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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You’re Wrong: A Passionate Paranormal Romance (Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 3) by Maggie Tideswell

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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Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color by M. C. V. Egan

Death-of-a-Sculptor-in-Hue-Shape-and-Color-by-M.C.V.-EganColor coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the murder of world renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.

In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art and colorful personality, Bruce is mourned by the world at large. The tale is launched with the multifaceted perspectives of four ex-wives, the current wife, and his new love interest and their children.

Mary , Bruce’s wealthy first love, is always in perfect pink; the color of love. Mother of Clair the famous actress and Aaron the corporate lawyer.

Leslie The Second’s color is yellow for her sunny nature as much as for her fears and insecurities. Her only son Bobby is vulnerable and lost. Mourning his father’s death, he finds himself.

Petra The Third, is outstanding in orange, representing not only her native Holland but also her love of the fruit. Cherished her freedom and had no children of her own.

Toni The Fourth is a vibrant passionate Italian red and part of the eventual glue that creates and solidifies this dysfunctional Jones family. Her teenage daughters Tina and Isa are as different as night and day.

Brooke The Fifth a gold-digger. Green, her color, reflects the color of money and envy. Her young son’s Kyle and Caleb are too young to understand why their world has been turned upside-down.

Mara, as blue as the ocean was the last woman to steal Bruce’s heart. Mother to newborn Baby Peter is the unexpected gift and surprise.

Bruce Jones’ eight children speak out, too. They are as distinctive as the women he loved, their mothers.

Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nona, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

Book Review

Although the author has placed this book in the literary, contemporary fiction genre, I would go a step further and also list ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M. C. V. Egan in the psychological crime fiction genre.

This book opens in a most unusual place. We the readers are participates in the funeral of renowned sculptor Bruce Jones. This beginning should have a psychological effect on any thinking reader as this is no ordinary funeral with the normal mourners. In fact the church pew normally reserved for the wife and children of the diseased is filled with Bruce Jones’ five legal wives.

Author M. C. V. Egan casts her characters well and introduces each wife to the reader in the same hue, shape and color that had attracted sculptor Bruce Jones to them. To spice things up a bit, Bruce Jones didn’t die of natural causes and it is Bruce’s daughter-in-law Sylvia who is the keeper of secrets.

All families have secrets, but few have the psychological dynamics of the six women who Bruce brought into the family and the eight children that were conceived by his artistic reflections. Not only is Scott (the private investor), Detective Jim Miller, family friends, in-laws drawn into the drama surrounding Bruce Jones death, but an international community that respects this man as a sculptor and art teacher. His legacy and fortune will touch more than a generation.

Once I read this novelette, my mind created scenarios to answer the many unanswered questions left behind. I invite you read ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M.C.V. Egan. I wish there was a way for me to know, if you the reader come away with the same questions. I can only hope that this book is an introduction to a series where the characters that now live in my head will find their way back to a page where more psychological pieces will craft the completed puzzle with conclusions that will define this Sculptor as the real focus of his art. My mind created a scenario where the story would make a good ‘twilight zone’ episode (if expanded).

Once you have read ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M.C.V. Egan, I invite you to read ‘Defined by Others’ and ‘The Bridge Of Deaths’ as I have enjoyed these books too.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color by M.C.V. Egan. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on January 11, 2017.

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Author M.C.V. Egan’s Blogs
http://www.4covert2overt.blogspot.com
http://thebridgeofdeaths.tumblr.com
http://ishistorytheagreeduponlie.blogspot.com

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Wednesday’s Child by J. A. Carlton

The world and the United States of America as we know it in 2015, is unrecognizable in 2055. The CIA, Homeland Security, ATF and DEA are all merged into one body now called the U.C. or Upper Command.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are merged into the New United Military Alliance or NUMA which is under the control of President Clayton Maxwell in 2055. History had repeated itself with mandatory DNA collection and the desire to create a perfect race. During this engineered holocaust America’s population was decimated forcing many of the remaining citizens’ into catacombs and tunnels, where they later became known as “Unders”.

