Pluto really is the little planet that could as it is the key force of transformation in our lives. Pluto has a scary image because it deals with death and rebirth – but without dying to the old there can be no room for the new. So use Pluto to change those parts of your life that you feel need work. Our guest today is MCV Egan, author of “Bridge of Deaths”, a book about a mysterious plane crash which she investigates using past life regression, a very Plutonian activity!
INTERVIEW with Toi Thomas author of ETERNAL CURSE ~ Giovanni's Angel
— Eternal Curse sprung from a dream how, have dreams influenced you in your life?
I haven’t had a lot of experience with dream involvement in my life. Before experiencing the reoccurring dream that inspired me to write Eternal Curse, I didn’t remember most of my dreams. For the most part I could always tell whether I was having good or bad dreams, and few nightmares have crept through my consciousness and stuck with me.
— Have you ever had a dream of premonition?
I’ve never experienced a clear full on premonition, especially not in my sleep, but daydreaming is a little different. There have been a few times when I thought I had imagined something and it turned out to be real, but I wouldn’t necessarily call these premonitions. Sometimes we are influenced by things around us without realizing it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in such things. People often go on about whether such things are heaven sent or of the devil; I think it depends on the person and the circumstances.
Having said that, I do find that I have a habit of bringing up subjects that seem rare, odd, or out of place, only to have them become quite relevant soon after. I’ll spark up a conversation about someone who was famous years ago only to find out a few days later, they have just passed away.
— How much of the characters stems from your dreams and how much stems from your creativity?
This is a difficult question to answer quickly. The only two characters to appear in my dream were the gray man and the old man. They are, in the book, about 75% of what they were in my dream. I only changed them a little and added to them. All the other characters I made up.
I guess the question would be how much of these stem from creativity or familiar relations. While I did consciously craft each of the other characters in this story, about half of them are based on people I know in some small form or other and all the characters seems to share some kind of similarity with me. I’m over this book, even though I tried really hard not to be.
— Do you try to dream in a special way? I have personally read books that train you to have lucid dreams. And I wonder as you had a dream that impacted you to write a book, if you have made the effort to dream up another book?
Whoa there, that quite a few questions.
1st- I don’t try to dream in a special way unless I’ve just seen something disturbing. Then I curl up with a teddy bear, squeeze my husband, and try to think happy thoughts. I think it works. Like I said, most of the time I don’t remember my dreams.
2nd- It’s funny that you ask about training myself to have lucid dreams. I bought a book on that years ago for my husband because he was having some strange dreams. He used the book and it helped a little so he simply added it to the bookshelf. After I wrote the second draft of Eternal Curse, I thought maybe I should look into that book and see what it says about dreams. I read one or two page, but never applied anything I read and became distracted, never returning to finish the book.
3rd- I haven’t been losing sleep just waiting to dream up my next book. After writing Eternal Curse I think my overall creativity was sparked and ideas began to flow through my mind constantly. I don’t pursue every idea right away, but I do write every idea down and add as much detail as I can. If ever I am without ideas, I have plenty to go back to and explore.
With that being said, I did have another short dream series that has inspired me to write another book, but unfortunately it didn’t last as long as the first, so I am having to create most of the story from scratch. The one thing that stands out from the dream is a magical sword and a royal bloodline. I can’t wait to see where this will take me.
— Do you encounter your characters whilst day dreaming?
During the time in which I was writing my story, my characters followed me around everywhere; now, not so much. I do however find myself talking to Mira sometimes. I think because she’s a combination of many women in my life including myself, she feels like an old girlfriend who’s with me whenever I need her.
— What is your system when writing? Are you a meticulous outline planner or a pantser?
I am definitely an outline planner. I outline everything. If my I know how I want my story to end, I outline the whole story from beginning to end. Then I outline individual chapters before moving on to outline the lives and details of my characters. I also make lots of lists. I write down idea I may or may not use and keep track of what is in progress and what is done. My book 40 Days and Nights of Eternal Curse give a clear picture of just how much work and effort I put into my writing, especially how much went into writing Eternal Curse.
— What is easier for you, story line (plot) or setting?
Plot is by far the easiest thing for me, everything else is a struggle. I love writing and will always do it, but that doesn’t mean every aspect of writing comes to me naturally. Coming up with ideas, themes, transitions, twists, catalysts, and climaxes are the easy part. Going back to build worlds and add in all the details is where I seek, greatly and humbly, advice from others.
— Do you see spin offs or a series stemming from secondary characters?
Absolutely! The primary series is already in effect. The Second book is finished and awaiting editing and the third is very much a reality.
As far as spin offs go, there is so much going on with the characters and the world of Eternal Curse that it would be impossible to tell the whole story in 3 to 4 short books. I think there will definitely be spin offs down the read and perhaps I’ll even do some collaborations with some other authors.
— And for fun….Favorite food? Favorite drink? And I must know WHY BATMAN?
Favorite food: It changes, but I do really enjoy rice dishes.
Favorite drink: Apple Juice; what can I say, I’m a big kid and I need my vitamins.
Why Batman? Why not? I appreciate his background story. Aside from him being filthy rich, he is essentially an orphan and orphans hold a special place in my heart, which is evident in my writing. Many hero and villain stories begin with what happen in the early years. After Bruce Wayne watched his parents get killed in front of him, he could have easily been turned into a villain, but he chose to be a hero. He doesn’t have any special powers and he is really smart. He defeats most of his opponents simply by using his mind; he out thinks them. Aside from the fact that he’s the only comic book hero with a cape that I like (not big on capes) and he has a similar attitude to mine, I like Batman because from childhood to adulthood the fact remains that someone like him could exist, even if he doesn’t. There are real people in this world, without special powers, willing to fight to save others and that’s Batman represents to me.
As I write today’s post, the view outside my window is one of pale gray sky and snowy sidewalks. On Friday we had our first proper snowfall of the winter. We Stockholmers were beginning to wonder if there would be any snow before Christmas–and it was getting a bit depressing, the dullness of the winter darkness, the heavy sleep feeling that settles upon you and makes you feel perpetually tired. You need snow to break it up and remind you that Christmas is just around the corner.
Interview with Alison Williams author of THE BLACK HOURS
‘Look upon this wretch, all of you! Look upon her and thank God for his love and his mercy. Thank God that he has sent me to rid the world of such filth as this.’
1647 and England is in the grip of civil war. In the ensuing chaos, fear and suspicion are rife and anyone on the fringes of society can find themselves under suspicion. Matthew Hopkins, self -styled Witchfinder General, scours the countryside, seeking out those he believes to be in league with the Devil. In the small village of Coggeshall, 17–year-old Alice Pendle finds herself at the centre of gossip and speculation. Will she survive when the Witchfinder himself is summoned?
A tale of persecution, superstition, religious fundamentalism, hate and love, ‘The Black Hours’ mixes fact with fiction in a gripping fast-paced drama that follows the story of Alice as she is thrown into a world of fear and confusion, and of Matthew, a man driven by his beliefs to commit dreadful acts in the name of religion.
5 ***** Amazon review
"The Black Hours" is an enthralling book, well researched, and beautifully written.
I was disappointed when I reached the last page - didn’t want it to be over!
(Alison’s)quality of writing is tremendous, her ability to take the reader back in time outstanding, and her talent for making history engaging is enviable.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I feel very strongly that the victims of Matthew Hopkins have largely been forgotten – all too often they are just names on a list in a book or in a museum. We tend to forget that they were real people, with real lives, families, dreams, hopes and fears. What they suffered was dreadful and I felt compelled to give them a voice. Although ‘The Black Hours’ is fiction and Alice never existed, the methods Matthew Hopkins uses in the novel are all methods actually used on real victims. I hope, in some small way, the novel pays tribute to those real victims.
Was there any research involved in your work?
Lots and lots! As a writer of historical fiction I have to be so thorough about the smallest detail, down to the level of making sure that certain words were actually used at the time in which the book is set. I did an enormous amount of background reading, including the infamous ‘Malleus Maleficarum’ or ‘Hammer of the Witches’ - a 1486 treatise on the prosecution of witches which was a thoroughly unpleasant read! I also spent a lot of time visiting the villages and towns in Essex in which the book is set and also visited the cells of Colchester Castle, where Hopkins interrogated suspects.
What authors inspire or influence your work?
I adore Hilary Mantel – her writing is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I think she has brought the historical fiction genre to a whole new level; absolutely meticulously researched, intelligent, thought-provoking and entertaining! I also love Karen Maitland and Elizabeth Kostova – both write beautifully. Their work has a wonderful atmosphere about it; you become so immersed in the worlds they create.
Favorite snack when writing.
I go one of two ways when I’m engrossed in writing – I either forget to eat at all or I eat without thinking about it. I’m a vegetarian but that doesn’t mean that I always eat healthily. I have a bit of a crisp addiction – particularly salt and vinegar Pringles. I also eat a lot of toast (quick and easy). And endless cups of tea of course.
Who gets to read your drafts before they’re published?
I have a group of friends that I met (online) while completing my Masters in Creative Writing. I know that they are totally honest and I completely respect their opinions. Aside from that my husband (he’s an ex-journalist and is great at proof-reading!) and my 17-year-old son Scott – it’s not always true that family will tell you what you want to hear. Scott is actually my harshest critic. He certainly doesn’t believe in sugar-coating criticism and he can be relied on to tell me the truth.
Share with us your biggest hurdles in the writing process?
Time! Juggling work commitments, family and everything else is a real challenge. I have two children and, despite the fact that they are teenagers, they still take up a huge amount of time - driving them around, clearing up after them (I know, I know!), washing, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog etc! I’m lucky enough to be able to write practically full-time (I also do the admin for my husband’s company and write articles for websites) but there are so many distractions – people tend to think that if you’re working from home you can drop everything to meet up for a coffee or have long telephone conversations– it’s really not that easy!
Where can readers find you and your book(s) online?
Alison Williams has been writing ever since she can remember – scribbling down and (badly) illustrating stories in exercise books whenever she wasn’t actually reading (which was most of the time when she was awake). After getting married and having two children, Alison worked in education until deciding to bite the bullet and do what she had always wanted to do which is to write full-time – it only took her until her forties! Alison now works as a freelance writer with articles published on line and in magazines. From 2011-2012 she studied for a Masters in Creative Writing with the University of Glasgow. As part of her studies, Alison wrote my first novel ‘The Black Hours’ – available now on Amazon.
Alison is fascinated by history – but not so much the kings and queens, the emperors, the military heroes or the great leaders. More the ordinary people whose lives were touched by the decisions, the beliefs and the whims of those who had power over them and who now fill our history books. When Alison was about ten years old she went with her family to visit Winchester Cathedral. As she wandered through this magnificent building with its arches, its pillars, its carvings and beautiful windows, her mother was looking less than impressed. Wasn’t she inspired? Awed? No, not at all – ‘All I can think of’ she said ‘is the poor buggers who had to build it.’ And that remark has stayed with Alison since. She wonders just what was it like to be one of those ‘poor buggers’ toiling to create the soaring gothic arches of Winchester cathedral? Or a 17th century mother living in London, scared to death as the plague took hold? How did it feel to a woman in Berwick-Upon-Tweed on The Scottish border in 1296 watching the English troops storming through the town? And what about all of those accused, tortured and horribly murdered in the witch trials that swept through Europe? How did it feel to be one of those women, terrified and desperate? It is this that Alison finds fascinating – how it was for the ordinary people, caught up in events they couldn’t control. It is their stories that she wants to tell.
Once the bug bites, you are infected. A few notes on my novels by ROBERT CRAVEN
I’ve always loved adventure books - the first ones I can remember reading as a child were ‘The Viking Adventure’ by Clyde Robert Bulla and ‘Gorilla adventure’ by Willard Price and it was that ‘pull’ of being transported to other times and locations that stayed with me.
In secondary school, I took Fredrick Forsyth’s ‘The day of the jackal’ out from the school library only to have the librarian, Brother O’Sullivan, stop and have me return it because of its ‘adult content’. He recommended I read Alastair Maclean instead - I read all of his ones available in the library. Then I took out ‘The day of the jackal’, I didn’t quite understand the ‘adult content’ at the time but loved the idea of the anonymous assassin.
