Category Archives: book spotlight

Spotlight – Dark Spiral Down

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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/

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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:

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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

Spotlight – Moments That Made America

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About the Author

Geoff Armstrong

Geoff Armstrong began his teaching career in 1965 after receiving a teaching diploma from McGill University’s Macdonald College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Montreal’s Concordia University in 1967 where his major field of study was history. Armstrong credits writers such as Bruce Catton, and Thomas B. Costain, as well as the encouragement of his father who had little formal education, but a deep love of reading and of history, as the inspiration for his own life-long interest.

Throughout a 25-year teaching career he taught history at several grade levels and learned quickly that to reach the hearts of his students, history had to be made immediately and deeply relevant and accessible: that some event that took place centuries before those students were born had a direct and profound influence on every aspect their lives. He also learned that talking down or writing down to his students was a recipe for defeat. It is this awareness, shaped by a quarter century of teaching and countless questions by thousands of intelligent young people that has informed and shaped his writing.

His latest book is Moments That Made America: From the Ice Age to the Alamo.

You can visit his website at www.MomentsThatMadeAmerica.com.

 

About the Book:

Title: MOMENTS THAT MADE AMERICA: FROM THE ICE AGE TO THE ALAMO
Author: Geoff Armstrong
Publisher: History Publishing Company
Pages: 254
Genre: American History

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BOOK BLURB:

From its geological birth during the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent millions of years ago, through the nation-shaping key events that led to its political independence from the British superpower, and other crucial, sometimes miraculous events that worked to create the nation, Moments That Made America: From the Ice Age to the Alamo explores those defining moments, both tragic and inspirational that profoundly shaped the nation and its people – crucial turning points that worked inexorably to mold and make America. These pivotal “tipping” events formed America’s geographical, sociological, political and historical landscape. Part 1 culminates with the discovery of gold in California and the role it played in fulfilling America’s dream of Manifest Destiny.

ORDER YOUR COPY AT AMAZON:

Moments That Made America: From The Ice Age To The Alamo

Moments That Made America teaser 5

Book Excerpt:

Excerpt from Chapter Three: The Road to Revolution

On the 19th of June, with twelve hundred men and officers, the British army began its march. Braddock’s forces moved slowly, building roads as they advanced. By the 8th of July, Braddock had arrived within 12 miles of Fort Duquesne. Typical of British thinking concerning military action in North America, Braddock failed to send out scouts or set up advance guards. In splendid European-style formation, their bright scarlet uniforms glowing in the summer sunshine, Braddock and his men moved against the French Fort. Washington had spent time in the region and knew it well. He understood the style of fighting they would have to face and recognizing the danger, he tried to persuade Braddock to set up proper security, but Braddock, suffering from what turned out to be terminal arrogance, ignored Washington’s experience and advice.

At about noon they crossed the Monongahela River. The road on which they now marched led through a valley and along two concealed ravines covered with trees and deep grass. What Braddock didn’t know, thanks to his haughty refusal to employ scouts, was that the ravines concealed 600 Native American warriors and 250 French soldiers all armed and waiting.

As soon as the British reached the ravines, the woods in front of them erupted with musket fire as the French and their Native American allies unloaded their weapons into the British. Stunned by the unexpected attack, the leading British troops were hurled backward into their advancing rear units, throwing Braddock’s regulars into hopeless confusion. Disorganized and gripped with fear, hammered by volley after volley of musket fire from directly ahead and then from their flanks, the British struggled to fight back as their legendary discipline began to falter.

The first discharge of musket fire had targeted the officers and many had already fallen. Several times the British rallied and at one point succeeded in killing the French commander. That seemed to act as a signal to the Indians. They threw themselves at the British.

Now panic-stricken and disorientated, ignoring the commands of the few remaining officers, the British regulars huddled together in small groups, firing ineffectively into the surrounding trees and bushes. Protected by the ravines and trees, the French and Indians continued to target the officers.

The only troops who retained any hint of common sense were the Virginians. As soon as they realized whom they were fighting, they ignored Braddock and used the colonial fighting tactics they had learned from the Native Americans.

