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VBT – THE SPECTER OF THE INDIAN

The Specter of the Indian banner

 

Title:
THE SPECTER OF THE INDIAN: RACE, GENDER, AND GHOSTS IN AMERICAN SEANCES, 1848 – 1898
Author: Kathryn A. Troy
Publisher: SUNY Press
Pages: 200
Genre: Historical Nonfiction

The Specter of the Indian unveils the centrality of Native American spirit guides during the emergent years of American Spiritualism. By pulling together cultural and political history; the studies of religion, race, and gender; and the ghostly, Kathryn Troy offers a
new layer of understanding to the prevalence of mystically styled Indians in
American visual and popular culture. The connections between Spiritualist print
and contemporary Indian policy provide fresh insight into the racial dimensions
of social reform among nineteenth-century Spiritualists.
Troy draws fascinating parallels between the contested belief of Indians as fading from the world, claims of returned
apparitions, and the social impetus to provide American Indians with a means of
existence in white
America. Rather than vanishing from national sight and memory, Indians and their ghosts are shown to be ever present. This book transports the readers into dimly lit parlor rooms and darkened cabinets and lavishes them with detailed séance accounts in the words of those who witnessed them. Scrutinizing the otherworldly whisperings heard therein highlights the voices of mediums and those they sought to channel, allowing the author to dig deep into Spiritualist belief and practice. The influential presence of Indian ghosts is made clear and undeniable. 

