Author Russell F. Moran

Robot Depot by Russell F. Moran

Mike Bateman is a visionary businessman, the creator and CEO of the fabulously successful chain of stores, Robot Depot, a company dedicated to selling robots and Artificial Intelligence machines for a variety of uses.

The company is a darling of Wall Street, and is the most popular destination for consumers and businesses looking for labor saving devices.

But the company caught the eye of ISIS, the terrorist Islamic State. They discover a great way to deliver bombs – using the products of Robot Depot to kill people.

Robot Depot changed from being a popular company to an object of fear because of the tampered products it sells. The terrorists use the company for “terror spectaculars,” including the destruction of a skyscraper, a drone attack on Yankee Stadium, and the bombing of a children’s sailing regatta.

Mike Bateman and the FBI are in a race to stop his products from becoming weapons, a race to stop the wanton killings. His wife and partner, Jenny, discovers the true meaning of terror one horrible summer day.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crisp writing, thought-provoking topics and colorful characters. Well-done Mr. Moran.

Book Review: Robot Depot brings technology to a whole new level. If you are up on current world news you should have heard the media talking about how terrorists are experimenting with drones to terrorize people with biological chemical among just a few uses. You might also be wonder if a robot will replace your job in the near future. Author Russell F. Moran has taken robots one step further.

If you have read any of Russell F. Moran’s books, you don’t need me to tell you what a great story teller he is, and Robot Depot will not disappoint you.

Mike Bateman is founder and CEO of a wildly successful chain of 30 stores, in the US, called Robot Depot. As a 38-year-old war veteran, he has tapped into technology that will bring him greater success than Google, Microsoft, Uber, Roomba and others ever imagined. If you can imagine the chore, Mike has a robot to fit your needs.

Well-developed characters (some of whom you have come to know in Moran’s other books) take on the story line that the author weaves so well in a society that is fast adapting to and becoming reliant on robots.

If you worry about how secure your WiFi in your home is, imagine a world where you never know if you are speaking to a robot or a human. What could possibly go wrong?

I invite you to read this futuristic story where the bad guys seem to stay ahead of the good guys and it falls on inventor Mike Bateman to stop the terror. Heart pounding, page turning drama that will cause you pause when you enter into the electronics’ department for your next techno fix.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Robot Depot by Russell F. Moran. The author dedicates this book to the inventors of the world. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and the reviewed was completed on November 14, 2017.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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A Reunion In Time: A Rick Bellamy Book by Russell F. Moran

What if a 37-year-old adult travels back 20 years in time and finds himself in high school, followed by his 36-year-old wife? They’re now teenagers, 17 and 16.

Adults in teenage bodies, they struggle to convince the people from their past that they are real, not apparitions. With the benefit of hindsight, they know the history of the past 20 years, and it isn’t pretty.

Rick and Ellen are married, and now have to adjust to married life as teenagers in 2001. Rick is a senior FBI official and Ellen is a famous architect.

But everybody sees them as kids. Nobody believes that they’re married, and nobody believes their stories—until Rick and Ellen predict 9/11.

How do they find their way back to the year they came from? How do they warn the authorities of the cataclysm that will occur in the future?

The answer is to find the time portal—the wormhole—that brought them to 2001. But the site has changed. It’s no longer the place where they crossed the wormhole. Will they live out the balance of their lives beginning as teenagers?

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy Science, Time Travel, Historical, Thriller

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Matt Blake Legal Thrillers by Russell F. Moran

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Sideswiped: A Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book One by Russell F. Moran

Matt Blake is a Chicago trial lawyer and highly decorated Marine combat veteran. After losing his beloved fiancée in a tragic car accident, he finds that he has more battles to fight: alcohol and drugs. He gradually realizes that his life is spiraling downward, and that he needs help with the battle. He seeks the help of Dr. Benjamin Weinberg. a psychiatrist who’s also a family friend and consultant to his law firm.

Matt, with Dr. Weinberg’s help, tames the monsters that sought to devour him. After rehab, he turns his attention to one of the most serious personal injury cases his firm has handled. It involved a sideswipe car accident in which his client’s husband, a famous political journalist, was killed. The case looked almost routine from a liability point of view. Numerous eyewitnesses gave sworn statements that they saw the defendant motorist talking on his cellphone just before his car slammed into the plaintiff’s husband. The eyewitness evidence pointed toward negligence. At first it looked like an open-and-shut personal injury case.

But evidence began to mount quickly that the ‘accident” may have been intentional—that it may have been murder. But Matt and his team struggle with a big question: Why would James Spellman have been murdered?

Matt finally meets the firm’s client, Diana Spellman, James Spellman’s widow. She’s a strikingly beautiful university professor and well-known writer. Matt, having licked his alcohol and drug problem, as well as the loss of his fiancée, finds himself swept off his feet by the lovely Diana Spellman. He shares his past difficulties with her, and she shares hers with him. Besides having lost lovers in similar type car accidents, Diana and Matt discover that their lives have a lot in common.

But Diana has a problem—she’s a murder target. As James Spellman’s informal editor, she knew every story that her husband was working on before his death, stories that contained secrets—secrets that threaten the highest levels of government, secrets that someone or some group does not want out in the open, secrets for which they’re willing to murder in order to keep quiet.

Matt’s attraction to Diana is mirrored by her attraction to him. They fall in love. But their love is soon complicated by attempted assassination attempts on both Diana and Matt.

What began as a routine personal injury case suddenly evolved into a vast terrorist conspiracy—and Diana was at the center of it all.

Sideswiped is a crime drama, a legal thriller, a tale of terrorism, and finally a compelling love story of two people who dedicated their lives to each other. It’s a story of enduring love, kept alive in the face of crippling fear. The book will grab you by the gut, as well as by the heart.

Book Review: Sideswiped will send a chill up your spine the next time you drive on the freeway!

Russell F. Moran’s well-developed characters and distinct voice brings reality to the situation from sentence one and draws the reader into the story line with immediate empathy.

Main Character Matt Blake (x-Marine) is an Attorney, Blake & Randolph. Matt’s life changed (quote) “I’d never thought of the Chicago River as a romantic spot, especially during the day. It’s a beautiful waterway that meanders through some of the greatest architectural treasures in the country. It’s just not romantic. Until my lunch with Maggie Pierce.”

Get to know the professional and personal side of Matt Blake (quote) “It was Jimmy Escobedo, an old friend from college. Jimmy was nuts, in a good way. He was the funniest person I ever knew, and just seeing him made me laugh. He walked over to me, more like ran, and gave me a bear hug as I downed my next Scotch, almost spilling it. Jimmy was a character, the kind of guy who was a typical class clown. He was also bright as hell, and had his choice of job offers after Northwestern. He looked good, except he was a lot skinnier than I remembered.”

With flawless writing skills the author creates the stage that brings the reader into the life of Matt Blake and into the ins and outs of personal injury litigation. Do you think that all personal injury lawyers are ambulance chasers?

I invite you to come see for yourself how personal injury law plays out in the courtroom. Follow multiple cases and the drama that will take your mind to places where it has never gone. Sideswiped is a face paced, realistic, suspenseful thriller and romantically touching. Your mind will envision every aspect like you are watching it unfold in a dark movie theater and your impressions of somethings will change forever.

Sideswiped is book one in Matt Blake Legal Thrillers (The Reformers-book two is coming soon). Also available The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time (all four books in the Time Magnet series). The Shadows of Terror, The Scent of Revenge (books one and two in the Patterns Series).

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Sideswiped: A Matt Blake Novel by Russell F. Moran. The author dedicates this book to the State and Government law enforcement community who dedicate their lives to keep us safe. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and the reviewed was completed on October 2, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Legal, Spies & Politics, Terrorism

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The Reformers: Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book Two by Russell F. Moran

The Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book 2

The forces of radical Islam are on the run.

Their leadership has been decimated, their ranks thinned, their power disappearing by the week.

Their recruiting efforts have been cut off, the radical websites shut down, and the attraction of jihad is losing its appeal among the young.

With targeted assassinations, military strikes, as well as the loss of oil fields and gold mines, radical Islam is fast losing power.

But who is responsible?

It isn’t the United States Government. It’s a new force the world has never seen before.

Lawyer Matt Blake and his wife Diana find themselves in the middle of the most gigantic plot the world has ever seen, a conspiracy that’s only begun to grow.

Book Review: The Reformers might make you stand up and applaud or on second thought it might cause you to rethink history and even take our political climate seriously.

The Reformers follows Sideswiped in The Matt Blake Legal Thriller series, but stands on its own with story-line and conclusions.

Matt Blake (ex-Marine) and Attorney at Blake & Randolph who is no stranger to pro bono clients first impression of his new client is “just met a lying scumbag. Not only is he a lying scumbag, but he’s a mass murderer, a lowlife piece of garbage.”

After an interview “He didn’t deny that the evidence exists. He didn’t try to shuck and jive away from it. He simply insists that he did not detonate the bomb, nor did he know anything about it. But here’s the weird part. Weird? Hell, it’s almost spooky. When I asked him why someone or some group would try to frame him, he clammed up. He actually told me that he wouldn’t talk about it. He simply told me not to go there. It’s obvious that he doesn’t want to address the question of why somebody would want to frame him.”

“But what about the 12-foot gorilla in the room in the room?” Diana (Matt’s wife) said, “The gorilla that wears a big bandanna that says ‘evidence’? So the guy is a straight-shooting truth teller. Great. What about his prints, his DNA, and not to mention the video showing him next to the bomb?”

From here things go uphill, downhill and sideways and it seems the whole world goes to “H” in a hand basket. Never a dull moment in this thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and questioning who is in charge, how does radical Islam, the moderates and the United States Government play into the pro bono case.

Another quote from the book. “What I’m about to tell you hasn’t been made public yet. I got this information from my inside people. Bartholomew and his NFL group have set up political organizations in all 50 states, including large paid operations in the big electoral states like California and Florida. For some reason, the press hasn’t caught on to this yet, or maybe they don’t think it’s important. These political organizations are not Democrat or Republican. It’s a third-party operation, called The Freedom from Terror Party.”

I dare you to read this thriller and not question what might be on the horizon. Author Russell F. Moran writes with a style and concepts a few steps ahead of our time.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Reformers (The Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book 2) by Russell F. Moran because the fictional drama might not be fiction at all. Purchase and read all Russell’s books from Amazon. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and review was completed on January 16, 2016.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Legal, Spies & Politics, Terrorism

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The President Is Missing: Matt Blake Legal
Thriller Series Book Three by Russell Moran

Matt Blake Series Book 3

“What the hell just happened?” I asked Barbara Hightower, my assistant.

We were watching a TV first, a live broadcast by the President of the United States from a nuclear submarine deep under the waters of the South Atlantic. The President, Matt Blake, also happens to be my husband. Matt, dressed in naval officer’s fatigues, faced the camera holding a microphone. He looked great, but then he always does. Matt’s so natural in front of a camera, it’s as if the technology was invented for him. But the screen suddenly went blank.

“Beats me, ma’am,” Barbara said. “If we can’t maintain communications with a nuclear submarine, what the hell can we communicate with?”

President Matt Blake was addressing the nation from the USS Louisiana, a nuclear submarine submerged in the South Atlantic. His message is suddenly cut off. Nearby ships reported hearing an explosion. Aircraft reported floating debris five minutes later in the vicinity of the sub’s last known position.

The nation went into mourning for the loss of the popular president

First Lady Dee Blake has doubts, which she shares with naval high command and the new president. Her husband, a lawyer, always told her to distrust the evidence. She did more than distrust the evidence—she uncovered a massive conspiracy to hijack the submarine and kidnap the president. She thinks the explosion and the debris were a ruse to make people think the sub was destroyed, and her husband with it.

Could the sub have been hijacked and the president kidnapped?

But who would commit such an act? What is its purpose?

Was it Russia, China, Iran, or a shadowy group of freelance terrorists? One thing was certain: the plot had to include mutineers.

The new president, Roland Benton, agrees with Dee Blake’s suspicions, and sees himself as only an interim president. He appoints Dee as his Chief of Staff, with explicit instructions to find the missing submarine—and President Blake.

Dee finds the workings of a secretive group right in the United States, a group everyone had thought was destroyed.

Her life, and the life of the nation, suddenly take a horrifying turn.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Legal, Spies & Politics, Terrorism

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The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

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The Gray Ship: Book One In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

Description – From Kirkus Reviews

In this stellar time-travel novel, a modern-American nuclear-powered cruiser sails through a time portal and goes back 152 years to the days just before the beginning of the Civil War.

The USS California, under the command of Capt. Ashley Patterson, an African-American woman, is headed toward Charleston, S.C., to participate in a ceremony commemorating the first battle of the Civil War: the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. But before her ship reaches its destination, the massive cruiser—and its 630 crew members—travel through some sort of temporal wormhole and end up near the Charleston Harbor in 1861, just hours before the Confederate assault is about to begin.

After eventually wrapping her head around the fact that her entire crew has traveled back in time, Patterson realizes that she has some difficult decisions to make: Does she let history repeat itself and focus on trying to find a way back home, or does she use the military superiority of the California—“outfitted with enough fire power to unleash Biblical hell on an enemy”—to help end the war quickly and thus save the approximately 620,000 soldiers who would otherwise die in the next four years?

Powered by a cast of well-developed characters—Lincoln and Lee are among the prominently featured historical figures—consistently brisk pacing and a pulse-pounding (albeit slightly predictable) conclusion, the humanist themes of this novel are momentous and just as timely today as they were back in the 1860s.

This provocative, intensely powerful novel is a must-read for sci-fi fans and Civil War aficionados, though mainstream fiction readers will find it heart-rending and inspiring as well. A rare read that’s not only wildly entertaining, but also profoundly moving. From Kirkus Reviews

A Kirkus Best Indie Book of 2013

Genre – Science fiction/time travel/alternative history

Book Review: On the morning of April 10, 2013 the nuclear guided missile cruiser USS California left Norfork, Virginia heading toward Charleston, South Carolina. Once there the ship would anchor at Fort Sumter for a ceremony commemorating where the first battle of the Civil War took place on April 12, 1861. After the ceremony Captain Ashley Patterson would deploy her ship to the Persian Gulf, but as it turns out, time can be unpredictable.

Author Russell F. Moran like so many authors before him wrestles with science fiction and time travel to the extent of what would happen if we could go back into history and change just one event. He thanks his friends Bill Holland, Nick Wartella and his wife for their fresh perspective, input and editorial analyses. He also gives appreciation for invaluable technical input from his friend Lloyd (Hoss) Miller, Rear Admiral, Retired, United States Navy. Admiral Miller was the first commanding officer of the USS California, the ship that plays the pivotal role in the story. Admiral Miller makes a cameo appearance in the book as the strong leader, likeable person and gentleman that he is in real life.

The author is quick to point out that this is a work of fiction and with all fiction imagination plays a pivoting role. At the very start the reader is introduced by name to 55 major characters who bring the story of ‘The Gray Ship’ from the blue-green swells of the Atlantic Ocean through a port-hole (worm hole) that will not only change history, but tens of thousands of lives. His characters are realistic as with Captain Ashley Patterson while in her astute position wrestles with her own inner demons.

Who right now or in our future might want to go back in time to abolish war or the worse acts of humankind? When faced with the dilemma of being forced back through time into a dark period of American history, Captain Ashley Patterson and her crew had to risk mutiny or at the very least commit treason. If and when they could make it back to their own time, how would they be judged by friends, family, the military and the world? Who would believe their story?

One of my favorite quotes from the book reads, “Dr. Weinberg,” said Admiral Miller, “Do you believe these stories?” “It isn’t my job to believe stories or not to believe them, Admiral,” said Weinberg. “It’s my job to assess whether the witness believes his own story. But I will say this. I don’t know much about this time travel stuff, but ever since I worked on that book with Jack Thurber, I’ve noticed that I’ve developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder. I never step on a crack…it may be a wormhole.”

Reading ‘The Gray Ship’ has left me wanting to read this authors other three books; A Time Of Fear, The Skies Of Time, and The Thanksgiving Gang.

I Theodocia Mclean endorses The Gray Ship by Russell F. Moran as a science fiction, time travel story that will cause the thoughtful reader to ask what he or she might change if the opportunity presented itself? I reviewed this book in Kindle and the review which was completed on February 21, 2015.

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The Thanksgiving Gang: Book Two
In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

Jack Thurber has traveled through time – again. This was his fourth journey through time, earning him a nickname The Time Magnet. But this time he’s traveled into the future.

He discovers that he and his wife Ashley were killed in a terrorist nuclear attack on Ashley’s ship on Thanksgiving Day, 2015, in what became known as the Thanksgiving Attacks.

Jack’s got to find a way back to the past, the past when he and Ashley were still alive. To do that he forms a group of people to help him. They call themselves The Thanksgiving Gang.

Dare he change history?

Dare he not?

Rip-roaring, gut-wrenching suspense wrapped in a story of friendship and courage.

Book Genre – Science fiction/time travel

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A Time of Fear: Book Three In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

In a month, five American cities will be devastated by suitcase nuclear bombs. The time travelers take on their old name, The Thanksgiving Gang.

  • They know what will happen, because they travelled to the future.
  • They know what the result will be. They’ve seen the devastation.
  • They know the details. Five American Cities targeted by nuclear suitcase bombs.
  • BUT they don’t know where the bombs are – and they don’t know how to find them.

The clock is ticking and millions will soon lose their lives – unless they find the bombs.

“A riveting, pulse-pounding nail-biter in the spirit of The Gray Ship and The Thanksgiving Gang. A Time of Fear will grip you and not let go, even after you finish the book.”

Book Genre – Science fiction/time travel

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The Skies of Time: Book Four In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

The Skies of Time is a book about time travel, love, and commitment.

Newly promoted Admiral Ashley Patterson is on a public relations flight with her husband, author and Naval Reserve Lieutenant. The idea was dreamed up by the Pentagon to celebrate Ashley’s promotion as the youngest Navy admiral in American History. As happened before, they encounter a wormhole or time portal. Ashley calls Jack her “time magnet,” because he seems to have a talent for finding wormholes.

They’ve time travelled before, but this time it’s different – they encountered a time portal, or wormhole – in the sky.

They have a duty – to warn the authorities of the coming war.

They also have a duty to themselves. They want to return to their home, their home in 2016. But Franklin Roosevelt has different plans for them.

Their plane, an F-18, had a cockpit data recorder, a Black Box, which would give them the coordinates to find the wormhole and return home.

But, to their horror, they realize that 1940 technology cannot read the data on the Black Box. They’re stranded – 76 years in the past.

Will they have to restart their lives from 1940 and never return home?

Or will they find a way to read the secrets of the box?

All they know is that they have an unfailing love for each other.

A nail biter of a tale in the spirit of the other books in The Time Magnet Series, The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, and A Time of Fear.

Book Genre – Science fiction/time travel/ alternative history

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The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

Admiral Ashley Patterson and her husband Jack have done it again. They’ve traveled through time, 200 years into the future—aboard a nuclear aircraft carrier, Ashley’s flagship.

They discover a new world, a strange new world—a post-nuclear war world—one that is both a beacon of hope, and a cry of despair.

They meet a group of people who call themselves The Keepers of Time, an organization dedicated to preserving history and culture.

But the world around them has harkened back to a primitive and savage past, one that includes human sacrifice.

Ashley knows they have to have to get back to the present to warn the government of the unspeakable horrors that await.

But finding the way back to the present is their greatest challenge, an almost insurmountable one.

“A wild time travel yarn that starts fast and doesn’t slow down until the end.”

Book Review: Book five in the Time Magnet series is finally here with another great saga. The adventure begins on June 1, 2017, the day after Memorial Day. Carrier Strike Group 2311 departs the New York Harbor at 8:45 a.m. to begin a long deployment. Things are as they should be until “everything turned dark”.

Whether you have read book one through four in this series first or you are considering this book as your introduction to the series, let me say that each book has its own plot with a conclusion. I suggest you read The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time at some point very soon. However, please feel free to jump in and read The Keepers of Time because you won’t be disappointed.

The author’s superb writing skills will quickly draw you into the story. Forty-two fast paced chapters will keep turning the pages of this novel until the end. Well-developed cast of realistic characters that you will relate to one will keep you engaged. One of my favorite things about Moran’s books is his entire cast of characters detailed in the back of the book. I admit to reading about the cast first in order to firmly get everyone in my mind. As a follower of his, I know each character is important to the plot and I don’t want to miss anything or overlook anyone.

Throughout history authors have taken us back in time and forward into the future. Those that take us into the future like Author Russell F. Moran are rare individuals who meticulously look at world history and real time world events to weave a story of unimaginable happenings. History shows that many of these fictional authors are correct in their assessments of the future. So we must pay due vigilance to these authors so that their fiction does not become the world’s reality in the future.

I invite you to read The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran and spend 15 days in an alternate universe. Meet the Keepers of Time and don’t forget to mark your calendar on April 12, 2018 as the day the world ended. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Time flies when you’re scared out of your mind.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran as a science fiction, time travel story that will cause the thoughtful reader to look at the importance of current world events in a different perspective. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and this review which was completed on March 30, 2016.

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The Time Magnet Series (4 Book Box Set)
Kindle Edition by Russell F. Moran

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Patterns Series by Russell F. Moran

The Shadows of Terror: Patterns Series Book One by Russell F. Moran

The Shadows of Terror – A novel that explodes off the front page of your newspaper. Terrorism now has a new face, a face that’s obscured in the shadows. The radical forces of destruction have learned to make themselves invisible to the West, and preventing a terrorist attack has become almost impossible.

A new war has begun, World War III. Rick Bellamy, an FBI agent who specializes in counter-terrorism, is engaged in his own war, a war with no end. Bellamy’s wife, Ellen, a prominent architect, discovers that she’s in the middle of the greatest terror plot to date. To defeat the enemy, Bellamy first has to uncover the clues, to shine a light on the shadows. He has to find patterns – before it’s too late.

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The Scent of Revenge: Patterns Series Book Two by Russell F. Moran

The world is at war – World War III. FBI Agent Rick Bellamy and his wife, Ellen, find themselves in the middle of a sinister terror plot. Someone is attacking young prominent women, inflicting a horrible disease. Nobody knows its origin, nobody knows how to stop it, nobody knows how to cure it.

Rick Bellamy and a team of scientists want to go on offense. But how?

Will the lives of the women be changed forever?

When will the attacks stop?

Book Review: Although Science Fiction, The Scent of Revenge might be at America’s doorstep!

The main character Rick Bellamy is a FBI agent, head of counter-terrorism unit. The love of his life is 38 year old Ellen Bellamy, Architect by day, lover and writer by night. Ellen’s beauty is more than skin deep as she radiates warmth and cares deeply about everyone who crosses her path.

With an impressive cast of characters that include William Reynolds who is President of the United States with his First Lady Amanda Reynolds standing by his side, he has just addresses the American People announcing that that World War III has begun.

A serious disease with symptoms of severe dementia, mimicking Alzheimer’s disease is attacking America’s Women. With research still seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s, the race is on and the questions commence. Why these particular women, why and how, and is the male population at risk?

Will President Reynolds be forced to suspend the right of habeas corpus? Do you know what this even means?

Heart pounding, can’t put down thriller that will force you to look at terrorism in different light. Life in America will never be the same.

Author Russell F. Moran is an exceptional story teller. As with all science fiction we hope it is not possible at least not within our lifetime. Moran’s futuristic thrillers (each book part of a series, but stands alone) must be examined by each reader intelligently as they will lurk in the shadows of your mind well after the book is closed.

The Scent of Revenge “is dedicated to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and especially to their families who suffer along with them.”

I, Theodocia Mclean endorse The Scent of Revenge (book two in The Patterns Series) by Russell F. Moran The Shadows of Terror is book one. Also available The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time (all four books in the Time Magnet Series). Another great read is Sideswiped which book one in Matt Blake Legal Thrillers with The Reformers coming soon. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and the review was completed on October 3, 2015.

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Russell F. Moran

Russ Moran is the author of 12 novels. The Gray Ship, Book One of The Time Magnet series, is a story of time travel, alternate history, romance, and a nuclear warship that finds itself in the Civil War. The Thanksgiving Gang is the sequel, A Time of Fear is Book Three, The Skies of Time is Book Four, and The Keepers of Time is book five.

The Shadows of Terror is Book One of The Patterns series, followed by The Scent of Revenge.

A Reunion in Time is a time travel novel, but not in the Time Magnet series.

The President is Missing, a suspense thriller, was published in May 2017

Robot Depot, a novel about our automated present and future, was published in October, 2017

Moran also published five nonfiction books: Justice in America: How it Works—How it Fails; The APT Principle: The Business Plan That You Carry in Your Head; Boating Basics: The Boattalk Book of Boating Tips; If You’re Injured: A Consumer Guide to Personal Injury Law; How to Create More Time. He’s a lawyer and a veteran of the United States Navy. He lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife, Lynda.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Long Island, New York? A lot of published authors live on Long Island, and I’ve gotten the chance to meet a few of them.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? A teacher in High School and my wife.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? 2010

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes. I have a background in law and the military. I’ve used these backgrounds in my writing.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? After the manuscript or sometimes part of the way through.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Science fiction/time travel and detective thrillers

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Praise from friends.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The Gray Ship a Kirkus Indie Best books of 2013

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Read On Writing by Stephen King, and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Then, dispel the notion that there is any such thing as writers block. It doesn’t exist unless you convince yourself that it does.

Who is your favorite author and why? Nelson De Mille. Great story teller with a conversational voice.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Don’t give up!

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Author Larry Auerbach

Mr. Wysquers by Larry Auerbach

Pemberton N. Wysquers is a very dignified old English gentleman who own a very old package delivery business that operates on a worldwide scale. Once a year, usually at year end, he leaves the confines of his work environment to travel around in order to visit some of his most special and deserving customers. He selects a town and spends a week mingling with the residents, helping out where he can and bringing both hope and encouragement to those he interacts with. He leaves a permanent imprint on all of those with whom he meets, and he truly leaves his hosts in a much better state than he found them.

Book Review: I love this book and invite you to read the most intriguing story about an English gentleman named Pemberton N. Wysquers. While you read I believe you find yourself relating in some way to the characters who have in one way or another come to the end of their emotional life. When all seems lost, in one moment in time, as if by coincidence or magic, they brush shoulders with Mr. Wysquers.

As a young child you were probably taught about Santa Clause. As time moved on, your innocence was shaken by unspoken reality. While young you believed that time is infinite and you are invisible. When time marched on reality dulled your senses, the magic you found in childhood was buried in life experiences. This book will remind you that in a few fleeting moments, magic can stir. If you open your mind to the possibility, Mr. Wysquers might just pay you a visit.

Let me quote what Melody said: “I know this is going to sound strange, but I owe my life to a corned beef sandwich. The really weird thing is, I never liked corned beef. I would have one now and then, but it was never my favorite sandwich. But now? I smile every time I eat one, and that’s usually once a week, normally on Thursday. Why Thursday, you ask. Because that’s the day all the magic happened. Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be a magical day when I woke up. After all, you never see the magic coming.”

Each person in this book has their own story to tell. Here is how Ivan’s story begins: “I don’t have a lot of time to give you this story, I have somewhere to be and I can’t get out of it. I guess you first have to know a little bit about me to understand what I’m going to tell you, and why I’m telling you.

My story begins about twenty years ago, when I was a teenager and hanging out with my friends. We were the usual gang, looking for girls, driving around at night, and sneaking our drinking when our parents weren’t watching or around. The night that changed my life didn’t start out as anything significant, other than it was a Saturday.”

Which one of these stories mirror your own and where would Mr. Wysquers accidently or on purpose walk into your story?

This book is heartwarming and a must have gift item for your friends and family any time of year. I am giving this book as a Christmas gift this year.

I (Theodocia McLean) endorse Mr. Wysquers by Larry Auerbach as a story for all time and begins when a Candy-Apply Red Vintage Cadillac comes your way. Other books by Larry Auerbach include A Matter Of Honor, A Matter Of Justice, Common Threads, The Spirit of Redd Mountain and The Troll Bridge. I read and reviewed this book from a print format. This review was completed on November 12, 2017.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

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The Troll Bridge by Larry Auerbach

In 1935 west Texas, two teenagers — Duane McCathern and Tony Picano — decide to go search for a lost treasure of Confederate gold based on an old tale told by a retired Texas Ranger, involving Indians and a mysterious spirit. As their hunt starts, another boy, a long-time rival, finds them in a cave and they must reluctantly include him in their hunt, It doesn’t take them long before they realize they need more help so their new partner brings in someone, an A. B. Conway, that he says has the expertise and the skills they need to get the gold they believe is hidden in that cave. The only problem is that A. B. Conway is Abbie. Tony is at once smitten and Duane is clearly annoyed.

Once they get the hunt underway, Abbie proves her skill at fabricating machinery is beyond their expectations. And that is a good thing as the hunt suddenly takes an unexpected turn as all of them begin to have out of body experiences and they run into other supernatural problems. As they get closer to the gold, the problems mount and Duane and Tony start showing signs of stress. Then things really start getting strange as all four start having visions of the past. A spirit from the past begins influencing their actions, leading Duane in one direction and Tony in another. As both the distant and the recent past begin to reveal themselves, all of them must make decisions that will have long lasting results. Abbie has to choose between Duane and Tony, and Duane must choose between Tony and Abbie. Who, if any, will make it out of the cave and who will make a deal with the Devil.

Genre: Genre: Paranormal (Supernatural), YA, Teen, Tween

Book Review: Raised in Vermont I have always been fascinated with covered bridges, railroad bridges and river bridges. So the title ‘The Troll Bridge’ by Larry Auerbach caught my attention right away. The prologue hooked me and it was very hard to put this book down for any reason.

Larry Auerbach is a master story teller and if you ever loved exploration as a kid and dreamed of finding something of value while exploring the farm yards, local woods, railroad tracks, old buildings, river banks etc. around your town, this book will draw you into this teen adventure that involves a hidden cave in West Texas.

Well-developed characters like Duane McCathern, Tony Picano find they need some help when the old town’s folklore about a hidden cave may have more merit than just to spook kids. Here is a quote from the book to peak your interest.

“We’re here, we’re a team, and we’re all going to watch each other’s back. We all share the risk, we all share the rewards—equally,” Duane told him. He put out his hand to Ron, who took it and held it in affirm grip. Tony put his hand over theirs, and all three of them put their other hand on the pile of hands. It was done. Tomorrow they would go to school, and come Friday, the adventure would begin for real. Fame and fortune awaited them in that hole. It was a sure thing, they were all certain. What could possibly go wrong?”

Eleven fast paced chapters will take you on an adventure of paranormal (supernatural) intrigue written for Tweens, Teens and Young Adults along with you if you are young at heart, spirit and mind.

I invite you cross over ‘The Troll Bridge’, feels the spray from the raging water below, walk the river banks if you dare as “Trolls” are known to live under bridges where people and things go missing. Join these teens as they use every creative bone in their bodies and life skills to explore a hidden cave in the hopes they will all make it out alive with treasure worth dying for.

I (Theodocia McLean) endorse ‘The Troll Bridge’ by Larry Auerbach as an adventure worth taking. Other books by Larry Auerbach include Common Threads, The Spirit Of Redd Mountain, A Matter Of Justice, and A Matter Of Honor. I read and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on 02/20/2017.

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A Matter Of Honor by Larry Auerbach

Set in 1877, in New Mexico Territory, former Union sniper Jonah Berryman is presently working as a bounty hunter who is known for bringing his man in alive, but Jonah is here on personal business and is hunting someone on his own time. He has some unfinished business with a doctor who saved his life but left his cousin to die. He has been looking for this doctor ever since the War ended, but not knowing what the doctor looked like has been a big problem.

Now he is here in the town of Willow Springs because someone sent him a wire saying the man was here. But as soon as he arrived in town someone started shooting at him. Now he is the middle of another war, and Jonah can’t tell which side is which…or even who is one what side. All he knows for sure is that he is in the middle. As the lead continues to fly his way, Jonah realizes someone has set him up to be the next casualty of their own private war. He has to figure out who it is that is behind all of this, if he has any hope of getting out of town alive. And he still has to find out who put him in the middle of this and why.

Genre: Traditional Western

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A Matter Of Justice by Larry Auerbach

This is a story of justice delayed, and how each person’s life can intersect with another, with a varying degree of impact.

Jonah Berryman is a former Union sniper, who is hunting for someone out of his past. He has some unfinished business with the doctor who saved his life and allowed his cousin to die. When he went to find the doctor later, he learned he had never even existed…except for saving his life and his sight.

After the War, Jonah became a bounty hunter, and whenever he rides into a town, anyone who has something to hide gets nervous and lead begins to fly. Willow Springs was no exception. In A MATTER OF HONOR, after receiving wire saying he was in Willow Springs, Jonah rode in looking for the doctor but he found a whole lot more than he was bargaining for. People began dropping like flies from the moment he hit town, and most of the lead that was flying through the air appeared to be coming his way. It didn’t take long for him to discover there were a lot of players in this game, and that there were more than two sides in this war. In the exciting conclusion of this story, Jonah has already figured out that nobody is who they appear to be. Now he has to end someone else’s war if he is going to save his own skin. That’s going to be hard, since he can’t really be sure who is a friend and who isn’t.

There are hidden players in this game, and they all have their own agenda for how this will end. Jonah didn’t realize it at the time, but he was actually lured here because of his reputation. Someone wanted him to be the catalyst to bring A MATTER OF JUSTICE to this town for a lot of people.

Genre: A traditional western, and the conclusion of the story started in “Matter of Honor”.

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Common Threads by Larry Auerbach

The town of Pinetar, Alabama was almost ruined and burned out of existence during a protracted siege during the War Between The States. Twelve years later, it is still just barely hanging on, but good times may be coming. A large financial investment is coming to Pinetar, to help newly enfranchised former slaves, and former Rebels build new lives in what is now their war ravaged home, if they can all learn to work together. The government is also sending a teacher to start a school to help them all learn to read, write, and do their sums. The own desperately needs this financial assistance, as there is no industry and no work for anyone, and the dreaded carpet-baggers are coming to town.

The new Klu Klux Klan has become a force in the south and is threatening the stability of the community by using threats, intimidation and terrorism to drive the new citizens out of the area. A U S Marshal is ordered to take a team to the town and drive the Klan out of the area and protect the financial rebirth of the community, all but wiped out by the devastation of the war only the South wanted and only the North could hope to win.

Pinetar has its own secrets, however. Twenty years ago a black man was murdered to hide a scandal that would have ruined a very important man. Some people in Pinetar are seeking to rebuild their fortunes, while some are seeking to return to the old lost order. Others are coming to Pinetar for a variety of reasons. One is seeking redemption for a ruined military career, while another is coming to make an un-scheduled withdrawal from the bank. One man is coming to seek revenge for an old injury, and another will clear his conscience. The connection between all of these issues, and the key to the resolution of that twenty year old murder mystery is on the way. All of these people will meet in Pinetar and they will discover they all share COMMON THREADS.

Genre: Traditional Western

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The Spirit Of Redd Mountain by Larry Auerbach

Redd Mountain is a famous multi-mountain resort in western Montana, that boasts skiing on one side and hunting on the other, with a wide neutral zone between the two mountains.

Thirty years ago, Warner Barney, a world class big game hunter, came to Redd Mountain on a hunting trip. His narcissistic belief that rules of safety did not apply to him led to the death of several people, as a result of his reckless behavior in the pursuit of his single-minded goal. When Warner barney left the mountain, he left death and chaos for many in his wake.

In the months after he left, two legends began to grow. One is the story of a magnificent elk who is possessed of a singularly reddish color coat. No hunters have been able to take him, although many have seen him, because he always seems to be just out of range or behind a tree. The locals have dubbed him the protector of the forest, as hunters pass on the other animals in their efforts to bring him down, all of them failing.

There is also a legend of a mysterious red-jacketed skier who has been sighted for years, intervening in the activities of other skiers who are in danger of losing their lives, due to their recklessness or the unpredictable whims of nature. No one knows who he is, or where he comes from, or where he goes, but all are very grateful for his unexpected appearance whenever it comes. Every year, both of them are seen by skiers and hunters alike, and their legends grow bigger each year with every drink in the resort lodge.

Now Warner Barney is back, supremely confident in his belief that he is the one to claim the legendary trophy elk that has been a part of this mountain for almost as long. He has not changed at all, he still believes that rules do not apply to him. He wants this elk for his trophy wall, but there are forces standing in his way, including the chief ranger and safety supervisor for the resort, a party of conservationists and wildlife experts who are determined to rescue the elk and take him to a preserve. Also on this expedition is Warner’s old guide from his previous hunt, who has a debt to pay and hopes to find some answers of his own on the mountain. Some of these people have their own reasons for being on this hunt, to resolve old wounds and out an end to old debts.

This party also includes a newspaper journalist who is determined to use this hunt to advance her own career, regardless of the cost to others. After agreeing to follow the rules of the non-lethal hunt, Warner breaks away on his own to follow his own path to claim this magnificent animal. His blind obsession leads Warner to find his destiny, and to discover the truth of the old saying that time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels. Warner Barney, and these two local legends, have a date with destiny to resolve some old wounds, and they will do this on Redd Mountain.

