Monthly Archives: July 2021


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Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale
by Bill Zarchy


GENRE: Sci-Fi / Alternate History / Baseball Saga / Action Thriller



On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes. Walking away from the Valley Forge encampment, he takes a fall and is knocked unconscious, only to reappear at a dog park on San Francisco Bay—in the summer of 2014.

Washington befriends two Berkeley twenty-somethings who help him cope with the astonishing—and often comical—surprises of the twenty-first century.

Washington’s absence from Valley Forge, however, is not without serious consequences. As the world rapidly devolves around them—and their beloved Giants fight to salvage a disappointing season—George, Tim, and Matt are catapulted on a race across America to find a way to get George back to 1778.

Equal parts time travel tale, thriller, and baseball saga, Finding George Washington is a gripping, humorous, and entertaining look at what happens when past and present collide in the 9th inning, with the bases loaded and no one warming up in the bullpen.





The General watched as the Northern Lights spread, shimmered, and swirled through the sky like the smoke from God’s own cigar, now rising, now dipping, now twirling and pulsing.

Though soldiers often considered the aurora a bad omen, at that moment it thrilled him. To the east, he could see the glow of sentry fires of some of the closer regiments, the troops hunkered down for the night. A short distance to the south, the men of his personal guard occupied their own group of makeshift huts within sight of the farmhouse.

It’s cold. I should get back before Patsy and the staff begin to miss me.

He paused and took a deep breath of the night air. He was a durable and determined man who had survived cold and wintry weather during his early life as a surveyor and, later, as a British officer. He would show his Continental Army troops that the cold didn’t bother him, that staying strong was a state of mind. Certainly they had it worse than he did, but they respected that he had refused to move out of his tent into the stone farmhouse until his men moved out of their tattered shelters into log huts.

The fluid, ethereal display of light in the skies danced and pulsated. Before he could climb down the hill and head back toward the farmhouse, the ground under his feet began to shake and rumble, providing a steady, geological drumbeat to accompany the green and red light in the sky. The terrain rolled. He lost his footing on the ice, just at a point where a crisp moonbeam seemed to hit the patch of turf he was crossing.

The earth came up to meet him, and he banged his head on the frozen ground. Woozy and lightheaded, teetering on the edge of consciousness, he felt a great sadness, felt the bones in his body melt in the shard of moonlight, even as, in his remaining awareness, he realized the moon was not out that evening. He felt his body scooped off the ground, as if by a vengeful wind, then tumbled in a heap onto something hard and unyielding that swept him along at a great rate of speed. All went dark.


author photo

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bill Zarchy filmed projects on six continents during his 40 years as a cinematographer, captured in his first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. Now he writes novels, takes photos, and talks of many things.

Bill’s career includes filming three former presidents for the Emmy-winning West Wing Documentary Special, the Grammy-winning Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, feature films Conceiving Ada and Read You Like A Book, PBS science series Closer to Truth, musical performances as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and countless high-end projects for technology and medical companies.

His tales from the road, personal essays, and technical articles have appeared in Travelers’ Tales and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers, and American Cinematographer, Emmy, and other trade magazines.

Bill has a BA in Government from Dartmouth and an MA in Film from Stanford. He taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the EPIC Storytelling Program at Stagebridge in Oakland. This is his first novel.



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Interview With …..

Thanks for being here today. Tell us about you as a person.

I love sunset walks on the beach, dogs, and a warm fire. I’m allergic to cats, so what looks like a sweet, purring ball of cuddly fluff to you looks like a scratchy, itchy, sneezy hour to me. I have always been a writer. My dad gave me an old portable typewriter when I was a young lad, and I taught myself to type pretty quickly with two fingers. I convinced some relatives to pay me money for a “subscription” to a family newspaper that I published with carbon paper and light gossip for an issue or two. I wrote a column for my high school paper and was managing editor of the campus daily when I was an undergrad at Dartmouth. I was seduced by visual media after graduate film school at Stanford, and I ignored my writing for a long time, till about 20 years ago.