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The Vanished Return
In her 1885 book Life
and Labor in the Spirit World
, Mary Shelhamer, the sitting medium for the
primary Spiritualist journal the Banner
of Light,
recounted her visit to the ghostly realm. “Beyond [a] rolling
river,” she wrote, “there is a deeply-wooded country. Here you are up high
among the mountains; this is the red man’s home […] it is a refuge for the
poor, hunted and despised Indian, who, fleeing from mortal chains, finds
therein rest and peace.”[1]
Her description of Indians as figures in flight, as members of a dying race,
was by the late nineteenth century a common one. For many white Americans,
Indians were, for the most part, already a thing of the past. They appeared
constantly in popular culture as figures of legend and literature, but real
Indians were primarily perceived as living relics—faint reminders of a vanished
people. But to nineteenth-century Spiritualists, Indians had never completely
gone; the ghosts of Indian dead walked among them. The proclaimed presence of
Indian spirits in American séances challenged the dominant discourse of Indians
as vanished, and had a profound impact not only on the Spiritualist movement,
but also on some of the most important debates of the day—those on race,
gender, civilization and the development of an American national character.
            This book
explores the spectral appearances of Indians in late nineteenth-century
American séances in relation to those national debates, and analyzes the
importance of such apparitions on several levels—racial, gendered, religious
and political. It demonstrates the overwhelming pervasiveness of this sorely
understudied phenomenon as a central social element of the Spiritualist
movement. The project establishes how the witnessing of Indian spirits affected
American minds and the reception of federal Indian policy by influencing
concepts of racial difference and socio-political hierarchy.
            The heart
of my analysis examines the racial elements unique to the spiritual
manifestations of Indians, as well as how American Spiritualists utilized the
Indian spirits they claimed to encounter as sources of political empowerment—as
agents of peace between whites and Indians, as models of sexual difference, and
as guides to spiritual progression for both races. Spiritualists understood
Indian ghosts to appear in séances with a mission to fulfill: to help ensure
the inner illumination of Spiritualists, to support white attempts at social
reform, and to serve as sources of strength to the female mediums they
possessed. They acted as mediators between the material and spiritual realms,
providing essential information about the condition and means of progression
through the several spiritual spheres, and communicating the temperament and
will of the supreme deity commonly referred to as the Great Spirit. Through
Indian spirit appearances, Spiritualists were apprised of the Great Spirit’s
attitude regarding social and political issues, such as the actions to be taken
regarding Indian nations, political equality for women, or the correct position
on congressional policies. The presence, strength, and support of Indian ghosts
were recognized as contributing to the efforts and accomplishments of
Spiritualists to create a “heaven on earth” that reflected the enlightened
position of spirits.
            These
spirits did not manifest predominantly as nostalgic symbols of a vanishing
race. They appeared frequently in the 1860s to 1880s, when the United
States was almost constantly at war with
Indian nations, when debates about what to do with Indians raged, and when the
future of the North American West was anything but certain. They did not simply
appear as Indians who were better off dead in the Happy Hunting Ground,
assuaging white guilt about conquests and an imagined vanishing, as has been
suggested by many historians—such as Alan Trachtenberg in his writing of
fictionalized Indians, Jared Farmer in his discussion of legends representing
Indians as ghostly and most pointedly Molly McGarry in her chapter on Indian
spirits.[2]
Indian spirits were also not categorized on the whole as being from the distant
past and thus safely nonthreatening.[3]
            Spiritualists
saw Indian ghosts as awakening public outrage and inciting political opposition
against the wars waged by the United States
on Indians, causing Spiritualists to question government objectives in the
West. Spiritualist publications vehemently denounced the Sand Creek Massacre of
1864, George Custer’s invasion of the Black Hills and
the duplicity and corruption of American Indian policy, as exemplified in the
Ponca Affair of the 1870s and multiple reports on dismal reservation
conditions. Spiritualists recognized the support of Indian ghosts for peace
policies and political equality, and the efforts of Spiritualists to restore
what they felt their country, allegedly superior in religion and civilization,
had lost—its sense of honor. They were not simply utilized as servants of the
mediums who conjured them; they were praised as guides and instructors, helping
to ensure the nation’s spiritual future. When Spiritualists closely followed
the development of the Indian Peace Commission in 1867, the rise and decline of
Ulysses S. Grant’s Peace Policy, the success of “civilized” tribes like the
Cherokee, the Carlisle and Hampton Institutes and the implementation of the
Dawes Severalty Act in 1887, they believed they were both heeding ghostly
warnings and working to rebuild the pride of their nation. These major events
in American/Indian relations are linked in this project to the intensity of
Indian spectral appearances and their centrality to the Spiritualist movement’s
contemporary development, serving as the basis for the powerful trop of the
“Indian spirit guide,” which persists today.
            A deeper
analysis than those by previous scholars of the manifestations themselves
reveals the complex and sometimes conflicting nature of such phenomena.
Scrutiny of the methods, acknowledgements, and purposes of Indian
manifestations opens wide a door to a much richer understanding of how the
intellectual and professional classes that comprised the foundation of
Spiritualist Movement constantly redefined and integrated the concept of “Indian”
into a society structured by racial and sexual difference. The notion of
Indianness that emerged from Spiritualist séances advocated a politically
non-racial society, whereby Indians could and should become American citizens,
and incorporated gender models that undermined contemporary definitions of
manliness as positively linked to violence.
            In using
such terms as “Indian spirits,” I refer to manifestations witnessed by
Spiritualists in which they claimed to see Indians, including cases of
specifically named Indians, as well as those “Indianness” derived solely from
Spiritualist identification. The ways in which Indian celebrities were
authenticated and nameless “Indians” were recognized both reflected how
“Indianness” as a scientific racial category was understood and constructed in
the Spiritualist arena and, I posit, were reflective of broader American
cultural attitudes. The actual presence of Indian spirits at nineteenth-century
séances is neither accepted nor denied in this book. It is only relevant that
Spiritualists accepted their experiences as truth. To assert at the onset that
all Spiritualists were knowing frauds is risky and counterproductive. Such
evaluations invite statements like those of Lisa Lenker, who in her research
connected her discussion of Spiritualism with Manifest Destiny rhetoric as
supporting the ethnic cleansing of the American continent. Lenker asserted that
all Indian ghosts were simply and happily dead (not undead, as the term “ghost”
suggests).[4]
The ghosts of Indians will often be described throughout this book from the
perspective of the Spiritualists themselves—as distinct historical actors. To
believers, these specters spoke, made claims and issued warnings. Writing about