The authors I still love to read are Martin Cruz Smith, Robert Harris, Ian McEwan, James Clavell and Stephen King and I hope ‘GET LENIN’ is in that vein; a page-turner, pot-boiler, the sort of book you see on a shelf in an airport bookshop and buy while waiting for the boarding call.
The main character, Eva Molenaar, started out in the very first drafts in a modern setting as a young Editorial assistant for a London publisher. Taken into his confidence, she uncovers material pointing to a sunken U-Boat off the Irish coast with Lenin’s sarcophagus aboard and the publisher’s direct involvement with it. I thought that time-wise it wouldn’t work as the publisher would already be in his late 80’s and the plot would involve flashbacks all the time. Then I looked at making her British, but again felt it wouldn’t work & eventually settled on Polish and moved her story into the 1930’s. She’s modelled loosely on Nancy Wake an Australian spy who fought alongside the French Resistance and the 1940’s film star Ava Gardner.
To a point, GET LENIN is about manipulation of mass media to meet an agenda, which Nazi Germany and Russia perfected in the 1930’s - and is as relevant today as nearly 80 years ago.
Spy master Henry Chainbridge is condensed into all of the voices saying that Hitler and Stalin cannot be trusted; he’s the lone voice of reason. He is cool and composed and is based on a musician friend of mine (who has since sadly passed away) and when writing and developing the character, I heard his voice first and built the character from that point.
Chainbridge’s associate, Peter De Witte is Dutch, handsome, urbane & blind. He’s a character who overcomes his disability and is the creator of the Braille code that Eva uses. As Eva’s lover, he sets up the emotional conflict later in the book when Eva meets the German captain Klaus Brandt, a man she should not be attracted to, but is.
After Get Lenin was released, I had the idea to create a sequel and develop the relationships further and create another conspiracy and peril for the characters to deal with. I wrote Zinnman and saw the potential for a series spanning the conflict. I have a third novel due early 2014, titled ‘A finger of night’ and at this moment the raw first draft of the fourth adventure, working title ‘Hollow point’.
The only decision now, is to either kill Eva off at the end of the war, or allow her to continue her adventures into the early days of the Cold War.
Daryl Davis is no ordinary musician. He’s played with President Clinton and tours the country playing “burnin’ boogie woogie piano” and sharing musical stylings inspired by greats like Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s a highly respected and electrifying performer who is currently an integral member of The Legendary Blues Band (formerly known as the Muddy Waters Band,) and he rocks the stage all over the nation.
Karen Vaughan lives in Peterborough Ontario with her husband Jim and a cat named Sugar. She is the mom of a 23 year old daughter and four grown step children and a 3 year old grandson named Ike. DEAD COMIC STANDING is her second novel. Her first novel DEAD ON ARRIVAL garnered praise from friends, family and online gamers. She also enjoys doing crafts and other hobbies. Her third book and sequel to DEAD ON ARRIVAL is called OVER HER DEAD BODY. DAYTONA DEAD is the third in that series and was released in May 2013. Other than writing Karen loves to read, do crafts and play online games. Currently she co-hosts an internet radio show with Dellani Oakes and will be hosting WRITERS ROUND TABLE starting January the 14th. She has a quirky sense of humor and shows this in her mysteries
KILLER T. FORD IS A SELF-INDULGENT RACE CAR DRIVER WHO NEEDS TO WIN AND GET HIS WAY…IT’S GREAT WHEN HE DOES BUT WHEN HE DOESN’T, HE’S DRIVEN TO KILL
Laura and Gerry are newlyweds, honeymooning in Florida; as usual life is not going according to plans and they are racing to solve a murder and stay alive. The bodies are piling up, will it be too late to stop a killer?
Daytona Dead is the third installment of my Laura and Gerry series. What can happen on a simple honeymoon when Laura and Gerry head to Daytona Beach for fun in the sun and some NASCAR racing? They run into some serious trouble when they hit what they think is road kill. Just by coincidence it happens to be Laura’s ex-husband Lou who has moved to Florida. Right off the bat they are hauled off to jail under suspicion that they had something to do with it. After they are cleared and given Lou’s things that are not needed for evidence as the police think it was a simple hit and run. Laura discovers some incriminating photos that someone wants and is harassed along the way by a creepy police officer and the guy he is protecting.
The bodies start to pile up as someone in a vintage car is taking out any witnesses involved in the case to hide his wrong doing.
The story deals with fraud and identity theft along with a NASCAR racer with a bad attitude and something to hide.
It is a race to catch the killer and stop the fraud from continuing in this fast paced, high speed adventure full of romance and some good chuckles along the way.
With the help of the creepy cop out to redeem his reputation they may just get their man before he runs Laura and Gerry off the road for good.
SIGNS ofthe TINES:THE ULTIMATE ASTROLOGICAL COOKBOOK by JOAN PORTE
MY FIVE STAR REVIEW
This book has such a wide variety of recipes, that there is something wonderful in it for EVERYONE! I confess I do have a special favorite the Roasted Tomato Gazpacho Soup on page 20 has such a unique Italian twist on a favorite from Spain. There are many traditional dishes but the lovely fusion of Joan Porte’s unique creations (or her mother’s) give the food depth. Astrology is something I have dabbled into on and off during the years and that aspect of the book enhances with fun trivia on what the known and famous charts show they eat! I immediately gravitated to the Libra recipes and that is my rising sign! As I read the book that is precisely what it said! I cannot say enough about Signs of the Tines, it is YUMMY, it is FUN and for once I got a cook book that surprised me! Can I have more than FIVE STARS PLEASE????
IndieReview Behind The Scenes Internet Radio 100,000 Listeners Arts Festival!
Hello Everyone! Today we are celebrating IndieReview Behind The Scene’s Internet Radio having crossed the mark in 100,000 total listens! Various talents such as authors and musicians have come together to help celebrate this wonderful event! In order to join in on the Festival events please go to IndieReview Behind The Scenes 100,000 Listeners Arts Festival! on Face Book, check out the Authors Excerpt Reading videos, Exclusive music performance and interview and live chat sessions with music and publishing talents via Face Book chat and Twitter! The Mission for this event:To celebrate the milestone of IndieReview Behind The Scenes which was launched on March 13, 2012 reaching 100,000 total listens!The IndieReview Behind The Scenes 100,000 Listeners Arts Festivals is a spotlight feature of the talented Artists that made this possible.Platforms: Blog Tour Hosts, Twitter, Face Book!Congratulations IndieReview Behind The Scenes Internet Radio!
IndieReview Behind The Scenes Internet Radio goes behind the scenes of book publishing and entertainment. Interviews with Authors,Musicians,Artists. Book reviews, Rock reviews & more! It’s purpose? To be An Artist’s Haven.Click here to check out radio segments! Event begins at 7:00pm Central Standard Time Hosts for IndieReview Behind The Scenes Internet Radio 100,000 Listeners Arts Festival!
Author C.P. Bialois
Author Jamie White
Author Ronda Caudill
and Author Michelle Cornwell-Jordan Here are just a few of the Event Participants!
Author Raine Thomas
Author Marilyn Almodovar
Author Laura Deluca
Author Nikki Colligan
Author A.M. Hargrove
Author Heather McCorkle
Author Ronda Caudill IndieReview BTS Host Music PerformersBand- AfterMidnight
and very special interview and performance by Goth Rock Artist Cecile Monique!
Special thank-you to VBT Cafe Virtual Tours (Author/Media Consultant BK Walker)VBT Cafe(Virtual Book Tours)and all the wonderful hosts(bloggers) for tonight’s event!
Special Message from IndieReview Behind The Scenes Internet Radio Founder/Producer/Host-Michelle Cornwell-JordanI first wish to thank my co-host Jamie White, who has been with me from the beginning! In order to have a 100,000 listens, that means that was a lot of shows! Jamie has weathered packed calendars, last-minute changes and moments when the unexpected happens and if there is no guest…”we simply go with the flow” and of course standing firm during all the tech challenges we have endured! :O) Much thanks and gratitude!Big thanks to the newer IndieReview Behind The Scenes Internet Radio hosts, Cp Bialois, Ronda Caudill, guest host BK Walker, and former host Author Sybil Nelson… thank-you for being great sports by jumping into the craziness and bringing fantastic content that causes the listeners to want to come back again and again!Love and Hugs to all those who have clicked on the button to listen to our show, we appreciate each and every one of you!Thanks to BlogTalk radio for providing the platform and for the four Featured spots that we were given over this last year!And huge, HUGE gratitude and thanks to the Authors and the Musicians who have come and spoken with us regarding their dreams, goals, visions! Thanks!I hope you guys can stop by and join in the fun, and like I say every time I end a show…I hope you have an awesome day, why? Because YOU deserve it!
Book Genre: Fiction, Military History/Aviation Publisher:The Pelican Communications Group (A proud Indie publisher) Release Date: September 9, 2013
Book Description: Skip O’Neill lies dying of leukemia in a New York hospital, determined to live until the new millennium. His wasted body shows scant evidence of the man he once was—an Air Force fighter pilot and decorated combat veteran. O’Neill’s first assignment as a young lieutenant places him among hard drinking World War II—and Korean War—era fighter pilots who quickly teach him their ways. He almost washes out of pilot training but is persistent and manages to graduate. In Vietnam, he proves to be a skillful and courageous pilot who faces dangers of all kinds with equanimity. But the greatest—and most deadly danger—materializes years after O’Neill volunteers to be an observer at an atomic test site. In the end, O’Neill decides that when his time comes, he will dash at it fearlessly. He anticipates being greeted by departed friends—but what awaits him is something totally unexpected.
Ron Standerfer was born and raised in Belleville, Illinois, a town across the Mississippi river from St. Louis, Missouri. While attending the University of Illinois he took his first airplane ride in a World War II-Vintage B-25 bomber assigned to the local ROTC detachment. It was a defining moment in his life. Weeks later, he left college to enlist in the Air Force’s aviation cadet program. He graduated from flight training at the age of twenty and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Another defining moment occurred early in his career. In August 1957, he participated in an atomic test at Yucca Flat, Nevada. Standing on an observation platform eight miles from ground zero, he watched the detonation of an atomic bomb code named Smoky. The test yielded an unexpected 44 kilotons—-more than twice the size of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. He never forgot Smoky, and the memory of that experience weighed heavily on his mind when he wrote The Eagle’s Last Flight, a semi-autobiographical novel about his life as an Air Force fighter pilot during the Cold War. Ron’s twenty seven-year Air Force career spanned the Cold War years between 1954 and 1981. During that time, he flew a variety of high performance fighters including the F-100, F-102, F-105, F-4 and A-7. He flew over 200 combat missions during the Vietnam conflict and was awarded two Silver Stars, thirteen Air Medals and the Purple Heart. The latter was received after he was shot down over Tchepone, Laos in 1969. He retired from the Air Force just as the Cold War ended as a full Colonel after tours in the Pentagon and Tactical Air Command headquarters in Virginia. He continued to pursue his passion for aviation after retiring. He was a marketing director for Falcon Jet Corporation, a subsidiary of the French aerospace manufacturer Dassault Aviation. In that capacity, he was responsible for launching the marketing campaign for the Falcon 900, a long-range business jet. Later, he was an owner of an aircraft charter and management company in Elmira, NY and also a marketing consultant. Ron is a prolific writer and journalist. He appeared on WOR TV in New York City during the first days of the Persian Gulf War, providing real time analysis of the air war as it progressed. His book reviews and syndicated news articles are published regularly in the online and print news media, as well as in military journals. These days Ron and his wife Marzenna, the daughter of a distinguished theatrical family in Poland, spend their time in their homes in Gulf Stream, Florida and Warsaw. Author Links - The link for any or all of the following… Website: www.eagleslastflight.com
THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN in the MIDDLE AGES Author Interview
What is your book about?
It is about the 10 most powerful women in the Middle Ages. More specifically, it is about how the idea of a pre-modern woman as a damsel-in-distress is historically wrong.
For example, Anglo-Saxon queen Aethelflaed personally led armies into direct combat with Vikings in the 900s and saved England from foreign invasion. Catherine of Siena almost single-handedly restored the papacy to Rome in the 1300s and navigated the brutal and male-dominated world of Italian politics. Joan of Arc completely reversed the fortunes of France in the Hundred Years War and commanded assaults on English fortresses despite being an illiterate 17-year-old peasant. I can’t think of a damsel-in-distress pulling off any of those feats.