My wife and I have been together nearly 50 years, 43 of them married. We’ve lived in the same house for 35 years. We love family, baseball, music, movies, friends, theatre, and ballet. As a tall guy who’s never been good at basketball, I hated basketball for much of my life, a whiny response to folks saying, “Wow, you’re so tall! You must be SO good at hoops!” We have two wonderful sons. One is a speech-language pathologist, and one is a lawyer.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

I’ve been researching Franklin D. Roosevelt for another novel, and I would very much like to meet him, to see how it feels to be in his presence. I’m intrigued by the sparkling personality that emerged from the twists and turns of his remarkable life — raised in wealth and privilege, struck down by polio, a cruel twist of fate. Then coming back from that depressing low point to be elected president four times, always depicted smiling. Historians attribute the great empathy he exhibited toward others to his own life narrative of triumph over adversity. I’d love to spend time with him, perhaps as a fly in the wall, and try to see if his warmth and empathy is genuine, or something fabricated for the cameras, to enhance his public image. I don’t mean to sound cynical. I’d just love to meet him.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The presidents have always fascinated me, especially Washington. He’s so far back in time that his accomplishments have always seemed larger than life, and perhaps they were. As a young boy, I often asked myself how I would explain technology — like trains, cars, planes, cameras, movies — to George Washington, if he suddenly left his horse-and-buggy age and appeared in mine. When I was looking for an idea for a novel a few years ago, that old notion popped up again, and I began to develop it as a comical, fish-out-of-water story. As I learned more about George, I began to see him as the pre-eminent figure of his age, which sparked a new theme. What if he never returned to Valley Forge? What cascading effect would that have on the history of the world? Then my beloved Giants had a magnificent season, and I began to fold a baseball metaphor and theme into the story mixture. It’s all a big stew, really.

What is your writing process?

When I was younger, I could write and think in the midst of chaos, surrounded by people and media. But lately, as my attention has become more fragmented, I need peace and quiet. I only write in my office, formerly my son’s room, which I took over some years ago. I have a comfy chair, good elbow support, a keyboard in a tray off a large wooden desk. I use a Mac laptop on a stand, which raises it up to match the height of an adjacent large monitor.

I marvel at folks like you who can write while listening to songs with lyrics. We must be a different species. I can’t have words floating around in the air around my head when I’m trying to compose words inside it, but more power to you if it works for you! I only listen to instrumental music. Lots of jazz, usually soft jazz. I have a Miles Davis / John Coltrane playlist that lasts 16 hours, though some of it’s too raucous for writing. I play classical sometimes, looking for pieces that have a steady dynamic range throughout, like chamber music, rather than those that get very loud and very soft, like concerti or symphonies.

I work best in two-to-four hour shifts, with breaks for pit stops and stretching as needed.

Tell us about your main character:

My main character is General George Washington of the Continental Army, who comes to the present. This is not the old, marble-faced, unhappy-looking guy on the dollar bill, but a tall, vigorous, powerful leader in his mid-40s, who’s perplexed by his sudden shifts in venues and centuries. He’s very intense, but exercises tight self-control, rarely shows anger. He’s a man’s man who nonetheless enjoys the company of women. An excellent rider and a graceful dancer. In his own era, he was the most famous man in the Colonies — and one of the richest — despite having little formal education.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

It’s tough to imagine who could play Washington credibly, but I think William Hurt has a broad, strong face and the right kind of presence to pull it off. Unfortunately, he’s 71 now, more than a quarter century older than George in my story. I thought David Morse did a good job portraying Washington in the mini-series John Adams, but he’s in his late 60s. I also liked the accent he used for George. Hurt and Morse are both tall, like George.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I’m working with an actor on an audiobook version of Finding George Washington. We’ve done all the recording, but it needs to be edited, checked, corrected, and mixed. I hope to be able to release the audiobook in just a few weeks. David Boyll, the actor, is performing all the different roles with different voices, and he’s highly skilled at accents. For George, he’s been using a sort of an English West Counties accent, similar to David Morse in John Adams. It’s been fun hearing my words come to life!

