Book Signing – E. Matheson

E. Matheson – author of The Adventures Of Riley & Elfy series, will be having his first book signing on Saturday June 22nd, 2019.

Only at Books On The Hill
Hill Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7PL.

E. Matheson will also be at Clevedon School Fair, St Nicholas Chantry on June 29th from 2.45PM to 3.30PM.

COVER original copy1

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Book Blast – LOVE CALLS YOU HOME

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Donna will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Stephanie Williams left skid marks on the road out of Willow Springs, Vermont after she finished high school. She didn’t return until her company sent her to evaluate the town for a massive development project. Back then she thought the town was way too small and too cold. Now the cold isn’t as much of an issue since she’s reconnected with her childhood friend, Donald Flanagan. Stephanie doesn’t remember his eyes being quite so green, or his body quite so built. He’s smart and funny as he ever was, and a forest-fire sized attraction burns between them.

Donald never understood his old friend’s driving need to leave Willow Springs. He loves everything about it. When he learns the truth about Stephanie’s project, and how it will turn his hometown into a theme-park version of itself, will it extinguish the flame that has sparked between them?

Read an Excerpt

It was much darker on this side of the building, without the bright, neon lights around the entrance, and even though they could hear the muffled music through the wall, it felt as though they were all alone in the world. Donald stopped and turned to face her, which placed her between him and the building. He cupped her face in his hands, and Stephanie marveled that she’d never noticed how big his hands were before. He leaned down a little and studied her face. His eyes seemed to be searching for a clue as to what she wanted. There were complications aplenty––putting their lifelong friendship at risk, and her work here in town, which Donald still didn’t know the extent of, being two major hurdles, but Stephanie knew what she wanted right now. She knew it from the bottom of her toes to the top of her head, with a certainty she’d never experienced before. Her blood pounded in her veins, and she felt a little breathless with excitement about the step they were about to take.

“Hurry up and kiss me, Flanagan, before I spontaneously combust.”

One side of the mouth she longed to be kissing quirked up in a sexy half-grin. “There’s no turning back if we take this step, Williams. Are you sure?”

About the Author:

Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read–contemporary romances filled with heart, heat, and humor, like the books of her favorite romance writers, Susan Mallery and Jill Shalvis.
A Sweeter Spot is the first book in the Rivers Bend trilogy, which is set in a fictional small town, populated by quirky characters. But if you prefer a big city setting and a little fantasy mixed in with your romance, try Angels Fly. A heartwarming story, set in beautiful San Diego, about getting a second-chance with your first love, with a little help from some unlikely guardian angels.

Writing is Donna’s third career. She has worked in the business world, which she decided wasn’t for her. So she went back to school to get her MLS degree, and worked in a school library, before deciding to pursue writing on a full-time basis. Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

https://www.amazon.com/Donna-Simonetta/e/B06X415TWW%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15422407.Donna_Simonetta

https://twitter.com/donna_simonetta

https://www.facebook.com/donnasimonettaauthor

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-simonetta

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R4QD3ZL/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-calls-you-home-donna-simonetta/1131596605

Donna will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter.

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VBT – Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker

TourBanner_Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker

Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker

by Warwick Gleeson

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GENRE: Fantasy (Epic)

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BLURB:

WORLD WAR OZ from coast to coast.

An adult fantasy that takes one of America’s favorite tales and transforms it into a dark and epic landscape few can escape much less understand. Imagine Potter meets Avengers in Emerald city and you’re getting close.

After a homicidal alien from Orion arrives on Earth intent on annihilating human life, the 21st century’s greatest sorcerers create a network of seven Oz-like city worlds designed to harbor the human race in a newly formed utopia while also protecting it from the alien entity. But the alien is far more magically powerful than anyone suspected. Piper Robbin, ancient daughter of the Earth’s greatest sorcerer inventor, Edison Godfellow, must sacrifice all to defeat the implacable force that calls itself “The Witch Queen of Oz,” and quickly, before Earth becomes only a cold cinder floating among the stars.

BookCover_Piper Robbin

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EXCERPT

THE FORGOTTEN CHILD IN PIPER ROBBIN, for the first time that day in the coffee shop, understood the meaning of true panic. Crushing a stone to powder or throwing a javelin half a mile wouldn’t fix anything (and neither would anyone in New York care) like in the old days of Ulysses. Muttering spells that made deserts bloom or oceans boil meant less than cooking a burger on the grill. Mortality for all, even the gods and greatest sorcerers, might be just around the corner. People think just because you’re a great magical being of some kind you have it made. Nothing could be more wrong. Your hopes and dreams are often spit on, your happiness ruined, your friends killed, and you lose sleep at night, worrying about shit just like everyone else. And besides obligations you really don’t want, you face mega-dangerous freaks way too often because you’re expected to, you know, cause you’re the official bad ass superwoman. By the gods! Really? You crawl in pain and heave up your insides for starters, die in lots of ways, and after all that trouble, sometimes you don’t come back.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPic

Warwick Gleeson is a dedicated writer of screenplays, short stories, novels, and poetry. He has lived in both LA and NYC and worked many different jobs in his life, everything from roofer to waiter to small business owner to government analyst. He was the major writer, creator, and senior story editor for another project published by Del Sol Press called “War of the World Makers” that debuted in 2017. The novel has since won four national novel awards (two first place and two place) for SFF. Warwick is a big fan of great SFF television writing, like the kind you find in Emerald City, Gotham, The Expanse, and Umbrella Academy. He now lives in Tuscon, AZ, with a fat lazy cat and his most wonderful wife who is also a writer.

https://www.amazon.com/Warwick-Gleeson/e/B07QJ8L9BF/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19036873.Warwick_Gleeson

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3052


Spotlight – High Flying

High Flying banner

About the Author

Kaylin McFarren

KAYLIN MCFARREN has received more than 45 national literary awards, in addition to a prestigious Golden Heart Award nomination for FLAHERTY’S CROSSING – a book she and her oldest daughter, New York Times/USA Today best-selling author, Kristina McMorris, co-authored in 2008. Prior to embarking on her writing journey and developing the popular THREADS psychological thriller series, she poured her passion for creativity into her work as the director of a fine art gallery in the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; she also served as a governor-appointed member of the Oregon Arts Commission. When she’s not traveling or spoiling her pups and three grandsons, she enjoys giving back to her community through participation and support of various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest, and is currently the president of the Soulful Giving Foundation – a non-profit focused on cancer research, care and treatment at hospitals throughout Oregon. 

Website: www.kaylinmcfarren.com

Blog: https://kaylinmcfarren.blog

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/4kaylin

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKaylinMcFarren

 

About the Book:

Title: HIGH FLYING
Author: Kaylin McFarren
Publisher: Creative Edge Publishing LLC
Pages: 280
Genre: Time Travel Thriller

High Flying

BOOK BLURB:

 ten minutes to survive the past.

Skylar Haines has struggled with personal demons most of her life, going to dark extremes to subdue anxieties rooted in her tragic past. On a perpetual hunt for the next adrenaline hit, she discovers a passion for flying and becomes a hard-edged stunt pilot, verging on obsession. In the sky, following her most daring airshow, she encounters a mysterious storm and almost collides with another aircraft, sending her into a perilous dive. Guided by a mysterious voice, she manages a safe landing but finds herself transported to another time. Eight months before she was born, one week before her father was murdered. 

Though baffled by her circumstances, Skylar soon arrives at a single certainty: Before her lies a remarkable chance to change her family’s destiny drastically for the better — or possibly even worse — depending on the choices she makes, before her window of opportunity closes. 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://amzn.to/2MhXVAR

 

Book Excerpt:

With renewed excitement, Jake Brennen and Skylar Haines approached two silver Pitts high performance biplanes, designed around Vedeneyev M14P engines. Their trusted mechanic limped wearily toward them, wiping crumbs from his thick handlebar mustache. Ethan Edwards had been named after the main character in The Searchers, an unlikely hero. But according to Ethan, he’d already become one with the endless hours he put into keeping their planes in the air.

Unfortunately, the grimace on his narrow face reflected the concern in his voice. “Jake, I know Skylar is an excellent pilot and has been going to airshows for years, but do you really think it’s a good idea to let her tackle those stunts alone?” The forty-four-year-old grease monkey had become a father figure to Jake after his dad died twenty-some years ago, and he never minced words when it came to voicing his opinions.

“Skylar says she’s ready to do it,” Jake assured him. “We’ve been going over these stunts for several days now.”

“In the air?”

“Yes, of course. We went through the whole routine twice. I’m pretty confident that—”

“You of all people should know that it takes months to perfect maneuvers.”

“I realize that. But Skylar’s got her mind set on doing this, and I believe in her abilities.” Jake glanced at her and smiled. “If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be here.”

Ethan followed Jake to his plane, shaking his head, and Skylar trailed close behind. “Honestly,” Ethan grumbled, “I just hope you’re not making a huge mistake.”

“I agree with you there,” Jake said, settling into his seat.

“Okay, fine…if that’s the way you want it. Come on, Skylar. I’ll help you get strapped in.”

“Thanks, Ethan!” Jake called out.

A short, middle-aged woman with shoulder-length brown hair approached Skylar, waving her hand excitedly. “Miss Haines! Miss Haines! Please wait. I’ve been trying to reach you for two days now. I’m Samantha Jackson. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to meet you in person.”

“Exciting?” Skylar’s lips held a faint smile.

“Why, yes. I read about you in the newspaper this morning and understand you purchased one of my books. Women in Flight? I wrote it four years ago.”