Describe your writing in three words.
Detailed but interesting
Was there any research involved in your work?
Tons! This was the most difficult aspect of the writing process. First, there are thousands of original sources, biographies, and articles on these famous women – particularly the really famous ones like Joan of Arc – so it is overwhelming to know how to begin. Second, many of the oldest sources are very biased. The early biographies of Catherine of Sienna and Joan of Arc are more hagiographic than factual and attribute numerous miracles to them. Other biased sources are more negative and written by a male author who blamed the female ruler for corrupting her husband the king and bringing about the downfall of her kingdom. The Byzantine scribe Procopius depicted Empress Theodora as a mean-spirited shrew; he even claimed she was a demon whose head left her body at night and roamed the palace.
Favorite snack when writing.
Juiced veggies. They are a great pick-me-up that don’t make you crash like sugary snacks.
Is the Thesaurus one of your best writing friends?
I only use it when I find myself getting repetitive. Otherwise, I like to stick to straightforward language. Isaac Asimov said it best with his quote that, “I made up my mind long ago to follow one cardinal rule in all my writing—to be clear. I have given up all thought of writing poetically or symbolically or experimentally, or in any of the other modes that might (if I were good enough) get me a Pulitzer prize.”
What project(s) are you working on now?
A new book is coming out next month about 10 lost civilizations that vanished without a trace. I start with Atlantis and end at the Roanoke colony in Virginia.
Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
I couldn’t do any of this without you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Where can readers find you and your book(s) online?
Michael & Melissa Rank
About The Authors
Melissa Rank writes extensively on intercultural communication and health on her blog http://hungaryforturkey.wordpress.com. An avid traveler, she has taught English as a Second Language in many countries, including Indonesia, Turkey, Hungary and Rwanda.
She is currently enjoying taking care of her young daughter and navigating the terrain of motherhood, and unlike many of the women in this book, has no plans of taking over the country or the world any time soon.
Michael Rank is a doctoral candidate in Middle East history. He has studied Turkish, Arabic,
Persian, Armenian, and French but can still pull out a backwater Midwestern accent if need be. He also worked as a journalist in Istanbul for nearly a decade and reported on religion and human rights.
He does his best to help out Melissa raise their daughter, whom he secretly hopes can one day be in a book like this. But he would like her to seize power without having to go through all those marriages to surly men, of course. Michael is also the author of the #1 Amazon best-seller “From Muhammed to Burj Khalifa: A Crash Course in 2,000 Years of Middle East History,” and “History’s Worst Dictators: A Short Guide to the Most Brutal Leaders, From Emperor Nero to Ivan the Terrible.”
The idea of a powerful woman in the Middle Ages seems like an oxymoron. Females in this time are imagined to be damsels in distress, trapped in a high tower, and waiting for knights to rescue them, all while wearing traffic-cones for a hat. After rescue, their lives improved little. Their career choices were to be a docile queen, housewife, or be burned at the stake for witchcraft. But what if this image of medieval women is a complete fiction? It turns out that it is. Powerful female rulers fill the Middle Ages. Anglo-Saxon queen Aethelflaed personally led armies into direct combat with Vikings in the 900s and saved England from foreign invasion. Byzantine Empress Theodora kept the empire from falling apart during the Nika Revolts and stopped her husband Justinian from fleeing Constantinople. Catherine of Siena almost single-handedly restored the papacy to Rome in the 1300s and navigated the brutal and male-dominated world of Italian politics. Joan of Arc completely reversed the fortunes of France in the Hundred Years War and commanded assaults on English fortresses despite being an illiterate 17-year-old peasant. This book will look at the lives of the ten most powerful women in the Middle Ages. Whether it is the famed scholar Anna Komnene, who wrote the first narrative history, or Ottoman Queen Mother Kösem Sultan, who ruled the Islamic empire through three of her sons – all these women held extraordinary levels of power at a time when women were thought to not have any. It will explore how they managed to ascend the throne, what made their accomplishments so notable, and the impact they had on their respective societies after their deaths. It will also describe the historical background of these women, their cultures, and what about it helped or hindered their rise. Their stories still echo down to today. They are a testimony to the resiliency of individuals to accomplish extraordinary things, even if society puts on them enormous constraints.
Who hasn’t been fascinated by the mysterious Tarot, writer and reader alike? For centuries, fortune-telling by the Tarot has caught many an imagination, but nothing like what will be presented here. 22 cards… each an individual splinter of the human psyche. 22 writers… honing each splinter into a story of triumph and decay, arrogance and humility. Stories of the brightest lights and the darkest corners of the weirdest minds. 22 cross-genre worlds. 22 portals into the Universal. Only one way to get there. Come with us. Cross the portals. The Universal awaits.
About the book
Once upon a time, there was an editor with a fascination for the Tarot. She was struck one day by a crazy idea. “Hey,” she said. “What if twenty-two writers each wrote a story about the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and were fashioned into an anthology?” The idea would not leave her alone. And thus, the Allegories of the Tarot was born. Crowdfunded by a campaign on Indiegogo with the help and support of an amazing group of writers, twenty-two stories were crafted around the mysteries of the Tarot. The group includes a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pulp Ark nominee, a former Bigfoot researcher, a journalist, an award-winning YA author, and a Rhysling Award winner. Professional writers, new talent, and a range of genres boggling the mind: Horror, Speculative Fiction, Bizarro Fiction, Erotica, Mystery, Humor, Paranormal, Epic Fantasy, Literary, Romance, and Historical Fantasy. What has emerged is an outstanding collection of fiction, unique and mysterious. Stories that will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think. Stories that make you feel the touch of the Universe. Dare to step through the portal to shadowy realms and emotional journeys.
Early readers have fallen in love with the Allegories of the Tarot
“Allegories of the Tarot Anthology is a magical book. Magic that will keep you turning the pages. There are muses, demons, psychics, evil,and more! I shivered, I laughed and I even cried. Magic, I tell you. Magic." -Julie Affleck “Reviewing an anthology is slightly more difficult than discussing a book or comic because the tone varies from author to author. However, Allegories somehow flowed together as a well-matched whole. The project ended up feeling like several beads strung together to form a beautiful necklace that were more amazing for being paired together." -Jodi Scaife "All twenty-two stories in this volume are, in a word, superb. I found myself scouring the Internet as I read it; every story made me want to go find more work by its author. The ultimate compliment I can give Allegories is to say that when I finished it, I thought how I envy those who haven’t read it yet." -Lisa Millraney
Get the book!
Allegories of the Tarot is available in e-book and paperback format on Amazon, and in multiple e-book formats on Smashwords. Don’t forget to add Allegories of the Tarotto your to-read shelf on Goodreads. Connect with the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology on its website, Facebook, and Twitter.
The shining moonlight covered every inch of the forest. Lilibeth looked up through the leafless branches and admired the deep blackness of the sky as the perfect backdrop to hundreds of tiny immaculate stars enclosing the full moon. It was a poet’s night. Surrounded by trees, all she could see were woods; breaking the silence, the running water of the Howling River gave up her location. She knew where she was, she had been here many times before; it was the forest behind the White Church’s cemetery, but the real question was how she had gotten here. A cold November breeze blew, and Lilibeth realized with a shiver that she was only wearing her red flannel pajamas.
An owl hoot echoed, and with it came the feeling of not being alone. The hair on the back of her neck rose. Lilibeth imagined eyes on every crook and cranny out of the silvery light reach, and she realized her shivers were not caused by the falling temperature anymore. What had appeared like a peaceful night was changing into a creepy nightmare and hard as she tried to fight it, a foreboding feeling came over her.
Close by, a howl reverberated in the night, scurrying noises of animals became loud, and soon she became aware of how populated the forest was, but it didn’t feel innocent or happy: instead it was menacing and unnatural. Branches snapped under an unseen foot and rustling on the bushes announced a presence to her left. The temperature dropped several degrees and Lilibeth knew it wasn’t because of the season. Whatever it was behind the bushes filled her with a sense of dread. It had no soul and it reeked of despair.
The young girl heard movement once again, and with the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of a figure blacker than the night. Scared, she spun in the direction of the noise willing her eyes to see in the dark. The shadow darted from an orchard to a tree closer to her; overcome by fear, she prepared to run in the opposite direction. When she turned around, the face of a young woman took her aback. She was so close Lilibeth could feel her breath.
Her terror grew when she closed in on the woman’s features. It was like watching her own reflection: same pale skin, long dark hair and violet eyes, but this other girl was older, and out of her every pore undiluted evil gushed. She opened her mouth to scream, only to see the one in front of her move in flawless synchronization. Lilibeth felt consciousness slip through her fingers. The images started to blur from the edges when two hard objects like rocks hit both her forearms, preventing her from falling. The last thing she saw was that mouth wide enough to disjoint any human jaw.
A loud scream pierced through the veil of night, and she jumped out of bed. It took her a second to realize that the blood-curling scream was hers. To Lilibeth it was like the scream of someone dying; she didn’t even feel it coming out of her mouth. She had never been that terrified before. Come to me, echoed a voice in her mind, beautiful, feminine, like a chant. A cold drop of sweat ran along her spine, and the ominous feeling came back.
Her mother opened the door in a hurry, making her jump once again. The girl was covered in sweat and completely confused. “Are you ok? Was it another nightmare?” asked Mrs. Royster while turning the light on.
Emma Jane Holloway The Baskerville Affair trilogy AN INTERVIEW
A Study in Silks
A Study in Darkness
A Study in Ashes
Describe your writing in three words.
Steampunk. Magic. Revolution.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
I’m more of a plot-weaver than a straight-line plotter, with a number of character arcs intersecting and influencing each other. My books are more a full meal deal than a snack. To keep this all in line I do keep extensive notes and sometimes I’ll pin a big piece of newsprint on the wall and scribble it all out there. With all the great writing software in the universe, I still like pen and paper. I really do belong in the Victorian era!
Was there any research involved in your work?
Absolutely. I’m writing historical fiction and also science fiction. I find the history easier than the science and spend a lot of time looking up all the wonderful ways nineteenth-century boilers could explode.
Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?
There are aspects of people I know in the characters, but never an entire person. Even if an author meant it in the best way, I think replicating someone in fiction would lead to no end of trouble. I can just see my friends asking, “Does this adverb make me look fat?” or “What do you mean the villain just shot me! It should take me at least three paragraphs to die!” It’s just not worth the angry emails.
Once a character is fully developed do you set them free or do they still dance around your mind?
Characters stay with me. They are the worst nags and messy houseguests, cluttering up the inside of my head with newspapers and dirty laundry. Sometimes they’ll be quiet for a long time and then pop out of nowhere to pester me with a new storyline.
Do you need visual media to describe people or places?
For reference, certainly, if it’s a specific image I need to get right. I travelled for three weeks in London and Dartmoor for this series and I came back with a lot of photographs. Otherwise, I don’t usually have pictures in front of me while I’m writing. At the same time, steampunk is very visual and the clothes and contraptions are part of the fantasy. I keep a folder of images I browse through sometimes to get me in the right mood.
Do you have a Muse?
If so, she has some explaining to do!
A Study in Silks
Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London’s high society, but there’s a murderer to deal with—not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse …
In a Victorian era ruled by a Council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch, and sorcery the demon enemy of the Empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines—something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?
But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock Holmes’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask …
A Study in Darkness
When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.
Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.
As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.
Ever since childhood, Emma Jane Holloway refused to accept that history was nothing but facts prisoned behind the closed door of time. Why waste a perfectly good playground coloring within the timelines? Accordingly, her novels are filled with whimsical impossibilities and the occasional eye-blinking impertinence—but always in the service of grand adventure.
Struggling between the practical and the artistic—a family tradition, along with ghosts and a belief in the curative powers of shortbread—Emma Jane has a degree in literature and job in finance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest in a house crammed with books, musical instruments, and half-finished sewing projects. In the meantime, she’s published articles, essays, short stories, and enough novels to build a fort for her stuffed hedgehog.