Washington’s conduct during the battle was exemplary. He refused to huddle in terror, as so many of his fellow officers did, vainly hoping to escape the death that flourished all around them. At six-foot-four and on horseback, he was the most conspicuous officer and the most conspicuous target in the entire British expedition. Witnesses describe him as riding from battered group to battered group, rallying his Virginians and attempting to rally the British regulars into following the example of the Virginians. Four musket balls tore through his coat and two horses were shot out from under him. Inexplicably, nothing touched him.

Finally, Braddock was shot through the lung and carried from the field. He later died of his wound.

Washington, though he was relatively far down in the chain of command, displayed the leadership for which, he would someday become famous. He was able to enforce enough discipline to form a rear guard and allow what was left of the British expedition to retreat.

British losses were appalling with more than 900 dead and wounded. According to most records, only one mounted officer survived the engagement that would become known as the “Battle of the Monongahela”, but should have been called the “Monongahela Massacre”. That officer was George Washington.

He should have died that day. Just one more unknown, low ranking colonial officer, one more casualty in a poorly executed British offensive, his name lost in the mists of history. How Washington managed to survive is beyond explanation and it was only the first of such miraculous escapes. Had he lost his life, the America we know would not exist, or if it did somehow come into being, it would certainly be profoundly different. His survival in the face of almost impossible odds also gives substantial evidence to many, that both Washington and the nation that would someday become America, were under the protection and guidance of Divine Providence.

Washington himself recognized that his survival that day was highly improbable. A few days later, in a letter to his brother John, Washington himself wrote about this. “By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”

Moments That Made America teaser

 

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Spotlight – The ‘Real’ American Diet

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About the Author

Kevin C. Alston

Born & raised in the small town of Mullins, SC, by God-fearing parents who instilled religion into his life at an early age, he’s had an insatiable appetite for knowledge since birth. God blessed him with a keen, analytical mind, & an almost feverish desire to help others. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran, married to the love of his life, with five wonderful kids, & a deep passion that still burns within him to help the less fortunate, through whatever means necessary. The correlation between what we eat & the epidemic-like rise in diseases of today has the author on an impassioned mission to get to the bottom of what he thinks is a big conspiracy by our government & Big Business.

His latest book is The ‘Real’ American Diet.

Website Link: http://diet4america.wix.com/real ,

https://youtu.be/sQ8LOeFoj68

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/kcasrkev1

Facebook Link: http://facebook.com/kcasrkev

 

About the Book:

Title: THE ‘REAL’ AMERICAN DIET
Author: Kevin Alston
Publisher: Xlibris Publishing
Pages: 48
Genre: Memoir/Nonfiction

The Real American Diet

BOOK BLURB:

This book is a culmination of the author’s life, but mainly the past 10 years, where personal tragedies have led him to discover more about the correlation with food, nutrition & the diseases of today, & how it affects us all.

This program is an experiment of sorts, with the author using himself as the guinea pig, with positive results having been discovered, & hopefully, in time, even bigger positive results yet to come.

Between our government & Big Business, we, the people, are already involved in an experiment. It’s like a big laboratory. With all of the harmful toxins that are allowed in our air, food, & water, diseases are at epidemic-like levels, & the author, for one, would like to know if there is more to this than is being told to us. It speaks volumes when other nations refuse to accept grains & meats from us, or at least it does to the author.

Most of the ailments we suffer from today emanate from our guts, & our poor diets keep the sickness-wheels turning, costing each of us millions of dollars, a whole lot of heartache, pain, & suffering. It’s time to make a change, & that change started with the author’s experiment on himself.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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https://www.amazon.com/Real-American-Diet-Kevin-Alston-ebook/dp/B0794MPWWD/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+%27Real%27+American+Diet+kevin+alston&qid=1552343215&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spell

Book Excerpt:

Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

IF YOU’VE BEEN dieting forever with very mixed results, then you’ve finally come to the right place. These lifestyle changes that I am recommending will be like no diet that you have ever attempted, so if you combine what I’m about to teach you with the proven methods that Dr. Joel Fuhrman teaches you in his books—Eat to Live is the best one to start off with—you will be well on your way to attaining your goal of losing the dreaded weight that you have been desperately seeking to get rid of for so long.