their alleged activity in such a way allows this book to delve into the
responses and reactions of Spiritualists who believed these apparitions to be
intelligent, active agencies. This approach to describing spectral activity is
offset by the simultaneous focus on specific individuals deeply involved with
Indian apparitions, including the mediums Jennie Lord, Mary Shelhamer, Fannie
Conant, and Cora Tappan.
            Placing
Spiritualist manifestations at the center of this project, essentially shifting
the focus onto non-entities, is a somewhat unorthodox approach to the study of
history, and has not been the practice employed by other scholars of
Spiritualism. Yet doing so allows the incorporation of a body of literature on
ghostliness and hauntings that is central to this project. Such scholarship has
to this point been absent from Spiritualist studies, strangely so given that
the movement, at its core, was about communicating with the dead. Rather than
referring to these manifestations only as spirits from the celestial realm or
as the products of an American imagination, I abstain from judgment on their
existence. By using the labels that Spiritualists themselves did—ghosts of the
dead returned to life—I employ a lexicon of definitions that are critical to
understanding the full significance of Spiritualist encounters with such
phenomena. “Ghosts” are undead—uncanny, temporal disruptions that appear in
specific ways at specific times to deliver a message. Communication by such
entities conveys information about an obscured past occurrence. To the witness
of such phenomena, the presence of the ghost is made clear through a distinct
sensory experience, its disruption of logical time remedied only by listening
to what the ghost wants and providing it with satisfaction. It is with these
terms in mind, originating predominantly in fictive, psychological and
paranormal studies, that I look upon séance activities of nineteenth-century America.
In his work on literary hauntings of America
during the first half of the century (the period of federally sanctioned Indian
removal), Renee Bergland rightly suggested that representations of Indian
ghosts simultaneously established and questioned an intangible American
nationality, as well as racial and sexual classifications.[5] Examining how the
Indian spirits of séances contributed to changing definitions of race and
gender is the main thrust of this project.
            Organized
by theme rather than time, the chapters included in this book cover the nature
of Spiritualist hauntings marked as specifically Indian, and the questioning
and redefinition of masculinity, femininity, and morality as linked to national
progress that took place within séance circles beginning in the 1850s and
continuing throughout the 1880s. This timeframe will be repeated in each
chapter as different aspects of Indian hauntings are visited. A majority of
works on Spiritualism have chosen to narrow their scope to the earlier,
formative years of the movement. Studies about the Fox Sisters or Andrew
Jackson Davis, for example, emphasize the Spiritualism of the 1850s as
definitive of the entire movement. Bret Carroll highlighted the 1850s as an
emergent period, as did Howard Kerr.[6] Such an approach is
not appropriate here. The frequency with which Indian manifestations were
recorded was fairly comparable from the 1850s through the 1880s, peaking during
the 1860s and 1870s. The decline that Burton Brown said occurred in the 1870s
is not borne out by the increased frequency of Indian apparitions.[7]
The seemingly consistent presence of Indian ghosts at séances serves in part to
bolster my argument that Indian ghosts were a defining characteristic of
Spiritualist practice from its inception, and makes discussion of the movement
through the course of the century imperative to my efforts. Both Indian policy
and Spiritualism evolved in the twentieth century, and continue to do so, but
analysis of such changes is beyond the scope of this book. My intention is to
demonstrate how spiritual tropes of Indianness developed on the crest of
Spiritualism in tandem with dramatic change in Indian visibility in the public
eye.
            My focus on
recorded instances of Indian specters also determines to a large degree the
emphasis on certain sources at the expense of others. While myriad articles,
pamphlets, treatises and monographs by Spiritualists provide this project with
a contextual foundation for their beliefs, as well as Indian manifestations,
the recording of Indian ghosts emerged predominantly in certain forms of
Spiritualist print—namely, their periodicals. Newspapers played a critical role
in the development and dispersion of representations of Indians that saturated
nineteenth-century American culture and continue to do so.[8]
The majority of writing on such phenomena appeared in the Religio-Philosophical Journal and Banner of Light; these sources are therefore dominant forces in
this project. My use of Banner of Light
in this book works somewhat as a centralizing force in a movement which had
none, and provides a modicum of order to the cacophony of Spiritualist voices. Banner of Light takes on an added
significance in my research because of its extensive coverage of Indian
affairs. The development of the Indian Peace Commission, the Modoc War, the
Ponca Affair, and the violation of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie were all
covered and editorialized in the weekly journal, receiving consistent attention
in a periodical ostensibly dedicated to matters of the spirit. The amount of
space accorded to such news should not continue to be overlooked in the
analysis of Spiritualist print. The longevity of the Banner of Light, enjoying an approximately fifty-year run, speaks
once again to the pervasiveness within Spiritualism of this very specific
racial phenomena.[9]
            Geographically
speaking, this project views Spiritualism as a national movement in a broad sense,
with loci of activity in New York
and Boston. As the sites of some of
the first violent contests with Indian nations, the northeastern states have a
well-developed “penchant for hauntedness,” as Judith Richardson claimed,
“alongside a more enduring popular interest in ghosts and the supernatural.”[10]
Local variations of Spiritualism did not seem to have a significant impact on
Indian spectrality, and so has been omitted from this project. The one
exception to that is the Spiritual culture of New Orleans.
The connection between this city’s history and the spirit of Black Hawk will be
discussed in Chapter Two.  Likewise,
while there are many significant connections to be made with contemporary
Spiritualist movements across the globe, this project’s focus is on American
Indian ghosts within American Spiritualism, and the resulting effect on
American society. This intention, juxtaposed with the virtual absence of
similar phenomena in Europe, justifies the exclusion of
such a discussion in this work. The references to Britain’s
literary gothic tradition are brief, and useful only in demonstrating
Spiritualism’s place among the gothic tradition of the western world. European
Spiritualism is beyond the scope of this book. Additionally, this project is
not about Indian spirituality in its own right, as there were no significant
efforts on the part of Spiritualists to understand or incorporate Indian
religions into their own belief system. Their interest in native spirituality
extended to generalized ideas about animism and a natural Romanticism, which
will be addressed in Chapter Four.
            The
remainder of this introduction will serve several functions. It provides a
background on aspects of Spiritualist theology that are essential to
understanding the arguments made in this project, a discussion of Spiritualism
and Indian hauntings in context with changes in federal Indian policy, a brief
summary of the key goals and themes of each chapter, and a few words about the
bodies of scholarship most directly engaged and built upon in this book.