Paperback: 194 pages Publisher: CreateSpace ISBN-13: 978-1492720195 A story of vengeance, forgiveness and love… After her
husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti is banished from the family’s villa by her spiteful mother-in-law. She returns to her hometown of Venice and her only kin—a father she hasn’t spoken to since her forced marriage. Her hope of making amends is crushed when she learns she is too late, for he recently died under suspicious circumstances. Grief-stricken, Marietta retraces her father’s last night only to discover someone may have wanted him dead—and she may be next. When the prime suspect turns out to be the father of the man she is falling in love with, Marietta risks her future happiness and her life to avenge the death of a man she once hated. Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to the days of Carnival and Casanova, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.
Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She had always wanted to write fiction, so when a psychic told her she would write a book, she felt obligated to give it a try. She combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her debut novel Cera’s Place. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed her previous works.
Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.
It will be here all too soon. What will? November. This also happens to be National Novel Writing Month, my favorite time of year. It’s almost better than Christmas.
Of course this means participating in NaNoWriMo. I love the challenge, and the community built around 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo twice before and have plans for this year to be my third.
With that being said, I’ve been asked, “How much do you prepare before NaNoWriMo?”
Well for me, each year I’ve tried (am trying) something different. I haven’t quite found a rhythm that I am comfortable with yet, though I’ve combined some of my regular writing practices with NaNoWriMo set up.
My first year of NaNoWriMo (2011), I finished on day 26 with 50,031 words. As you can imagine I was ecstatic. I hadn’t heard about NaNo before then and I prepped for it in about a week, as that’s all the time I had before November began. Being that it was so last minute, I decided on the bare necessities.
I went into the 2011 NaNoWriMo with a one paragraph character description for each of my characters and an abbreviated outline. Here an example of what I had:
Ryane is unusually tall and disgustingly thin – not angular thin. More dancer or sprinter thin. Has silky black hair cut in an asymmetrical bob that barely comes to shoulders. Her eyes are a vivid, unnatural blue that almost glow in moonlight. She has had vivid nightmares all her life and limits her friends to limit ridicule. She’s suspicious and quiet. Almost always watchful.
Part of the Outline:
A. BF finds – Cannot stay here
B. Will explain needs to act normal for a little bit – goes home
C. Knight’s anger – should have known
It’s very bare bones, but it’s all I needed. The idea I had for this was to just fill in the blanks and keep moving forward. I let my characters drive the train (I have five chapters that weren’t in the outline that my hero insisted on). As long as I could semi direct to the end point I wanted the how I got there wasn’t very important. I could edit in December. I have since edited, added, beta read and re-edited the novel and it’s in the process of formatting for indie publishing.
In 2012, I didn’t plan at all. I had no character paragraph, no outline, no real idea of what I wanted to write or where I wanted to take it. I’m not really surprised I didn’t finish. I made it to 26,876 words then just got stuck. I had no idea where to go, and my character was not helpful in the least, though, I may use her again for something else, as I feel it wasn’t her fault I didn’t finish but my lack of vision or plan.
Now here we are in 2013, and NaNoWriMo is upon us once more. I put up a poll on my FB to determine if I should write Urban Fantasy or Chick Lit Contemporary Fiction. Urban Fantasy was the popular favorite so I did some thinking. Then I started my research.
As I’ve never written Urban Fantasy before I looked up a couple of things before I “began”. The first being the genre’s plot, and character standards. Not because I want to conform to standard but because before I do anything my way, I need to know what the “right way” is. (I can either follow or ignore the rules later – as needed for the story.)
Secondly, I refresh my writer’s mind with my ultimate Go-To Reference which I provided at the end of this post. Leah Clifford, author of A Touch Mortal reposted a huge list of reference from Character Creation to Dialogue, to Plot, to Tool Tips, on her Tumblr. It’s REALLY handy to have, and I’ve certainly used it more than once.
This time around I have about 20 pages of research completed for NaNoWriMo, since I had the time to properly prepare and have actually used that time wisely. I’ve got a full page bio for each of my main characters and the antagonist AND full life histories (at least the important life changing parts) for them; I have several pages of one paragraphs for all the minor characters that I’ll need (because I wanted them to be individual and not cardboard cut outs); and I have a complete list of environment descriptions that is several pages long, because my character is going to do a bit of traveling.
I don’t have an “exact” outline this time. Instead what I did was when I created the environment descriptions I sat down and thought of it like a storyboard or movie script. Where is my character and why is she there? So under each description I have what the goal is for that environment. For instance:
Luxurious Mansion: Richly decorated, high ceilings, many breakables. Could pass for a movie star home. Marble and antiques everywhere. Wine cellar and huge “bank vault” safe in the basement.
Goal: Valene is there because she was told there was something of value to her in the safe. She wants it. Chaos ensues when the police show up.
It’s still not a lot compared to the actual outline I had, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s just a guide. The next scene, surprise, is an underground safe house not a police station. So my job as the writer is to get her from the vault, away from the police and to the safe house. There are plenty of spaces there for 3,000 words if I want or 300 words. It’s up to me.
My greatest advice for NaNo writers, first timers or veterans looking for a new approach, is to leave room for exploration. Allow the side trips, if you don’t like it later, that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Editing and additions comes after. Just keep moving forward.
I do have some other awesome advice to share, not from myself; it was given to me by Robin Palmer, author of Cindy Ella, Wicked Jealous and Geek Charming. “Write everything down first, no matter how good or bad and then once it’s all down clean it up.”
I wish everyone good luck, and happy writing this November.
Currently, Victoria has set down roots in New York with her family. She reads and writes every day and enjoys movies or sketching in her down time. She has finished her debut novel Of Gaea in the Spring 2013 and its sequel, Of Sparta for Winter 2014. She has a Contemporary Fiction, Just About Healing scheduled for release in Fall/Winter of 2013. Victoria has several other ideas and projects in the works and hopes to continue writing for a long time to come.
She hated the wheelchair. Hated the way it made her feel less than what she was. Most of all she hated not being able to do all the things she used to. Ari had been a track and field star, an archery champion and an Eskrima pro. Now she was confined to a wheelchair slowly dying inside from its restraints.
Medical science wasn’t working. The tests, the drugs, the therapies were all useless and a waste of time. She was tired of wasting her time; she was tired of failure. It was time to look away from the obvious and try something unconventional.
Nothing was ever free and that included miracles. Abruptly, Ari finds herself tangled in a web of lies, questioning everything she’s ever known as truth. Never had she believed she’d be thrown headfirst into a world of good and evil, magic and Gods.
Trapped in the middle of a war she had never known existed both parties demanded her allegiance. Ari was a catalyst that could change all the rules of the Earth. But when the time comes to make a choice will she be strong enough to know right from wrong?
Genre: Historical Novel Series: The Three Nations Trilogy # 3 Published by: Create Space Publication Date: 10/12/2013 Number of Pages: 300 ASIN: B00FSBW2L6 Purchase Links: Amazon UK, Amazon USA.
About the Three Nations Trilogy
How does a Nation recover from its collective shame, how does it rebuild itself into a modern state and deal with its horrendous past and the difficult path ahead? Restructuring of the political landscape & the influence of religion are strong themes in this historical family saga & post war drama set in Germany 1940 – 1976. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.
Imagine if Italian were the language of the American Continents?
Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in the Republic of Genoa, Italy. He was an explorer and navigator by the time he set sail on behalf of Spain and representing the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he had already sailed the seas and risked his life.
Different sources question what he should really be credited with. As a child in the 1960’s growing up in a very Catholic environment in Mexico City, I was taught that he was the wonderful reason my immortal soul would be saved as he travelled primarily to spread Catholicism. I visited a diversity of sites when I decided to join most bloggers and give my take on Columbus and was surprised to find in more than one that ‘Columbus himself saw his accomplishments primarily in the light of spreading the Christian religion’. Because the Catholic Church accept only its baptism as a route to salvation.
Today there is much debate whether we should even celebrate Columbus Day, as his search for routes of great spices are now globally acknowledged as a search for slave routes as well.
I have no problem celebrating Christopher Columbus but I am glad that as a global society we are willing to acknowledge facts and accept bad that came with events in history that define us.
The credited first visitors to America are the Norse and an Italian and unless we chose to count Greenland as part of the American continent (which geographically it is) but I think most of us think of it as European and basically Danish, there was no true linguistic mark left by these exploders.
I find it Ironic that in Surinam and Aruba Dutch is an official Language. Spanish, English, Portuguese and French are also official but not even the smallest country in the American Continents named after yet another Italian Amerigo Vespucci never left its mark.
Someone to Listen is a New Adult romance, a story of starting over, being stuck in impossible situations, and finding a way out of the darkness and into the light. When Abby pushed the reset button on her life when she moved to Boston, she never expected to find emotional connections with two very different guys, Ben and Daniel. She wants them both in her life, but they repel each other like oil and water. Her story plays out amidst secrets, twists, and turns that will keep you glued to your Kindle until the very last page.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
The premise behind this story is inspired by actual events from my college experience. Before I became an indie author, I was a Kindle addict absorbing any and all New Adult/Young Adult romance novels I could get my hands on. I was inspired enough by what I was reading that I decided I had a story to tell, and self-publishing made it possible for me to tell it and get my story out into the world.
Describe your book in three words.
“Twisted Love Triangle” (as a reviewer recently described it). I couldn’t have put it better myself!
Was there any research involved in your work?
I tried to make the locales and details in Someone to Listen as real as possible to give a sense of authenticity to the story. For the locations I couldn’t describe from memory, I had to get creative to the point that I used Google images and street-level maps to help describe places I hadn’t visited before. I calculated actual mileage and travel times in describing locations in relation to one another. I researched sunrise and sunset times for the time of year in which the story takes place. I even researched actual train schedules and Chinese food menu items for parts of the story. Every detail got its proper attention thanks to the Internet.
What was your biggest hurdle in the writing process?
Editing was by far the hardest part of writing for me. I completed the story in three months then took an entire month to edit, down to every painstaking grammar and spelling detail. Being a perfectionist both served me well and was my absolute torture during that time. If I’ve learned anything from self-publishing my debut novel, it’s that editors are worth every single penny.
Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you for supporting indie authors by reading their books and writing reviews. Readers and bloggers do so much to help indie authors get the word out on great works that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. I think I speak for most of the indie community when I say we really can’t thank you enough for your support!
Abby wanted a fresh start, a new life thousands of miles away from her four difficult years of high school and the rumors that followed her. As she begins her college experience in Boston, she finds friendship and love she didn’t expect, people who show her that she doesn’t have to be alone.
She is torn between two paths, inexplicably drawn to two completely different guys. One understands her and reminds her of who she used to be, the broken shadow of a person wandering through life but not truly living. The other is the key to her future, the guiding hand that she waited for years to pull her out of the darkness and into the light.
When Abby’s newfound happiness and renewed existence are threatened, everything changes. She can fall back to that dark place within her or fight to save her future.
She faces the same struggle she has all along: getting someone to hear her, finding someone to believe her.
All she ever needed was someone to listen.
About the Author:
A.T. Douglas embraced her renewed passion for reading by self-publishing her debut novel, Someone to Listen. Fueled by her love of music and her addiction to the Young Adult/New Adult genres, she strives to turn daydreams and the realities of life into words the world can read. She lives in New Hampshire, USA, with her husband and son and wishes desperately that there were more hours in the day for family, reading, and writing.
FROM THE PELICAN JOURNAL ~ What Happened to G-AESY?
A Determined Writer Travels Back in Time to Solve a Decades-Old Mystery
On August 15, 1939, British Airways Ltd. Lockheed 14, serial number G-AESY, took off from London, stopped in Hamburg, and was bound for Copenhagen. In addition to the pilot, there was an odd, if not mysterious, group of passengers on board: a German corporate lawyer, an English Member of Parliament, two employees of Standard Oil of New Jersey, and an additional crewmember whose employer, much less his duties, remains a mystery to this day. The flight never reached its destination.
Inhale two, three, four, five. Hold two, three. Exhale, two, three, four, five… crap there it is again.
I know I heard something, I know I did. How many pills did I take? I had not had a panic attack in months. Is it real? Is it me?
Do I move? Do I go downstairs? OK. Relax deep breath in, long breath out. Deep in…
She repeated the breathing technique her therapist had taught her a few times, her heart rate began to feel right, it had a steady flow again and her palms stopped sweating.
