLS so I really don’t have much choice, though she’d probably prefer I use the Library of Congress method :D

Keep books or give them away?

Keep the classics and books on writing, give away the rest. And I should say there are some modern classics I wouldn’t part with. For example, I wouldn’t give away my copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s THE POISONWOOD BIBLE for all the Smarties in Canada—and for a Smarties addict, that’s saying something :D


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.


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.


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. Will there be a sequel for this?

    1. Hello, Mai,

      Nice to see you again. Thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, there will be more books in the Nicholas Branson series.

      I'm working on the next one as we speak, and hope to have it out later this year.

      Thanks for asking!

      All the best,

  2. I really loved all the Nancy Drew books. Did you read them?

    1. Actually, I did read some of those. I read both Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. Great books, those. Thanks for sparking more good memories :-)

      I hope you have a great day!

      All the best,

  3. Enjoyed reading your interview today. What genre(s) would you think are the most challenging to write, either in general or for you personally? Oh and BTW, bookmarks are our friends! I love the beaded book thongs best...especially if they have little charms on the ends.

  4. Thanks for coming by, Karen :-) We're winding down the tour, huh?

    Let's see, most challenging genre... Hhmm... I think historical fiction because of the amount of research required. It is very difficult to turn facts into effective fiction-- and by effective fiction, I mean a good story, well told.

    What are your favorite genres?

    And, yes, bookmarks are our friends :-) Three cheers for bookmarks!

    All the best,

    1. My favorite genre to read is historical romance...I love those happy endings! But I do like mystery/suspense/thrillers set in modern times as well as historical eras. I like reading about early crime solving and the start of the use of forensics. I also enjoy the early 20th century ala Downton Abbey and the like. One of my favorite series of books are the Sebastian St. Cyr novels by C. S. Harris. I'm starting What Remains of Heaven today.

  5. What is your favorite genre to write? Entering under the name of Virginia

  6. What is your favorite genre to write? Entering under the name of Virginia

  7. Hi, Virginia,

    I'd have to say my favorite genre to write is the thriller genre.

    Within that category I prefer to write ones that contain historical mysteries, with real-world puzzles attached, and in need of solving. I like to base the thrillers as much on reality as possible, which involves doing a ton of research, to make them as believable and credible as possible.

    Thanks for asking the question.

    All the best,