Genre: Supernatural Tale Of Revenge and Resolution

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Larry Auerbach

Larry Auerbach is a practicing psychotherapist of twenty-five years, in Pt. St. Lucie, Fla, where he lives with his wife of 32 years. He earned his Master’s in Social Work form Barry University in Miami Shores, FL in 1991 and has maintained a busy practice since. He has traveled out west for numerous pack trips and re-enactment rides and his interests include chess, horseback riding and the American West. He is a member of the Western Writers of America and this is his fifth novel. He is a collector of frontier memorabilia, and maintains an extensive library of the people, places and events of that period.

Interview:

What or who inspired you to become a writer? My English teacher in high school, Mrs. Jackson. And my wife, Chari, encouraged me to write the stories I was telling her.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I was always given books as a child and encouraged to read extensively. I have always enjoyed reading and hearing a well-told story. I have learned to appreciate character development more than mindless actions.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 2010 my wife and I were playing word games on our way to a conference and the story line for “Common Threads” came to me as we were talking, and she said I should write it. I finished it in six months and decided it was so much fun to do, I wanted to do another…and another….

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Seeing it in print, knowing I created something that will live on. Something that I created out of my own consciousness and imagination.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Seeing the copyright notice from the Library of Congress on each title.

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I work in a different manner than most other writers I know. I start with the reveal at the end and then develop a story to support it. I am much more interested in meaningful character development than I am in routine action. For me, the action has to be a natural flow from the character.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Although I want to write westerns, I seem to have more of a leaning to the supernatural story. I suspect that it has to do with some drive I have to see justice and resolution for those who have been wronged, and to see them have an opportunity to rebuild their lives. I am, after all, a clinical psychotherapist.

Published Books:
A Matter Of Honor
A Matter Of Justice
Common Threads
Mr. Wysquers
The Spirit of Redd Mountain
The Toll Bridge

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Mr. Wysquers is a very charming old English gentleman who is involved with a shipping business up north somewhere. He comes down for a visit to some old friends and interacts with several people who are at the end of their emotional rope, depressed and alone, with no future or hope of having one. He comes into their lives at their lowest point and with a few words of encouragement and a new perspective, he puts them back on the path to a brighter life. But he doesn’t do it for them, he only shows them how they can do it for themselves.

I am a therapist, my goal is to offer people, trapped in a personal myth about themselves that isn’t working, a new way of looking at their options so they can create a new story for their lives to follow. Pemberton does that for the people he meets. His favorite mode of transportation is a candy-apple red vintage Cadillac with a gleaming white leather interior that runs as quiet as a whisper.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write about what you know best, and have fun doing it. If the reader doesn’t care about the characters, hero or the villain, they won’t get involved in your story. Good character development drives the story, mindless action is just visual eye candy.

Who is your favorite author and why? Clive Cussler (I like his characters); Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I love his famous character and his methodology; William Johnston (his plots move along), Robin Cook (his use of modern science and medicine as a foundation for his stories).

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Author Roxanne Bland

Invasion by Roxanne Bland

Kurt, vampire Master of Seattle, Garrett Larkin, mage of Balthus Coven and Parker Berenson, alpha of the city’s werewolf pack, are in a world of trouble. Already divided by love and jealousy, the three discover their auras are inextricably bound, the result of a spellcasting gone terribly wrong. Each one’s aura has been invaded by the auras of the others, and the consequences are both frightening and deadly. Worse yet, Shen’zae Melera, interstellar assassin and Parker’s love, has returned to Earth with dire news: she didn’t return alone. She’d been followed by her nemesis, Mag Beloc, and his fleet of warships. Even if Beloc recaptures her, Melera knows that Earth will suit his purposes, and that his presence may well become permanent. Drawn together by choice and fate while doing what they had to do, can Kurt, Garrett, and Parker now find a way to undo the magick that binds them, and with Melera, stop an alien invasion before it begins?

Book Review: Invasion by Roxane Bland begins as Kurt (vampire Master of Seattle) “fears the very powers that he almost died twice for are weakening.” Meanwhile Parker Berenson (alpha of Seattle’s werewolf pack) contemplates his love for “Melera (interstellar assassin) who, as the story opens, has left him for her home galaxy.” Garrett Larkin (powerful witch and mage of the Balthus Coven) discovers that there might not be a counter spell as she, Kurt and Garrett auras have been bound by a spell gone bad.

Author Roxanne Bland is a great urban dark fantasy story teller that pushes the limits in the US city of Seattle Washington, which is now the tale of two cities. One city is for the humans and the other city plays out in the darkness under the moon. For me the ‘Invasion’ follows ‘The Underground’ extremely well. With vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and space aliens, this adult adventure is fast paced, graphic, and puts “Earth in Mag Beloc’s—Melera’s alien nemesis cross hairs.”

I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “Inside Melera’s huge cavern base, Parker lay on her bed half asleep, luxuriating in his vacation from the world. These last eight days or so with Melera had been like heaven. No phones, no clients, no pack, just the two of them.

He smiled as he listened to her play her whatchamacallit and sing along with it. At first, it sounded more like noise—screeches, howls and growls—than music. But the more he listened, the easier it was to make out themes and motifs, and at times, he could even follow its syncopated rhythms. He’d gotten to the point where he actually kind of liked the piece.

His smile faltered. Melera wasn’t playing her instrument for his benefit, he knew. It was the code she was trying to break, that would alert her battle fleet for delivery to the Vst.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Invasion by Roxanne Bland as this adult dark urban fantasy is an easy read after I got to know some of the characters in ‘The Underground’. Each book stands alone and will hold your attention if you love all the things that could go bump in the night on the ground and overhead. I purchased this Kindle book on November 3, 2017 and this review was written on November 6, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban, Alien Invasion, Military, Space Fleet

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The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland

Roxanne Bland does bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, J.R. Ward, and Laurell K. Hamilton one better with The Underground–rocketing into the upper ranks of urban dark fantasy and paranormal romance by adding a touch of science fiction to the fantastic, horrific, erotic mix. Set in an alternate Seattle, Washington, Bland’s heart-pounding, deliciously sexy adventure imagines a city where communities of “exotics”–shapeshifters, witches, elves, and vampires–live among the murderous human population and are ruled over by the cruel, insatiable vampire, Kurt.

The powerful alpha male of the city’s werewolf pack, Parker Berenson, is one of the Master’s enslaved servants, and he would like nothing better than to hasten the downfall of the vampire overlord who stole his love, the beautiful mage Garrett Larkin. But in a night city already on the razor’s edge–in the midst of a spate of inexplicable bloody murders–the alpha wolf’s passionate encounter with a stunning interstellar assassin could upset the very delicate balance and ignite a war that neither exotics nor humans can survive.

Warning: Profanity, Violence, Graphic Adult Content

Book Review: The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland is a blend of genres which include science fiction, dark urban fantasy and paranormal romance with an adult theme which includes profanity, violence and graphic erotic content.

It is not lions and tigers and bears, but rather werewolves, vampires, witches, and shapeshifters called “Exotics” that rule the night. You will either love it or hate it depending on your ability to meld into the author’s fantasy world and find something strangely different about her cast of characters.

Set in an alternate Seattle Washington where the night hours are more than bewitching, they are truly murderous. The book opens with Parker Berenson, alpha of Seattle’s werewolf fighting to stay in human form. Like many good stories, a love has been lost and someone or something must pay. Parker has anger issues and Garrett (Powerful Witch) is his former girlfriend and perhaps the only one who can truly see “the big picture”.

I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. With ninety-one chapters in this book, I chose an excerpt from Chapter 10.

“At nine a.m. on February second, a cinquet of five witches arrived to fetch Garrett for the first of her many ritual baths. They discovered her sitting naked in a half lotus on the floor, deep in a meditative trance.

Garrett had been awake for hours. She’d had too much on her mind the night before and hadn’t slept well. At five, she’d gotten out of bed and showered. After that, she’d meditated on the silk prayer rug next to the bed, hoping she could replace at least some of her lost sleep. The last thing she needed was to be incapacitated by fatigue when she channeled Goddess.

The cinquet waited in respectful silence until Garrett came out of her trance. Her gaze settled on Paul. “Good morning, Garrett,” he spoke for the other four witches.

Rising from the prayer rug, Garrett stepped over to Paul and kissed him on both cheeks, and then did the same to the others. Pinkie pre- sented her with a pair of soft indoor moccasins. Georgia held up a white, silk-lined satin robe and helped her put it on.

Paul smiled. “Ready, my Lady?” “I’m ready.”

The elder turned and with Garrett walking behind, led the group out of the bedroom to the purification room. The room’s most prominent feature was a square, white, marble Jacuzzi large enough for two people. One side was set into a wall covered with a slab of marble that rose half- way to the ceiling. Neck-sized indentations had been scooped out along the tub’s upper edge. From there, the tub sloped to its bottom, providing back support.

The rest of the wall to which the tub was attached, as well as the room’s other three walls, was covered in dense, dark blue carpet. The floor was laid with waterproofed linoleum in the same color. A series of wall sconces provided a dim light.

I love being in here. The room always evoked in Garrett a sense of inviolate safety, a comfort she never felt outside the Temple’s walls. This must be the way a baby feels in its mother’s womb.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland as an adult dark urban fantasy that will either grab and hold your attention or turn you off depending on your appetite for violent, graphic and erotic content. I purchased this book in a Kindle format on June 7, 2017 and this review was written on June 9, 2017.

Genre:  Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban, Science Fiction

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The Moreva of Astoreth by Roxanne Bland

In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of the priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year to a volatile far corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Cold Coffee Press Interview With Author Roxanne Bland

Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated.

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Baltimore? I can’t say that I’m proud to be a writer from anywhere (though I will say that while my living in Baltimore is happenstance, Washington, D.C. is my home). Writing is simply what I do, and it’s what I do best.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I suppose you could say it was the books I read as a child. They wrote down their stories; maybe I could write down my stories, too. But those little stories never saw the light of day. I threw them out. Then, I won a writing contest when I was around ten. You’d think that would have been my clue, but it sailed right over my head. I wrote off and on over the next several decades, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that it dawned on me that “hey, I’m pretty good at this, and it’s fun!”

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Not really. Back in those days, I wrote to pass the time (when I had any!), or as a school exercise. My focus was on becoming a career musician. Incredibly time consuming. I did have one high school teacher who suggested that I become a writer, but of course, at that time, it was out of the question.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Sometime in the early 2000s. I wrote a little piece while recovering from illness, and a dear friend browbeat me into making it into a novel. When I realized that I actually might have something, I started shopping it around. No takers. Then I was lucky enough to find an editor who saw promise in my scribblings and agreed to work with me to polish it up. No, that’s not true. We didn’t just polish it up, we made it into an entirely new book.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I love watching the words spill out over the page (or pixels on a screen, as the case may be). My thoughts, my characters, my story—coming to life. Some writers say that writing “the end” is their reward. To me, writing those two little words is kind of a letdown. Of course, that’s when you start writing another book.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Founding my publishing house, Blackrose Press. My idea is to publish works by people of color. I’ll be ready to take on submissions from other writers sometime in 2018. We’ll start off as an ebook publisher, and then, if the sales warrant, graduate to POD. I’m starting small; only two books per year. Hopefully, when Blackrose Press matures, I’ll be able to publish more.

Published Books:
Invasion
The Underground (First Edition)
The Moreva of Astoreth
The Underground (Second Edition)

Please tell us the genre of each of your books. The Underground books are paranormal urban fantasy/science fiction with romantic elements. The Moreva of Astoreth is a science fiction/romance.

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Usually while I’m writing the book. I have working titles so I can find it in my files, but the working title never becomes the final title. For example, the working title for The Underground was The Alien Within.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write paranormal urban fantasy and science fiction. I don’t know that I prefer to write in those genres. It’s more like those are the channels in which my imagination runs.

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Underground: Second Edition

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? It was the reviews that I received for The Underground. The readers obviously saw merit in the book, but it had issues. So, after kicking it around in my head for a couple of years, I decided to rewrite it. I felt I owed to it my readers to produce a better book, but more than that, I owed it to myself as a writer

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Keep writing and don’t give up.

Who is your favorite author and why? Edgar Allan Poe. I love the lyrical flow of his words, especially his poems (and I’m not into poetry). I know his style of writing is out of date, but I’d love to be able to write like him.

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Author Bernadette Y. Connor

Limpin by Bernadette Y. Connor

If you ain’t got love you’re . . . LIMPIN’. Ida Evers shares all of the trials and victories of their lives together, with her husband, James Evers, who has Alzheimer’s. His reactions are hilarious and heartwarming. Her gripping storytelling is filled with all of the angst, surprise, joy and loss of lives lived thoroughly with love as its anchor. Tales of family life will come and go, but you will never forget the Evers.

Book Review: Limpin’ is a well told, very interesting fictional African American family drama.

The book opens with this; “The doctor told me James had Alzheimer’s four years ago, and that he would forget things and do strange things he had never done before. I thought that diagnosis was funny at the time because corn liquor had been doing that to James for over fifty years. As far as James doing anything he had never done before, I thought that impossible. If he got his back up about something or a load on, James always could and would do some pretty stupid things.”

This book reminds me of the book/movie ‘The Notebook’. It is a love story that goes beyond the love between husband and wife to encompass the love and dynamics between family members.

Author Bernadette Y. Connor uses her main character Mrs. Ida Evers to share this heartwarming story where love anchors their lives through it all, especially towards to end when Alzheimer’s works to rob her husband James of his memories.

Here is a quote from chapter 19: “The summer of forty-eight. What can’t be said about it? The most profound phrase that comes to mind is, ‘I wasn’t in Gadsden.’ We experienced unbelievable highs and devastating lows. It seemed as if I would at long last get to know a loving relationship with my husband. We could have that honeymoon I read about other people having and enjoying so much. Oh, James, we came so close to having all of that, and so much more.

We drove up to Virginia Beach the first weekend we were alone. I saw the ocean for the very first time in my life.  It was truly a grand sight too. It stretched to forever; all blue and green with white foam smashing against the dark tan colored beach. You told me that the sand was mixed with dirt and that the farther down the coast you went the brighter it got and that there were actually white beaches in Florida and Mexico.

Born and raised colored in the south the trip was a rude awakening for me. We all knew our boundaries and basically stayed within them. Every once in a while, someone would get rambunctious and find out the hard way that white folks don’t play with you. The way I saw it at the time, white folks were the least of my problems because I dealt so little with them.”

You will have to read this book to understand this reference: “I wasn’t in Gadsden”.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Limpin’ by Bernadette Y. Connor as a family drama that shines the light on love vs control. I purchased this book from Kindle and completed this review on November 6, 2017.

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He’s Mine by Bernadette Y. Connor

What’s a girl to do when she moves to a new town and falls in love with the most desired man in town?

What’s a girl to do when that man belongs to all in his family and social circle?

What’s a girl to do when their infatuation with him is unhealthy to the point of being dangerous?

What’s a girl to do when one of them threatens her and she doesn’t know which one it is?

What’s a girl to do when that person declares, “He’s Mine!”?

“Dream come true turns nightmare!”

“A romantic, gritty and disturbing fatal attraction.”

Tall, dark and incredibly handsome, Miles Alexander is admired by his friends and colleagues, loved and adored by every woman in town, including his family.  He is an attorney from a wealthy family, and an incurable romantic who has dated every attractive woman in town.  Miles’s world is comfortable and carefree until Patrice Mays whisks past him in the lobby of his office building and his appreciation of a beautiful woman eclipsed.  With just the two of them on the elevator, Miles inspects her from head-to-toe and cannot believe his eyes, she is perfection.

Patrice Mays is new in town and Miles is the first person to penetrate her determination to be on time for her first day at Tymes, McNeil and Lowell Law Offices.  The gorgeous floral arrangement and warm welcome note Miles had delivered impresses her.  The recollection of his handsome, well dressed physique made her smile.  However, Patrice is focused on her career, Miles is focused on Patrice.

Miles makes his infatuation with Patrice well known immediately, and the information is not well received by all. Patrice is confronted at the end of her second day by an irate Miles romantic reject and receives a mind-boggling note in her inter-office mail that simply says, “He’s Mine!”

Book Review: ‘He’s Mine!’ by Bernadette Y. Connor is a romance that begins as a chance meeting in an elevator, turns into an adventurous pursuit, infatuation, intrigue, romance, jealousy, stalking and attempted murder. All the elements that keep the reader tuning the page and creates caution in the minds of single hearts looking for love.

Two main characters from different backgrounds bring their own history and unique circumstances to the story. Miles Alexander is an attorney from a wealthy family. He is tall, dark, handsome and carefree with a giant Doberman named Roman. His good looks, money and carefree lifestyle makes him a target for women who want the best and are willing to go to any length to accomplish their quest. Patrice Mays is the new woman in town, focused on her career and is about to find herself in the cross-hairs. I quote a passage that stands out in my memory: “Patrice stood in the doorway watching Miles and Roman disappear into the night, and she was surprised by the number of people still sitting on their steps. Patrice would soon learn that this was a ritual of summer in the inner city.”

I especially like to read passages that give insight into how different two people can be when a friendship begins. I quote: “He especially loved the way she ate the barbeque with her fingers and licked them afterwards. Patrice had not gone to any trouble trying to impress the great Miles Alexander.  Miles had never eaten a piece of meat with his fingers until he was in college, and to date had never licked his fingers. His mother would have had a massive coronary if she had witnessed him doing any of it.”

Romance that begins as a fine fragile line between two people. I quote: “In silence, Patrice dissected and analyzed her anger. When the particles settled, there was only one answer. Patrice Mays was more physically attracted to Miles Alexander than she had ever been to any man in her life and it had made her horribly uncomfortable. Truthfully, she had no idea whether she was acting rational or not. Her hormones were blitzing her brain cells.”

Secondary characters who may or may not have a reason to come between Miles and Patrice. Attraction is one thing, but when mixed with some mental illness things often change without warning. Chaos can affect a wide circle of people and the criminal justice system can’t always protect the innocent.

I, Theodocia Mclean endorse He’s Mine! by Bernadette Y. Connor as a romance with a fatal attraction mystery entwined. We admire the author’s inner strength and ability to raise three children alone and inspire them to graduate from college. Our heart acknowledges her struggles through her own medical issues and the brutal murder of her eldest son in 1991.

Her early writing began in the wee hours of the morning when her children were sleeping and resurfaced later when she wrote and published her debut novel, ‘Damaged!’ in 1998. This book garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004” for the first psychological thriller published by an African American Woman. From here she went on to publish Inherited in 2005, PEARL AND ANGELA in 2009, SASHA’S New Beginning in 2011, THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS in 2012 and He’ s Mine! on September 15, 2014.

The review was completed on May 10th, 2015. For more information please contact Cold Coffee Press.

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Damaged by Bernadette Y. Connor

Adrena Reynolds is the teenage survivor of years of child abuse that leaves her filled with murderous rage. State- assigned, psychiatrist Vivian Matthews tries to help Adrena overcome the psychological damage she has suffered. Their relationship grows beyond that of doctor-patient and Dr. Matthews takes Adrena into her personal life, which includes the handsome, sexy, and successful Howard Shaw. Therapy and love bring Adrena to the brink of happiness, but will the insane legacy of her past allow Adrena to live and let live?

Genre: Fiction, General Psychological Thriller

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Inherited by Bernadette Y. Connor

Derrick Dawes is a cafe au lait Adonis who lives comfortably and enjoys bachelorhood. When Derrick receives a call informing him that his wife has left the hospital it begins as an obvious mistaken identity that turns into a nightmare. His security and peace of mind are shattered by the reality that there are newborn twins with his name listed as father. DNA will free him, if the babies are not his, in three months without the mother’s DNA contribution. If he signs anything, he is acknowledging paternity. If he leaves the hospital without them, he will be charged with abandonment.

Derrick Dawes as Daddy is a comedy of errors until he meets their nurse and angers an old girlfriend who makes his life a living hell. Through it all, Derrick searches for the mother of the twins.

Genre: Romance Contemporary

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Pearl and Angela by Bernadette Y. Connor

Pearl and Angela is a suspense-filled story that profoundly chronicles the emotional damages of hatred and cruelty and the miraculous healing power of love. The characters come to life, providing on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment and intrigue wrapped in a timeless love story. Pearl Little grew up an only child in a typical late 1940s Midwestern town in the shadow of a maniac, Barry “Pop” Little. Pop had ranted his expectations all of Pearl’s life, and after his death, his words haunted her. A trip to the Fair with a young man Pearl had fallen in love with and his best friend, without Pop’s permission, tragically altered their lives. Angela Bowman was tossed from a car and left on the side of the road in town and Pearl happened upon her. Pearl brought Angela home and the two women’s lives flourished, clashed, and healed. Angela had been sold at the age of six to a brothel owner in a nearby town. To escape her past, Angela craved the one thing she thought would set her free money. Money to run, to live the high life, to be free of anything she found confining. Pearl and Angela came together and each supplied the other’s needs. They developed a comfortable existence and then the unimaginable happened.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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Sasha’s New Beginning by Bernadette Y. Connor

On the surface, Sasha and Terrence Bain are the American dream. She is beautiful, intelligent, graceful, a wonderful homemaker and mother of three incredibly witty children. He is a successful banker and illegitimate son of a long line of successful bankers. Financially, they want for nothing.

All Sasha wants is to make Terrence happy. All Terrence wants is to make Terrence happy too. Their life together is both wonderful and challenging. Sasha’s torment at not being able to be the woman who makes Terrence’s eyes light up each time he walks in the door is obvious. His unfaithfulness is also obvious, and Terrence has lived a charmed life with his dedicated wife and adoring children.

Sasha’s life takes on a new glow when she receives lavender orchids from a secret admirer. When an unexpected tragedy strikes the Bain family, Sasha’s joy withers like the petals on her beloved orchids, and she wonders if her secret admirer had been Terrence all along.

Sasha’s journey through love, betrayal, loss, and rebirth is an all too familiar one with an ending that will take your breath away.

Book Genre: Romantic, Suspense, Thriller

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The Parcel Express Murders by Bernadette Y. Connor

Detectives Hall Hawkins and Edward Clark of the 30th Precinct Homicide Division are assigned the daunting task of solving the brutal murders of the handsome, Exquisite Wheels owner, David Bass, and his beautiful, fashion designer date, Kay Spencer. The case is every homicide detective’s nightmare: A double murder with only one clue . . . corpses riddled with bullets from a .45.

As Hawkins and Clark pursue this cunning, cold-blooded killer, they uncover one sordid detail after another about the lives of the wealthy and worldly victims, shedding no light on the case. A string of unsolved murders following on the heels of the Bass and Spencer case deepens the mystery.

Detective Hall Hawkins’ stunning family friend, psychiatrist Samoa Tate, is introduced to the sophisticated and charming Detective Edward Clark and finds herself embroiled in a love triangle that she alone knows all about and a murder mystery of which she is completely unaware.

Bernadette Y. Connor has again given her readers a story filled with twists and turns and enough suspense to keep them up burning the night oil to find out ‘who done it and why.’ The love story that weaves throughout the murder mystery is rich and sophisticated, simple and devilishly complicated. THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS is filled with characters you want living next door and characters you want living next door to someone else someone far away.

Genre: Crime, Fiction, Detective Thriller

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Bernadette Y. Connor

Bernadette Y. Connor is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was born at home in a one-room apartment in North Philadelphia; the fourth of five children. To help her family financially, she sang rhythm and blues in many of the local nightclubs until she graduated from Dobbins Vocational Area High School in 1969 and was hired as a secretary by Sun Oil Company.

Her first love was music, but she found herself writing poetry in Junior High School. Some of her earliest writings were published in SCLC monthly magazine. Both singing and writing had to take a back burner to caring for her family, but midnight often found her doodling. A divorced mother of three, Bernadette saw that all of her children graduated from college.

She found her niche’ at AT&T as a communications technician. With the merger came a lay-off and she saw as an opportunity to begin a new career, but that was put on hold by a series of medical problems and finally the devastation of the brutal murder of her eldest son on Christmas Eve of 1991. Her zest for life, travel and adventure were nearly extinguished. However, Bernadette’s thoughts slowly returned to writing.

The literary fire was stoked by reacquainting herself with her earlier poems, and Bernadette embarked on yet another adventure. She wrote a simple love story called ‘Finally’ that opened the gate to an avalanche of works which include 13 novels and 12 screenplays.

Bernadette’s published debut novel, ‘Damaged’, the first psychological thriller ever written and published by an African American garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004”. Publishers Weekly dubbed her the “genre-crossing writer” and she loves the distinction. Agent, Mondella Jones, labeled her “a master storyteller.”

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Philadelphia? It is an honor to be a writer from Philadelphia. There is a rich literary history from James A. Michener, Edgar A. Poe and Diane McKinney-Whetstone. These authors have blazed a glorious fictional trail for me. While Edgar A. Poe was not born in Philadelphia, he wrote and published while living here. His home is on our Historical Registry.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Honestly, I believe I have always had a writer’s spirit; needing to know who, what, when, where and how. It was awakened by hearing Edgar A. Poe’s poems on phonographs in English class in Junior High. It was my baptism into the written word has a distinct rhythm and sound. If I hear “The Bells” or “Annabel Lee” today, I am still mesmerized by them. Langston Hughes inspired and nurtured that belief for me. The way he wrote about his people made me believe he loved and respected every aspect of their existence. If I can scratch the surface of the power of his love, I will believe I have accomplished something.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 1997, after lots of long-winded rejection letters swearing I was good and praising my skills, but they could not publish my work. Of course, they never said exactly why they could not publish it.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes. I put all of my experience to work in my work without ever writing about my life. The dreams, passion and devastation of life fascinates me. The ways we love and hurt each other is my springboard.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I have done both.  Sometimes, the title comes weeks before the story begins to unfold.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Romance and psychological thrillers.  I write in these two genre because they are the heart of our existence. They propel or stifle us in life. To love and be loved is our reason for being. Our attempts to achieve our reason damages us irreparably when it is not accomplished, or the ones we want to love desperately have been so wounded that they wound in return.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? The thought that no matter how “perfect” the people in the relationship or the relationship itself appears to onlookers, there are always challenges to overcome. What happens when you can’t name the challenger? What happens when you name the challenger, but can’t name the reason why they are challenging your relationship? What made your challenger’s insanity choose you as their target?

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Knowing that people who do not read have thoroughly enjoyed my work. Knowing that scholars have used some of it for class study. Knowing that people who have experienced some of the challenges identify with the stories and situations. My real reward is that I entertain people for a little while. I turn their attention away from their lives with the intrigue of what’s going to happen to someone else.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? At a book signing; to have a young lady bring me a paperback copy of ‘Damaged’ that was held together with a rubber-band saying, “Ms. Connor, I think I need to have it in hardback. All of my family and friends have read and destroyed this copy.”

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Be true to yourself. At the end of the day you will always look back and know you did it your way. If you’re writing to make money, follow others.

Who is your favorite author and why? Langston Hughes and J. California Cooper. They both could write dynamic short stories that made me believe they loved their characters.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I am not a person who builds a story. I allow the characters to tell their story. Sometimes, I feel more like a stenographer than an author.

Please tell us something that you believe your readers would like to know. Pain and passion in a novel are necessary elements. Too much sunshine burns the story up. Too much rain drowns it.

Published Books:
Damaged
He’s Mine
Inherited
Limpin
Pearl and Angela
Sasha’s New Beginning
The Parcel Express Murders

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Author Suzanne McMillen-Fallon

Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich
(Mommy Writings Series Book I, Mommy’s Writings)
by Suzanne McMillen-Fallon

True Story

“There’s one thing I know – God exists.”

At age nineteen, MaryAnne McMillen severed two vital nerves at the base of her skull when she suffered a near fatal fall. This was followed by an out-of-body experience, life after death, in which she heard the words, “It’s not your time.”

When the two nerves fused together, MaryAnne was left in unrelenting, excruciating pain. Being the mother of a young son and married to a philandering brute of a husband when the accident occurred, the family disallowed the use of any medicine because it was against their religion. After fourteen years of agony, doctors were finally able to perform a unique surgery known as extraspinal rhizotomy.

This story weaves together the idea of family and faith, while also creating a sense of longing in the reader’s own life for something bigger than themselves. Mommy’s Writings is the extraordinary memoir of the love between a mother and her young son, and a great-grandmother whose intense devotion to the two of them kept their little family together. It is a story of faith in God, of forgiveness and acceptance, and of gratitude.

When defining who she is, Suzanne McMillen-Fallon writes, “Mother of Chad C. McMillen and author.” In her younger years, she was an artist. After the 1983 surgery, she is a published writer of poetry and prose, and co-authored the book Shadows of Yesterday with her late second husband, Gene Fallon. Her next book, Parallax Crossroads: Finding My Way continues the Mommy Writings Series. The author’s son Chad C. McMillen is shown at nearly five years of age. As an adult, he is a PMI Project Management professional.

Book Review: It takes a special type of person to share their deepest and sometimes darkest life experiences in a memoir. It also takes a special type of reader to set aside their own life experiences to read, have empathy and sympathy for the trials and tribulations of others.

This must have been a hard book for author Suzanne McMillen-Fallon too write. I imagine writing it caused her to relive the years written about; like it did for me, when I wrote my memoir. I find a certain component of therapy in reading non-fiction. Non-fiction memoirs allows some readers commonality.

I am moved by Suzanne’s strength and courage, while speaking about her near-death experience that happened on February 14, 1969. Controversy in the medical and religious communities, over this topic, makes this book and Suzanne’s interview, in ‘The Documentary: One A Guide to Enlightenment,’ by Dr. G. J. Link, MD, PhD. on November 21, 2016 (found on You Tube), both, insightful and intriguing.

As a mother of a son two years older than her beloved son Chad, I relate to and admire her maternal instincts to love, cherish every moment, protect and raise Chad under the most difficult circumstances. The influence of her in-laws and their extended family had massive sway over her life, to the point of studying under their religion. It is evident that this religion doesn’t agree with much in the medical community.

Through physical, mental and emotional pain, Suzanne holds onto her deep faith in God, as he reveals himself to her. She uses poetry and scripture to help explain her thought process to the reader. I am convinced that it is her faith and deep connection to her son Chad, that kept her alive thus far.

‘Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich?’ is the first book in her ‘Mommy’s Writings’ series. This book is two books in one, as she takes us from 1969 through the pre-teen years of her son, Chad. Suzanne (formally known as MaryAnne McMillen) has endured more than most and still has a positive attitude and grateful heart.

As we wait for the next installment in this series, let me quote the author, “I’m joyful in having watched Chad grow into a man of integrity and, most importantly, having understood why we’re blessed. God is love, and my priorities are the same: God’s first, then my family, Chad, friends, and then, of course, the writing.”

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse “Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich? (Mommy Writings Series Book I, Mommy’s Writings)” by Suzanne McMillen-Fallon, as a deeply honest account of her near-death experience and the years that followed. I purchased this book in print, and this review was completed on October 23, 2017.

Genre: Non-Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Worship & Devotion, Faith, Parenting & Relationships, Biographies & Memoirs

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View This Near-Death Testimonial by Ms. Suzanne McMillen
(in the center of this video)

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Message From Author Suzanne McMillen-Fallon: “Let me share this specific Mommy’s Writings’ query, of so long ago, for Book 1. I wrote: “They’re so many words to write about a true story that inspires the love of God, but I use Mommy’s words to best express Mary’s thread.

In 1983, while sitting at my bedroom desk in Warren, Ohio, I understood that I’d write this story. I heard words then as if someone had clearly spoken them, and I paused for the longest time. After all, I did just have a unique head surgery. Fourteen years of unbearable nerve spasms which often left me unconscious, especially in the days approaching the surgery. I did not question then that I heard the words. I questioned, how can this be?

My son Chad is my life. But who’s Chad’s Mommy? I glanced about the room and then through an enormous bay window, whose light is comforting, as I gazed into the distance. I closed my eyes to feel the light’s warmth which so often helps to sift out the harshness in an all too real world that demands perfection. With thoughts then ended I returned my attention to a desk and to a typewriter that stares back at me, but I didn’t know if I could even type. I had been swallowed whole then spit out in pieces that are to somehow fit together once again into a world that doesn’t recant in missed time. Others told me that I had typed, and my resume implied that indeed I was quite proficient in this skill. Still, I felt lost in the resume words that claimed who I am as I surely didn’t recognize Mary. In these moments I realized then that I did not remember me; so alone in my home, MaryAnne McMillen cried. I have a very, very long road ahead if I’m to salvage fragmented pieces which left me humbled by God.

Just like Mary’s name is part of who I am, so are these words then clearly heard by me. ‘You will write this story.’”

What does this mean? Well, for me, since 1983 I continue reading theologian Bible research; more recently, an interest in quantum physics brain research on consciousness. Enough said, because everyone’s time is valued and respected.

I just had business cards made, seeing myself: for book-signings and readings and still writing and research; in spite of a poor medical prognosis. As I continue recouping from a 2015 major surgery, with complications slowly going away (I advocate the shingles’ vaccine for anyone whose had chicken pokes and is of the age sixty and over); to another, future, major operation for me, having been informed by physicians. But more importantly, is in knowing now God’s plan is fulfilled for my life, with Book 1’s 2015 Literary Marketplace entrance, and yet to be, if the Lord will (In the Bible: Hebrews 4:13-15 (AV); Rom. 8:28; James 4:13-15; 1 Cor. 13:12-13).

Author Suzanne McMillen-Fallon has a background in the performing arts in theatrical production; with both film and television experience. I am a published poet (sixteen anthologies). Collaborator of plot development, and Co-author for Shadows Of Yesterday; a fictional story based on proven facts about the first human clone.

Joint seminar speaker for Valencia Community College, Orlando, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, (Jeff Atwood, dean at both); extra for Universal Studios Florida, through Stevie Lynn Productions, Orlando. Associate Director and instructor, Television Workshop, Inc. and Center for Communication Arts, Cleveland, Ohio and Center for Communication Arts in Orlando, Florida)

Mommy Writings Series Book 1 is entitled Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich? A True Story.

I’m qualified as a reader and speaker at book sellers and on radio and TV talk shows, and will go anywhere I can to sell and promote Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich?”

Resume: Suzanne McMillen-Fallon was previous business owner and CEO of the Center for Communication Arts, Inc. in Orlando; having been associate director of Television Workshop, Inc. with Gene Fallon in Cleveland, Ohio. Past business experience includes apartment house ownership and management and a family-owned business affiliation in the oil and gas industry.

Ms. McMillen-Fallon has a background in the performing arts in theatrical production at the famed Youngstown, Ohio Playhouse; developing an amazing role-playing ability than used as a teaching technique in Florida, where becoming the instructor’s protégé, she acted out parts audiences easily related to:

1992 – 1996 – (DBA) doing business as Center for Communication Arts, Inc. in Florida State: joint seminar speaker with Gene Fallon for Dale Carnegie Productions in their Central Florida Division; with Ken Roberts, as principal.

DBA-CCA, Inc: Team instructor with Gene Fallon at Valencia Community College in Orlando, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach; with Jeff Atwood, dean at both.

DBA-CCA, Inc: Contracted public seminars for the Fallons at Orlando Universal Studios through Stevie Lynn Productions.

What had made the Center for Communication Arts teaching style so valuable was that anyone who could read from a workbook could also be taught effective communication techniques. Thousands were taught from top executives to mothers and even grandmothers.

CCA, Inc. was licensed for teaching, speaking and writing purposes.

CCA, Inc. closed March 23, 2008

Her Current Read: For, one chooses to believe, or not, Albert Einstein’s thinking on the quantum theory and its weirdness, which bothered him during his lifetime. In the enigmatic implications, which physicists call “the measurement problem,” and is cited in the publication, “Quantum Enigma, Second Edition,” by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner. In simple words, human perspective – in quantum mechanics – encounters consciousness. (This book is absolutely the best read, if one seeks proven knowledge. Thank you, Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, for the Second Edition, which reveals, and enables humankind to understand more clearly physics encounters consciousness.)

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from (Toledo, OH)? This is the second time living in the State of Ohio, in a different locale – my beloved son Chad McMillen is here – having previously relocated from Mukilteo, WA in 2010; with my formative years lived in Warren, OH. Perhaps, it’s the challenge whenever being asked, “What are you writing, when you’re working?” It brings a smile to my countenance. Because their question’s truth is surreal. As I grasp the reality of the words, as any writer probably relates to. Writing is what one does. Anyone may write. But it’s the writer who continually scribbles down thoughts simply because it’s a part of them. Sometimes, writers are given inspired writing, creativity flowing through them, like an artist’s canvas, to manifest something bigger than themselves. It’s those moments of true inspiration, which has me a writer; an individual, accessing a divine stream of consciousness. Prayerfully then, in a cognitive ability to then share it with everyone.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Becoming a writer, a sense of it, manifested in a poem entitled, “Watching Chad Grow.” In 1990, while residing in Warren, Ohio; when son Chad was in Howland Middle School – Class of ’97 – where I attended an open house for parents.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, I believe so. As I lived a peaceful life, while living on an Ohio farm with my beloved grandparents’ Pansy M. Holmes and Clyde L. Holmes and with Uncle Ralph B. Hodge, whose presence is just as loving and introspective as gramma Pansy and grampa Clyde; who gave me Smokey, a black stallion Shetland pony to pass the time together. As well as our family’s good-sized Holy Bible – the Word of God – with its beautiful color prints, being clearly in view for reading; or just glancing at the amazing pictures, when one is little and cannot read. But always present is our family’s reverence to God.