I’m also planning a sequel to Finding George Washington. It’s about FDR, titled Saving Franklin. It centers on an incident from 1933, where Franklin D. Roosevelt, newly elected to his first term as president, is the object of an attack by a seemingly crazed gunman. FDR is unhurt, but half a dozen shots were fired, causing several injuries and two deaths. It’s a ‘what-if’ story. What if Roosevelt had been killed that night and never become president? What would happen to the U.S. and the rest of the world without FDR’s leadership through the Depression and World War II? I’ve made a couple of research trips and written a bit of this, involving some of the same characters in Finding George.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

First and foremost, make it the best book you possibly can. Write, edit, rewrite. Get notes from other writers and learn how to get and give constructive, positive feedback. If you possibly can, have your book professionally edited. Get on social media and join online interest groups. Get a website. Blog and post about yourself and your book and other subjects. Plan online and in-person events with bookstores and libraries and other organizations. Ask readers who like your book to post online reviews for it. Purchase reviews from Clarion, Kirkus, and other review services. Do a book blog tour. Advertise if you can.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

The book I’m most looking forward to reading is Spider Woman’s Daughter, by Anne Hillerman, her first novel about the Navajo Tribal Police. She took over the series from her father Tony Hillerman after he passed away a dozen years ago. I saw the author speak at an online book chat a few weeks ago, and I recalled how much I enjoyed the earlier books in the series. I ordered her book and wrote to her, and she graciously accepted a copy of my debut novel, Finding George Washington.

Anne’s book will have to wait a little while. I normally only read one book at a time, but right now, I’m in the middle of both A Promised Land, by Barack Obama, and Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor, and I can’t deal with the idea of being in the middle of three books at once.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I worked for many years as a cinematographer, shooting film and video projects on six continents, and I taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. Since retiring from the film business six years ago, I’ve studied (oral) storytelling and, in 2018, produced and performed my first one-man storytelling show called “Billy Solo;” in 2019, curated and hung my first photo exhibition; and in 2020, published my first novel, Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

I want x-ray vision!

I want to be able to see into buildings and containers and vehicles. I want to know what’s inside nearly everything around me.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Feel safe enough to travel again.
  • Visit Antarctica. I’ve been to the other six continents and would love to collect the whole set.
  • Attend Game 7 of the World Series in San Francisco, in great seats on the field level, as my beloved Giants win it all!
  • Write several more books, mostly novels.
  • See Finding George Washington made into a movie.

Any final thoughts?

This has been fun. Great questions. Thanks so much for hosting me!


Book Blast – SOFT GOLD

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Three hearts can equal one great love…

Hera, the goddess of mothering and childbirth, wants more than to be Zeus’s throwaway partner. She wants a lover and a hot romance she can call her own, but she’s not sure she deserves to be happy. When she meets Crane in Vegas, all bets are off.

Crane Gray is a man of contradiction. On the stage, he’s a superstar, but at home, he’s alone. He wants love and Hera is the woman of his dreams. But Crane has unfinished business with John.

John has loved Crane for so long and only wants him to be happy. When he sees Crane with Hera, he knows what’s been missing between them and craves making Hera their third.

Can these three make a go of their relationship despite the glare of the spotlight or will a mistake from Hera’s past threaten their future?

Be Warned: menage sex (MMF), anal sex

Read an Excerpt

©2021 Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

“I’m Crane Gray and it’s nice to meet you—someone who doesn’t know me. I’ve got a concert here at the hotel tonight. I should be prepping for it, but I just don’t care and I want out of my life for a while. You fascinate me and I’m enjoying myself here in the bar. I’d like you to stay. Please?”

She debated what to do. Stay with Crane, the celebrity, or find someone a little more boring.

“Will you at least tell me your name?” he asked. “Have a drink with me?”

She liked him, despite his ability to drive her crazy. He was physically what she wanted in a man—blond hair, blue eyes, tall, handsome, and younger than her. Then again, most men were younger than her. She’d like to spend time with him because, honestly, this would be the only encounter. He could be that pure gold she’d been looking for.

“Honey?” He gave her space. “It’s just a drink.”

She could handle this. She’d ruined many a man, forced Echo to repeat the same words, turned individuals into monsters, and destroyed mortals. Having a drink with Crane was nothing. “Sure.”

About the Author:

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.



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Megan Slayer will be awarding a Prize Pack Featuring a Necklace made by the Author to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Dragon(e) Baby Gone
(Reports from the Department of Intangible Assets Book 1)

by Robert Gainey


GENRE: Mystery Fantasy



Diane Morris is part of the thin line separating a happy, mundane world from all of the horrors of the anomalous. Her federal agency is underfunded, understaffed, and misunderstood, and she’d rather transfer to the boring safety of Logistics than remain a field agent. When a troupe of international thieves make off with a pair of dragon eggs, Diane has no choice but to ally with a demon against the forces looking to leave her city a smoldering crater. Facing down rogue wizards, fiery elementals, and crazed gunmen, it’s a race against time to get the precious cargo back before the dragon wakes up and unleashes hell.




