Category Archives: Book Tour

Book Blast – Dreams That Never Were

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About the Author

Greg Messel

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

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


About the Book

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

Dreams That Never Were 2

BOOK BLURB:

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

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

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

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

ORDER YOUR COPY:

https://amzn.to/2PraiJ3

Dreams That Never Were 9

Book Excerpt

I heard unfamiliar voices talking.

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

That’s a great sign,” commented another.

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

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

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

How are you, Alex?” she asked softly. 

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

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

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

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

Surgery?” I asked. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The news? I was shot?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At night? What happened to Tuesday?!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dreams That Never Were 7

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VBT – BLIND WALLS

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Blind Walls
by Bishop & Fuller

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GENRE: Urban Paranormal

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BLURB:

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

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

And the tour guide comes home to his cat.

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

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

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

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EXCERPT

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

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

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

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

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOUP: THE FUTURE IS PAST AND PRESENT

TourBanner_SOUP The Future Is Past and Present

SOUP The Future Is Past and Present

by Travis Haugen

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GENRE: Adventure/Mystery

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BLURB:

Scott Yonge exploded onto the national consciousness at the 2001 Garrett Awards and quickly rose to legendary status on the wings of his music and his whirlwind romance with independent film actress Michelle Zoe. What should have been a perfect life was interrupted by an ultra-right wing militant group called the American Freedom Force and its leader, Colonel Randall, who forces Scott to choose between his life and that of his son. After his heroic sacrifice, his family is left to pick up the pieces and forge ahead to a future in the vacuum he left behind.

Now, in 2021, his son Hedley inherits music for himself, becoming a star in his own right as technology gives new life to the medium. Scott’s daughter, affectionately known as Soup, throws herself into unravelling the mysteries of her family’s history. Michelle commits herself to keeping them all together and trying to make sense of life without the one she loves. Through it all, the AFF looms in the shadows, threatening to resurrect the pain they have just begun to overcome.

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EXCERPT

August 25, 1967

The weekly outing had become something of a ritual for them. Friday nights, after supper, they would head out to the country with their hearts pumping and the radio blaring, riding on a wave of blinding optimism. They’d drive for hours, most times talking and laughing about nothing at all. Other times they’d settle into a comfortable silence, speaking without speaking.

They’d been silent for some time when the boy was drawn in by a pretty song on the radio. She was lost in it too, absorbed as though in a trance. The boy looked to his mother. She looked back with warm sadness in her eyes. He felt her love wrap around him as she smiled. She was about to say something when the crunch came. The boy could almost hear the sound of her silent scream as her head snapped to the side at an impossible angle. That’s all there was. He never got to hear what she wanted to say.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Pic

Travis was born and raised in the prairies of Saskatchewan, lived in Calgary for over 25 years and presently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Travis Haugen has spent forty years of his life touring on the road as a musician and has spent hundreds of hours in recording studios. Travis spends much of his time writing songs, writing stories, playing music and spending valuable time with his family and close group of friends.

Links:

http://www.travishaugen.com

https://www.facebook.com/travishaugenauthor

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqaM4LNQNrpOckyStlBj7yA

Where Soup Is Sold:

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000048943105/Travis-Haugen-Soup

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1525529293/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539905477&sr=8-1&keywords=soup+travis+haugen

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/soup-15

www.barnesandnoble.com/w/soup-travis-haugen/1129764065?ean=2940161773833

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/soup/id1439628462?mt=11

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781525529306&c=books

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/soup-the-future-is-past/9781525529290-item.html?ikwid=soup+by+travis+h&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=3

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

Travis Haugen will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

All the things that I do, stem from music. I work as a computer consultant during the day. I got into computers through music. When the first digital audio work stations came out, I had to learn to run them on my own. The computer stores were not interested, there was no money in it for them, so I spent many an hour in the early days figuring the darn machines out. From there it led to what I do for a day time job. I am also an avid postal history collector. I specialize in the 1870-1897 Canadian Small Queen (Victoria) issue. My work with computers mingled with my love of collecting. I have conducted philatelic internet auctions for Bow City Philatelics since 1989. Another aspect of my life that defines me, is that I do not drive. I had eye operations in 1980 that left me clinically blind at the time. As a result, I took to a bicycle for my means of transportation. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I ride 365 days a year, rain, snow or shine, and the benefits to my health, physical and mental, are invaluable.