The farm home is small, and I still recall our address: 2634 Ridge Road, Southeast, in Warren, and our phone number is Express 45012. Funny how things stay with you. The place you once knew as home, the only house on the old road that borders Warren’s outskirts, until passing years bring neighbors. It’s a quiet country home, and stepbrother Richard C. Limber shared it with me – until age thirteen.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Some months later, following a rare and unique head surgery known as an intraspinal rhizotomy. In autumn 1983, when clearly hearing the words “You will write this story.” Although, it would be decades later, in 2001, when the Mommy Writings Series Book 1, entitled “Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich? would flow through me, and into written words; copyright JAN 04 2007. Literary Marketplace entrance: JUNE 18 2015. Publisher: dba Strategic Book Group, LLC.

Back then, “in 1983, while sitting at my bedroom desk in Warren, Ohio, I understood that I’d write this story. I heard words then as if someone had clearly spoken them, and I paused for the longest time. After all, I did just have a unique head surgery. Fourteen years of unbearable nerve spasms which often left me unconscious, especially in the days approaching the surgery. I did not question then that I heard the words. I questioned, how can this be?

My son Chad is my life. But who’s Chad’s Mommy? I glanced about the room and then through an enormous bay window, whose light is comforting, as I gazed into the distance. I closed my eyes to feel the light’s warmth, which so often helps to sift out the harshness in an all too real world that demands perfection. With thoughts then ended I returned my attention to a desk and to a typewriter that stares back at me, but I didn’t know if I could even type. I had been swallowed whole, then spit out in pieces that are to somehow fit together once again into a world that doesn’t recant in missed time. Others told me that I had typed, and my resume implied that indeed I was quite proficient in this skill. Still, I felt lost in the resume words that claimed who I am, as I surely didn’t recognize Mary. In these moments, I realized then that I did not remember me; so alone in my home, MaryAnne McMillen cried. I have a very, very long road ahead if I’m to salvage fragmented pieces, which left me humbled by God.

Just like Mary’s name is part of who I am, so are these words then clearly heard by me. ‘You will write this story.’”

So decades later, residing in Washington State, with retired second husband, Gene D. Fallon, our focus is on writing; Fallon being twenty-four years my senior, I worked part time for Hallmark Retail, Inc. (Andrews’s Hallmark, and then Amy’s Hallmark), and attended to Fallon’s failing health. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; with our commuting for his care at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance building, shortly after moving to Mukilteo, Washington in 1996.

It’s in Fallon’s latter days, when his strength was little and he slept mostly, that the novel “Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?” flowed through me. It was inspired. As I could see his resting form, a body slowly weakening from a fatal disease, but never removing away from him his loving nature. The injections I gave him finally were of no earthly use, and Gene David Fallon died on 12-1-2003; but not before his reading of my creative work, Mommy Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?

It’s in my marriage to Fallon, during those years, when the dear Lord had me learning the writing process. “Would I have accomplished this work without my patient husband’s support for his Suz? Let’s just say, with his love and respect that his Suz finds strength in two hearts now released as one.”

Yes, I knew I’d someday write this story. In spite of the head injury, and the permanent brain impairment, I live with. Yet, it’s like author Darrell Laurant shared with me in his October 15, 2015 e-mail, “…there are also the wild cards of prayer and personal determination.” And it’s true, this I know.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? It’s understanding the power of the word “I am” (the Holy Bible: Exodus 3:13-15, AV) to be most rewarding for me. As a writer, planting the seeds of curiosity, courage, consistency – the family of God – and creativity. In retrospection, I learned Walt Disney combined what might be called the four “C’s” that give him the power to do the things he did. Think about it.

In my perspective of what is, I continue theologian Bible research (AV), by means of Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, edited by Matthew Black and H. H. Rowley, since 1983. “I’m not religious. I do not proselytize. I believe in God.” With a present read on Physics Encounters Consciousness, entitled “Quantum Enigma,” Second Edition, by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner.

In defining who I am then in the literary industry, I am Suzanne McMillen-Fallon, “Mother of Chad C. McMillen and author.” In my younger years, I was an artist. After the 1983 surgery, I became a published writer of poetry and prose, and co-authored the book “Shadows of Yesterday” with late second husband, Gene Fallon.

Since the 2015 Literary Marketplace entrance of the Mommy Writings Series Book I entitled, “Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?” I continue to write, and to be part of the literary world. I’m joyful. Still, more importantly, I am more than this, as is everyone. Because humanity’s instilled with infinite possibility – attributes – of its creator. No matter, one’s faith; in being something bigger than themselves (Matt. 17:20). In principle, I am everything, and I am no-thing.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? As written in the Conclusion, p. 453, in Mommy Writings Series Book I, it is: “Psalm 143:8 (AV). With this novel, I’ve fulfilled what I perceive as a heavenly Father’s purposed plan for my life. It gives my soul rest (Ps. 139:13–14). Laus Deo. Amen (2 Cor. 1:20). Selah.

While there are words to write, it materializes only through inspiration, as are all things belonging unto a universal source (Acts 17:26). For me, the gift of writing continues in a heavenly Father’s time and in his way, as I’m forever humbled in a divine creator’s gracious consciousness whose compassion is infinite (Heb. 13:8). The invisible things one doesn’t see are the evidence of the things that are made by a universal creator, known as God, whose creation is forever unfolding in one’s journey of perpetuity (Rom. 1:20). There’s one home, which is eternal (Eph. 1:4–5). Our God-given blessing is omnipresent and omnipotent for his creation, of whom we are his own (Rom. 8:29–30).

I know so very little, but for what I’ve written, and it’s as follows:

“There’s one thing I know—God exists. If you have an open mind, you never know where God is going to lead you.”

How many published books do you have? One book; as well as, published in eleven poetry anthologies.

Please list the titles of all your books:

  • Mommy Writings Series Book I entitled: Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich? Literary Marketplace entrance: June 18, 2015. A True Story.
  • Shadows of Yesterday (co-author) Fiction. (copyright 2012).
  • Mommy Writings Series Book II entitled: Parallax Crossroads: Finding My Way (copyright 2012).

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? With Mommy Writings Series Book 1, it’s before. Being entitled, “Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?”

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Nonfiction. Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich? is inspired. A True Story. This story flowed through me, and then I read it.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? Believe it or not, in knowing God exists.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write for something bigger than ego. Write, because it’s a part of you – a reflection of what is – divine consciousness – being expressed through its creation – joyfully at work. Bringing another facet of life too light for everyone.

Who is your favorite author and why? Hmm. It is J.K. Rowling. “For, in joyful hearts, open-mindedness, one sees: beyond earth’s realm and the heaven’s stars lies the gift of imagination – possibility – the mind’s gateway. In desire and passion’s flight, keeping hope alive and promises fulfilled. Its rainbow treasure is but a thought away.” Qtd. by a.smf

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Author Steve Shear

The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear

“Two generations of dementia are enough!”

Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end, he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.

In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of other residents: his neurotic sister, Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); and Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him.

Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson?

Book Review: I found The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear most interesting because my grandparents managed a retirement home and nursing home. I grew up around these homes, associating with many of the older people who lived in both. When my father became disabled (car accident, my mother, father and I teenager) we moved into an apartment within the Retirement Home. I lived there until I graduated from high school and left home. This book brought back a lot of wonderful memories of the older people that I associated with in my youth. It also brought back memories of those I saw physically and mentally decline.

I love how the author draws the reader into the daily lives of the people who live at “The Fountain of Youth” and I love the title. As I said, I have already lived in an old folks’ home, so when I get old I want to go to a young folks’ home. The colorful characters who reside at “The Foundation of Youth” bring with them their past experiences, their lifelong stories, their strong personalities, human emotions. They exhibit an ability to adjust to their surroundings as they fight to stay in control of their physical and mental health with full knowledge that the road ahead is not what anyone would want for themselves or anyone else.

Main character Robert Glickman is acutely aware of his genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He has lost family and friends and he refuses to go quietly into this physical and mental hell. Adding a little romance can’t hurt. Robert did his best to encourage others through reading to them. Here is a good quote from Robert: “As I dropped down to LL2, it occurred to me that I no longer considered the lowest floor as Hades or the River Styx and when the elevator doors opened it didn’t seem as hot and oppressive. It was certainly quiet however. I stepped into the lounge and stared at the couch where O’Reilly and I read Gatsby. I could still see the crowd of patients in wheelchairs, on walkers, and sitting uncomfortably in those same gray folding chairs everyone purchases from Costco… Patients! I referred to them as patients, not residents. The word rolled off my lips without a bit of concern. Maybe I was reconciling myself to the future. Never!”

You probably know someone or even care for a loved one who is struggling with one or more diseases that cause dementia. As researchers work hard to find cures for these diseases, it is our job to stay informed of the latest advances in medications and assistance for end of life. Although fiction, I think this author has addressed these issues well.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear. I give the book 5 stars because the author shows great compassion for those afflicted and this book addresses a difficult subject that affects missions of people, their family, friends and caregivers. I purchased this book from Kindle and the review was completed on October 12, 2017.

Message From The Author: When I was growing up, sharing a single bedroom with three brothers in a duplex on Dartmouth Avenue, my maternal grandmother, Mama, lived with us and had her own room. Often, she would babysit when our parents went out and we would play gin rummy, Mama and me. She cheated but I still won. Mama would also buy individual packets of sunflower seeds (we called them ‘polly’ seeds) from our uncle who lived upstairs. He was a pharmacist and even though she bought them wholesale, she sold them to us boys retail. Of course, we knew where she hid them so I’m afraid to say she got the short end of that deal. At the time I didn’t think she knew we were stealing them. At the time I was young and stupid.

When Mama was around nine-two my parents moved her to a nursing home. In those days you really didn’t want to visit a nursing home, but we did, every Sunday. During one visit, Mama introduced me to ‘Aunt’ Charlotte, her next-door neighbor at the home. “Mama,” I said, “She’s not my aunt.” But she stood her ground and insisted Charlotte was my aunt and I should greet her accordingly. Finally, while I was still arguing with her, she said, “Stevie, mit her money and no one to leave it to, she’s your aunt.” Again, I was young and stupid.

Thank the powers greater than us (if there are any), Mama did not live long in that nursing home (which she hated) and she died with the humor I grew up with. She was one of the reasons I wrote The Fountain of Youth. 

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Drama

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The Trials Of Adrian Wheeler by Steve Shear

Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants.

As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he, do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent?

Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.

Message From The Author: From the Author: When I started writing Adrian, the only thing I had in mind was a friend from my poetry critique group, a gentle soul with natural artistic creativity, who was ‘forced’ to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam for his country by his bombastic father. My friend had MS and other bad things after being exposed to Agent Orange. He died last year but not before he published several books of his poetry.

Actually, I had two other things in mind when I began thinking about Adrian. I had been against America invading Iraq and I blamed it on W, our president who made the decision to invade. I had just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi’s book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and I wondered how many soldiers regretted their decisions to join up in the first place, like my friend. I’m not talking about those soldiers who died in battle (that’s bad enough), but those young men and women who came back (and are continuing to come back) from Iraq and Afghanistan–only to discover a battlefield far more relentless and infinitely more lonely. I am speaking about all those warriors who do battle every day in their mind’s eye, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the loss of a limb, their own or a buddy’s–or who experience the last five minutes of their buddy’s life. There’s no special day just for them. There is no Veterans with PTSD day.

Its full name is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; at least that’s what we call it now. In the past it was battle fatigue and shell shock, but a rose by any other name is just as devastating I learned when I started the research on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. When George W. Bush dropped his first bomb on Baghdad in March 2003, I was so upset I produced what I still consider my best work of art, a painting I entitled The Sisters of Baghdad which can be seen on my website, steveshear.net. Shortly thereafter I wrote a poem, The Bombing of Baghdad which appears at the beginning of Adrian. Around that time, I remember getting a haircut and ranting to my barber, Harold, about how terrible President Bush was. My barber was ultraconservative, although I didn’t know it at the time. His bald head (wouldn’t you know it) turned red, his eyes bulged and his lips quivered. My only thought at the time was to blurt out: “HAROLD, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!” Fortunately, I am still alive and Harold is still cutting hair, I assume.

By the time I finished writing Adrian and living in the skins of the characters, George Bush became a bit more than a footnote. The characters and the family dynamics took over, Adrian, Pa, Daisy, Esme, Rachael, Rabinowitz, Benedetti, and the others. Actually, characters like these along with what they do and say tend to get under your skin and go where you go whether it’s at the computer, on a long walk, brushing your teeth, or in my case playing Pickleball. That’s what happens during nineteen drafts and before you ever think about sending out your first query.

Steve is happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated move, NO), and the screenplay has been completed. Steve is also a published playwright, having co-authored with his wife, Susan, The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal, interactive courtroom dramas published by ArtAge Publications. You can learn more about Steve and his other endeavors (as a painter, sculptor, poet, and retired intellectual property attorney) at www.steveshear.net.

Genre: Law, Specialties, Military, Arts and Photography, Theater

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight With Author Steve Shear

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler is author Steve Shear’s first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

Steve is happy to announce that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and Steve. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and Steve have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, Steve’s second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

He and his wife, Susan, collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

In addition, Steve has four novels that have recently been completed: A trilogy including The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and Black Hearts & Hungry Bears and The Click, a Sci-Fi thriller. He has written screenplays on the first two and is presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

Steve also has been writing poetry for over fifteen years (a number of which have been published) and is also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. He is presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. His work can be seen at his website, www.steveshear.net

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area? I spent most of my career in Silicon Valley and just returned after almost 24 years. It’s great to be back and to be writing in a broadminded, liberal state. We were in Boulder, Colorado the first 12 of those 24 years, another liberal environment, and in Tucson, Arizona the last 12 years … not so liberal to say the least.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I was a patent attorney for over 40 years which meant I wrote quite a bit, mostly technical garbly-gook and legal mumbo jumbo. Approximately 30 years ago I began painting and sculpting the figure. At some point I decided I would like to write fiction as well as I painted. It’s now been over fifteen years and I enjoy writing more than painting. I thought I’d never say that.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? No. I spent most of my time on the basketball court. But alas I didn’t even make it to 6 feet even though I stretched on a daily basis. Hope springs eternal, I thought. No such luck.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Ten years ago, when I wrote my first novel. After two or three drafts I gave it to my wife and a friend who taught creative writing at one of the local colleges, all 250,000 words. They told me I was full of myself which when I think back is true. I then spent six months revising it down to 110,000 words While that book has not as yet been published, over the last ten years it as morphed into a trilogy and I believe my best work, but who knows, maybe I’m to close to my first real creation.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? How much I have improved, although that may or may not be saying a lot, but much more important how much I love the process … writing NOT marketing God help me!!!!!

How many published books do you have? I have two published books and two published plays.

Please list the titles of all your books: The Trials of Adrian Wheeler (originally published by L&L Dreamspell and The Fountain of Youth published by The Wild Rose Press. The two plays are: The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal, published by Artage Publication. They are presently being produced around the country.

Please introduce your main genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I have no main genre, although all my novels (six in all) focus on serious issues within plotlines that are at time quite serious and dramatic and at times humorous. I have dealt with religious bigotry, PTSD and the Iraq war, dying with dignity, overpopulation, and other “simple” subjects.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Love it or leave it!

Who is your favorite author and why? I have no favorite author. If I’m reading a really good book that author at the time is my favorite author. I will say this though. If the writing is not exceptional (like for example the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez), I usually never make it very far even if the story is good. On the other hand if the story is slow and stodgy like many of Wallace Stegner’s I don’t get any further. Some of the old science fiction/fantasy authors like Jack Chalker and Stephen McDonald were (possibly still are) amazing.

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Author Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

Divine Comedy by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

“Divine Comedy” is a comical take on life’s medical and personal challenges. Though it is based on a one man’s real life, it is in the form of fiction since the fine line between real life and fiction is very thin and can often be crossed.

Pacific Book Review: What is reality and what is fiction? Do any of us really know in the end? This is something which the author, and in turn the reader, ponders throughout this novel by Sabri Bebawi titled Divine Comedy. How can one man face so many medical obstacles in a single lifetime? Can one man have such fervent love affairs with so many exotic women and yet never seem to really find true love? Life is, after all, a Divine Comedy. As the author wrote, “There are only two ways to react to life’s trials and tribulations: either to become frustrated, bitter, angry and feeling sorrow, or to see all as events as comical and, somewhat, wacky.”

Bebawi does a great job of reiterating his book’s theme throughout the novel. There is no doubt left upon the readers of this book exactly what the author set out to accomplish through his unique style of storytelling. The revolving mention of Divine Comedy is interwoven in almost every chapter; showing life can be full of twists, turns and upside downs, as well as times of beauty and love. This point was well articulated throughout the storytelling of the book.

As an uncommon angle throughout the story, the narrator has a wondering eye along with an enticing way with the ladies, leaving me wondering what void the character was trying to fill. I believe this humanized the character in a great way and showed great restraint. I believe what outwardly was shown as a strength was indeed something which many would look upon as a great weakness.

On the surface this book is easy to read, however to grasp the connectedness of the writing is a bit more challenging, requiring to slow down at times to absorb the deeper meaning of the story. While the words and overall thoughts flowed well, the reader needs to allow for the theme to be revealed, otherwise one may find something in the story missing. I believe the rhythm of this author is uniquely different than all others I have experienced. The reveal of the story is only the beginning of the journey; thus the strength in his writing is accomplished with the addition of allowing time for mulling over the underlying irony of the character’s awareness, affording the philosophical undercurrent to rise from just the reading of the words.

The author did a excellent job of reminding us of the ever-changing nature of our world. Bebawi threaded a similar situation repeatedly, although the ailments and the faces changed. The ability to be true to a theme while still introducing new challenges and ideas allow Bebawi to truly master the writing of this book.

Bebawi leaves the readers to decide what is factual and what is fictional within the book. It makes for the reader to always wonder about the threads of reality which is exactly the point of Divine Comedy. Overall, I found Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi to be a charming, unique story, full of adventure and emotion, with a creative edge for storytelling.

Book Review: Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi is a short, but intense read. The story is a stormy one told by the main character named Alexandre Akpors. Alexander shares with the reader on an intimate level his life from the age thirty-five to well into his late fifties.

As a woman, I found this book hard to read, but I am very glad that I read to the end. This book is for adults and I suggest you lay your own personal and world views aside, so you can read with an open mind. I personally do not agree with the religious, political and economic views of Alexander, but my heart and mind listened to his story. We all have a story to tell, ours is factual and this story, I will leave it up to you to determine.

This is perhaps the most important quote that I can share from the book: “The divine comedy is life, and life is a divine comedy; therefore, there is no ceasing. I continued to look at every day’s affairs as a form of divine comedy and to smile at all things, whether they were positive or negative; I saw them merely as the divine comedy of human existence. As the great Dante wrote, “There is no greater sorrow than to be mindful of the happy time in misery.” I am relentlessly mindful. I am continuously aware. Again, as the great Charles Dickens wrote in his masterpiece A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” All is just the same except our mindfulness of the happy time when desolation strikes. I, Alexandre Akpors, have been here and there, at times stretching the fine line between fiction and reality and at other times jumping the line altogether. I have done this so often that I normally have no idea which side I am living on: fiction or nonfiction.”

My assessment of the character: He is self-indulged primarily due to his life experiences and has a narrow view of how others live and think. I have not walked in his shoes, but the very fact that he uses the word “Divine” over and over gives me hope that through it all, he will come to the truth when he finds himself at the end of his life’s journey.

About the author: Sabri George Bebawi was born in Egypt in 1956. He is well-educated, an avid reader and is a professor of English. He has acquired training in journalism, teachers training, and educational technology. His first novel, God on Trial, has won many awards, including a British literary award in 2015. This is an important quote about the author, “Bebawi waits for that certain-to-come day when all religions, conformity, capitalism, republicanism, and inhumanity are eradicated. He wishes America well, though it appears to him that it is a little too late; evil forces have possessed America, and no one knows how.”

I reiterate, I do not agree with the character’s views, but I am happy that I read ‘Divine Comedy’ all the way to the end. I came away with a profound sense of gratitude for the blessings in my own life. I have to admit that my emotions were all over the place as I read Alexandre Akpors’ story. Personally, I conclude that this story is told with brutal honesty. Fact or Fiction, I will leave it up to you to decide.

I, Theodocia McLean (Cold Coffee Press) endorse Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi as a personal tragedy which the character refers to as “Divine Comedy”. I give this book 5 stars because the character Alexandre Akpors is brutally honest. If you are reading this, it is because you live in a country that affords you the freedom to do so. Freedom must be protected at all cost. I purchased this book from Kindle and this review was completed on October 18, 2017.

Genre: Short Read, Contemporary Fiction, Literature & Fiction

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A Dream Is Just That by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

From his childhood in Egypt to his immigration to the United States, Dr. Sabri g. Bebawi has assembled scores of incidents, which weave a tapestry of his life with candor, honesty and intelligence in his book, A Dream Is Just That: An Interminable Journey from Egypt to America.

A foreign upbringing by American standards, Dr. Bebawi began his book by telling tales of his childhood in an Egyptian oasis called Fayoum. As virtually any childhood parallels in human emotion those of children around the world, his intellectual curiosity and passion for truth filled his world around the Egyptian dust and dirt, religious laws and culture, giving him a rather unique upbringing. Being from a family of wealth, he was afforded comforts and education; however all was not at peace within his youth. Instances of naivety while being sexually abused, and witnessing indescribably bizarre events, etched a permanent chasm of ideological awareness of life in his developing mind.

From the frailty of being a victim of various childhood diseases, he relied on his one physical characteristic of strength, his mind, for survival. This prowess has manifested itself in his literary achievements in journalism, authorship, and achieving his PhD in English as a part of his higher education. After his autobiographical account of his upbringing and family, the book shifts to America, the “Land of Freedom,” so he thought. What are described are incidents of hardship, legal abuse, financial slavery and class struggles in society; which Dr. Bebawi cleverly juxtaposes against his Egyptian culture. He concludes there are more similarities than differences, and human nature is eerily constant within the various geographical and political environmental regions of the world. I must admit I found a tidbit of arrogance in his written voice, as he describes legal battles and confrontational issues with established American corporate behemoths over policies of customer apathy.

Dr. Bebawi found a call to action as he became the self-appointed spokesperson for the less articulate and educated masses; as he single-handedly attempted to change American society. His battle was brought all the way to The White House where he received a customary reply thanking him for his concern; but leaving the situation unchanged. Hence A Dream is Just That…..a dream. This book is surprisingly compelling and difficult to put down. It reads rather swiftly due to the layout of short “scenes” intermixed with very interesting photographs and exhibits. The single most quality which resonates throughout his writing is truth. This, I imagine, comes from his years of journalistic work, but is obviously rooted in his morality and his own core values. With all of the turmoil going on in the world, especially from his homeland of Egypt, I found this to be extraordinarily timely and pertinent. Americans need to see ourselves not from within our culture, but from foreign observations, to realize some of the truths and rights we hold to be self-evident are a part of the American Dream, and A Dream Is Just That.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Ethnic & National

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Chiara by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.

Chiara is a 22 year-old-girl who has just graduated with a degree in Art History. She travels to Rome and lives with one of her mother’s friends, Sofia. Chiara falls in love with Sofia’s nephew, Professor Rafi Curti. Several events take place and Chiara finds that her mother slept with Rafi and her father with Sofia. She later discovers that Rafi is engaged to one of his students at the university of Florence, Italy. The novel has a surprising conclusion.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Dramas & Plays, Regional & Cultural, United States

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God On Trial: A Short Fiction by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.

For the main character of Sabri Bebawi God On Trial, each moment brings a torment of some kind. The character is extremely intelligent and yet disturbed by thoughts that never cease, as well as memories that evoke strong responses, eventually leading to a confusion of time and current reality. Indeed, as time progresses, the confusion grows worse; his reality rarely merges with truth. Paranoia and hallucinations take over his mind and thoughts, provoking dangerous responses on his part. As this deterioration advances, his connection with his wife becomes tenuous in that she is not able to understand the dimensions of his personal reality.

He may have little intellectual connection with his wife, but one portion of his thoughts remains largely coherent. In an attempt to gain some recompense for his suffering—and possibly to protect others from similar problems—he wishes to put God on trial. With little sleep or rest, he begins to gather the data needed for such a task even as his life begins to fall apart. His rage against God takes on new proportions as he develops the case; reviewing Holy Scripture, he in fact finds God culpable in the most heinous of crimes against humanity. The case envelops his imaginings, isolating him from those who care about him most. This disturbed man is presented in Bebawi novel as a remarkably compassionate person who has experienced the worst of life in his various ailments. He is certainly representative of much of the reader’s own private questionings of God and the trials that are faced by even the most innocent.

Even in the midst of obvious hallucinations, he provides a lucid argument against God, definitely not the ravings of a madman. And yet mental illness is one of his problems, the most prominent one during the action of the novel. Following his thoughts through various mental states, the writing in Bebawi book is chaotic but not confounding; it is more disconcerting in that the reader witnesses the suffering of such a kind and intelligent man in the midst of mania and delusion. Bebawi skillfully leads the reader through the meanderings of his mind and leaves the indelible impression of a man who did not deserve his fate. Too, the writing is obviously sympathetic toward those with mental illness without being condescending or overly dramatic in its representation. By presenting the argument against God within the context of the thoughts of a mentally ill person, Bebawi may be providing a “safe” place for such discussion. Some may dismiss the case that the character is developing as that of delusion, and yet there are those in the novel who find it remarkable.

Following the main character as he gathers his information from the various religious texts, the reader may make a similar conclusion. Or, if religious, he or she might simply find a common ground with this man in his suffering and the rage caused by it. Bebawi leaves such a decision up to the reader and his or her conscience. This intricate story is so captivating with such vivid, detailed characters, that readers will fall in love with this book. Even within the space of a short novel, Sabri Bebawi is able to present difficult—and often private—questions of life, God, and reality in the harsh existence of a mentally ill man. Through smooth prose that expresses the man’s desires, Bebawi provides the reader with not necessarily the answer to whether or not God is guilty of crimes against humanity, but rather the context in which to begin answering those questions. The fictional space of the book provides only the beginning of this discussion, and yet it is a powerful beginning.

Genre: Short Story, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Tango Under The Same Moon: Sudden Fiction by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.

In writing these stories, the writer discovers the simple assumption that we are all the same inside. We share the same feelings, emotions, dilemmas, and tribulations regardless of where we come from or live; we are all under the same moon. While there are no super-humans, there are many questionable ones; nevertheless, our inner souls are connected and our daily lives are somewhat and somehow interwoven.

These short-shorts, from the author perspective, have a unique implication. The moral is that much of what happens in our lives depicts an elusive spiral of fatality that can touch the existence of many of us, though we are not necessarily physically connected. The author hopes that his readers will relate to some of the characters, who all tango under the same moon, and to the events as they develop and unfold.

Genre: Short Stories

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A Dream Is Just That: An Interminable Journey From Egypt To America by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

This is an objective endeavor to reveal how two worlds far apart: Egypt and the US are indeed parallel in various respects: Hypocrisy and duplicity, religious fervor and vehemence, corruption and depravity, moral deficiency and exploitation.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Consider The Following: Writing From A Non-Native Perspective by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

An Academic Writing Text designed to help learners with basic writing skills, enhance critical thinking skills and develop and refine communication skills. This edition includes extensive grammar review.

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Consider The Following: Writing Simplified With Grammar by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

A writing course for ESL/EFL and native speakers. The course includes an extensive grammar review.

Genre: Education & Teaching, Schools & Teaching, Certification & Development

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Sabri Bebawi, born in 1956 in Fayoum, Egypt. He attended law school at Cairo University. He left Egypt for the United Kingdom. Oxford University invited him during the fourth and last year of Law School. He never returned to Egypt. A few years later, after living and working as a journalist in England, Italy, France, and Cyprus, he took political refuge in the United States. He has been teaching ESL, English, Journalism, and graduate Educational Technology courses. He studied for more graduate work at UCLA and got a PhD degree in Philosophy, English Education and Distance Learning from Capella University.

Although English is his third language, Bebawi has published many articles, books, and essays on eclectic topics. It has always been his ambition to write novels. This is his second try; his first has been successful; God on Trial has won several awards including a British Literary Award in 2015. That English is a third language to Bebawi, writing a novel has always been preoccupying and challenging.

As a child, Sabri Bebawi struggled to make sense of the world and of human nature. He knew of the human condition. As he grew older, and studied law, and the “not so holy” books, he developed a more pragmatic and sensible stance; the world became just a mirage, an illusion and a mere phantasm. Bebawi waits for that to come day when religions, conformity, capitalism, republicanism, and corrupt governments are eradicated. He believes in John Lennon’s immortal lyrics, “Imagine.”

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from (Long Beach, California)? I have been an American citizen for forty years and I am not very proud of that. I am originally a lawyer and a journalist. When I came to this forsaken country, I worked as a journalist and media personnel for a while. Writing has always been with me since childhood. I am proud to be a writer because, like being a university professor, I can pass the candle light of knowledge from one person to another, for those who want to learn and know.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Becoming a writer, I believe, does not need someone to be an inspiration; it is an innate characteristics. I have been writing since childhood. I wrote memoirs every single night for as long as I can remember. But I must say my inspiration in all is my Supreme Court Justice father, with whom I practiced law and learned everything that I know.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, this is a very good question. My upbringing in a fascist dictatorship taught me what dictatorship is and that is why I detest Donald Trump because he is familiar to me. Also, because Egypt is a religiously fanatic country, I grew up detesting religion in general for seeing first-hand religions’ hypocrisy and evil. So, absolutely, I owe it all to Egypt, no country, except the United States, is as phony as Egypt.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Being published was never an aim at all. I only wrote; however, I have always hoped that my thoughts would become known and recognized. I started writing to publish when I became a University Professor and wrote textbooks.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Writing itself is very rewarding for it teaches the writer a lot about the writer’s self. I have always written that novels have a life of their own. One starts and does not know where it is going until it is finished. I always wonder, “have I written that, really?”

How many published books do you have? I think among the educational textbooks, I have about 17 books published.

Please introduce your main genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Besides educational books, I love to write novels that relate to reality. I do not like Science Fiction or unrealistic tales. My work, like Woody Allan’s, has to relate to the “Human Condition.”

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write without thinking of money or success. Write your true and real thoughts; if they make it, that is great. If they don’t, it is great for you and those who know you

Who is your favorite author and why? Certainly, I love many authors since I am an avid reader. I love Dostoevsky and his style of representation and settings. As an Egyptian, I also love the victim of the bloody Islamists, the Noble Price Winner for Literature, my friend Naguib Mahfouz for his honesty and bravery in a country that these two elements do not exist.

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Selections From Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

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Author Dawn L. Huffaker

Dawn Huffaker lives in the mountains of the southwestern corner of New Mexico. She is the eldest daughter of two educators.

At the age of eight months, Dawn became mysteriously ill and never learned to walk. She has had to learn to deal with her world from a wheelchair. With the help of her family, she is leading a productive life.

In junior high, Dawn discovered her passion for poetry. Some very special teachers took the time to show her the beauty of words. From that point on, she wrote poetry for family and friends, and published works in the school newspapers.

In college, she received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, and minors in English and Biology. Dawn went on to found a local computer store. The store operated for seventeen years. Then, she spent two months in the hospital dealing with a health concern, and had to close her business.

When Dawn returned home, she spent several months recuperating. During this time, she began exploring the idea of publishing her first book of poetry, and selecting her very best poems to put in volume one. That was how Flights of Fancy came to be.

Flights of Fancy became available in 2008. It is available through Amazon.

Dawn published her second book Flower Escapes in 2009. The collaboration is with Michele Duncan who has provided her amazing floral photography. This book is available through Amazon.

Book three is titled I Will Fly and now Poetry To Ponder was just released. It is a collection covering a wide variety of topics including nature and faith.

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from New Mexico, USA? I am proud to be a writer from this area because it is a small mountain town where I get to live out my dreams.  Having lived here for over 40 years, I am still amazed by all of the beauty that surrounds me.  Living in the mountains, I have an endless source of inspiration for my poetry.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Words have always fascinated me.  When I was in junior high, two of the English teachers (Mrs. Nolan and Mrs. Thomas) introduced me to poetry. I saw how it influenced them.  They would share the poets that they enjoyed, and I saw their eyes light up.

When it was our turn to write verse for them, I fell in love.  It was such a beautiful form of expression.  I could capture a moment out of time, or share a precious feeling from my heart.  Later, these teachers continued to encourage me to keep writing, and I did.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? My friends had asked me to give it a try.  Had thought about it for a couple of years, but my workload would not allow me to get very far.  It was in the fall of 2006 that I got started.  I was home recuperating from a serious illness. On the good days, I sorted through the poems that I had written over the years, and typed them into a manuscript.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Being exposed to famous poets in school was the spark for my career.  Also, I did a lot of reading as a child, so I learned about word craft, and how words could be used expressively.  Both were important.

Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? I come up with my titles after I write the manuscripts, unless I have been collaborating. Often the title is created before the book is written.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is poetry. The preferred form is free verse. Rhyming can easily take away from the subject of a poem. I carefully choose my words, and use them for rhythm and impact.  One can express a lot in a few words, and that is why I find it so satisfying.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I paint with words.  When I’ve captured my subject as I intended, the poem comes alive in the mind of the reader.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? My most rewarding experience on this publishing journey has been the freedom to create my own book.  I enjoy doing the layout and artwork for each book.  It allows me to showcase what I love to do. The final product is a beautiful book that I would either want to give to someone that I care about, or to treat myself.

Cold Coffee has been one of the bright spots, but most advertising is too costly and often does not bring about positive results. You can work very hard to create an enjoyable book, but if no one knows it’s available, there is a wall that you cannot get around. The book gathers dust. I’m not able to spend time out on the road doing book fairs or poetry readings. My illness has left me housebound. Hiring an agent is too costly and they do not usually promote poets. Going through a publisher is difficult and time-consuming. If you are not writing on a hot topic, they really don’t want you as a client. Also, they do not see a new author as profitable for them.

While this may sound discouraging, I have changed my outlook. I write for fun. There is the occasional promotion on different websites like Cold Coffee, but I am collecting my fans by word-of-mouth. It will take time, and I doubt I’ll ever be as famous as JK Rowling or Robert Frost. During this journey, I hone my craft and learn along the way. That is what life is all about.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Don’t write to get famous. Write because you have a voice that wants to express an idea. Your voice is unique and is a gift that only you can use.

Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is Robert Frost. His poetry inspired me to write about nature and life. The poems were thought-provoking and very imaginative. One of my favorites is The Road Not Taken. Thought I would share it with you:

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

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Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

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And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

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I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

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The last three lines have been my motto for many years. It is easy to go the way that everybody else does, but it is more rewarding when you choose the less traveled path.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Yes, I would like to share a poem that will appear in each of the new books that will be coming out in 2015.

Here is a poem from Poetry to Ponder:

 Capture That Moment

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Capture that moment

In words, rhythm, and rhyme!

Paint a perfect picture.

Compose a compelling concerto line by line.

Feel the elusive emotion.

Discover the eternal divine.

Make it incredibly memorable.

Make it so subtly sublime.

Tickle the reader’s imagination.

Expand his curious mind.

Put it down on paper

For all time.

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2014 © Dawn L. Huffaker

All rights reserved.

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Here is poem from I Will Fly:

 You Are Not Alone

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You are not alone.

No matter where you go,

Or how far you flee,

You cannot escape Me.

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I am here to keep you company.

I am here to free you from mistakes.

I am here to show you the way home.

I am here to help in any way.

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The world does not think I exist.

They try to substitute idols for Me.

They think they don’t need Me.

They think they can handle everything.

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Don’t let them convince you.

Don’t let them substitute idols to worship.

Don’t let them put fear in your heart.

Don’t let them guide you astray.

You are not alone

Because I created you.

I want the best for you.

Share this life with Me.

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I am forever yours.

Have faith. Trust Me. Pray.

Walk with God.

Thank you!

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2014 © Dawn L. Huffaker

All rights reserved.

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Poetry To Ponder by Dawn Huffaker

This is a collection of poems about nature, life, and fantasy written by Dawn Huffaker.
They are meant to spark the imagination. Relax. Recharge. Here is a poem for you:

Meditation

Stillness, peace,

Kindness, joy,

Love, patience,

Guidance, completion.

Listening to God within

Brings understanding

And satisfaction

To my journey.

I am never alone.

2017©Dawn Huffaker

Book Review: I have been following Dawn’s poetry for years. Poetry To Ponder by Dawn Huffaker is her most complete poetry book to date.

She looks at our world through the sensitive, creative, heart of a poet. For an example, she asks you these questions: “Have you ever wondered how the flowers feel when they bloom?”

Dawn wants to bring you joy into your life through her poems. I invite you to purchase this book and keep it in your pocket book, brief case, desk drawer, night stand for the very times that you feel stress in your life. Like a song that lifts your spirit so is the power of poetry.

About The Author: Dawn Huffaker is “from New Mexico where the turquoise sky meets the rugged mountains and carves poetry alongside the chimes of nature. Living in a home where books have always been adored, Dawn, the eldest of two daughters, fell in love with literature. Although disabled and in a wheel chair, God has bestowed upon her life soul music in the form of poetry.

I, Theodocia McLean (Cold Coffee) endorse Poetry To Ponder by Dawn Huffaker. Enjoy this book and all Dawn’s poetry books. I purchased this book print format from Amazon and this review was completed on September 24, 2017.

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I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis

Dawn and Maria are poets with message of hope and encouragement. Some of these 50 poems that fill this book are based on real life events and others are “what if’s”. They write each poem to inspire you in your daily life.