She sat up in her bed. Her hands reached in the darkness for the lamp on the side table. It seemed her arm had to reach a little further than usual. The lump in her throat, the sweaty palms, the heart thumping as if it was about to jump out of her chest all invaded her simultaneously.
Her hand shook violently as she finally reached the lamp and her fingers grasped the knob. Her wet sweaty hands finally managed to turn the knob, the bright light flooded the room.
She sat still as she studied every shadow in the room. Like a diver she took a deep breath and plunged down on the floor to look under the bed, her eyes were shut tight, she exhaled and opened her eyes. There was nothing scary, not even a dust bunny.
“I am safe. I am safe and secure. A great future awaits me beyond my fears. I am safe and secure.”
Her therapist had trained her to use affirmations aloud. She almost felt safe.
“I am safe. I am safe and secure. A great future awaits me beyond my fears. I am safe and secure.”
She picked up her cell phone, stared at it and smiled.
‘I should have reached for the phone before I reached for the lamp.’
Her therapist was third on her speed dial; her father was first and her mother second. The sleepy voice sounded slow but aware.
“Clair it is three a.m.”
She was embarrassed but the simple sound of Dr. Lucidity’s voice instilled a level of calmness that no pill could match.
“I know. I’m sorry, feel free to charge extra for this phone session.”
“It’s not that Clair, it is that you had not called me like this in several months. What happened?”
She cleared her throat to buy time before she answered.
“I am not sure if it was a sound or a feeling that woke me up. I tried my breathing exercises, I tried, but…”
The soothing voice on the phone interrupted her, acknowledging how hard it was for Clair to explain.
“Is your room light on now?”
“Did you look under the bed?”
“Have you left the room?”
“OK. If it was a sound, anything, something that goes bump in the night that we cannot identify generally causes fear. A night fright. So perhaps we do not need to explore what triggered it. Do you want to hold the phone and talk to me as you check the other rooms?”
Clair had to think she knew there was a perfect explanation for the trigger, she had to decide whether she was ready to tell Doc L or not.
“I think I know what triggered this.”
The silence was the space Dr. Lucidity always granted her. This time however she needed more than space.
“What triggered it?”
“I was at a bridal shower for a colleague. For fun someone hired a psychic. I avoided her but we went to the buffet table at the same. She was friendly and asked why I hadn’t gotten a reading and before I could answer she said ‘they are trying to contact you, but won’t if you are afraid, there is nothing to be afraid of’. I took pills, you know the new ones to relax, and I slept for a few hours. I’m not sure if the sound that woke me up was outside or inside of me.”
“I know right? Oh Crap.”
“Did any of your friends there know that you experienced visits before?”
“No, no way. It was my group of lawyers I can’t afford to look like a loony.”
“When the psychic said what she said, were you afraid?”
“No, I wasn’t.”
“What did you feel?”
Clair sighed. She cleared her throat and said,
“It felt true.”
Years of therapy flashed in her mind. Years of trying to deny what she saw and what she felt when she was not medicated. Years of living in fear.
“It felt true.” She repeated as loud and clear as the affirmations she had been trying to use for years.
The stinging pain in her back was warm and sudden. Her last breath was an exhale. For once the sound and the fear had been real. Realization of the irony was the last thought Clair had before everything went dark.
When something Goes bump in the night perhaps it should cause a fright.
THE ART OF FORGETTING by Peter Palmieri Guest Post Your Doctor’s Mistress
Peter Palmieri was raised in the eclectic port city of Trieste, Italy. He returned to the United States at the age of 14 with just a suitcase and an acoustic guitar. After attending public high school in San Diego, California, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Animal Physiology from the University of California, San Diego. He received his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and completed his pediatric training at the University of Chicago and Loyola University Medical Center. More recently, he was awarded a Healthcare MBA by The George Washington University. A former student of Robert McKee’s Story seminar and the SMU Writer’s Path program, and a two-time attendee of the SEAK Medical Fiction seminar taught by Tess Gerritsen and Michael Palmer, Peter is now busy practicing general pediatrics at a large academic medical center while working on his next medical suspense.
Publisher: self Release date: June 2013 Amazon Book Description: Dr. Lloyd Copeland is a young neurologist who is tormented by the conviction that he has inherited the severe, early-onset dementia that has plagued his family for generations – the very disease which spurred his father to take his own life when Lloyd was just a child. Withdrawn to a life of emotional detachment, he looks for solace in hollow sexual trysts as a way to escape his throbbing loneliness. Still, he clings to the hope that the highly controversial treatment for memory loss he’s been researching will free him from his family’s curse. But when odd mishaps take place in his laboratory, his research is blocked by a hospital review board headed by Erin Kennedy: a beautiful medical ethicist with a link to his troubled childhood. The fight to salvage his reputation and recover the hope for his own cure brings him face to face with sordid secrets that rock his very self-identity. And to make matters worse, he finds himself falling irretrievably in love with the very woman who seems intent on thwarting his efforts. Praise for The Art of Forgetting: “Read this one!” Bobby Garrison, Amazon Reviewer “Entertaining medical thriller!" Roy Benaroch, MD "The Art of Forgetting is unforgettable!" Apollonia D., Amazon Reviewer
Your Doctor’s Mistress
In 1881, a recent graduate of the college of medicine of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland opened his practice in Portsmouth. There he waited. And waited. His medical practice was far from prosperous. But the long waits between patients afforded him the opportunity to pursue a passion he had discovered while still in school: writing stories. Most of his stories went unpublished. Then, he modeled a character for a new story after the renowned physician, Joseph Bell (a former professor of his at Edinburgh) and the detective Sherlock Holmes was born.
Having attained literary prominence, Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle eventually left the practice of medicine, as did one of his contemporaries. William Somerset Maugham left the medical profession after the success of his second novel, Liza of Lambeth, though he recognized how important his experiences as a physician had been to his growth as a writer. “I saw how men died,” he wrote. “I saw how they bore pain. I saw what hope looked like, fear and relief…”
Not all doctors abandon the practice of medicine for literary pursuits after attaining commercial success. One of the greatest authors of the turn of the century explained his ambiguity with unique flair. Dr. Anton Chekov wrote, “Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress; when I get tired of one I spend the night with the other.”
It seems an inescapable fact that, through the ages, physicians have been drawn to writing, if not to share the experiences of human drama they bear witness to, perhaps to make sense of it all. For many physicians, writing is not just a hobby; it’s a release, a catharsis.
So we should not be surprised by the ranks of physician-writers, from Robin Cook to Michael Crichton, from Tess Gerritsen to Michael Palmer, from Josh Bazell to Abraham Verghese. And please don’t be alarmed should you discover that your own physician spends his early mornings, his nights, his weekends in the embrace of this most seductive mistress. Though physicians don’t always make better writers, being writers undoubtedly helps make us more empathic physicians.
Peter Palmieri, M.D.
Author of The Art of Forgetting
Chapter 1 May 27, 2012 “Will you hand me the condom, Dr. Copeland?” “Don’t call me that” Lloyd said with a flat voice. The Asian girl sat straddled between his legs, facing him, stroking him slowly with both hands. She cocked her head to the side and flashed a licentious smile. “Why not? Does it make you feel dirty?” Lloyd stretched to reach the top of the nightstand, grabbed the square blue packet and tossed it with a jerk of his wrist. It spun, pitched and yawed, colliding on her bare bosom where she trapped it with one hand. “When’s your fiancé coming back?” Lloyd asked. The girl gave a playful frown. “I got it, Professor. Don’t worry. I’ll be a good little medical student and just shut up.” “I didn’t mean it like that.” “Yes you did. It’s okay. I don’t want anything from you, Lloyd.” Her voice was steady, composed. “I don’t need anything from you,” she opened the packet with her teeth, spit out the corner of foil, “except this right now.” She grabbed the base of his erect phallus a bit too firmly for his liking. “And when Craig flies back tomorrow, I won’t need this either.” Lloyd offered her a conciliatory smile but she didn’t look back. He could see that it pained her to have uttered her boyfriend’s name while she was in bed with another man. She rolled the condom on him with deliberate clinical professionalism, with the same concentration and detachment she might have used when practicing a medical procedure. Say what you will about medical students in the sack, Lloyd thought, they certainly weren’t squeamish. And they had few hang-ups when it came to the naked human body. Even the act of sex was often treated more like a didactic exercise rather than passionate love-making, which fit Lloyd just fine. Most other women had a natural inclination, almost a biological prerogative to form attachments after a roll on the hay – the nesting instinct. Screw them a couple of times and they’re romping around the apartment in your dress shirts, cooing in baby talk, dripping a sassy coziness as they smile that coy smile all girls learn by the time they’re twelve. Oh sure, it’s sexy as hell, but a sure sign that they’re marking their territory, exploring possibilities in their mind. Pretty soon they start to imagine a future together, they role-play like amateur improv actors to see how the relationship feels, how well it “fits”. The sight of a girl wearing his shirt, Lloyd knew, was diagnostic of emotional bonds congealing. But Alison would be all right. Lloyd had noticed her months ago when she rotated through the Neurology service – long silky black hair, sexy horn-rimmed glasses, low-cut blouse showing just enough cleavage to entice Lloyd to imagine the rest of her breasts. And then there was the way she looked at him when he gave impromptu talks on rounds, smiling at his jokes. No forced laughs like those idiots gunning for a better grade. When she completed the rotation, she had met the minimal criteria Lloyd demanded of his medical student consorts. She was a) near the end of her fourth year with b) no plans to do another Neurology clerkship (so she would never be under him again, so to speak) and she c) had plans to leave the city upon graduation to do her residency elsewhere. But with Alison, Lloyd had hit the jackpot, the mega-lotto in terms of imprudent relations with a medical student. There was a fail-safe assurance – at least as fail-safe as these things ever get – that virtually guaranteed they would never become emotionally entangled. Alison was engaged. To be wed! This would be a strictly short-term, purely sexual affiliation. When they bumped into each other in the hospital lobby and she let it slip that Craig was heading east for a six-week trauma rotation, the die had been cast. They both knew at that moment how things would end. For the last two weeks he had volunteered to cover consults on the surgical ward where she was rotating. He made small talk with her, hovering just beyond the nurse’s station, not as attending to student, but as one colleague to another: a transparent but effective method of flattery. One particularly warm afternoon he invited her for coffee after work – a minimal commitment on her part. One small step for a woman, a giant leap towards Lloyd’s eight-hundred thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. She had gone home to change and arrived in a printed summer dress with spaghetti straps and a hem which rode up on her silky-smooth tanned thighs. Over Frappucinos, he insisted that she call him by his first name. Before parting they eagerly compared work schedules to arrange their next meeting. They agreed on a Sunday champagne brunch date. The forecast called for a hot, languid afternoon of bliss. And here they were, at last. Alison mounted him, her eyes fixed on his with a resolute intensity, biting her lower lip, her chest rolling with every breath. While on rounds at the hospital, Lloyd had tried to imagine her love-making face – a favorite hobby of his when studying women’s expressions. He pictured her grimacing, eyes tightened in an expression of sustained agony as she shrieked with pleasure. Instead, the first time this afternoon (with Lloyd on top) she had kept her eyes open, studying him the entire time. Instead of shrieking, she emitted a steady low pitched groan, like a loud purring. She projected a docile politeness – cautious and gracious. The result was a deliciously subdued climax which opened their eyes to the myriad, succulent, erotic possibilities and whet their appetite for more. Now she was grinding her pelvis with increasing forcefulness. The pretense of submission had evaporated. A drop of perspiration trickled between her breasts, gathering speed on its downward flow, then slowing as it found the shallow trench of the linea alba of her abdomen. Lloyd smeared it with his thumb, then brought his hands up to her breasts and smirked. She leaned forward and grabbed his shoulders, clenched her teeth. Lloyd swept his hands down her flanks and clutched the small of her back. She dug her nails in his shoulders and pushed harder still. She seemed intent on punishing him for the impudence of bringing up her fiancé. But if the price to pay was a little rough play, he was all for it. He brought his hands over her buttocks and pulled her to him with deep, lunging thrusts. She fell onto him, nibbled his lower lip, tugged at it with her teeth then licked it before nipping at it again. The last bite brought a sharp pang of