            [1]Mary
Theresa Shelhamer, Life and Labor in the
Spirit World: Being a Description of Localities, Employments, Surroundings, and
Conditions in the Spheres by Members of the Spirit-Band of Miss M.T. Shelhamer,
Medium of the Banner of Light Public Free Circle
(Boston: Colby & Rich,
1885), 85-86.
            [2]Alan
Trachtenberg, Shades of Hiawatha: Staging
Indians, Making Americans 1880-1930
(
New York: Hill & Wang, 2004), 19; Jared
Farmer, On
Zion’s
Mount: Mormons, Indians and the American Landscape
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 312;
Molly McGarry, Ghosts of Futures Past:
Spiritualism and the Cultural Politics of Nineteenth-Century America
(
Berkeley: California University Press, 2008), 73.
            [3]McGarry,
72; Robert Berkhofer, The White Man’s
Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present
(New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978), 90.
            [4]Lisa
Lenker, “Haunted Culture and Surrogate Space: A New Historicist Account of
Nineteenth-Century American Spiritualism” (PhD diss., Stanford University,
1998), 30.
           [5]Renee
L. Bergland, The National Uncanny: Indian
Ghosts and American Subjects
(
Hanover: Dartmouth, 2000), 7.
            [6]Bret
Carroll, “Unfree Spirits: Spiritualism and Religious Authority in Antebellum
America” (PhD diss., Cornell University, 1991),
25. Howard Kerr, Mediums, Spirit Rappers
and Roaring Radicals: Spiritualism in American Literature, 1850-1900
(
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973).
            [7]Burton Gates Brown Jr., “Spiritualism in
Nineteenth-Century
America” (PhD diss., Boston University Graduate
School, 1973).
[8]John Coward, The Newspaper Indian: Native American Identity in the Press, 1820-90
(Chicago: Illinois University Press, 1999), 11.
            [9]The Banner of Light is regarded as the most
widespread of Spiritualist periodicals. According to Sally Morita, by 1860 the
periodical had a circulation of approximately 25,000. Ann Taves, Fits, Trances and Visions: Experiencing
Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James
(Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1999), 184; Sally Jean Morita, “Modern Spiritualism
and Reform in
America” (PhD diss., University of Oregon,
1995), 78.
[10] Judith Richardson, Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson
Valley
(Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press 2005), 39.