The best way to begin this review is to tell you about the poets, so I quote their Introduction as it says it best:

Dawn Huffaker is “from New Mexico where the turquoise sky meets the rugged mountains and carves poetry alongside the chimes of nature. Living in a home where books have always been adored, Dawn, the eldest of two daughters, fell in love with literature. Over time, she also responded with great passion to Computer Science in which she obtained a degree and founded a computer store which she ran for sixteen years.

Her inspirations are nature, her parents both retired teachers and the world. This has made her write poetry with a very calm but still exotic intricacy. Poetry and her love of Computer Science are like breathing to her. These gifts that God has bestowed upon her life have brought her pure happiness.

This is Dawn’s third book of poetry, having also written Flights of Fancy: Volume 1 published in 2007 and Flower Escapes: Book 1 published in 2009.

Dawn welcomes you to this book of collaboration with her friend, Maria and hope it gifts each reader a touch of happiness, hope and love.”

“Maria Kontaxis was born in Australia. She came into Dawn’s life via a mutual friend named Chase Von. Maria was living in Greece at the time. The internet made this possible through MySpace. There, Maria and Dawn exchanged poems and got to know each other. They found out that they had a lot in common.

Maria has loved to write since she was a small child. She has written poetry, lyrics, and stories. Many of these have been about nature, the ocean and animals.

Her talent and gift for interior design has been her lifeblood for many years. It has given Maria a chance to study life and see the colorful patterns all around her. This is also a component of poetry.

Maria’s philosophy is peace and harmony among mankind. She has lived in parts of the world were hate has reared its ugly head. Her greatest hope is that love will prevail. These themes are reflected in her poetry in this book.”

I invite you to put the cares of life aside and come fly with these two Poets and see the world from their vantage point. It has been an honor to be associated with Dawn Huffaker for years. Her gentle loving spirit, e-cards and words of friendship has made my world a better place.

The cover art is designed by Debbie Kontaxis.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis as they touch each reader with heart felt verse that brings with it a well of emotion for both them and the reader. Poetry is the song of love and expression which these two poets have mastered. They love the world around them, every part of nature and wants the best in everything to shine through, be immortalized and passed on. This book was given to us for review in a PDF format and the review was completed on September 7, 2015.

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Flights of Fancy – Volume 1 (SE) by Dawn Huffaker

This first volume covers a selection of Dawn’s poetry from the past twenty-five years.

The poems capture special moments in nature or about life. Most are happy. A few are sad. Many of Dawn’s poems describe the amazing beauty that is found in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico.

Together, with her unique outlook and style, this book makes a wonderful read.

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Flower Escapes (Book 1) by Dawn Huffaker

This book showcases Michele’s incredible floral photography, and Dawn’s inspirational poetry. Together, they bring the reader into God’s garden. Once there, the poems bring nature alive. Each plant has a voice. Even the insects share their wisdom. While traveling through the garden, life is viewed through another’s eyes. Ultimately, one comes away with a new appreciation of God, and His presence in each of our lives.

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Dawn Huffaker’s Published Books
I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis
Flights of Fancy – Volume 1 (SE)
Flower Escapes (Book 1)
Poems To Ponder

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Poetry and Short Stories
Dawn Huffaker’s Website
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Author Charles E. Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz-SmallCharles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Long Island, NY? I never really factored in my location before, so I think I’m just proud to be a writer in general. Long Island is where I grew up, which does have a level of familiarity and comfort that helps me keep some semblance of sanity when writing. My time in Upstate New York and Florida helped me grow as an author too, but there is definitely something about being back here that soothes me when I’m stressed.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’ve loved writing since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I read books by Fred Saberhagen that I decided to become a fantasy author. That was the spark and I’ve absorbed inspiration from so many other sources. Not just authors in my genre, but anything that tells a good story and entertaining characters. Timeless figures such as Conan the Barbarian or Indiana Jones really make me want to create something that will last long after the books are done.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? My second year of high school is when I outlined my first story and began writing with no clue what I was doing. It was about teenagers with super powers that protected the universe from evil immortals. I read a lot of comics back then. I didn’t go beyond self-publishing the first book through a Vanity Press and learning some hard lessons on how the industry works. By the time, I had designed Windemere and was improving through my college courses.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? There is definitely an environmental factor with my writing. I was never dissuaded from using my imagination, so I’ve retained a lot of the childhood wonder and craziness that I had in my youth. This helps me with world creation and coming up with monsters for my action scenes. I think it also helps me think on my feet, so I can handle plot diversions without running into a wall. There’s always an answer somewhere in my head as long as I remain calm.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I come up with a title before I make an outline. Then I make a new title once I finish the outline. After that, I have a 50/50 shot of needing another title once I finish the first draft.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is Epic Fantasy. I really enjoy building a world from the ground up and I’ve always loved tales of magic. Fantasy is my comfort zone and I feel my strongest when writing in the genre.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I was in a college Dungeons & Dragons game and I thought it would make a fun story. The other players agreed to let me be the group scribe and I started taking notes. Early on, I realized that a game doesn’t translate well to a book and I had the series go in a different direction. At this point in the story, we’re only seeing scraps of the final adventure in the game and everything else was created from various inspirations. In terms of the characters, I did a lot of alterations with permission from the players behind them. Especially with story romances because that didn’t really happen in the game.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Interacting with readers through my blog and getting feedback. Discovering that readers are continuing with the series makes me happy since it’s nice to know people are getting invested in the adventure. My favorite thing to hear is if a person really connected to a character or an event caused an emotional reaction.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Seeing my book appear on Amazon after hitting publish and waiting for it to go live. I always get a thrill from that every time I do it. There’s this sensation of taking a big step that many people never get to.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Never give up and stick to the story that is in your head. You know how it is supposed to work out, so trust in your own abilities. I’m not saying an author doesn’t evolve, but you need to remember that you’re the one in charge of your books.

Who is your favorite author and why? This changes so often for me. I could probably fill several pages with a list of authors that I love because I try to take something from each one. I love the world-building and mythology of Tolkien and Lewis. The solid character of Conan makes me enjoy books by Robert E. Howard. Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and the list keeps going for me. As long as the author writes a great story that makes me want to read it again, I’m hooked.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? One of my biggest focuses in my stories is the evolution of my characters and how their adventures shape them. It has made it that the actual story isn’t so much ‘good vs. evil’, but how the heroes handle their roles. For example, Nyx is an extremely powerful caster and has worries that she is nothing more than a living weapon. This affects her actions and mentality, especially when somebody treats her like a tool. So each character has a fight for identity as well as against the outside forces that threaten Windemere.

How many published books do you have? I currently have 16 books published. 13 volumes of LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE, 1 fantasy poetry book, 1 horror novella, and 1 fairy tale/post-apocalyptic novella. The last three were experiments in genres outside of my comfort zone.

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Start Reading The ‘Legends of Windemere’ Today!

Dedication: To everyone who enters Windemere and leaves their mark upon its soul.

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Path Of The Traitors (Legends Of Windemere Book 14) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Hated and distrusted, Queen Trinity must leave the shadows and reach for redemption.

With their final battle on the horizon, the champions are faced with a long-lost piece of the prophecy. Unable to search for the crests that are rumored to be the key to survival, they must turn to a band of their former enemies for help. Sinister desires and hopes for redemption collide as Queen Trinity of the Chaos Elves leads the hunt and struggles to keep her companions on the path of heroism. Monsters, traps, mysteries, and their own pasts will rise up to stand in the way of these people who have spent their entire lives committing sins. Throughout it all, another old enemy is lurking in the shadows and determined to claim her own delicious prize.

By the end of their journey, those who survive will learn that being a hero is more than simply stepping into the light.

Book Review: For all of you who follow Legends of Windemere, join Baron Kernaghan as he looks out ‘over the Chaos Void’ as the demons hide from his “palpable rage”.

Never wanting to spoil the story, let me whet your appetite with this quote: “Trinity wakes up expecting to see Altia or Quail, but is met by the long tongue of a cow that covers her face in slobber. Not wanting to scare the animal, she slowly sits up and looks around the animal cart for anyone who can answer her questions. Touching her neck, she finds an aching mark that is in the shape of a hand and immediately remembers every detail of her fight with Aeriel. Wanting to make sure everything works correctly, Trinity carefully moves each limb, presses around her torso, and whispers the alphabet. Satisfied that her mind and body are intact, she tries to stand and quickly collapses due to a pin and needle sensation in her legs. Dragging herself to a chair, she pulls herself up and gently massages her numb extremities. Hearing a snort to her right, she turns in time to get licked in the face by a horse. Spitting out a piece of damp hay, the chaos elf remains seated and blankly stares at the wall.

“Kellia Solomon sends her thanks and regards,” Tzefira announces as she steps out of a large stall. Tightening her blue bandana, the mercenary tosses a scroll to Trinity and goes back to brushing a beautiful stallion. “That’s a peace treaty for you to sign if the champions are victorious. It’s the best she can do right now without her father’s permission. Sad to hear about the Duke. Hope he recovers, but we all have to make way for the future at some point. People like us never last forever.”

Is a treaty possible?

I encourage those of you who have never read books one though fourteen of this series to jump in because Windemere will leave a mark on your soul. To us who follow Author Charles Yallowitz, he is working on the next book titled ‘Warlord of the Forgotten Age’ which will bring this original fantasy series to a conclusion.

Note to movie directors and investors who are on the search for the next fantasy to light up the silver screen or create a cult like following for a TV series, look no further than Legend of Windemere.. It will be worth your investment.

I, (Theodocia McLean from Cold Coffee) endorse Path Of The Traitors (Legends of Windemere Book 14) by Charles E. Yallowitz. I purchased this book from Kindle on September 16, 2017. This review was completed on September 18, 2017

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Ritual Of The Lost Lamb (Legends of Windemere Book 13) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Death is a blessing that the Baron is not ready to bestow upon his precious guest.

In the aftermath of the Baron’s attack, Luke Callindor has disappeared and the only clue is a psychic scream of agony that Dariana cannot ignore. Fearing that a journey to Shayd will start their final battle before they are ready, the champions have devised another way to rescue their friend. With permission from the gods, Nyx has begun the long-sealed Ritual of the Lost Lamb. It is a complicated and exhausting spell, which is made even more difficult by a new enemy whose only goal is to make all of the Baron’s enemies suffer.

It is a race against time where every passing minute brings Luke Callindor one step closer to a fate worse than oblivion.

Book Review: Let me begin where Author Charles E. Yallowitz starts and I quote: “The gods and goddesses of Windemere begin the unexpected council meeting with a flurry of heated arguments. It is no different than their normal gatherings, but they soon realize there is a blossoming strangeness to their surroundings. For some, it is merely that Ram the War God is not on his metallic throne, the stallion-headed primordial nowhere to be found on Ambervale.”

That quote should have stirred your restless Windermere soul as you have no doubt been waiting for book thirteen in this Legends If Windermere series titled ‘Ritual of the Lost Lamb’. I am so careful not to spoil the story for those of you who follow this series, but feel it is my task to bring your mind back to Windemere with the writing that you have come to appreciate and the main character that you know so well. I quote from chapter three.

“Delvin stares out the window at the bizarre landscape that has become a combination of the Chaos Void and an evergreen forest. He can hear the others snoring from wherever they decided to sleep since Nyx and Zephyr have been given the bed. All attempts to get out of the pocket cabin have been met with failure, but the warrior considers it a good sign that there have been no violent outbursts from the magic that has them trapped. The worst they have seen is a spell getting reflected off the door and bursting into a swarm of butterflies. He still sees one of the insects fluttering around the ceiling, the others having left through a crack in the window that is no longer there. Delvin takes a sip of his drink before attempting to use a fraction of his fount powers to probe the trap. As with the previous times, his energy is redirected to another target, which turns out to be Kira. The heiress shifts against the wall as the crimson line along her spine heats up and leaves a temporary burn mark on the wood.

“I do not believe we need to keep watch in here, but I assume it helps when one cannot sleep,” Timoran says as he joins his friend. The barbarian stands with his back to the window, his eyes locked on Nyx. “I am sure she is the key to getting out of here. Again the fire sprite takes everything on her shoulders and leaves little for the rest of us. This worries me because it is becoming more common.”

The author’s cover creator creates these amazing the book covers where each one is its own snapshot of a legend theme within Windermere.

Besides reading, I have been noticing the movies scheduled to be released this summer and yawn. So many lack originality as film makers re-make old movies at great expense and try to motivate us to pay money to watch. I challenge you movie directors and investors to look at this Legend of Windermere series as it is an original adult fantasy series that would garner global interest. I can assure you that it would be worth your time and money.

I, (Theodocia McLean) endorse Ritual of the Lost Lamb (Legends of Windemere Book 13) by Charles E. Yallowitz. Each book in the Legends of Windemere series stands alone, so I invite you to read book one through book 13 so you will be ready for when book fourteen titled ‘Path of the Traitors’ comes out. I purchased this book from a Kindle format on May 16, 2017. This review was completed on May 17, 2017

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The Spirit Well (Legends Of Windemere Book 12) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Born from the light and darkness, Dariana can no longer avoid her fate.

The final corrupted temple stands between the champions and Baron Kernaghan having their great battle. Only one problem: the Compass Key refuses to work with Dariana, who long ago wiped all memories of the Spirit Well from her mind. Now, they are forced to follow a trail of clues that Dariana’s former self left behind centuries ago. It is a path that will lead the champions into a part of their friend’s past that could tear them all apart.

Will the bonds of friendship be stronger than the call of blood?

Book Review: Welcome back to the mystical world of Windermere where author Charles E. Yallowitz does an outstanding job transporting his readers from reality back into the story that in conjunction with all his stories will make the Legends Of Windemere famous.

Let’s begin where “Arthuru claims he will conquer Windemere and contain us on Ambervale unless the Law of Influence is revoked.”

The story opens with a barrage of questions and accusations has brought the raven-haired Nyx to the edge of her temper.

Join the champions in a city of criminals as they approach Pazel Laufeia (Mayor of Rodillen). Follow the clues that left centuries before. With Dariana’s memories Gone, Can Friendship Prevail?

Careful not to spoil the story for all you fans, let me quote one passage and like a puzzle piece, I will let you read and find out how and when it fits into the story.

“With a wide yawn, Delvin whistles and waves for his friends to join him near a mushroom- covered tree. He crosses his arms and leans against the old oak, making it clear that he is not moving until he gets to speak his mind. Kira grumbles and kicks at whatever is in front of her as she trudges back to the warrior, the impatient woman spinning her sabers. She is already starting to complain about the delay, but her venomous words are stopped when the brown-haired man tosses her the last of the cupcakes that Sari packed. The treat is skewered on the end of her blade and she quietly eats it, her lips and tongue coming dangerously close to the keen edge. Timoran is more appreciative of the break since the trio has been fruitlessly scouring the forest for the last five hours. The barbarian’s knees pop and his lower back aches as he stretches, which makes him consider that he is getting too old for the tedious part of adventuring. When they are all gathered around the tree, Delvin gestures for them to kneel and sit into an awkward huddle. With the warriors sweating in the unseasonal heat all day, the smell is distracting so they separate and give each other some space.

“Being the least skilled tracker here, I have a few questions,” Delvin says, picking at the leaves on a small branch. He plucks one that is covered in ants, the insects crawling around his hand until they drop to the ground. “Do ghosts make any noise when walking? Do they create tracks in the dirt? Can they break branches or scuff trees when they pass? Do ghosts leave any evidence that they have come through an area?”

“No,” his companions sheepishly answer in unison.

“Then how in all of Windemere are we tracking Luke?”

I invite you read The Spirit Well (Legends of Windemere Book 12) by Charles E. Yallowitz. Each book in the Legends of Windemere series stands alone, so I invite you to read book one through book 12 so you will be ready for when book thirteen titled ‘Ritual of the Lost Lamb’ comes out. Theodocia McLean endorses The Spirit Well (Legends of Windemere Book 12) by Charles E. Yallowitz. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 10, 2016.

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Charms Of The Feykin (Legends Of Windemere Book 11) by Charles E. Yallowitz

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

Book Review: Welcome to the jungles of Windemere where Delvin and Sari have gone missing.

Escape reality and enter into this mystical world where the author’s story telling will draw you into a fantasy world that you will never want to step out of.

The story opens with Baron Kernaghan surveying his kingdom from his balcony expecting visitors with gifts for his infant noble son.

Join Nyx in the jungle where the champions execute a plan to rescue Delvin and Sari. Without spoiling the story, let me draw you in with this quote.

“With Dariana meditating on a log and the others sleeping in a sealed tent, Luke keeps watch from the branches. The end of summer heat has forced him to shed his shirt and boots, the damp clothes left on the ground with his friends. Unlike the trees of his homeland’s forests, the jungle flora is denser and their levels are much more distinct. At first, the half-elf tried to stay in the highest branches, but he quickly realized that he could not react to any danger below. Now Luke remains hidden among the leaves of the lower canopy, his sound sight and Stiletto’s borrowed sense of smell working hard to decipher every noise. The warrior’s eyes are practically useless in the thick darkness, which puts his nerves on edge. Only a single shaft of red and yellow moonlight is coming through the trees due to a hole in the network of branches that will be closed within a week. Even with the constant threat of an attack, Luke is in awe of the jungle’s natural beauty. The vivid noises and scents of life are intoxicating, every piece of the tapestry making him want to wander blindly into the wilderness. His excitement sours when he senses a fist-sized spider that has snared a bat only a few feet above his head.

“So much for spending more time here,” Luke whispers, his dry throat quenched by a sip of water. Movement in the lower branches causes him to freeze, but he relaxes when a familiar voice curses under her breath. “Do I have to ask why you’re climbing a tree in the dark, big sister? You’re going to hurt yourself.”

“I can see in the dark,” Nyx declares as she inches around the vine-covered trunk. The channeler’s eyes have become yellow and cat-like, which matches the retractable claws that help her cling to the tree. “Transformation isn’t something I do a lot, but small things are easy. I decided to imitate a calico, which wasn’t a great idea. I went too far and gave myself a tail that keeps tickling my leg. Makes me think those fuzzy caterpillars we keep seeing are crawling up my skirt, but I’m too tired to fix it. Anyway, I couldn’t sleep and you’re the only one awake. Do you want to talk or sit quietly?”

Important questions to answer:

Will they find Delvin and Sari?

What surprises will they encounter?

What threats do the Champions face?

I invite you read ‘Charms of the Feykin’. Each book in the Legends of Windemere series stands alone, so I invite you to read book one through book 11 so you will be ready for book twelve where the final temple will be challenged in ‘The Spirit Well’. This 5 star book series is worthy of the silver screen.

Theodocia McLean endorses Charms of the Feykin (Legends of Windemere Book 11) by Charles E. Yallowitz. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 16, 2016.

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Legends Of Windemere: Book Nine And Ten

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The Mercenary Prince (Legends Of Windemere Book 9) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Delvin Cunningham has left the champions.

Lost to his tribe in the Yagervan Plains, fear and shame have kept the former Mercenary Prince away from his homeland. With his confidence crumbling, he has decided to return and bring closure to his past. Reuniting with his old friends, Delvin’s timing could not be worse as a deadly campaign is brewing within Yagervan’s borders. Dawn Fangs are on the march and these powerful vampires are determined to turn the entire region into a graveyard.

To protect his family, friends, and two homelands, Delvin will have to push his doubt away and become the cunning Mercenary Prince once again.

Book Review: Follow-up The Merchant of Nevra Coil with The Mercenary Prince as it rings in 2016 for Author Charles E. Yallowitz’s loyal fans yearning for another episode in the Legends of Windemere. True to form the reader will be drawn even deeper into this mystical world of Windemere where each character casts you under a unique spell.

Delvin, given the title Mercenary Prince struggles within his mind as he sets out on a rigorous journey that will bring him back home, reunite him with old friends and bring reconciliation from his past. The warrior within comes to life as he runs through Visindor Forest. He instinctively focuses on the sound of his boots hitting the ground and the rhythm puts his mind into a trance allowing him to ignore his aching body.

I quote the section below to whet your appetite without spoiling the story.

“The banyan tree sits among the maples and oaks, its horizontal branches with aerial prop roots giving it a unique appearance among the other plants. Delvin groans as he touches the smooth trunk with his forehead and he gladly lets the metal orbs fall to the ground. Songbirds flit through the treetops and fill his ears with a soothing song, which nearly causes the warrior to fall asleep. Tearing strips off his shirt, he binds his bleeding hands and massages his arms to prevent them from getting stiff. He spends the next hour lifting the orbs like weights, stretching his legs, and using a low branch to do pull-ups. A skunk wanders over while Delvin is hanging from the tree, forcing him to remain in the air until the animal waddles out of spraying range. Dropping to the ground, his knees buckle and the forest seems to spin haphazardly around him. Expecting to find a waterskin, he reaches for his side, but the warrior realizes he left it behind in his rush to clear his mind.

‘Guess it’s to the pond with me,’ he mutters as he gathers the orbs.

Delvin grabs a fig off the banyan tree as he jogs to the west where he knows a decent-sized pond can be found. As he moves through the forest, his mind wanders to thoughts of his friends who he hopes are still recovering in Nevra Coil. He is struck by a pang of guilt for not letting them know that he arrived at Hamilton Military Academy. The warrior can only imagine how angry at least one of them might be considering it has been over a week since he left the other champions. His thoughts continue down a path of worry, so he is caught by surprise when he comes to the pond and finds a slender figure with short, black hair at the shore. Delvin sees pointy ears and what he thinks is a red shirt, which causes him to skid to a stop and nearly crash into the woman. His battle-honed reflexes are the only thing that allows him to spin to the side and avoid a humiliating collision.”

Whether this is your first or the ninth book in this epic 5 Star Legends of Windemere fantasy series; you will become one with this mystical world and you will follow the path where The Hobbit and Dungeons and Dragons once took you. Join with me and the band of followers that hunger for Legends of Windemere.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Mercenary Prince (Legends of Windemere Book 9) by Charles E. Yallowitz as the author’s imagination brings legends to life. Purchase and read all nine books in this series from Amazon. I purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle. This review was completed on January 11, 2016.

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Tribe Of The Snow Tiger (Legends Of Windemere Book 10) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Timoran Wrath has a shameful secret that is about to see the light of day.

The noble barbarian has always been a constant source of strength and wisdom for his beloved friends. His loyalty has been unwavering and they know that he would never hesitate to lay down his life for them. Even in their darkest hour, the champions know that Timoran will come through and fight to the bitter end. Now they must return the favor as he reunites with his tribe and willingly faces the executioner’s blade.

Is it possible that the honorable Timoran was nothing more than an illusion?

Book Review: For all you loyal fans of the Legends of Windemere series, book ten titled Tribe of the Snow Tiger has just been released.

You will find yourself once again drawn into the imagination of the author who brings legends to life. I hope the following quotes will pull you back into the mystical world of Windermere.

The prologue finds: “Baron Arthuru Kernaghan rises from his throne and takes Trinity by the hand, she stares out at Shayd’s stony landscape, an emerald lightning storm in the distance mesmerizing her for several seconds. Groups of her people toiling in the dirt can be seen in every direction and the nearest ones risk a glance at their beloved queen.”

The story continues, “Delvin yawns and rubs at his eyes, his fingers lingering on the dark circles that have appeared after several days of exhausting travel. Glancing out the tavern window, he watches waves of heat rise off the river that cuts through the coastal city. “It looks like Queen Ionia called in a favor to get us a ship,” Delvin says as he picks up his shield. Seeing a scrap of pie left, he spears it with his fork and eats it before the groggy drite can stop him.”

Now home he can put worries to rest for a while: “Sitting cross-legged at the cliff’s edge, Timoran enjoys the peaceful evening that has enveloped his homeland. The snow has melted to reveal crisp grass and rocky patches of earth, which lead to the lower mountains. Being on the southernmost cliff of the curved range, the mellow warrior can see the vast expanse of wilderness to every side, except behind him where the encampment sits among the stones. The grunt of a bear rumbles over the mountains, the large predator a faint shadow among a collection of boulders atop a distant rise. A herd of caribou are grazing to the west, the cautious beasts close enough for him to make out their antlers in the crimson moonlight. Huddled on a lower cliff is a snow leopard and her cubs, the family feasting on a recent kill that threatens to topple over the edge. The other goats have already galloped along the sheer cliffs to seek refuge within the craggy walls, only the occasional bang of butting heads revealing their presence. After watching the calming display of brutal nature for several hours, Timoran finds himself happy to be home and his worries remain shoved to the back of his mind.”

What secrets are Timoran Wrath pushing to the back of his mind? How will this affect the champions?

Adventure consumes them: “Lightning strikes the earth and thunder rumbles, causing the travelers to sprint along the flooded path. Risking the use of her powers, Sari runs along the top of the water while Delvin sloshes behind and waves for her to slow down. They take the crumbling stairs in twos as another bolt hits the top of the ruin, the electricity absorbed by metal veins that run along the stone structure. Desperate to get out of the storm, the trio burst into the building and are met by a wave of sweltering heat. They find themselves in a chamber where the gentle echoes of the rain hitting the roof bounce from corner to corner. A small dais is in the back with a large sconce built into the wall, a piece of moldy wood still set in the metal holder. Two wide stairwells are built into the floor, their shadowy entrances flanking the doorway. Bones and other signs of animals living in the ruin can be found in the unfurnished room, but the champions can only see a few snakes and a small tortoise. If there is a predator calling this building home then it is either downstairs or out on a hunt. Either way, the travelers are too tired to go searching for a new refuge.”

I invite you to read Tribe of the Snow Tiger and see for yourself how they fit into Windemere?

If you are just beginning your journey into the Legends of Windemere and you love fantasy, author Charles E. Yallowitz’s imagination and great story telling will keep you engaged. I encourage you to purchase and read all ten books in this 5 Star Series.

Theodocia McLean endorses Tribe of the Snow Tiger (Legends of Windemere Book 10) by Charles E. Yallowitz. I purchased and received this book in a Kindle format. This review was completed on June 1, 2016.

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Legends Of Windemere: Book Seven And Eight

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Sleeper Of The Wildwood Fugue (Legends Of Windemere Book 7) by Charles E. Yallowitz

The final champion stirs and reaches out to any who can hear her voice. Yet all who heed her call will disappear into the misty fugue.

Awakening their new ally is only the beginning as Luke, Nyx, and their friends head south to the desert city of Bor’daruk. Hunting for another temple once used to seal Baron Kernaghan, they are unaware that the game of destiny has changed. Out for blood and pain, Stephen is determined to make Luke wish he’d never set out to become a hero.

By the time the sun sets on Bor’daruk, minds will be shattered and the champions’ lives will be changed forever.

Book Review: Experience for the first time or continue reading as the ‘Legends Of Windemere’ captures your imagination as ‘Sleeper Of The Wildwood Fugue’ continues this epic fantasy with book 7 by Charles E. Yallowitz.

If you were mesmerized by the game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ or enjoyed reading ‘The Hobbit’ series you will not want to miss the mystical inhabitants of Windemere! Author Charles E. Yallowitz weaves an intriguing tale in a world where good and evil collide and is quite often underestimated.

Well defined characters who add depth, personality and the ability to draw the reader into the fantasy world of Windemere will hold your attention as the drama unfolds in this mystical place. The creative thought process of the author brings Windemere to life with fast paced descriptive intrigue. I quote two sections below to show the author’s writing style without spoiling the story.

“Several silent minutes after Gabriel disappears, Zaria lets out a musical sigh and merges with the mist. She weaves among the trees and cursed mortals, none of them noticing her presence. The goddess is near the edge of a clearing when a purple barrier appears and deflects her rapid approach. She returns to her solid form and gets as close to the powerful shield as she can. Sparks of magic burst from the glistening dome, leaving burn marks on her dress that she ignores. All of Zaria’s attention is on the canopy bed in the middle of the clearing where a cloaked form is sleeping.”

“Only a matter of days now, Dariana,” the goddess whispers, wiping a pristine tear from her cheek. “Only a matter of days.”

I invite you to start reading the Legends Of Windemere’ series today!

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Sleeper Of The Wildwood Fugue’ (Legends Of Windemere Book 7) by Charles E. Yallowitz as an epic fantasy where the author’s imagination brings legends to life. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This reviews was completed on April 12, 2015.

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The Merchant Of Nevra Coil (Legends Of Windemere Book 8) by Charles E. Yallowitz

When the mischievous and random Goddess of Chaos gets angry, all of Windemere becomes her plaything.

It all starts with a collection of toys that have taken the populace by storm. People of all races flood the marketplaces to gather figurines of the champions whose adventures are starting to spread across the land. Stemming from the flying city of Nevra Coil, these toys bring with them a terrible curse: Fame. Every town becomes a mob of fans that hound their new idols and the delay is bringing the world closer to the hands of Baron Kernaghan. Perhaps worst of all, the creator of these toys forgot to include a certain exiled deity who is now out to earn herself a figurine.

Who would have thought a bunch of toys could cause so much trouble and lead to the breaking of a champion’s confidence?

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Legends Of Windemere: Book Five And Six

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The Compass Key (Legends Of Windemere Book 5) by Charles E. Yallowitz

The city of Gaia will be rocked by battles now that the Compass Key has awoken beneath her cobblestone streets.

From the Caster Swamp to the Island of Pallice, the race for the long lost relic has begun and only one side can claim victory. The Compass Key will open the path of destiny for Luke and his friends, but it may also awaken an ancient monster. With Queen Trinity and the chaos elves invading Gaia, every misstep will be costly and each battle will bring the weakened champions closer to exhaustion.

Each hero will need to draw from the depths of their soul to survive, but will it be enough when they face an enemy more sadistic than anything they have ever fought?

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Curse Of The Dark Wind (Legends Of Windemere Book 6) by Charles E. Yallowitz

With every putrid belch, Gale Hollow spews more of the toxic Dark Wind into the winter-chilled breeze.

To control Nyx, Stephen has unleashed a sentient curse on Luke, her ‘little brother’. As the infected warrior battles against the Dark Wind coursing through his veins, his friends will do whatever it takes to keep him alive. Time is steadily running out and sacrifices will have to be made to prevent Stephen from removing two heroes of Windemere.

Luke’s courage and defiance have always seen him through his adventures, but where will he find strength when his own body fails him?

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Legends Of Windemere: Book Three And Four

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Allure Of The Gypsies (Legends Of Windemere Book 3) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Reeling from broken trust and a battered spirit, Luke leads his surviving friends to the town of Haven where his past will catch up with him.

While Luke faces his family and the woman he abandoned at the altar, his enemies have recruited a deadly ally. Kalam the vampire marches on Haven with an army of undead that will leave a hero at death’s door. To revive the fallen warrior, Luke and Nyx must plunge into the mountain lair of Kalam and steal his spellbook. Exhausted and lost within enemy territory, the pair are going to need the help of a gypsy girl named Sari who may be more trouble than her new friends expected.

Against a strong and experienced adversary, what will Luke and Nyx need to claim victory on the charred battlefield?

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Family Of The Tri-Rune (Legends Of Windemere Book 4) by Charles E. Yallowitz

In Windemere, not every mistake disappears into the past. Some return with sharp teeth and ravenous appetites.

With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx returns to the city of Hero’s Gate to face her nightmares. Cursed by her accidental unleashing of the Genocide spell, the land has been invaded by threats that have plunged the people into misery. The deadliest of all are the Krypters, a new breed of undead born from Nyx’s corrupted magic. These terrifying creatures want to devour the flesh and spirit of their ‘mother’ and the only thing they fear is a solitary warrior named Timoran Wrath.

On a quest for redemption, how much will Nyx have to sacrifice to earn the peace she desperately desires?

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Legends Of Windemere: Book One And Two

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Beginning Of A Hero (Legends Of Windemere Book 1) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.

Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.

With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?

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Prodigy Of Rainbow Tower (Legends Of Windemere Book 2) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Luke Callindor and his friends are about to learn that the life of an adventurer can be brutally unforgiving.

Hungering for another adventure, Luke agrees to escort the heir of Serab along the L’dandrin River and into the safety of Gods’ Voice. A deadly gauntlet of cunning traps and savage creatures lay before the young warrior and his companions. Lacking the powerful magic needed to combat his enemies, Luke’s survival and victory may be in the hands of his newest ally. That’s if the temperamental Nyx doesn’t set him on fire first.

Luke will bravely face everything that is thrown at him, but how can he defend himself when he’s ignorant of the truth behind his mission?

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Stand Alone Novels by Charles E. Yallowitz

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Bestiary Of Blatherhorn Vale by Charles E. Yallowitz

Found in a battered notebook, these poems are the remnants of an expedition to the legendary Blatherhorn Vale. Cut off from human contact, the creatures of this mysterious land are nothing more than rumors. At this time, we cannot determine if these are true reports of unknown creatures or if they are the ramblings of a madman. You be the judge.

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Catalysts by Charles E. Yallowitz

When trapped in an elevator together, Jeffrey and Darla learn that misery doesn’t always love company. With the screams of death and chaos echoing from outside, they find themselves slowly slipping into a world of fear and darkness they may never recover from. All the while, something is terrorizing the convention outside and turning the guests and celebrities into psychotic monsters.

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The Hopeteller by Charles E. Yallowitz

Humanity has been driven into the wilderness by the ‘Invaders’. They have been forced to live as colonies in the wilderness where survival is a daily struggle. Hope becomes harder and harder to hold onto as the years pass.

Then one day, a young man tells a story to an injured friend and the Hopeteller is born. Unsure of the power of his words, he finds himself moving the colony with his fairy tales. He will see his people through death and fear as they continue to fight for survival.

Enjoy this novella that is part post-apocalyptic journal and part fairy tales.

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Crossing Bedlam by Charles E. Yallowitz

The United States of America has been crippled. Violently contained by a global military force and left without its leaders, the country has become shattered and chaotic. A decade has passed since the first strike and a new landscape has emerged where survival is more important than anything else. Who will uncover the truth behind the attack and revive this once great nation?

It certainly won’t be Cassidy and Lloyd since they couldn’t care less about that stuff. She is a young woman on a mission to honor her mother’s dying wish, which is to toss her ashes off the Golden Gate Bridge. He is an infamous serial killer she broke out of Rikers Island since hiring a bodyguard wasn’t working out. Not the perfect plan, but having an insane, oddly charming murder-junkie on your side is a plus in the Shattered States.

Bullets and swear words are going to fly as Cassidy and Lloyd travel coast to coast, facing one challenge after another . . . including Nebraska.

Genre: Rate R, Action & Adventure, Apocalyptic Action, Comedy Adventure

Book Review: Author Charles E. Yallowitz moves away from his usual epic fantasy novels to write this Apocalyptic Action Comedy Adventure. The Cover Design & Illustration is the creation of Jon Hunsinger.

Sixteen chapters of adventure where the characters are raw, rough and tough in a world where the United States is now under the control of a global military force where the borders are defined by a new meaning and the States are on their own.

Main character Cassidy is a young woman on a personal mission “tempted to draw her gun and make a stand, but she knows the prison guards are only doing their job.” She is among the escapees from Rikers’ Island. Even though they are all “Sadistic murderers and traitorous thieves though they may be, she broke them out for a reason.” “There is an air of tension and aggression that is growing stronger by the hour even though nobody has spoken since escaping Rikers Island.”

I quote Cassidy here, “Then you’re not going to like being out in the real world,” the young woman replies, her fingers tracing random designs on her mug’s condensation. Seeing the question on the tip of the man’s tongue, she runs her hands through her hair and taps at her forehead scar. “Money is useless in most of the Shattered States. That’s what the country is called now because every place has its own laws and systems. One of the few things that carries over the borders is bartering. For example, this meal is being paid for by a full set of silverware and two packages of pre-sliced pepperoni. It’s why we’re eating a full pie and can get another for the road. You’ll either figure things out or become a violent scavenger to survive. Everyone picks one way or the other at some point.”

Follow Cassidy and the others in this new world where law, order and survival take on a new meaning. “Standing at the street corner, Cassidy stares at the lakeshore building that is on the other side of a concrete clearing. A garden is in the center of the circular area, half of it an attempt at nurturing vegetables and the other an array of flowers. The distant structure is like nothing she has ever seen before with the more visible part a glass pyramid and a square tower on its backside. Blocky additions are on the right hand side of the building, which has been covered in vivid pictures that make Cassidy think the residents keep changing their minds about the decorations. Coming off the left and sitting on Lake Erie is a circular structure that is adorned with a patchwork of old concert posters. With the warm and calm weather, there are people fishing along the shore and in small boats, which are meticulously tethered to pylons to avoid floating away. Far in the distance, the outlines of military vessels can be seen waiting to stop anyone from trying to escape into Canada. Not wanting to dwell on darker times and how the rest of the world is going on without her, Cassidy turns her gaze back to their destination.”

If you like reading action adventure and epic fantasy tales, please read Crossing Bedlim and all the novels in Charles E. Yallowitz’s Legends Of Windemere series.

Theodocia McLean endorses Crossing Bedlam by Charles E. Yallowitz as a new Apocalyptic Action Comedy Adventure where violence and language create an adult reading experience. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on February 16, 2016.

Kindle Purchase Link

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The Life & Times Of Ichabod Brooks by Charles E. Yallowitz

Enter the world of Windemere with 11 action adventure short stories featuring a man who is out to make an honest living.

Some heroes seek fame. Some seek fortune. Others simply want to save the world. Ichabod Brooks only wants to put food on the table for his family.