pain, accentuated by its utter unexpectedness. Lloyd wrapped his arms around her, arched his back and spun her over. Her eyes widened with a sudden trepidation, those beautiful almond eyes. But as Lloyd continued his rhythmic thrusts every shred of apprehension vanished, her features relaxed. Lloyd’s beeper vibrated. It inched to the edge of the nightstand like a wind-up toy and tumbled onto the hardwood floor, buzzing at a higher pitch for just a few more seconds before zonking out. Lloyd and Alison exchanged a curious look of surprise and laughed, never stopping their love-making. At last, she wrapped her arms and legs around him as Lloyd collapsed and Alison convulsed with jolting twitches of ecstasy. Minutes later, after catching his breath, Lloyd sat up on the bed, leaned down to pluck his beeper off the floor and studied the number on the backlit screen. “I thought you weren’t on call today,” Alison said “I’m not. It’s the lab.” Alison rolled onto her side, propped on her elbow. “Did a mouse escape the asylum?” “Maybe. They’re smart mice.” “You should call.” Lloyd shrugged. “It can wait.” She brushed a finger down his spine, ever so lightly. “Really, you should call. I don’t mind.” Sensing his reluctance, she got up and walked towards the bathroom. “I gotta pee. Call the lab.” Lloyd looked at her as she walked away, her silky hair pulled over one shoulder. A sepia tattoo of a pair of luscious eyes adorned her lower back. Low, flat ass. Lloyd found it necessary to start finding faults in his lovers when it came time to start letting go. It was a form of debriefing he subjected himself to. A way to script his memories to preserve the raw physical aspects while air brushing away any lingering romantic vestige. There was Ingrid, for example, the German flight attendant with the looks of a supermodel in all respects. Well, almost all respects. Lloyd was startled when he saw her feet poking out from the bed sheets. Enormous, masculine feet replete with sparse dark hairs standing erect on her big toes like misplaced exclamation marks. Amanda had a sharp eye-tooth that gave her otherwise angelic face a menacing aspect when she smiled. Melanie was a beautiful brunette but she had shaved her pubic hair in a way that it reminded Lloyd of Hitler’s mustache. And Rachel’s peccadillo was to ask Lloyd (after the first sex date!) if he was going to call her. When he told her he would – and he almost meant it at that moment – she expressed an unjustifiable, downright sinister skepticism. “Will you really?” she asked. What nerve! How dare she doubt him! Such brazenness could not go unpunished. He never called her again. Lloyd turned on his phone. He scrolled down, found the programmed number for the lab and pressed, “Select”. As he listened to the ring tone, he picked up an old silver cigarette lighter from the surface of his nightstand, read the inscription etched on its face, then buried it in a drawer. By the time Lloyd ended the call, Alison had returned and was slipping on her panties. The soft light filtering through the curtains set her aglow. There was a fluid elegance in her movements which reminded Lloyd of a geisha. He pictured her on her wedding night, radiant, with clueless Craig looking dopey in a tuxedo with tails and an oversized clip-on bow tie. He imagined the two living in a quaint suburb, a German luxury SUV in the driveway, a golden retriever frolicking on a lush lawn, a baby carriage on the front porch. A tide of envy surged in Lloyd like bitter bile. An unwarranted enmity materialized towards the man who would have her in a way that Lloyd would never experience. A searing pain bore into him like a pang of hunger. It swelled as if propelled by every beat of his heart. He put the phone back on the nightstand. “Come here, Alison.” “What happened in the lab?” “A mouse bit a lab technician, but he’s fine.” “Who’s fine, the mouse or the technician?” “Both.” “But you meant the mouse.” “It’s not just any mouse. He’s maybe the smartest rodent in the world.” “I thought that was your distinction, Lloyd”. Lloyd put a hand over his heart and winced. “Now that really hurts.” Alison smiled. “Go check on your mice Lloyd.” “Where are you going?” “Look, I had fun. A lot of fun, but I think I should be going now.” “I have a split of Prosecco I could open,” Lloyd said. Alison reached for her bra; a pink lace number that looked brand new. Had she purchased it just for him? “God, no,” she said. “I should try to study a little tonight.” “What for? You already matched in Dermatology.” “So?” “So you can study the rest of your life.” She walked over and turned her back to him. “Can you help me with the bra?” “Sure.” He stood up behind her, slowly slipped the bra straps off her arms, cupped his hands over her breasts and nuzzled the nape of her neck. His lust had been fully sated but he felt an overwhelming urge to take her from Craig just one more time. “Lloyd! You’re such a bad boy!” “Let’s make love.” He was getting aroused again. “You haven’t had enough?” “Or we can just cuddle in bed,” he said feigning a perverted innocence. “No. I don’t think I can do that.” He pulled her closer so she could feel his erection against the small of her back. She brought her shoulders back and stood on tiptoes to raise her bottom and rub against him. They kneaded their bodies together in slow rolling waves. She placed a hand behind his head and combed his hair with her fingers. Lloyd bent down and tried to slip her panties off. She grabbed his hands and said, “Stop! Wait… let’s take a shower. I have things I want to do to you.”
For the soldiers of SAINT, going to war is about more than a struggle for land or power: It’s a fight between good and evil. Theirs is a life spent on the fringes of a society oblivious to the horrors of the darkness. With no family apart from their brothers and sisters borne of battle, their bonds are as indestructible as the blood ties they left behind.
On the night of the Ritz’ven Massacre, Peter Stone lost everything. The centuries’ old spell should have granted the vampires in his Clan immunity from every weakness; sunlight, silver, and holy items. Instead it left him cursed to an eternity alone.
Aidan James has seen monsters. He was raised by one. Trying to survive is all he can manage for himself most days, but for the last of his family, for Cote, he cannot surrender. Little does he know, survival is about to get much more difficult for them both. And for everyone else around them.
1. What inspired you to write this particular story (and/or series)?
I would have to say that my father’s passing really turned me onto the ramifications of mortality. I have always been fascinated by vampires; even in grade school I remember checking out those kinds of library books. But after my father died I became invested in the possibilities of living forever, and it occurred to me that even immortality would not be without its own pain and loss. I decided to explore that side of forever.
2. Describe your writing in three words.
Nonlinear, suspenseful, complex.
3. Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
No, actually, I let the characters write themselves. When I try to make a tight plot the writer’s block comes right away. Sometimes I write chapters that have nothing to do with the finished product. Often I have to write entire background stories that no one will ever see before the characters come out to play. I know that things will eventually come together, but trying to structure myself feels like putting myself in a cage and I have to be free. I cannot create if I limit myself in any way.
4. What authors inspire or influence your work?
I handwrite every word of my book before it goes to the computer. Years and years ago I read an interview with Stephen King where he admitted to writing his work out by hand, too, and I felt an instant connection. Plus, his books tend to be extremely long and I relate to that. Really, I equate my style more to directors than writers; I tend to end each chapter on a bit of a cliffhanger, like a television show, leaving the audience determined to find out what happens next.
5. Who gets to read your drafts before they’re published?
First and foremost, my sister and fellow author, Nicole Castle. She knows my characters almost as well as I do and has been instrumental in making “Family Flaws” what is it today.
6. Share with us your biggest hurdles in the writing process?
I suppose that time is my biggest contender. As a college senior mere months away from graduation I have very little time for the respite of writing. To me, writing is as important as breathing. It is my life force, which in itself can actually be a hurdle; if I am stressed or have writer’s block I can feel life’s little insanities trying to creep in.
Peace, an often unfathomable aspect desired, that all at some point want to experience in the most ardent way. There are moments in life that require peace from within so that we may function during chaos that is being exhibited in our outer personal world; or the world at large; such as when watching the news and viewing violence taking place elsewhere.
Most agree that having peace in this world in our lifetime is unlikely. Though the masses continue to long for it, pray for it and honor its value wherever it appears; even if for a brief moment. There are overabundances of people that are self acclaimed peace-makers whose presence does soften the blow of volatility at times. There are religious leaders that are known to make a valid change during certain seasons, there are even individuals who lead by example, and there are those who only know to quiet the ruckus from without by going within which truly is where it all needs to begin).
Today we celebrate the UN’s INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE, the resolution to have loud voices for PEACE and a special day was passed in 1981; the first celebration was in 1982.
If we can at least try as a society to visualize the possibility of PEACE perhaps someday we will be able to accomplish this. It is a great tool to teach said desire tour children, so that they perhaps find a way to instill PEACE as a way of life.
On a personal note, I spent my formative years in the 1970swatching the Vietnam War on TV. Literally eating dinner as I watched soldiers from both sides, kill and die.
Inasmuch as there were Peace movements the conservative society that surrounded me represented an acceptance of war. It was simply an accepted principle. Historically it has been an accepted necessity, countries are born through bloody revolutions and re-formed through just as bloody civil wars. We watch it every day.
There have however been great examples of NON violent changes with great results. As per Wikipedia:
A nonviolent revolution is a revolution using mostly campaigns of civil resistance, including various forms of nonviolent protest, to bring about the departure of governments seen as entrenched and authoritarian. While many campaigns of civil resistance are aimed at much more limited goals than revolution, generally a nonviolent revolution is characterized by simultaneous advocacy of democracy, human rights and national independence in the country concerned. In some cases a campaign of civil resistance with a revolutionary purpose may be able to bring about the defeat of a dictatorial regime only if it obtains a degree of support from the armed forces, or at least their benevolent neutrality.
My favorite principles and acts of a peaceful resolution are those from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi:
A nonviolent revolution is not a program of seizure of power. It is a program of transformation of relationships ending in a peaceful transfer of power.
I hope you enjoy the Peace Hop, ponder on Peace and spread the possibility.
About The Author:
M.C.V. Egan lives in South Florida. she is fluent in four languages; English, Spanish, French and Swedish. From a young age became determined to solve the ‘mystery’ of her grandfather’s death, she has researched this story for almost two decades. the story has taken her to Denmark, England and unconventional world of psychics.Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Genre: Historical Paranormal Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing Release Date: June 14, 2011Amazon On August 15th, 1939 an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. Crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykobing/Falster and Vordingborg. There were five casualties reported and one survivor. Just two weeks before Hitler invaded Poland with the world at the brink of war the manner in which this incident was investigated left much open to doubt. The jurisdiction battle between the two towns and the newly formed Danish secret police, created an atmosphere of intrigue and distrust. In the winter of 2009-2010 a young executive, Bill is promoted and transferred to London for a major International firm. He has struggled for the better part of his life with nightmares and phobias, which only seem to worsen in London. As he seeks the help of a therapist he accepts that his issues may well be related to a ‘past-life trauma’. Through love, curiosity, archives and the information superhighway of the 21st century Bill travels through knowledge and time to uncover the story of the 1939 plane crash. The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve “One of those mysteries that never get solved” is based on true events and real people, it is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through sources in Denmark, England and the United States, it finds a way to help the reader feel that he /she is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions. The journey takes the reader to well known and little known events leading up to the Second World War, both in Europe and America. The journey also takes the reader to the possibility of finding oneself in this lifetime by exploring past lives.
love to cook, eat and delve into the more mysterious aspects of life so today we begin to feed our body and spirit! What is that astrological roadmap we are born with and how can reading that map be fun? Come with me and I will tell you how without any fancy words or someone levitating in their saffron robes. This is real-talk for people who don’t have time for nonsense. I speak the way I write on my blog www.joansastrology.blogspot.com.
With the Moon in Aquarius today and the Neptune and Chiron sitting right on it we have to watch our emotions today so we are going to do some comfort food from my book, “Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook” – my Comfort Polenta with Blueberry Balsamic Sauce. Just what mom ordered. Don’t miss our salute to Virgo’s – and a special birthday recipe just for them!