Modern times gave way to a general idea that reason and logic were enough to stop something from dragging you into the sewers and wearing your skin to protect itself from daylight. It’s easy to see why: it doesn’t happen to a lot of people, therefore it must not happen. I see it all the time, people who say things like “I’ve never seen a ghost, so they must not exist.”

Oh yeah? Because if spirits did exist, they’d all be tripping over their ghost dicks to haunt you? Do you understand the preternatural forces that conspire, the circumstances that line up, to create any kind of ghost? Let alone one that shows up in your room at night and moans about revenge or betrayal or rattles some chains and teaches you a valuable lesson about being selfish?

“Well, there’s no such thing as Bigfoot. All those pictures are super blurry and grainy,” they say, their voices nasally and snobby, like all the knowledge of the world is pumped directly into their tiny brains through their tiny phones. Go stand out in a remote Colorado forest one night. Turn off your phone, open your eyes and ears, and wait. When you feel those eyes watching, and when you know, deep in that primitive monkey brain, way, way down inside, that there’s more than just the animals you have names for sharing that clearing with you, then you can call me to tell me that there’s no such thing as Bigfoot.

That is, if you live to turn your phone back on again.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Robert Gainey is a born and raised Floridian, despite his best efforts. While enrolled at Florida State University and studying English (a language spoken on a small island near Europe), Robert began volunteering for the campus medical response team, opening up a great new passion in his life. Following graduation, he pursued further training through paramedic and firefighting programs, going on to become a full time professional firefighter in the State of Florida. He currently lives and works in Northeast Florida with his wife and dogs, who make sure he gets walked regularly. Robert writes near-fetched fantasy novels inspired by the madness and courage found in everyday events.





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

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


Interview With …

What is something you’ve lied about?
I once told my wife I was going up into town to try and find a piece of specialty wood for a desk I was building. There are a couple sawmills who stock stuff like magnolia, white oak, cypress, that sort of thing, so it was a plausible lie, and I’d been talking about building this desk for a few months. This was during the pandemic lockdown, so my wife was working from home, so she’d have noticed me missing from the house for four or five hours, and I needed a good excuse. About two hours in, I had to call and make up some story about the first place not having anything I wanted, so I was going to have to drive further out to another and see what they had.

The truth was, I actually drove to an animal rescue in Jessup, Georgia to get a puppy for my wife. She’d never suspected for a second I’d been anything less than truthful, so when I walked in with Magnus it was worth every mile just to see the look on her beautiful face.

Who is the last person you hugged?
My wife, naturally. As long as I’ve got arms, that’ll always be the last person I’ve hugged at the end of every day.

What are you reading now?
I’m branching out into a genre I don’t normally get into, reading Helen C. Johannes’ Lord of Druemarwin. I’m also in the process of reading Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War by Judith Miller, but that’s at the fire station so I only read it every third day.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I’m a big fan of puns and wordplay. I find something memorable, something funny, something that I’d look at and say, “Huh, I’ll give that a try.”

Share your dream cast for your book.
It’s funny you should ask, since my wife and I just discussed this a few days ago. It may seem like a kind of vanity project, but we did slap together something resembling a casting call.
Diane – Aya Cash
Archades – Josh Brolin
LaFleur – Lance Reddick
Sadie – Gwendoline Christie
Jericho (voice only) – Chris O’Dowd

I’m happy to field phone calls from any of them. No need to be shy.


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two men, one song and a summer to reconnect.

Jude Sanders walked away from Blake Payton three years ago and vowed not to look back…but the song he wrote and recorded with Blake has become a hit and he’s forced to perform the song with Blake all summer. He’s got to make a decision—face the mistakes in his past and give Blake another try or turn his back on their love forever.

Blake Payton knew the moment he and Jude recorded Summer Song that they’d created a hit. Summer hasn’t been the same without Jude in his life and he sees the tour as the ultimate chance to prove they belong together.

Will the tour, their lost love and the song of the summer be enough to put the pieces back together for good?

Reader advisory: This book contains references to excess drinking and cocaine addiction, references to abusive alcoholic father and childhood poverty. There is a scene involving sexual assault.