“Really? In the newspaper? Somebody actually wrote a story about me? Was Jake mentioned too?”

The kindly woman smiled. “Jake Brennen was interviewed about the airshow and said you were performing today. I’m sure your family is very proud of you, Miss Haines.”

Skylar almost laughed out loud. Her grandfather had no interest in any aspect of her life, especially after having her arrested for stealing his motorcycle. Moreover, the hostility between them had increased exponentially when he insisted she be sent away to reform school. At the time, he claimed he was doing her a real favor and she did him a better one by leaving town.

“Anyway,” the writer added, “I want to wish you good luck today, not that you’ll need it. Mr. Brennen said you’re one of the most talented pilots he’s ever worked with.”

“What? He actually said that?” The stupid smile, which had left her face while the woman was speaking, reappeared.

“Indeed, he did. You can see for yourself right here.” The woman handed her a torn section from the local newspaper. “You can keep that if you’d like.” The story she was referring to filled most of the page and continued on the backside. Skylar took it, folded it, and slipped it into her backpack, promising herself to read it later.

“I also thought you might also like to know that I’m working on a new book,” the woman added. “It’s all about female stunt pilots and—”

Skylar was only half-listening. “You don’t say?” Her attention had drifted to Jake in the neighboring plane. He had his sunglasses on, covering his stunning green eyes, and was adjusting the headset on top of his shaggy blonde hair.

“When you have some free time,” the woman added, “I’d love to sit down and talk with you. Maybe even include your story in my new book.” She handed Skylar a business card and smiled.

“Yeah, sure. Why not?” Skylar shook the woman’s hand. Then she watched her walk away. She glanced at the ivory business card’s elegant scrolled lettering and made a mental note of the woman’s name before adding it to her backpack.

Unbelievable. Skylar smiled to herself. Jake was certainly full of surprises today. She’d have to remember to thank him for the compliment—one that she was determined to earn today.

“Looks like you have a new fan,” Ethan said, reminding her of his presence. His face was serious as always, but his blue eyes were brighter than usual.

“I can’t imagine why.” Skylar glanced toward the stands, filled to capacity with spectators. The realization of what had taken place made her cheeks flush. “Jake’s the one with all the talent, not me.”

“I don’t think so,” Ethan said. “Far as I’m concerned, you’re both gifted.” As they reached her plane, he laid a hand on her shoulder. “I just hope you know what you’re doing, kiddo.”

“Yeah, so do I.” An unseasonal breeze had picked up, sending a chill down her spine. Her hands trembled and her arms ached, reminding her of her hidden obsession and Jake’s disturbing remark during breakfast.

“I don’t understand why you wear long sleeves all the time…even when it’s unbearably hot. I hope you’re not shooting up drugs or something.” He smiled, and she shook her head. She tried to smile back, but failed miserably. She wasn’t about to tell him that she was emotionally scarred by childhood abuse and had anxiety-driven roadmaps on her arms to prove it.

“You okay, sweetheart?” Ethan brought her back to the present. “Cause if you’re not, there’s no way I’m sending you up.”

“I’m fine…honest.” She could hear the scared little voice in her head disagreeing. Eight maneuvers were not part of the original plan. At least, not until two weeks ago. With very little preparation, a lot could go wrong, and Ethan knew it better than anyone.

“All right,” he said. “I’m holding you to that.” She gave him a quick smile before climbing into her seat. Apparently, he sensed her fear as he continued to reassure her, while strapping her in. “Just follow Jake’s lead and his commands. Keep an eye on your airspeed and altitude. Stay a comfortable distance away from each other. And break off if things get sloppy. Is that clear?”

Skylar whispered quietly. It’s just you and me now, Roxy. Let’s do this right.

“What’s that?”

“Yes. I understand, Ethan.”

“I’ll be listening.”

“Okay. Sounds great.”

He patted her shoulder and winked. “You’ve got this. In fact, I bet you ten bucks no one’s going to be as incredible as you two. Just remember that, Sky, and you’ll forget about all your fears.”

She managed a weak smile. “Okay, you’re on. But you still owe me six dollars from poker.”

“What do you say? Double or nothing?”

“You’re incorrigible.”
Ethan checked her straps and gave her a thumb up salute. She returned the gesture, confirming she was ready to go. Then she heard Jake’s voice on her headset. “So, how’s my girl doing?”

“As well as can be expected,” she said. In all truth, Skylar was a jittery mess—anxious to get this show over and on with her life. She closed her eyes and exhaled all the breath from her lungs for a count of five. Then she repeated the relaxation technique, holding her breath. You can do this, you can do this, she kept telling herself.

“Heck, you’re far better than that,” Jake said. “You’re friggin’ amazing…for a woman anyway.” He was grinning, motioning his head towards the empty seat in front of him. “What do you say? Care to tag along?’

She touched her necklace and smiled. “That’s the plan.”

