Conversations Among Ruins by Matthew Peters

About the Book:

Conversations Among Ruins

CONVERSATIONS AMONG RUINS is a portrait of a descent into madness, and the potential of finding salvation there.

While in detox, Daniel Stavros, a young, dual diagnosed* professor meets and falls in love with the cryptic Mimi Dexter. But Mimi has secrets and, strangely, a tattoo identical to a pendant Daniel’s mother gave him right before she died.

Drawn together by broken pasts, they pursue a twisted, tempestuous romance. When it ends, a deteriorating Stavros seeks refuge at a mountain cabin where a series of surreal experiences brings him face to face with something he’s avoided all his life: himself.

Though miles away, Mimi’s actions run oddly parallel to Daniel’s. Will either be redeemed, or will both careen toward self-destruction?

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

My thoughts:

A raw, deep, emotional book, this will give the reader an insight into a troubled soul and the mind of a person dual diagnosed. The author seeks to bring out the troubles of a young professor who wants to avoid confronting his inner demons. When he meets Mimi while in rehab, he falls in love and we are drawn into a world of love, secrets and some amount of mystic is thrown in. Mimi has her own share of secrets and they are forced to decide how to proceed with their lives.

Written beautifully, the author pulls us into Daniel’s world of confusion and inebriation. Between the two, we are as confused as Daniel and ultimately imagination and reality seem to merge and the line between them disappears. As with the author’s style of writing, all the plot lines in this book are important and come together very well by the end of the story.

We are shown the importance of life along with the necessity and ways of dealing with alcoholism and mental illness. The descriptions are vivid and conversations are thought provoking and the question of whether our characters attain salvation will encourage the reader to finish the book. There is a message to this book and I am sure many can relate to some of the topics raised in this story. For the style of writing and the concept, I strongly recommend this book which I enjoyed immensely.

In conversation with Matthew Peters

I have had the privilege of reading The Brothers’ Keepers written by Matthew Peters and I have shared my thoughts on the book.

The book will be released on 1st October 2014. In the meantime I got to have a chat with the author and would like to share some of the things he said in response to my questions!


1)      What/who inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always loved to write, but what really turned me on to fiction was the work of Dostoevsky, and Herman Hesse, both of whom I read relatively late in life.

2)      Tell us a little about yourself.

It all started in a little log cabin, back in the … Oops, sorry, that’s Abe Lincoln. Let’s see. Well, I dropped out of high school largely because, among other things, I had to do an author’s report on William Faulkner. I ended up getting a Ph.D., but my early years were quite turbulent. I taught college for a while, and my students were my life. Now, I write fiction full-time, or at least try to, with the loving support of my fabulous girlfriend.

3)      What is your favourite genre?

I have to say my first love is literary fiction. People like Dostoevsky, Hesse, Eliot, Camus, Baldwin Cheever, Capote, and McCullers, to name just a few. I don’t really read much genre fiction, but I used to read a lot of horror by Stephen King.

4)      Which is your favourite book?

Other than The Brothers’ Keepers? That was a joke. I’d have to say Crime and Punishment, followed closely by Demian, and Native Son.

 5)      Who is your favourite author?

Definitely NOT Faulkner, but anywho. I’m fond of saying that I wish I could write with the philosophical insight of Dostoevsky, the spirit of Hesse, and the soul of James Baldwin. So I’ll say those three.

6)      What are your hobbies?

 My hobbies include reading, researching, and listening to music. I have eclectic taste in music, and can easily go from listening to AC/DC to 18th century lute music in no time flat. But I have to say classical music is my favorite. I listen to it all day as I read and write.

 7)      Perfect holiday destination?

At this point, I’d say ANY holiday destination. Because I really need a break. I’m serious. (I hope my girlfriend reads this.)

8)      Describe a perfect writing day.

A perfect writing day. I get up about 4:00 a.m., make myself strong coffee laced with espresso, and while I’m still only half-awake I start writing. I do this because my internal editor is usually asleep during this time, and so I write with freedom and abandon. I only write about three hours a day, tops, because I feel I start losing quality after that. The rest of the day I spend researching. I research a lot for my books.

9)      Which is the best part of writing a story?

The best part of writing a story for me is seeing it take shape. To go from an inchoate, half-formed idea into a rough draft and from there into subsequent, more polished drafts. I love that process. I also love the research part. That probably comes from me being a recovering academic.

10)   How much inspiration do you draw on from real life experiences, with respect to plot, characters etc?

For The Brother Keepers, I drew on some of my real-life experiences to flesh out the male lead. He, like myself, is a recovering alcoholic. The plot, however, is a product of my (some might argue overwrought) imagination.

For Conversations Among Ruins, another book I did that will be available in the not too distant future from All Things That Matter Press, I drew more from life experiences, with respect to characters, and the certain elements of plot.

11)   Who among the characters you created do you like the most and why?

I like Nicholas Branson a lot. He is like me in some ways, as I’ve already mentioned, and in some ways I haven’t. He lives a lot in his head, and has a difficult time trusting his emotions. I also like Jessica Jones. In addition to her intelligence, I love her snarkiness, and her ability to say whatever is on her mind. In some ways I wish I could be more like that.

12)   How much do you relate to the characters or incidents in your story?

I do relate to Branson’s struggle concerning his faith. I also relate to Daniel Stavros, the main character in Conversations Among Ruins. In many ways, his struggle is my struggle.

13)   What kind of impact do your stories have on you?

I got very swept up in writing The Brothers’ Keepers and Conversations Among Ruins. TBK made me question some things about myself that I hadn’t questioned in a long time, mostly pertaining to issues of faith. CAR has had a huge impact on me largely because it is so personal. I feel like I grew as a person and a writer from both stories.

The Brothers’ Keepers by Matthew Peters

This book is going to release on 1st October 2014. The book is currently available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and MuseItUp Publishing. I was given an advance reading copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. I must say the book is definitely worth reading.

Links to pre-order The Brothers’ Keepers


Barnes & Noble:

MuseItUp Publishing:


About the Book:


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.

How will it end? Read The Brothers’ Keepers … if you dare.


My Thoughts:

This is a fast paced thriller which is as good and as gripping any Dan Brown novel.

The story revolves around the controversies related to the basis on which Christianity was established and Jesus and his siblings. There are many conspiracy theories that the author makes use of with thorough research to back up the claims. The author mentions his sources for most things mentioned in the book at the end.

The story progresses at a fast pace with not a single second wasted in unnecessary details. The reader is drawn into the book from the very first second and will not be able to put it down until the end. Nick Branson is a scholarly Jesuit who gets called in by his FBI friend to look over a document found at a murder victims office. Little do they realise that this will lead them on a hunt for something that has been hidden for a very long time, something that can question the very foundation of Christianity and shatter people’s belief. Accompanied by a beautiful research librarian Jessica Jones, the story follows Nick as he races against those trying to kill him and prevent him from finding out the truth. In this race to the finish, we see that even the Christian church, the government an many high ranking people involved and the plot only thickens as deceit runs high and no-one will hesitate to pull the trigger.

The suspense is strong and will keep the reader questioning everything they ever thought about the religion to the extent that they may end up questioning their own faith. A strong and well thought out story, this will drop a bombshell that will have the readers scurrying around to read more and understand. The foundation of this story rests on thorough research that only helps support the claims even more leaving us pondering what we really believe in.

The story is well written and the author has done a brilliant job with it. I am sure anyone who loves Dan Brown’s novels will enjoy this as well! This book is just a taste of what author Matthew Peters is really capable of and a taste of this book will have readers counting down the days till his next book.