Spotlight – Little Yellow Magnet by Jamieson Wolf

Little Yellow Magnet – A Memoir

Life can change in an instant. Jamieson learns this the hard way.

Waking one morning to find he has little-to-no motor control, Jamieson only wants the world to return to how it had been before. After a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, he thinks his life is over. What he doesn’t know is that it’s only just begun.

Trying to navigate through the world in a body he no longer understands, Jamieson must travel through the dark forest of depression while waging a constant battle against himself. Over time, he learns what he’s truly capable of, and what it actually means to be courageous.

Follow Jamieson as he loses himself…then discovers who he is really meant to be.

Buy Links:

Amazon.ca         Amazon.com          Kobo

Jamieson has been writing since a young age when he realized he could be writing instead of paying attention in school. Since then, he has created many worlds in which to live his fantasies and live out his dreams.

He is a number-one bestselling author—he likes to tell people that a lot—and writes in many different genres. Jamieson is also an accomplished artist. He works in mixed media, charcoal, acrylic and oil pants. He is also something of an amateur photographer, a poet, and a graphic designer.

He currently lives in Ottawa Ontario Canada with his husband Michael and their cat, Tula, who is fearless.

You can find him at www.jamiesonwolf.com    Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

The world was falling around me.

Then again, I always fell. The ground would reach up to meet me, but I would get up and keep going. Having been born with spastic cerebral palsy, this was nothing new. But lately it happened with increasing regularity and without explanation.

Normally, if I were about to fall, there’d be a warning: a tightness in the muscles, a spasm, or a vibration running up my legs or down my back as if someone were playing an internal instrument, causing my muscles to gyrate.

Now there was none of that. I’d be walking one moment, then down I went the next. The ground wouldn’t welcome me in its embrace; it would pummel me, demanding a kiss. I wouldn’t even remember falling.

I also began having problems speaking. Just odd little turns of phrase of sentences I couldn’t get out properly. I’d want to say cup and ended up saying cuppy. I would try to say computer and instead said something like commuter.

This worried me more than the falling. I am a writer and words are my trade. I had always been able to turn out a quick phrase, public speaking never a hardship for me. I constantly had more words than the allotted time to speak—there had never seemed to be enough time to say all of them.

These days I was constantly tripping over my tongue. The words didn’t come out the right way. I was concerned but put off going to the doctor. I don’t like doctors; I’d seen too many of them as a child. I usually waited until the last possible moment to see one. I had narrowly avoided pneumonia a few times that way.

Then my mother called me. “Your brother has been diagnosed.”

I knew he’d been having health issues. As I didn’t speak to him, I got second-hand updates from my mother. He had been losing feeling in his feet and the numbness had moved up to his knees. He was having his own kind of difficulties.

“What’s wrong?” I asked her.

“He’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis,” she said softly. I could tell from the sound of her voice that she had been crying. “They said it was progressive MS. You should get checked to make sure you don’t have it.”

“Is that likely?”

“You’re his brother, Jamieson, his twin. It’s very likely.”

I begrudgingly agreed that I would go. I had postponed it for as long as I could, but after a fall at work and another fall in my apartment, I gave in to the inevitable. I made an appointment to see my doctor. He’d been my family physician for a while now and while he wasn’t great, at least there was someone I could see when I needed to.

I explained everything: how I was falling more often and losing control of my body. How I was having difficulty speaking and getting the words out that I wanted to say. I told him about my brother’s diagnosis and my mother’s concerns.

He was dismissive from the word go. “You don’t have multiple sclerosis,” he said.

“How can you be sure? Aren’t there some kind of tests you need to do to prove that?”

He waved my concerns away. “You don’t have multiple sclerosis. I’m a doctor, I know these things.”

“What about my body?” I asked, growing slightly frustrated. “I know my body and I know my cerebral palsy. This isn’t cerebral palsy causing the falls. I know it’s not. There’s something else going on.” He stared at me with a somewhat bemused gaze. “I know my own body,” I said again. “What about my speech?”

“This is all in your head,” he told me. “All this hysteria is affecting you. I would suggest psychological help. That’s what you need. I can recommend a good therapist.”

I was shocked. I had never been talked to like I was an idiot. I felt quite hot under the collar now. “What about my speech?” I asked again.

He waved his hand once more. “I would suggest elocution lessons.”

I left his office furious, knowing without a doubt that I needed more than elocution lessons and therapy, but I had no idea what to do or who to talk to.

On December 30, 2012, my hand went numb.

I called my doctor again and got him to begrudgingly refer me to a neurologist, but the appointment was months away. Every time I smoked a cigarette my hand kept going numb. I would switch to the other hand, then I’d begin to lose feeling in that one, too. The cigarette would fall from my fingers. I would pluck it off the carpet before it burned a hole.

Since seeing the doctor that first time, the symptoms I experienced had worsened. I fell almost every day with no explanation and had more trouble with my speaking. I made jokes about it, but I was worried.

I looked forward to the coming new year and I decided to go to bed early so I would have plenty of energy for the day ahead. My body, however, had other ideas. I went to bed living one life and woke up living another.

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Spotlight – Fid’s Crusade

Fid's Crusade banner 2

About the Author

David Reiss

While growing up, David H. Reiss was that weird kid with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He was the table-top role-playing game geek, the comic-book nerd, the story-teller and dreamer.

Fortunately, he hasn’t changed much.

David is a software engineer by trade and a long-time sci-fi and fantasy devotee by passion, and he lives in Silicon Valley with his partner of twenty-six years. Until recently, he also shared his life with a disturbingly spoiled cat named Freya.

(Farewell, little huntress. You were loved. You are missed.)

David’s first book, Fid’s Crusade, has just recently been published; this was his first novel-length project, but it certainly won’t be his last—he’s having far too much fun!

Website Link: https://www.davidhreiss.com

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/davidhreiss

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/davidhreiss

 

About the Book:

Title: FID’S CRUSADE
Author: David H. Reiss
Publisher: Atian Press
Pages: 365
Genre: Scifi/Contemporary Fantasy

Fid's Crusade

BOOK BLURB:

Consumed by grief, rage, and self-loathing, a brilliant inventor rebuilt himself to take on a new identity: the powered-armor-wearing supervillain, Doctor Fid. For twenty violent years, Fid has continued his quest to punish heroes who he considers to be unworthy of their accolades, and the Doctor has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. After a personal tragedy, however, Doctor Fid investigates a crime and uncovers a conspiracy so terrible that even he is taken aback.

Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must risk everything to save the world that he once sought to terrorize. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.

In the end, it may take a villain to save the entire Earth from those entrusted with the Earth’s protection.

Praise:

Fid’s Crusade by David H. Reiss is one of the most refreshing and lively takes on the superhero genre I’ve seen in years. His title character’s crusade is colorful, compelling, and takes wonderfully unexpected turns, and the novel delivers an impressive emotional punch (to go along with the super-powered ones). It stands easily alongside other character-driven superhero novels like Austin Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible, Carrie Vaughn’s After the Golden Age, and Paul Tobin’s Prepare to Die!.” – Hugo award-winning author Tim Pratt

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C92PMDH

 

Book Excerpt:

“I’m fine,” I informed Starnyx as soon as he answered his highly-encrypted phone.

A swarm of medical automatons surrounded the gurney on which I was reclined, a humming and swirling dervish of blades, clamps, sponges and other surgical tools focused upon the stump of my shoulder. A surgical laser was carefully burning away flesh in a pattern that would increase the efficiency of repairs performed by the medical nanites once my right arm was reattached.

The blended smell of disinfectant and cooking meat had been disturbing at first, but I was beginning to get used to the odor.

“Okay…?” Eric yawned. “Where are you?”

“I’m back in Boston,” I winced; a more significant cocktail of painkillers was now coursing through my veins, but some discomfort remained. “I’m sorry, I forgot that you were asleep when I left.”

“Nah, it’s almost morning. I can wake up. What’s up?”

“I ran into some minor trouble on my way home,” I forced a chuckle. “It will probably make the news and I didn’t want you to worry.”

“Hold on, let me get to a computer.” I heard tired, uncoordinated movement over the connection.

“It’s not as bad as it looks.” Using my neural connection to the surgical control computer, I ordered one of the robots to add another dose of topical anesthetic. “Really, I’m fine.”

“So, what happened?” Eric must have reached his desk, because I could hear the clacking as he typed on his keyboard.

“I ran into the Brooklyn Knights.”

“I think I’ve heard of them. New guys, righ—” he paused mid-question and fell silent.

“Eric?”

“So, you’re fine then?” Nyx asked, patiently.

“Absolutely,” I affirmed.

“I only ask, because the first hit I get on recent news of Doctor Fid is shaky cel-phone footage of you with your arm cut off,” he explained. “And I’m pretty sure you had both arms earlier tonight.”

“Tis but a scratch?” I tried.

“Christ, Doc,” he sighed, “I’m not doing Monty Python bits with you. Let me get dressed, I can be up in Boston in a few hours.”

“Thank you,” I smiled gratefully. “But, really, don’t bother. I’ll have my arm re-attached by then.”

There was another long pause.

“How?” Starnyx sounded exasperated.

“Medical nanotechnology. I’ll have function back in eight hours.” Which was a good thing, since my civilian persona had a face-to-face meeting with the Governor of Connecticut this afternoon to discuss opening a new research facility in Middletown. “In twenty-four hours, I’ll be good as new.”

“You’re a scary man,” he chuckled, relieved. “Okay, I get it. You’re fine.”

“I am.”

“Keep out of trouble, Doc, I’m going to get back to bed. Stay in touch, yeah?”

“Of course.” It was an odd feeling, having someone who cared for Doctor Fid’s wellbeing.

He hung up, and I closed my eyes to think.

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e_2WVVnZO8&t=2s

 

VBT – SHADES OF JUSTICE

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a personalized paperback copy of Power Struggle to a randomly drawn winner (International Giveaway) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

Detective Madison Knight has risked her badge—and her life—in the pursuit of justice before, and she just might need to do so again. Two victims are found murdered and naked in the home of Steven Malone, who is the largest contributor to the Stiles PD. One victim is his wife. The other victim is a John Doe. This high-profile double homicide immediately pits Madison against her sergeant, who seems more intent on protecting the Malones’ reputation and retaining a benefactor than catching a killer.

Madison will need to pull on her tenacity and courage if she’s going to follow the evidence without prejudice. In the process, it becomes clear that finding justice isn’t always black and white, and often the shades in between tell the fullest story—and it’s not something she will forget anytime soon.

Read an Excerpt

Cover_Shades of Justice

“What’s up?” Madison asked her partner as she bunched up the empty wrapper and tossed it into a garbage bin. It bounced off the edge and then went in. Score: three points.

“Where have you been?” Terry’s face was flushed, his nostrils slightly flared, his eyes wide, his chest heaving. Even for looking unhinged, every one of his blond hairs lay perfectly in place. She, on the other hand, resembled a blond cockatoo most of the time.

“I’m waiting,” Terry pressed. He was certainly in a mood this morning, and he was coming across as if he were the senior detective. He was three years her junior. “I tried calling you five times, left two messages. Why weren’t you answering your phone?”

Crap. She’d been so focused on chocolate she’d forgotten to turn her phone’s ringer back on. She rectified that and saw the missed calls. “I had an appointment.”

Terry pointed to her phone. “You had your ringer off?”

“I had an appointment,” she repeated while shifting her weight to her right hip and jutting out her chin.

“While you’ve been off doing whatever, we had a double homicide land in our lap.” Terry tapped the paper he was holding, and it sank in that it was likely a search warrant. “Quite a high-profile case at that,” he added.

He already had her attention with “double homicide.” As a city of about half a million, Stiles saw its share of murders, but rarely were two bodies found together at the same time. “I’m listening.”

“A man and a woman. Don’t have an ID for him, but she’s Lorene Malone.”

About the Author:

AuthorPicture

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a personalized paperback copy of Power Struggle to a randomly drawn winner (International Giveaway) via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Spotlight – Misfits and Supermen

Misfits and Supermen banner

About the Author

Steve Starger

Steve Starger is a journalist, author, and musician. His 2006 book, “Wally’s World: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Wally Wood, the World’s Second-Best Comic-Book Artist,” was short-listed for the Will Eisner Industry Award for Best Comics Related Book of 2006.

His latest book is a memoir titled MISFITS AND SUPERMEN: TWO BROTHERS’ JOURNEY ALONG THE SPECTRUM.