Book Trailer

https://youtu.be/sQ8LOeFoj68

Spotlight – CRAVED by Keli Hammond

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Book Description:
What does it take to stand out from the crowd? How do you build a brand people notice, connect with, and trust? What does it really take to get (and keep) a constant flow of incoming and loyal customers and opportunities?

In CRAVED, Keli Hammond walks you through the ins and outs of building a brand that is not only noticed, but sought-after and profitable. She uncovers the key elements needed to craft cohesive and clever marketing campaigns and demystifies the components needed to gain influence and be memorable.

In this book, Hammond combines decades of award-winning industry knowledge with helpful stories and advice that illustrates what not to do in brand building. She walks you through how to build a loyal tribe that advocates for you and endorses you.

Because marketing rules change quickly, the things that worked five years ago are now outdated and old-fashioned. The guidance you get from CRAVED will help you elevate your profile, attract more people to you, monetize your influence, and set the stage for long-term profit for your personal brand or business.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at this for a while, this is the resource you need to help make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Transform your life by strategically creating a brand people CRAVE.

Author Bio

Keli Hammond head shot

Keli Hammond is a nationally-recognized, award-winning expert on marketing. The author of CRAVED: The Secret Sauce to Building a Highly-Successful, Standout Brand; Keli knows what it takes to make people stop, listen, engage, and invest in brands (both personal and business). With a focus on brand acceleration and positioning, Keli’s expertise helps people pinpoint hurdles to success and pivot their marketing to achieve maximum results and brand loyalty.

Keli owns B Classic, a Washington, DC-based marketing and communications agency that helps entrepreneurs, corporations, non-profits, and government agencies better educate, entice, inspire, and engage their target consumers.

Keli distilled over 15 years of marketing know-how into her debut book, aptly named CRAVED, which offers practical tips and resources that provide clarity on how to turn a passion into profit by becoming a dynamic marketer.

A highly sought after speaker, trainer and writer, Keli regularly speaks to groups of business owners, students and women on personal branding, marketing, and social media. Keli holds a BA in Advertising from Temple University and certification in Change Leadership (Change Management) from Cornell University.

Get the book on Amazon.

Spotlight – The Guild Saga Series

About the Author

John Joseph Doody

I earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Coral Ridge University and Seminary, as well as an M.A. in Political Science from George Wythe College. My first publication was a short story, TELEPIO 690, which appeared in Sidetrekked Magazine, Issue #48. My other publications are, my first novel (actually a novella), THE WONK DECELERATOR, my second novel, THE LATE, GREAT BENJAMIN BALE, my third novel, RETURN OF THE CRIMSON WITCH and a fourth mini-book, a prequel to the Guild Series, THE DAUGHTER OF GETH, which is available only in ebook. I am currently working on a science fiction/horror novel, THE DARK. One of these days I might even finish it.

Happily, I have a wife and four children and live in Florida.

Website Link: www.johndoody.com

Twitter Link: @johnjosephdoody

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

 

Inside the Books

The Wonk Decelerator

Title: THE GUILD SAGA: THE WONK DECELERATOR (Book 1)
Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 131
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

BOOK BLURB:

For Earthers dwelling in Guild space, it is a one-hundred year journey back to Earth. An unimaginable voyage, until now.

When Guild commander and crack pilot, Thad Cochran boards the shuttle destined for the casinos of Timmerus, finding a way back to Earth is not on his radar. He wants the five-percent finder’s fee the Guild is offering for a black box held by the lizard-like Yazz. Thad has a dream: With the loot he will get for stealing the Wonk Decelerator, he can buy a ranch on Beta Prime.

But things begin to fall apart for him in the dark caverns of Timmerus, and Thad must reconsider his priorities in life. Has he discovered a cause greater than his dream? Are there actually more important things to life than money and his dream? What about the woman who is waiting for him? What about freedom in the galaxy? And what about his discovery, fashioned by the gnarled hands of a brilliant, old Yazz, that could change everything?