There is an alive-ness to Lis’ work which makes her subjects seem to want to step right out of their frames! While her first expertise is in using oils, she has perfected a technique using colored pencils that amazes even the manufacturers. Lis is actually using the Maroger oil painting technique she was trained in, but rendering the work in colored pencils and other media. As both media are wax based, the result has the same translucent, realistic effect as the traditional portraits she loves. But as always, she is innovative in her approach to materials and even surfaces. Born in Washington DC, Lis she was studying in the adult program at the Corcoran School of Art. On the collegiate level, she studied again at the Corcoran as well as at American University, Montgomery College and with artists of the DC Color School. Respected for her teaching as well as her artwork, Ms. Rodriguez co-founded Crossroads School of the Arts in Northern Virginia, and has taught in venues in Northern Virginia to children through the adult level in venues from elementary school level through college. Her personal goal is, she says, “We all have been given the directive to multiply our gifts. I can think of no better way than to share mine while watching more art be created than I’d ever be able to do myself.” Lis has raised two children, built her teaching business & a school. She has ambitions in both her artwork and writing projects.
Nordic Liosálfar Svala and Viggo have been in love for a thousand years. After two years apart Svala turns on her TV to find Viggo in the public light, posing as a movie star. She tries to seek him out and the events that follow forces some deep buried secrets to surface…
Svala and Viggo have spent a hundred lives together over the last thousand years. As Liosálfar, Nordic light fairies, their job is to do good and to uphold a balance in the mortal world. A balance, often compromised by the Döckálfar, Nordic dark fairies.
But even good fairies need incentive.
Svala and Viggo are kept apart each life until they fulfill their assignments. Only when, and if, they succeed are they allowed to be together for whatever period of time the powers that be decides. Sometimes they are together for decades, other times years and during the last union once only three weeks.
In this life, Svala turns on her TV and learns that Viggo has become a popular movie star. This is not only highly unexpected, it indicates something is wrong and that Viggo is attempting to contact Svala before their assignments are carried out, an action which is strictly forbidden.
Svala seeks him out, but not without breaking a few rules of her own, and learning that things are not always as they seem.
Saga Berg was born in Sweden during the snow storm of 1979 and knew already at the age of seven that she wanted to become a writer. She studied English and Communication at the University of Malmö, then took her Bachelor in Marketing- and Communications at the same University.
After working a few years as a Marketing Manager, Saga Berg started writing the novella series Nordic Fairies, her first published story. The Nordic Fairies series is a low fantasy novella series with a new concept of fairies and introduces Nordic light and dark fairies, Liosálfar and Döckálfar fighting for balance in a contemporary world. The series has been very well received by readers in all ages with high ratings and amazing reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.
Five parts of the series is currently published, Nordic Fairies (Nordic Fairies, #1), and Freja (Nordic Fairies, #2), Döckálfar (Nordic Fairies, #3), Daughters (Nordic Fairies, #4) and Missing (Nordic Fairies, #5). So far, a total of six parts are planned in the Nordic Fairies series
Guest Post by Stephanie FLESHMAN author of RENDER Get creative and take some cool photos
Please enjoy this guest post by Stephanie Fleshman, author of the enticing Paranormal YA, Render. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.
The 5 Guys You’ll Meet in YA Fiction:
A Guest Post by Stephanie Fleshman
According to GalleyCat, YA eBook revenues increased 120.9% last year. The great news is whatever YA male character types keep you reading, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of books anytime soon. After a while contemplating my favorite YA reads, I noticed a pattern when it came to the male heroes in these stories. Without further ado, here’s a run-down of the 5 guys you’re likely to meet when reading a Young Adult novel…
Guy #1: The Broken and Vulnerable
When I think of broken, I think of Josh from Barry Lyga’s Boy Toy. The sad thing about Josh is that he knows he’s broken but blames himself instead of the person at fault.
When I think of vulnerable, two characters come to mind: Sam from Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series and Cabel from Lisa McMann’s Wake series. Cabel is doused with gasoline, then set on fire by his alcoholic father. He wants to be loved, yet is scared. What makes him strong in a not-in-your-face kind of way is that he wants to love. His lack of resentment and hate is what makes him attractive.
Guy #2: The Abusive
In Jennifer Brown’s Bitter End, Cole is the product of “like father, like son.” In Swati Avasthi’s YA novel Split, however, Jace is the product of being victimized by his own abuser. Unlike Cole, Jace is capable of remorse and guilt. He not only owns up to his actions, but he wants to pay for them. By comparison, Jace makes Cole look like a sociopath.
Guy #3: The Obsessive
It’s no secret that Edward from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is borderline stalker when it comes to Bella. She is his world entirely. In his mind, though, he is only being protective. So, is Edward protective, overprotective, or obsessive? You decide:
Protective: Capable of or intended to protect someone or something.
Overprotective: Having a tendency to protect someone, esp. a child, excessively.
Obsessive: Of, relating to, characteristic of, or causing an obsession; Excessive in degree or nature.
Guy #4: The Dominant
A good example of this type of YA male lead character is Patch from Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. Patch is 100% boy. He’s self-confident, strong, and stands his ground against Nora. Though he is dominating, I don’t believe it’s in a harmful or abusive manner.
In the second book, you get to see more into his heart as he begins to really care for Nora’s well-being.
By the third book, he’s thinking of Nora’s safety and how he can stay with her. He sacrifices what he wants in order to protect her and their relationship, which seems non-existent to Nora by this stage. Not everything is what it seems, though.
Other good examples are Alex from Simone Elkeles’s Perfect Chemistry and Avi from the same author’s How to Ruin series.
Guy #5: The Lovable
I’m going to start with Koldan from my own YA novel, Render. Koldan is firm but not so dominating that he feels the need to control. He’s confident and strong, but recognizes his weaknesses. He’s romantic in the sense that he will do whatever it takes to keep Raya safe, even if it means risking his own life. And he’s not afraid to show his feelings for Raya.
Now, I cannot move forward without mentioning Holder from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. Thirteen years! Thirteen!!! That’s all I’m going to say. Those of you who have read Hopeless know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t, there’s nothing about this guy not to love.
Now I’ve got a question for you: What’s your favorite YA male character type?
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, Render, the debut YA Paranormal novel by Stephanie Fleshman, is on sale for just 99 cents! What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.
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About Render: A betrayal born of blood. A curse for a gift. A love worth saving…Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan–until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.
Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.
In light of the genre question from yesterday, decided genre should be a topic we touch base on.
A common misconception sees genre as a fixed list of dramatic requirements or a rigid structural template from which there can be no deviation. Writers laboring under these restrictions often find themselves boxed-in creatively. They become snared in the Genre Trap, cranking out stories that are indistinguishable from a whole crop of their contemporaries
In fact, genre should be a fluid and organic entity that grows from each story individually. Such stories are surprising, notable, memorable, and involving. In this article, you’ll learn a new flexible technique for creating stories that are unique within their genres.
How We Fall Into the Genre Trap
The first step in escaping from the Genre Trap is to understand how we fall into it in the first place. Consider how wrapped up you become in the details of your story. You slave over every plot point, struggle to empathize with every one of your characters, and perhaps even grieve over the effort to instill a passionate theme.
The problem is, you become so buried in the elements of your story that you lose sight of what it feels like as a whole. So while every piece may work individually, the overall impact may be fragmented, incomplete, or inconsistent. To avoid this, we fall back on “proven” structures of successful stories in a similar genre. We cut out parts of our story that don’t fit that template, and add new sections to fill the gaps. We snip and hammer until our story follows along the dotted lines.
And lo and behold, we have fallen into the genre trap - taking our original new idea and making it just like somebody else’s old idea. Sure, the trappings are different. Our characters have different names. The big battle between good and evil takes place in a roller rink instead of a submarine. But underneath it all, the mood, timber, and feel of our story is just like the hundred others stamped out in the same genre mold.
A New Definition of Genre
Rather than thinking of your story as a structure, a template, or a genre, stand back a bit and look at your story as it appears to your reader or audience. To them, every story has a personality of its own, almost as if it were a human being. From this perspective, stories fall into personality types, just like real people.
When you meet someone for the first time, you might initially classify them as a Nerd, a Bully, a Wisecracker, a Philanthropist, or a Thinker.
These, of course, are just first impressions, and if you get the chance to spend some time with each person, you begin to discover a number of traits and quirks that set them apart from any other individual in that personality type.
Similarly, when you encounter a story for the first time, you likely classify it as a Western, a Romance, a Space Opera, or a Buddy Picture. Essentially, you see the personality of the story as a Stereotype.
At first, stories are easy to classify because you know nothing about them but the basic broad strokes. But as a story unfolds, it reveals its own unique qualities that transform it from another faceless tale in the crowd to a one-of-a-kind experience with its own identity.
At least, that is what it ought to do. But if you have fallen into the Genre Trap, you actually edit out all the elements that make your story different and add others that make it the same. All in the name of the Almighty Genre Templates.
How to Avoid the Genre Trap
Avoiding the Genre Trap is not only easy, but creatively inspiring as well! The process can begin at the very start of your story’s development (though you can apply this technique for re-writes as well).
Step One - Choosing Genres:
Make a list of all the Stereotypical Genres that have elements you might want to include in the story you are currently developing. For example, you might want to consider aspects of a Western, a Space Opera, a Romance, and a Horror Story.
Step Two - Listing Genre Elements:
List all the elements of each of these genres that intrigue you in general. For example:
Western - Brawl in the Saloon, Showdown Gunfight, Chase on Horseback, Lost Gold Mine, Desert, Indians.
Space Opera - Time Warp, Laser Battle, Exploding Planet, Alien Race, Spaceship Battle, Ancient Ruins.
Romance - Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl, Misunderstanding alienates Boy and Girl, Rival for Girl throws out Misinformation, Last Minute Reveal of the Truth leading to Joyful Reunion.
Horror Story - Series of Grizzly and Inventive Murders, The Evil Gradually Closes in on the Heroes, Scary Isolated Location, Massive Rainstorm with Lightning and Thunder.
(Note that some genre elements are about setting, some about action, and some about character relationships. That’s why it is so hard to say what genre is. And it is also why looking at genre, as a story’s Personality Type is so useful.
Genre: Historical Paranormal Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing Release Date: June 14, 2011 Amazon On August 15th, 1939 an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. Crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykobing/Falster and Vordingborg. There were five casualties reported and one survivor. Just two weeks before Hitler invaded Poland with the world at the brink of war the manner in which this incident was investigated left much open to doubt. The jurisdiction battle between the two towns and the newly formed Danish secret police, created an atmosphere of intrigue and distrust. In the winter of 2009-2010 a young executive, Bill is promoted and transferred to London for a major International firm. He has struggled for the better part of his life with nightmares and phobias, which only seem to worsen in London. As he seeks the help of a therapist he accepts that his issues may well be related to a ‘past-life trauma’. Through love, curiosity, archives and the information superhighway of the 21st century Bill travels through knowledge and time to uncover the story of the 1939 plane crash. The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve “One of those mysteries that never get solved” is based on true events and real people, it is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through sources in Denmark, England and the United States, it finds a way to help the reader feel that he /she is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions. The journey takes the reader to well known and little known events leading up to the Second World War, both in Europe and America. The journey also takes the reader to the possibility of finding oneself in this lifetime by exploring past lives.
M.C.V. Egan lives in South Florida. she is fluent in four languages; English, Spanish, French and Swedish. From a young age became determined to solve the ‘mystery’ of her grandfather’s death, she has researched this story for almost two decades. the story has taken her to Denmark, England and unconventional world of psychics. Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Scheduling Now for a Book Blitz/Hop & Giveaway Hosting Giveaway - Enter Here September 21, 2013 The prizes are 2 PEACE POUCHES all include a watch and each a variety of Goodies 1. Add your blog to the linky below, please enter as follows: Blog Name - Feature… See Examples Below - VBT Café Blog - Spotlight BK Walker Books - Interview 2. Hosts are also invited (is not mandatory) to write their thoughts on Peace during their stop and the post does not have to be the only post of the day for this blitz. 3. Enter Social Network to be added to Rafflecopter using Google Form below. 4. Giveaway - Tour Wide & Hosting Giveaways All posts go live on September 21, giveaway ends 9/30.
JODI DAYNARD ~ AUTHORDISCUSSION GROUP~ SEPTEMBER 12
Support an awesome author and enter to WIN a Kindle Fire, a $50 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of The Midwife’s Revolt
We’ll be doing an event every hour on the hour with prizes throughout as well as a day long giveaway for a Kindle Fire! Each event will have clues for extra entries so check back in often. So hop over to GoodReads between 10AM and 8PM EST! Come back throughout the day to get more inside info about Jodi, The Midwife’s Revolt and have some fun!