Website: www.misfitsandsupermen.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Steve-Starger-2222670174658438/

About the Book:

Title: MISFITS AND SUPERMEN: TWO BROTHERS’ JOURNEY ALONG THE SPECTRUM.
Author: Steve Starger
Publisher: Friesen Press
Pages: 178
Genre: Memoir

Misfits and Supermen

BOOK BLURB:

The bond of brotherhood is hard to break, but a lifetime of dealing with familial expectation, bitterness, and psychological disorders can bend and warp it into something nearly unrecognizable. This story tells the tale of two brothers: Melvyn, the elder, whose amalgamation of disorders leave him completely unable to function within society; and Stephen, the younger, whose own emotional and psychological issues are overshadowed to the point where he becomes little more than a pale and twisted reflection of his brother.

On different ends of the same spectrum, Melvyn is blissfully unaware of their troubling connection (or so his brother can only assume), but for Stephen, it is undeniable. He lives with it every day, sensing his own otherness in every twitch, outburst, and inability of his brother to overcome his inner demons. Left largely on his own to deal with his peculiarities-while carrying the burden of being “the normal one,” of whom much is expected- Stephen begins a complicated and unpredictable journey, one which will take him as far from his brother as he can manage to get, even as it brings them inexorably closer.

A portion of proceeds from this book will go toward the Camp Cuheca Scholarship – Melvyn D. Starger fund at Waterford Country School, Quaker Hill, CT., to help fund a two-week summer residency at the camp. For more information about Waterford Country School, please email development@waterforddcs.org.

A finely crafted, affecting memoir of two brothers.”

— Kirkus Reviews

If you want an honest book about life with mental illness in the family, this is it. Great writing. Brutally honest. Hard to put it down. Great stories about CT, NY and CA from the 1940s to 2000.”

–Amazon Reviewer

Misfits teaser 4

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=misfits+and+supermen&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Barnes & Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/misfits+and+supermen/_/N-8q8?_requestid=1514906

Book Excerpt

On a clear, cool night early in the spring of 1967, I lay on a stone wall fronting Long Island Sound, waiting for the acid to come on. I was in the back yard of a mansion in Stamford, Connecticut, staring into the star-filled sky, listening to the small waves gurgling against the shoreline. My mind was serene, but I was nervous, as always when I took acid or some other psychedelic substance. The unpredictability of the drug both thrilled me and made me anxious. Where will I go? What will I see? What will happen? Will I survive? If I lose myself on this plane of existence, what will come next?

My expectation and anxiety were more intense than usual this night. I had dropped what I had been told was two-hundred-fifty micrograms of pure Sandoz LSD-25, the Holy Grail of psychedelics. Or something very much like it.

I had no idea who obtained this rare specimen of a heralded consciousness-altering substance or who manufactured it, but it showed up at the house where my band, NGC 4594, had camped to rehearse. The sprawling home was a prime example of a southern Connecticut Gold Coast mansion; it belonged to the family of our flute and mouth-harp player.

The tablet I had swallowed, about the size and color of an adult dose of aspirin, purportedly had the purity and power of LSD-25, the legendary psychedelic accidentally discovered at Sandoz Laboratories, in Basel, Switzerland, by a chemist named Albert Hoffman, in 1938. Dr. Hoffman’s cosmic experience was decades in the past, but this dose was supposed to be light-years beyond any acid I had previously taken.

The pitch that accompanied this acid could have been lifted from a used-car salesman’s book, but if the claim was correct, I was in for a journey to the center of consciousness, where “clear light” waited to bathe me in its cleansing glow. I had taken other “clean” acid trips, uncut with amphetamines to make the trip come on faster, and free of other additives favored by the street “acid men” to stretch their product for maximum profits.

As the acid slowly insinuated itself into my nervous system (one test of purity is the length of time it takes for uncut LSD to start working, about forty-five minutes to an hour), I felt the heightened combination of exhilaration and anxiety that signals the acid beginning to work its magic.

A gentle nudging began to assert itself at the edges of my consciousness. I gave myself over to the Sandoz simulacrum and let it take me where it would.

Over the course of what seemed like millennia, the acid took me far away, into the vast field of stars above me, and into the water, where I imprinted my image on the surface over and over, until I became an armada of insubstantial clones breaking on the shore. In a quick burst of rational thought, I thought, so, this is what the shouting is all about over Sandoz. Well … let it come down!

Inside the house, NGC was playing to a group of local day trippers who showed up every Friday night to get high and listen to us. We had moved into the mansion from Storrs, Connecticut a couple of months before and had become the latest attraction for the local sensation seekers.

As I lay wrapped in ecstasy in Stamford, my brother, Melvyn Starger, lay on his small bed in his small cell of a room on the opposite side of the state, at Norwich State Hospital. He too had taken drugs, ones very different from what I had consumed by choice. He was not given a choice in the matter; his drugs were prescribed and mandatory. His meds probably were benzodiazepines, psychoactive medications that produced sedative, hypnotic, anti-convulsive, and muscle relaxant effects. In other words, they were used to control patients’ behaviors, which could be explosive and unpredictable.

Someone meeting Melvyn for the first time would wonder why it was necessary to give him medicine designed to pacify him. He seemed so calm and diffident to most people. But he had a temper that could get way out of hand, and it could explode in seconds. He was too thin and under-muscled to do any physical damage to people, but he could be scary. He could yell at the top of his range for a long time.

I can’t presume to know where Melvyn’s mind went when he was on his meds. His inner workings had been a mystery to me and my parents for many years. I did my best to hold off thoughts of him as I peaked on the acid. Had I thought of him in this blissful state, I thought I would freak out (as we used to say). That would have been a shame, because this trip was one of a kind. Nothing should be allowed to ruin it. Not that I hadn’t thought of my brother over the years since we were kids, but there were times when it just wouldn’t have been fair to let reality intrude on my experience.

My efforts to keep my brother at bay have never worked. He was always there, ready and waiting—my constant Virgil on our travels together. He had appeared to me many times over the years, a stoop-shouldered wraith shambling through my thoughts, not so subtly reminding me that our bond would never be broken, least of all by changing locations and doing drugs.

Even in the middle of my cosmic dance on Long Island Sound, I occasionally felt the sorrow generated by my brother’s presence creep in, slowly and inexorably. This time, my altered perceptions absorbed Melvyn and his aura with barely a whimper. I didn’t panic; no ambulances had to be called. I simply rode the whirlwind to its conclusion: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

By then I had learned enough about how to guide myself through a psychedelic experience to understand that walking the Via Dolorosa (“the way of grief”) can be an important part of the experience. After all, the language we used to describe an acid trip or some other mind-altering experience employed such phrases as “ego death,” states of being one must travel through to reach the true center of consciousness, where the pain and suffering brought on by human folly melts into divine nothingness.