Read an Excerpt

©Megan Slayer, 2021, All Rights Reserved

“You’ll do it?”

“I want out of this fucking movie. I’m tired of being cooped up on the set because I’m not needed.” If he could spend time with Jude, then all the better. Maybe he could get them back together and work out his issues…because he loved Jude.

“Consider yourself on tour.”

“I film for two more days doing retakes and close-ups,” Blake said. “And there’s Kel. He’ll be pissed. He thinks I’m going to do more movies.”

“Let me handle him.”

He didn’t know how Bob would make this work, but he trusted his old friend. “Once I’m done here, I’m flying out. Where am I going? You’re sending an itinerary? Getting a band together? We’ll have to do some rehearsals.”

“You’ll come here to Cleveland. I’ve got a suite booked at the Crown Hotel and my own recording studio for rehearsals. Two weeks to iron out the wrinkles and you’re off,” Bob said. “I haven’t steered you wrong, have I?”

“No.” He’d been a fool to dump Bob as his management, but he’d thought Kel would get him into bigger venues. He’d been wrong. Kel had got him more notice and made him a bona fide star, but it had been a hollow victory. Blake had had to sell out to get to the top.

“This will be good for you. We’ll work up a theme. How about a sand, sun and fun theme? Tour dates are firming up as we speak. You’ll do three shows a weekend and it’ll be great,” Bob said. “The career will be back on track and you’ll be happy.”

“You can do all of that in one summer?”

“If you trust me.”

“I trust you.” He lived for the thrill of being on the road, holding court on stage and the camaraderie of the touring company. He needed to log miles and play music, but more than that, he needed to talk to Jude. He missed being held, being loved and protected… Jude gave him a place to explore and understood who he was without being judged.

He wanted Jude’s kiss, his arms around him and his love. Just because the song was old didn’t mean the passion had to have ended. His summer song with Jude had another verse yet to be written.

About the Author:

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at her website.




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Megan Slayer will be awarding a Prize Pack featuring a necklace made by the author to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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VBT – Patches


About the Book

Title: Patches

Author: Valicity Elaine

Genre: YA Coming of Age

Patches Cover

Michael Bull Jr. is best friends with the most popular guy in school, his father is a famous politician, and he’s just started his last year in high school. He is the perfect student with the perfect life … except for his face.When you’ve got a disease that changes the color of your skin, turns your hair grey, and threatens to blind you, high school can be tough. It also doesn’t help when your crush decides to blackmail you and expose your secret. But hey, what can you do except try to survive?

Author Bio

Valicity Elaine is the owner/creator of The Rebel Christian Publishing. She is an avid reader and loves to write just as much! She grew up in upstate New York in a beautiful Christian family and loves using her writing and illustrations to express her wonderful faith. When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family or helping out her church. Random fact; Valicity LOVES pasta, haha!

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The Wall
by David Pereda


GENRE: Mainstream Fiction, Thriller



THOMAS BERTRAM is an American living in San Salvador with his fiancée CECILIA. They own a popular neighborhood restaurant and plan to wed soon. Thomas’s dream is to obtain a resident visa for Cecilia and return to the United States.

DOMINGO JIMENEZ and his wife BLANCA own a small repair shop across the street. Domingo’s dream is to move to America as well so that his seven-year-old daughter NANCY can grow up speaking English and having a good education and a better life than he and Blanca had.

When armed gang members invade their neighborhood to demand “protection” money and threaten them with death if they don’t pay, Thomas and Domingo’s dreams for the future take on a new perspective. They decide to flee the country with their families through Guatemala and Mexico to seek asylum in the United States.

But their journey is more challenging than expected, and they face a myriad of difficulties and must overcome multiple obstacles that put not only their dreams but also their lives at risk.




Thomas’s first impression was that Ciudad Juarez was a city suffering from schizophrenia.

Based on the Reforma newspaper article he was skimming before he fell asleep, the schizophrenia was even more severe than it appeared from the airplane window. According to the report, murderous dark forces moved underground through the city with impunity. Coexisting with a well-educated and law-abiding middle class breathed some of the world’s most feared and violent drug cartels. And while the local police bragged about having achieved a drastic reduction in crime over the past decade, more than 1,000 women had been murdered—and over 3,000 reported missing during the same period.

The article hinted at a police-force cover-up—and even possible police involvement—and blamed the crimes on the transient population seeking to cross the border illegally into the United States. It ended with an impassioned plea to Mexican authorities.