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

Without question, Albert Einstein! I think he has the best mind of the past century. To think that he came up with the theory of relativity in his spare time, while working as a clerk, is rather astounding. But beyond that, his love of humanity, and his search for peaceful means to bring us all a better life define him as a great human being. He was a kind, gentle, humble man, with a great intellect, and was a hell of a violinist to boot!

What’s the story behind your latest book?

SOUP is the third book in the One Song series, and the first to be published. I spent 40 years of my life as a professional musician, touring Canada and the United States. Those were great times. I wanted to share those times with people, so I took those experiences and wrapped them around a fictional character named Scott Yonge, then wrapped Scott Yonge around a story of mystery, suspense, intrigue, family drama, romance, and a touch of comedy.

SOUP is the continuing story of the second generation of the Yonge family.

What is your writing process?

I do most of my writing while riding my bike back and forth to work. Be it music or prose, the inspiration hits me while doing other things especially riding. My mind relaxes and allows the inspiration to create the song or the story in the background while I float through the air on my bike. Later when I get home, I sit down to the computer for the prose, or a guitar or piano for the music and lay down what came to me throughout the day.

Tell us about your main character.

The story revolves around Scott Yonge. Scott was a Canadian Prairie boy who lost his father to alcohol, lost his mother in a car crash at the age of 10, and hit the road at the age of 14 when his only remaining relative died. He remained on the road, for many years before ending up at the 2001 Garrett Awards in Los Angeles. That night changed his life as well as the life of those around him and the woman who would become his future wife, independent actress Michelle Zoe, who was a presenter at the awards that night.

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

When I think of Michael J Fox in his roll from Back To The Future, I see the sensitivity, the positive approach to life and his sense of comedy portrayed in that movie as the qualities I would like to see in the actor who plays Scott Yonge.

What are you working on next?

Candy and I are working on the edit of Hedley, the second book in the series, and the next one to be released. We are also working on the music and the prose for the fourth book in the series, so stay tuned!

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

My advice is to work, and work, and work, and don’t stop working when the book is finished. You need to work equally as hard or harder to get the book out there. That is as important as the book itself. Candy made me realize that the book does no good sitting on a shelf in a dusty box in your basement.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

The Book OF JOY by The Deli Lama and Desmond Tutu.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I can wiggle my ears, and of course, I can sing, and play a variety of instruments.

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

I think the power of positive thinking is the greatest power of all, and you don’t have to be a super hero to possess it. It is a trait, one that can be learned.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. I want to go on a river cruise down the Rhyne, or the Mississippi with Candy and her parents
  2. Retire from my full-time consulting job
  3. Move to Edmonton, so Candy and I can work closer together on the One Song Series
  4. Watch Candy’s dogs Carl and Murphy grow to a ripe old age
  5. Watch the entire Grey’s Anatomy Series

Any final thoughts?

This quote from Thomas S Monson says it all:

The Past is behind, learn from it

The Future is ahead, prepare for it

The Present is here. Live it

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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VBT – MAMMA’S MOON

Tour Banner_MammasMoon

Mamma’s Moon

by Jerome Mark Antil

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GENRE: Literary Fiction

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BLURB:

A bond that can only happen on a dance floor happened in a cafe off Frenchman Street among four unlikely characters: a man who was about to die; his friend, an illiterate Cajun French yardman; and two of the most successful women in New Orleans.