Our perceptions of the power of psychedelic drugs came from our readings of Buddhist philosophy and certain practices found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which had been appropriated by the Harvard psychedelic guru Timothy Leary for his own usages. In terms of getting high on psychedelics, it probably amounted to nonsense, but if that got us through bad experiences, what was the harm? In fact, the truest thing I had learned about acid, peyote, mescaline, magic mushrooms, and even things like lowly marijuana was how strong these substances were. One could believe anything behind their power to distort the senses and disrupt the orderly flow of one’s mind.

In my brother’s case, he walked the Via Dolorosa his entire life.

In some societies, my brother might have been revered as a holy man, treated with respect and deference. In our world, he was crazy. A looney-tune. A moron. No one in polite society called him those terrible names, of course, at least not in public. I called him those names, in private and in public.

Divorced from the rest of “normal” society by his multiplicity of psychiatric afflictions, my brother grew up inside his own life. It was not a life that anyone would have chosen, but it was his, thrust on him by nature. His world was rigidly self-contained. He was the only permanent resident. He could relate to the “outside” when he chose to, but those were rare moments. My parents and I had to do the work required to enter his world. It was a hard, frustrating task, but there were occasional payoffs, if one worked hard enough. Small flickers of light would dance in his eyes on those rare moments when he was able or willing to enter the world of the others—our world.

This brief description of my perception of Melvyn’s affect and demeanor may remind some of the classic symptoms of autism, or as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) terms it, “Autistic Disorder.” The DSM’s list of symptoms includes: Marked lack of awareness of the existence or feelings of others; no or abnormal seeking of comfort at times of distress; no or impaired imitation (e.g., does not wave bye-bye, does not copy mother’s domestic activities, mechanical imitation of others’ actions out of context); no or abnormal social play; and gross impairment in ability to make peer friendships.

Melvyn did display some or all of these manifestations at various times throughout his life, sometimes all of them at once. The diagnosis of autism was not generally heard during the time of Melvyn’s development, and even if it had been, the tagging of Melvyn as autistic, or “on the spectrum,” may not have made a difference in my parents’ comprehension of their son’s many aberrant behaviors. In retrospect, the gap that existed between Melvyn and the rest of the world would surely have remained—in fact, did remain—for his entire life.

But Melvyn did not live in a vacuum, despite all of the obstacles that separated us. Melvyn—the fact of Melvyn—exerted a profound influence on everyone who came into his world. My parents struggled for their entire marriage under the weight of Melvyn’s conditions.

Some families, when faced with crippling mental disabilities in a family member, bond together and face their futures in some kind of harmony. Other families fall apart, unable to face the fact of a terrible intruder in their midst. My family went the latter route.

When Melvyn’s strangeness could no longer be ignored or explained away, my parents’ reactions took very different forms. Over the long term, my father grew more distant and depressed, and he began to blame my mother more and more for Melvyn’s problems. My mother adopted the pose of a martyr, taking verbal abuse from my father that increased with passing years. My mother became “Long-Suffering Elsie” in the eyes of friends and family. The perception wasn’t entirely fair. She could still laugh and socialize and have fun playing the piano, but there was no doubt that something deep and sad had possessed her. One can argue that we all affect each other simply by being in each other’s lives, but living so closely with someone of Melvyn’s uniqueness takes that rather obvious observation to a very different place.

As Melvyn’s wrongness became more and more pronounced, my parents turned their gazes on him and never looked away. My developing antisocial behavior and rock-bottom self-image took a backseat to Melvyn’s much bigger problems. My parents missed the danger signs in my young life early on. Their concentration on Melvyn bored like drilling tools into Melvyn’s being, as if my parents could mine information from him about his strangeness. They watched in mounting horror as he transformed from a seemingly normal child into an alien creature lurching toward entropy. They reacted to the early years of Melvyn’s thwarted development with shock, disbelief, denial, increasing pain, depression, and cruelty.

The fact that it took years for Melvyn’s first symptoms of psychiatric disorder to appear—holding out hope for my parents where none really existed—exacerbated a situation that eventually flowered into a force that destroyed the fabric of my family.

This may sound like melodrama, but I watched it happen. My mother, refusing to believe the evidence of her eyes, would swear at times that Melvyn was reading full sentences when he was 2 years old, which proved to her that what was clearly happening to him was beyond her comprehension. She was indulging in magical thinking to save her own sanity.

Misfits and Supermen 3

VBT – THE HIEROPHANT’S DAUGHTER

TourBanner_The Hierophant's Daughter

The Hierophant’s Daughter
(Disgraced Martyr Trilogy #1)
by M. F. Sullivan

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GENRE: Sci-fi, Horror, LGBTQ

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BLURB:

By 4042 CE, the Hierophant and his Church have risen to political dominance with his cannibalistic army of genetically modified humans: martyrs. In an era when mankind’s intergenerational cold wars against their long-lived predators seem close to running hot, the Holy Family is poised on the verge of complete planetary control. It will take a miracle to save humanity from extinction.

It will also take a miracle to resurrect the wife of 331-year-old General Dominia di Mephitoli, who defects during martyr year 1997 AL in search of Lazarus, the one man rumored to bring life to the dead. With the Hierophant’s Project Black Sun looming over her head, she has little choice but to believe this Lazarus is really all her new friends say he is–assuming he exists at all–and that these companions of hers are really able to help her. From the foulmouthed Japanese prostitute with a few secrets of her own to the outright sapient dog who seems to judge every move, they don’t inspire a lot of confidence, but the General has to take the help she can get.

After all, Dominia is no ordinary martyr. She is THE HIEROPHANT’S DAUGHTER, and her Father won’t let her switch sides without a fight. Not when she still has so much to learn.