Known and respected as the man who can get any job done, Ichabod has seen his share of adventure. Most of which have been highly exaggerated by bards. Still, the man has his famous reputation for a reason. Whether it be climbing a temperamental mountain for eggs or escorting orphans to their new homes, Ichabod takes every job seriously and makes sure he is as prepared as he can be. Not that it helps since things always take a turn for the worse.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anthologies & Short Stories, Sword & Sorcery

Kindle Purchase Link

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Start Reading The ‘Legends of Windemere’ Today!

Author Charles E. Yallowitz’s Published Books:
Legends Of Windemere: Beginning Of A Hero
Legends Of Windemere: Prodigy Of Rainbow Tower (Book 2)
Allure Of The Gypsies (Legends Of Windemere Book 3)
Legends Of Windemere: Family Of The Tri-Rune (Book 4)
The Compass Key (Legends Of Windemere Book 5)
Curse Of The Dark Wind (Legends Of Windemere Book 6)
Sleeper Of The Wildwood Fugue (Legends Of Windemere Book 7)
The Merchant of Nevra Coil (Legends of Windemere Book 8)
The Mercenary Prince (Legends of Windemere Book 9)
Tribe of the Snow Tiger (Legends of Windemere Book 10)
Charms of the Feykin (Legends of Windemere Book 11)
The Spirit Well (Legends of Windemere Book 12)
Ritual of the Lost Lamb (Legends of Windemere Book 13)

Stand Alone Books
Bestiary Of Blatherhorn Vale
Catalysts
The Hopeteller

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Amazon Author’s Page
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

A Berlin Of The Mind by A. Colin Wright

The novel is set largely during the last days and immediate post-war years of WWII, in the British and Soviet Zones (later German Democratic Republic) of Berlin. Hermine (whose name comes from a novel by Hermann Hesse, proscribed by the Nazis) marries an English academic, Duncan, who encourages her to write her own account. This relates to her complicated experience of (English) Michael, his brother Henry (Heinrich), her German father Wartmann and others. Falling in love with Henry, she heartily dislikes Michael, whose only desire is to seduce as many women as possible.

From the Preface: “If one looks at the events leading to World War Two and resulting from it, it is all too easy to condemn the Germans. How could a highly civilized people have turned to the doctrine of Fascism as dictated by a vicious racist and psychopath? All of this, though, leads to a more basic question: could I, had I been brought up in a different society, ever have behaved in a similar fashion?”

“Henry found himself dreaming: “Oh I’m clever, oh I’m great. I rule. Eurore shudders at my might. I the Fuhrer, the artist they rejected: fools like all rest. I the people, I the nation, I the leader. Cheering me, admiring, fearing me. . . A Berlin of the mind, split between East and West, two hemispheres, left and right, now with an irrevocable dividing wall and the greatest tension at the crossover from one side to another. A peaceful man, a dull man even … A house in the country, and if I had children there’d be… what is it? . . . 1.7 of them. And there were no signposts. That was the thing about wartime Britain too: so as not to assist the enemy should he invade across the divide all the signs were removed.”

From Chapter One, Hermine:” I was raised in a concentration camp, without which my whole story would have been different. North of Berlin, Ravensbrück was specifically for women and, of course, their children. You can visit the museum there today and see the memorial, which was set up by the Soviets when Berlin was part of East Germany, and part of my story too.”

Book Review: As the author says in the book description and I quote, “The novel is set largely during the last days and immediate post-war years of WWII, in the British and Soviet Zones (later German Democratic Republic) of Berlin.”

I found this part of the Author’s Preface most interesting: “A friend of mine once suggested that the period in question was comparable to the Trojan War in the minds of those who lived through it. But I simply do not believe that Germans are fundamentally worse than other people. There are, to my mind, arseholes in all countries: it all depends on historical conditions leading to particular societies. The British can be as bad as Germans, sometimes more so, with their neo-Nazis, soccer riots, etc. The U.S.A has its deep-seated racist attitudes and violent gun culture. Canadians by and large are fortunate, except for their country’s residential schools and relations with its indigenous peoples. And Israel, which suffered more than any country in the holocaust, is unforgivingly anti-Arab. All of this leads to all kinds of abuses, which I have no intention of listing here, for a little thought will reveal them. As for Russia, or the most extreme manifestations of Islam and other religions with their sects—one thinks too of Christianity with Catholicism and others—well, again their problems are evident.”

Prologue, 1945, sets the stage where in the next seven chapter tell the stories of Hermine (survived Ravensbrück), Dr. Michael Warner (the antagonist) and Henry Warner or (again) Heinrich Werner.

The Interlude states: “I learnt later that there were other players in that ultimate drama: Henry’s first wife, Estelle, amongst them.” Chapters Eight to Ten bring us back into Michael’s, Henry’s and Hermine’s life. The book concludes with Epilogue One: Michael and Epilogue Two: Hermine.

This is intense and satisfying reading for history buffs.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse A Berlin Of The Mind by A. Colin Wright as an intellectual read. As intense as this period of time so is the knowledge and passion with which the author writes. I have had the pleasure of reading the authors other book titled Veronica’s Papers. It is important to know his bio and I quote.

“A. Colin Wright was born and raised in the county of Essex, England. After serving as a linguist in the British Royal Air Force, Wright attended Cambridge University, where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. In 1964, he was appointed a professor of Russian at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He remained at Queen’s until his retirement in 1999 and still resides there today. Dr. Wright is married and has two grown sons. He acts and directs in the local theatre. With a love of languages (he speaks English, French, German, Russian and Italian, with a smattering of Spanish and Scottish Gaelic), he is adamant about correct grammar in his writing. This unfortunately also makes him highly critical of others! He also loves travel and has led various groups for Craig Travel in Toronto to Russia, Ukraine, China, South Africa, Southern India, Alaska and the islands of the North Atlantic.”

This review was completed on May 28, 2017.

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Professional Websites:
http://www.veronicaspapers.com/a-colin-wright
http://www.canadianauthors.org/national
http://www.sardiniansilver.com
http://www.cupboardfulofshoes.com

Cold Coffee Press
Cold Coffee Café

Author A. Colin Wright

A Colin WrightA. Colin Wright was born and raised in the county of Essex, England. After serving as a linguist in the British Royal Air Force, Wright attended Cambridge University where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. In 1964, he was appointed a professor of Russian at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He remained at Queen’s until his retirement in 1999 and still resides there today. Dr. Wright is married and has two grown sons.

In his fiction he is interested primarily in works dealing with the purpose and meaning of life. Thus he has a horror of post-modernism and simple, sentimental descriptions of everyday life, and has little interest in works dealing with specific problems. Religion in its broadest sense (but not that of specific churches or creeds) is obviously important to him. He tries above all to create a good story, with realistic characters who question established norms of behaviour, with particular reference to the sexual.

He acts and directs in the local theatre.

With a love of languages (he speaks English, French, German, Russian and Italian, with a smattering of Spanish and Scots Gaelic), he is adamant about correct grammar in his writing. This unfortunately also makes him highly critical of others!

He also loves travel and has led various groups for Craig Travel in Toronto to Russia, Ukraine, China, South Africa, Southern India, Alaska and the islands of the North Atlantic.

Theatrical Credits:
Directing: (Domino Theatre, Kingston)
Ladies in Retirement (assistant director)
Shadowlands
The Importance of Being Ernest
The Night of the Iguana
The Freedom of the City
The Heiress

Acting:
The Troll King, Monsieur Ballon and two other roles, Peer Gynt
Malvolia, Twelfth Night
First Voice, Under Milk Wood
Rosenberg, Amadeus(Theatre 5 and Grand Theatre, Kingston)
Father Jack, Dancing at Lughnasa (Domino Theatre, Kingston)
Claude Amory, Black Coffee (Domino Theatre, Kingston)

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Improbable Celebrations by A. Colin Wright

Three one-act comedies

George’s Funeral: Everything goes wrong at a funeral, including the appearance of the corpse’s ghost.

Jennifer’s Wedding: Things go awry at a wedding rehearsal with the result that two different couples (one of the same sex) are eventually married.

Nora’s Anniversary: Nora and Laurence are about to go to an anniversary party with their son, his partner, and Laurence’s former secretary, when Nora’s previous husband, Alan, long believed dead, turns up.

Genre: Preforming Arts, Screenplay, Comedy

CreateSpace eStore Purchase Link
Amazon Print

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A Berlin Of The Mind by A. Colin Wright

The novel is set largely during the last days and immediate post-war years of WWII, in the British and Soviet Zones (later German Democratic Republic) of Berlin. Hermine (whose name comes from a novel by Hermann Hesse, proscribed by the Nazis) marries an English academic, Duncan, who encourages her to write her own account. This relates to her complicated experience of (English) Michael, his brother Henry (Heinrich), her German father Wartmann and others. Falling in love with Henry, she heartily dislikes Michael, whose only desire is to seduce as many women as possible.

From the Preface: “If one looks at the events leading to World War Two and resulting from it, it is all too easy to condemn the Germans. How could a highly civilized people have turned to the doctrine of Fascism as dictated by a vicious racist and psychopath? All of this, though, leads to a more basic question: could I, had I been brought up in a different society, ever have behaved in a similar fashion?”

“Henry found himself dreaming: “Oh I’m clever, oh I’m great. I rule. Eurore shudders at my might. I the Fuhrer, the artist they rejected: fools like all rest. I the people, I the nation, I the leader. Cheering me, admiring, fearing me. . . A Berlin of the mind, split between East and West, two hemispheres, left and right, now with an irrevocable dividing wall and the greatest tension at the crossover from one side to another. A peaceful man, a dull man even … A house in the country, and if I had children there’d be… what is it? . . . 1.7 of them. And there were no signposts. That was the thing about wartime Britain too: so as not to assist the enemy should he invade across the divide all the signs were removed.”

From Chapter One, Hermine:” I was raised in a concentration camp, without which my whole story would have been different. North of Berlin, Ravensbrück was specifically for women and, of course, their children. You can visit the museum there today and see the memorial, which was set up by the Soviets when Berlin was part of East Germany, and part of my story too.”

Book Review: As the author says in the book description and I quote, “The novel is set largely during the last days and immediate post-war years of WWII, in the British and Soviet Zones (later German Democratic Republic) of Berlin.”

I found this part of the Author’s Preface most interesting: “A friend of mine once suggested that the period in question was comparable to the Trojan War in the minds of those who lived through it. But I simply do not believe that Germans are fundamentally worse than other people. There are, to my mind, arseholes in all countries: it all depends on historical conditions leading to particular societies. The British can be as bad as Germans, sometimes more so, with their neo-Nazis, soccer riots, etc. The U.S.A has its deep-seated racist attitudes and violent gun culture. Canadians by and large are fortunate, except for their country’s residential schools and relations with its indigenous peoples. And Israel, which suffered more than any country in the holocaust, is unforgivingly anti-Arab. All of this leads to all kinds of abuses, which I have no intention of listing here, for a little thought will reveal them. As for Russia, or the most extreme manifestations of Islam and other religions with their sects—one thinks too of Christianity with Catholicism and others—well, again their problems are evident.”

Prologue, 1945, sets the stage where in the next seven chapter tell the stories of Hermine (survived Ravensbrück), Dr. Michael Warner (the antagonist) and Henry Warner or (again) Heinrich Werner.

The Interlude states: “I learnt later that there were other players in that ultimate drama: Henry’s first wife, Estelle, amongst them.” Chapters Eight to Ten bring us back into Michael’s, Henry’s and Hermine’s life. The book concludes with Epilogue One: Michael and Epilogue Two: Hermine.

This is intense and satisfying reading for history buffs.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse A Berlin Of The Mind by A. Colin Wright as an intellectual read. As intense as this period of time so is the knowledge and passion with which the author writes. I have had the pleasure of reading the authors other book titled Veronica’s Papers. It is important to know his bio and I quote. This review was completed on May 28, 2017.

Genre: Fiction / Literary

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Amazon Print Purchase Link

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Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright

Gerald Clayton suffering from Amnesia, receives a package of papers from Veronica, a former clinical hypnotist. She tells him they accomplish his fantasy of gathering together, on the ship Marguerite, his past loves with the two of them present, but in disguise. In hopes of discovering his own past Gerald invites the passengers to share in a mystery by guessing what, or who, they all have in common.

Book Review: Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright has an amazing premise that makes the reader think about the likelihood and outcome of such an experiment in his or her own life.

Well-developed characters like Gerald Clayton, who finds himself in a nursing-home after losing his memory; his wife Elizabeth; and Veronica Castell (who has assembled papers documenting Gerald’s life along with other people from Gerald’s past) help the reader understand Gerald’s and Veronica’s thought processes.

The unlikely setting is a cruise ship named Marguerite. This ship is of British registry, sailing out of Southampton to a variety of destinations like the Azores and the Canary Islands. Passengers receive an invitation (Compliments of ‘Creative Travel’) awarding them a fully paid seven-day cruise for two that includes a special program geared to meet their individual needs and interests.

The intensity of the author’s style of writing is evident when he writes: “Humans are like individual atoms jostling in time and space in a constantly changing relationship, and every so often what we call chance brings together those who’ve met before so that we wonder whether there isn’t some further purpose. But what of the coincidences that fail to become evident? The odds against Janet’s being on the other side of that train were almost as great, but we’d never have known we were even close. How often have we been in such situations without knowing it? Only our ignorance prevents us from calling those coincidences and from seeing the basic oneness of life.”

Colin Wright causes the reader to think and question mortality with its limitations in relationship to moral and spiritual concerns. This passage is an example: “The tragedy is that Christianity could be so much more. Christ’s words, it seems to me, rarely limit people to a narrow morality. Rather it’s Saint Paul and those who followed, more concerned with establishing orthodoxy under the leadership of a politically powerful church-who brought a small-minded understanding to a vision that encompasses all people’s strivings. Christians simply couldn’t tolerate rivals: a pettiness repeated often enough since. Yet there’s no contradiction between the worship of pagan gods, say, and that of Christ, for the reality they represent is the same. Why couldn’t Christianity have had vision enough to see this?”

I, Theodocia McLean (Cold Coffee Press) endorses Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright as a thoughtprovoking work of literature that raises the question of whether or not “creation, fantasy and truth are the same”. I purchased this book in a Kindle and this review was completed on October 31, 2015.

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A Cupboardful Of Shoes: And Other Stories by A. Colin Wright

“After a life dedicated to the study of languages, A. Colin Wright has distilled his life’s observations into this engaging collection of short stories, most of which have been previously published in literary journals. Now retired, his life’s adventures, which include serving in the British Air Force, attending Cambridge University, and being a professor of Russian, have inspired this collection.

“I’m a librarian and I kissed a film star once. I touched her nipples too. At least, I think I did.” So begins “Queen’s Grill.” Horatio Humphries, one of the unreliable narrators, strikes up a brief friendship with a movie star on a rough Atlantic crossing, but his “twin” brother doesn’t believe him. In “A Pregnant Woman with Parcels at Brock and Bagot,” an unnamed woman may or may not have an affair with a man she met at a party—depending on whether she can get by a woman in front of her. “Distantly from Gardens,” a variant on the theme of the “double” found often in Russian literature, presents a man with a split personality, inhabited by two narrators who are his past as well as his present. While other stories are told in either the first or third person, the subject here demands the use of the second.

The stories in A Cupboardful of Shoes explore subjects as wide-ranging as disappointed love, violence, and war, sometimes with an underlying religious theme, serving to illustrate Wright’s eclectic style and literary interests.”

The following stories make up the collection A. Colin Wright: A Cupboardful of Shoes, published in 2008. Those marked * may be viewed in their entirety at www.authorsden.com/acolinwright.”

A Pregnant Woman with Parcels at Brock and Bagot
A Cupboardful of Shoes
Night Train to Cologne
Only Fair
The Trouble with Saints
The Jump
Frank’s Girl
Queen’s Grill
Make Someone Happy
Wedding
Bethlehem
Sketches of Natasha
Distantly from Gardens
Ghost Stations
The Bells of Khatyn
Seven Minutes’ Silence
Unknown
The President Reminisces
The Comedy of Doctor Foster

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Mikhail Bulgakov: Life and Interpretations by A. Colin Wright

Non-fiction, Education, Reference

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Sardinian Silver- by A. Colin WrightSardinian Silver – by A. Colin Wright

To Arthur Fraser, a young Englishman, Sardinia in 1960 is perfect. It’s an island filled with Roman ruins, exotic scenery, local customs, and morally traditional values-he loves everything. To assimilate into the strange and belong to a society different from his own has always been his desire.

To Arthur Fraser, a young Englishman, Sardinia in 1960 is perfect. It’s an island filled with Roman ruins, exotic scenery, local customs, and morally traditional values-he loves everything. To assimilate into the strange and belong to a society different from his own has always been his desire.

Arthur arrives in the resort town of Alghero to work as a representative for a tourist company. His ambition is to find a Sard girl for himself. He is quickly thwarted, though, by the unorthodox beliefs of the inhabitants. Unmarried couples cannot meet without chaperones, and anyone with “”continental”” attitudes is immoral. Arthur quickly learns that dating is fraught with real dangers.

When Arthur finally falls in love with Anna, a Sard girl, he discovers that she lives in Rome and is no longer accepted at home. But she then falls in love with one of his best friends, and Arthur becomes irrationally obsessed. He incessantly schemes about winning back her affections, despite her efforts to dissuade him.

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What I Believe (But You Don't Have To) - by A. Colin WrightWhat I Believe: (But You Don’t Have To) by A. Colin Wright

A brief discussion of religious ideas from a non-traditional viewpoint that should be of interest
for all those questioning what life is all about.

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Professional Websites:
http://www.veronicaspapers.com/a-colin-wright
http://www.canadianauthors.org/national
http://www.sardiniansilver.com
http://www.cupboardfulofshoes.com

Cold Coffee Press
Cold Coffee Café

Author Anastasia Cassella-Young

Photo2Tell us a little about yourself: I am married to a wonderful and caring man that I fell in love with at first sight…we were married 2 months later eleven years ago. I also have a son who lives in the beautiful tourist town of Bar Harbor, Maine, where I was born. I attended high school in East Machias, Mane and college at the University of Maine at Machias (Maine).

I have traveled the eastern seaboard 4 times. In New York City I first learned to use a computer on a Wang system (most people don’t remember Wang) and each and every job thereafter taught me a new computer program for writing/typing.

My writing career started when I was in high school. I wrote poetry at that time and in the 90’s my aunt Theodocia McLean encouraged me to publish my poetry. After publishing the poetry book I wrote my short stories. The novels kept coming after that. I still have many more titles and ideas in my head…I still have the need to put pen to paper again.

Current Published Book Titles:
Anastasia’s Mind Fog
Home Cures For Health & Special Household Quick Tips
Justice Is Served
Letter to My Brother
Love At First Sight
Murder, Secrets And Injustice In A Small Town
Stalk Or Be Stalked
The Rogue Bear & Other Short Stories
The Seiners
Two Sides Of A Bi-Polar

Featured Selection: The Seiners – by Anastasia Cassella-Young

What has Johnny Cavelli gotten himself into?

His peaceful, quiet Granite Island in Maine has become a battle zone for greed.

When Johnny calls Uncle Vittorio for some help he didn’t know that this help came with a price; a hefty price at that.

See how Johnny achieves control of Granite Island. Learn how Johnny fails to see the concept of asking bigger, badder men to help resolve some issues he’s having with Frank Miller.

Granite Island will never be the same peaceful, quiet island in Maine ever again.

Genre: Crime, Fiction

Amazon Author’s Page

Soldier With A Backpack: Living and Dying Simultaneously by Linda Diane Wattley

Soldier With A Backpack: Living and Dying Simultaneously Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the hidden love killer, is instrumental in creating a world of alienation in the human experience.

Soldier with a Backpack, Living and Dying Simultaneously is written to form a silent unity of hope and understanding for individuals experiencing or knowing someone with PTSD and to reveal a needed truth about it.

Linda D. Wattley grew up with a tainted trust in adults, now that she has become one herself; Author Wattley began to learn why adults were so unhappy. She realized that stress and trauma had molded her into someone who felt unworthy of love, yet there was still something else willing her to life, telling her to share with the world that sufferers of PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are more than words could ever describe.

Author Wattley shares the experienced impact stress and trauma has on the human soul and the price we pay ignoring this reality. It is with great urgency she intimately shares her plight in life with her readers. Being mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically raped as a child, she survived by learning to exist in an inner world of divine peace.

Something happened to that little girl; she didn’t die nor did she live, yet much was lost while much was gained.

Cold Coffee Book Review: Author Linda Diane Wattley’s memoir ‘Soldier With A Backpack: Living and Dying Simultaneously’ is packed with nuggets of pure truth meant to expose the evil that was meant to destroy her, show God’s greatness and attest to her healing from PTSD. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put her story down. I especially love memoirs, because it takes a special kind of strength to write a memory and share raw emotion and experience with the world.

If you enjoy reading memoirs that are a journey from hell into healing with ordained, anointed prayer behind the words to encourage others along their journey, this book is a must read.

Linda says, “Out of trauma, much drama occurs. Trauma has so many levels of appearing in our lives from the war zones where our soldiers witness death and the survival of death, vehicular accidents, murders, catastrophic disasters, illnesses, rape, sudden deaths of our loved ones; the list is unending.”

“Cycles can be broken when light is shined on reality. This is my purpose to shine light on the personal aftermath of trauma. ‘And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ John 8:13.”

Follow Linda through her life, learn from her healing and willingness to share what most people would hide in the darkness. Enjoy the short, direct poems scattered throughout the book and learn how Linda activated the love of God in her life, so she can be a beacon of light (“messenger”) to those seeking healing form PTSD.

I (Theodocia McLean) endorses Soldier With A Backpack: Living and Dying Simultaneously (After The Storm Publishing Presents) by Linda Diane Wattley as her memoir from darkness into light. I purchased and reviewed this book from Kindle format. The review was completed on January 30, 2016.

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(click to listen in)

Let’s talk about PTSD

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Amazon Author’s Page

Professional Website Links
http://www.lindadianewattley.com/
http://collectivefaith.com/universalove1957/
https://www.gofundme.com/ptsdfreedom
http://blackauthors.ning.com/profile/LindaDWattley
http://www.faithwriters.com/websites/my_website.php?id=19419
https://www.instagram.com/lindawattley
http://www.thecheers.org/contributors/author-profile-339.html

Professional Blog Links
http://www.lindadianewattley.com/blog/
http://anndandridgepublicrelations.ning.com/profile/LindaDWattley?xg_source=activity
https://sites.google.com/site/lindadianewattley1/blog
http://lindadianewattley.blogspot.com/

Goodreads
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter: universalove@universalove
Google+
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Charge Of An Angel: Love and Redemption Series Book 1 by Linda Diane Wattley

My name is Leona Tillard and I need your help. You see, I have been spending my whole life trying to know who I am. I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and a product of a temporary single-parent home, I was left without some pertinent information that could have possibly told me who I am. Eventually, still a child, my family structure evolved into a blended family situation. In silence, I cried far more than I laughed.

Don’t get me wrong, there was much love for me. I learned early in life that I was a very special little girl. People loved being in my presence, but more than anything, my body was always desired. I didn’t want for anything, life was good to me, I just didn’t understand love and what is considered being a normal human being. This is where I need your help. Will you listen to me as I tell you my story about my life? Tell me who really loved me. Am I really an angel or a freak of nature? Your help will be highly appreciated. In return, I promise to entertain you from beginning to end. Below find one of my thought processing moments. It came during a time I needed understanding. Until we meet, enjoy!

My body was betraying me in the worst way. “Oh, God, help me! I face you now in my naked and weakened state and beg you to save me.” I prayed silently.”

Cold Coffee Book Review: Charge Of An Angel is book one in Linda Diane Wattley’s series titled Love and Redemption.

This is an important quote directly from the book: “Charge of an Angel will reveal why the urgent questioning of sexuality from the home to the pulpit. The children in this story have a lot to show us, let’s get started. They are anxious to share their stories even their parents are going to be in awe when they see who they really are.”

Character Leona Tillard will touch your heart as you read her childhood account. I am certain that as you read this book, you will either relate to some of the family dynamics from your own life or you might know a family with similar dynamics.

Sadly, families usually look wholesome and intact when viewed by an outsider. However, when you pull back the layers like an onion, the raw truth can burn your soul. In Leona’s story, her family has many layers and although she felt loved as child, her perceptions were from a child’s point of view.

Right from birth (like you and me) Leona was set on a path and her encounters wrote on the pages of her life’s story and deep in her heart and soul. The most telling thing that you will discover as you read, is Leona’s perception of herself, her deep questions and even conflicting messages that cause her to even question God.

For children who grown up in a dysfunctional home, this is how they think. I quote not to spoil the story, but to enlighten you so you will want to read further.

“We didn’t hear any more words after that. Sarah and I were just as quiet as Daddy and Priscilla.

In fact, Sarah was already asleep. I could hear snoring from across the room, which was something she normally didn’t do. I couldn’t believe what I had seen between her and Daddy.

I closed my eyes and tried to will myself somewhere other than where I was. I couldn’t help but wonder where my brother and my mother were. This new family thing just did not make me happy at all. I mean, trying to know myself was hard enough without this family mix. One minute I had a mother and then I had no mother. I had a big brother, then no big brother. Now I have two sisters and a brother to go with the one I already had. We were all lost and confused.

We just wanted to know where we belonged.

After that night, we did what we had to do to keep Priscilla and Daddy happy. Nobody cared how we felt. This life was about them. None of us should have been born. We had no parents. All of us were victims of circumstance. We were just sheep—sleeping, eating, and doing what we were told. If Daddy and Priscilla hadn’t gotten married, maybe Momma and Mark might have come back. We could forget about ever seeing them now.”

While reading I was faced with the core truths written on the pages and maybe more importantly between the lines. I wait for Book Two to be published, as I will need to find out where it goes from here. I invite you to read and open your heart and eyes to children around you in your life. This book has adult content.

I, (Theodocia McLean) endorse ‘Charge Of An Angel: Love and Redemption Series-Part 1’ by Linda Diane Wattley. I purchased this book from a Kindle format. Review was completed on March 28, 2017. I also read ‘Soldier With A Backpack: Living and Dying Simultaneously’ by Linda Diane Wattley (Great Read).

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Family Life, United States, African American, Christian

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http://www.lindadianewattley.com/
http://collectivefaith.com/universalove1957/
https://www.gofundme.com/ptsdfreedom
http://blackauthors.ning.com/profile/LindaDWattley
http://www.faithwriters.com/websites/my_website.php?id=19419
https://www.instagram.com/lindawattley
http://www.thecheers.org/contributors/author-profile-339.html

Professional Blog Links
http://www.lindadianewattley.com/blog/
http://anndandridgepublicrelations.ning.com/profile/LindaDWattley?xg_source=activity
https://sites.google.com/site/lindadianewattley1/blog
http://lindadianewattley.blogspot.com/

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Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Author Mary T Kincaid

Mary-T.-KincaidI’m an Oklahoma girl who spent thirty years living in the deep South. I’m an observer. Everything can be the basis of a good story. Story ideas are everywhere. No need to give you my dates like I’ve passed from this life. I’m here. It’s now. Let’s read.

I write stories for children. The golden age of adventure when they can still use their imagination is between the ages of six and twelve. I love creating worlds for them to explore. Reading is so important. It is the gateway to their future.

I live with my husband and two cranky cats in northeast Oklahoma.

Featured Selection: Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid

Little-Worlds-of-Magic-by-Mary-T.-KincaidThe story about making new friends in a new town.

Mason Garcia struggles to find new interests and make friends away from his surfing and his beloved ocean. In a town with no surfing he finds a spooky park just down the block from his new house. Is it haunted?
Can everyone see the Punwees?

He sees them through his bedroom window. They open a door in a walnut on the tree and stand on the branch of a tree. Spend time in the world of little people. Imagine that there are little people all around your house, yard, and school. Mason is sent to counseling because no one else sees the little people, and his parents think he is having trouble adjusting to the move. Is it always better to talk to someone about what is going on in your life?

Can Mason find someone to play video games with beside the little people who are very competitive?

Everyone serious about something knows what it is like when they meet people who are not as serious as they are.

Practice your reading with this adventure. A good story to read in chapters. This fantasy will expand your vocabulary and introduce you to Mason’s world.

About The Author I’m an Oklahoma girl who spent thirty years living in the deep South. I’m an observer. Everything can be the basis of a good story. Story ideas are everywhere. No need to give you my dates like I’ve passed from this life. I’m here. It’s now.

Let’s read. I write stories for children. The golden age of adventure when they can still use their imagination is between the ages of six and twelve. I love creating worlds for them to explore. Reading is so important. It is the gateway to their future.

I live with two cranky cats in northeast Oklahoma. I’m a widow.

Book Review: Little Worlds Of Magic helps children understand the struggles of moving and leaving their friends behind.

Main character Mason lives in a loving military family where travel is part of life. His parents are wise to encourage him to make new friends in hopes that his imaginary friends will no longer be needed.

As a grandparent who moved around a lot as a child, this book not only brought back memories but will make a great Christmas gift for my 7 year grand-daughter who reading well above her age.

Author Mary T. Kincaid has a wonderful imagination and her love for children shines through.

This is the second book that I have read by Mary T Kincaid. I give this book five stars. I believe that a child as young as seven (who can read) and perhaps as old as twelve will enjoy this easy to read book. One hundred and fourth six easy to read pages with beautiful black and white illustrations by Doriano Strologo.

Theodocia McLean endorses Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid. I purchase and reviewed this book from a print book. This review was completed on November 11, 2016.

Genre: Children’s Books, Fiction

Amazon Author’s Page

Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) by C. G. Haberman


Lake of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) by C G Haberman

Two teenage boys on a deer hunt in northwest Iowa watch as a trophy buck flees before either can release an arrow. Something in the crumbling cellar frightened the animal. Curious to know what disturbed the deer they open the shelter door and hell erupts. The sudden failure of an outstanding student, his fiancée’s new job opportunities, and a personnel action weigh on CJ Hand. His daughter calls with news of his former wife. A disturbing past leads him back to Lincoln, Nebraska to confront demons. At semester’s end on an icy and snowy morning, his life would change once again. Dr. Trisha Baker becomes the hunter with the intent to destroy a predator. The revenge is for her friends and herself, and to erase the painful memory of losing her fiancé.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: ‘Lake Of Lies’ is just one of four, hard to put down, CJ Hand Mystery Novels written by C. G.Haberman.

Main character CJ Hand uses his love for, comfort of and the serenity of the back roads from Iowa to South Dakota to capture its breathtaking beauty through his camera photo lens which illustrates lessons that he shares with his ecology and botany students.

Intuitive moments and detailed memories have become part of his life since working for the Department of Justice. While forcing himself to move forward, CJ’s past is never far behind. The news hits him hard when the parole board releases Tom Vaughn and he knows someone must warn Tom’s wife Donette to stay alert.

A call from his daughter Meaghan stirs some of the personal demons that haunt him. A trip down memory lane brings him back to the lake where he and his wife Marnie had spent countless, glorious hours together. He sits and stares out across the lake to the shoreline where the shadows still hold remnants of ice and watches as several boys cast their fishing lines into the cold water with hopes of catching a catfish. The ring of his cell phone brings him back to the present.

His life with his fiancée Dee, his many influential friends and co-workers find their world mostly centered on the Mill Creek State University and the surrounding communities. CJ reluctantly confides in psychologist Dr. Adriane Peterson. Like all psychologists she asks a lot of questions, like “You said there were other students, especially female nontraditional students with sudden grade drops, correct?” He nodded. “The question is: why the focus on Tammy Day?”

Two boys brave the frigid temperature at the southern edge of an abandoned farmstead in hopes to “get the biggest damn buck you ever did see.” Hiding in silence they hold their bows taught with arrows when the approaching deer notice something and their heightened awareness and instincts cause them to bolt. Understandably upset the boys strike out on a new hunt for the source of the hunting debacle and what they discover makes them gag.

It is more than Dr. Trisha Baker who works at Mill Creek State University in the Psychology Center can stand. She sets out to seek revenge for her fiancé, friends and most importantly to “destroy a predator”.

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel’ by C. G. Haberman. Each book in this crime, fiction, mystery series stand alone. I also have the privilege of reading and reviewing ‘Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1)’. Dead Man’s Run and Mill Creek Malice are a couple more novels in the CJ Hand series.

I encourage you to read these four CJ Hand Novels sold in both print and e-book. Enjoy the written mastery of author C. G Haberman. I purchased ‘Lake Of Lies’ in Kindle and this review was completed on February 25, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print
Kindle

Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website

Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) by C. G. Haberman


Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) by Mr. C. G. Haberman

The pall of death hangs over two distinctly different valleys separated by eighteen-hundred miles. One a modest, unknown channel drained by a small cool-water stream and the other a magnificent gorge carved by a roaring river that separates two states. Unknown to a man, tormented by loss and intensifying anger, both valleys hold his fate. A bloody mist suddenly fills a truck cab. It is not the shot but the seconds after that begins change for criminal investigator CJ Hand. Beset with his recent loss and pent-up anger he takes leave from a tangled bureaucratic mess. Trying to find self-worth he agrees to help friends by probing the accidental drowning of a friend’s son. The image of an uncomplicated investigation is quickly shattered. CJ encounters a maze of deadly circles surrounding the death. He begins unwinding hidden tentacles of political power and personal greed gripping Elm Creek valley. Affecting his personal life are two intellectual and intuitive women who help him come to grips with what he has been running from, or toward, for a decade. DEADLY CIRCLES is a fast-paced novel exposing the ugly underbelly of insidious criminal activity.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel is a fast moving fiction crime mystery that enchants the reader with breath taking descriptive beauty with possible environmental struggles within the Great Plains of the USA.

The main character, CJ Hand was born in Hand County, South Dakota. As a criminal investigator CJ Hand takes the reader on a vivid pictorial trip down the winding rural roads of Nebraska into the small towns where life and love among other things thrive with a cast of over 40 characters. The dialog flows very smooth and this reviewer can visualize this book series becoming an excellent made for TV series.

Enjoy the descriptive beauty of the landscapes and relate with the rural folks going about their daily lives. Just keep in mind that nothing is perfect and even here there festers a quiet under tone of mystery, personal and political greed, crime and an unexplained death.

Haberman weaves a tale that keeps the reader turning the pages with descriptive artistry like in this quote: “A breeze whispered through the pine and cedar trees as he entered the small acreage. Colored lichens dotted gravestones and the stately old trees. He moved from grave to grave reading the inscriptions. Several large round, prairie-hay bales rested in the warm autumnal sunshine in the east half of the cemetery, devoid of headstones. CJ squatted down, grasped a handful of loose hay, examined the dried vegetation, and rolled it between his palms. The earthy, redolent grass brought a melancholy rush. The death of a friend’s son brought him here and a tragic farm accident united him with the woman he loved. He stood in the earthly solitude, stillness within him. A wind gust interrupted the moment. An important task lay ahead.”

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) and you can follow this book up with Mill Creek Malice (Volume 2) as the series continues to unfold under the mastery of author C. G. Haberman. I purchased ‘Deadly Circles’ in Kindle and this review was completed on December 5, 2014.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Nebraska Pine Ridge: Dead Man’s Run Novel Setting

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Cold Coffee Press

Author C. G. Haberman

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author C. G. Haberman

C. G. Haberman was born and raised in south-central Nebraska. For ten years he taught the biological sciences in two Nebraska high schools. He left education to take a position with the Nebraska environmental agency and over the next ten years moved through the ranks. His positions took him throughout Nebraska while working on surface and groundwater quality issues, wetlands, and a uranium mining proposal.

After Nebraska, C. G. worked in Washington and South Dakota, expanding his environmental work into the areas of enforcement, air quality and hazardous and solid waste. Before retiring he returned to teach for ten more years as a community college instructor and as an adjunct at a liberal arts college in Hastings, Nebraska. Using his education and experience, he involved students by presenting real-life issues through Problem-Based Learning and hands-on field experiences.

What makes you proud to be a writer from Nebraska? I am proud to be a writer from Nebraska because so little is known about this diverse State. My goal is to show, through words, the diversity that exists in Nebraska and the surrounding Great Plains States.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? A friend asked a similar question. The first time was in the seventh grade and the teacher, Mrs. Johnson, encouraged the class to write. My writing for the class involved mysteries. Writing was hit and miss with most of it professional publications except for the environmental reader series for children.

Writing started to take shape after I went back to teaching. It was the time of my wife’s health problems that I began, mostly to occupy my mind during her difficult recovery.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? During the time of my wife’s health dilemmas our daughter inspired me to bring the novel I had written out of my computer to share with the public. That novel became my first: Deadly Circles. Positive, as well as a few negative, comments about the novels drive me to write more and better.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My environment—literally and figuratively—was the force behind the first novel. I had been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. Because of the unique situations where I worked and lived and “battled” I can show and entertain the reader from a “been there, done that” perspective.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I derive titles as I outline novels in my head. Once the novel is firmed up in a detailed outline I might change, but that has occurred only once with the fourth in the CJ Hand series: Lake of Lies.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write fiction: crime, mystery, and historic. All focus on the Great Plains environment.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? The moment that inspired me to write Deadly Circles came after a difficult time in my environmental career. On a secluded drive across rural, eastern South Dakota I wondered about the happenstance. During that drive CJ Hand was born in Hand County, South Dakota.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The writing process experience most rewarding is the unfurling of the words as the book develops. An example is the historical novel, The Naturalists, where the character Abner Hayman took the reins and became a major actor, something I had not planned. As I read and researched this book I learned an immense amount about our country (positive and negative) from the mid-1800s to 1899.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The most rewarding experience was the positive feedback about the dialogue and settings.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? The positive piece of advice is write about what you love and read, read, read all kinds of books. One of the most intriguing I read was a philosophy book entitled: PLATO and a PLATYPUS Walk into a Bar Understanding Philosophy through Jokes 2007 Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein http://www.hnabooks.com

Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is Robert B. Parker followed by Cather, Sandoz, Steinbeck, Michener, Craig Johnson, Tony Hillerman, and C. J. Box

Please add questions and the answers to any questions that you believe your readers would like to know.