Aging Captain Gabriel Jordan, retired, was given two months to live, three months before he met “Peck”–Boudreau Clemont Finch–a groundskeeper on the back lawn of his hospice on Bayou Carencro, Louisiana. It was at the hospice that Gabe told Peck his dream of seeing the Newport Jazz Festival before he died. They became friends, and Peck offered to help grant his wish by taking him there.

And they began their journey.

It quickly became a journey with complications and setbacks. They saved each other many times, but they were in turn saved by two extraordinary women: Sasha (Michelle Lissette), a real estate agent in New Orleans’s posh Garden District, and her best friend, Lily Cup (Lily Cup Lorelei Tarleton), a criminal attorney.

Less than a year before the events in Mamma’s Moon, Gabe and Peck wandered into Charlie’s Blue Note, a small jazz bar in a side alley just off Frenchman Street, where the music was live and mellow and the dancing warm and sensual.

Here they encountered Sasha and Lily Cup, and amid the music, the dancing, the food, the flirting, and the cigar smoke, the four formed an unusual and lasting friendship that would see them each through a series of crises, disappointments, life-threatening situations, and moments of great joy and satisfaction.

BookCover_Mammas Moon

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EXCERPT

Did you murder the kid, Gabe?” Lily Cup asked. The aging army captain, veteran of Korea and Vietnam, lowered his newspaper just enough to see over the entertainment page.

Close the door, honey, AC’s on,” Gabe said.

In a tight, black skirt with a tailored matching waistcoat and white Nike walking shoes, she leaned and propped a black leather briefcase against the wall by the door. She stood like an exasperated tomboy, adjusting and refastening the diamond brooch on her lapel.

I heard you’ve been walking with a cane, dancing man.  What’s that all about? You’ve never carried a cane. You jazz dance for hours a couple of nights a week and Sasha tells me you started carrying one everywhere you go when you don’t need one. It’s smelling pretty premeditated to me, Gabe. What’s up with the cane thing?”

Does Sasha know about this morning?”

I haven’t told her anything. She’d have a canary.”

Gabe lifted the paper again to read.

I need to know if it was murder,” Lily Cup said.

I don’t want to talk about it,” Gabe said.

He closed the paper, folded it in half, and in half again. Dropping it on the arm of the chair, he stood and left the room.

Define murder,” he said from the kitchen.

She tossed a handbag and white driving gloves onto the other chair, lifted Chanel sunglasses to the top of her head.

Gee, I’ll have to think on this one. Hmmm…Oh, I know. How about the police have a cane with blood on it and there’s a dead man.”

It’s a walking stick. My cane is over by the door.”

Well now it’s a goddamned murder weapon. They checked for prints, and yours are the only prints on it, and their guess is the lab will say the blood has his DNA.”

Gabe came out with a coffee urn in one hand and his finger and thumb through two empty cup handles. He held the cups out for her to take one.

No more,” Gabe said.

You’re rather nonchalant for the spot you’re in. Why’d you clam up on me like that at the precinct? It didn’t set well with any of them. The DA entered a charge of second-degree murder. The police chief put out a warrant for you from lunch at Brennan’s.”

He held the empty cups closer to her.

Just made it. Chicory and cinnamon.”

If you had television you’d have seen it—‘Daylight killing on St. Charles Avenue.’ It’s all over the news, freaking out the DA and the Visitors Bureau. No telling how many videos from streetcars going by will wind up on You Tube.”

That’s enough,” Gabe said.

People can live with violence after dark. That’s expected in any city, but when it’s in broad daylight, forget it. The DA pushed for an early docket with a magistrate and it’s Tulane and Broad for you at nine a.m. tomorrow.”

What’s Tulane and Broad?”

Magistrate Court. Congratulations, Gabe, you made the big time. You have to appear before a magistrate to hear the second-degree murder charge against you.”

She took an empty cup in one hand, pinched his arm with the other.