Lieutenant Jade McKay is a trained assassin working between NUMA and the Unders to ‘take back the topside’. She has been implanted with a microscopic computer chip with “binary coding tendrils attached along her visual pathway” which make her memory almost photographic. Jade is able to carry out any mission as long as it doesn’t conflict with her basic principles. (Jade is not only hyper-kinetic and telepathic, she has to contend with the side effects of a hybrid drug that suppresses her neural impulses that cause nightmares.)

Upon return from an assignment to protect Darien Rivers, the man most directly responsible for helping NUMA break away from Maxwell’s control, Jade finds herself arrested and charged with the murder of her Commander, Harold Mitchell. But like all superior soldiers Jade has an enemy named Elija Tyrell who is out to destroy and even kill her. Working with the local UC branch Elija takes Jade prisoner determined to find out whether or not she can be compromised.

This adversary will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals including going back in time to change history. I like this quote from Jade, “Something’s going to happen today. I swear I’ll kill him if he keeps pushing.” The sense rushed through her veins, carried in every cell of her blood to every nerve fiber, axon and dendrite. As sure as she was breathing, something huge lay in the shadows of this little corner of the universe. “I wonder if anyone else feels it. Whatever it is, I’m not gonna like it.”

What a great read. Become mesmerized in Jades ice green eyes and her abilities as ‘Wednesday’s Child’ continues with book two of the series called ‘Into the Fire’ and book three ‘Fortune’s Tide’ in the ‘Freedom Fighter Series’.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Wednesday’s Child’ by J. A. Carlton as a science fiction, action, suspense, mystery thriller. This review was completed on March 19, 2015.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thriller, Contemporary Fiction

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Books Available To Purchase
Broken (psychological thriller)
Fortune’s Tide (Third – Freedom Fighter Series)
Into The Fire (Second – (Second – Freedom Fighter Series)
Nick, Of Time (First -Heroes Of The Line Series)
Second Hand Heroes (Second – Heroes Of The Line Series)
The Third Race (Third – Heroes Of The Line Series)
Touch Me-Nurturing Your Relationships Through Positive Touch (Stand Alone Book) 
Soul Hunter (psychological thriller)
Wednesday’s Child (First – Freedom Fighter Series)

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The Family Divided: Contemporary Romantic Mystery (The Guernsey Novels Book 4) by Anne Allen

One family, divided by death – and money

Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?

With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.

Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs.

Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…

REVIEW

“Love overcomes and a painful past is revealed in this poignant romance set on Guernsey” Gilli Allen, Author of Fly or Fall

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A Hero’s Heart by Amber Daulton

Ten years ago, Jarrett Brandt left home and abandoned everyone of importance. After a hard reality check, the irresponsible young man matured into a ballsy DEA agent with a kickass Harley Davidson and a million-dollar bounty on his head. Ordered by his superior officer to take refuge at a safe house just days before Christmas, he headed back home to Washington State, instead, to make peace with his deceased brother’s memory.

Marissa Reinn Brandt never expected to see Jarrett again. Best friends since childhood and lovers as teenagers, immaturity, over-demanding parents and illicit drugs ripped them apart. Now a successful chef at a posh restaurant, the young widow and her son offered Jarrett a place to stay for the holiday. Even though she expected nothing from her former lover–the twin brother of the man she married–fate intervened.

As Jarrett and Marissa rekindled the flames of love and lust that once bound them together, an enemy from his past and a trusted mentor from his present vied their time in the snowy dark and threatened to destroy everyone he held dear. He needed a Christmas miracle to save his family and the love of a good woman to heal his battered heart. Nothing, no one, would stand in the way of his second chance with Marissa. Come hell or high water, he would cherish her body and her heart for all time.

Warning: a hero with a dirty mouth and a drug-filled past, lots of hot sex with a sexy redheaded chef, and an adorable little boy to remind all of us about the meaning of Christmas… 

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Men@Play by Janie DeCoster

Donavan Lattimore and Winston Taylor have been friends since high school. They were both popular with the ladies, staying true to the game until they each fell in love.

Ten years later, with fabulous wives, neither man has managed to give up their player shoes.

For Donavan, its all about the game. Winston unfortunately finds himself caught up after meeting Star Collins, a beautiful sexy feline he just can’t seem to resist.

Can Donavan convince his best friend that it’s all in his head and not in his heart before he makes the biggest mistake of his life? And will Donavan be able to control the demon within himself that could destroy his marriage as well?

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