He mouthed the words I love you, and she instantly relaxed.

There were moments like this when she was tempted to repeat the words. When for three seconds, she didn’t believe in the notion that love gave someone the power to destroy you.

She was only six years old the day her mother asked her, “What’s more beautiful than life itself…devours you inside…makes you laugh and cry all day…and makes you do anything, anytime, anyplace?” Of course, the answer to her riddle was love. But after everything her mother had gone through, Skylar was frightened to say it.

So is that why she was doing this now? Why she was willing to risk her life to please the only man she truly cared about?

Jake’s voice came back on the radio, directing her step by step. “Okay, Skylar, let’s do this just like we planned. Remember…pay attention to our distance. Do everything like we practiced. I’ll count us through. You got this! And don’t forget, sweetheart…this is all about timing and having fun too. Is that clear?”

“Yes. Crystal clear.”

“Okay. Ready to go?”

“Ready.”

“Then let’s do this. Nice and easy.”

Jake taxied his biplane off the grass and onto the runway, and Skylar followed close behind. Then the airshow announcer’s voice erupted over the loud speakers in the stadium. “Our next act, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, are the Twin Arrows from the Ace Flying Circus. Let’s give these two a big round of applause.”

A cheer rose in the air, and Jake’s voice came through Skylar’s speaker. “Roger, Mitchell Tower.” His plane rolled forward and Skylar trailed behind him, increasing her air speed as she pulled the stick towards her. She looked at the tower and knew that Ethan was keeping an eye on her from there. For the first time all day, the announcer said nothing. The crowd hushed and even the children watched silently as the two old war planes took off full throttle, one after the other. They swooped upwards and their engines roared.

The wings made it difficult to see, but Skylar witnessed bits and pieces of Jake’s first maneuver—enough to know that they were perfectly executed. He flew out of the spectator’s view allowing her center stage. Now it was her turn. The plane responded instantly to her touch and she became a sculptor carving the air. Spins and turns, drops and climbs. Her individual routine had been flawless. To finish, she climbed high above the runaway. The hangars, taxiways, and crowded tarmac became the size of miniature replicas. When the plane could climb no more, it stalled and fell to one side, dropping into a spiral heading straight for the ground. Instead of recovering and pulling out of the dive, Skylar let the ground rush toward her until she knew the crowd feared for her life. And because she had spent countless years watching airshows, she knew the audience had exploded with cheers when she added power and regained control. She climbed back into the sky feeling electrified, brimming with adrenaline.

Jake met her in his plane directly over the runway, front and center for the cheering crowd. They climbed in unison, turned on their tails, then stalled and dropped in opposite directions. They proceeded to fly the identical acrobatic routine: tailspins, four-point rolls, flat spins, figure eights, snap rolls and hammerheads. Flying together, they were a reflection of each other—perfectly matched in speed, altitude, and control.

The other pilots could do these stunts too, skillfully even. But each time Jake was in the cockpit, he became an artist. Everyone who watched him knew they were seeing something remarkable. But this time, Skylar was right there with him, matching every move. The feeling was pure energy and naked spirit.

They flew out and around to get enough distance and speed to do their final stunt. Descending even lower, it appeared as if they were going to land. Then Jake yelled, “Here we go!” He dropped even lower and did a smooth barrel roll directly under Skylar. They kept the bellies of their planes in perfection position from one end of the runway to the other—blasting by the audience, a plane and its reflection.

Jake called, “Clear out!”

Just as they had rehearsed, Skylar broke off to the right and went into a climb. She couldn’t see him, but she knew that Jake was completing his barrow roll and would soon follow her into the sky.

The exhilaration she felt was beyond description, beyond anything she had experienced before. Skylar could almost hear the cheers erupting from the ground below, as she soared higher and higher. She was heading straight toward a cloud bank that hadn’t been there before—not when they started their routine. It was like a wall that reached higher than she could see.

Skylar heard a crackle on her radio and then Jake’s reassuring voice. “Honey, that was amazing! I knew you could do it.”

His praise was a salve for her soul. “Thanks for believing in me, Jake.”

“You would have loved this, Roxy,” she said quietly. “It was just like we talked about.” All of her dreams were coming true, exactly the way she imagined. With Jake’s help, she had accomplished a remarkable feat, and now her name would be synonymous with female stunt pilots all over the world.

The wall of clouds was getting bigger at a rate Skylar had never seen before. Even intense thunderstorms didn’t grow this rapidly, and there were no storms forecasted in this area.

“Jake? Do you see this?” Skylar couldn’t believe the size of this weather system in front of her. She couldn’t even begin to see the top or either side.

The radio crackled but he didn’t respond.

“Jake? Can you hear me?”

Static erupted in her headset but then cleared. “Baby, listen. There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

“Jake? Is that you?”

“I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to say this out loud—”

“What are you talking about? Jake? Is something wrong?”