Look me in the eye and swear it wasn’t murder,” Lily Cup said.

This some kind of technique they teach at Harvard Law, Miss Tarleton?”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPicture

JEROME MARK ANTIL writes in several genres. He has been called a “greatest generation’s Mark Twain,” a “write what you know Ernest Hemingway,” and “a sensitive Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.” It’s been said his work reads like a Norman Rockwell painting. Among his writing accomplishments, several titles in his The Pompey Hollow Book Club historical fiction series about growing up in the shadows of WWII have been honored. An ‘Authors and Writers’ Book of the Year Award and ‘Writer of the Year’ at Syracuse University for The Pompey Hollow Book Club novel; Hemingway, Three Angels, and Me, won SILVER in the UK as second-best novel.

Foreword’s Book of the Year Finalist for The Book of Charlie – historical fiction and The Long Stem is in the Lobby – nonfiction humor. Library Journal selected Hemingway, Three Angels and Me for best reads during Black History Month.

Before picking up the pen, Antil spent his professional career writing and marketing for the business world. In this role, he lectured at universities – Cornell, St. Edward’s, and Southern Methodist. His inspirations have been John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway.

Website: http://jeromemarkantil.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012149166797

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jerome-Mark-Antil/e/B0046C4AOK

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Jerome Mark Antil will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflcopter giveaway

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Tell us about you as a person. 
I’m 6 foot 10 inches. My feet haven’t been in bed in sixty years. I’m a devotee to literacy – have sponsored writing contests for more than 20,000 school students. I’ve donated cases of books to VA Hospitals in every state, thousands of books to schools. My boyhood home is now a county park (Delphi Falls) in upstate New York…just 79 miles from Elmira where Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn and 7 miles from Cazenovia where L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In college I sold compositions. I would get $3 for an A; $2 for a B; $1 for a C. No charge for a D or F. I quit college and a full basketball scholarship to write and this adventure is in my non fiction biography The Long Stem Is In The Lobby. (Foreword Book of the Year Finalist – Non-Fiction Humor)

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Living – Ron Howard; Dead – Ernest Hemingway.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Two unlikely friends in New Orleans face issues. Old Gabe, a black retired army captain, jazz aficionado and dancer finds himself charged with murder. Young Peck has earned his GED and the love of his life wants to meet his mother. Problem is, he ran from the swamps and bayous and an abusive childhood when he was nine and has decided to try to go find his mother, at least his roots.

What is your writing process?
I get up at 6AM, I make coffee for me and my lovely wife muse and then I go to my studio and type words until around 1PM. If I’m writing about New Orleans, I will play some jazz – mostly Joe Williams. I walk away with a couple thousand words a day – a part of a path to an ending I outlined before I started the book.

Tell us about your main character.
Peckerwood Finch – KIRKUS says he’s a Cajun French Forrest Gump. He was illiterate – just earned his GED – ran away from abusive home at 9 – earned his keep selling fish and turtles to restaurants, sharpening blades and mowing lawns. He’s now 25.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Samuel L. Jackson, he can dance. Scott Eastwood, he’s a young Peck

What are you working on next?
TALL JERRY – Legend One of The Delphi Falls Trilogy. My Pompey Hollow Book Club series takes on Harry Potter…aiming over the heads of Potterheads targeting the Boomers.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Keep writing. Create a website and blog constantly.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Cannery Row, John Steinbeck. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote. Movable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m a great cook. I’m a great researcher. I can remember crawling on the floor in diapers.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Convince the young that reading can give them great confidence and peace of mind – take them anywhere.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Write every day.
  • Go to Paris.
  • Write a Broadway play.
  • Pulitzer.
  • Nobel.

