Who am I?
Welcome to Literarily Speaking! I am a book blogger, book reviewer, author and CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book. Literarily Speaking is a smorgasbord of anything literary. I talk about books as well as host author interviews, guest posts and reviews. While my time is very limited running a business, I have little time to review so most of my reviews are from books I request although that might change. I am open to guest posts as long as the post pertains to anything literary - whether it be the publishing or the promoting process. If you want to be featured here with a guest post, email me at thewriterslife (at) gmail.com.
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Meet Cooter!

Meet Cooter, my tour coordinating helper. You want a tour? You have to go through him first! Okay, Cooter, do we tour this author? Woof! Woof!

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postheadericon Psyche-Soul-Ology by David Roberts Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Psyche Soul OlogyTitle: Psyche-Soul-Ology

Author: David Roberts

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 202

Genre: Psychology

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

Psyche-Soul-ology: An Inspirational Approach to Appreciating and Understanding Troubled Kids is a companion text to At the Mercy of Externals: Righting Wrongs and Protecting Kids, 2nd Edition. Dr. Roberts presents a spiritually based application of his theories and the Roberts FLAGS Model detailed in his first book. His use of the term Psyche-Soul-ology focuses on the importance of addressing both the minds and souls of troubled kids. Of utmost importance is the need to look beyond the obvious external behaviors and problems of every kid, making an effort to see who they truly are relative to their unique potential for redirecting their lives. By looking into each kid it is possible to discover their uniqueness and encourage them to understand who they are intended to be, rather than who they are becoming. Dr. Roberts stresses the importance of complicating factors serving as obstacles to the progress of low income, disadvantaged kids. He focuses heavily on professional ethics and the need for both extreme compassion and full competence when working with troubled kids and their families. Both of these books are vital for parents and professionals if we are to fight against social injustices associated with poverty and other complicating factors.

 

Dr. Roberts, a proud father and grandfather, is also a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and college instructor, trained in California and living now in his home state of Alabama. His education, training experiences and worldview make him unique, and he is recognized as an expert with troubled kids and families.

 

David is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 21 and ends on August 1.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, August 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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postheadericon Guest post from Catherine Hemmerling, author of Tempting Her Reluctant Viscount and Joan Avery, author of Love’s Justice

Tempting Her Reluctant Viscount-500 (1)Title: Tempting Her Reluctant Viscount
Author: Catherine Hemmerling
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Pages: 225
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ebook

A pretend courtship…a real scandal

London 1814

Hope Stuckeley has lusted after the handsome and charismatic Michael Ashmore, the Viscount Lichfield, for ages—never mind that she’s never actually spoken to him. When the two join forces to investigate a London stock market scandal, pretending he is courting her gives her the chance to prove she’s more than the bookworm he takes her for.

After years of service as a soldier and newly titled as a viscount, actual marriage and settling down are the last things on confirmed bachelor Michael’s mind. But when their investigation puts the delectable Hope in danger, discovering the truth about the scandal could jeopardize the future he didn’t know he wanted.

For More Information

How I Come Up With My Characters

My characters are near and dear to my heart. I think all of the female characters are sides of my own personality. The men, are bits and pieces of the men I love in my life. The villains are, well, villains, and I have nothing at all in common with them, but they sure make life interesting!

In my series, the kingpin is Lady Lancaster. She is the first character I developed. I like to think she is me (with a little Angela Landsbury thrown in) in 30 years. She is clever, magnanimous, and seemingly always right. She has led a colorful life, which is only ever alluded to, as a former spy for the British War Office. She was brought into this life by her one true love, the Duke. Lady Lancaster is actually a dowager duchess and should, by all accounts, be addressed as “her Grace” but being called such reminds her too much of her mother-in-law, the former duchess, and Lady Lancaster cannot abide the reminder. Hence, she is called “Lady”. The fact that she can make such an edict really illustrates who she is and what kind of reputation/power she has. I have more fun writing about her and her thoughts than probably anyone else (besides Sarah).

The five main ladies, who have been enlisted by Lady Lancaster to be spies, are all varying ages and personalities. Hannah is an all around clever sort. She can do most things really well and prefers not to acknowledge the things she can’t do. This is so very me! Rose is a bookworm with an eidetic (photographic) memory. This is more of a wishful thinking thing for me. I am a bookworm, but I would love to have a photographic memory. Hope is the math wizard. She is good at figuring out odds and averages. She is also very proper and concerned with what other people think of her. I have always loved math and I have an unhealthy opinion of what others think of me. Hope and I both need to work on that. Emily is the season’s “Diamond of the First Water”. That means she is the most beautiful and eligible lady of the season. She is also extremely charitably minded. She wants to save the world, one starving child at a time. Me too. Finally, there is Sarah. Sarah is unusually tall, rather clumsy, and has absolutely no filter on her mouth. This is more me than I would like to admit. Writing for Sarah allows me no limitations. She will say or do pretty much anything that comes to mind. Very liberating for me as an author.

As you can see, I meant it when I wrote all my heroines are parts of me. I don’t know if all authors are the same, but I am sure we all use our writing as an opportunity to explore different times, worlds, thoughts, and opinions that we can’t always explore in our real lives. It is always an adventure and as much as it is coming from our own imaginations, I, for one, never know exactly where my mind will take me … until I get there.

Catherine Hemmerling has spent most of her career as a technical writer in the software industry, but in the last few years has realized her dream of becoming a novelist. Every day she pinches herself to make sure her new life is real. Living with her family in the hills of southern California, Ms. Hemmerling spends her days devising plot twists, agonizing over titles, and making a lot of new imaginary friends; and loves it.

Her latest book is the historical romance, Tempting the Reluctant Viscount.

For More Information


LJ_1600Title:
Love’s Justice
Author: Joan Avery
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Pages: 215
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ebook

He holds her fate in his hands…

London, 1879

American heiress, Victoria Wentworth has spent her life blithely ignoring her father’s wishes…until he enters her into an unwanted marriage contract with a despicable man. She has two choices: marry the bounder or fight the archaic English laws in court. Her only hope is Hugh Worth, the Earl Montgomery and Lord Chancellor of the Exchequer: her judge and jury. Society paints him as stern and subdued, yet fair. Society didn’t warn her that beneath his somber façade beats a passionate heart and soul.

Hugh finds himself irresistibly, inexplicably, drawn to the spirited American, despite himself and his better judgment. As the inconvenient heiress takes on the fight against the very foundation of his life and career, another battle wages in his once cold heart. Everything about her is inappropriate, illogical, and unexpected. Yet, she is a woman he could admire. A woman of intelligence and beliefs that challenge the existing world.

But she is forbidden.

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THE MAGIC OF HISTORICAL ROMANCES

Joan Avery

I’m often asked why I choose to write historical romances over contemporary ones.  Certainly there is more research needed to create a believable and true-to-its-time historical setting than a present day setting.  I’m sure the origin of my preference was in what I prefer to read.  There is something magical about an historical setting.  It is a place where you can lose yourself for an hour or two in another era, another time.  There is so much to be learned from a good historical.  The customs and beliefs of a culture in the near or distant past can be enlightening to us today.  Women’s rights which we so often take for granted are really a recent occurrence.  Not so long ago a women in Europe and America found themselves and their roles seriously constrained by law.  The women who dared to push the limits were brave and intrepid.  Their conviction that women’s roles could not be defined by a society controlled by men led them to push the boundaries and valiantly fight for all the freedoms women enjoy today.  I find a great deal of satisfaction writing about these groundbreaking women.  For me, that satisfaction far outweighs the additional research.

Joan Avery was an award-winning writer/producer at a major national advertising agency for over fifteen years before she retired to raise a family and write. Joan has been blessed with a daughter, two sons and two stepsons. She and her husband now have five grandchildren. Although she has lived in the Detroit area her entire life she has traveled extensively for both work and leisure. She and her husband, an attorney, have visited many fascinating parts of the world. Joan feels her travels enrich her writing. THE WORTH BROTHERS TRILOGY takes place in three of her favorite places.

Her latest book is the historical romance, Love’s Justice

For More Information

Don’t miss out on great books from Entangled Publishing – Check out their Steals and Deals!

Catherine and Joan are giving away a $25 and $20 Amazon/B&N Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • 2 winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins July 21 and ends on August 1.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on August 2 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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postheadericon Vlad Dracula: The Dragon Prince by Michael Augustyn Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Vlad Dracula the Dragon PrinceTitle: Vlad Dracula

Author: Michael Augustyn

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 286

Genre: Historical Fiction

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

Most of the vast audience attracted to the subject of Dracula know him only in his fictional, one-dimensional form: vampire! Yet the truth behind the historical character–voevode, warlord–of 15th C. Romania is at least as equally fascinating as any contrived account of his supernatural persona.

Vlad Dracula faithfully follows his life story as hostage, fugitive, prince, and prisoner. His principality of Wallachia was caught between two voracious predators: the kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman empire. They tried to break Dracula with overwhelming force and terror. But Dracula turned their own tactics against them, and against criminals and factions in his own land, earning the name Tepes-The Impaler-in the process.

He was a strange mix of husband, father, soldier, statesman, and berserker. He annihilated 50,000 people–one-tenth of his own population. Cursed by his native Orthodox Christian Church, he indeed evolved into a legend. But even today he is Romania’s Robin Hood.