 

Kathryn Troy is giving away 2 sets
of spiritual postcards and 2 Ouija design tote bags!

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  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 30.
  • Winners have 48 hours to reply.
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Kathryn Troy has two Master’s Degrees in History from Stony Brook University.
She contributed to the anthology The Spiritualist Movement published by Prager in August 2013, and teaches at Farmingdale State College and Suffolk County Community College.
In her spare time she pours all she knows about the ghostly and supernatural
into her fiction writing.

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Pre-order Blitz – ONE SUMMER NIGHT

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About the Author

Caridad Pineiro

Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with pork roll and the Jersey Shore, but still can’t get the hang of tomato pies. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk to maintain her sanity and burn off that pork roll, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million books sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country.

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About the Book

One Summer Night

Title: ONE SUMMER NIGHT
Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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An offer that’s impossible to accept . . .

Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family’s business, including mortgaging their beloved beach house on the Jersey Shore. But now, she’s out of options.

The Sinclair and Pierce families have been neighbors and enemies for almost thirty years. That hasn’t stopped Owen Pierce from crushing on Maggie, and he’s determined to invest in her success. Now he has to convince her that he’s more than just trouble with a capital T…

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Book Excerpt

Tracy Parker was in love with being in love.

That worried her best friend and maid of honor Maggie Sinclair more than she cared to admit.

In the middle of the temporary dance floor, Tracy waltzed with her new husband in a satin-and-lace designer gown, gleaming with seed pearls and twinkling sequins. But the sparkle dimmed in comparison to the dreamy glow in Tracy’s eyes.

The sounds of wedding music competed with the gentle rustle of seagrasses in the dunes and the crash of the waves down on the beach. The fragrance from centerpiece flowers and bouquets battled with the kiss of fresh sea air.

Connie and Emma, Tracy’s two other best friends and members of the bridal party, were standing beside Maggie on the edge of the dance floor that had been set up on the great lawn of Maggie’s family’s beachfront mansion on the Jersey Shore. Huddled together, Maggie and her friends watched the happy couple do a final whirl.

“She’s got it so bad,” Maggie said, eyeing Connie and Emma with concern past the rim of her rapidly disappearing glass of champagne.

“Do you think that this time he really is The One?” Connie asked.

“Doubt it,” Emma replied without hesitation.

As the DJ requested that other couples join the happy newlyweds, Maggie and her friends returned to the bridal party dais set out on the patio. Grabbing another glass of champagne, Maggie craned her neck around the gigantic centerpiece piled with an almost obscene mound of white roses, ice-blue hydrangea, lisianthus, sheer tulle, and twinkling fairy lights and examined the assorted guests mingling around the great lawn and down by the boardwalk leading to the beach.

She recognized Tracy’s family from their various meetings over the years, as well as some of Tracy’s sorority sisters, like Toni Van Houten, who in the six years since graduation had managed to pop out a trio of boys who now circled her like sharks around a swimmer. Although the wedding invite had indicated No Children, Toni had done as she pleased. Since Tracy had not wanted a scene at her dream beachfront wedding, Emma, who was doing double duty as the wedding planner for the event, had scrambled to find space for the children at the dinner tables.

“Is that Toni ‘I’ll never ruin my body with babies’ Toni?” Connie asked, a perplexed look on her features.  At Maggie’s nod, Connie’s eyes widened in surprise, and she said, “She looks…happy.”

A cynical laugh erupted from Emma. “She looks crazed.”

Maggie couldn’t argue with either of their assessments. But as put-upon as their old acquaintance seemed, the indulgent smile she gave her youngest child was positively radiant.