“Skylar…I…you.” Static blocked out most of the words. “Sky…do…hear me? …get what…saying?” The static was increasing. “…honest…love you!”

“Jake! I can barely hear you. Can you hear me?”

He kept talking, obviously unaware that the call was breaking up. “…Skylar…want…know…”

“Jake! I can’t hear you! Jake! Repeat.”

“Get…here…quick.” The static was getting louder. “…proud…believe…long to…say…here…why…you.”

The static ended and silence filled her ears. It was time to get back on the ground. “If you can hear me, there’s a weather system approaching and it’s a biggie! I’m on my way back.” Then she added, “Taking it nice and easy.”

However, nature had a different idea. It was as if the wall of clouds had swallowed her whole, darkening the cockpit in an instant. The plane danced and swayed in the turbulence, constantly buffeted by the increas­ing wind. Skylar’s head hit the canopy and her knees slammed against the sides of the plane. She had entered the eye of the storm and was being thrown around like a toy plane. Lightning flashed across the sky, followed by the crash of thunder. She tightened her grip on the controls and released a ragged breath.

Holy shit. Skylar was in the bowels of a storm with no end in sight. She could only hold on and pray that the plane wouldn’t break into pieces. The turbulence grew wilder, tossing her around like a rock in a can. She regained control of her plane for seconds at a time. When she could, she started a turn in an attempt to break free from the storm—to exit the way she came in. She kept an eye out on the windscreen to stay oriented, but it was hard to keep her head still long enough to see clearly.

The dark ominous sky revealed glimpses of white clouds sliding behind fast-moving black curtains, giving her a sliver of hope. Then, from out of nowhere, a red and white plane descended from above, headed straight at her. We’re gonna crash!

Skylar gasped and veered her biplane to the left. They were bulleting past each other, but there wasn’t enough time to get out of the way. Her right wing clipped the tail of the other aircraft, sending her plane into a nose dive.

“Oh, my God!” she yelled into her radio. “We collided!”

The radio was quiet.

“Jake! Can you hear me? It’s Skylar! I’m going down!” She was spiraling and plunging straight down, holding on for dear life.

Why wasn’t he answering? Where the hell was Jake?

Skylar had the stick close to her chest pulling up for all she was worth. “Ethan, are you there? Ethan, it’s Skylar! Why isn’t anyone responding? I’m going down!”

A man’s voice came through the speaker. “Skylar. Let go.”

Who was that? It was an unfamiliar voice.

“I can’t recover the controls!” she yelled. “I collided with another plane! Help me! Please help me!”

“Skylar, listen. You know how to do this. You just need to let go.”

“I can’t! The controls were damaged. I’m going down!”

The man’s voice remained calm. “You can do this. Your plane is fine.” He might as well have been ordering dinner at a restaurant. “Listen to me. You’re in a stall. Let go of the stick. Let the wings do their job.”

Her knuckles were white.

“Skylar, listen to me,” he repeated. “You know how to do this. Let go!”

She blew out a deep breath. The ground was getting closer by the second and her nerves were jumping. She needed to act before it was too late.

Against everything her brain was screaming, she followed stall protocol. She pushed the stick away from her and shoved in the throttle, increasing her descent into the ground. As soon as she heard the power of her engines, relief poured over her. She pulled back on the stick and felt the gloriousness of her wings taking hold, creating lift and allowing her aircraft to fly.

I’m going make it!

“Nice one, Skylar! You did it!” The stranger cheered.

She leveled off and the sky around her lightened, allowing her to see the runway below. She had fallen a long way. “Thank you. I…couldn’t…I have…”

“Just land and be done with it,” he said. “That was quite a ride!”

“Coming around.” She headed for a final approach and used the time to breathe and wipe the tears from her eyes. There was nothing she could do about the shaking. Her whole body was trembling.

“Jake? Ethan? Are you there?”

The radio remained silent.

Skylar touched down with a gentle bounce. She taxied off the runway and pulled around to a stop in front of a black hanger that she didn’t recall seeing before. But then after that harrowing experience, everything in the world seemed new.

She shut off the engines and the airplane shuttered. The propellers slowed and stopped with a jerk. Silence. She started to remove her headset but stopped and said into the mic, “Are you still there? I can’t thank you enough.”

“It was nothing. Glad to help.”

“I don’t know what got into me. I’ve never panicked like that before.”

“No problem. Happens to the best of us.”

“But I’m used to emergencies. I’ve done it a thousand times. I do stalls for a living!” She hesitated, embarrassed to admit such a thing. “Well, thank you. I really can’t thank you enough.” Then she realized she didn’t have the foggiest idea who he was—this guardian angel who saved her. “Can I ask who this is?”

“The name’s Haines,” he said. “It was my plane your clipped up there. But I managed to bring her down safely.”