It all read like blah-blah-blah to Thomas.

As the jetliner banked for a runway approach, he spotted some of the transient population described in the article. Small groups of people dotted the protracted chain-link fence, plastic bags either slung over their shoulders or resting on the ground at their feet. Thomas wondered how much the article’s writer had been paid to blame those poor souls whose only desire was to find a better life in the United States.

Cecilia saw them too. “What are those people doing?”

“Waiting for night,” Thomas said as the plane straightened, and he lost sight of the fence. “To cross to the other side.”

The pilot landed with a jolt. After a couple of bounces that elicited frightened cries from alarmed passengers, the aircraft rolled to a stop on the tarmac in front of an oblong cream-colored building. Cecilia, Alex, and Thomas deplaned and were guided toward one of the doors by uniformed immigration officials. The sun was so hot that Thomas’s skin crinkled.

“We have to go through immigration?” Thomas asked, raising an eyebrow. “I thought we were in Mexico.”

“Border towns in Mexico always check your documents,” Alex said. “I don’t know why. I guess it’s in case you’re planning to cross into the United States illegally.”

Cecilia glanced at Thomas with concern, and he noted the dark circles under her eyes.


Pereda_THE WALL_Photo

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

David Pereda is the award-winning author of eleven thrillers and mainstream novels. His books have won the Lighthouse Book Awards twice, the Royal Palm Awards, the National Indie Excellence Awards, and the Readers Favorite Awards twice. He has traveled to more than thirty countries around the world and speaks four languages.

Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, Pereda had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Qatar, among others.

A member of MENSA, Pereda earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned BA degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He loves sports and has won many prizes competing in track and show-jumping equestrian events.

Pereda lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College.

Visit him online at:


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David Pereda will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour,

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Interview With ….. David Pereda

Tell us about you as a person.

Here are three things about me that people may or not know:

1-My most successful book is one my fans have probably never read, or, if they did, they didn’t think I wrote it. The book sold 50,000 copies. I wrote it under a pen name, which I won’t disclose, and it was an erotic novel.
2- English is my second language. I’m an immigrant myself, which helped me identify with the characters when writing THE WALL. I was a penniless nineteen-year-old non-English speaker when I arrived in America, clutching my immigration papers.
3- I’m a cowboy at heart. I love the cowboy ideal, whether real or not—honesty, loyalty, and courage. In my teens, I dreamed of running away to Canada and becoming a cowboy. I still dream of owning a ranch with horses and cattle and living a cowboy life.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Genghis Khan, if he could come back from the dead for one day. I would love to spend a day with him riding on the steppes of Mongolia, listening to his stories. Although he is vastly unrecognized in the west, and until recently not given the importance he deserved in China, he is the most successful conqueror in history.

He began his incredible rise to power as Temujin, a thirteen-year-old persecuted by a minor chieftain who had just murdered his father, another small chieftain. Mongolia at the time was a collection of petty chieftains constantly warring with each other.
During his lifetime, he united the entire Mongol nation and became Genghis Khan. His armies were never defeated, and he conquered most of the known world. His empire lasted 600 years.

Unlike other conquerors, his significance extended far beyond warfare. Some of his achievements include the following: a code of law, later used by Napoleon; a way of communicating quickly with his generals imitated as the Pony Express in the old west and by Hitler during World War II with his rapid attack; instituted meritocracy instead of class distinction in his armies; created war tactics later used by known generals; developed engineering feats capable of overcoming walled cities; began the first known spy assembly in the world to collect information about the places he planned to attack.

I could go on and on with his achievements; there were so many. I would be thrilled to gallop on the Mongolian steppes alongside him, just listening.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

I owe this novel idea to my students. During the past fourteen years, I have taught English to thousands of students from all over the world. They shared their usually happy, sometimes sad, but always poignant and courageous stories of coming to America. Over the years of listening to their stories, I felt the need to write a meaningful but entertaining novel that would address controversial immigration problems in our country but wouldn’t preach. THE WALL is that novel, and many of the most dramatic episodes described in the book happened.

What is your writing process?

I write my best between 2:00 and 7:00 in the morning when everything is quiet.