Q: What do you do when I get writer’s block? A: Read. Relax. Listen to Music.

Q: Is Nebraska as flat as the media says? A: No, as long as you get off I-80. The Sandhills are rolling dunes with grass and cattle and wetlands. The Republican Valley holds some real surprises. The Niobrara and the Pine Ridge are gorgeous and wild. The Loess Hills of Iowa are wonderful in the fall.

Q: Why the Republican Valley for your first novel? A: It was where I took college students of all ages to learn and talk water and water war, look at geologic faults, plus it is Cather land.

************************


The 100th Meridian Murders (A CJ Hand Novel Book 5) by C. G. Haberman

After proving his reputation as the top sharpshooter in the world, Ivan Talcott settles in China. Here, he plans to achieve his goal of becoming a multimillionaire by the age of forty. Suddenly, and without warning, he’s told to leave China, and never return. Undaunted, he will aim for his goal in the USA.

While on a hunting trip Nebraska, the sharpshooter agrees to proposal that will fulfill his goal. The hunt becomes his final challenge before he begins a new life. The result of his grisly kills uncovers dark secrets long hidden in the halls of the U.S. Congress.

CJ Hand returns to Lincoln, Nebraska after surviving a brutal attack that left him a battered man. His wife, Dee, encourages him to complete a doctoral degree and form the Great Plains Consulting firm. This new challenge, they hope, will lead him away from a turbulent path to a stable life.

His company gets the boost it needs when he signs a contract for work along the 100th meridian. The study leads him to the deadly path he left years before. The discoveries, while using drones, leads his field and office crew into a threatening, dark world. The people he admires, and to whom he owes his success, return to help. They again face the evil they once thought erased.

The peaceful, rural prairie holds secrets that turns violent. The deadly hunt begins, spilling blood across the western United States.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: For those of us following criminal investigator CJ Hand, this is what we have been waiting for, and you won’t be disappointed with ‘The 100th Meridian Murders: Volume Five by C. G. Haberman.

Realistic characters, descriptive writing that transport you to the Mid-West, USA, and a well-constructed mystery will keep you engaged all the way to the end of the 60th chapter.

Let me begin by telling you that character Ivan Talcott has studied people well for years and blends into each crowd with ease. He is a business man by degree with a life goal of “building an empire of wealth without government interference”. His professional skills as the top sharpshooter in the world help him secure funds to offshore accounts and keep him on track to become a millionaire by age forty. Called back to the US from China, he accepts a proposal.

Investigator CJ Hand who now suffers from PTSD after recovering from being beaten nearly to death and left to die three years ago returns to Lincoln, Nebraska. His wife Dee stands by his side and encourages him to completes his doctoral degree. He is challenged by his entrepreneurial spirit to form his own consulting firm. One of his first consulting contracts leads him into familiar territory that he thought he had left behind when a man in Keya Paha County finds a human skeleton.

An environment activist group that stumbles into the 100th meridian study wants to know who or what group sponsored the study?

Like any good mystery, it is the readers job to relate to one or more of the characters. Join CJ Hand as crime comes in a secretive fury like the tornadoes that thunder across the Great Plains of the US.

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘The 100th Meridian Murders’ by C. G. Haberman. I purchased this book in Kindle and this review was completed on August 7, 2017.

I encourage you to read: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1), Mill Creek Malice: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 2), Dead Man’s Run: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 3), Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) and The 100th Meridian Murders: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 5) by C. G. Haberman

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print
Kindle

************************


Lake of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) by C G Haberman

Two teenage boys on a deer hunt in northwest Iowa watch as a trophy buck flees before either can release an arrow. Something in the crumbling cellar frightened the animal. Curious to know what disturbed the deer they open the shelter door and hell erupts. The sudden failure of an outstanding student, his fiancée’s new job opportunities, and a personnel action weigh on CJ Hand. His daughter calls with news of his former wife. A disturbing past leads him back to Lincoln, Nebraska to confront demons. At semester’s end on an icy and snowy morning, his life would change once again. Dr. Trisha Baker becomes the hunter with the intent to destroy a predator. The revenge is for her friends and herself, and to erase the painful memory of losing her fiancé.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: ‘Lake Of Lies’ is just one of four, hard to put down, CJ Hand Mystery Novels written by C. G.Haberman.

Main character CJ Hand uses his love for, comfort of and the serenity of the back roads from Iowa to South Dakota to capture its breathtaking beauty through his camera photo lens which illustrates lessons that he shares with his ecology and botany students.

Intuitive moments and detailed memories have become part of his life since working for the Department of Justice. While forcing himself to move forward, CJ’s past is never far behind. The news hits him hard when the parole board releases Tom Vaughn and he knows someone must warn Tom’s wife Donette to stay alert.

A call from his daughter Meaghan stirs some of the personal demons that haunt him. A trip down memory lane brings him back to the lake where he and his wife Marnie had spent countless, glorious hours together. He sits and stares out across the lake to the shoreline where the shadows still hold remnants of ice and watches as several boys cast their fishing lines into the cold water with hopes of catching a catfish. The ring of his cell phone brings him back to the present.

His life with his fiancée Dee, his many influential friends and co-workers find their world mostly centered on the Mill Creek State University and the surrounding communities. CJ reluctantly confides in psychologist Dr. Adriane Peterson. Like all psychologists she asks a lot of questions, like “You said there were other students, especially female nontraditional students with sudden grade drops, correct?” He nodded. “The question is: why the focus on Tammy Day?”

Two boys brave the frigid temperature at the southern edge of an abandoned farmstead in hopes to “get the biggest damn buck you ever did see.” Hiding in silence they hold their bows taught with arrows when the approaching deer notice something and their heightened awareness and instincts cause them to bolt. Understandably upset the boys strike out on a new hunt for the source of the hunting debacle and what they discover makes them gag.

It is more than Dr. Trisha Baker who works at Mill Creek State University in the Psychology Center can stand. She sets out to seek revenge for her fiancé, friends and most importantly to “destroy a predator”.

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel’ by C. G. Haberman. Each book in this crime, fiction, mystery series stand alone. I also have the privilege of reading and reviewing ‘Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1)’. Dead Man’s Run and Mill Creek Malice are a couple more novels in the CJ Hand series.

I encourage you to read these four CJ Hand Novels sold in both print and e-book. Enjoy the written mastery of author C. G Haberman. I purchased ‘Lake Of Lies’ in Kindle and this review was completed on February 25, 2015.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print
Kindle

************************


Dead Man’s Run: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 3) by C. G. Haberman

For CJ Hand, the corral bathed in the morning sunlight is a false sign of the day to come. Minutes after starting his run up Deadman Road, a dense fog shrouds the canyon. In the heavy, gray mist a hushed purr from the road bend behind him forces CJ to take cover in the stand of ponderosa pine and cottonwoods. He waits for the danger to pass. An hour later he stares at a dead man, blood covering the understory of brown pine needles and yellowing cottonwood leaves. The second death lay in front of CJ. The mountain lion is the focus of the first death, but the local County Sheriff realizes something other a mountain lion lurks in Dead Man’s Canyon. CJ Hand and Tom Thies join the county sheriff, investigating the deaths. A Black Hills mining geologist who traveled to the Nebraska Pine Ridge is the key. The first dead man might be the answer. What they find hints at far-reaching impacts for the area and the United States.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print
Kindle

************************


Mill Creek Malice: C. G. Haberman (Volume 2) by C. G. Haberman

The animal stench triggers Dawn’s gag reflex. The constant grinding of stone on stone irritably attacks her frayed nerves, and abruptly stops. Odd scratching sounds echo in her half-conscious state. She pulls herself into a sitting position and stares at a cage door. She gasps at the thing peering into her eyes.

A year before CJ Hand arrives as the new instructor at Loess Hills Community College the former professor inexplicably disappears. With the case going cold local law enforcement officers seek help. Investigators run into problems with the strange case involving native plants, and seek CJ’s expertise.

CJ is thrust into a world of pharmaceutical collusion when he finds the rare plant in question, but he also discovers an old ammunition box. When he opens it a nightmare begins. A geocache note inside written in a riddle, places him in the grip of matching wits with a killer. Key to the investigation, and the game, are–a small reptilian creature and the rare plant.

The new General Education Dean adds to CJ’s mental and physical anguish, suggesting the violation of his teaching contract. The summer class begins in two weeks and CJ has a choice to make: stop his part in the investigation or resign from his contract.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print

************************


Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) by Mr. C. G. Haberman

The pall of death hangs over two distinctly different valleys separated by eighteen-hundred miles. One a modest, unknown channel drained by a small cool-water stream and the other a magnificent gorge carved by a roaring river that separates two states. Unknown to a man, tormented by loss and intensifying anger, both valleys hold his fate. A bloody mist suddenly fills a truck cab. It is not the shot but the seconds after that begins change for criminal investigator CJ Hand. Beset with his recent loss and pent-up anger he takes leave from a tangled bureaucratic mess. Trying to find self-worth he agrees to help friends by probing the accidental drowning of a friend’s son. The image of an uncomplicated investigation is quickly shattered. CJ encounters a maze of deadly circles surrounding the death. He begins unwinding hidden tentacles of political power and personal greed gripping Elm Creek valley. Affecting his personal life are two intellectual and intuitive women who help him come to grips with what he has been running from, or toward, for a decade. DEADLY CIRCLES is a fast-paced novel exposing the ugly underbelly of insidious criminal activity.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel is a fast moving fiction crime mystery that enchants the reader with breath taking descriptive beauty with possible environmental struggles within the Great Plains of the USA.

The main character, CJ Hand was born in Hand County, South Dakota. As a criminal investigator CJ Hand takes the reader on a vivid pictorial trip down the winding rural roads of Nebraska into the small towns where life and love among other things thrive with a cast of over 40 characters. The dialog flows very smooth and this reviewer can visualize this book series becoming an excellent made for TV series.

Enjoy the descriptive beauty of the landscapes and relate with the rural folks going about their daily lives. Just keep in mind that nothing is perfect and even here there festers a quiet under tone of mystery, personal and political greed, crime and an unexplained death.

Haberman weaves a tale that keeps the reader turning the pages with descriptive artistry like in this quote: “A breeze whispered through the pine and cedar trees as he entered the small acreage. Colored lichens dotted gravestones and the stately old trees. He moved from grave to grave reading the inscriptions. Several large round, prairie-hay bales rested in the warm autumnal sunshine in the east half of the cemetery, devoid of headstones. CJ squatted down, grasped a handful of loose hay, examined the dried vegetation, and rolled it between his palms. The earthy, redolent grass brought a melancholy rush. The death of a friend’s son brought him here and a tragic farm accident united him with the woman he loved. He stood in the earthly solitude, stillness within him. A wind gust interrupted the moment. An important task lay ahead.”

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) and you can follow this book up with Mill Creek Malice (Volume 2) as the series continues to unfold under the mastery of author C. G. Haberman. I purchased ‘Deadly Circles’ in Kindle and this review was completed on December 5, 2014.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Nebraska Pine Ridge: Dead Man’s Run Novel Setting

Amazon Customer Reviews
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Kindle

************************

The Naturalists: A Historic Novel
(The Hayman Saga) (Volume 1) by C. G. Haberman

Where is Nebraska? The measure lies in locating Chicago and Denver, then calculating the midpoint between the two. There exists land called the Rainwater Basin. To find the remains of the best basins requires a calling, the calling to understand the startling dependency of life. In the heart of the United States the last of the Hayman lineage, Chance Hayman, experiences the nibbling erosion and decimation of this North American keystone. The Naturalist begins in the 1820s with a minister full of desire to serve his God. Reverend Abner Hayman is not the normal German Reformed minister. His ministerial sincerity and verve excites his Pennsylvania congregation. As with many successful men he will gain fame and follow a path fraught with temptation, deception, and loss. His path across the rapidly expanding nation leads him to Illinois. There he loses a son to a calling of his own. John Hayman does not scorn the country know as the Great American Desert. Abner Hayman’s son finds a land that fills his spiritual yearning, a land of grass and marshes that is unyielding, but teems with life and promise. It is this young man, the naturalist, who finds love of life, land, and women who is the taproot for the future Hayman families who fight to save the rainwater basins from extinction.

Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History

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Kindle

*************************

The Naturalists A Historic Novel of the Hayman Family:
Volume 2 by C. G. Haberman

Gripped by a spiritual call, John Hayman found the land of his dreams. The land tested him, but he learned to live with it and survived to foster a land ethic. In the second volume of The Naturalists, the new era of John’s three sons unfolds and they are as diverse as the land. The youngest, Henry, focuses on what his father dreamed about: a peaceful land covered with grass and marshes. As more people settle the area, Henry faces changing land use that gives little thought to the effects. His life is not without personal heartaches and devastating emotional discoveries. Over the first half of the 20th century, he and his youngest son, Jacob, follow the path recorded in journals that have become the focus for future Hayman naturalists. A deep family unrest threatens to forever change the Haymans and the land on which they thrive. Out of this turmoil, Jacob emerges to face the trying task of altering the path that threatens the Rainwater Basin and his family. Will Jacob’s son inherit a tranquil path to the 21st Century?

Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History

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The Golden Hour by Kim McDougall

The-Golden-Hour-by-Kim-McDougallThis is not a romance. This is not the story of boy meets girl, boy wins girl. The Golden Hour goes beyond erotica and romance. Instead, it is an exploration of how sex defines us, particularly in those first years of sexual burgeoning when it is intoxicating and empowering. Sarah’s life has been defined by the men in it. Now she must learn to define herself or forever live in the past. The Golden Hour is a story of the greatest love of all.

Malek and Sarah have a passionate and destructive relationship. When fate and stubborn pride separates them for good, they promise to meet twenty years later in that exact hour at their favorite restaurant in Nice. At age 42, Sarah waits at the little cafe for her first love to appear in the falling afternoon light. Will Malek be the same mysterious man he was? Will he still want her? Will he even come? Her imagination is overwhelming as she remembers their dark and fiery past, and dreads the secret she must finally reveal.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

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Author’s Page

Author Kim McDougall

Kim-Chatel-Kim-McDougall.jpg2Kim McDougall is an author, fiber artist and photographer with a BA in English Literature from Concordia University.

As co-founder of Castelane Inc, Kim has produced 400+ book trailer videos.

Kim writes for children under her married name, Kim Chatel. She has 6 children’s books in print, including the EPPIE Award-Winning, Rainbow Sheep.

Writing as Kim McDougall, her fiction crosses boundaries, from fantasy and romance into the literary. She draws from mythology, history and current events to build unique worlds and people them with characters she would love to know better. Sometimes, the bad guy steals the show.

Visit http://www.kimmcdougall.com to meet Kim’s unique characters. Beware. Some of them bite.

Featured Selection: Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall

Hibernaculum-by-Kim-McDougallSafari business is booming. Inside the Dome, people feast, create, laze. Most are content in the self-contained ecosystem.

The builders of the Dome are long dead. Their great-great-grandchildren keep telling of the Wild alive, but stories have rotted to mystery, then to legend.

A few discontents walk the perimeter of the Dome gazing into the horizon. They know the wheat fields, forests and mountains are fake. They all know.

The false vista is a comfort except to those who burn to know what truly lies beyond. Those find tiny holes, gaps in waste control and ventilation. Their defection endangers everyone and the Grand Duke vows to plug the holes with the bodies of deserters.

Still the Wild calls.

Includes 2 bonus tales: Luminari and Barbegazi.

Book Review: Post-apocalyptic thrillers like ‘Hibernaculum’ are science fiction or horror that has evolved from a global catastrophe.

Author Kim McDougall uses her descriptive writing skills along with a vivid imagination to draw her readers into a new world order within a self-contained ecosystem under a Dome. The problem is, humans have never been content to stay in one place or be told they can’t explore outside their own known existence. In one respect life under the Dome is no different from villages, town and cities throughout history where stories are passed down from generation to generation. However, the stories from under the Dome have morphed into legends that bring out thrill seekers.

As with any boundaries; cracks, leaks, holes, tunnels and even lines can be stretched when there is great financial reward. Cross is an exceptional coyote within the Safari business because he promises the ultimate “Wild” adventure to enthusiasts like Alex and Mindy.

I am so careful not to spoil the story, when I include a quote to show the authors style. Here is the quote that I selected.

“Soon the trees thinned. They stood in a vast desert of crumbled stone. Humidity blew in from the South, bringing scents of growing things.

“What’s that stench?” asked Mindy. “Smells like rot.”

Alex unbuttoned his shirt collar and wiped his face with a clean hankie.

“That must be the Santa Ana.” He thumbed through several screens on a Touch, looking for the entry. “Here it is. Santa Ana: a hot wind that emerges from the sun- baked Great Basin between the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains and pours into California.” He stumbled over an old tire, buried in the dirt. “Are we near California?”

“We’re in the Wild,” said Cross. “It’s all the same.”

“I bet it’s the Santa Ana. Look there are the mountains.” He pointed to a mound in the distance with the sun setting behind. A herd of sure-footed grazers clambered over the craggy mound, their awkward bodies silhouetted against the fading sky.

“Look!” Mindy gasped. “Beasts! Are they dangerous?”

“Only if you’re made of grass,” said Cross.

They stopped to watch the sun set. Arms linked, Mindy put her head on Alex’s shoulder.”

This seems tame enough, right? Allow Cross to take you along with Alex and Mindy into the Wild. Somethings you encounter along the way might seem predictable given your intelligence, but I assure you that somethings are unforeseen and unimaginable.

As a bonus the author includes two more short stories titled Luminari: For the Vampire that has everything and Barbegazi: When the White Death calls, who will answer?

Theodocia McLean endorses Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall as a sci-fi thriller. Kim is a diverse author with seven available published books found on Amazon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on March 17, 2016.

Genre: Short Story Collection, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Sci-Fi Thriller

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Mary Burton King

Mary-KingMary Burton King is a retired Navy officer and a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent who possesses over twenty years of law enforcement experience. Ms. King holds a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from George Washington University (1986), and two undergraduate degrees from the University of Mississippi (1982).

She is the author of her memoir, ‘No Pot, No Window’, as well as the detective murder mysteries, ‘Fool Me Once and Fool Me Once, Final Resolution’. Her latest novel, a thriller entitled ‘Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web’, was released in March 2014.

Ms. King resides in Pataskala, Ohio, and is currently writing her second thriller novel, ‘The Dark Entity’. She anticipates publication early 2015.

Featured Selection: The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King

The-Dark-Entity-by-Mary-Burton-KingOn a cold winter’s night at a federal prison in East Texas, sixty-one year old Beatrice Belladonna Harlow, a sociopath, voodoo priestess, and convicted black widow serial killer on death row, is brutality murdered in her cell by two prison guards and her body secretly buried in the prison’s cemetery.
Beatrice’s murder initiated an eerie and dark chain of events. In life she was a voodoo priestess; therefore, she will live forever—that is her bestowed legacy. Yes, this voodoo priestess will indeed live forever, but not in her fleshy, earthly body, but as a spirit, an entity. Beatrice’s legacy is dependent upon one thing: another living human being, a host. Immediately upon death, her entity must enter the body of her chosen host. Thereafter, that unfortunate soul no longer has control of his thoughts or actions. And if that isn’t bad enough, a shocking physical metamorphosis takes place.
Years earlier, while sitting on death row, awaiting her execution, Beatrice used her time wisely. She had nothing but time; therefore, she spent countless hours planning every detail of her afterlife. She chose as her host her estranged, thankless, thirty-three-year-old adopted daughter, Lola Marie.
Thus, the night Beatrice was killed, Lola Marie was awakened from a deep sleep by a very bright yellow light floating over her bed. This bright yellow light was her mother’s spirit. In utter horror and unable to prevent what happened next, she watched that bizarre, bright yellow light enter her body. At first Lola Marie thought she was dreaming, but that was not the case. Her mother’s dark entity had just entered and taken control of her mind and soul. She was now possessed.
In the blink of an eye, Lola Marie unwillingly became her deceased mother’s evil puppet and is forced to perform bloody, vengeful, heinous acts for her, even murder. To ensure her daughter’s compliance, Beatrice uses an extremely painful but unique control mechanism, a tattoo. Lola Marie quickly finds herself trapped in her dead mother’s evil web with little hope of escape. Against all odds, can she find a way to free herself from her dead mother’s voodoo clutches? And if so, at what cost to her?
With a plot full of unexpected twists and turns, this high-energy, action-packed paranormal thriller will undoubtedly leave the reader spellbound and craving for more!

Book Review: The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King gives a new meaning to the word “revenge”.

What atrocities lay inside walls of federal prisons and what does it matter to the general population on the outside?

When death row inmate and serial killer Beatrice Belladonna Harlow is tortured and buried alive a short time before her scheduled execution, her spirit travels to the bedroom of her adoptive daughter Lola Marie. The bright yellow light of adoptive mother wakes Lola Marie from sleep. With the precision of her mother’s voodoo priestess spirit, Lola can’t stop the physical metamorphosis as Beatrice enters her body and becomes one with her.

Lola Marie’s Mexican beauty is over ridden by her American/Haitian adopted mother who had rescued her from an abusive orphanage when she was eight. Was this her punishment for ignoring her mother after she was convicted as a black widow serial killer?

Well-developed characters in this paranormal thriller will keep you turning the page as Beatrice possesses her daughter’s body and turns her life upside down with bloody thirsty revengeful energy of Voodoo magic.

Forced to participate in the horrors of Beatrice’s revenge, her legacy while not sealed in blood was sealed by adoption.

Sequel to Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web, this standalone paranormal thriller is dedicated to the countless victims of human trafficking past and present.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King. Well researched Mary uses her education and over twenty years of law enforcement experience in the writing process. In addition to this book, please read Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web, Fool Me Once, Fool Me Once: Final Resolution and No Pot, No Window. This review was completed on November 15, 2015.

Genre: Paranormal (Supernatural)

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Shirley McLain

Shirley-McLainCalifornia-born Oklahoma raised, author Shirley McLain is a retired RN, enjoying her retirement in Sapulpa, Oklahoma writing poetry, short stories, and novels. She has seen much, not only in her travels but in her survey of the human heart as a nurse, and she comes to this historical fiction novel DOBYNS CHRONICLES with a sound sense of appreciation of the terrain of Texas and Oklahoma, the durability of the pioneer men and women about whom she writes, and a special appreciation for Native American history.

Shirley has a strong love of family both past and present. She is married to a wonderful man who spoils her and she loves it. She has two grown children, six grandchildren and twin great-grand sons. Her wish is to pass on this love of family and the land to her family, as it was passed down to her from her mother.

Shirley also has a fur family of four dogs and three cats. Andy is a Cocker, Angel a teacup poodle, Booker is a Yorkie, and Gus is a Pug/Shih Tzu She says it’s like living with a house full of three year olds. Two of the cats have been bottle raised and all three are short haired “whatever’s.” There’s never a dull or lonely moment. Someone is always into something.

Featured Selection: Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain

Dobyns-Chronicles-by-Shirley-McLainDobyns Chronicles is a captivating celebration of the life of Charlie Dobyns. His life began in northeast Texas near Bonham, on the Red River. His Cherokee mother and cowboy father strove to survive on their river valley ranch. Tragedy ended this way of life for Charlie in 1888. Follow him through Chickasaw Territory and on to McAlester in eastern Oklahoma.

This is a story of a changing way of life and adaptations made to survive. Charlie’s strong passion for life and dignity equipped him for survival as he raised his siblings with, likeability and dignity. It’s a story of loss, misfortune, hard times and heartbreak, but also love, determination, kindness, joy and spirituality.

Follow Charlie’s life through the adventures that shaped the man he became, and that of his family for generations.

Book Review: ‘Dobyns Chronicles’ starts out with a picture of an Indian Territory Map which I especially enjoyed looking at. This story gives the reader a true taste of what life was like in the 1890’s. The setting is in Chickasaw Territory, North East Texas and in Eastern Oklahoma.

Turning the page from this map to chapter one, line one, the reader is struck with “OLD AGE IS hell, but it’s something all of us have to go through” and shortly thereafter another line that reads “You never know what road life will lead you down. Pa told me when I was a little boy, “You just have to take a deep seat and hang on for the ride.” He sure told the truth.”

Vivid story telling with beautiful old lines like “the heavens opened up and let loose with one of those toad soakers” draws the reader into the time period. Truer than life characters that pull at the reader’s heart strings as their lives show the harshness and simplicity of times gone by. Shirley McLain’s characters like Charley have a strong sense of family, friends, community and faith which carries him from youth to being the matriarch of a large family leaving behind an incredible legacy.

Life in the 1890’s is based on survival off the land and animals like the pigs that provided food such as “crackling corn bread out of the fried cracklings”. This story will remind the reader what travel was like in horse draw wagons that took days to complete 85 miles. Days gone by with the children had three sets of clothes, work/pay clothes, school/street clothes and our Sunday best. Old time remedies like mudpacks to keep the mosquitoes off and the use of Indian herbal medicine. A time when death was only an arm’s length away due the circumstances of the times. A story of a young boy who is forced to become a man, a time when wages were $20.00 a month and a time where horses, buggies, trains, trolleys and carpetbags were of importance. Your will read great conversations, family letters and experience home, heart, love and a home birth produces a son that makes one man’s world complete.

Story telling is an art form and Shirley McLain is an artist. If you have any sense of history and/or had grandparents or someone older tell you stories than this book will make your heart skip a beat and your mind to go in places where it hasn’t been in while. This amazing family chronicle brought back memories for me growing up with an older generation that kept me spell bound by their stories. I have often thought as a society we have lost the art of storytelling. Shirley McLain has brought encouragement back to my soul. She did her historical research and has family stories of her own no doubt cleverly woven into this story.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man’ – by Shirley McLain as an inspiring historical fiction that will send chills up and down your spine, keep you glued to the pages and remind you of an era gone by that must not be forgotten. Review date September 2014.

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Mary Deal

12-03-10-9-HEADSHOT-RESIZEDMary Deal, a native of Walnut Grove in California’s Sacramento River Delta, now resides in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was Founder and past President of Kauai Writer’s Roundtable. She is also an artist, photographer and former editor of a print magazine and newspaper columnist.

She is the author of six suspense novels: “The Tropics,” an adventure/suspense trilogy, “The Ka,” a paranormal Egyptian suspense, “River Bones,” a thriller that takes place in her childhood hometown area, “Down to the Needle,” a thriller, taking place along the West coast, “Legacy of the Tropics,” a re-write and expansion of The Tropics, and “The Howling Cliffs, a Sara Mason Mystery” and 1st sequel to the award winning River Bones. She has also published “Off Center in the Attic,” a collection of over-the-top short stories and flash fiction pieces. The eBooks, “Write it Right – Tips for Authors, Vol. I and Vol. II are nonfiction references for writers. “Write It Right – Tips for Authors – The Big Book” (a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards) brings both of the Write It Write eBooks together in paperback.

“River Bones” was a winner in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards competition and a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Books Awards. Her short story, “The Last This I Do” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Her mega-web site, www.WriteAnyGenre.com , is a valuable resource for writers. It covers topics from all creative writing to business writing, including interviews, writing samples and examples. Portions also cover other aspects of creativity, like artwork for books covers.

Featured Selection: Hypno-Scripts – Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation by Mary Deal

The human mind is capable of miracles and people are finally opening to that fact. Or maybe they aren’t miracles at all. They only seem that way because for so long powers of the human mind have been denied.

Do you wish you had the power to become all that you can be? Discover your potential through unleashing the power of your mind. All good intentioned programming works best when you reach a deeper state of mind. The secret is in accessing those states through easy life-changing techniques presented here, in thoroughly explained examples.

A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of the mind – self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book will show their similarities, and define each condition and accessibility. If curious enough to at least peruse this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky you! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.

Many have tried to focus to learn either self-hypnosis or meditation and failed. Applied concentration and knowing what to expect once entranced may be what was missing. The instructions in this book are meant for those wishing to learn and use the techniques of self-hypnosis and/or meditation for self-improvement. Easy yet powerful scripts are provided to produce desired changes. You can change your life now!

Book Review: Retired Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Mary Deal helps the reader understand the power on one’s subconscious. Quote: “A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of mind-self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book explains their similarities and defines each condition and accessibility. “If curious enough to at least pursue this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky You! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.”

Section One-Hypnosis speaks to the issues of unintentional Childhood Training-My Early Practices, using Inductions and Scripts and Terminology that the lay person needs to know. Quote: “Hypnosis: A technique to still the conscious mind activity of the analytical left brain. To protect us, the conscious mind, the left brain, censures all we receive, know, or transmit. Truth is cloaked in order that we may not be hurt by that which we do not understand or are not ready to comprehend or accept. Our conscious mind protects us from ourselves until we are ready to learn. It is the conscious mind we make quiet in order to access hypnosis.”

About half way through the book I learned something that I could put into immediate practice to lower my stress. I share with you an important quote from Dr. Andrew W. Weil, American medical doctor, teacher and best-selling author on holistic health says on an internet post: “People who are stressed or anxious are actually chronically under-breathing, because stressed people breathe shortly and shallowly, and often even unconsciously hold their breath. By extending your inhale to the count of four, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, allowing the oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling steadily for eight seconds. The technique will effectively slow your heart rate and increase oxygen into your bloodstream, and may even make you feel slightly lightheaded which contributes to the mild sedative-like effect. It will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short shallow gasps of air”.

This book deals with many topics. I found the Through The Gate: Problem Solving, Allergy Control, Tinnitus Reassignment, Immediate Stress Reduction and The Attic Trunk-Finding Your Gifts most enlightening.

Quotes of Interest from Section Two-Meditation:

“Even the smallest shift in perspective can bring about the greatest healing.” by Dr. Joshua Kai, ND

“Mediation cannot be induced manually. It is the ability of the inner mind or soul when conditioned and trained correctly, and when conditions that prevent us from seeing our true nature are removed.”

It is my impression that whether you believe in Hypnosis or Meditation this book will show you ways to reduce stress and become more aware of your surroundings. Keep this Kindle reference book handy, learn from it and develop your own Hypno-Scripts.

I leave you with this thought from Mary, “Life may not be that joyous, but believing that it is moves you quickly to it becoming that way.”

Theodocia McLean ndorses For Hypno-Scripts – Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation by Mary Deal for her educated guidance with Hypno-Scripts and her concise writing ability that brings the subject into the readers grasp for self-help. I purchased this book through Kindle. This review was completed on August 1, 2015.

Amazon Author’s Page

Author E. D. Bird

E. D. BirdQuote: “I was born in Scotland during 1955 and married in 1975. My parents immigrated to Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia as it was then) in 1957 and I have lived here ever since. I have two adult sons, the eldest of whom lives in New Zealand while the youngest, who has provided me with two grandsons, resides in England. I was divorced during 1987, but remarried the same person on the 20th anniversary of our original wedding date and we remain together living happily in Bulawayo with our two rescue dogs.

I am an animal lover and have over the years had a variety of pets including horses, dogs and cats, but I have to admit that dogs are definitely my favourites and at one stage had eight different breeds in my household.

I worked for a firm of attorneys for thirteen years and during the final three of those I studied law by correspondence, but was forced to give up my lessons after my divorce when I returned to my parents and joined the family business, a gold mining enterprise. Having been brought up in a rural mining environment and having been primarily involved in mining almost my entire adult life I have a sound base for the fictional events I have created in my books.

My favourite pastime is writing, but I am also an avid reader.”

Featured Selection: Digby’s Diary by E. D. Bird

A delightful adventure set in the African bushveld of Zimbabwe.

The tale revolves around a gang of clever animals and two very brave young boys who make a daring rescue. The reader journeys through a series of exciting exploits before the experience ends with a twist in the tail.

The story is told by Digby, a standard French Poodle, using his very own style of writing.

Book Review: If your furry friend could journal, what adventure would be told?

In this charming story, a standard French Poodle named Digby begins his narrative by describing his homeland in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, southern Africa. He reminisces in a nostalgic way about his birth and early life with his mom and being part of a litter of five.

With both human and animal characters in this adventure the reader needs to be aware of doggy language usually kept private between furry friends. It is fun to mentally log the use of the dog’s conversation about human hands (paws) human man (two paws) and boys (young pups), etc. For an example I quote Digby. “Later that day I was sitting down at the bottom of the garden in front of the gate wishing it to open; I knew the young pups would not be back to clean the fish’s home for quite some time.”

A story for all ages as curiosity leads Digby beyond the gate. This adventure lends to new friends, danger, survival and heroism as these canines must work together with two young boys (pups) to rescue a kidnapped girl.

Author E. D. Bird uses the knowledge and love of furry friends to write this fast paced, hard to put down adventure that will warm the hearts of all animal lovers with an ending that will surprise you in keeping with the nature of Digby. I look forward to reading more adventures from Digby’s Diary in the future.

Theodocia McLean endorses Digby’s Diary by E. D. Bird as an animal tale that gives a dog’s perspective of the world on the other side of the gate. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 18, 2015.

Genre: Action & Adventure

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Maggie Tideswell

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Maggie Tideswell

Maggie Tideswell is a South African author with a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, even the birds and the bees are doing it. Ghosts just can’t seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can’t be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.

Maggie just can’t do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time. The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them. That might change soon.

Cold Coffee Press Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from South Africa? I’m a South African author – and believe me, there are many of us! To the world, South Africa is a unique and exotic place to visit and I like to bring a bit of the beauty of my country and the diversity of the population to the world in my books. I write from a South African perspective in that my stories are set in my home country, which gives me a unique voice readers have commented positively on.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? The love of books. As a young child I was fascinated by the idea that someone sat down and wrote so many words to tell a story. >From early on I was always thinking up stories of my own, but it was only when I was in my 40s (2002) that I thought to actually write then down. I still love the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of the paper, the solidity of it.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Not really. I grew up protestant and at the age of 16 shocked the family when I wanted to become a Nun. I did convert to Catholicism after I left school and later became interested in the Craft and Paganism, which plays a large part in my writing.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I started writing in 2002. I remember the day well. I was working in catering on a weekend and, because there was nothing for me to do, I started typing a scene on work’s computer. I rushed home after my shift and wrote another scene. I gave it the title of An Absolute Bargain, which grew into Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. I suppose from the beginning I had an eye on becoming a published author, but I didn’t know how to go about getting published. It wasn’t until 2011, after writing 7 more full novels that my dream became a reality. I actually published my 2nd novel, Dark Moon, first.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Holding my first published book in my hands. It was a profound moment complete with tears, racing heart and sweaty palms.

How many published books do you have? 9 of which 3 are out of print

Please list the titles of all your books:

Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series
1) Runaway Couple
2) He’s Married
3) You’re Wrong
2 more books to come in this series

Moragh’s Ghost Saga
1) A Convenient Marriage
2 more books to come in this series

Roxanne’s Ghost Saga
1) Goodbye, My Love
2) PS: I Love You – out 23 October

Moragh, Holly’s Ghost I self-published under the title A Convenient Marriage when the contract ended and the rights reverted back to me, so I’m not promoting Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. Dark Moon’s rights also reverted to me when the contract ended and is now a duology titled JJ: book 1- True Colors and book 2 – Unleashed. I am self-publishing then next year March and May. I have the covers ready if you’d like to add them to the website in a Soon to be Released section? Oh, and Silent Night, a fantasy novella set at Christmas time – it doesn’t have a Christmas theme. I withdrew this book because I want to work on it. I want to work it into full-length book.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write paranormal (ghost) romance. I always specify that hauntings play a large part in my stories as opposed to what people normally expect paranormal to mean – vampires, zombies, creatures with tentacles and many rows of teeth. Ghosts create a fear of what cannot be seen – and let’s face it, everyone likes to be scared. Doors creaking open, sounds there are no explanation for, these are the stuff of true goose bumps. I am fascinated by ghosts, why some people rest in peace after death and others not. I’ve made a study of the different types of hauntings. Sometimes there is no way of interacting with a ghost as their appearance is more like a recording of a past event that merely plays over and over again in a specific place. The ghost in A Convenient Marriage is mostly this kind. Poltergeists – noisy ghosts – throws things around, slams doors and can interact with the living – the ghost in Roxanne’s Ghost Saga.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? My advice is two-fold: write every day and Never give up. Writing is a craft that has to be practiced to be perfected. By writing every day, be it a blog post, an article or work on your WIP, you practice your own individual writing style to become good at it. And the second part, if we had to go weak in the knees under criticism, not books will ever be written. Always bear in mind what you write won’t appeal to everyone, but for every story there IS an audience. Therefore, never give up your dream – it is achievable.

Who is your favorite author and why? I enjoy Barbara Erskine’s books, because she writes similar stories to mine – set in the present but going back in time.

Goodbye, My Love (Roxanne’s Ghost Saga Book 1)
by Maggie Tideswell

A love that cannot be denied ~ and a love that cannot be. Who will win? It’s only a matter of time.