The Midwife’s Revolt is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon this novel is rich in detail, character and intrigue! The Midwife’s Revolt takes the reader on a journey to the founding days of America. It follows one woman’s path, Lizzie Boylston, from her grieving days of widowhood after Bunker Hill, to her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams and midwifery, and finally to her dangerous work as a spy for the Cause. A novel rich in historical detail, The Midwife’s Revolt opens a window onto the real lives of colonial women.
"A charming, unexpected, and decidedly different view of the Revolutionary War." — Publishers Weekly
We have a lot of fun things planned So come on over!Time Event10am10 things you didn’t know about Jodi11amTrivia Game #112noonQ&A #11pmPicture Caption Contest2pmExcerpts -w/ Discussion Questions? #13pmTrivia Game #24pmExcerpts w/ Discussion Questions? #25pmCooking Discussion6pmContest7pmQ&A #28pmAnnounce Winner!
About the Book: The Midwife’s Revolt takes the reader on a journey to the founding days of America. It follows one woman’s path, Lizzie Boylston, from her grieving days of widowhood after Bunker Hill, to her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams and midwifery, and finally to her dangerous work as a spy for the Cause. Much has been written about our founding men. But The Midwife’s Revolt is unique in that it opens a window onto the lives of our founding women as well. About the Author: Jodi Daynard is a writer of fiction, essays, and criticism. Her work has appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times Book Review, The Village Voice, The Paris Review, Agni, New England Review and in several anthologies. She is the author of The Place Within: Portraits of the American Landscape by 20 Contemporary Writers (W. W. Norton). Ms. Daynard’s essays have been nominated for several prizes and mentioned in Best American Essays. She has taught writing at Harvard University, M.I.T., and in the MFA program at Emerson College, and served for seven years as Fiction Editor at Boston Review. The Midwife’s Revolt is her first novel. a Rafflecopter giveaway
THE TRAVIS CLUB hasbeen called Houston's DA VINCI CODE
The Travis Club
by Mark Rybczyk
Radio listeners in Dallas/Fort Worth may know Mark Louis Rybczyk better as ‘Hawkeye,’ the long time morning host on heritage country station, 96.3 FM KSCS. An award-winning disc jockey, Mark, along with his partner Terry Dorsey, have the longest-running morning show in Dallas. Mark is an avid skier, windsurfer and traveler. He is also the host of ‘Travel With Hawkeye’ a radio and television adventure feature that airs across the country. The Travis Club is the third book from Mark Louis Rybczyk.
In a cathedral in downtown San Antonio, just a few blocks from the Alamo, sits the tomb of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and the other Alamo Defenders. Or so we have been led to believe. What secrets really lie inside the tomb and what has a group of misguided activists known as The Travis Club stumbled upon? How far will the city’s power brokers go to protect those secrets?
What would happen if a group of slackers discovered San Antonio’s DaVinci Code? Find out in the new book by Mark Louis Rybczyk, The Travis Club.
Kim Golden was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1995, she left the US and moved to Sweden for love with a capital L. When she isn’t writing fiction, she writes copy about perfume for a Swedish cosmetics firm. She writes stories for people who know that love comes in every color.
Three stories, three moments in Melanie Jamison’s life. In Edinburgh For as long as Melanie can remember, she’s been in love with John Cavannaugh, but their relationship’s crashed and burned again. Now she’s in Edinburgh with Damian but is she really over John? Until She Comes Melanie moved on with a Swedish actor but the relationship has fallen apart. She’s still in love with John and now they’re both wondering what it means. Do they both want another chance or are they on thin ice…? Lily Her precocious daughter is ready to start school, but is Melanie willing to send her to the school everyone else thinks will be best for Lily?
CHOOSE ME Jessica and Chris had their first chance at love when they were studying in Edinburgh. Away from the US for the first time in their lives,
neither expects to bump into someone from their hometown, much less fall in love. But fate has a way of playing tricks with people. And the question is whether their love is strong enough to last even when they return to America, especially when race comes into play.
Susannah is haunted—by the magnitude of her grief…by the silence…by her husband’s ghost.
LINGER chokes you with the pain of loss and lifts you up with the understanding of true love. I am quite sure everyone could understand and love LINGER by Kim Golden. It touched me especially deeply as I am familiar with both Sweden and the USA. The reader explores how deeply and completely the love that Susannah and Mikke shared. Kim Golden is masterful in her weaving of words as she gives the reader such a full picture. Her writing style is unquestionably brilliant, I look forward to reading much more by this wonderful American author with a strong Swedish influence
And her latest coming soon …..
Late October 2013.
Meet Mia Wilkinson. Mia Wilkinson doesn’t feel very thankful right now, despite it being Thanksgiving. She’s just found out her married boyfriend has no intention of leaving his wife. She heads north to her deceased grandmother’s house in a small town in Vermont. But her plans for a solitary Christmas don’t go as planned—especially when a gorgeous South African photographer shows up on her doorstep. And then there’s Jake Groenewald… Jake’s come to Hunters Grove to get over losing his best friend and colleague to the atrocities of war. The last thing he expects is to have his life turned upside down by Mia and her Rules of Cohabitation. And falling in love is definitely not on his agenda. Will a little snow help them along the way?
As writers, we hold a power. The power of the spoken word. You have the power to transmit the reader to a world which may or may not exist. Within the genre of historical fiction, as a writer you have the ability to recreate historical experiences and events through a new lens. Now that is power.
By virtue of that power, you as a writer can craft works which bring out learning lessons, challenging journeys, heroic feats, and humbling demises. VISIT THE POST by
Jeanette Vaughan is an award winning writer and story teller. Not only is she published in the periodicals and professional journals of nursing, but also in the genre of fiction. Out on her sheep farm, she has written several novels and scripts. Her screenplay Angel of Mercy won the outstanding nursing research award from Texas Tech University Health Science Center. In addition, she was named Distinguished Alumni for the school of nursing in 2001 for her written work and volunteerism for the Sydney Olympic Games. Jeanette has practiced nursing in the fields of critical care and trauma. She is the mother of four children, including two Navy pilots. Her primary motivation to write is her youngest son, Harrison who triumphantly and bravely survives living with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. All of the profits she makes from sales of her books go to support his care. In addition, they support the critical research necessary provide a cure for this disease. Jeanette avidly backs The Parent Project for Muscular Dystrophy. She lives in a Victorian farmhouse out in the pastures of northeast Texas with her sheep, chickens, donkeys and sheep dogs.
"TAKING YOUR EMOTIONS ON A ROLLER COASTER RIDE, ONE PAGE AT A TIME." Michelle Ramsey has a New Book
MICHELLE RAMSEY I am the oldest of five siblings and was born in Atlanta, GA. My love for reading was instilled in me at an early age. Whereas, I cherished visiting the library, it was the afternoons spent with my mom reading, that I most adored. At the age of 12 I began to create stories in notebooks that I hid.
As the years passed, my writing turned into an escape mechanism as much as a form of self-entertainment. My husband (at that time boyfriend) discovered my stories stored away in a closet. He spent the next 16 years encouraging me to share them.
Drawn to mystery books, my writings are anything but. Although they each hold an element of suspense, my books focus on real life situations, real drama, and real people, in a fictional story. I write stories that delve into the inner soul of the woman: her deepest secrets; her wildest dreams; and her darkest fears.
I take a look at life from two sides: urban and suburban, and the challenges each pose in pursuing the reality of individualism in a controlled society. If I can show my readers they are not alone, in dealing with their challenges, and that they can rise above their limitations, I have achieved my goal. My novels are designed to take your emotions on a roller coaster ride, one page at a time.
“Is the Grass Really Greener?” was preceded by “Reflections of Promises” and “Real Secrets” in 2012.
Five women, five lives, five secrets. Each woman is battling her own personal demons, and hiding a secret from her friends and family.
Each of them envies another’s life, wishing her life was different, wishing she had what the other woman had. But what happens when what appears to be real, is all a façade?
Battling breast cancer, single parenthood, infidelity, the loss of a child, and managing the single life, can become overwhelming for these ladies.
Not satisfied with their lives, looking for something better, they contemplate alternative choices to improve their lives; crossing over to the other side of the fence is a very real possibility. We can’t see beyond the choices we make, but we must be held accountable for them.
And after they have crossed the fence, they realize two things simultaneously. Yes, the grass was greener on the other side; and also their grass could have been just as green had they taken care of it.
Courtney found herself nodding her head to the beat of the music, more than she was focused on her report. Anita Baker’s “I Apologize” was on the radio playing softly in the background on KSTORM. She had to get this report done for tomorrow morning’s budget meeting. Stretching back in her chair, she let out a long yawn and shook her head to shake the sleep off. It was 11:55 at night and she knew that she had to be up at four in the morning. But these numbers just weren’t shaking out right.
The right thing to do would be to put it away and go upstairs with Nate and go to bed. She found herself going to bed after her husband more and more these days. She used to be the one who was knocked out by eight or nine o’clock, but not anymore. Some nights she was still up until two or three in the morning, if she didn’t have an early day at the office. Nate didn’t question it, because he didn’t want to be bothered with her anyway. She couldn’t remember the last time they had sex. She stopped to ponder that thought, had it really been five months now? Damn, it had. Seems as if she was always attempting to get him in the mood, and the last time she had done that he had brushed her off and he didn’t show even the slightest interest in her.
“Lonely hearts, find someone to love. Fellas, take care of your women; remember to love them long and strong, ‘cuz if you don’t, another brother will. And to all my lovely ladies, I’m wishing you a good night out there in the ATL; thanks for spending another night with me. And come back tomorrow for another night of love with Hypnotiq on the Storm.”
And with that he blew his traditional kiss and Pierce was off the radio for the night. As if this were some subliminal cue, Courtney closed her folder, switched off the radio on the bookshelf behind her, walked over to the doorway, switched off the light in her office, and walked upstairs to her bedroom. She was halfway up the steps when it hit her.
Damn, she thought to herself, I’ve been staying up half the night every night to hear the voice of a stranger. I’m falling for a man who I don’t even know. She started walking back down the steps to her office and flicked on the light and sat in her chair behind her desk.
Courtney furiously ran her hands through her hair shaking her head in disbelief. What the hell is this? I’m falling for a man I don’t know? He’s a kid from the old neighborhood that’s what it’s got to be. He brings back pleasant memories for me at this rough time in my life. Hell I had one cup of Joe with this man and ran into him at my art exhibit, and I sit up every night to hear his voice on the damn radio, how pathetic am I? He might have a girl, hell for all I know he might not be interested in women anyway, or black women, she shook her head laughing at that one. The way he came on to her that night she highly doubted it. “This is crazy, it doesn’t even matter. I’m a married woman…not happily, but I’m married just the same and I love my husband with all my heart,” she said aloud, “I’m taking my butt to bed, I’m tired…that’s what it is,” and once again she repeated the steps she had just taken, not even three minutes earlier.
But this time when she got to the bedroom Nate wasn’t asleep. He was sitting in the bed staring at the TV. She could tell he wasn’t watching it. Courtney decided it would be best to not say anything, because she didn’t want to argue. All of their words turned into arguments these days and they couldn’t have decent communication. But it wasn’t to be.
“Courtney, I want a divorce,” Nate said.
Thinking she must have lost her mind, or maybe forgot to clean the wax from her ears, she turned over in the bed to face him. “Huh?” she said, a little befuddled.
“I want a divorce,” he repeated in that same monotone he had just used.
“Why?” she asked with panic rising up in her throat.
“I don’t wanna be here anymore, I can’t do this,” he explained.
“Do what Nate?”
“Do us, this thing we call a marriage, this faking it we’re doing day by day, I can’t do it anymore,” he said with a little emotion coming into his voice.
“Look Nate, I know that you’re hurting, I’ve been hurting, too. And what’s hurting the most is that you’re shutting me out. You won’t even talk to me. I know you’re grieving baby, we’re both grieving, but you didn’t suffer this loss alone. I did, too and just like we lost him together we have to find a way to heal together, to go on with our future,” she pleaded.
“I don’t think you heard me. There’s no future for us,” Nate responded a little more passionately this time.