Thad Cochran has a choice to make. He can fulfill his quest, escape with his life and be rich. Or he can fly with the Wonks … one more time.

 

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Book Excerpt:

Thad opened his eyes, aware of a sense that the murky sun was dropping on the horizon. He panicked momentarily until he realized he still had a half hour before the prearranged confab with Maggie.

He headed for the bathroom to change into darker clothes for the journey. The bathroom had Thandimonean stone flooring, golden faucets and a huge commode one nearly needed a ladder to get up on.

Thad rubbed his face and ran his tongue over his teeth. He might as well clean up while he was in here. He stripped, broke out his toothbrush and was busy about his business when he heard a creaking hinge.

He stepped out of the bathroom in his skivvies, toothpaste frothing in his mouth.

“Commander Cochran.”

He heard the voice, glanced at the open door, but saw no one.

“Yeph?!” he gurgled, toothpaste spraying everywhere as his voice took on a falsetto tone.

“I’m up here, silly boy.”

Thad looked up, and his heart tried to jump out of his gullet. The woman, the one he had seen in the space port

and had suspected of being a droid, crawled across the ceiling like a spider chasing after a bug. How she managed to cling, upside down, her head twisted a hundred and eighty degrees and looking directly at him, was a repulsive mystery to him.

Oh, you’re a droid all right! 

He had never seen a Mandroid capable of walking on ceilings. This droid’s techno was impressive and scary.

“You should go back to your people, Commander Cochran,” she said, as she crawled down the wall, her head twisting again, cracking and popping back to its original position.

He knew there was no sense in trying to get away, or in trying to fight with this droid. She was too fast, too strong. He had no weapon to use against her, and worst of all, he was in his underwear.

Thad swallowed his toothpaste.

Once on the floor, she meandered over to him and, with a critical expression, eyed him from head to toe. She was beautiful, but she smelled of a peculiar blend of perfume and something like burnt rubber.

“There’s only death waiting for you here on Gar Mega. Go back, Commander, before it’s too late.”

With that, she walked stiffly from the room, leaving the door open. Thad wasted no time, sprinted to the door, locked it and leaned against the wall, his legs trembling beneath him.

She’s probably got a key that pops out of her finger or something. I know I locked that.

Inside the Book

The Late Great Benjamin Bale

Title: THE GUILD SAGA: THE LATE, GREAT BENJAMIN BALE (Book 2)
Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 370
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

BOOK BLURB:

The destinies of two men depend on Maggie Thorn. One is dying and the other is dead…or is he?

Captain Maggie Thorn is on a formal Guild mission, supposedly to kidnap the yazz scientist, Gravian Endrenicus, and return him to Thandimone. But she also has a personal score to settle with the lizard-like inhabitants of Timmerus. She intends to make the yazz pay for what they did to Thad Cochran—the one the yazz call the Thieves Guild pilot. The man she loves.

Supreme Fleet Commander, Admiral Geoff Grangore knows of only one man who could get Maggie to Timmerus and back while traitorous eyes are watching. That man is an old drunk who lives deep in the Thandimonean wilderness with his pet Eno, Snot. Benjamin Bale is suicidal and cantankerous, and Maggie can’t stand him—at first.

Bale is a dead man. At least, that’s what everyone was told. But this dead man has a final mission to perform. The greatest star pilot in the galaxy has a chance to redeem himself and make right a great wrong. A wrong which he can never forgive or forget. A wrong that cost him everything.

 

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193780948X/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Inside the Book

Return of the Crimson Witch

Title: THE GUILD SAGA: RETURN OF THE CRIMSON WITCH (Book 3)
Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 407
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

BOOK BLURB:

The Bashtier call Wonk space, Eerindark—The Place of the Dead—and Thad Cochran, the only pilot to go there and live, will soon find out why. The sacrifice of Benjamin Bale brings Thad back from the dead. But is he truly free from the death grip of the Wonks?