Jessica James needs a new job and her only prospect as a nanny is with a remotely located veterinarian who only wants a “mature” candidate. But youthful Jess has faced tougher challenges, and she is determined to show the very handsome yet rude widower that she is the perfect choice to care for his autistic 4-year-old daughter, no matter how much he scowls.

Dr. Ben Arnold is still grieving, and not only about the recent death of his beautiful wife. He is still coping with the knowledge his profound love for her was unreciprocated. The demands of working and taking care of Amber, his autistic young daughter, have Ben overwhelmed and the last thing he needs is an insanely strong physical reaction to a nanny who is the first to seem to connect with his beloved delicate daughter – and the last he thinks he can handle in his life.

Jess is an unseasonal storm to suddenly sweep through Ben’s life, and may be the balm he needs. While strange occurrences all around them defy answers and explanations, the unexpected arrival of Ben’s late wife’s sisters, including her identical twin, on the one-year anniversary of her death does nothing to help dispel the intense and instant desire between Jess and Ben – and Jess’ glimpses of a life long past only adds to the surreal sense of the estate called Weltevreden.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Goodbye, My Love by Maggie Tideswell starts with a poem titled Goodbye My Love by Demis Roussos.

Chapter one opens with main character (heroine) Jessica James standing outside a spooky deserted house on Friday the 13th with lightening flashing in the distance. She was there to meet Amber who lives in her own autistic world and consider becoming her next caretaker.

With strong characters and twenty eight well written chapters the reader is engaged when an elderly woman comes to the door. Jumping ahead to chapter eight Jessica (Jess) was nearly killed when a huge chandelier crashed to the floor just missing her. What else would this old house scare up and why?

Here is a brief example of Maggie’s writing style. “The blue light of daybreak was just beginning to lift the gloom in the room, yet Jess was already bathed and dressed, her face shining without makeup. She had to finger comb her hair again, leaving it fluffy and wild, framing her face. When she pulled the drapes aside, she was greeted by a breathtaking sight. The mountains, a deep, crisp blue in the early light, looked almost close enough to touch.

But she was exhausted. If that was what Friday the thirteenth was like, she would avoid the next one by spending the day in bed with a book and her phone switched off. Yet she knew there had to be a perfectly logical explanation for everything that happened, and she was going to find it before she left this strange house. If she didn’t, she would be wondering about it forever.”

If you enjoy romance, time Travel, paranormal and ghosts, like me you will find it a suspenseful and satisfying read. Maggie is a well-established paranormal romance writer with the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series, Moragh’s Ghost Saga (series) and the Roxanne’s Ghost Saga (series).

I invite you to open the door and keep turning the page. I leave you with this quote titled Friday, 13 November by Soraya: “To my candle burning bright Protect my secret here tonight None shall listen, none shall see Just the candle flame and me”.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse and encourage you to enjoy Goodbye, My Love by Maggie Tideswell. I purchased this book in Kindle and this review was completed on August 2, 2017.

Genre: Romance, Time Travel, Paranormal, Ghosts

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A Convenient Marriage: A Paranormal Romance
(The Moragh Saga Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

A marriage of convenience, helpful fey friends, hidden agendas, and a haunting—can love blossom? Set in the beautiful winelands of the Southern Cape in South Africa, strange things start happening from the moment Holly accepts Joshua’s offer of marriage—in response to an advert placed in the newspaper by Holly’s ‘helpful’ friends. They meet for the first time on the steps of the chapel where they are to be married.

Holly has to solve a thirty-year-old mystery before the ghost that is haunting her will be at peace. Over and above everything that is taking place, Holly and Joshua do battle with her ex-husband over their two children, as well as Joshua’s fiancée who is not the least bit happy about his marriage to another woman and gets up to all sorts to show her displeasure.

Risky as the marriage between strangers is—is it possible for Holly and Joshua to fall in love?

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Horror

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Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series
Runaway Couple
He’s Married
You’re Wrong
2 more books to come in this series

Runaway Couple: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

It is said that the maid of honor and the best man are the most likely to have sex on a wedding night. Add a love-hate relationship and throw a couple of ghosts into the mix, and you have the runaway couple.

Eloise chose a Gothic themed wedding for her and Dane, complete with remote setting, flickering candles, flaming torches and shadows, all geared toward scaring the guests. The stormy weather and swirling mists were a bonus.

But the person most scared is the maid of honor, the bride’s elder sister, Piper. She didn’t do creep. Added to that, she’s been lumped together with Marcus, the best man and the bane of Piper’s teenage life. He was a prankster of renown when they were growing up. As the boy-next-door, he singled Piper out for the best he could come up with. She didn’t trust him then, and she certainly didn’t trust him now.

As the runaway couple, will they follow the traditional path? Or will Piper’s dislike and mistrust of Marcus win out?

Set in South Africa, the Runaway Couple is the first book in a set of steamy romances about bridesmaids, weddings and honeymoons that will appeal to the young and the young at heart alike.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Paranormal

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He’s Married: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 2) by Maggie Tideswell

Eloise had the wedding of her dreams—all arranged and finalized within a month.

Now that the wedding night was upon her, her fears reared their ugly heads. Dane, her new husband was really a stranger to her. In hindsight, Eloise realized she shouldn’t have insisted they wait for their wedding night to have sex. It wasn’t that she was inordinately traditional, only that Dane should have been given a choice in the matter.

Because Eloise had a secret.

Dane and Eloise left for the beautiful Maldives on a two week honeymoon. In this idyllic setting, life threw her a curve ball.

Because Dane had a secret, too.

She would have put up with a number of things, but this particular secret could shatter her belief in fairytale weddings.

How was she supposed to deal with another wife?

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Erotica, Paranormal

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You’re Wrong: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 3) by Maggie Tideswell

Assumptions are invariably incorrect. Yet, people will stick with what they believe. Just as Rubi believed herself to be married for six years, until it was proven that she’d never been married at all. Finding herself a free agent again after years of waiting for her elusive husband, Rubi needed a man.

Upset by the echoes of her sordid past, Nathan walked into her life at precisely the right moment. Handsome, hot, and gay, he could only be a temporary distraction, or so she assumed. But what she didn’t take into account was that Nathan might have other plans for her. Even so, she wanted the real thing—a relationship, stability, and love—and Nathan couldn’t give that to her. Or so she assumed.

To prove her wrong about him, he abducted her and took her to the place where they first met, at Dane and Eloise’s wedding the week before. Back at the lodge, they find themselves in the same haunted room. Between the ghosts and Rubi’s insistence that he is gay, would Nathan succeed in changing her perception of him?

To add to her doubts, there’s also the matter of a certain secret he’s not ready to share.

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

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Dark Moon – by Maggie Tideswell

A spellbinding novel of love, murder, and the supernatural.

Chance meetings can have far-reaching effects. Loved ones may not be who they seem. The line between comprehension and confusion is thin ~ particularly when one’s thoughts are being manipulated by another.

In Dark Moon, the eternal triangle takes an innovative twist into the occult as dark magic fights against those who serve the Light.

The prize? A woman’s soul.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Occult, Audible Audio Books, Romance

 

 Amazon Customer Reviews
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Moragh, Holly’s Ghost – by Maggie Tideswell

A marriage of convenience, helpful fey friends, hidden agendas, a custody battle that cannot be won and a haunting – could love blossom? Set in the beautiful wine lands of the southern Cape in South Africa, strange things start happening from the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Ghosts, Romance, Audible Books, Paranormal

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Something True by M.D. Wiselka

Something-True-by-M.D.-WiselkaWhen fifty-eight-year-old Mark Etson learns he has an inoperable brain tumor, he struggles to find a way to tell his beloved wife of forty years that he must soon leave her. But before he can share the bad news, she tells him she is leaving him for another man. Mark selflessly gives her the divorce she demands. Wanting to reconnect with his siblings, from whom he has been long estranged, Mark travels to London for the Christmas holiday, but too much time has passed. After a few days, he realizes that his dream of reconciliation with his family is just that–a dream. Unwilling to return home to Toronto, Mark moves on to Paris, where he intends to spend the last few days of his life seeing a city he had once planned to visit with a dear friend.

Twenty-six-year-old Ashley Wilkes came to Paris eight years before with a friend, intent on making a life for himself far from the family who disowned him. He soon learned, however, the high cost of living in a foreign capitol. With no friend except the one he came with, Ashley was forced to make a life for himself the only way he could. Knowing that he can’t go on this way forever, or even for much longer, Ashley plans his escape. When a chance encounter with a Canadian businessman offers him a means of making some quick cash, he jumps at the chance. It’s only when he starts to care about Mark that things get complicated.

Publisher’s Note: Something True is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance/Gay & Lesbian

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Author’s Page

Author M. D. Wiselka

M.-D.-WiselkaWriting under the nom de plume M. D. Wiselka, Melinda Wiselka is the oldest of four daughters and one of the numerous descendants of a Polish family who immigrated from Wisła, Poland in 1913 to farm in Big Horn, Wyoming.

Melinda has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia over the last decade, visiting, among other places, Warsaw, Poland, the setting of her debut novel, a gay historical romance titled Beautiful to Behold, the first book in the Dark Brethren Series, released in November 2013.

Her second book, a gay paranormal romance titled Darkness Falls, the second book in the Dark Brethren Series, will be released in 2014.

Featured Selection: Beautiful to Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M. D. Wiselka

Beautiful-to-Behold-The-Dark-Brethren-Series-Book-1Star-crossed lovers struggle to survive the German invasion of Poland at the opening of the Second World War.
Since childhood, twenty-four-year-old Owen Linet has been plagued by bad dreams, or rather the same bad dream, of a man called Hector, who claims to be dead. Hector possesses a strange black cloak on which is stitched a series of golden symbols—“Words” that Hector, their “bearer”, claims have miraculous powers when spoken. Hector gifts a Word to Owen—one that he claims can not only take life, but also restore it.

Twenty-two-year-old Polish partisan, Jacek Tarasek, is ordered to follow a suspicious foreigner, a British artist named Owen Linet, who closely resembles a man from Jacek’s past—someone Jacek would just as soon forget. Jacek’s worst fears are soon realized when he learns that Owen is not only his avowed enemy, but something infinitely worse—a devil in human form, with the power to take life with a mere word. When Jacek can’t bring himself to destroy the man with whom he is falling deeply in love, he is forced to confront his flawed understanding of good and evil.

Publisher’s Note: Beautiful to Behold is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.

Book Review: The author of ‘Beautiful to Behold’ writes under the nom de plume (pen name) M. D. Wiselka. This 728 page book takes place at the beginning of WWII, just as Poland is first invaded and is the first in a series.

Instead of a Table of Contents the author has chosen to use Sections (parts) with titles. Each section has title, location, with a date and occasionally the actual time and sometimes the season of the year. This book is actually a mixture of genres including fiction, historical reference, war, gay romance with some paranormal undertones.

Each section follows a well-defined narrative format with easy-to-follow conversations. There are many unique complex characters like British artist Owen Linet who has been tormented by bad dreams. The author’s extensive travel throughout Europe and research into descendants from Poland who later immigrated to the US in 1913 has greatly influenced the setting and story line.

This avid reader would not have typically picked up this book to read, but interestingly I found that the story line held my attention. Although this book comes with an adult content warning due to gay (male-male) romance and adult language I did not find it crude or offensive. The sex is intense, but not overly explicit and the romance is touching and realistic. The author tells a story and within this story weaves a romance.

Like with all my reviews I am careful not to spoil the read. However, I always quote one or two portions from the book that catches my attention in hopes to give the potential reader a sense of this author’s writing style. Early on in the book this line from a main character caught my attention. “Sooner or later, your past catches up with you. His was sitting three rows back from him in a darkened theater, sipping soda noisily through a paper-straw.”

Descriptive excerpt quote from the book: “Owen turned to look out the rain streaked window. Mother was still standing alone beneath the metal awning, her shawl drawn tightly about her hunched shoulders, a brave, if false, smile on her face, which made Owen if not quite regret his decision to go with Dad, once more question the wisdom of it. But she would have Ned and Lily to keep her company, and he could come home any time it pleased him, if he found Warsaw didn’t suit him, if his mother needed him. He lifted a hand to wave to her as the aero plane began to slowly taxi down the runway. Her face was a smear of warm light in the dreary rain, soon gone as the aero plane sped away. Dad looked at him. Owen smiled sympathetically. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

A thought on war excerpt from the book: “Jacek had never considered their odds in the light of dry statistics. Had someone told him that the German army was five times the size of the Polish army, that it had twenty times the number of planes, tanks and guns, he would have said, without hesitation, “but we will still win.” He would have said it with conviction, because he believed wars were not won with planes or tanks or guns, but with spirit. Our cause is a noble one. We are in the right. God is on our side, and with God’s help, we will triumph against the Germans, just as we did against the Russians twenty years ago. The keystone of his faith—the justness of his cause. We can’t lose, because we’re the good guys, and the good guys never lose.”

A taste of supernatural excerpt from the book: “Most bearers went the whole of their long existence without once attempting to merge themselves with another, mortal or brethren—and for good reason. Only the most skillful of bearers could do it without leaving some taint of himself in the spirit with which he merged, and, in turn, taking some part of that spirit’s nature as his own. Owen wouldn’t have ventured to attempt it, if he hadn’t had a good deal of practice. It was one “trick of the trade” that Hector, for reasons of his own, had invested a great deal of time in teaching to Owen.”

A snippet of romance excerpt from the book: Jacek let Owen guide him to the bed. He nestled against Owen’s chest, savoring the warmth of his naked body. His drooping eyelids sank shut, quite unwillingly, as he laid his head on Owen’s shoulder. This was something new, something unknown to him. His fantasy Owen, and all the other nameless lovers he’d taken in the darkness of his flat, had never wanted to be with him afterward. They had fled like evil spirits at the words of his prayer. Leave me, devils. I cast you out. I reject you and all your evil promises. “Feels so strange,” he murmured.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Beautiful to Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M.D. Wiselka for the author’s ability to tell the story with detail and human reflection. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on June 9, 2015.

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance/Historical/Gay & Lesbian

Amazon Author’s Page

Darkness Falls (The Dark Brethren Series Book 2) by M.D. Wiselka

Darkness-Falls-The-Dark-Brethren-Series-Book-2One hundred and fifty years have passed since his crossing, but the bearer, a man once known as Owen Adler, has yet to find a way of restoring himself to the life he lost and the man he loved. When his great lord and master, Seker, offers him his freedom in exchange for his aid in punishing a disobedient servant, Owen, believing he has nothing to lose and everything to gain, seizes the opportunity.

An Elder bearer called Melek, exiled a century before for an act of treachery, will soon return to his exalted place in Master Seker’s court. Before he does, Master Seker wishes Melek to be humbled before his brethren lords for his sin. To this end, Owen, assuming Melek’s guise, appears before the lords of the Hour a humble penitent. In the ninety days remaining him before his return to court, Owen, in Melek’s guise, vows to prove himself worthy of his office or return voluntarily to exile for another century.

To secure his freedom, Owen must survive the ninety days in Melek’s guise without being exposed a fraud. No easy task, now he can count, among his many enemies, the offended Lord Melek, a ruthless and vindictive monster who’ll stop at nothing to punish Owen and the ones he loves.

But the greatest danger of all may be Owen himself. To outwit the devilish fiend that would take his life, he must become a devil himself. Even if he succeeds in at last wresting his freedom from his cunning master, will Owen ever again be the man he was when last he held his beloved Jacek in his arms?

Publisher’s Note: Darkness Falls is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance/Gay & Lesbian

Amazon
Author’s Page

Beautiful To Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M.D. Wiselka

Beautiful-to-Behold-The-Dark-Brethren-Series-Book-1Star-crossed lovers struggle to survive the German invasion of Poland at the opening of the Second World War.

Since childhood, twenty-four-year-old Owen Linet has been plagued by bad dreams, or rather the same bad dream, of a man called Hector, who claims to be dead. Hector possesses a strange black cloak on which is stitched a series of golden symbols—“Words” that Hector, their “bearer”, claims have miraculous powers when spoken. Hector gifts a Word to Owen—one that he claims can not only take life, but also restore it.

Twenty-two-year-old Polish partisan, Jacek Tarasek, is ordered to follow a suspicious foreigner, a British artist named Owen Linet, who closely resembles a man from Jacek’s past—someone Jacek would just as soon forget. Jacek’s worst fears are soon realized when he learns that Owen is not only his avowed enemy, but something infinitely worse—a devil in human form, with the power to take life with a mere word. When Jacek can’t bring himself to destroy the man with whom he is falling deeply in love, he is forced to confront his flawed understanding of good and evil.

Publisher’s Note: Beautiful to Behold is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.

Book Review

The author of ‘Beautiful to Behold’ writes under the nom de plume (pen name) M.D. Wiselka. This 728 page book takes place at the beginning of WWII, just as Poland is first invaded and is the first in a series.

Instead of a Table of Contents the author has chosen to use Sections (parts) with titles. Each section has title, location, with a date and occasionally the actual time and sometimes the season of the year. This book is actually a mixture of genres including fiction, historical reference, war, gay romance with some paranormal undertones.

Each section follows a well-defined narrative format with easy-to-follow conversations. There are many unique complex characters like British artist Owen Linet who has been tormented by bad dreams. The author’s extensive travel throughout Europe and research into descendants from Poland who later immigrated to the US in 1913 has greatly influenced the setting and story line.

This avid reader would not have typically picked up this book to read, but interestingly I found that the story line held my attention. Although this book comes with an adult content warning due to gay (male-male) romance and adult language I did not find it crude or offensive. The sex is intense, but not overly explicit and the romance is touching and realistic. The author tells a story and within this story weaves a romance.

Like with all my reviews I am careful not to spoil the read. However, I always quote one or two portions from the book that catches my attention in hopes to give the potential reader a sense of this author’s writing style. Early on in the book this line from a main character caught my attention. “Sooner or later, your past catches up with you. His was sitting three rows back from him in a darkened theater, sipping soda noisily through a paper-straw.”

Descriptive excerpt quote from the book: “Owen turned to look out the rain streaked window. Mother was still standing alone beneath the metal awning, her shawl drawn tightly about her hunched shoulders, a brave, if false, smile on her face, which made Owen if not quite regret his decision to go with Dad, once more question the wisdom of it. But she would have Ned and Lily to keep her company, and he could come home any time it pleased him, if he found Warsaw didn’t suit him, if his mother needed him. He lifted a hand to wave to her as the aero plane began to slowly taxi down the runway. Her face was a smear of warm light in the dreary rain, soon gone as the aero plane sped away. Dad looked at him. Owen smiled sympathetically. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

A thought on war excerpt from the book: “Jacek had never considered their odds in the light of dry statistics. Had someone told him that the German army was five times the size of the Polish army, that it had twenty times the number of planes, tanks and guns, he would have said, without hesitation, “but we will still win.” He would have said it with conviction, because he believed wars were not won with planes or tanks or guns, but with spirit. Our cause is a noble one. We are in the right. God is on our side, and with God’s help, we will triumph against the Germans, just as we did against the Russians twenty years ago. The keystone of his faith—the justness of his cause. We can’t lose, because we’re the good guys, and the good guys never lose.”

A taste of supernatural excerpt from the book: “Most bearers went the whole of their long existence without once attempting to merge themselves with another, mortal or brethren—and for good reason. Only the most skillful of bearers could do it without leaving some taint of himself in the spirit with which he merged, and, in turn, taking some part of that spirit’s nature as his own. Owen wouldn’t have ventured to attempt it, if he hadn’t had a good deal of practice. It was one “trick of the trade” that Hector, for reasons of his own, had invested a great deal of time in teaching to Owen.”

A snippet of romance excerpt from the book: Jacek let Owen guide him to the bed. He nestled against Owen’s chest, savoring the warmth of his naked body. His drooping eyelids sank shut, quite unwillingly, as he laid his head on Owen’s shoulder. This was something new, something unknown to him. His fantasy Owen, and all the other nameless lovers he’d taken in the darkness of his flat, had never wanted to be with him afterward. They had fled like evil spirits at the words of his prayer. Leave me, devils. I cast you out. I reject you and all your evil promises. “Feels so strange,” he murmured.”

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Beautiful to Behold’ (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M.D. Wiselka for the author’s ability to tell the story with detail and human reflection. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on June 9, 2015.

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance/Historical/Gay & Lesbian

Kindle
Author’s Page

Author Ernesto Patino

Ning-PhotoErnesto Patino grew up in El Paso where he graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso. He received a Bachelor of Music degree and taught school for a couple of years before joining the FBI as a Special Agent. His career spanned 23 years, most of which were spent in South Florida.

Currently lives in Southern Arizona where he divides his time between writing and working as a private investigator. His hobbies include playing the Flamenco guitar and ballroom dancing. When he is not working on a case or writing a book, you can usually find him at a local dance studio, practicing his steps.

Author of four novels, In the Shadow Of A Stranger, Web Of Secrets, The Last Of The Good Guys and most recent, One Last Dance. “I believe that my purpose as a storyteller is simply to write a good novel that people will remember long after they’ve read the last page”. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization (ITW).

Featured Selection: One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino

One-Last-Dance-by-Ernesto-PatinoMarco Anissi comes out of a comma, days after his car slams into a light pole—the same pole he had crashed into exactly ten years ago, killing his fiancé, Susan. Coincidence? Not to him.

Her spirit has reached out to him in a way he would understand. If it had happened on a different date, in a different place he would have missed it entirely.

With the help of Susan’s mother, Marco learns that a woman named Julia Tinsley had received her daughter’s heart. She lives in Tucson where she works as a dance teacher. Obsessed with the idea of reconnecting with Susan’s spirit, Marco travels to Tucson. But he can’t just walk up to Julia and introduce himself. What would she think—a complete stranger wanting to meet her?

He signs up for lessons, hoping to develop a relationship. Now, Marco must make a decision: tell the truth about himself and risk losing Julia with whom he’s falling in love, or remain silent and enjoy his new life with her.

Book Review: A powerful story told by a master story teller. One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino is a love story that will draw you in and hold on to you until the last word leaves you yearning for more.

Do you believe in coincidence?

Marco Anissi is confronted with this question when he wakes up from a comma after a car accident. This is not just any accident. He hit the same light pole ten years ago that killed his beloved Susan.

Deeply believing that Susan is spiritually reaching out to him, Marco goes to get advice from Professor Rangan about arranging a meeting with the recipient who received Susan’s heart. What he hears from the Professor will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You will have to read the entire conversation, but at the end of their visit he told Marco that “Susan’s spirit will detect your presence.”

Marco learns with Susan’s Mother’s help that Julia Tinsley is the lady that received Susan’s heart. Marco travels from Miami Florida to Tucson Arizona in hopes of meeting her to see if he can get closer to Susan. Following the professor’s warning to take things slow because the recipient might not be very receptive to his needs, he signs up for dance lessons with her as his instructor. I quote what Marco writes in his journal.

“I met Julia for the first time today. Though she was not as I imagined her, I immediately felt a strong connection. Susan’s presence was palpable as Julia agreed to be my teacher despite the fact she only takes advanced students. I won’t build up my hopes just yet. Though it’ll be hard not to, considering that we’ll probably spend a lot of time together in the days and weeks to come. Meanwhile, I’ve got to find some kind of job, something with flexible hours that will allow me to see Julia as often as possible. I don’t want to drive a cab again unless I have no other choice. It would be great if I could work in a restaurant. It might even be fun. Tomorrow I’ll check out a few places, preferably close to my apartment and the Sonoran Ballroom Academy.”

How does Marco reach out to Julia as his instructor in a non-threatening way?

Should he tell Julia about Susan’s heart that is beating inside her?

Should he tell her about the second car accident and his belief that Susan’s Spirit has sent him to meet her?

With Marco’s feelings for Julia growing, he is confronted with the biggest dilemma ever. Should he tell Julia what he has just learned?

Can he risk this fragile friendship that might develop into something more and bring him even closer to Susan?

With well-developed characters and a story that will tug at your heart, One Last Dance is an unpredictable romance with uncommon circumstances. Ernesto Patino writes this love story from his heart and I especially enjoy love stories written by a man. With forty-four chapters, journal entries and letters this is a fiction that will leave a mark on your soul. You will close the final chapter wondering about the afterlife and the imprint of a donated organ on the recipient and beyond.

Theodocia McLean endorses One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino. This author has also published ‘In The Shadow Of A Stranger’, ‘Web Of Secrets’ and ‘The Last Of The Good Guys’ on Amazon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on June 25, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Amazon Author’s Page

One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino

One-Last-Dance-by-Ernesto-PatinoMarco Anissi comes out of a comma, days after his car slams into a light pole—the same pole he had crashed into exactly ten years ago, killing his fiancé, Susan. Coincidence? Not to him.

Her spirit has reached out to him in a way he would understand. If it had happened on a different date, in a different place he would have missed it entirely.

With the help of Susan’s mother, Marco learns that a woman named Julia Tinsley had received her daughter’s heart. She lives in Tucson where she works as a dance teacher. Obsessed with the idea of reconnecting with Susan’s spirit, Marco travels to Tucson. But he can’t just walk up to Julia and introduce himself. What would she think—a complete stranger wanting to meet her?

He signs up for lessons, hoping to develop a relationship. Now, Marco must make a decision: tell the truth about himself and risk losing Julia with whom he’s falling in love, or remain silent and enjoy his new life with her.

Book Review

A powerful story told by a master story teller. One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino is a love story that will draw you in and hold on to you until the last word leaves you yearning for more.

Do you believe in coincidence?

Marco Anissi is confronted with this question when he wakes up from a comma after a car accident. This is not just any accident. He hit the same light pole ten years ago that killed his beloved Susan.

Deeply believing that Susan is spiritually reaching out to him, Marco goes to get advice from Professor Rangan about arranging a meeting with the recipient who received Susan’s heart. What he hears from the Professor will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You will have to read the entire conversation, but at the end of their visit he told Marco that “Susan’s spirit will detect your presence.”

Marco learns with Susan’s Mother’s help that Julia Tinsley is the lady that received Susan’s heart. Marco travels from Miami Florida to Tucson Arizona in hopes of meeting her to see if he can get closer to Susan. Following the professor’s warning to take things slow because the recipient might not be very receptive to his needs, he signs up for dance lessons with her as his instructor. I quote what Marco writes in his journal.

“I met Julia for the first time today. Though she was not as I imagined her, I immediately felt a strong connection. Susan’s presence was palpable as Julia agreed to be my teacher despite the fact she only takes advanced students. I won’t build up my hopes just yet. Though it’ll be hard not to, considering that we’ll probably spend a lot of time together in the days and weeks to come. Meanwhile, I’ve got to find some kind of job, something with flexible hours that will allow me to see Julia as often as possible. I don’t want to drive a cab again unless I have no other choice. It would be great if I could work in a restaurant. It might even be fun. Tomorrow I’ll check out a few places, preferably close to my apartment and the Sonoran Ballroom Academy.”

How does Marco reach out to Julia as his instructor in a non-threatening way?

Should he tell Julia about Susan’s heart that is beating inside her?

Should he tell her about the second car accident and his belief that Susan’s Spirit has sent him to meet her?

With Marco’s feelings for Julia growing, he is confronted with the biggest dilemma ever. Should he tell Julia what he has just learned?

Can he risk this fragile friendship that might develop into something more and bring him even closer to Susan?

With well-developed characters and a story that will tug at your heart, One Last Dance is an unpredictable romance with uncommon circumstances. Ernesto Patino writes this love story from his heart and I especially enjoy love stories written by a man. With forty-four chapters, journal entries and letters this is a fiction that will leave a mark on your soul. You will close the final chapter wondering about the afterlife and the imprint of a donated organ on the recipient and beyond.

Theodocia McLean endorses One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino. This author has also published ‘In The Shadow Of A Stranger’, ‘Web Of Secrets’ and ‘The Last Of The Good Guys’ on Amazon. We reviewed this book from Kindle/PDF format. The review was completed on June 25, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Amazon
Author’s Page

Author Cindy Davis

Cindy-DavisCindy Davis is originally from the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts. In 1989, she and her family moved to the four season state of New Hampshire, amid the mountains, lakes and year-round views. She’s always enjoyed writing—even began her first novel at the age of 9. The book took place in Egypt and was titled “The Pyramid”. The experts say “Write what you know” and that’s probably why she never finished the story—until then, she’d never been further from home than Rhode Island!

When her second husband, Bob, encouraged her to go back to school, she enrolled in a Journalism & Short Story course. It’s been a whirlwind since then. She wrote her first novel Final Masquerade–republished as Take the Money and Run, and never looked back. Now, after 14 novels and a number of non-fictions, she’s still going strong. Cindy’s just completed the sixth in her Angie Deacon mystery series set in upstate NH—Stone Cold Sober will be out before Christmas.

In 1998 she began freelance editing. That endeavor has spiraled into a full time business. She works mostly with fiction, but a lot of non-fiction also. She recently edited a memoir of a retired mafia don and, at the same time, a memoir of a retired dominatrix. Talk about diversion! She’s edited for a number of publishing houses, but the freelance is her favorite because she can pick and choose the most interesting and unique stories to work on with the author.

July 1, Cindy took two life-altering trips. One to Italy where she soaked up the rays and the ambiance. Will a new book be forthcoming? Of course. The second lift-changing situation: she packed up and moved to Florida to soak up more rays and hike with her miniature Dachshund Montana.

Featured Selection: On The Hook: Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 by Cindy Davis

On-The-Hook-Smith-and-Westen-Mysteries-by-Cindy-DavisA Picasso painting, worth a hundred million dollars, disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. Literally-en route. The painting goes missing while the truck is moving. The painting is there, then it’s not. It’s gone, but it can’t be. Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case.

Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from her old nemesis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback. KJ pairs her with Westen’s total opposite: Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.

Ten percent of a hundred million is…well, it’s a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a rollercoaster ride to find one of the world’s most valuable paintings.

Book Review: Transporting hundred million dollar valuables by vehicle presents many challenges as Kendra Jean Valentine, agent for NH Property and Casualty Insurance well knows. Her job requires that she covers all bases. This job was no different from the others. She chose the trucking company, interviewed the two truck drivers and handpicked four security guards to drive in two separate vehicles, one in front and one behind the truck to assist her in driving from Chicago to Buffalo and then non-stop from Buffalo to Concord, New Hampshire.

Arriving at their destination Kendra is relieved to arrive and more than happy to turn Picasso’s The Old Guitarist painting over to the curator, Henderson McGee. The painting was secured and padlocked in a six foot cube wooden crate. Only Kendra and the curator in Chicago had the keys. When the crate in opened the painting is not inside and Kendra is on the hook. Her exact thought “How was it possible for so many things to go wrong for one person at the same time? She must’ve done something really awful in a past life.”

With strong characters and good dialog the reader is submerged into a fast paced mystery that is led by two untrained, inexperienced and incompatible women named Smith and Weston. Out of their league these two sleuths find themselves in many situations. I quote one from page # 103 in my copy.

“Smith and Westen started up the walk side-by-side. Westen twisted the antique glass doorknob and they went in, footsteps thudding on the bare hardwood floor, stained by at least fifty years of shoes and boots. The place smelled like a combination of pine cleaner which obviously hadn’t been used in the hallway and vanilla scented candle. They climbed the steep stairs. Westen tried not to touch the railing. She hadn’t brought any hand sanitizer.”

Well written mystery by Author Cindy Davis that will keep you guessing until the end.

Theodocia McLean endorses On The Hook (Volume 1) in the Smith and Westen Mysteries. After you read On The Hook, Just Smashing (Volume 2) and Two Million Reasons (Volume 3) are waiting for you to solve. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 29, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Dutch Rhudy

Dutch-2015Dutch Rhudy; referred to by his peers as the master of Mystery, Mayhem and Madness; resides in a quaint, east Tennessee post war cottage. Any similarity to serenity, abruptly ends right here. For this mysterious Author of Mischief is about to enter his study. Or should I say, make an attempt at entry.

With a quick two-step, hop-scotching around and over the wildlife feeding pans strewn along the pathway, his feet manage to find a surviving clear landing spot at the study door. He reaches for the doorknob, gives it a sharp push, then stands in the doorway carefully eyeing a profusion of every trinket imaginable, gathered to study and perhaps use as a cue for a scene in a novel; this Pandemonium Plus setting leaves not a square inch of surface or floor area.

Born in the mid-1940s; Rhudy actively interacted with his older relatives from the pre-1900s era. Each had a story to tell about the good old days, their pioneer ancestors, the many antics they pulled as children; including more serious matters, about crime escalating over the years and how they confronted these issues. Each family gathering added more unique stories of mirth and suspense which have found their way into Rhudy’s mental archives.

As a young man, Rhudy worked evenings as a disc-jockey and script writer. Once available for full-time work, he assisted a small advertising firm and worked as a ghost writer for a columnist. Through this association more work followed; with a request to ghost write several novels for teens and young adults, his career was under way and consumed over a decade before he took a break from writing.

Rhudy is getting on up in years; the nest now deserted, peace and quiet has returned to the Rhudy household. Retirement affords him the time to release under the Roaring Falls series, many colorful stories spanning over 150 years. Included within each story are glimpses into the history of his hometown, its activities and bring to life the many crimes from past to present.

Often called “That Mysterious Mystery Solving Mayor of Roaring Falls,” Rhudy claims he solves no crimes; he allows the unraveling of each mystery be conducted by the world-renowned Rumbleigh Investigations. There is much more about Roaring Falls than appears on the surface; if there is a secret to discover; a scandal, a sinister character, a hidden romance, or clue for solving a crime; some character will invariably let it slip out.

Featured Selection: A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy

Volume 1

A-Secret-In-Ash-Brooke-–-by-Dutch-RhudyA small town detective agreed to mentor a local newspaper reporter, who wished to enhance his sleuthing hobby. In the process of improving his observational skills, the reporter scrutinized various citizens torso and behavior. As his facial recognition abilities increased, he grew more aware of subtle similarities and differences.

The reporter soon became intrigued with an exceptional physical likeness between two young women. Each portray different cultures, and appear nothing alike in manner of dress, or in their separate lifestyles. The reporter, convinced they must be twins, maintained a constant vigil on his suspects.

He befriended one of these ladies to learn more about her. All attempts at justifying to himself she was a twin, proved futile. Subtle comments among her friends and family, confirmed she had only one sibling, an older brother.

These facts led our sleuth-hound reporter, to believe these two women were one in the same person.

Turning his attention from the proper lady, with her strict religious upbringing; to the one of questionable moral values. His observations only invited confusion, and generated unanswered questions. Each time his suspicions exposed another clue, a positive clarification negated the probability.

Their timetables overlapped, and one person cannot possibly be in two places at the same time. Or can they? Certain his assumptions are correct, our reporter continued his quest to learn the truth.

Log Line: How can she be in two places at the same time?

Tag Line: Never take anyone at face value.

Book Review: If you enjoy mystery, detective fiction with a little history thrown in, ‘A Secret In Ash Brooke’ should be your next read.

The small town setting depicts both the advantages and disadvantages of communities where people know each other intimately.

I especially liked the small mill town setting where men went off to war and some returned. Where women left the security of their homes (changing women’s roles forever) to help in the war efforts and hold their communities together.

Sometimes it takes another perspective to not only notice but unravel secrets that loom large but that are dismissed by ordinary life. Dutch Rhudy’s characters are well suited for the mystery that unfolds in Ash Brooke.

Theodocia McLean endorses A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy which is a great Cozy, Mystery & Detective, Historical Fiction. Reviewed date July 1, 2014.

Amazon Author’s Page

Author John J. Zelenski

John J. ZelenskiJohn J. Zelenski is an award-winning author who has appeared on television, radio, and has been featured in numerous print articles as well as receiving high-profile reviews from the popular community.

Having been inspired, in part, to write his first novel Walker’s Vale, by his own paranormal experiences as a child, John has developed a keen understanding of the supernatural.

His second novel and prequel to Walker’s Vale – The Journal of Ezekiel Walker – continues with the saga of Walker’s Vale, with a future third installment presently in the works.

Walker’s Vale, the film will be released through Allegentsia Productions with filming scheduled to begin sometime in 2015.

John, along with his wife and two children, love to watch the seasons change in beautiful Northeast Pennsylvania.

Featured Selection: Walker’s Vale by John J. Zelenski

James Cooper moved his family to Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania, in search of the ideal life. What he got was the just opposite. As this small town’s eerie history is revealed and repeated, it’s clear the devil is in the details and he’s waiting for the Cooper’s young daughter. When the FBI come knocking at his door, James quickly realizes that his ideal life may come with a steeper price than he thought. This story of faith, deception, and horror will captivate readers as one man fights for his family’s safety and embarks on a journey toward redemption in this suspenseful supernatural thriller.

Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Supernatural

Amazon Author’s Page

Author John W. Howell

John-W.-HowellJohn’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business.

John writes thriller fiction novels and has a number of short stories published in various on-line magazines. One of his short stories has been recognized by Writers Digest in the Popular Fiction Writing contest.

His novel, My GRL published by Martin Sisters Publishing and is the first of many exciting adventures of the book’s central character John J. Cannon.

The second, His Revenge published by Keewaydin Lane Books is now available in Paperback and Kindle formats.

The third book in the John Cannon trilogy Our Justice launched in September 2016 and is also published by Keewaydin Lane Books.

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

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Featured Selection: Our Justice (John Cannon Trilogy Book Three) by John W. Howell

Our-Justice-by-John-W.-HowellThe terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs has figured out a plan to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.

The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

Book Review: For all you John Cannon followers ‘Our Justice’ (trilogy book three in the series) is finally here.