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Michael is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 21 and ends on August 1.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, August 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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postheadericon The Treasure of Kefer Shimon by Clifford Stevens Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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The Treasure of Kefer ShimonTitle:
The Treasure of Kefer Shimon
Author: Clifford Stevens
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 344
Genre: Men’s Adventure
Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

The Treasure of Kefer Shimon is the story of a young American priest given a secret assignment by the Vatican to track down the source of three ancient scrolls that have come into the possession of the Holy Sea. If the scrolls are genuine, they will cause a revolution in Biblical studies. Along the way he makes many startling and shocking discoveries deliberately kept hidden for centuries.

Filled with historical fact masterfully woven with fiction, it takes David Lavarans on a journey into the secret dealings of the Vatican, into the ancient archives of a medieval Pope, into a Middle Eastern monastery, and into the Arabian Desert. Here, he makes a shocking discovery that has been kept hidden since the time of Christ. If revealed, the ramifications will rock biblical scholars and historians.

David is neither heroic nor a pursuer of power. He is simply a young parish priest completely unaware of why he, among thousands of more prominent priests, is singled out for this mission by someone more powerful than the Pope himself.

Ancient scrolls, the high ranks of the Vatican, a young American priest, the Middle East, and secrets that will shake the world of Christianity and the interpretation of the New Testament all play a role in this intriguing biblical adventure which spans 2,000 years.

Father Clifford Stevens is a priest of the Archdiocese of Omaha and the founder of Tintern Monastery. He graduated from Boys Town. He entered the Air Force as a Chaplain and served on bases in California, Alaska, New Mexico and Japan. He left the Air Force to become the Executive Editor of The Priest magazine and was later editor/publisher of Schema XIII, a journal for the Priest in the Modern World. He was at one time the associate director of Liturgy in Santa Fe, a liturgical institute in New Mexico.

His writings on religious and theological subjects have appeared in Chicago Studies, America, U.S. Catholic, Pastoral Life, The Priest, Our Sunday Visitor, Liturgical Arts, the Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Cistercian Studies, the American Benedictine Review, Angelicum and the Review for Religious.

He is the author of twelve published books, including the historical novel, Flame out of Dorset published by Doubleday & Co., A Life of Christ, The Blessed Virgin, Father Flanagan: Builder of Boys, the One-Year Book of Saints, Portraits of Faith, Astro-Theology: for the Cosmic Adventure, The Noblest Love, On Christian Marriage and Intimacy with God, and Aloysius, a collection of essays about St. Aloysius Gonzaga.

Clifford is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 21 and ends on August 1.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, August 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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postheadericon Top 10 TV Mysteries by Claire Baxter, author of Down Among the Dead Men


Down among the deadTitle:
Down Among the Dead Men
Author: Claire Baxter
Publisher: Entangled Ignite
Pages: 210
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Ebook

When Caitlyn ventures into the rough, tough world of the South Australian opal fields on a mission to find her estranged father she instead discovers a half-sister she knew nothing about and learns that her father is missing and suspected of a crime.

Dale is a former city lawyer-turned-lapidary hiding out in Minagoona after death threats endanger him and his daughter. When Caitlyn approaches him for help finding her father, he’s reluctant, but attracted by her determination to right the wrongs dealt to her family. His sense of justice is very much like hers, but when his daughter’s life was threatened by men who wanted him to break the law for them, he fled to protect the child he loves.

Still the more Dale gets to know Caitlyn, the more he realizes he can’t let her go up against organized crime on her own—which is exactly what she proposes when she sets out to clear her father’s name. No matter what, he’ll do his damnedest to keep her safe—even if it means exposing himself and his daughter to the men who want to kill them…

For More Information

Top 10 TV Mysteries

My latest book, Down Among The Dead Men, is my first in the romantic suspense/mystery genre and while writing it I immersed myself in mystery television shows to imprint the format in my brain. Even when I was working on other things I often had mysteries playing in the background. Many of them were of the “police procedural” type whereas my story is an “amateur sleuth”, but there are lots of similarities. Here in Australia we receive US, UK and Irish television series, as well as home-grown, so my top ten is a mix.

10. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

An American series, CSI shines a spotlight on the work of a team of crime scene investigators, placing a strong emphasis on the science used to solve crimes.

9. Jack Taylor

An Irish drama based on a series of novels by Ken Bruen. Set in Galway, the series features a main character who is a former officer in the Garda.

8. The Doctor Blake Mysteries

An Australian series in which Doctor Lucien Blake returns home to Ballarat in 1959 to take over his late father’s general medical practice and becomes a solver of mysteries.

7. The Fall

A British crime drama television series in which a senior police officer investigates a string of murders in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

6. Midsomer Murders

Based on the crime novels by Caroline Graham, this long-running British series follows the investigations of Detective Chief Tom Barnaby in the fictional county of Midsomer.

5. Prime Suspect

A British police procedural television drama series in which Jane Tennison is one of the first female Detective Chief Inspectors in London’s Metropolitan Police.

4. Lewis

A British television detective drama, a spin-off from Inspector Morse, set in Oxford. In my opinion it’s much better than Morse, in part due to the presence of sidekick, Sergeant Hathaway.

3. Without a Trace

An American police procedural drama series that follows the ventures of a Missing Persons Unit of the FBI in New York City.

2. Law & Order

A police and legal procedural drama. I enjoy all variants and adaptations of the original American series, but especially like Law & Order UK.

1. Castle

An American crime drama series which traces the lives of a best-selling mystery novelist and an NYPD homicide detective as they solve unusual crimes in New York City.

Claire grew up in Warwickshire, England, but for more than 20 years has called Australia home. She considers herself lucky to live near one of Adelaide’s beautiful metropolitan beaches where she loves to walk and think up stories.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense novel, Down Among the Dead Men.

For More Information

Don’t miss out on great books from Entangled Publishing – Check out their Steals and Deals!

Claire is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an Ecopy of Flirting with Danger!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • 2 winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins July 14 and ends on July 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, July 28 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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postheadericon It’s Your Decision: Parenting the Way Good Intended by Ed Grizzle Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Title: It’s Your Decision

Author: Ed Grizzle

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 128

Genre: Family Relationships/Parenting

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

Children are gifts from God, but parenting those children can often be a difficult task. In It’s Your Decision, author Ed Grizzle shows how parenting can be successful when it’s carried out according to God’s plan.

Using his life’s experiences as a guide, Grizzle explores the importance of making the right decisions in life—from choosing the right lifestyle and the right mate and to raising children according to what God has planned for you.



It’s Your Decision discusses

• planning for children;

• knowing what children need;

• being aware of the important years in a child’s life;

• understanding that children will test parents;

• valuing the role of grandparents;

• dealing with abused children;

• communicating openly and honestly;

• clarifying family roles.

Grizzle presents a guide to strengthening lives and making your family life more enjoyable. He shows how this is possible when you accept Jesus Christ into your life; he will show you the way in the difficult times.

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Ed Grizzle started a ministry called It’s Your Decision that helps addicts, prostitutes, and others who face difficult circumstances. He and his late wife, Mary, raised two children. Grizzle currently lives in Illinois

Ed is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 21 and ends on August 1.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, August 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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postheadericon First Chapter Reveal: The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams by Daphne Michaels

The Gifted 7Title: The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams
Author: Daphne Michaels
Publisher: Daphne Michaels Books
Pages: 130
Genre: Personal Development/Spirituality
Format: Paperback / Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

In The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams author, speaker and licensed psychotherapist Daphne Michaels celebrates the nine gifts that are our birthright, guiding readers in how to recognize and use them to transform their lives. In her author’s preface, Michaels reveals how her own journey of life transformation began when she was young and realized that human existence wore two conflicting faces–one of love and joy, and one of fear and despair. She decided then to commit her life to reconciling these two visions because she knew that, irreconcilable though they seemed, together these two faces held the secret to living a life of endless possibility and authentic happiness. Her personal journey and formal education in social science, human services and integral psychology led to the founding of the Daphne Michaels Institute, which has helped hundreds of men and women design the lives of their dreams.

In The Gifted Michaels shows us that the first three “gifts” we must recognize and embrace within us if we are to re-design our lives are Awareness, Potential and Stillness. These three allow us to identify and use the remaining six with a life-changing power: Disharmony, Harmony, Ease, Clarity, Freedom and Engagement. Each of these six relies on the “essential three” for its own power to change our lives, and each has its own gifts–its “children.” By approaching the nine gifts with real-world metaphors, Michaels answers in easily understood ways what for many readers have been lingering questions about personal transformation—such as how it works, what kind of commitment it takes, and why, if we’re committed, real transformation becomes inevitable—and addresses obstacles that readers may have encountered in the past in trying to reach in life a happiness every human deserves.

While the human universe’s face of love is celebrated in The Gifted, so is the face of fear that haunted a young girl decades ago. As Michaels shows us in her book, even Disharmony—the “quagmire” of life born of the human ego’s fear, defenses, delusions and despair—is a gift, too, and one as important as the others if we know how to see it clearly and use it. Once we understand Disharmony, we are ready to understand the real purpose of Harmony in our lives. Disharmony does not need to rule us. It is ours to use as we design the lives of our dreams.