A body is discovered behind an apartment wall in a small town on the planet Daggon. With the mystery thrust upon him, Admiral Geoff Grangore must pursue a dangerous quest for the truth—is it somehow connected to The Wonk Decelerator?

Dreams and visions are dancing in the heads of the yazz. Something bad is coming to the frontier—a hidden enemy only the Guild traitor, Alexander Hamilton Patho knows.
Patho sends an assassin to Daggon and his conniving gaze is on the M-3 Wonk vessel. It seems civil war is imminent and those who control the power of Wonk travel will rule the known galaxy. Therefore, it must not fall into Patho’s hands.

It is time for war, and time for Maggie Thorn to learn the truth about who she really is. It is also time for The Return of the Crimson Witch.

ORDER YOUR COPY BELOW:

https://www.amazon.com/Return-Crimson-Witch-Book-Guild/dp/1942391242/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Spotlight – The Consequence of Stars

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About the Author

David W. Berner

David W. Berner is a memoirist whose personal stories tell all of our stories. His memoirs reflect on our collective relationships and how those experiences link us to the world we share. From stories of fathers and sons, to road trips, travel memoir, pets, and music, David’s books are mirrors of our common human experience. 

Storytelling has been a part of David’s life since his days as a young boy, delivering The Pittsburgh Press newspaper. He began telling his own stories and the stories of others as a reporter for numerous radio stations, including freelance work at National Public Radio and more recently for CBS in Chicago.

David’s reporting background has given birth to award-winning memoirs and novels based on his own experiences.

He has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando, where he was privileged to live and work at the Kerouac House in Orlando for two-and-a-half months. He later was honored with the Writer-in-Residence position at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois.

Website: https://www.davidwberner.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/davidwberner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidWBernerWriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour  (David W. Berner—Writer)

About the Book:

Title: CONSEQUENCES OF STARS: A MEMOIR
Author: David W. Berner
Publisher: Adelaide Books New Yotk/Lisbon
Pages: 200
Genre: Memoir/Essays

The Consequence of Stars

BOOK BLURB:

THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS is a unique and thoughtful memoir on our eternal search for home. Told in a series of essays on love, loss, travel, music, spirituality, and the joys of solitude, memoirist David W. Berner, reaches deep to discover where he belongs and ultimately where all of us belong.

“Berner gives us both travelogue and memoir in living, breathing depth and color.” — D.S. White, Editor-in-Chief, Longshot Island. 

“A writer with an enormous sense of humanity.” — San Francisco Review of Books

“Reflective, engaging…Berner’s authentic storytelling takes you with him on his travels through the chapters of his life where in the end, he reveals connections to finding a place to be, his home under the stars.” — Nancy Chadwick, author of Under the Birch Tree

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Adelaide Books

http://www.adelaidebooks.org/consequence_of_stars.html

Book Excerpt:

From FIRST THOUGHTS –

“This memoir—written in a series of linked essays—was

born from that spirit, to examine the broad notion of home,

how it morphs and eludes, and the search for it—from family

roots to personal discoveries—growing up, moving on, returning

to, and embracing a singular sliver of the universe.

Like many, I have investigated near and far, from my boyhood

home’s big side porch to destinations around the world and

down the street, stumbling and tripping, hoping to uncover

pieces of myself in some way through work, leisure, and love,

taking fragments of my experiences with me to build something—

a home, a place under the stars. And it is the consequence

of all those stars that is the eternal search. There is no

straight path. There is no map.”

Spotlight – Josephine Baker’s Last Dance

Josephine Baker's Last Dance banner

About the Author

Sherry Jones2

Author and journalist Sherry Jones is best known for her international bestseller The Jewel of Medina. She is also the author of The Sword of MedinaFour SistersAll QueensThe Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart.  Sherry lives in Spokane, WA, where, like Josephine Baker, she enjoys dancing, singing, eating, advocating for equality, and drinking champagne.

Her latest novel is Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

Website: http://authorsherryjones.com
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/sherryjones
Pinterest: 
https://www.pinterest.com/sherryjones
BookBub: 
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherry-jones
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/sherryjonesfanpage
Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/josephinebakerslastdance
LinkedIn: 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/cybersecuritytechnologywriter
Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1219600.Sherry_Jones

 

About the Book:

Title: JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE
Author: Sherry Jones
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Biography/Historical

From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine’s early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.