Maggie skipped her gaze across the gathering to take note of all the other married folk. It was easy enough to pick them out from her vantage point on the dais where she and her friends sat on display like days’ old cakes in the bakery. They were the last three unmarried women in an extended circle of business and college acquaintances.

“How many times do you suppose we’ve been bridesmaids now?” Maggie wondered aloud. She finished off her glass and motioned for the waiter to bring another.

“Jointly or severally?” asked Connie, ever the lawyer.

“Way too many,” replied Emma, who, for a wedding planner, was the most ardent disbeliever in the possibility of happily ever afters.

Maggie hadn’t given marriage a first thought, much less a second, in a very long time. She’d had too many things going on in her life. Not that there hadn’t been a few memorable moments, most of which revolved around the absolutely worst man for her: Owen Pierce.

But for years now, she’d been dealing with her family’s business and its money problems, which had spilled over into her personal finances. As she gazed at the beauty of the manicured grounds and then back toward her family’s summer home, it occurred to her that this might be the last time she hosted a celebration like this here. She had mortgaged the property that she had inherited to funnel money into the family’s struggling retail store division.

Unfortunately, thanks to her father’s stubborn refusal to make changes to help the business, she spent way too much time at work, which left little time for romance. Not to mention that none of her casual dates had piqued her interest in that direction. Looking down from her perch, however, and seeing the happiness on so many faces suddenly had her reconsidering the merits of married life.

“Always a bridesmaid and never a bride,” she muttered, surprising herself with the hint of wistfulness in her tone.

“That’s because the three of us are all too busy working to search for Prince Charming,” Connie said, her defense as swift and impassioned as if she were arguing a case in court.

“Who even believes in that fairy-tale crap?” Emma’s gaze grew distracted, and she rose from her chair. “Excuse me for a moment. Carlo needs to see me about something.”

Emma rushed off to the side of the dance floor, where her caterer extraordinaire, Carlo Teixeira, raked a hand through his thick brown hair in clear frustration. He wore a pristine white chef’s jacket and pants that enhanced his dark good looks.

Emma laid a hand on Carlo’s forearm and leaned close to speak to him, apparently trying to resolve a problem.

“She doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but her Prince Charming is standing right in front of her,” Connie said with a sad shake of her head.

Maggie took another sip of her champagne and viewed the interaction between Carlo and Emma. Definitely major sparkage going on, she thought.

“You’re totally right,” she said with an assertive nod.

Connie smiled like the proverbial cat, her exotic green-gold eyes gleaming with mischief. “That’s why you hired me to represent your company as soon as I finished law school. Nothing gets past me.”

“Really? So what else do you think you’ve seen tonight?”

Raising her glass, her friend gestured toward the right of the mansion’s great lawn where some of the fraternity brothers from their alma mater had gathered. One of the men slowly turned to sneak a peek at them.

“Owen has been watching you all night long,” Connie said with a shrewd smile.

“Totally impossible, and you of all people should know it. Owen Pierce has absolutely no interest in me.”

She set her glass on the table to hide the nervous tremble of her hand as her gaze connected with his for the briefest of moments. Even that fleeting link was enough to raise her core temperature a few degrees. But what woman wouldn’t respond like that?

In his designer tuxedo, Owen was the epitome of male perfection—raven-black hair, a sexy gleam in his charcoal-gray eyes, broad shoulders, and not an ounce of fat on him, which made her recall seeing him in much, much less on a hot summer night on Sea Kiss Beach. She had been staying in the quaint seaside town on the Jersey Shore with her grandmother that summer, much as she had all her life. As they also had for so many years, the Pierce boys had been residing next door for the entire season.

The two beachfront mansions had been built side by side decades earlier, before the start of the Pierce and Sinclair rift. The cost of waterfront real estate had escalated so drastically since their construction that neither family was willing to sell their beloved home to put some distance between the warring clans.

Well, make that the warring fathers, because as far as Maggie was concerned, she had no beef with Owen. They had played together down on the beach as kids. She couldn’t count the many sand castles they’d built or the time they’d spent out in the surf.