The final gift in The Gifted, Michaels tells us, is the gift of Engagement. Engagement—with the universe and with ourselves—allows us to use all of the other gifts with more power and joy than we ever imagined possible.

That mountaintop decision never left me. It drove my life’s work and over the years led me to understand that there are gifts – nine of them, in fact – that we are all born with but rarely experience in their full glory and potential. These gifts – which make each and every one of us “The Gifted” of this book’s title – are the keys to living lives of endless possibilities and, in turn, achieving an authentic happiness that cannot be lost. They are, in other words, the keys to achieving the life of our dreams.

FIRST CHAPTER:

Life’s greatest mystery is inside us. It is inside every living thing. Like the deep secrets of the universe, the mystery inside us will never be fully explained. By exploring it, however, we can discover gifts available to us that can change our lives forever.

Life’s great mystery is awareness. More basic than thoughts and more primal than instincts, awareness does not require a centralized brain, as scientists have proven through studies with invertebrates like starfish. While these beautiful creatures have no centralized brains, they possess awareness. Starfish, like all invertebrates, use awareness to perceive, eat, grow, reproduce, and survive.

Awareness is so intrinsic to life that it defines life: living means being aware. From the beginning of life – before we take an initial breath – humans demonstrate tremendous awareness. Prenatal psychologists have discovered that we experience, while still in our mother’s womb, not only light and sound but, even more astonishingly, emotion. We kick our legs when agitated by loud noises and sway pleasantly to beautiful classical music. Months before birth we grimace at the taste of sour amniotic fluid and drink heartily when it is sweet. Awareness grows as we grow.

As we develop as human beings, our awareness stretches in all directions – from awareness of our five basic senses to awareness of external events around us, from awareness of our emotions to awareness of our thoughts, from limited awareness of a topic that bores us to an expanded awareness of topics we feel passionate about. Of all the many dimensions of awareness, the highest form is self-awareness. With self-awareness we begin to appreciate just how far awareness actually extends. Just as ocean waters are deeper than the surface of the sea, awareness is deeper than the surface of our physical body or our conscious thoughts. The infinite depth and breadth of awareness is filled with gifts that are ours to receive.

Our Most Valuable Resource

At a time when the entire world seems to be spinning out of control, understanding that awareness is our most valuable and practical personal resource is crucial. Rather than having us search high and low for answers to life’s problems in the same old places, awareness takes us beyond what we already know into realms of endless discovery: Realms where rebirth always follows destruction. Realms where new horizons continually appear in sight. Realms where new solutions inevitably come from our sheer willingness to delve deeper into an invisible resource that is always there and can never be depleted.

When we realize that awareness is our most valuable and practical personal resource, we become confident that we can overcome any challenges keeping us from living the life we’ve always wanted. Through awareness, hope is guaranteed us. The secret to living the life of our dreams begins with understanding that awareness plays a central, crucial role in both the life we’re living now and the one we wish to live.

Increasing Our Awareness

Increasing our awareness is not about discovering answers by asking questions in the usual way. Awareness is more organic than thinking. We can only access it through a deeper connection with the self. And we can only achieve that connection through a special kind of relaxation: not the kind of relaxation that puts us to sleep, but the kind that wakes us up.

Like gymnasts on balance beams, we increase our awareness through a relaxation that calls forth alertness and focus. Relaxed, alert and focused, gymnasts connect to deeper parts of themselves where awareness exists. If they think, they will fall. And when they come off the balance beam, they bring back a special quality to their daily lives.

Self-Guiding Our Awareness

Like gymnasts, we need to come off the balance beam to discover that the gifts we receive from awareness extend farther than we can imagine – into every aspect of our lives. When gymnasts carry their physical strength and mental precision into daily life, their confidence and achievements multiply, bringing even greater success.

Like gymnasts dedicated to developing strength and skill for their sport, we must be dedicated to developing strength and skill in self-guiding our awareness. If we are, we will experience deep awareness even when only a moment’s opportunity is available, and then come off the balance beam of that moment with gifts that multiply through the ways we live and love.

Self-guiding our awareness means tuning it – from a lower awareness felt as cloudy or negative to a higher awareness where we live with a constant sense of possibility. We tune our awareness through the state of our very being – in other words, through the state of our spirit, mind, heart, physical body and dreaming capacity. Being relaxed, alert and focused on all levels tunes our being to the most profound awareness possible, one where pure potential exists. In turn, self-guiding our awareness through tuning our being allows us to bring that potential into every aspect of our lives.

Think of the flight control panel in the cockpit of a high performance aircraft like a Learjet. The panel has all sorts of dials and switches that must be perfectly adjusted for flight. The instrument panel has been carefully designed to keep the sophisticated and complex aircraft functioning.

Humans are even more sophisticated and complex. We, too, however, have instrument panels that have been carefully designed, and we must learn to adjust the state of our being through those panels. Our own dials and switches allow us to tune the Learjet of our life to realms of potential impossible to reach through the physical world. Through our instrument panel we can tune ourselves to an awareness that will show us with astonishing clarity how to face the challenges and opportunities of our lives.

Our Inner and Outer Life

Through awareness we discover an amazing truth: that our inner and outer lives are a continuous stream, and so much so that we cannot separate the two. We discover that our life begins in a place deeper than our cells, a place where pure awareness exists. From this place of pure awareness our life streams through countless layers of our inner being, just as an old-fashioned movie projector’s light shines through film. Our story plays out on the screen of our life, but it has already been written and etched into the film’s frames. Some of the frames we inherited. Some we invented. Some we should have discarded, but didn’t. Some we hold for the future. Some we hold for others. Some we enjoy seeing played on the screen of our lives, while others we wish we could have cut out of the production altogether. But by the time we realize that our inner and outer life is one continuous stream, our movie is already playing in theaters. We directed it, and we were, we realize, asleep.

We may try hopelessly to change the movie of our life as it plays on the screen. We may stand up in the theater and stick our hands in the flow of light. We may jump up and down screaming that we hate the movie. We may cause such commotion that the movie no longer makes sense to us or anyone else watching it. We may deny that the movie is our life and swear that someone who didn’t really know us wrote the script. We may storm out of the theater; but as we stomp up the aisle trying to contain our dismay, we see our wiser self in the projector room waving, trying to get our attention. Our wiser self is shouting: “The movie playing is interactive! While you can’t stop it from rolling, you can dramatically change it through awareness!”

Interacting With Our Life’s Movie

When we learn to tune the state of our being so that we are both deeply connected to our inner self and fully engaged in life, we live as though we are the gymnast on the balance beam, but are not limited by its narrow margin of space. We are completely free to move about in our life however we choose as long as we remain aware. We are flexible, relaxed, strong, clear, focused; and we are able to think, feel and engage life at its highest potential. We live and love creatively, and the gifts we receive multiply exponentially. Our awareness makes everything we touch a gift to ourselves and others. Every thought we have is a gift; every word we speak is a gift; every idea we consider is a gift. Through awareness we realize that life itself is a gift and that the movie of our life is indeed interactive. We realize that everything is connected to everything else, and that interacting with life’s movie can bring enormous changes in amazingly brief periods of time.

Through awareness an entire landscape of potential will appear before us. Life will never be the same again. We will realize we have been blessed with an incredible opportunity to live the life of our dreams – and the only question is “Will I answer – with sincerity and commitment – opportunity’s knock?”

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postheadericon Interview with Paul DeBlassie III, author of ‘The Unholy’

Paul DeBlassie IIIPAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.

His latest book is the psychological/paranormal thriller, The Unholy.

Visit his website at www.pauldeblassieiii.com or his blog at www.pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com.

Welcome to Literarily Speaking, Paul.  I’d like to begin with how you handled the research for your book, The Unholy?

The Unholy 7Actually it was more like The Unholy researched me, the story lingering in my mind and not settling until I was committed to the year’s long process of writing it. It went on and on in my mind, countless nights of seeing the scenes in dreams and nightmares that eventually became the narrative of The Unholy. So, then, it was very much like the muse researched me, saw into my level of insight, personal and professional experience, diligence, and willingness and then decided to give me the story. Of course, I followed up by jettisoning the story into the mythopoeic realm of Aztlan. This is a spiritual land of the mestizo, mixed blood, southwest. I wanted to take it out of the place of New Mexico and sensed the inspiration of the muse behind this. It was not a story that would permit itself to be trivialized by some thinking of it as a dramatized version of a single story in the literal place of New Mexico. The Unholy is a centuries old story told in such narratives as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and explored further in twentieth century venues such as School of the Sacred Beast by Yumi Takigawa in 1974 and the upcoming HBO documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.” Overall, research into the mysteries of Aztlan held sway in this book as it became a voyage for me, something I grew up with but had never formally delved into. The Unholy gave me an opportunity to move into the mystic potential of the land, the people, stories lived, and lives forever changed. It has been a place of great suffering and tremendous transformation. Aztlan, the setting of my novels, remains an ongoing study in sense of place, inner meaning, horror, and archetypal energy.

How do you ponder the muse?