With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.

Purchase Josephine Baker’s Last Dance in paperback,  ebook,  and  audiobook  formats on  Simon and Schuster’s website (available on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble,  BooksAMillion,  Indiebound,  Kobo,  and  other sites). Learn more about Sherry’s books  at  www.authorsherryjones.com

Josephine Baker's Last Dance

Link to book trailer:

Behind the Mic: JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE with Adenrele Ojo. Listen as she discusses what it was like to narrate this epic book: https://youtu.be/lHd0amFM3oo

 

Book Excerpt:

Just before she entered the stage door, a drop of rain hit her on the head. No, that was not a bad omen, only a reminder to do her best, to shine like the star she was, or would be. Wilsie came running up—Mr. Sissle was there, but Mr. Blake had yet to arrive. “You’ll knock ’em dead, Tumpy. Just do your dancing and forget the rest.” Josephine didn’t need to be told that. She was ready.

She flexed and stretched her arms as she walked with Wilsie across the stage, past the musicians gathering, trumpets and saxophones and drums and a clarinet, down into the auditorium, where a slender man spoke to a white-haired man at his side. He turned his head very slightly and looked her up and down from the corners of his shrewd, hard eyes. His mouth pursed.

How old are you?” he’d said before Wilsie had even introduced them. The stage door opened, and a very dark-skinned man with a bald head hurried in, talking about “the damned rain,” scampering down the steps, striding up the aisle, shaking water from his clothes.

Eubie Blake,” he said, smiling, holding out his hand to her.

This is Tumpy, Mr. Blake, the one I told you about,” Wilsie said. “She’s here to audition for Clara’s spot in the chorus.”

The man with Mr. Sissle—the stage manager—motioned to her and she followed him up the stage steps. Did she know the songs? Could she dance to “I’m Just Wild about Harry”? Josephine wanted to jump for joy. She pretended to watch as Wilsie showed her the steps, which she already knew as if she’d made them up herself. Josephine stripped down to her dingy leotard, tossed her clothes on a chair, then ran and leaped to the center of the stage. This was it. She bent over to grasp her ankles, stretching her legs, then stood and pulled her arms over her head.

Ready?” Mr. Sissle barked. The music started, and she began the dance, so simple she could have done it in her sleep. Practicing in the Standard, she’d gotten bored with it and had made up her own steps, throwing in a little Black Bottom, wiggling her ass and kicking her legs twice as high as they wanted to go, taken by the music, played by it, the instruments’ instrument, flapping her hands, step and kick and spin and spin and squat and jump and down in a split, up and jump and kick and spin—oops, the steps, she didn’t need no damn steps, she had better ones—and kick and jump and wiggle and spin. She looked out into the auditorium—a big mistake: Mr. Blake’s mouth was open and Mr. Sissle’s eyes had narrowed to slits. Don’t be nervous, just dance. Only the music remained now, her feet and the stage.

When she’d finished, panting, and pulled on her dress and shoes, Wilsie came running over, her eyes shining. “You made their heads spin, you better believe it,” she whispered, but when they went down into the aisle Josephine heard Mr. Sissle muttering.

Too young, too dark, too ugly,” he said. The world stopped turning, then, the sun frozen in its arc, every clock still, every breath caught in every throat. Mr. Blake turned to her, smiling as if everything were normal, and congratulated her on “a remarkable dance.”

I can see that you are well qualified for our chorus, Tumpy,” he said, and on his lips, the name sounded like a little child’s.

You have real talent, and spark, besides. How did you learn to do that at such a young age? You are—how old?”

Fifteen,” she said.

Mr. Sissle snorted, and cut Wilsie a look. “Wasting my time,” he said. Mr. Blake looked at her as if she’d just wandered in from the orphanage.

I’m very sorry, there’s been a mix-up,” he said. “You must be sixteen to dance professionally in New York State.”