The dystopic first entry of an epic cyberpunk trilogy, THE HIEROPHANT’S DAUGHTER is a horror/sci-fi adventure sure to delight and inspire adult readers of all stripes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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EXCERPT

Excerpt One:

I

The Flight of the Governess

The Disgraced Governess of the United Front was blind in her right eye. Was that blood in the left, or was it damaged, too? The crash ringing in her ears kept her from thinking straight. Of course her left eye still worked: it worked well enough to prevent her from careening into the trees through which she plunged. Yet, for the tinted flecks of reality sometimes twinkling between crimson streaks, she could only imagine her total blindness with existential horror. Would the protein heal the damage? How severely was her left eye wounded? What about the one she knew to be blind—was it salvageable? Ichigawa could check, if she ever made it to the shore.

She couldn’t afford to think that way. It was a matter of “when,” not of “if.” She would never succumb. Neither could car accident, nor baying hounds, nor the Hierophant himself keep her from her goal. She had fourteen miles to the ship that would whisk her across the Pacific and deliver her to the relative safety of the Risen Sun. Then the Lazarene ceremony would be less than a week away. Cassandra’s diamond beat against her heart to pump it into double time, and with each double beat, she thought of her wife (smiling, laughing, weeping when she thought herself alone) and ran faster. A lucky thing the Governess wasn’t human! Though, had she remained human, she’d have died three centuries ago in some ghetto if she’d lived past twenty without becoming supper. Might have been the easier fate, or so she lamented each time her mind replayed the crash of the passenger-laden tanque at fifth gear against the side of their small car. How much she might have avoided!

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

M.F. Sullivan is the author of Delilah, My Woman, The Lightning Stenography Device, and a slew of plays in addition to the Trilogy. She lives in Ashland, Oregon with her boyfriend and her cat, where she attends the local Shakespeare Festival and experiments with the occult. Find more information about her work (and plenty of free essays) at https://www.paintedblindpublishing.com

Author_Photo

Author Links:

Blog: https://www.paintedblindpublishing.comhttps://www.paintedblindpublishing.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TheRealMFS
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/M.-F.-Sullivan/e/B013DDEQVE
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14199461.M_F_Sullivan

Buy/Review Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hierophants-Daughter-M-F-Sullivan/dp/0996539565
NetGalley: http://netgal.ly/AYYlKV
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42921564-the-hierophant-s-daughter
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-hierophants-daughter-m-f-sullivan/1129918390
Hardback: 978-0-9965395-6-2
Paperback: 978-0-9965395-7-9
eBook: 978-0-9965395-8-6

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview

What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?

Hah, I don’t know. I’m not much of a romantic outside of my writing style. My boyfriend took me to New York two years ago, then we drove over to Ohio to visit my family—that was very sweet, very kind. And a whirlwind trip—eleven plays in eight days, I think? M. Butterfly was the best by far, but I also loved the off-Broadway production of A Clockwork Orange. It was really in-your-face and a very challenging production on an emotional level; the actors playing the Droogs managed to make me feel a little unsafe as an audience member, and I think that’s the highest praise I can give a play.

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?

Marketing the hell out of The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy! You’d see a big ad in the New York Times for a few days, at least. That would probably cost all ten thousand!

Where do you get your best ideas?

Listening to music just about anywhere, especially while doing dishes or going to the gym. Also, thinking about tropes I’d like to explore/revive, or thinking about works of art which disappointed me and how I would have done them better.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

Characters. Organic characters will write the story for you and I can’t stress that enough. They wrote this story for me! Especially Miki Soto, the Japanese prostitute—she’s a very plastic character, I think most readers will agree, and I feel like I had no say in anything about her. She just appeared in the work and stayed in the work, and slowly revealed herself as, just, this absolute gem of a character, both as a person and a plot device. If you have a bunch of really natural, strong-willed fictional characters and fall into the flow with them, they’ll just build a rapport off of one another and reveal the plot to you, one dialogue or interaction at a time.

What does your main character do that makes him/her special.

General Dominia di Mephitoli is the former Governess of the United Front—that’s essentially President of the United States. She’s widely known in her world as one of the most dangerous living martyrs, and she’s one of Earth’s most formidable fighters, with 1000 battles to her name. But as she runs around with her weird friends—Basil, the sapient dog, René the Franco-Japanese professor of English, and, of course, the aforementioned Miki Soto—it becomes apparent that Dominia’s quest to resurrect her wife has further-reaching implications. Especially when Dominia discovers what’s really going on with Basil, and that there’s no limit to her own abilities—or reality.

Spotlight – Dark Spiral Down

Dark Spiral Down banner

About the Author

Mike Houtz

After a career in medicine, Mike Houtz succumbed to the call to hang up his stethoscope and pursue his other passion as a writer of fast-paced thrillers. A rabid fan of authors such as Clancy, Mark Greaney, Vince Flynn, and Brad Thor, Mike loves series writing with strong characters, fast pacing and international locations, all of which explode into action in his debut novel, a 2017 Zebulon Award winner. When not at the keyboard, he can be found on the firing range, traveling for research across the globe, or trying out the latest dry-fly pattern on a Gold Medal trout stream.

He lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

His latest book is the thriller/international/action novel, Dark Spiral Down.

Website: www.mikehoutz.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/michaelhoutz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.mikehoutz/

https://www.facebook.com/mike.houtz.77

About the Book:

Title: DARK SPIRAL DOWN
Author: Michael Houtz
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 377
Genre: Thriller/International/Action

Dark Spiral Down

BOOK BLURB:

COLE HAUFNER is a reluctant superstar in the professional mixed martial arts world. After his latest fight, his wife and child perish in a car crash. His grief deepens when his brother, BUTCH, a Delta Force operator, is absent from the funeral and reported missing by two furtive strangers who show up unannounced at the burial. Despairing, and acting on a tip, Cole travels to his childhood home in southeast China, looking for his brother.

Butch and his teammate, HAMMER, are the sole American survivors of a gun battle between their unit and North Korean commandos, both sides fighting over possession of a stolen suitcase containing a miniaturized fusion device that could either provide unlimited clean energy or be converted to an undetectable bomb seven times more powerful than a nuclear explosion. Leading the North Koreans is the sociopath, Commander PARK. Pressed into helping the Koreans is a disgraced former CIA operative, BARRETT JENNINGS.

Cole meets with the uncle who raised him, MASTER LI, and is warned to stop his search for Butch. Barrett discovers Cole’s identity (with the help of a genius computer hacker, LILLY), which opens a twenty-year-old wound when Barrett was blamed for the disappearance of Cole’s father, along with the man’s invention. Barrett enlists the 14K organized crime syndicate to help capture Cole. Hammer, separated from Butch during the fight for the device, thwarts the gang’s attempt to kidnap Cole, and the two then set off to find Butch and the device. All parties converge on the city library where Butch, now disguised as a monk, is attempting to communicate with the Pentagon. Barrett and Park capture Butch, while the 14K gang nabs Cole.