During the workweek, I roll out of bed between 1:30 and 2:30. I have a quick breakfast and work until 6 or 7 am, shower, get dressed and start teaching at 8. At night, I sleep maybe 2 hours, sometimes 3. In the afternoon, between classes, I sleep one or two more hours. During weekends, I may linger writing and checking emails until later.

It is now precisely 2:11 on Saturday morning. I’ve been answering your questions since 1:30.

Tell us about your main character:

Here my answer may shock you or sound arrogant. If so, I apologize; it’s not my intention. The two main characters in THE WALL, Thomas and Alex, are extensions of my personality. Like Thomas, I’ve been poor to the extent of going hungry at times; like Alex, I’ve been very wealthy and married to a royal and hobnobbed worldwide with European nobility. Like Thomas, I’m loyal and methodical; like Alex, I’m dauntless and love wine and women and danger.

In my youth, I was more like Alex. I have become more like Thomas in my later years, but I often feel Alex’s presence in the background, waiting.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

Prince Stanislaw (Alex) – Liam Hemsworth
• Thomas Bertram – Christian Bale
• Domingo Jimenez — Michael Pena
• Cecilia – Rosario Dawson
• Blanca – Eva Longoria
• Nancy – a Latino child star
Why? Because these Hollywood stars conform to my idea of what the main characters in THE WALL look like–and they all can act

What are you working on next?

My next novel, GOLDEN, is scheduled for publication in 2022. I’m halfway through it now. The first chapter is included at the end of THE WALL.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

First, make sure what you want to share with others is well written and worth reading.

Second, believe in yourself and remember Og Mandino’s wise words, “Of small attempts, repeated, comes down the mighty oak.”

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

My favorite book is and has been for a long time The Sun Also Rises, the first novel published by my favorite writer, Ernest Hemingway. I believe it is his best novel

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

When I think of special or extraordinary talents, I think of Superman. So I’ll tell you what makes me unique, understanding that every human being is unique, and let you determine if what I say is commonplace or extraordinary.

I have an I.Q. of 160. I have set records in the 100m, 200m, and 400m sprints in three age groups and have a box full of medals to prove it. In another container, I have multiple awards earned at show jumping equestrian event competitions. In addition, I’m good in mathematics (I teach math at a community college) and languages (I speak four of them).

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

A mind so powerful that it would allow me to understand the complexities of our world to improve it to the benefit of humanity.

List 5 things on your bucket list:
A trip to Mongolia in summer to search for the tomb of Genghis Khan
• Spending a summer on a ranch as a cowboy
• Riding the Orient Express
• Visiting Eastern Europe, especially St. Petersburg in Russia
• To repeat a trip I took years ago to Copper Canyon

Any final thoughts?

It is 3:39 am.

vbt – Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism


About the Book

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Title: Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism

Author: Tom Durwood

Genre: Supplemental Textbook, Literary Criticism

An award-winning teacher lays out the basic rules of literary criticism in this accessible guide.

Foreword by Todd Whitaker

Tom Durwood’s ebook on Kid Lit provides teachers and students with comprehensive information they can really use–definitions and clearly delineated explanations of the tropes of Kid Lit, scholarly essays and interviews that explore these ideas further, and classroom activities and exercises that allow students to relate what they’ve learned to works they’re familiar with and their own lives. Practical for teachers and accessible to a wide-range of students, the book also encourages readers to embark on further study through extensive reading and film lists included in the chapters. This book is an impressive and invaluable resource for any classroom exploration of Kid Lit.

— Sarah LaBarge, English Instructor, LaSalle College


Tom Durwood expertly breaks down and explains literary theory in an easy-to-understand way. This book makes sense of reading critically and guides students to producing their own explanations of literature.

— Christine E. Carlson, English Instructor, Cabrini University


Tom has a gift for making complex ideas understandable to his cadets. His lesson plans are amazing! He can turn a standard freshman composition class into a forum for collaborative learning and global thinking.

Susan Ray, Ph.d, Arts & Humanities, Delaware County Community College


I enjoyed your book on Kid Lit and it fills a gap – I can think of several great intros to children’s literature (notably by Maria Nikolajeva and Roberta Seelinger Trites) but they are not exactly conversational.

I’d love to be in your class and the lesson plans look very fun.