I’ll be sixteen in June,” Josephine said. Her voice sounded plaintive and faraway.

We need someone now.” Mr. Sissle folded his arms as if she were underage on purpose. Mr. Blake led her toward the stage door, an apologetic Wilsie saying she hadn’t known. Mr. Sissle followed, talking to Mr. Blake about adding some steps to “I’m Just Wild about Harry,” saying they should put in some kicks, that he’d been thinking about it for a while. Uh-huh.

Come and see us in New York after your birthday, doll,” Mr. Blake said. “You never know when we might have an opening.” He opened the door and let the rain pour in before shutting it again. He looked at Josephine’s thin, optimistic dress. Where was her umbrella? She hung her head. He stepped over to retrieve a black umbrella propped against the wall and handed it to her. She took it without even knowing, her thoughts colliding like too many birds in a cage. She would have to stay in Philadelphia, she had failed—too young, too dark, too ugly—she should have lied about her age, what had gotten into her? Showing off, that was what.

And now Mr. Sissle disliked her, and she would never get into their show; it didn’t matter how many times she went back. As she stepped out into the rain with that big umbrella in her hands unopened and felt the rain pour down her face; she was glad, for now they would think it was water instead of tears, but when she looked back, Wilsie was crying, too, in the open doorway.

Seeing the men watching from a window, she stopped. They wouldn’t forget her; she’d make them remember. She walked slowly, her silk dress dripping, while Mr. Sissle gesticulated with excitement as he stole her ideas—authentic Negro dancing were the last words she’d heard—and Mr. Blake looking as if he wanted to run out there, scoop her up, and carry her back inside.

( Continued… )

© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sherry Jones. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Spotlight – The Desire Card

The Desire Card banner

 

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg

 Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

 About the Book

Title: THE DESIRE CARD
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
Pages: TBA
Genre: Crime/Suspense

The Desire Card

BOOK BLURB:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.

After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.

THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.

PRAISE:

“Careful what you wish for, especially from a nefarious shadow organization, in this gripping start to Lee Matthew Goldberg’s fast-paced, highly compelling, buzz worthy new series. If you love characters morally compromised, richly drawn, and constantly surprising, you’ll love THE DESIRE CARD. I burned through the first book and can’t wait to get my hands on PREY NO MORE to see where this endlessly exciting story takes me next! Loved it!” – Daniel Palmer, critically acclaimed suspense author

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Book Excerpt:

HARRISON STUMBLED INTO CENTRAL PARK CLUTCHING THE SILVER BRIEFCASE, HIS BODY SHAKING FROM BEING HUNTED. Clouds clogged the sky. The trees seemed like creatures towering over him. He turned around to see the man in the Humphrey Bogart mask running toward the entrance, a gun bulging from the guy’s inside pocket. The man’s cold eyes scanned the park, zeroing in. Harrison took off down a dirt path until he was alone with only the wind ringing in his ears.

He wanted to collapse; he begged himself to just give in. Nature would destroy him soon anyway, and his shins were starting to feel like they’d been repeatedly stabbed. He coughed up an excess of blood and mucus that spilled down a rock. Now he’d gone so far down the trail that he couldn’t see where he entered. The sound of footsteps came from all directions. A distorted laugh caused all the nearby pigeons to shoot toward the sky. The laugh was followed by an eerie whistle that became louder and louder as he spun around expecting to see his pursuer.

A shadow passed behind a tree, bigger than any animal. He propped himself up against a rock, too exhausted to move any farther, closing his eyes and waiting to die. He could see tomorrow’s headlines declaring his death as a mugging gone wrong.

“Gracie,” he cried, trembling. “Brent, my boy…oh God.”

He had pissed himself now, the urine hot and sticky as it trickled down his pants leg. He still held the silver briefcase close to his chest, resolving not to let it go without a fight.

The man in the Bogart mask emerged from behind a tree holding a gun.

“Just hand it over, Mr. Stockton,” the man said. The voice box attached to his mouth made him sound robotic, weirdly calm. “You don’t want this to get any more complicated than it already has.”