Where can readers find you on the web?

www.jeromemarkantil.com

Any final thoughts?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlMC-gBVcis

VBT – DISCUSSION OF A DECENT DREAM

TourBannerFS_Discussion of a Decent Dream

Discussion of a Decent Dream

by E. Curtis

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GENRE: Dark Fantasy

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BLURB:

In the fall of 1789, on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales, a dense, persistent fog enshrouds the village of Ingleton. Shadowed spirits hide in the mist and bedevil the townsfolk, heralding a tragedy that has befallen one of their own.

Edmond continues to search for Alexandra, his fiancée, who disappeared the same night that the mist set upon their town. Presumed dead by all others, he visits Alexandra’s empty grave, desperate for any hint of what has become of her. Weary from the sleepless nights on his quest, no longer able to stay awake, Edmond falls into a dream before her headstone and there obtains clues from Alexandra as to her whereabouts.

Haunted all the while by a malevolent spirit, Edmond follows the trail that Alexandra left for him and enters the underworld, only to learn that he has been there before, and in fact, quite often. But more, he discovers how he is to blame for Alexandra’s disappearance.

A dark literary novel rich in imagery, Discussion of a Decent Dream unearths the consequences of a child’s decision to surrender his heart in exchange for unholy power and transcendent knowledge.

Discussion of a Decent Dream is a Finalist in Britain’s Wishing Self Book Awards in the Adult category.

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Cover_Discussion of a Decent Dream

EXCERPT

We ignored the portent that crept into the countryside the day she disappeared. But in the weeks that followed, with no answers as to what had befallen her, with no assurance that she still lived, we came to understand, and most saw the worst in the blanket of mist that stopped time and shut us out from the rest of the world.

I had just turned twenty-one the summer of 1789 when Alexandra went missing. And after all our fruitless searching, in need of some direction, I snuck, under the cover of night, into the yard where her parents had laid their sorrow to rest. Falling to my knees before the stone of her empty grave I spoke with reverence, not for the hallowed ground, but for the call that brought me, as though somehow she could hear me.

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AuthorPicture

AUTHOR Bio and Links

E. Curtis draws on personal experiences of the otherworldly for his writing. Through dreams, visions, and waking encounters, his exposure to darkness has motivated him to detail what he has come to know of the preternatural. While a few short pieces have been published on an online literary magazine, Discussion of a Decent Dream is his first novel.

Website: http://discussthedream.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ECurtisBooks/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/discussthedream

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/discussthedream/

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Buy link: www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07BTHW1SY/

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

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

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

VBT – EDGER LIVES

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Beem will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Our dork of destiny rides again!

Edger is falling for Mary, his bodyguard, kick-ass spy, and cover wife. But she’s so hopelessly out of his league, it’s clear someone’s going to get hurt. Less clear? That someone may be the Prime Minister of Australia.

When Mary confesses her desire to kill the world leader whose assassination Edger’s supposed to prevent, Edger’s superpowers pick the worst time to stop working. Without a fully functional psychic superhero, their team of spies can no longer order him to probe Mary’s mind for ill intent. The stage is set for a confrontation that threatens to strip a defenseless Edger of his loyal protector just when he needs her most.

Return to the Collective Unconscious, this time with Listerine-chugging stoners, Hollyweirdos, commie-alien-kung fu robots, one space gorilla-unicorn, and an exceedingly lovesick Vladimir Putin.

Mind your fingers and toes on page 270. Those skydiving mind-control monkeys have been known to bite!

Read an Excerpt:

I find Mary in the walk-in closet after her workout. Three of her peering back at me with wide eyes. Four, if we count the sweaty, pheromone-blasting, flesh-and-blood Mary in the middle.

Her hands glide down her hips as she turns sideways. The mirror reflections copy her like evil clones. Her head tilts, and her unreadable gaze scans from three angles every inch of her toned physique. She eyes the contours of her breasts in an understated Calvin Klein sports bra; she examines her sculpted midriff and the concavity of her bellybutton. The Gigantic Rock glinting in the mirrors, her thumbs dip below the waistline of her yoga pants, cruise outward along the elastic, and tug once. She bites the corner of her glossy pink lip and scrutinizes every possible curve from the waist down—and with legs like hers, it’s a long way down—before flitting up to find mine, spanning those sexual leagues in an instant, and landing her gaze like a side-kick to the gut. I can barely breathe.