To refresh your memory, ‘My GRL’ is book one in the series. Like a lot of business men who tolls in an office setting day in and day out John J. Cannon takes a leave of absence from his firm, buys a boat and names her “My GRL”. Life was looking up until he wakes up in the hospital and finds out that he was found unconscious beside the woman who sold him the boat. If you have read this book you know where the story goes, if not, you need to read book one to see how the purchase of this boat brings John into the dangerous world of terrorism, counter-terrorism and politics that will either bring out the best or the worst in him.

Book Two of this thriller trilogy is titled ‘His Revenge’ for a reason, but revenge my not be what John imagines. In fact, he unwittingly becomes an accomplice in a plan to attack the credibility of the US President and topple the worldwide oil industry. How will John get out of this without becoming a traitor to his country and endangering thousands of lives?

‘Our Justice’ is here, and now you must find out if justice is as sweet as revenge. Let me start with a quote from Chapter three to catch you up and whet your appetite.

The two agents explain something about being called off the case. Ned asks them what they’re doing here, and they tell him they’re sorry for the way things turned out. We all shake hands, and they go away.

Ned suggests we go to dinner, and we do. We have a little discussion about the agents, and I think Ned feels it is good riddance. Ned and I finish dinner, and he drops me off at my house again. He wonders if he should come inside to check the house before he leaves. I offer to buy him a beer if he’s so inclined. He smiles, “You know, a nice cold beer might be just the thing to top this day. Also, I’m going to have an officer come over here tonight.”

I don’t say anything about the officer and just nod. We get out of the SUV and start up the driveway. I’m not sure if I see something at the corner of the house or not. “Ned, take a look at the corner of the house to the right.”

He whispers, “Yeah, someone’s there. Get down.”

As I move to the ground, flashes come from the dark corner. Ned grunts like someone just hit him in the stomach, and then falls to the ground and rolls over close to me. “Take my gun and start shooting.” He reaches out, and I can see his gun and also a lot of blood.

I take the gun from his sticky hand and fire toward the corner of the house. A dull moan tells me that I’ve likely hit something other than the building. I get up and hold Ned’s gun out in front of me, as I’ve seen the police do on TV. After a quick move to my left, I run toward the corner of the house, only closer to the bushes in the front. I don’t want to be a big target while I make my approach toward the gunman. When I reach the corner, I make out an arm with a gun in the hand. Though the arm is outstretched on the ground, it could be a trap, so I step on the wrist. When I do, the hand opens, and the gun makes no sound when it slips to the ground. With the muzzle of Ned’s gun at the person’s head, I say a line I’ve heard before, “One move and you are a dead man.”

Upon looking closer, I can say that my line was a little redundant. I haven’t seen too many dead men in my life, but this guy looks dead to me. Still wary, I pick up the guy’s gun and sprint back to Ned. When I get there, Ned is still on the ground. “Ned, can you hear me?”

“Call 911. I need to get to a hospital.” “Should I drive you?”

“No. No offense, but we both need to stay alive.”

I dial 911 and speak to the dispatcher. I tell them where we are and that the chief has been shot. The dispatcher sounds upset and lets me know that EMS and a car are on the way. “Please, stay on the line, Mr. Cannon. I need you to give me some idea of Chief Tranes’ condition.”

I assure the dispatcher that I don’t intend to hang up. I sit on the driveway and look Ned over. He seems to be bleeding a little less, which I take as a good sign. “Ned, the dispatcher wants to know about your condition.”

“Uh, tell her I’ve been better, but it’s not too serious.” He pauses. “And, John, try to make it believable. The dispatcher is my wife, Geneen.”

“Oh my God. I had no idea.”

“Tell her.”

“Mrs. Tranes? I just spoke to your husband, and he told me to tell you that he’s been better, but it’s not serious.”

“I heard him, Mr. Cannon. Please, don’t let Ned die. He is the love of my life, and although he’s one tough son of a bitch, this is just the kind of nightmare I’ve had for years. Please, promise me you won’t let him die.”

I invite everyone to read on to get the answers that both you and John Cannon need. This action, mystery, suspense thriller rivals that of Jack Bower (lead protagonist of the Fox television series 24) and will leave you waiting for John W. Howell’s next book titled ‘The Circumstances of Childhood’ scheduled to be released mid-year 2017.

Theodocia McLean endorses Our Justice (John Cannon Trilogy Book Three) by John W. Howell. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 24, 2016.

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Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Peter Darley

Hold On-Season 1 (Action Thriller) by Peter Darley

Amazon # 1 Best Selling Trilogy

Corporate secretary, Belinda Reese, finds herself trapped in an inferno when her office building is attacked by apparent terrorists. However, she is rescued by mysterious interloper, Brandon Drake, an AWOL soldier. Using an advanced, experimental aircraft, he flees with her to his hidden cabin in the mountains of Aspen. There she learns his story – he’s a man on a mission to thwart a corrupt, government conspiracy.

Brandon and Belinda’s feelings for one another soon deepen. When they attempt to flee from America, they discover that now, Belinda too, has become a target of the conspiracy. A nightmare is unleashed upon them as the police, assassins, and government agencies drive them into relentless perils. Brandon’s combat training and stolen weaponry are challenged to the limit in the face of overwhelming odds; a devastating, reality-shaking discovery further hampering his plight.

Shocking twists and cliffhangers take the two lovers on a journey through the first installment in this high-tech action, romantic thriller series.

Book Review: Author Peter Darley takes an amazing approach to his ‘Hold On’ Romantic Suspense Thriller Series. ‘Hold On’ is book one in the adult series and it is FREE to all readers who crave action, mystery, conspiracies, romance, science fiction and heart stopping thrills.

The author’s approach may be unorthodox, but it might be genius because after reading ‘Hold On’ I am convinced that you will want to purchase the next books in his trilogy.

Forty seven intense chapters introduce you to his two main characters Brandon (an AWOL soldier) and Belinda Reese (a corporate secretary for Carringby Enterprises). This book is set up in an easy to follow format with chapters that remind me of my favorite TV series episodes. I guess this is why the author lists his books as Season 1, 2, 3, etc. Well-developed characters along with a fast paced persuasive story line will keep you turning the page.

I personally love thrillers! My heart races and my mind turns to my favorite TV Heroes Steven Seagal and Bruce Willis as I find myself searching for clues that will allow me to accept Brandon Drake as the new empowered hero that brings his own experience, skills and gismos into a world filled with conspiracy and terrorism.

Let’s begin as Brandon Drake as he sits on the edge of his sofa. His thoughts beg him to stay in the comfort of this room where it is safe. Heroes never play it safe now do they?

The sign of a skilled action thriller writer is the ability to draw the reader into the action while offering a softer, more romantic interlude when action creates an adrenalin rush, death that may or may not be cheated, and an afterglow of pure animal attraction. Let me tease you with this quote: “The aircraft landed outside a wooden cabin deep within the snow-covered mountains. Belinda’s safety harness automatically detached itself and retracted into the seat. The side door slid upward, and she noticed they’d landed directly against the porch of the cabin. “I didn’t want you to be knee-deep in snow,” he said. Shaking, she reached out and eased herself onto the porch. “It’s dryer this way.” The stranger climbed across the passenger’s side to join her. She assumed he was trying to put her at ease by acting nonchalant. He walked across the porch and inserted a key into the cabin door. Belinda considered the sight somewhat bizarre—a tall, muscular man in black combat fatigues, and a sleek helmet with a reflective visor, acting so normal. She was instantly drawn to the vision before her. The moonlight shone down onto a valley of snow, creating a calming, hypnotic, purple-blue effect. It was a contender for the most beautiful sight she had ever seen, and such a dramatic contrast to that which had led her to it. He pushed the door open and stepped inside. “You’d better come in or you’re gonna freeze.” She turned around and cautiously followed him into the living room. Nothing about the interior registered with her.”

Are they safe in the Cabin? Will Belinda let her guard down? Is there more to Brandon than first impressions? Can life ever be normal again? Can you define normal?

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Hold On: Season 1 by Peter Darley. Careful, once read, you might just purchase Go: Hold On Season 2, Run: Hold On Season 3 and Hold On: Tomorrow (A Futuristic Action Thriller). I read and reviewed this book from Kindle. This review was completed on July 26, 2017.

Genre:  Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Conspiracies, Romance, Science Fiction

Hold On: Season 1 is permanently free. We appreciate your review in return.

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Go: Hold On Season 2 (Action Thriller) by Peter Darley

Season Two in the Hold On! Trilogy – (An Action Thriller Series)

Brandon Drake has escaped from Leavenworth, aided by a new player who has entered the game. Tyler Faraday is the heir to an empire—and Brandon’s long-lost brother.

Brandon is finally reunited with his lover, Belinda, but he is no longer the man she once knew. Haunted by memories of a life that never happened, he succumbs to the lure of alcohol.

They head for Nevada to find Brandon and Tyler’s sister, Emily; a nun who has recently absconded from her convent. However, they soon discover Emily has been kidnapped by a human trafficking kingpin called Sapphire.

Their mission to rescue Emily propels them headlong into conflicts with road hijackers, the police, the army, a rogue faction of Homeland Security, and merciless killers, with Brandon’s alcohol dependency placing them in further jeopardy.

The most explosive action in the series so far unfolds, as they search for the only one alive who knows Sapphire’s location—a former captive known only as Siren.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Romance

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Run: Hold On Season 3 (Action Thriller) by Peter Darley

Season Three in the Hold On! Trilogy – (An Action Thriller Series).

The world believes Brandon Drake is dead, but he awakens in a secret government complex believing it to be 2012. The last four years of his life have been erased from his conscious mind. Only his true, malevolent self, The Scorpion, remains.

He soon finds himself dispatched on an assassination mission, but the mission fails as he is struck down by a debilitating pain in his head.

Before long, he discovers he’s been duped, and that four years have passed since his last memory. A bloodbath ensues as he escapes from the complex and sets out to find the truth about his missing years. He learns of a woman named Belinda Reese and associates her with his terrible pain. To be strong enough to destroy those who betrayed him, he sets out to kill Belinda, leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake.

However, a mysterious figure wearing a black helmet appears to him in the darkness. He is the true cause of Drake’s pain: an adversary who identifies himself only—as The Interceptor.

Past, present, and future collide as the Hold On! Trilogy reaches its jaw-dropping conclusion.

CAUTION: This entry contains violent and adult themes.

Genre:  Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, War & Military

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The Hold On: Three Book Trilogy Set (Action Thriller) by Peter Darley

The Amazon # 1 Bestselling Action Thriller Series

Hold On: Season 1

When corporate secretary, Belinda Reese, is rescued from an inferno by A.W.O.L. soldier, Brandon Drake, her life changes in a heartbeat. As their relationship grows, they find themselves running for their lives from a corrupt, governmental conspiracy. A nightmare is unleashed upon them as the police, assassins, and government agencies drive them into relentless perils. Brandon’s combat training and stolen weaponry are challenged to the limit in the face of overwhelming odds, with a devastating, reality-shaking discovery further hampering his plight.

Shocking twists and cliffhangers take the two lovers on a journey through the first installment in this high-tech action, romantic thriller series.

Go: Hold On Season 2

Brandon Drake has escaped from Leavenworth, aided by a new player who has entered the game. Tyler Faraday is the heir to an empire—and Brandon’s long-lost brother.

Brandon is finally reunited with his lover, Belinda, but he is no longer the man she once knew. Haunted by memories of a life that never happened, he succumbs to the lure of alcohol.

They head for Nevada to find Brandon and Tyler’s sister, Emily; a nun who has recently absconded from her convent. However, they soon discover Emily has been kidnapped by a human trafficking kingpin called Sapphire.

Their mission to rescue Emily propels them headlong into conflicts with road hijackers, the police, the army, a rogue faction of Homeland Security, and merciless killers, with Brandon’s alcohol dependency placing them in further jeopardy.

The most explosive action in the series so far unfolds, as they search for the only one alive who knows Sapphire’s location—a former captive known only as Siren.

Run: Hold On Season 3

Brandon Drake is believed to be dead, but he awakens in a secret government complex, with the last four years of his life erased from his conscious mind. Only his true, malevolent self, The Scorpion, remains.

He is dispatched on an assassination mission, but the mission fails as he is struck down by a debilitating pain in his head.

Before long, he discovers he’s been duped, and a bloodbath ensues when he escapes from the complex. He learns of a woman named Belinda Reese and associates her with his terrible pain. To be strong enough to destroy those who betrayed him, he sets out to kill Belinda, leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake.

However, a mysterious figure, who appears to him in the darkness wearing a black helmet, is the true cause of his pain: an adversary who identifies himself only—as The Interceptor.

Past, present, and future collide as the Hold On! Trilogy reaches its jaw-dropping conclusion.

CAUTION: This series sometimes contains violent and adult scenes, and the occasional use of profanity.

Genre:  Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense

Kindle

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Hold On: Tomorrow (A Futuristic Action Thriller) by Peter Darley

A Futuristic Action Thriller – Hold On! Returns For One, Stand-Alone, Epic Event.

The year is 2042. Twenty-six-years after the events in the Hold On! Trilogy, devastating earthquakes and tsunamis are striking in the most unlikely locations. Scientists have no explanation for the phenomenon.

Brandon Drake, Jr., (B.J.) a rookie government agent, courageously ‘borrows’ the INT-Nine, an advanced prototype suit of armor in order to rescue his childhood sweetheart, Heather Addison. Their lives change forever as B.J. becomes the new Interceptor. However, tragedy strikes when the armor fails during a rescue.

While the world adores him, B.J is forced to become a fugitive when Congress orders Project: Interceptor closed down. His life is complicated further by his mother’s belief that he isn’t just his father’s son – but his father reborn.

With The Interceptor on the run, new bonds are made and new heroes arise. To save the world from annihilation, they must join forces to discover the meaning of the mysterious abbreviation – C.O.T.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Superheroes, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Romance

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Romantic Suspense Thriller Author Peter Darley

Peter Darley (P.D. to his friends) is a British novelist, whose professional history is in show business.

He is a graduate of the Birmingham School of Speech and Dramatic Art, and he studied television drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA.)

His television credits include guest-starring roles is UK productions such as BBC’s Crime Ltd, Stanley’s Dragon for ITV, The Bill, and Sky One’s Dream Team, and numerous TV commercials. He has also worked as a model, presenter, and voice-over artiste for ten years, and has acted as an agent for several variety acts.

His lifelong admiration of heroes, and love of roller-coaster-style thrills have been a huge influence on his writings.

He is a keen athlete and lives in rural England.

Peter loves to hear from his readers. You can contact him through his Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PDAuthor

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Central England? I’m not entirely sure ‘proud’ is the right word. I am exhilarated that writing has enabled me to touch the lives of so many people around the world, who have, in turn, touched mine so profoundly.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? It was always in me, ever since I was a child. I have an innate creative flair, which has led me into numerous occupations in entertainment – from stage and television actor and presenter, to magician, to cabaret, and currently – novelist.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? No. I am the Black Sheep of my family, and I have very little in common with any of them in terms of interests and vocational pursuits. I am a maverick who has always done his own thing.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In an attempt to do something ‘normal’, I enrolled in law school and graduated with honors in 2007. By that time, I realized becoming a lawyer was not for me. I’d spent four years writing about some extremely tedious, boring stuff, and it gave me a desire to write something that was fun. My innate writing/creative flair resurfaced, and the rest is history.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I’m caught between two on this one. I am heartened by the people I have bonded with, helped, and who have helped me through our respective, tumultuous journeys into the publishing world. There is also the fact that my last book, Hold On! – Tomorrow, became the first book in history to come with its own official theme song, which was featured on a rock album. The people responsible for this were some of my musical heroes. They have since become some of my closest friends, with whom I am now entering into musical ventures.

How many published books do you have? Four individual titles, one collected Trilogy boxed set, and a novelette.

Hold On-Season 1
Go: Hold On Season 2
Run: Hold On Season 3
The Hold On: Three Book Trilogy Set
Hold On: Tomorrow (A Futuristic Action Thriller)

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? It was at about the same time.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I would describe my genre as ‘romantic suspense thriller’ and that’s probably because I am greedy. I want it all under one roof.

My complete genre description for Hold On! is – high-tech action, romantic suspense thriller. ‘Thriller’ is its primary genre tag. While retaining a storyline uniquely its own, the series has a similar tempo or ‘feel’ to the TV shows Prison Break and 24. For this reason, I chose to adopt the unorthodox ‘hypothetical TV series’ approach by labeling the instalments as ‘seasons’ rather than ‘books’ or ‘parts’.  I also have the sci-fi tag on the Trilogy, but it actually isn’t sci-fi. The wondrous gadgets and equipment described in the Trilogy are actually conducive with the capabilities of current technology. However, the fourth book, Hold On! – Tomorrow, takes place in the year 2042, and is most definitely sci-fi. Whether it still will be when 2042 comes around remains to be seen.

I have always been drawn to movies and TV shows of an action-adventure or superheroic nature. I used this in the Hold On! series as a means of conveying myself and my feelings to the world in an ironic and interesting way. The Hold On! series – is who I am.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I’d just finished four years in law school, which involved endless writing about some extremely tedious subjects, and I was overcome with a desire to write something exciting for a change.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided?

I was picked up four times before I was published. An agent who was interested in Hold On! Encouraged me to continue seeking a publisher because it would have been some time before she got around to it. I found a publisher in the meantime, but they folded one week before Hold On! Was due to go to press. I went back to the literary agent by which time she had retired. I was then tentatively picked up by Fifty Shades of Grey publisher, Writers Coffee Shop, and we worked together on the book for four months. They then went silent, ignoring all of my emails, and with absolutely no explanation.

Generally speaking, communication between parties is virtually non-existent in the publishing world, across the board. This can be fatal to many projects, especially when it comes to promotion. I see no way avoiding this, or any means by which I would have avoided the mishaps that befell me on the way to publication. There are things that happen in life that we simply have no control over.”

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Even when I have a clear plan for a chapter, some of the coolest, hitherto-unknown ideas come to me while I’m actually writing it.

I have found that rushing through a manuscript will not yield the best results. Giving myself time for those golden ideas just ‘pop in there’ produces the most hair-raising story-lines. Let the process breathe. I can’t sit down and rationally plan a storyline. That usually leads to some fairly boring and sterile ideas because I’m using the intellectual/academic side of my brain rather than the creative. It’s the ideas that involuntarily pop into my head that get the finest reactions.

Draft out ideas as they come into your head. Sitting down and plotting – calculating – the next move usually yields filler material, and can come across as contrived. Often, authors draft out a story as they originally think it’s going to be. By the time they’ve finished, it will contain vast differences from their original vision, and most likely have a completely different ending.

Transition is vital in order to string everything together. But the golden nugget ideas are the ones that just ‘pop in there’. Give the story time to breathe and let it come to you rather than you go to ‘it’. The best ideas write themselves.

Who is your favorite author and why? I don’t have a specific favorite author per se. The best are probably not the ones that I would enjoy – like the classics. I categorize them as ‘school work.’ I am a bit of a renegade in the writing world, in that respect, but I make no apologies.

If backed into a corner I would probably say my favorite author is Stephen King, although having arisen from a film background, my greatest creative influence is legendary Hollywood writer/director/producer, Kenneth Johnson. He is the master of making the incredible credible, and it blows my mind that he actually knows of my existence.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I hope that anybody who reads Hold On! Enjoys it, and that it captures their imagination. I would also like to convey my very best wishes to everybody reading this, and I hope that all of my brother and sister writers achieve the success that they all surely deserve.

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Author Tory Allyn

Tory-Allyn2Tory Allyn currently resides in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with his brother and two sisters, who drove him into becoming the zany person he is today.

As a child, he made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started him on the path to writing.

Today, his nephew, lovingly referred to as ‘The Monster Child’, is his partner in crime.

Most days, you will see them playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool or snowboarding down a popular mountainside.

Featured Selection: Alter Ego (The Davenport Decrees Book 1) by Tory Allyn

ALTER-EGO-by-Tory-AllynAt Granite’s Mill, deep in the backwoods of Virginia, a body is discovered with unusual physical characteristics. By morning, the media erupts over a headline in a local newspaper, ‘The Son of Virginia’s Governor is Missing’.

FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is handed the case. Realizing he’ll have to go outside the brethren, Jack marshals the help of an old friend, Raymond Davenport, who hung a sign on a renovated brownstone in Washington, DC, with the verbiage: Davenport Detective Agency.

To assist him, he hired three former police officers from various precincts, who like himself, blew the whistle on dirty cops only to deal with the fervent hostility from the brotherhood.

With the investigation under way, the detectives stumble upon a group of men known as M.A.G.O.C., who’re muddled in a governmental conspiracy involving a top-ranking official at the White House.

With their many resources, they dig further and unearth Prescott Chemicals. Years earlier, the owner and his lead chemist had stolen an elixir from the Mayapo natives of the Amazon rainforest and have transformed it into a formula to be used in a congressional scheme.

When the detectives accidently come into contact with the new formulation, something undesirable happens to one of them, altering his life forever.

Book Review: Dead bodies are just a fact of life for law enforcement and the FBI, but the body found in the woods in Rockfort, Virginia would make the hair on the back of the neck stand up for the seasoned professional.

With mounting terrorism against soft targets all over the US and agencies stretched to their limits, FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is put in charge of the Rockfort case because a total of three bodies have been found and the Governor of Virginia has reported his son missing.

The mystery surrounding these deaths are unique because all three victims were injected with a chemical in the carotid artery. “Their chemistry screens, blood cultures, toxicity tests and complete blood counts were anarchic and their chromosomes had been displaced. There were also disorganized levels of hormones. However, my most crucial finding was the pineal gland”. It is in the coroner’s hand to determine exactly what they were injected with and why.

Jack enlists the help of his friend who owns the Davenport Detective Agency and the investigation leads to Prescott Chemicals and a low level militia group called M.A.G.O.C. which stands for Men Against Government Overtaking Control. The question remains, is the general public at risk?

Well-developed characters, good dialog, unusual mystery, humor and a little romance keeps the reader focused. ‘Alter Ego’ is Author Tory Allyn’s debut novel. According to the author ‘Alter Boys’ will be out August 15, 2016, ‘Altered State’ will come out December 15, 2016 and ‘Alter Bound’ will end the series on April 15, 2017.

Theodocia McLean endorses Alter Ego (The Davenport Decrees Book 1) by Tory Allyn. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on May 21, 2016.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Someone To Watch Over Me by Fran Connor

Someone-To-Watch-Over-Me-by-Fran-ConnorIf you love romantic thrillers with a strong female lead who refuses to be a victim, you’ll find this novel hits the mark. In 1930s Spain, Alicia has it all; youth, beauty, brains and wealthy parents in the sherry business.

It all comes crashing down when she kills the son of the corrupt local police chief for trying to rape her. Knowing she would not get a fair hearing, she dumps the body in a lake. Then the Civil War breaks out, her parents are murdered and the police chief discovers who killed his son. Alicia goes on the run and finds refuge with a gentle piano player in the Sierra Nevada where they try to stay out of the war.

But the war comes to them.

This is an epic story of love, survival against the odds and the endurance of the human spirit.

Genre: Romance, Suspense

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Elbourne House: Volume Two by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Two-by-Fran-ConnorRetired pirate Daniel Carver successfully negotiates the purchase of Elbourne House.

After surviving an attempt on his life by the hired guns of his nemesis Charles Withington, Daniel sets out to return Elbourne House and it’s grounds to past splendor.

Daniel’s life is soon complicated by another dilemma. He must sort out his feelings between two women determined to win his affections.

Caroline Baverstoke, a beautiful but cunning socialite betrothed to Withington, or Charlotte Abercrombie, the daughter of the previous owner of Elbourne House.

Volume 2 details the tug of war these two women play with his heart, culminating in the unexpected result to a deadly showdown at dawn.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

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Elbourne House: Volume One by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-One-by-Fran-ConnorEx-pirate, Daniel Carver returns home to the East Hampshire area of England intent on living a peaceable life with his stolen fortune. Daniel quickly finds himself in the middle of a fierce battle for Elbourne House with Charles Withington, the money hungry scoundrel attempting to steal Elbourne House from the current owners – the Abercrombie family.

The Elbourne House series follows the stories of the families in and around Elbourne House from the mid – 17th century to current day.

Packed with drama, romance, and passion, Elbourne House will keep readers enthralled with the many twists and turns the characters experience through their lives.

Genre: Fiction, Drama, Romance

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Elbourne House: Volume Three by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Three-by-Fran-ConnorVolume 3 of Elbourne House finds Daniel and Charlotte Carver juggling a growing family, managing their stature as leaders in the community, and staying neutral in war torn England in the late 17th century.

The story follows Daniel’s attempts to provide for the members of his community and estate, as well as protecting himself and others from the corrupt and power hungry Withington.

The plot takes readers through their encounters with highwaymen, soldiers, and even General Cornwall himself.

Volume 3 finishes the tale of Daniel and Charlotte Carver, but begins a new tale with the journey of Edward Carver, Daniel and Charlotte’s great great grandson who is getting ready to sail to America to join the fight in the War of Independence.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

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Elbourne House: Volume Four by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Four-by-Fran-ConnorA swashbuckling adventure and love story as young Edward Carver leaves Elbourne to fight for King George in the American War of Independence.

He grows up fast in the thick of battle. When he saves an escaped young slave woman from trackers, it sets him on a collision course with the enemy and some on his own side.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

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Elbourne House: Volume Seven by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Seven-by-Fran-ConnorWhen the British evacuate Northern Spain after the Battle of La Corunna.

Lt Alexander Carver RN and Lady Emelia are left behind enemy lines and must cross hostile French occupied territory to safety in Portugal.

They meet Spanish guerrillas and a fiery Spanish beauty.

Alexander finds himself the prize in a battle of wits between the two women.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

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Author Linda Bunker

Linda-Bunker

Linda Bunker was born in 1941 in Waterbury, Connecticut. At the age of sixteen she became aware she was a Lesbian and spent the next fifty-eight years with her life partner.

She graduated from Katherine Gibbs School in New York City in 1959 and for the next several years worked as an executive secretary. In 1973 she partnered with three other people, one of which was her Lesbian partner, and opened their own business – a bridal shop.

After enjoying a prosperous thirty-four years in business, she and her partner retired to Florida, returning to Connecticut after five years and settling in a fifty-five and over adult community in Prospect, Connecticut.

Writing began as a recreation for her at age seventy, but shortly thereafter became a passion. Her first book, YOUR STORY MATTERS (TELL IT) documents her life as a Lesbian assimilating into mainstream while in actuality living in a cocoon. Once she started writing the story, she could not stop. The book was self-published and made available at Amazon and Bella Books. Reviews were exemplary and prodded her to write her next book – CLAUDIA AND ESTELLE (THE EXTRAORDINARY GAY COUPLE). This book is a compilation of short stories covering humorously embellished situations she and her then eighty year old partner experienced since retiring. Each story is illustrated with comical sketches of the two old “hens.” Again the book was self-published and made available on Amazon and Bella Books.

Getting all the “serious stuff” out of the way, she reflected on the days spent in the bridal shop. During that time, a niece was seriously injured in an automobile accident. She made up stories about mice living in the bridal shop, and sent daily excerpts in letter form to the little girl. At age seventy-four she reflected on these letters and wrote her third book, MICE TAILS…Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding. The book poses the question, if mice can do it, why can’t humans and is geared to readers of all ages. Also available on Amazon, the book is positioned for more editions.

However, at this time the writer finds herself alone, after losing her partner after a long, heartbreaking illness. She has a burning desire to write the sequel to YOUR STORY MATTERS….perhaps using the title IS MY STORY OVER. She is very sad and is praying for a rainbow ending before she starts.

Featured Selection: Mice Tales: Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker

Mice-Tales-Persevering-Possibilities-and-Succeeding-Mice-Tails-Volume-1-by-Linda-BunkerMICE TALES is a story of a diverse group of mice who experience life’s ups, downs and all-arounds, just as humans.

They adopt a motto of persevering possibilities, brilliantly achieving an impossible goal, which in turn results in a happy ending for all.

The story, while comical, accentuates deep acceptance of all earth’s species, nationalities, religious or non-religious beliefs, lineage and lifestyles. The Golden Rule works –
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

How very simple. If mice can do it, why can’t humans?

Kelly Morgan (Illustrator)

Book Review: An endearing story with life lessons involving a cast a characters made up of a group of mice who persevere through challenges, never sway from their core values and convictions, while achieving a task so grand that most would have gone away in defeat.

Special mention for Kelly Morgan who did a beautiful job on the book cover and the illustrations throughout the book.

Author Linda Bunker is a great story teller who weaves her own life philosophies into her stories and this is a great beginning to this new series. I found the book’s introduction very interesting with forty-four well written chapters that keep the reader engaged in the life of this unique group of mice living in the mall shops. Two live in the Deli, one in the Tuxedo Shop, three in the Bridal Shop and two in the Yarn Shop. Aishe Vadoma is the proprietor of the yarn shop and her life is about to change in more ways than one.

I invite you to read this uplifting story in a day and time when there is more negative thrown at us then most of us can handle in a day. As a grandmother of two I recommend this book for Tweens (ages 10-14), Young Adults (ages 15-21) and all adults of all ages who are young at heart. We are never too old to listen, learn, accept one another and follow ‘The Golden Rule’. I highly recommend for teens and adult book clubs where discussion is encouraged.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Mice Tales- Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker. This is the first book in her ‘Mice Tails’ series and I hope it won’t be long until the next book is available. Available in both print and Kindle, I purchased this book from a Kindle format and this review was completed on 01/21/2017. I have also have the privileged to have read Linda Bunker’s dual set of books titled ‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’.

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult (ages 15 -21) , Tweens (ages 10-14), Adults (Young At Heart)

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Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor

Her-Man-in-Havana-by-Fran-Connor-New-CoverIf you love action, adventure and thrillers that also make you smile, this is the one for you.

When Harry arrives in Havana on business he’s soon way out of his depth as he’s drawn into a scam with stolen rum, gangsters, secret police and the beautiful Maria.

This ordinary guy must trawl his hidden depths to find the courage that will keep him alive and out of prison.

Book Review

From the time Harry walked into the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba his routine business trip would be anything but routine. After all, this is Havana which has a mystique unlike any place on earth.

It doesn’t take Harry long to scope out the most beautiful woman on the island and his heart among other things beats with excitement as she notices him and strolls over to him. There isn’t a man on earth that doesn’t dream of classy women like Maria. Harry is mesmerized by her deep brown eyes that look into his soul.

Harry soon discovers that his British accent and inability to communicate well in this multicultural community leaves him at the mercy (smiling) of his new found friend Maria who speaks English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Russian. With serious business to conduct as an importer, Harry is the luckiest man on earth to have Maria by his side as guide and interpreter. However, business is not as he imagined it to be in Cuba and soon Harry is in too deep.

I would like to share you a quote to show you the author’s writing style and the character’s mind-set.

“There was Neanderthal and one of the grey-suited guys. He held a gun against me, inside a newspaper.

I looked at the line of people in the queue ahead waiting to check in for my flight. Could I do anything? Could I make a scene? These guys wouldn’t shoot me here in broad daylight with so many witnesses. Or would they? Did I have the bottle to find out?

I answered my own question when I walked submissively in the direction the gun was pushing me: away from my ride home. Away from safety and into God only knows what end. In my mind I went through my last will and testament. Most of what I had—which included a three-bedroom, terraced house in Fulham that only had a twenty per cent mortgage on it due to the rise in house prices, a Ford Mondeo and some cash—would all go to my mother.

I thought about what she would say when she heard I’d been shot dead in Cuba: ‘Silly bugger. Always was a prat.’ Then she’d blow most of it at bingo.”

Author Fran Connor writes this fast paced romantic thriller with an intellect of the setting and people of Cuba, with humour and interesting dialog. I personally love it when a man writes romance and I believe any adult reader will enjoy and stay engaged with the plot. According to Fran Connor’s bio and screenplay portfolio, he has seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

Cold Coffee Press endorses Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor. Other books by Fran Connor found on Amazon include Sophia and the Fisherman, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Devil’s Bridge and Elbourne House-Novella Series Volume One-Eight. We received this book in a Kindle/PDF format. This review was completed on April 13, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Thriller, Suspense

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Author Fran Connor

Fran-ConnorFran Connor is British and lives in SW France with his wonderful partner Viv, their dog and chickens.

He claims he’s living in that area for the lifestyle and weather which he says helps an author’s creative juices. It may just be an excuse to drink wine and lounge in the sun. He writes novels, three published so far with two more coming out soon, two more towards the end of 2015 and one more in 2016.

Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. In his portfolio of screenplays are seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

Featured Selection: Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor

If you love action, adventure and thrillers that also make you smile, this is the one for you.

When Harry arrives in Havana on business he’s soon way out of his depth as he’s drawn into a scam with stolen rum, gangsters, secret police and the beautiful Maria. This ordinary guy must trawl his hidden depths to find the courage that will keep him alive and out of prison.

Book Review: From the time Harry walked into the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba his routine business trip would be anything but routine. After all, this is Havana which has a mystique unlike any place on earth.

It doesn’t take Harry long to scope out the most beautiful woman on the island and his heart among other things beats with excitement as she notices him and strolls over to him. There isn’t a man on earth that doesn’t dream of classy women like Maria. Harry is mesmerized by her deep brown eyes that look into his soul.

Harry soon discovers that his British accent and inability to communicate well in this multicultural community leaves him at the mercy (smiling) of his new found friend Maria who speaks English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Russian. With serious business to conduct as an importer, Harry is the luckiest man on earth to have Maria by his side as guide and interpreter. However, business is not as he imagined it to be in Cuba and soon Harry is in too deep.

I would like to share you a quote to show you the author’s writing style and the character’s mind-set.

“There was Neanderthal and one of the grey-suited guys. He held a gun against me, inside a newspaper.

I looked at the line of people in the queue ahead waiting to check in for my flight. Could I do anything? Could I make a scene? These guys wouldn’t shoot me here in broad daylight with so many witnesses. Or would they? Did I have the bottle to find out?

I answered my own question when I walked submissively in the direction the gun was pushing me: away from my ride home. Away from safety and into God only knows what end. In my mind I went through my last will and testament. Most of what I had—which included a three-bedroom, terraced house in Fulham that only had a twenty per cent mortgage on it due to the rise in house prices, a Ford Mondeo and some cash—would all go to my mother.

I thought about what she would say when she heard I’d been shot dead in Cuba: ‘Silly bugger. Always was a prat.’ Then she’d blow most of it at bingo.”

Author Fran Connor writes this fast paced romantic thriller with an intellect of the setting and people of Cuba, with humour and interesting dialog. I personally love it when a man writes romance and I believe any adult reader will enjoy and stay engaged with the plot. According to Fran Connor’s bio and screenplay portfolio, he has seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

Theodocia McLean endorses Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor. Other books by Fran Connor found on Amazon include Sophia and the Fisherman, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Devil’s Bridge and Elbourne House-Novella Series Volume One-Eight. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 13, 2016.

Genre: Romantic Thriller, Suspense

Amazon Author’s Page

Mice Tales: Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker

MICE TALES is a story of a diverse group of mice who experience life’s ups, downs and all-arounds, just as humans.

They adopt a motto of persevering possibilities, brilliantly achieving an impossible goal, which in turn results in a happy ending for all.

The story, while comical, accentuates deep acceptance of all earth’s species, nationalities, religious or non-religious beliefs, lineage and lifestyles. The Golden Rule works –

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

How very simple. If mice can do it, why can’t humans?

Kelly Morgan (Illustrator)

Book Review: An endearing story with life lessons involving a cast a characters made up of a group of mice who persevere through challenges, never sway from their core values and convictions, while achieving a task so grand that most would have gone away in defeat.

Special mention for Kelly Morgan who did a beautiful job on the book cover and the illustrations throughout the book.

Author Linda Bunker is a great story teller who weaves her own life philosophies into her stories and this is a great beginning to this new series. I found the book’s introduction very interesting with forty-four well written chapters that keep the reader engaged in the life of this unique group of mice living in the mall shops. Two live in the Deli, one in the Tuxedo Shop, three in the Bridal Shop and two in the Yarn Shop. Aishe Vadoma is the proprietor of the yarn shop and her life is about to change in more ways than one.

I invite you to read this uplifting story in a day and time when there is more negative thrown at us then most of us can handle in a day. As a grandmother of two I recommend this book for Tweens (ages 10-14), Young Adults (ages 15-21) and all adults of all ages who are young at heart. We are never too old to listen, learn, accept one another and follow ‘The Golden Rule’. I highly recommend for teens and adult book clubs where discussion is encouraged.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Mice Tales- Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker. This is the first book in her ‘Mice Tails’ series and I hope it won’t be long until the next book is available. Available in both print and Kindle, I purchased this book from a Kindle format and this review was completed on 01/21/2017. I have also have the privileged to have read Linda Bunker’s dual set of books titled ‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’.

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Elbourne House: Volume Five by Fran Connor

Elbourne-House-Volume-Five-by-Fran-ConnorEdward Carver has returned home from the Revolutionary War in America.

He and his new bride Ruth are the heirs to Elbourne House, and plan to run the estate by carrying on the traditions of the Carver family: fairness, honesty, dignity, and respect.

Volume 5 details the hardships Edward and Ruth face; racial tensions, tensions between different classes in society, and the appearance of Ruth’s former captor/slave owner from America.

A riveting tale with romance, adventure, and heart pounding confrontations laced throughout. Elbourne House is the best book yet in an already great series.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

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