The man made a grab for the briefcase, but Harrison held on tight.

“You’ll kill me anyway,” Harrison yelled, spooking any pigeons that hadn’t already flown away.

“Only if you force me to do so.”

The man kicked Harrison in the shin, causing him to nearly buckle over. Harrison was thrown to the ground, the man pinning him down. He still managed to hold onto the briefcase as if it was fused to his hand.

“The Boss doesn’t know about what you’ve done yet,” the man said, hitting Harrison’s head against the hard dirt. “Do you understand what that means? That means you can still live. And he’ll never find out as long as we get what we’re owed.”

“Why would you do that for me?” he asked, seeing four masked men spinning around.

The man stepped back and pointed the gun between Harrison’s eyes.

“The Boss doesn’t like when things don’t go according to plan. I could be in as much trouble as you for letting this slip-up happen. So let’s make this easy for both of us.”

Harrison got on one elbow and hoisted himself up.

“Do I have your word?”

The man nodded.

“And my family? My wife…my kids? I wouldn’t have to worry about them being hurt?”

“As much as you might think that you are our sole concern, we have an entire organization to run beyond your pithy life. Now I will count to ten and if you don’t hand over the briefcase, I’ll put a bullet between your eyes.”

Harrison thought about what his life had really amounted to. All the hours he’d slaved at Sanford & Co., making rich people boatloads richer. Getting into the office before dawn and often heading home in the middle of the night. Sacrificing his family, his youth, his sanity. How it had made him into a drinker, a serial gorger of all vices, just so he could forget about what he was losing. After all of that, what did he have left to show?

“…8…9…10,” the man said, about to pull the trigger.

“All right, all right.”

Harrison handed over the briefcase. The man opened it up and appeared to be satisfied, a smirking grin visible through his mask.

“I’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom,” he said, without putting the gun away. “If what you did manages to compromise us in any way, if there are any rippling after-effects, be prepared to come across the Boss. He’s known to wear a Clark Gable mask.” The man’s smirk had disappeared. “He only appears when he’s ready to bloody his hands. Good day, Mr. Stockton.”

“Who are you people? Under the masks…who are you really?”

The man raised the gun over Harrison’s head.

“I doubt you’ll ever find out,” he said, and struck Harrison on the forehead with the handle.

A trickle of blood spilled down Harrison’s nose and felt cold on his tongue. He slunk down and rested his cheek against the dirt, watching the man in the mask take off through the trees, the silver briefcase shining like a beam of light snaking through the leaves. And then the man finally disappeared—as if he was nothing more than a nightmare brought to life and extinguished once the fitful dreamer finally woke.

Harrison pressed against his rib cage and felt for his engorged liver. Cursed at it. Wanted to tear it from his stomach. He’d been poisoned from within for too long, his unending punishment for all of his crimes. Blood zigzagged into his eyes as the wound on his forehead opened up even more. With his other hand he reached into his pocket and removed his wallet. A thin metallic card fell from out of a sleeve and sat in a puddle of blood that had collected in the dirt.

He crumpled it up in his fist since it was responsible for letting these psychopaths into his life. He knew he’d never feel completely settled again, always worried that they might come after him and his family. The Desire Card had caused him to seek out gruesome and despicable wishes. From the instant this devil’s temptation had been placed in his hands, his moral compass never stood a chance. So he chucked it into the air and watched it sail over the rocks for some other fool to find.

“I’m sorry, Helene,” he mumbled to the wind. He knew he’d have to come clean about everything. His head throbbed, and he recalled a memory from twenty-five years ago. Spying her in the quad at Chilton College drinking a cherry Coke, tan and shapely from field hockey, the entire campus becoming muted except for her. He took a chance by flirting miserably and changing the course of their lives.

She would’ve been better off if they had never met. In such a short amount of time, he’d fallen so far. Now because of him people had been sliced up, left for dead, and soon he’d follow them to his own grave. As he drifted off into unconsciousness, he remembered that it all began to spiral out of control on his last day at Sanford & Co. over a month ago, this treacherous path he embarked on, his dark and dried-up destiny.

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