Air squeezes into my lungs like I’m sucking it through a straw-sized snorkel. I’m slouching. Better stand up straight. Unlock my knees. I’ve got to get it together. If she and I are going to live under the same roof, I can’t be falling over every time she has the audacity to exist. Otherwise, I’ll need some kind of house scooter to motor around on my butt all day. Beep-beep, coming through, time to brush my teeth—well, well, don’t you look hot again—okay, faint on you later.

About the Author: David Beem loves superhero movies, taekwondo, and flossing. He lives in Djibouti with his family and crippling self-doubt. To help actualize David’s inner confidence, visit his website and buy all the stuff: http://www.davidbeem.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/David-Beem/e/B005M4NEYI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover_EdgerLives

VBT – EVIL EMBERS

TourBanner_Evil Embers

Evil Embers (Vale Investigation, book 2)

by Cristelle Comby

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GENRE: Urban Fantasy

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BLURB:

After narrowly preventing the destruction of Cold City, PI Bellamy Vale needs a rest. Or rather, he needs a plain and simple vanilla case—no monsters or otherworldly creatures involved!

When foreign businessman Eli Smith shows up at his doorstep with a thick wallet and a request to find his missing sister, Vale doesn’t think twice before agreeing.

If he’d known body-hopping demons and smoke monsters came attached to this job, however, he might have.

Cover_Evil Embers

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EXCERPT

The door slammed shut as something grabbed at me. And by “grabbed”, I mean “lifted me off the ground and rammed me into the nearest wall”.

The structure bent under the impact while a nightmare that would have fit in an old-school John Carpenter movie screamed at me. With my gas mask on, I never heard it coming.

Dazed, I glanced up and faced sharp, yellow-tainted teeth. They formed a circular pit of canines, ready to swallow my head whole. I pulled a knife from my boot and slashed the creep at the center of its mass. The fiend’s scream rose an octave as the cold steel struck home.

The creature dumped me back on the floor before dissipating into nothingness.

The attack sucked the air out of my lungs, and I spent the next few minutes coughing through the mask. I felt like kicking myself. I spent my first week here carving wards around the entire six-block area before going in for the first time. I should have known better than to cut one on this house’s front door and move on. I forgot the back door. That mistake left that damned poltergeist way too much room to attack.

The monster du jour was a ghost, an escapee from the realm of death—the Underworld, Hell, or whatever else you call the place people go to once they’re done with life. From what I knew, not everyone turns Casper in their afterlife. However, those who do become near-mindless creatures stuck in their own plane of existence. When they make it to our side of the border, they turn into full ectoplasmic savages.

The dead guy I stepped over near the open back doorway was proof enough of that. What was once an engineer working for the city now had his chest cavity cut down to the bone and his head severed from his body. Blood splatters all but drowned out the muted yellow of his shredded biohazard suit. Judging from the angle of what remained of his corpse, he was trying to flee the house when the poltergeist got him.

Dammit,” I muttered as I tightened the straps on my gas mask. Whoever this engineer was, I was pretty sure he didn’t come in here alone, which meant I may have to explain what a six-foot PI in a surplus army jacket, a gas mask right out of the First World War and second-to-thirdhand leather gloves was doing in an area strictly reserved for city workers and engineers.

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authorpic

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.

Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.

Twitter :

https://twitter.com/cristelle

Website :

www.cristelle-comby.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Cristelle-Comby/e/B00EAWEODS

Goodreads :

https://www.goodreads.com/CristelleComby

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Evil-Embers-Vale-Investigation-Book-ebook/dp/B07MD2Z7ZV/ref=sr_1_1

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

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

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

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