But after her mother had died, things had changed, and the carefree spirit of those halcyon days had disappeared. The Pierce boys had stopped coming down to the Shore for the next few years, and combined with the loss of her mom, it had created an emptiness inside her that hadn’t really gone away.

By the time the Pierce brothers returned  years later, the feud had gotten worse, and Owen and Jonathan had been instructed to stay away. But an ill-timed and half-drunk kiss with Owen on a moonlit summer night had proved that staying away was impossible. It had also helped the emptiness recede for a bit. Since then, fate had seemed to toss them together time and time again in both their business and personal lives, keeping alive her fascination with him. She felt not quite so alone when he was around, not that she should get used to that.

Owen Pierce had left her once before when she’d needed his friendship the most: right after her mother’s death. His on-again, off-again presence in her life proved that she couldn’t count on him.

Owen stood next to his younger brother, Jonathan, who couldn’t be more different. While Owen was clean-cut and corporate, Jonathan had the scruffy hipster look going on. It was appealing in its own way, but not to her.

“Trust me, Maggie. Your families might be at war, but Owen would clearly love to sleep with the enemy,” Connie said.

She blew out a frustrated sigh. “More reason to avoid him. You know I’m not the kind to sleep around.”

Emma returned, color riding high on her cheeks, but not in a good way.

“Something wrong?” Maggie asked.

Emma kneeled between the two of them and whispered, “It seems the groom had a bit too much to drink and Tracy caught him being hands-on with an old flame.”

“Not Amy? Tracy always lost it if she spotted him with Amy,” Maggie whispered.

“Definitely Amy. Now Tracy is refusing to come out and cut the cake. I have to say, this takes the cake, literally. Married a few hours, and already there’s trouble.”

“Ever the hopeful romantic, Em,” she kidded.

“If you think you can do better, why don’t the two of you come help me talk Tracy off the ledge?”

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VBT – Krait’s Redemption

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About the Book
Title: Krait’s Redemption
Author: T.L. Shreffler
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: September 12, 2017

5. Krait's Redemption COVER_small
With winter solstice fast approaching, Sora and her companions are running out of time. She must stop The Shade from awakening the Dark God, yet a powerful force has overtaken her Cat’s-Eye necklace, rendering the stone almost useless. To use the stone, Sora must learn to trust her instincts and embrace her own inner strength. She joins forces with unexpected allies, Lord Gracen Seabourne among them, to protect the City of Crowns. As the city dissolves into chaos, she finds herself barreling toward an epic battle that will decide the fate of mankind.

At risk to his own life, Crash returns to the Hive seeking aid against Cerastes. However, the events that led him into exile have not been forgotten. Will the Hive offer him redemption, or will they demand he pay the ultimate price for his transgressions?

Join Sora and Crash in their epic battle to save the City of Crowns!

Author Bio

tlshreffler
T. L. Shreffler is a noblewoman living in the sunny acres of San Fernando Valley, California. She enjoys frolicking through meadows, sipping iced tea, exploring the unknown reaches of her homeland and unearthing rare artifacts in thrift stores. She holds a Bachelors in Eloquence (English) and writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and poetry. She has previously been published in Eclipse: A Literary Anthology and The Northridge Review.

Website – http://www.catseyechronicles.com
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/catseyeauthor
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tlshreffler
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+TLShreffler
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/catseyeauthor/
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/catseyeauthor
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5138153
Amazon Author Page Link – https://www.amazon.com/T.-L.-Shreffler/e/B00AGIYQR4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Pre-order available now!
AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Kraits-Redemption-Cats-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B073NQCDGY
NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kraits-redemption-t-l-shreffler/1126694513?ean=2940158962882
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sora-s-quest-the-cat-s-eye-chronicles-1
ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/kraits-redemption/id1264145659?mt=11

Giveaway

Win 1 signed copy of Krait’s Redemption, 1 Cat’s Eye Necklace or 1 free eBook copy of the book during our giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