Lynley Stace, Writer and Illustrator (The Artifacts, Midnight Feast)

kid-lit- cover

Teacher Resources – Kid Lit

Author Bios

Tom Durwood faculty photo

TOM DURWOOD is a teacher, writer and editor with an interest in history. Tom most recently taught English Composition and Empire and Literature at Valley Forge Military College, where he won the Teacher of the Year Award five times. Tom has taught Public Speaking and Basic Communications as guest lecturer for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group at the Dam’s Neck Annex of the Naval War College.

Tom’s ebook Empire and Literature matches global works of film and fiction to specific quadrants of empire, finding surprising parallels. Literature, film, art and architecture are viewed against the rise and fall of empire. In a foreword to Empire and Literature, postcolonial scholar Dipesh Chakrabarty of the University of Chicago calls it “imaginative and innovative.” Prof. Chakrabarty writes that “Durwood has given us a thought-provoking introduction to the humanities.” His subsequent book “Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism” has been well-reviewed. “My favorite nonfiction book of the year,” writes The Literary Apothecary (Goodreads).

Early reader response to Tom’s historical fiction adventures has been promising. “A true pleasure … the richness of the layers of Tom’s novel is compelling,” writes Fatima Sharrafedine in her foreword to “The Illustrated Boatman’s Daughter.” The Midwest Book Review calls that same adventure “uniformly gripping and educational … pairing action and adventure with social issues.” Adds Prairie Review, “A deeply intriguing, ambitious historical fiction series.”

Tom briefly ran his own children’s book imprint, Calico Books (Contemporary Books, Chicago). Tom’s newspaper column “Shelter” appeared in the North County Times for seven years. Tom earned a Masters in English Literature in San Diego, where he also served as Executive Director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.


TODD WHITAKER is a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is a leading presenter in the field of education and has written more than 40 books, including the national bestseller, What Great Teachers Do Differently. He regularly presents at conferences such as the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the Academy of Management Learning and Education, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)

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Kid Lit

Empire Studies Magazine

The Illustrated Colonials

Boatman’s Daughter

The Illustrated ‘USG’ in China and other stories


Tom Durwood on Facebook

Teacher Resources – Kid Lit


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In this latest cozy mystery, Mimi, and her co-anchor, Nicole Marcel, on the Interview TV Show, TONIGHT, is at her peak of popularity in Paris. Charles Bleisante, who owns the TV Station, proposes a TV interview tour for the pair of certain cities on the continent.

The two, with Nicole’s lover, Detective Giscard Morency, are off, first to Barcelona, later to London. The interviews center on food: the cooking of a paella, in Spain; the braising of a Christmas goose in London, delicious episodes that attract a wide audience. However, certain nefarious incidents occur, in which Mimi is canine sleuth.

CNN–New York requests the co-anchors come to Manhattan for more interviews. There, Mimi helps solve a grisly murder that takes place in one of the highest billionaire luxury buildings in the world.

The resolution of this crime is revealed in Book Five of The Mimi Series: “MIMI TAKES MANHATTAN.”

Read an Excerpt

Detective Giscard Morency grew concerned. As lover of Nicole Marcel, he began to have a dull sense of dread toward one Charles Bleisante. He realized the extent of the entrepreneur’s interest in Nicole. It was not only professional. Oh no. It was much more personal.

Giscard knew the man had lustful feelings for his woman. He could understand it well, but it surely made him deeply anxious about the proposed TV Tour of Europe that Bleisante was proposing for Nicole.

The two – with Mimi – would be out of Paris – in grand hotels – at dinners – on planes shooting through the skies – in exotic places – in bedrooms?

Giscard determined to interrupt this pilgrimage. He would find a way. Perhaps, on the journey, Mimi with her petit nez noir, (little black nose,) would find a new felon for him to track. Obviously, Mimi and Giscard were linked together on several nefarious cases. It would not be at all untenable for the detective to enter the picture if a proper case should appear. It was not much to hope for, but hope he did!

“I’m not going to let you go off with him… alone,” he declared to Nicole.

“Oh, please,” was her reply. “I know him. He’s harmless.”

“Well, I know him too,” was Giscard’s strong rebuttal. “I know men…it’s in his eyes. He lusts for you.” Giscard made up his mind there and then to go wherever she went, whether Nicole approved of it or not!

About the Author: Elizabeth Cooke, born and bred in New York City, graduate of Vassar College and The Sorbonne, is the author of several books about Paris, where she lived in the 1950s.


Amazon Buy link:

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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