What Could Be or Ought To Be, by Barbara Casey

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An Article from Bestselling Author, Barbara Casey

The House of Kane takes us into the competitive world of publishing with all of its power, intrigue and ambition.  The book, considered for a Pulitzer Prize, is a remarkable story you won’t want to miss.  Writers will be delighted to find secrets revealed about the publishing industry.  Readers will appreciate what goes on before the books they read reach their release date.

Author Barbara Casey is currently touring with this latest book.  You can find out the full details on her author’s page at iRead Book Tours, the host of the virtual book tour.

As part of the tour, Ms. Casey has graciously written an article for our readers here on Jaquo.  We know you will enjoy hearing from her.


By Barbara Casey

The philosopher Aristotle believed that history shows us things as they are, whereas fiction shows us things as they could be or ought to be. It is important that a book offers interesting and entertaining themes as well as a satisfying ending in which hope plays a paramount role: that we have the power to change our lives to what could be… and should be.

In my novel, The House of Kane, one of the themes I introduce is a little-known offshoot from the ancient religion, Santeria. Since the story takes place between New York and Florida, where Santeria is practiced widespread, it seemed appropriate to pit something so unusual against the main theme: the problems within the publishing industry and the difficulties a writer must face. On the business side, the Kane Publishing House uncovers a serious act of betrayal that has the potential to destroy the highly respected, multi-generational publisher. For the writer, greed and ambition numb one of my character’s moral compass to the point that she is willing to plagiarize another writer’s work in order to succeed.

In doing my research, I visited several Botanicas and interviewed Santeria priests. I connected that background to my main protagonist, Aislinn Marchánt, giving her another element of interest. Throughout the story, there is an underlying, mysterious thread that connects Aislinn and Santeria and her purpose in life. One Santeria priest I interviewed was particularly helpful, and I even offered to pay him for any inconvenience. He adamantly refused, saying he would be punished by the orishas if he accepted money. He asked only that I give him a signed copy of my book when it was published.

Two other themes I researched specifically for The House of Kane were in relation to lightning and lightning-strike victims and homeless veterans. Again, juxtaposing these two unusual themes against the main storyline of the publishing industry, the result contributed to a satisfying conclusion to my story, thereby giving the reader hope that we have the power to change our lives to what could be… and should be.

The House of Kane was considered for a Pulitzer nomination.

The Tour

Book Details:

Book Title:  The House of Kane by Barbara Casey
Category:  Adult Fiction,  198 pages
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Publisher:  ArcheBooks Publishing
Release date:  February 2014
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is some light profanity.)

Book Description:

Aislinn Marchánt, a writer and editorial consultant, is hired by the major New York publishing company, Kane Publishing House, to help determine why several submissions sent to them have mysteriously disappeared only to be published later by another publisher. Are the editors at Kane simply not being diligent enough with the in-coming material, or is there something more sinister going on? Working from her West Palm Beach home, Aislinn quickly becomes involved with the House of Kane as well as with Caldwell Kane, the man who hired her.

As Aislinn works toward uncovering the various layers of truth of her former husband, her elderly neighbor, and Kane Publishing House, she continues to research her own novel, the story of a love between two people that becomes fractured because of the misunderstandings created by two different cultures. Her research takes her to abotanica where a Santerian priest reveals the truth in her own life and a destiny that is joined to that of Caldwell Kane.

Praise for The House of Kane:

Simultaneously wise and poignant, exotic and suspenseful, House of Kane is a fascinating story of loyalty, treachery and the power of destiny. With an insider’s view into the world of high stakes publishing, Barbara Casey weaves a masterful story that haunts the reader long after the final page.
Nancy Steinbeck, Author of The Other Side of Eden: Life with John Steinbeck

Barbara Casey’s House of Kane is a touchingly tender love story, set in an intrigue-riddled
publishing industry. Her characters are interesting and varied. Her story is refreshing and engagingly told. Aspiring writers will want to read House of Kane to tap her wisdom about getting into print.
John DeDakis, Former CNN Senior Copy Editor, Author of Fast Track

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  

Meet the Author:
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history.In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service.

>In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.Ms. Casey’s two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla’s Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

The Coach’s Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination.

Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation.” The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. Her novel for adults, The Gospel According to Prissy, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction. In 2016, Ms. Casey’s biography/true crime Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released as well as The Wish Rider, the sequel to her young adult book The Cadence of Gypsies.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.

Ms. Casey’s award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003.

She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs.

Connect with the author:  Website 


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Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry Citarella

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