“That was you! I don’t know how that happened. You just appeared and I only had a second to react. I’m so glad you’re okay. That I’m okay too…thanks to you.”

“Like I said, glad to help.”

“Wait a minute. Did you say Haines?” She must have misheard. Or perhaps it was the near-death experience confusing her further.

“Yep, that’s right. Dylan Haines.” He paused, then he asked, “Have we met before?”

“Um…I…” Skylar looked around and realized that she wasn’t sure where she was. None of this was making sense. She pulled off her headset, thinking she could see better without them. She looked around for Jake. Where was Ethan? The airshow was still going on and groups of people were gathered here and there, filling the open spaces outside.

Leaving her backpack behind, she climbed out of her seat and hopped to the ground. Where was everyone? Where was Jake? She was having trouble believing her eyes. A short distance away sat the brick traffic control tower and administration building. People were milling about, going in and out of the buildings. And she knew these buildings well. She saw them every day. She also knew that they had been remodeled a few years ago. But the building in front of her had clearly not been remodeled. It had the old windows and doors, and the addition that gave them more offices wasn’t there.

What was going on here?

Draped across the black façade was a huge white banner with black letters. She couldn’t believe her eyes.

Welcome to the ’98 Reno National Championship Air Races & Air Show!

What? 1998? Was this some kind of joke? Skylar looked around, half expecting someone to jump out and yell, “Gotcha!”

All the buildings around her looked the same but different. Everything was just a little bit off. She took another look around. The hangers were there, but where was the shed? She used that shed daily for tools and wash pails. The small maintenance building was there, however, the large newer side wasn’t. It was just a parking lot.

Skylar scanned the whole airport and realized it wasn’t making any sense. This wasn’t right. None of it was right!

Antique planes of every make and model were lined up in neat staggered rows. Pilots were checking engines, climbing in and out of cockpits, and studying the reader board for their positions. Red and white checkered canopies had replaced the black vendor tents that had been there this morning. The grandstands were still filled to capacity, yet none of the faces looked familiar. Not even the faces in the “Employee Section.” And there was still no sign of Jake and Ethan. Plus Jake’s biplane wasn’t there and his hanger was nowhere in sight.

Was she losing her mind?

A striking man with wavy brown hair and an athletic build strode up to her, wiping his hands on a rag. “So, you must be Skylar. It’s good to meet you. And all in one piece.” A bright smile stretched across his face.

She returned his smile and realized that she recognized him. Her brain started filing through faces and names, searching for something to remind her who this man was. Then a picture came to mind. She knew a picture of this man. That was it! Skylar had seen his face in her grandfather’s album. Only, that album was filled with photos of her father.

He looked exactly like a picture of her father. But that was impossible. Wasn’t it?

Skylar looked at him a little closer. Same hair. Same sea blue eyes. If her father had a twin, this would be him. But wait…it couldn’t be. He didn’t have a twin and this man looked to be 25-years-old.

The world came to a standstill. It was 1998. Her father would have been twenty-five in 1998. This was crazy, and so was being here, in this place—in the same year and place where her father had died.

Skylar kept her clammy hands clenched at her sides and squeezed her eyes tight. This is all a dream…just a dream. Either that or she was dead. She must have crashed and died on impact. That was it! She was…dead. She opened her eyes again, but everything was the same. Still 1998.

She broke out in a cold sweat. A tingling sensation began in her hands and feet and then quickly spread to her entire body.

Her father stepped forward and reached out a hand. “Skylar? Are you all right?”

She simply stared, mystified. “This…this isn’t real. It…it can’t be,” she stammered. “It’s…a dream. Just…a dream.” He was tilting off center before her eyes, blurring into fuzzy grayness, disappearing as the world went black.

High Flying 7

Spotlight – Dreams That Never Were

Dreams That Never Were Blog Tour Banner

About the Author

Greg Messel

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

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

About the Book:

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

Dreams That Never Were 2

BOOK BLURB:

Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why? I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?” — Robert F. Kennedy

June 5, 1968:  Senator Robert F. Kennedy, then a candidate for President and victorious in the California primary, was mortally wounded by assassin Sirhan Sirhan as he exited the ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.  Innocent bystanders were also wounded, including young and idealistic Alex Hurley, a San Francisco reporter.

Swept up in the turbulent events of 1968, Alex is captivated both by the Presidential race and by Vietnam, where he had recently been a war correspondent.  His time in Vietnam had cost him his marriage and bitterly separated him from his own family.

Recovering from his wounds—physical and emotional—a new and surprising love restores his hope.