Danger mounts as Chinese authorities begin investigating foul play within their borders. Cole fights his way free of the gang and reunites with Hammer. Both men find Barrett’s apartment and discover Lilly (the man’s stepdaughter), who divulges Barrett’s identity and plan. Cole clashes with Hammer, who is willing to sacrifice Butch in order to recover the fusion device. Lilly offers her help in exchange for her and Barrett’s rescue from Park’s grip. Meanwhile, Barrett discovers the true nature of the case the North Koreans are pursuing and, sensing he and Lilly are to be assassinated by Park once he has the device, frees Butch. Butch, trusting Barrett was sent to rescue him, leads the turncoat to the site where he hid the device. Barrett, hoping to make a quick fortune selling it, shoots Butch before escaping with the case.

Cole, along with Hammer and Lilly, arrives at the location of Butch and finds him gravely wounded. Butch fingers Barrett for shooting him and for stealing the case. Cole wants only to save his brother but Butch makes him promise to kill Barrett and recover their dad’s invention. The revelation that the device is his father’s scientific discovery propels Cole forward to fulfill his brother’s mission. Cole is forced to abandon Butch at a hospital. Cole pursues Barrett to a remote dock where the ex-CIA man is planning to escape China by boat. With the Chinese military now actively looking for Cole, Cole confronts Barrett and Park sparking a gunfight. Barrett kills Park. As Barrett turns the gun on Cole, Hammer kills Barrett. Cole, Hammer and Lilly escape via the boat, and the fusion device is safely returned.

Praise for Michael Houtz Books

“If you’re in the market for a fast paced, action filled, page-turning thriller, Mike Houtz delivers a must-read novel. I highly recommend this emotional rollercoaster of a book for every die-hard thriller reader…Get it ASAP!”

~Lima Charlie Review

“…this work proves that author Houtz is undoubtedly a rising star in the publishing world.”

~Andrea Brunais, Author

“Mike Houtz takes us on fast-pace adventure in Dark Spiral Down, a thrilling ride along the border between China and North Korea, where Cole Haufner is in pursuit of his Delta Force brother and a device that has the potential to change the world forever or destroy it.”

~Dan Grant, Author

Dark Spiral Down is a phenomenal debut novel by Mike Houtz. This book has everything readers of the genre love: a great plot, memorable characters, and a powerful voice. It’s a must-read!”

~Ammar Habib, Bestselling & Award-Winning Author, Editor-in-Chief of Thriller Magazine

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://amzn.to/2UpXJmK

Book Excerpt:

Anger born of helplessness rose in his chest. In contrast to Master Li’s placating tone, Cole straightened to his full height and stared into the man’s face. “Let me guess, more 14K cowards?”

Another man stepped forward and cocked his pistol’s hammer. “I show you coward.”

As at the Crowne Plaza earlier, Cole refused to back off, even in the face of impending conflict. “The coward is the man who needs a gun.”

The other with the shotgun pointing at Cole’s chest stood only some seven or eight feet away. “You will come with us now!”

“Please. Violence is forbidden here,” Master Li spoke again. “The Temple is sacred. We cannot have this type of behavior.”

“Maybe you don’t hear so good,” the leader sneered. “He comes with us whether you approve or not.”

“He is a famous American! If you take him, the government will arrest anyone involved. They will have no choice but to hold immediate trials and executions.” Master Li cupped his hands together and held them against his chest.

“Famous American,” the man chuckled. “If you are so famous, what are you doing here then, huh?”

Cole stared straight into the man’s eyes. He took several steps toward the shotgun-wielding thug. “How about I show you?”

Dark Spiral Down teaser 3

Book Blast – Dreams That Never Were

Dreams That Never Were banner

About the Author

Greg Messel

Greg Messel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and lives on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, with his wife, Jean DeFond. Dreams That Never Were is his 11th novel and is a historical fiction account of a young reporter caught up in the events surrounding the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Greg has also written a series of mystery novels set in San Francisco in the 1950s. He has lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Utah and has always loved writing, including stints as a reporter, columnist and news editor for a daily newspaper. Greg won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a colunist and has contributed articles to various magazines.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


About the Book

Title: DREAMS THAT NEVER WERE
Author: Greg Messel
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing
Pages: 296
Genre: Historical Fiction

Dreams That Never Were 2

BOOK BLURB:

On June 5, 1968 Senator Robert F. Kennedy, then a candidate for President, is mortally wounded by assassin Sirhan Sirhan in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Among the innocent bystanders who were also shot that night is a young idealistic reporter from San Francisco, Alex Hurley.

The tragic incident changes his life as he’s swept up in the turbulent events of 1968.  Alex is conflicted about the Vietnam War after spending several months there as a reporter. The war costs him his first marriage and threatens to tear his family apart. However, he meets a woman who’s love restores his hope and together they forge a new life set against the backdrop of the war, the civil rights struggle and political upheaval in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Alex Hurley’s story is part political thriller and partly a romance in Dreams That Never Were, the latest historical fiction novel by award winning author Greg Messel.

The title comes from a famous quote of Robert F. Kennedy’s “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’”

ORDER YOUR COPY:

https://amzn.to/2PraiJ3

Dreams That Never Were 9

Book Excerpt

I heard unfamiliar voices talking.

He’s starting to open his eyes,” someone said.

That’s a great sign,” commented another.

I detected a pain in my side, just below my rib cage. I tried to open my eyes, but they seemed to be glued shut. The voices resumed—talking about me as if I wasn’t there. Finally, I blinked my eyes, trying to focus, and soon realized  I was in a hospital bed. Standing by me, with concerned looks etched on their faces, was an odd collection of people from my life. 

Through my bleary eyes, I saw my ex-wife Brenda; John Greer, my photographer pal from San Francisco; and Darlene Harvey, the reporter from the Los Angeles Times, I’d been admiring from afar since I had arrived in Southern California. 

Brenda moved forward and tenderly gripped my hand in a way that she had not done for a long time. 

How are you, Alex?” she asked softly. 

I gave a weak shake of my head. “I dunno. What happened?” 

Don’t you remember, mate?” John jumped in. 