Pondering the muse is nothing I want to do too up close and personal. It’s like looking for too long directly into the sun. It’ll blind you. While I was finishing up some of the final writing of the Unholy, my daughter, Victoria, a sculptress, would warn me, “Dad, be careful..the muse will always want more and more. She’ll take over your life if you let her.” I’ve more or less listened to the wisdom coming from my daughter and I’ve found that doing so has served me well. The muse and I stay on good terms so that I don’t burn myself out or blow myself out with the white hot energy that is present during the writing process. I leave the desk each day knowing that I’ve left some in and that is the way it should be. I don’t want to keep going and listening to the sirens who beckon to me to go a little further, a little more into dark creative waters after a full day already spent giving birth to the words, sentences, paragraphs, and scenes. I pay respect to the muse at the end of each in the secret way that I do, leave her and myself wanting more but leaving the more on the table. That way there’s something for me to return to, refreshed and ready, the next day. You know, as I am writing this I see the muse, and she smiles knowingly and hopefully. She hopes one day I’ll listen to her and be seduced into more and more and more and not stop…and this is a good thing to know because then maybe by keeping it in mind I’ll keep my balance between truth to self and heeding the call of the muse.

How do you handle negative criticism?

The most important thing for me to remember about criticism and The Unholy is to realize that it sets off a religious complex in people who haven’t come to terms with the meaning of religion, freedom, spirituality, and love in life. If there is conflict in the confluence of these areas for an individual then they may hate the novel. It makes them vulnerable and suddenly what they’ve wanted to cling to and perhaps find redemption in becomes threatened. Instead of looking within and wondering, pondering the source of their intense emotional reaction, they take it out on the story and may rage against it. Intense emotional reactions are always telling, there is stuff lurking underneath. With The Unholy it provokes strong feeling and may cause folks to love it or hate it…depends on where they are and how they are feeling about themselves and their life. So, I take all this into account when I receive negative criticism. I believe it is helpful in maintaining a certain remove, a distance so that my objectivity remains as clear as possible. There was an initial reaction by a few church folk to The Unholy, stating or really wondering if this was a novel that “is just about slamming religion.” Actually I enjoyed answering them and saying that the novel is not about religion so much as it is about the dark side of human nature, religion just being the particular venue for this story. There is a dark side to religion, something they agreed with, and The Unholy takes this reality and dramatizes to show how good and evil can be masked and show up in the most unlikely of ways. This addressed their criticism and interestingly enough set them more or less at ease about reading a terrifying novel about the dark side of religion!

How did you become a horror writer?

I have to state something that I hope is not a cliché. But, I really believe writers are indeed born and not made. Of course, it takes years and years of work, reading, writing, and editing and editing and editing before things come together. This is definitely the making of a writer, but the initial stuff needs to be there. I couldn’t be a computer programmer or software engineer for all the oolong tea in China. It’s just not in me. However, I do have it in me and have had it in me to write and write til I get it write. If we’re born with the inspiration, if we want to write, then something is there. In The Unholy I had to keep going, the inspiration and compulsion were so strong that the energy literally felt as if it was electric and going to shoot out my fingertips and the top of my head if I didn’t write it out. The making of a horror writer, one who wants to write about the dark side and thrills of the psyche, is about doing what you feel when it comes to putting words on the page and letting no one dissuade you. There is discouragement, but that only comes when we need to step back a bit and rest. If we are patient and don’t enter into the Hades Hall of Abandoned Hope then we’ll find that energy returns. The making of a writier is about writing and never stopping the writing, letting it come together as it does in its own way and in its own time.

As an author, what scares you the most?

What scares me most is the day I’m not scared. Fear is a healthy part of being alive. It  doesn’t have to cripple us. If it does then we’re not listening to something that we need to turn inside and hear. Otherwise, fear especially when conjured within a horror story helps us in life by getting us to face things on the page that symbolically we’ve been wrestling with. We might never have had to face a raging Archbishop; but, what if we’ve been raised in a rigidly religious home and the face of God is manifest in the face of the minister or priest and as you are reading you suddenly, on a primal level, feel the terror of being reproved by the Almighty for having fallen short in your life and being condemned. Well..that kind of fear is a good thing because it brings us face to face with a destructive emotion that can be faced and felt in the story, the reader finding a little catharsis and perspective, and maybe discovering a little more freedom in the process from what just doesn’t make sense. Respecting fear and its power to inform and motivate is something that I hope to do for the rest of my life as I continue to explored horizons of horrifying stories that provide catharsis and a little perspective. When, as an author, I’m open to catharsis as I’m writing, feeling the fear of the character, the young curandera facing the evil archbishop, then I’m open to continuing to change and grow as a writer and never fear ceasing to grow, change, horrify, and perhaps transmogrify.

How has your training and experience as a psychologist impacted your writing in general?

For over thirty years I have treated survivors of the dark side of religion. I chose to write a novel about this human drama. Stories cut to the chase. I’ve written three other books in psychology and spirituality, but there is nothing like stirring the imagination via story to set the mind working and the heart healing.

Thanks for coming, Paul!  We wish you much luck and success with your new book!

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postheadericon Guest Post: The Inspiration Behind When Shmack Happens by Amber Neben

When Shmack Happens coverWhere did I get the inspiration to write When SHMACK Happens? Literarily speaking, I hit the wall, and I hit it HARD!!  My life, my goals, and my next steps were redirected in a span of a few seconds.  Prior to impact, I was on target to win that huge race at The Tour of California, and I was plotting ahead to more cycling goals, maybe even the 2016 Olympic Games.  After the impact, I laid on the pavement while my body screamed at me because it hurt…  SEVERELY.  Blood poured out of my nose and other parts of me.   I was scared and messed up.  But I was awake, and I could move.

In the midst of the pain and fear that filled me on the side of the road and then in the ambulance, I clung to Jesus.  I didn’t understand why or what had just happened.  I didn’t want to be headed to a trauma center, and I definitely didn’t want to have my dreams cut short by another obstacle.  But I clung.  And He filled me with His strength.

Honestly,   I was a miracle to walk away, and a miracle in how fast I recovered.  But even more incredible was that in the aftermath of the crash, I had a peace and a stillness of spirit that was beyond me.  I was very limited to what I could do.  Simply moving was difficult for a few weeks.  However, in spite of the physical trauma I was dealing with, my mind was incredibly clear and crisp, and my heart was not anxious.

I began to think about writing my story, and then God began to pound on my heart “write the story that I have written into your life.”  I had always wanted to write a book, but I had never felt the inspiration to do it until the initial days after the crash.  Although there was a definite tug on my heart to write, I still continued to doubt that I could do it.  I also wasn’t completely convinced I was hearing God accurately, and I only wanted to embark on the journey with His help.  So for two weeks, I prayed often about the idea.

Finally, or desperately, after two weeks of talking to God about everything, I prayed a Gideon like prayer at 5AM.  I know it was 5AM, because I remember checking my phone before getting up to use the bathroom.  My prayer when I laid back down was, “God, if I am hearing you correctly, have Jenna Sampson email me.”  Jenna had written some articles about me for Sports Spectrum, and she would occasionally check on me.  She had promised almost 7 years prior that she would help me write if I ever wanted to.  I hadn’t heard from her in almost a year, but when I got out of bed that same morning, I had an email from Jenna arriving at 5:16AM.  Confirmed.  I needed to write.

And yes, I needed to write!   There was no way a ghost writer or another author could truly understand my journey or share those intimate lessons I had learned as I had been walking,Amber Neben photo struggling, or standing firm in Christ through all the storms.   So I met with Jenna, who agreed to act as my editor, I started praying for words and eloquence, and I embarked on writing WHEN SHMACK HAPPENS.

Link to crash:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z_6qDX_Yh8

Amber Neben is a decorated international road cyclist with victories in 11 countries and multiple UCI Category 1 stage race wins. She is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion, 2x Pan American Champion and 2x National Champion. She holds a B.S. from The University of Nebraska and an M.S. from UC Irvine. Amber and her husband, Jason, reside in Lake Forest, CA. For information on speaking engagements or coaching visit amberneben.com.

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postheadericon First Chapter Reveal: The Last Ancient by Eliot Baker

The Last Ancient 2Title: The Last Ancient
Author: Eliot Baker
Publisher: Burst Books, imprint of Champagne Books
Pages: 316
Genre: Supernatural Thriller, Historical Mystery
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Around Nantucket Island, brutal crime scenes are peppered with ancient coins, found by the one man who can unlock their meaning. But what do the coins have to do with the crimes? Or the sudden disease epidemic? Even the creature? And who–or what–left them?

The answer leads reporter Simon Stephenson on a journey through ancient mythology, numismatics, and the occult. Not to mention his own past, which turns out to be even darker than he’d realized; his murdered father was a feared arms dealer, after all. Along the way, Simon battles panic attacks and a host of nasty characters — some natural, others less so — while his heiress fiancee goes bridezilla, and a gorgeous rival TV reporter conceals her own intentions.

First Chapter:

The deer’s blood catches the golden hour light. It radiates throughout the animal’s carcass in fall hues that reflect the island’s rustling red leaves and honey-colored needles littering the sand. Such eerie, blasphemous beauty. I fire shots from my Nikon.

“That’s six. Six deer mutilations this month,” I say to my experts. Click. Click. Click.