Part political thriller, part romance, Alex Hurley’s story in “Dreams That Never Were,” captures the turmoil of the day, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and America’s wrenching response to it. This novel is the latest historical fiction from award winning author Greg Messel.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

https://amzn.to/2Z8tGOD

Book Excerpt:

Sirhan Sirhan shot Robert F. Kennedy in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel. Kennedy was leaving a victory party after winning the California Primary in June of 1968. Sirhan continued to fire his gun as the crowd tried to subdue him. Five additional people were wounded by the stray bullets. I have one of those wounded be my fictional character, Alex Hurley. This excerpt is when Alex wakes up in the hospital and is unaware of what has occurred. Here’s the 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.”

Book Blast – Murder by Munchausen

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

A police procedural sci fi thriller ripped from future headlines!

After Jake shoots and kills a murder suspect who turns out to be the son of a powerful city councilman, he finds himself demoted to the Artificial Crimes Unit, tracking down androids hacked and programmed to be hit men.

When his case of an “extra-judicial” divorce settlement takes a nasty turn with DNA from a hundred-year-old murder in Boston and a signature that harkens back to the very first serial killer ever in London, Jake finds himself tangled up in the brutal slayings of prostitutes being investigated by his former Robbery/Homicide partner, Maddie–who is now his lover.

But a madman, The Baron, is just getting started with his AI recreations of Jack the Ripper’s brutal crimes. And Maddie and Jake are teamed up again to stop the carnage as the Baron’s army of human replicants imitate history’s most notorious serial killers.

“It might not make sense, but the beloved Media tags it ‘Murder by Munchausen.’ For a price, there are hackers out there who will reprogram a synthoid to do your dirty work. The bad news: no fingerprints or DNA left at the crime scene. The good news—at least for us—is that they’re like missiles: once they hit their target, they’re usually as harmless as empty brass. The trick is to get them before they melt down their core OS data, so you can get the unit into forensics for analysis and, hopefully, an arrest.” [excerpt from Murder by Munchausen]

Artificial Intelligence? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Artificial Evil has a name…Munchausen.

BookCover - Munchausen Trilogy Box Set

Read an Excerpt

From The Invisible Mind (#3)

It sat on a bench outside the dormitory of nursing students, waiting with its kind’s infinite patience. Originally acquired and programmed for landscaping at the Cleveland Clinic, the synthoid was one of a brigade of units which had been hacked and Munchausened, then returned to their menial daily services to mankind to await the Baron’s call.

There was no adrenalin surge behind the extremely life-like facade of humanity when that call came. Data packets, sent scatter-shot through the Atlas Grid, coalesced at the location outside the Cole Eye Institute, where it methodically trimmed and shaped the immaculate shrubbery around the building. To avoid Q’s metadata sniffing algorithms from detecting a download spike in the grid, the information came in digital sprinkles over the course of its human handler’s work shift, slowly building a malevolent intent to be executed that night. In the middle of the afternoon, it left the topiary unfinished to melt into the hospital shift change and disappeared.

Personality modules were a Gen-3 feature upgrade, which is why the earlier models were initially preferred. Swapping out a few IC chips and uploading hacked firmware was a relatively easy way to turn a quick buck with an automated contract killing. But evil innovates, too, and the same features that made synthoids even more human-like in their behavior also helped create robotic assassins which could better camouflage their malicious intents and evade the reach of the Artificial Crimes Unit by melting into and moving undetected through the humanity that surrounded them. For the Baron, it allowed for a greater measure of artistic expression in programming the synthoid’s behavior to not only recreate infamous crimes of the past, but to mimic the behavior of their perpetrators, which intensified the thrill of watching the video feed through the eyes of Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy or, this particular evening, Richard Speck. Jake wasn’t the only history buff and it amused Jamal that London police had photographed the eyes of Jack the Ripper’s victims, hoping to capture the last thing they ever saw: their killer’s face. If only Scotland Yard could have imagined the future.

The Gen-3 personality modules also supported the ANSI Adaptive Artificial Intelligence Protocol #9 to enhance the artificial human experience of real men and women who interacted with synthoids. The constant writing and rewriting of code in the personality/experience loop formed unique individual synthoid consciousnesses, which manufacturers uploaded to their servers for product improvement teams to study. In Munchausened units, that feed was hijacked and routed to another portal in the Darknet to build a collective id of evil.

At eleven PM, it rose from the bench and entered the dormitory. The bodies of nine women would be found the next day, having been strangled and stabbed to death. Unlike 1966, no eyewitness was left alive, though the phrase “Born to Raise Hell” was written on the wall in blood.

About the Author:

M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.

Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.

Website: https://www.mtbass.net

Blog: https://www.owl-works.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/owlworks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Owlworks

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/mtbass

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5270962.M_T_Bass

Murder by Munchausen Trilogy Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Munchausen-Trilogy-Future-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07QDGHYZ6

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/murder-by-munchausen-trilogy-books-1-3/id1458934052?mt=11

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1131145794?ean=2940156040681

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/murder-by-munchausen-trilogy

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/932579

THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:  $25 Amazon/BN GC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

flat image book cover

VBT – THE BECOMING

Tourbanner_The Becoming

The Becoming

by Lilith Thorn

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance Erotica

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BLURB:

Niamh is a good wife. She learned early on that crossing her husband had consequences. Living quietly in the shadowed cage he has formed around her, Niamh suffers his secrets and bares the scars they leave behind.