Remember what?” I mumbled blankly, as my weak voice tailed off into nothing.

He’s still coming out of the drugs. Give him a minute,” Brenda pleaded. “They’ve been keeping him kind of doped up since the surgery. This is the first time I’ve been able to talk to him.”

Surgery?” I asked. 

Brenda shushed me and gently ran her long, slender fingers through my hair. “Take it easy. Don’t try to talk right now. Take your time. Then we’ll help you understand what happened.”

I groggily attempted to get my bearings. “We were at the hotel. Everyone was celebrating Bobby’s victory. I was following him out of the ballroom, and there was like a riot. I was suddenly on the floor and couldn’t get up. It was strange. All of these people kept stepping on me—on my arm and on my legs.” 

I glanced at my right hand which was heavily bandaged. “I got knocked down. I’m sorry. Everything is a little hazy. I’m having trouble getting my brain to work.”

The three people hovering over me could not have been more different—two beautiful women and John, with his long black hair pulled back in a ponytail and a scruffy beard covering his face. The trio exchanged concerned glances, whispered, and nodded at one another. I started to shift in my bed and was met with a jolts of pain in my side and my leg. 

Brenda attempted to lighten the mood. “I was afraid you’d wake up in your hospital bed, see your ex-wife standing over you, and think you’d died and gone to hell.”

I gave her a weak smile, while the others chuckled to break the tension. 

Brenda was trying to make sure my re-entry was a slow descent, but that strategy was quickly dashed when John started blurting out all the details of the last 14 hours. “Take it easy, Alexander. You’ve had surgery. You were shot, man. They removed the bullet. The doc says you’re going to be fine. Some people from San Francisco are on their way down here, including our boss. Everyone’s been worried about you after they saw the news.”

The news? I was shot?”

Brenda glared at John. “Way to go slow, John. Senator Kennedy was shot. You and some other people were also wounded by the assassin.”

No, no, no!” I yelled. “Bobby was shot? No, not this time! This wasn’t supposed to happen! Assassin? Is Senator Kennedy going to be all right?” 

John moved closer. “Bobby’s just down the hall. He’s still alive, but he’s not doing very well.”

Not doing very well?” I snapped with rapidly accelerating alarm.

John blundered ahead. “This place is like a fortress. It was hard to get in here especially onto this floor. Cops are everywhere.”

Maybe we should go,” Darlene said shooting a glance at John. “We’ll come back later, Alex. We just had to see you. We were so worried.” 

No, no, don’t leave right now,” I pleaded. I repeated what I had been told to try to take in the enormity of the news. “Senator Kennedy was shot. How could… how did it happen?”

Brenda nodded to John and Darlene. “I’ll stay with him. I know you must be very busy.”

Darlene leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. She was dabbing tears from her eyes. “It’s been a long night. We’re all living in a nightmare. I’m so sorry, Alexander. It’s good to see you awake.”

Darlene grabbed John by the elbow and pushed him towards the door. John flashed a peace sign. “Peace, my brother. I’ll see you a little later. Take it easy and get better. I’ve got to call San Francisco. Everyone’s anxious to hear about you.”

After they departed, I tried to shift to get a better look at Brenda. She looked great. Her long black hair cascaded onto her shoulders. It was longer than I had ever seen her wear it. She wore a lime green mini dress with white trim and white boots. 

Where am I, and what time is it?” I quizzed Brenda. “Actually… what day is it?”

It’s Wednesday,” she checked her wrist watch. “It’s about a quarter to two.”

At night? What happened to Tuesday?!”

You had surgery earlier today, and I just got to town. I came straight to the hospital. I flew down as soon as I heard about the assassination attempt. Your name was on the television as one of those wounded with Bobby. I caught the next plane to LA to see you.”

Uh… wow… that’s… I mean, I’m overwhelmed. That’s a lot of money. Is that all right with Tom?”

I was very upset, and Tom immediately offered to fly me down here to see you.”

That’s very nice… of you… and your husband.”

Alex, I don’t think you’ve grasped what’s going on outside this room. It’s a national crisis. I wish you could look out the window at the street below. There are barriers up, and hundreds, if not thousands, of people are lining the street in the front of this hospital. News about the shooting is on TV constantly.”

Where’s Senator Kennedy now?” I groggily asked.

Here. Eric Sevareid and Walter Cronkite have been on CBS saying something has happened to the fabric of our nation. There are signs everywhere that say ‘Pray for Bobby.’ The raw footage of the shooting has been shown over and over again on NBC. You’re right. After the shots were fired, it was like a riot. When I turned on my television, not only did I see Bobby bleeding on the floor in the pantry, but I saw you on the ground with a pool of blood under you. You were wearing a blue blazer, lying on the floor on your side against the wall.”

Dreams That Never Were 7

VBT – BLIND WALLS

TourBanner_BlindWalls

Blind Walls
by Bishop & Fuller

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GENRE: Urban Paranormal

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BLURB:

It’s a monstrous maze of a mansion, built by a grief-ridden heiress. A tour guide, about to retire, has given his spiel for so many years that he’s gone blind. On this last tour, he’s slammed with second sight.

He sees the ghosts he’s always felt were there: the bedeviled heiress, her servants, and a young carpenter who lands his dream job only to become a lifelong slave to her obsession. The workman’s wife makes it to shore, but he’s cast adrift.

And the tour guide comes home to his cat.

Cover_Blind Walls
The pairing of Bishop and Fuller is a magical one. . . . It’s a brilliant opus, melding the past, present, and future with intimate, individual viewpoints from a tightly arrayed cast of believable characters in as eerie a setting as might be dredged out of everyman’s subconscious searching. . . . Blind Walls offers a weird alternative world, featuring a blind man with second sight and an acerbic wit as its charming, empathic hero. —Feathered Quill

These characters are so well developed that one has to think of them as live people – laughing with them and crying with them, even getting old with them. This is an amazing story based on the Winchester Mansion and told with such quiet, compelling, raw humanity that the reader simply can’t stop until the entire tale is told. A wonderful, spooky look into others lives and what may or may not happen on any given day. -—Dog-Eared Reviews

Bishop and Fuller have constructed a story rich with imagined detail and visionary ideas about life’s possibilities. The cast of ghostly characters, servants, workman, and family light up the story with dramatic effect as their actions and choices are observed. . . . The authors’ prose is effortless and moves easily from humorous to weighted seriousness. The dialogue is perceptive, giving voice to compelling characters and particularly to the tour guide whose second sight he confers on the readers. The latter will not want to look away from the myriad rooms of Weatherlee House. —US Review of Books

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EXCERPT

As always, I stood by the Here sign under a fig tree sprinkled scantily with small ripe figs. Behind me, as always, I felt the looming massive labyrinth of Weatherlee House.