Branches partially cover the deer. Its eyes are wet brown marbles rimmed and veined in burning red, as though it had been hung upside down for a day. Its lips are peeled back above the gums in a grimace of broken teeth. Brain matter spills through a crack in the skull. Two yellowjackets buzz over the red pulp. Land. Feed. Hover above their feast. Click. The neck is attached to the body by a flap of hide. One of the deer’s forelegs is missing. Inside the hole in its torso I can see that its entrails have been removed. I get on my elbows and snap pictures from the cold, damp sand. The heart is gone, too.

Dr. Pauline Driscoll, Nantucket’s town biologist, is squatting beside the carcass. She’s furious at Sgt. Brad Fernandez, who is cursing and stomp-cleaning a gore-splattered boot into the sand. She affects his tar-thick Roxbury accent. “Nice shaht cut, ace!” Her silvering French braid swings out the back of her UMass baseball hat as she unpacks measuring tape, sample tubes, and baggies from her turquoise external frame pack. Sgt. Fernadez kicks bloody goo into the bushes.

“Maybe I wanna carry da machete fuh once, Doctor Driscoll,” he says.

Dr. Driscoll mutters and scribbles into her notepad. She is oblivious to her windswept beauty. Her dark eyes shine and sparkle, and she’s maintained her triathlete’s figure despite being on the other side of forty. She’s over a decade older than me, but I understand why Sgt. Fernandez wants to impress her.

Dr. Driscoll carves out an eyeball, coaxing it from the deer’s eye socket with a gloved hand. Tendons follow the jelly marble from the orbital cavity like melted provolone. She saws through the tendons with a retractable scalpel. Fernandez gags. It makes him look like a blushing Boy Scout in his green Environmental Police uniform and billed hat and bulky black utility belt. Driscoll smiles school-girl sweet, dropping the eyeball into a baggie. She offers Fernandez the instrument and baggie, asking him if he’d like to carry the scalpel for once.

Fernandez holds up one hand at her and balls the other over his mouth, gulps twice. “You’re one sick hippy,” he says.

Driscoll hums a macabre rendition of Melanie Safka’s Lay Down as she scoops bits of brain from the crack in the animal’s skull.

I sniff the shrieking wind. It’s bowing the barrens of pitch pines toward our clearing in the scrub oak like gnarled magnetic filaments. I can smell the ocean, almost hear it, but not see it. From our elevated bald spot in the suffocating brush, I can see the sandy path we just traversed. It cuts like a surgical scar through the open conservation land’s tufts of bladed grass and bristling patches of black huckleberry and pasture rose. It winds up Altar Rock into the reddening horizon, where a hunter stands silhouetted on the rim of the valley, binoculars pressed to his face. The strapped shotgun jutting from his shoulder makes him look like a fierce insect with an antenna.

“You poor baby,” says Driscoll, passing a black fine-toothed comb over the deer’s patchy fur. She taps the comb and a dozen ticks fall like grains of volcanic sand into a plastic dish. “Those teeth, that pelt–man, you were one sick fella.”

Fernandez breathes, gets down on one knee, and starts shaving samples from the spine with his own folding knife. He then slices off chunks of muscle and organs that he places into baggies under Driscoll’s direction. Click.

“I’m bustin’ heads, and you can quote me on that,” says Fernandez through clenched teeth behind his trimmed mustache. “Someone was huntin’ before dawn.”

“Or something,” I say, snapping close-ups of the spray radius. Drops of blood shine like rubies on wooden pendants in the foreground against a hazy cloud of thorns. The experts exchange looks and groans.

“Anyways, this is roundabouts where da Pike brothers said dey heard something freaky ’bout an hour ago,” says Fernandez. “Said it was like a deer cry, but kinda mutant, with loads a struggle.”

Dr. Driscoll stands and examines the sand and rocks for tracks. She picks up the machete she used to carve a trail here through the scrub oak. “Man, what is wrong with people?” she says and hacks at the thorny curtain with skills she picked up surveying birds in the Amazon and in Africa. She asks Fernandez if he can find any boot prints. He shakes his head.

I ask them to speculate on a predator. No dice.

“How about speculating on how it got in here then?” I say. “We lost the tracks and the blood trail way long ago.”

“Good point,” admits Dr. Driscoll.

The deer’s remaining foreleg suddenly stiffens as though saluting, hitting Driscoll’s thigh.

“Oh, fuck me hard on Sunday!” says Dr. Driscoll, jumping into Sgt. Fernandez’s arms.

He whispers, “Relax, it’s a fresh kill. And sure, Sunday’s good for me.”

Driscoll shoves Fernandez, and says to me, “Don’t you dare put that in the article.”

“I’ll think about it,” I say, and try to smile. Can’t. I’m shaken.

Shotguns crow across the windswept prairie of mid-island Nantucket. I swear and fumble my notepad. Scan the sky. Indeed, the staccato cracks are like iron roosters. They announce a sunrise as raw and ruddy as the November leaves rattling in their stunted trees. Twisting, African-looking things that recall whittled broccoli dipped in flaming tar. For hunters, the day has begun.

I gather my creased notepad and shake the sand off the New England Daily Tribune logo. Dr. Driscoll winks at me and says, “Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” Between machete slashes at the scrub oak and the branches covering the carcass, she whispers about the feverish late fall and its effect on the island’s various micro-ecologies. She rolls roots and flowers between her fingers and tastes a wizened blueberry. Shotguns crackle from Squam Swamp behind us. I remind her I’m not channeling John Muir for this piece no matter how eloquent her reveries.

She slips into one anyhow. “Oh man, but can’t you see it? The beauty? The history?” Dr. Driscoll squints, hacks at something, and shrugs, continuing, “Wampanoag Indians shucking shellfish around campfires.” Hack. “Quakers praying at the meeting house.” Hack. “Thousands of sheep, just grazing the New World forest into treeless Scottish heathlands.” Hack. “Whalers dragging their kills to shore from longboats – whoa, baby!”

She jumps back, swinging the machete in front of her feet. I peer through my camera lens, snapping photos. Movement? Something big and soundless, deep in the brush, like a disembodied shadow. It’s gone before I flex my trigger finger. I blink away cold stinging sweat and look above my camera into the barbed-wire mesh of scrub oak.

“You saw that?” I say.

“Dude, how could I miss it?” says Dr. Driscoll. “That was an epic rat!”

“Oh. But… Never mind.”

Driscoll gets on one knee beside Fernandez and jots notes in her pad. I point out some coppery feathers on the other side of the clearing. She tells me to be quiet while she’s writing. I ask about the marks on the deer’s back. She says silence is gold. Fair enough.

They don’t know I dropped out of Harvard Medical School my fourth year. I’ve also been on safari in Tanzania. I understand trauma and slaughter. The slash marks in the deer’s neck and shoulders are deep and precise. Its back is torn up. Something mounted it and ripped its head off, like a giant hyena or a wolf or even an exotic hybrid, but with the strength of a bear. The missing limb and heart and the disembowelment are confusing, however. Those look surgical. Meanwhile, the skull looks bashed, cracked open; yup, there are blood stains on the boulder. And the marks on the animal’s back resemble puncture wounds. Click.

A sunray shoots through the sharp woody tangle. Lights up something beside the feathers. It glows like a golden strand of spider web. I point it out, but Fernandez tells me to zip it. I salute him.

A cloud passes over the sun. The golden thread dims. I pluck it from beside the feathers before it disappears. It lights up again in my hand. The thing’s weird resilience and luster is captivating. Probably a hair, but more like a small-gauge acupuncture needle. As I pocket it, something glows blue and then extinguishes in the brush ahead of me. Maybe the sun hit on colored glass or a butterfly or a blue bird.

Twigs snap in the distance. Then more. We share a silent what-the-hell? moment. The rustling and snapping gets louder. Closer. We discern growling. Something is crashing along the path that Dr. Driscoll just carved with her machete. I suck in breath and swivel my head. Fernandez is up, his hand on his Glock. No predators on Nantucket, right, Sergeant? Even Dr. Driscoll’s dusky face goes pale.

“Hello?” Fernandez keeps calling out. Dr. Driscoll and I join him. The crashing gets nearer. The snorting and growling is wet and urgent.

“Three people here,” says Fernandez. The snarls sound hungry. “Put your guns up, three people here.” His voice is high and strangled.

He unbuckles the holster on his Glock.

A Rottweiler and a blue hound burst through the opening on long vinyl leashes. Two shotgun-toting, orange-clad hunters follow them. Fernandez sighs, visibly relieved. I’m not.

“Oh hell yeah, now that’s a kill!” says Dennis Pike, struggling to hold back his big Rottweiler from Driscoll and the deer.

“Looks like a fuckin’ zombie piñata!” says his brother, Ramone Pike, pulling his own hound’s leash against his chest.

The Pike brothers. Local fishermen with scars and missing teeth above fishnet beards and burly shoulders. Ramone locks eyes with me. He doesn’t smile.

“Beautiful morning,” I say. He spits brown ooze into the sand.