On the night of her biggest humiliation Caleb enters the ballroom changing Niamh’s course forever. He brings safety to her dark world and introduces her to the possibility of escape. Will Niamh’s love for Caleb be the key to her freedom or will it be her undoing?

BookCover_TheBecoming

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EXCERPT

Chapter One – Pg. 1

He is the man I would have noticed first, had he been in the room when I arrived. As it was, he arrived “fashionably late”, as we’d say now. Men and women alike stole glances as he strode through the doors; we were too polite a society to stare.

He is the kind of creature that draws all eyes to himself without doing much to deserve it. Though this was not his home, he was the king of the castle. Even in my distracted state, I soaked in his energy, felt him before I saw him and, like a magnet pulling me, my body turned toward him.

Had I been anyone but my demure self, my jaw may have hung open or I may have walked toward him to embarrass myself with a bumbled, unasked for introduction. Instead, as his eyes met mine, I quickly glanced away and blushed. Later – much later – he would tell me it was the blood rushing to my cheeks that drew him to me.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

Born in Dundas, ON, Lilith Thorn is a restless wanderer. Her first move was to St. Catharines where she earned a Theatre degree at Brock University. Despite her parents’ wish that she would return home and work at McDonalds after graduating, Lilith refused and instead moved to Toronto to give acting the ‘Old College Try.’ After years of sacrificing her other passions for the stage and an empty bank account, she put away those dreams to say “Yes” to a different adventure. This took her to Dublin, Ireland for a few years where she met, fell in love with, and married another Canadian who took her to the one place she said she’d never live: Yellowknife. After nearly a decade in Canada’s Great White North, Lilith looks forward to further adventures with her husband and two children, just about anywhere.

Lilith Thorn is a pen name, the pseudonym used to protect the innocent; that is, so she hopefully never has to explain to her mother-in-law over dinner that she has written an erotic novel.

Amazon:

Canada – https://www.amazon.ca/Becoming-Lilith-Thorn/dp/1773706462/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546121703&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Becoming+by+Lilith+thorn

US – https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Lilith-Thorn/dp/1773706462/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546121755&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Becoming+by+Lilith+thorn

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-Lilith-Thorn/dp/1773706462/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546121794&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Becoming+by+Lilith+thorn

Australia – https://www.amazon.com.au/Becoming-Lilith-Thorn/dp/1773706489/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546121836&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=The+Becoming+by+Lilith+thron

Chapters/Indigo – https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/home/search/?keywords=The%20becoming%20by%20Lilith%20thorn#internal=1

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=The+Becoming+by+Lilith+Thorn&search=Find+book

Boutique 130 – https://www.boutique130.com/product-page/the-becoming-by-lilith-thorn

Foyles – https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-becoming,lilith-thorn-9781773706481

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-becoming/lilith-thorn/9781773706467

Ebooks

Kindle – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-becoming-11

Smash Words – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LilithThorn

Bol – https://www.bol.com/nl/p/the-becoming/9200000092712559/

Social Media:

Twitter – @liliththorn

Instagram – @byliliththorn

Facebook Page – @liliththornwrites

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39675321-the-becoming

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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

Please use this rafflecopter code on your post:

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

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INTERVIEW ….

What are your favorite TV shows?

I like period shows, dark, quirky and steeped in what if. Something I can escape into. I’m currently watching Jessica Jones. On the list of previously binge watched shows is Outlander, Ozark, Good Girls Revolt, Breaking Bad, Good Girls, The OA, Lost in Space and more.

What is your favorite meal?

You can’t go wrong with a good pizza for me, but I like something a little different from the traditional. There is a blue cheese and pear pizza I crave here in town and down south a place that has a pizza with oven roasted brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, dates, walnuts and honey.

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I’m doing that now. I’d write about a woman who’s whole world crashes down around her and she rebuilds her life into something magnificent. A phoenix rising from the ashes.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

I admire both Kelly Armstrong and Diana Gabaldon. They both have great characters, worlds I can escape into and a strong sense of fantasy.

How did you come up for the title of this book?

The Becoming naturally lifted itself from the first pages of the story. It felt like the perfect fit for a story about a woman who transforms in the way that Niamh does. It was never called anything else.

Spotlight – Little Yellow Magnet by Jamieson Wolf

Little Yellow Magnet – A Memoir

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

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

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

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

Buy Links:

Amazon.ca         Amazon.com          Kobo

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

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

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

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

The world was falling around me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What’s wrong?” I asked her.

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

“Is that likely?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On December 30, 2012, my hand went numb.

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

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

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

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