Being a short man, I habitually assumed a military stance, stretching myself upward at least a quarter of an inch. My clipped hair, which I’m told is mostly gray, added gravitas to my otherwise bland face, or so I imagined. My tour guide’s uniform—crisp navy blazer, burgundy rep tie—bulged only modestly at the midriff. A brass name plate, over the buttoned pocket where my heart might be, labeled me Raymond Smollet. My round wire-rimmed black glasses were the only discordant feature in my demeanor. The fact is that I am blind.

The figs and my necktie hue I knew only by report. The wire-rims made my nose itch. I had tried wrap-arounds, but my supervisor Mr. Bottoms said they looked creepy. In fact, Management surely discerned that I looked even creepier with wire-rims. I could intuit patrons peering in sideways at my fixed milky orbs, a perfect match for those haunted-house billboards that sucked them in. People would pay top dollar to visit alien worlds where the only true risk was blurring a snapshot.

Today was the final day of my life and now the final hour. Final, at least, for life as I had lived it. I stood cockily under my fig tree on the brink of my retirement—a Friday that marked the completion of thirty years as a tour guide of Weatherlee Ghost House.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author photo

Conrad Bishop & Elizabeth Fuller’s 60+ plays have been produced Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, and in thousands of their own performances coast to coast. Their two public radio series Family Snapshots and Hitchhiking off the Map have been heard nationally. Their books include two previous novels (Realists and Galahad’s Fool), a memoir (Co-Creation: Fifty Years in the Making), and two anthologies of their plays (Rash Acts: 35 Snapshots for the Stage and Mythic Plays: from Inanna to Frankenstein.)

They host a weekly blog on writing, theatre, and life at http://www.DamnedFool.com. Their theatre work is chronicled at http://www.IndependentEye.org. Short videos of their theatre and puppetry work are at http://www.YouTube.com/indepeye. Bishop has a Stanford Ph.D., Fuller is a college drop-out, but somehow they see eye to eye. They have been working partners and bedmates for 57 years.

Website: http://www.damnedfool.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indepeye/

Conrad Bishop Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AConrad+Bishop&s=relevancerank&text=Conrad+Bishop&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1

Elizabeth Fuller Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AElizabeth+Fuller&s=relevancerank&text=Elizabeth+Fuller&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_2

Conrad Bishop Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4352.Conrad_Bishop
Elizabeth Fuller Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4350.Elizabeth_Fuller

Conrad Bishop Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/conrad.bishop
Elizabeth Fuller Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizful

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/indepeye/videos

e-book 99 cents from Smashwords. Can do preorders during tour, receive it June 1st. Will be $2.99 after preorder period.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/925035

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Bishop & Fuller will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you both. 
I and I are us. We write in collaboration, have done so for five decades, mainly in theatre, now in fiction. Not remotely famous, but we’ve made our living that way, and only with work we believed in. Check out our memoir, CO-CREATION. Yes, and we sleep together too.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Probably Anton Chekhov, if he were alive, maybe just a casual chat about passers-by. Since he’s not, possibly Roger Waters or Peter Gabriel—just because we love their music—though it might be a trial to us all. No idea, though, why they’d want to hang out with us, which would make a big difference—though maybe we’re buying the drinks.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
It derives from the enticing (though mostly fabricated) legend of the Winchester “Mystery” House—a grief-stricken widow with a mad obsession—which formed the heart of a play we produced in 1997. But multiple stories intersected with it, often fragments of people we’ve known, marriages gone askew, fulfilled desires becoming rat traps, etc. Just the stuff of life. First draft was in 2013, and lots of words under the bridge between then and now.

What is your writing process?
Very regular but chaotic. Our first plays were written with small kids running around and sometimes on a 12-week tour to a half-dozen states. So there are lots of brief spurts at the keyboard but also regular morning and late-night hours, and periodic joint conferences for feedback, improvisation, and brainstorming. CB likes coffee shops with lots of people around; EF likes her desk with two cats curled up.

Tell us about your main character:
The “main character” will depend on the reader’s own heart. Dominating all is the heiress Sophia Weatherlee, appalled at her isolation, her childhood guilt, her own cruel impulses, her obsessions . . . Emotionally, we’re much closer to Chuck and Dee, high school sweethearts whose lives are radically affected by Weatherlee’s obsession. And the storyteller Raymond Smollet, a blind tour guide who narrates the action as he sees it happen—we might be partial to him because he does the least harm to anyone and loves his cat.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Maybe Javier Bardem playing Sophia Weatherlee: he’s good at controlled madness. Joking: we don’t keep up with the current crop of actors, by name anyway. Though we could see Woody Allen as the blind Tour Guide.

What are you working on next?
A novel (working title MASKS) about a family of touring players in the Middle Ages intersecting with the gods of the Norse pantheon. In 5th draft right now. Plus revising a bunch of old short stories—a good gauge of how far our skills have evolved.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Get famous somehow. (In other words, we don’t know.) Seriously, though, from our many years of theatre work, we found that the market, the money, the resources change constantly, at least every 5 years. What works now may be dead in the water very soon. Just keep trying stuff, and if you’re lucky—and very persistent—you’ll catch the wave.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Right now reading a lot of memoir: ANGELA’S ASHES (Frank McCourt); THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING (Joan Didion); LIAR’S CLUB (Mary Karr).

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
For CB: stage directing, acting, sculpture, design, carting out the garbage.
For EF: acting, musical composition, electrical wiring, carpentry, sound engineering, bookkeeping, cooking.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Hearing: to hear the public conversations that aren’t full-voiced but are hushed. Knowing others’ lives is absolutely vital to any form of storytelling.
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List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Live longer.
  2. Gain readership.
  3. Visit China.
  4. See lots of films.
  5. Read faster.

Where can readers find you on the web?
For our weekly blog & writing: www.DamnedFool.com. For our theatre work: www.IndependentEye.org. For video trailers: www.YouTube.com/indepeye.

Any final thoughts?
At our age, one doesn’t like to think about having final thoughts.

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