We both remember the time they pulled fishing knives on me at a beach party. I was fifteen. The Pikes, a couple years older, informed me it was for locals only. I idiotically protested that I was a life-long summer kid. That a popular local girl had invited me. I didn’t know she’d dated Ramone in middle school. I remember my face feeling like it collapsed. Falling onto the sand. Looking up at them through a swollen eye in a kind of awe at the way the shadows of the campfire distorted their blockish teenage features into those of middle-aged convicts.

Sgt. Fernandez buckles in his gun and exclaims that they scared the bejeezus out of him. More rustling and heavy breathing on the path. We look up. Thick hands slap at the shrub opening.

The fat man steps through and smiles and nods hello at me. Swears at the greedy talons of scrub oak clawing at his shoulder. I can only gape. He whistles at the deer and sidles his sweaty bulk beside Dr. Driscoll and Sgt. Fernandez, asking chummily what they think did this to the deer. His heavy working class speech and twinkle-eyed charm are disarming. Driscoll speculates on predators, scavengers, disease, and demented pranksters.

“Gorman–what the hell?” I say.

Norm Gorman’s belly heaves beneath his tattered cheap leather jacket and ill-fitting orange hunting vest. The unlit cigar between his thick Irish-Saxon lips wags like a wet, vulgar tongue. He wipes his brow with the back of his hand, holding a reporter’s notebook with the New England Daily Tribune logo.

“Oh, you know me; can’t stay away from Nantucket’s rugged beauty, historic charm, the thrill of the hunt, and all that other hackneyed crap you keep regurgitatin’,” says Gorman, sucking the air like a milkshake. “And when my new buddies here heard what good pals me and you was, they took the day off the boats to go huntin’.”

“You know Nantucket’s my beat,” I say. “This is my story.”

Gorman flashes his big, coffee-toothed grin and takes notes above Dr. Driscoll. My heart pounds. Harder and harder, then arhythmically.

The scrub oak closes in on me. I’m being sucked out of my skin from the top of my head. My vision darkens. My throat swells. My heart throbs. Panic rises, a dark, fathomless tide. The adrenaline sprays through my veins like a punctured artery. I’ll freeze if I don’t start moving.

“Poaching my story won’t solve your problems,” I say, frustrated with the weakness in my voice. “It’s not my fault you cozied up with dirty cops. I’m telling Maggie you’re here. She’ll get my back.”

Dennis lets his dog loose at me. Yanks the leash against his chest. The Rottweiler growls, inches from my face.

“Try that shit again and I’ll have your dog,” says Fernandez. Dennis curls the corner of his lip beneath his grizzly bear beard and says his hand slipped.

The samples have been collected.

“I’ll get these to Doc Mulcahey,” says Dr. Driscoll. “Guys, don’t molest the carcass in the meantime. Got it?”

Ramone Pike belches. Dennis Pike spits on the ground and mutters. Sgt. Fernandez shakes his head, says, “Your mother must be so proud,” and helps Dr. Driscoll into her backpack.

Dennis turns his shoulder into mine as he walks past me to the opening. I meet his glare; shrink away. His eyes–they’re not just blood-shot, they’re murky red, darting about like ping-pong balls. Wild. Crazed. His sinewy middle finger waves at me like a billy club.

“Don’t misquote me, summer kid,” he says with carrion breath. His shotgun dangles from one hand. “We gotta square up, you and me.”

“What are you talking about?” I say. But Dennis staggers away. Ramone follows.

“Stop using so many fucking adverbs,” says Ramone. His clear tenor conveys unexpected intelligence. He was almost good-looking back when he had a full set of teeth and starred as the high school football team’s bone-crushing middle linebacker. His older brother, Dennis, wreaked havoc on the defensive line like a shroomed-up berserker. “Write like you got a pair. Not all flowery and passive. Read some Bukowski.” I tip my Nantucket Whalers cap and say thanks for the tip. The brothers follow their dogs out of the clearing.

Driscoll and Fernandez disappear into the underbrush behind them. I try to follow, but Gorman grabs my elbow and wraps a pork-and-whiskey-smelling arm around my shoulders. He asks me about the mutilations. “Just curious,” he says. “Not looking to steal your byline, honest, kid!” Something about his flat-toothed coffee grin makes you fear its disappearance.

I yank my arm away. I’m trembling. The yellow acid floods my brain, frying my neural circuits. I tell him not to touch me. My voice cracks. He gets in my grill and tells me to go screw. My eyes twitch and bubble. The world flashes hot and dark. “Just leave,” I say. “Go home.” He pokes my chest and says he’ll do whatever he wants on his own time. I’m at the precipice. Darkness surrounds me. There’s something beyond that heavy black membrane but… I don’t know. I’ve never punched through it. The darkness always wins.

I open my mouth. Words die in my chest. I’m frozen. Gorman chuckles and says, “See youz.” He ambles back to the trail, humming Dirty Old Town.

I wait in the clearing for the panic to ebb, for my senses to return. A monarch butterfly flutters onto the deer’s ear. Click. The two yellowjackets buzz like tiny chainsaws over the brains, smashing and stabbing each other with their stingers. One tumbles to the sand, dead. Click. The other buzzes in a sickly circle over the snout, then drops lifeless to the earth. Click.

My phone trembles against my thigh. I look at the text message. From Judy. SUCCESS! reads the subject. My breath returns. She just locked in a time this summer for our wedding at the yacht club and a reception at the golf club. I don’t want to know what her father is paying. But I smile. I can’t wait to see her tonight. I picture clingy material hanging from her pale, soft skin–

A sharp gust kicks sand into my face. I look back at the deer as I shield my eyes. Something glints in the gathering pool of sunlight behind its head. Squinting, I walk to it. Metal, half-revealed. I prize it from the sandy earth. My lips part. I lick them. My chest catches fire. A coin. A very valuable coin. From Oenoe, capital of Ikaria, an ancient Greek island. It’s perhaps twenty-three hundred years old. Artemis, Goddess of hunting (among other things) and patron deity of the island of Ikaria, is on one side. A bull is on the other.

“What the hell?” I murmur.

A noise–not quite animal, not quite twigs snapping–rumbles behind the deer carcass. Blue sparks in the shadows. Tiny bolts of electricity zap through my chest. Not panic. I’m excited. Like a teenager glimpsing a flash of silk panties.

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postheadericon My Angelic Journey by Evangelist Patricia Kinard Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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362160_frontcoverTitle: My Angelic Journey
Author: Evangelist Patricia Kinard
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 148
Genre: Religion/Inspirational
Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

For many years, evangelist Patricia Kinard lived a life of illusions. She soon realized that life wasn’t about her plans, but rather those of the Father, who defines a purpose for every situation. In My Angelic Journey, Kinard narrates her journey after she discovered the true purpose God had for her.

In this memoir, she details her transformation from a child with a measure of faith into a teenager with increased faith, and finally into a mature woman with undoubting faith who was blessed with a vision and later instructed to become an evangelist. It shows how her trials and physical and emotional losses were replaced by joy when she put her faith and trust in God.

A powerful, firsthand testimony, My Angelic Journey offers a look into the life of a sinner who, after receiving a call from God, walked from a life of darkness into one of glorious light. It shares the story of one woman, chosen by God, who now guides others into a life of prosperity, dignity, love, and goodness based on a Christian foundation.

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Patricia Kinard is an evangelist for Faith in God Ministries, a nonprofit organization. She earned a bachelor of science degree in multidisciplinary studies, focusing in theology and accounting, from Liberty University and has worked for the government for more than twenty years. She lives in Montross, Virginia.

Patricia is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 1 and ends on July 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, July 17 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

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postheadericon 5 Things You Should Know About Writing by Lisa Burstein, author of The Possibility of Us


TPoU_1600 (1)Title
: The Possibility of Us
Author: Lisa Burstein
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Pages: 150
Genre: Contemporary
Format: Ebook

One weekend together could change everything…

When her friend called to tell her about the funeral, Cassie wanted to say no. She had enough to handle with her own hollow existence. But she knew she should pay her respects to her old camp counselor…as long as her ex, Ben, wouldn’t be there.

Except Ben is there. Still gorgeous, still angry, and still able to penetrate her defenses with one intense stare. All the reasons they left each other in a flurry of heartache start to fall away over one long, snowy weekend.

But tough Cassie can’t truly open up to Ben when she knows confessing her secrets will leave her raw, defenseless. And the possibility of forever might not be enough to gamble on all the impossibilities of now.

For More Information

5 Things You Should Know About Writing

I don’t care what anyone says, it is HARDER than it looks.

If you don’t love it, don’t do it because eventually it does actually become work.

When you are drafting always leave yourself in an easy place to start writing again. I like to have a few lines of the next chapter written and ready before I start a session. That way you can’t ever say, “I don’t know what to write.”

Remember that dialogue should be your characters talking to each other, not talking to the reader.

When people say “find your voice: it’s kind of bullshit. You already have your voice, you’re merely honing it.

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She is the author of Pretty Amy, The Next Forever, Dear Cassie and Sneaking Candy. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, The Possibility of Us.

For More Information

  • Visit Lisa Burstein’s website.
  • Connect with Lisa on Facebook.
  • Connect with Lisa on Twitter.

Lisa is giving away 2 Believe in Love or Dwell in Possibility Pendants (US only) and two $15 Amazon gift cards!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Four winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins July 1 and ends on July 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, July 17 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

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postheadericon Crystal Lotus by Jinna Van Vliet Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Crystal LotusTitle: Crystal Lotus
Author: Jinna Van Vliet
Publisher: Xlibris
Pages: 129
Genre: Biography/Autobiography
Format: Ebook

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The Harmonic convergence in 1987 launched the awakening of the Mass Consciousness into the realization that human consciousness is rising into a higher frequency. Coined as the Big Shift it created many guidelines to help with this transition process. Crystal Lotus is just one such guide gifted to us by the Divine Feminine Creator Energy through one of her Aspects, the Goddess Quan Yin.

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Jinna is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 1 and ends on July 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, July 17 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

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postheadericon Interview with Gail Graham, author of ‘Will Your Dog Reincarnate?’

Gail Graham is the author of seven other books, published both in the United States and in Australia, where she lived and worked as a journalist, editor and academic for 32 years.

Her novel Crossfire has been translated into French, German, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish and was awarded one of Germany’s most prestigious literary prizes, the Buxtedhude Bullen. Her non-fiction depiction of devastating head injury, A Long Season In Hell, was launched by Australian parliamentarians in Canberra. Her best-selling recent novel, Sea Changes, was a USA Book News Best Books Award Finalist. Three of her books have been NY Times Best Book of the Year Recommendations.

Gail reads, writes and speaks Chinese and has presented classes on Chinese art and history at the Institute for Retired Professionals (University of Miami) the Arizons Senior Academy, the Tucson Museum of Art and The Learning Curve, Tucson. She and her reincarnated dog Xingxing divide their time between Arizona and Mexico.

Her latest book is Will Your Dog Reincarnate?

Visit her website at www.willyourdogreincarnate.com. Connect with her on Twitter at @dogsreincarnate.

About the Book:

When Gail Graham’s dog reincarnated, she didn’t know what to think. It was wonderful. It was crazy. Or perhaps, she thought, she was crazy. Could this incredible thing really be happening?

She wasn’t crazy. It was happening. It did happen. And not just to Gail, but to hundreds of other people, all over the world. Dogs reincarnate. They come back to the people who love them.

Gail discovered that often, people help their dogs reincarnate. Will YOUR Dog Reincarnate describes Gail’s amazing experience and also includes an 8-week program that readers can use to help their own dogs reincarnate.

So, will your dog reincarnate?

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Gail! Can you tell us where you are from?

I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, I lived in Australia for 32 years. I returned to the United States 10 years ago.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

A: If I was talking to someone, this would be the question I’d ask. Do you think your dog will reincarnate? I’d ask. Because my dog did.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

A: The cover image is a photograph of an oil painting of my beloved dog, Bao. He is the dog who reincarnated. The author’s photograph on the back cover shows him as he is in his new life, where his name is Xingxing. I came up with the concept myself, but it was professionally designed.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

Do you love dogs? Will YOUR Dog Reincarnate? is an amazing, inspiring story of love, hope and a little dog’s determination to return to the person who loved him. It’s a page-turner, too. Readers say they couldn’t put it down.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

Dogs reincarnate. They come back to the people who love them. It really happens, and not just to me. Hundreds of dogs have reincarnated. This happens all over the world. My dog came back to me. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the same dog. And if it can happen to me, it can happen to you.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

The last chapter just flowed. I guess it’s because it’s the happy ending.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

People grieve so terribly when they lose a beloved dog. Some people never really get over it. They need to know that all that love isn’t in vain, that their dog can reincarnate and come back to them. I felt I had to tell this story.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I’m a chocoholic.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’d love to go to Easter Island. I’m sure there are fantastic vibrations there, and I’d love to feel them.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Definitely, a morning person. I wake up when the sun rises, and I’ve been that way all my life.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My mother and her mother both liked to write, but they never published anything. My mother wrote incredibly witty letters, though.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Oh, yes. Daydreams, imaginary friends, the whole bit. And I still dream detailed, vivid dreams every night. For some reason, they are usually about architecture. I dream fantastic, complicated houses.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

That no animal on this earth ever be mistreated again.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

The universe is pure potential. Anything is possible. Anything can happen. Believe in yourself and your instincts, send positive vibrations into the universe, and your wildest dreams will come true.

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postheadericon Ripples in Opperman’s Pond by Doug Zipes Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Ripples in Oberman PondTitle: Ripples in Opperman’s Pond
Author: Doug Zipes
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 288
Genre: Thriller
Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

Identical twins Dorian and Daniel Sloane grow up inseparable, sharing the same tubes of toothpaste as children and their lives as adults. Loyalty proven many times, they have been saving each other since the day Dorian rescued Daniel from drowning in Opperman’s Pond. Now, with Dorian as head of a multinational pharmaceutical company and Daniel as an innovative cardiologist volunteering in Africa, the brothers come together once again. A devastating midair collision on the basketball court during a Celtics/Pacers game sets falling dominoes in motion.

After NBA legend Randy Jackson sustains a career-changing ankle injury, Daniel and Dorian partner together to try and heal him. A brilliant chemist has created a miracle arthritis drug that they hope will cure the star and also save Dorian’s pharmaceutical company teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Celebrations ensue when the Pacers’ star returns to full glory—and then tragedy suddenly strikes during a casual pickup game, threatening to destroy Daniel’s career as he faces a devastating malpractice suit, the possible loss of his medical license, and even a voodoo curse.

In this high-stakes thriller set in the world of big-money medicine, a chain of unanticipated events culminates in a life-or-death decision two brothers never thought they would have to make.

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Doug Zipes graduated from Dartmouth College, Harvard Medical School, and Duke University Medical Center. As distinguished professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, he has published fourteen textbooks and over eight hundred medical articles. His first novel, The Black Widows, was selected by ForeWord Reviews as a finalist for 2011 Book of the Year Award.

Doug is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 1 and ends on July 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, July 17 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

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postheadericon From My Heart by Randolph Baltimore Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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From the HeartTitle:
From My Heart
Author: Randolph Baltimore
Publisher: Xlibris
Pages: 34
Genre: Poetry
Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

“From My Heart” is my first publication, my labor of love I have worked on for many years. It is the fruition of the many trials, tribulations, ups and downs that life has dealt me over the years. May you be inspired and enlightened by the words on these pages.

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Randolph is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 1 and ends on July 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, July 17 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

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postheadericon Golf Balls are Female by Robert C. Knox Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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0595255965.qxdTitle: Golf Balls are Female
Author: Robert Knox
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 282
Genre: Humourous/Fiction
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

I realize that anyone sufficiently intrigued by the title so as to open the cover of Golf Balls Are Female has probably already conjured up some ideas as to its contents. To end the suspense, I will tell you that Golf Balls Are Female is simply about the three greatest pleasures in a man’s life-drinking, golf, and the OU-Texas football game. Unfortunately, life requires a lot of living in between these most gratifying of pursuits, so Golf Balls Are Female is also about public humiliation, immaturity, emotional desperation, broken engagements, deceit, stupidity, sexually transmitted diseases, cybersex, lovesick lunacy, divorce, one-night stands, heartache, and partaking of the world’s oldest profession. Although there are numerous incidents that stretch to the limits of plausibility, the book is based on real life stories. In fact, bona fide concerns about personal retaliation have convinced me to actually leave out some of the more incriminating details. Some readers may find our humor irreverent, others may deem our lifestyles to border on misogynistic, both would be correct. However, those that read beyond the outrageous behavior will find that Golf Balls Are Female is really about friendship. Most importantly, this book answers one of modern man’s most enduring questions-golf balls are definitely female!

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Robert C. Knox is a recognized expert in the field of ground water contamination and has won several national awards for excellence in engineering education. He is an avid in-line skater and, currently, a nineteen handicapper.

Robert is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 1 and ends on July 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, July 17 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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postheadericon Interview with J. Boyce Gleason, author of ‘Anvil of God’

J. Boyce GleasonWith an AB degree in history from Dartmouth College, J. Boyce Gleason brings a strong understanding of what events shaped the past and when, but writes historical-fiction to discover why. Gleason lives in Virginia with his wife Mary Margaret. They have three sons.

His latest book is the historical fiction, Anvil of God, Book One of the Carolingian Chronicles.

Visit his website at www.jboycegleason.com.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Joe!  Can you tell us where you are from?

I was born in upstate New York, but grew up outside NYC in a suburb called Briarcliff Manor.  After graduating from college, I came to Washington D.C. to work with Congress and have stayed in the area ever since.  I currently live in northern Virginia.

Anvil of God 2Q: How did you come up with your title?

Anvil of God is the story of the crisis that follows in the wake of Charles the Hammer’s death in 741.  He was a powerful warlord who had conquered most of Europe for the Merovingian Kings and is most known for saving Christianity in Europe from the Muslim armies crossing into France from Spain in 732.  I figured if he was “the Hammer of God” his children were the “Anvil”

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

It’s an amazing cover designed by Asha Hossain.  She captured the essence of the book on her first attempt.  I sent it to another Author who introduced us and all she said was, “wowowowowowow!”

It is a picture of the main character, Trudi.  Trudi is Charles the Hammer’s daughter who not only struggles with his plan for her life, but struggles with the teachings of the church.  Charles allows her to train with his knights as a young girl, so she is dressed in a spiked hood backed by a halo embossed with pagan symbols.  It is an arresting mage and entirely in keeping with the novel.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

It received a Gold medal as the “Best Historical Fiction Novel of 2014” from the Independent Publishers Book Awards (the IPPY) and is a finalist in ForeWord Reviews’ “2014 Book of the Year Awards.”  It’s gotten great reviews from Publishers Weekly, the Historical Novel Society and Kirkus among others and has been highly rated by almost everyone who has rated it on Amazon, Goodreads, BarnesandNoble.com and LibraryThing.com.

But most of all, it is a just a great book, a good read and a story you can sink your heart into.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

Unlike many novels, Anvil of God is not about “good” versus “evil.”  There are no evil characters.  There are only people who make choices that are good and evil. I also explore the religious roots of political conflict.  In that, Anvil will feel very familiar to the politics of today.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

I loved writing about the Sybil.  Describing pagan beliefs and practices and bringing them to life in a way that is wholly believable and relevant was a lot of fun.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

I had always dreamed of writing a book and early on thought this would be a good story.  What I didn’t realize was how easily such a dream could get deferred.  At some point you have to commit to seeing it through to the end.  If I hadn’t been so committed to it, I would have let it go.  Writing would have been just a hobby.

Q:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

Writing scares the hell out of me.  For me, it is like opening up a vein that pours me out onto the page.  The first time it happened, I wrote for three hours non-stop and what I wrote was so dark and violent that I was too embarrassed to show it to anyone.  I’ve got a little more control over it now.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I love France.  As a college student, I had the opportunity to live with two different French families and really got to know something about the culture and the people that takes me well beyond the stereotypes people persist in using about the country.  Anvil is set (for the most part) in France as Book II will be.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Night person.  I have trouble in the morning before my first cup of coffee.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

I have a sister who has a knack for it.  She just needs to spend more time doing it.  It’s like playing an instrument.  If you play three or four hours a day every day, you get good at it.  If not…

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

I’m a hopeless romantic.  Always have been.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be?

That’s easy, more wishes.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

I’d love it if you’d give Anvil of God a try.  You won’t be disappointed.  It’s a great read with compelling characters, a strong story (that happens to be true), and great themes that keep the book relevant to our lives today.  You’ll love it.

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postheadericon Interview with Thomax Green, author of ‘The Shu: The Gnostic Tao Te Ching’

Thomas GreenThomax Green was born in 1972. After waking from a coma 10 years ago, he says he “was finally freed of the devilish manifestations that plagued me with a life of sorrow.” In addition to being a writer, Thomax is a visual artist. His media includes painting, drawing, and photography. He has published a previous novel titled “C.O.W.:   Creatures of War.”

His latest book is The Shu: The Gnostic Tao Te Ching.

Visit his website at www.thomaxgreen.com.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Thomax! Can you tell us where you are from?

I am a second generation Tucsonan. My Grandfather was an Irish cop in Chicago during the time of Al Capone. After that he moved his family to Tucson Arizona and started a hardware store. He helped build most of downtown and retired as a carpenter. My father was an artist as a kid but was drafted into Vietnam. He never let anyone else walk point his entire tour and has a plethora of medals including the Purple Heart. He came back emotionally scarred from the war and was offered his dream job at Disney but turned it down to dig ditches and work up to an engineer through night school to support his family. Almost thirty years later Vietnam killed him all the same via Agent Orange. It has been my goal in life to fulfill his dreams by living my own.

The ShuQ: How did you come up with your title?

I am a Gnostic at heart and I have been even before their lost writings were found again. As a child I was introduced to Taoism and it became me. The Title of the book is: The Shu The Gnostic Tao Te Ching. The Shu simply means the “Root.” For this book embodies the root beliefs of all people.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

The symbol on the cover of the book was shown to me in a vision when I was young. A voice whispered to me that this will change the world. The name of the symbol is the Polluctus which means the “offering” I have dedicated this book to all people everywhere.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

In this book I tell you the true meaning of life. I offer answers to the questions that have plagued mankind since our dawn of awareness above the beasts that we are genetically created to be.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

In the Shu god is called the Inner Light. It is not a creature onto itself. It is within all things the stars, planets, and every creature in existence. The Inner Light within us we call the soul. The Inner Light is all powerful and all-knowing because it is everything.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

My favorite part of the book is the first twenty-three pages. Those are my biggest contribution to mankind.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

I remember as a teenager walking down 4th avenue with a friend and I told him that someday I would write an all-powerful magical book someday that would out live me into the millenniums to follow.

This book was always meant to be; for with it we will finally conquer the world with peace and love.

Q:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I wish I had some for you, but I’m not a fan of secrets. I am the spirit of truth.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I have always wanted to go to the pyramids and see my grave from my first life just outside of Khufu’s monstrosity.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

I have always been an angel of night, but right after I finished writing this book my clock changed and now I am a creature of the day. I go to bed at midnight every night and wake up shortly afterward around 5 AM every morning now.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

I have a young cousin named Erin who went to school for creative writing. She lives in China now teaching English. We started a novel together but I couldn’t get her to continue it. That’s kind of normal a lot of people go to school for writing and then never really pursue it.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Oh yes, in elementary school I could completely zone out the teacher and fall off into fantastic worlds of adventure. In High school I would ditch my classes just so I could go to the library and read what I wanted to read.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be?

I would free him from his lantern so he could finally live a normal life without being a slave to no one.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

The Shu does more to help people than just those who read it. I am donating 50% of my royalties from it to UNICEF to help children in need around the world. So when you purchase it you are not only helping yourself you are also helping all those innocent little kids who need more love than those with plenty.

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postheadericon Interview with Cary Smith, author of ‘Four Corners’

Cary SmithCary Smith, the nom de plume of Greg Hawkins, lives in San Jose, CA. He became interested in books and writing because of a teacher. His favorite book is “Hocus Pocus,” by Kurt Vonnegut or “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He is currently either going to finish his collection of short stories next or turn one of his short stories into a novel, which would be a new take on the ghost genre.

His latest book is Four Corners, Or a Book That Will Tickle Your Intellectual Nipple.

Visit him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tickleintellectual.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Cary!  Can you tell us where you are from?

I am from San Jose, CA.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

Well, I think we have to start off with the fact that I may have mental issues. That is probably the main reason, although I have yet to be diagnosed. I’ve been very interested in getting an evaluation, but I can’t afford it. The “Four Corners” part of the title comes from a character in the book, Alexis. She Four Cornersbelieves Cary and her are two triangles, since our two legs form a triangle, and when they come together they make four corners, or a box shape. Also, you get many people who tell you to think outside the box, yet 98% (and I say 98%, because I don’t want people thinking I’m a 99% person) of our education is just that, in fact, usually we are punished for it, marked down. And I think we covered the other part of the title.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

Well, it’s a satirical cover. The figure is stuck in a taco, in a box, and then is finally outside the box…thinking outside the box. Yet, the first thing the figure can think of when it is outside of the box is Taco Bell’s old slogan, “Think outside the bun.”

I came up with the idea, and gave a sketch to the people at Amazon, since I can barely draw stick figures. They had some random person draw something up. We went back and forth a few times, and it came out nice, I think.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

It has zombies, vampires, wizards, and sex.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

Not really.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

All of the introduction and intermissions. I really enjoyed them, and I think they really are, “me”, if that makes sense. If I were talented enough, I would write an entire book in that fashion.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

For therapy, since, as I said, I can’t afford real therapy, even with Obamacare. I figure, once I can afford real therapy, I probably will not write another book again. I think it is a thankless process to produce a quality book.

Q:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

Oh, I thought we were having fun up there^. I had a blog once, and wrote it in the voice of Cary Smith. I had 5 fans, and they were all from Slovenia.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

The Greek isles. I don’t really know why, but I’ve seen pictures and have always wanted to go there.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Night

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My brother writes stand-up comedy stuff, and I think he wrote some film things, but ran away from it.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Yes, I used to dream of being a bench player in the NBA. One who never plays, then I would have free courtside seats, and be getting paid. With the D-league these days, though, that dream is dead.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be?

More wishes.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Thank you.

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"The woman to know for an author from the leading blog tour company Pump It Books."

-- Bri Clark, author of GLAZIER

"Love the different authors Dorothy and her Virtual tours always introduce me to! She's a gem to work with.”

-- Rashmi CallmeaBookworm

"Dorothy is simply amazing. She goes the extra mile to help authors get noticed and has an incredible personality to match. ”

--April Schiff Pohren

"I have enjoyed working with Dorothy on several blog tours. And look forward to participating in more of her tours in the future.”

-- Romancingthe Book

"Dorothy is a phenominal woman and an incredible resource for authors. She is also a pleasure to work with; a veritable writer's dream."

Chad Coenson, Author

"Dorothy's expertise comes from a place where all successful and fundamentally sound American enterprises spring: research and fairness. ”

-- J.W. Nicklaus, Author

"Dorothy is a dedicated professional & a delight to work with. She is also straight-forward and direct, but also flexible and compassionate. ”"

-- Janie Hickok, blogger

"Dorothy I just googled my name my book publicity is all over the Internet. You are amazing!!!"

-- Chris Shella, author of REASONABLE FACSIMILE