EXCERPT

Prologue

Crash watched the bonfires in the distance.
Each day, more devotees swelled the Shade’s ranks. Shadow portals transported them from cities, from fields and mountains—from anywhere—to this forsaken desert. Nameless warriors pooled beneath a red plateau that towered in the twilight, blocking the moon.
An army of the lost, Crash thought. Their burning pyres beckoned to him like lighthouses on a foreign shore. But he had left those fires behind, walking miles into the flat desert to sit among the sand.
The Shade’s encampment might be in the Desert of Ester, but he wasn’t sure. His sense of certainty had fled long ago. He wondered at this unprecedented gathering. He wondered at the royal city’s evacuation, so close to winter solstice night.
He watched the fires glint against the darkness. He watched, and sat, and pondered. At first, Cerastes’ army had puzzled him. He didn’t know why a Grandmaster, typically a solitary figure concerned with martial discipline and meditation, would want to gather so many numbers. But now, as Crash became more firmly entrenched in the Shade’s activities, he knew what they were about. He had thought Cerastes meant to wage war against the human kingdom, but he was wrong.
Cerastes wanted the Hive.
Crash had realized the Grandmaster’s ambition when the assassin Cobra had issued his last dying words. It had all become suddenly, perfectly clear. Stop him. Cobra’s death had returned the arrow to Crash’s compass, and perhaps for the first time, he knew true north. He knew what he had to do.
He stood and walked away from the crimson fires on the horizon, behind an outcropping of rocks. There, he emptied a bag onto the ground. Ingredients for his spell, including a sheaf of yellowed parchment and fresh salamander ink, fell to the sand. He wrote the spell, then built a small fire out of venomgrass and willow bark. He drew symbols in the sand, and the flames turned indigo blue. Then he burned the paper with its written message. A wandering wind brushed the top of the dunes, carrying wafts of sand and smoke up to the stars.
He doused the fire when he was finished. Then, his black hood pulled low over his face, he sat on his heels to wait.
Redemption. A returning, a renewal. Would the Hive help him now, or would they hold him to his trespasses? Someone must answer, he thought. Someone must answer his call, his message burned on the wind, and someone must answer for his Grandmaster’s mistakes.
He thought back to Sora and the rest of his companions in the City of Crowns, and he felt ashamed. Under the influence of Cerastes’ power, he had wavered. His demon had sensed his Grandmaster’s dark aura, had sensed a home, and for a while, he had lost himself. But Sora’s touch—more than that, her words, her spirit—had brought him back.
He couldn’t fight Cerastes alone. He couldn’t trust his darker half to resist the Shade’s pull, because he, too, was a discarded outcast of the Hive. His Grandmaster’s demonic presence was irresistible, drawing close all those scattered savants with nowhere to belong. Crash had felt his own will tremble. Even now, he couldn’t quite steady his hands. He couldn’t show Sora his weakness. More importantly, he couldn’t show it to his own kind.
Someone had to do the right thing. The right thing, he thought ironically. Someone had to warn the Hive. Anyone who can read the Wind can read this message, he thought. He only hoped Cerastes was too distracted to see it.
Hours passed as he waited. The silence of the desert stretched, as spacious and echoing as a tomb. The stars and moon circled overhead, trailing across the heavens. He found the constellation of Kaelyn the Wanderer and asked, begrudgingly, for luck. Then his eyes picked out other celestial formations known to his race. He recounted their stories in his head: Sibilant, the assassin so stealthy and quiet, she could walk between this realm and the world of ghosts; Dartmouth, who replaced his teeth with knives; Marrow, so cunning he outsmarted the gods and stole the Dark God’s weapons in eons past. Crash found it ironic that, despite all that had transpired, a story could still lend him courage. And each star was a story, a light in the dark, a dream in the abyss.
The wind picked up without warning. A whirl of sand twisted up from the ground, building, growing. Then a figure stepped from the dust.
Crash stood up. He didn’t know what to expect.
The sand settled. A woman dressed in black stood before him. She was insidiously tall. Her hair fell in plaited rows down her back. He noted the chakrams at her belt: circular blades that could remove a man’s head with a single powerful throw. Her eyes glowed the shocking green of aloe.
Memory stirred, and he recognized her. He searched for her name. It came to him.
“Grandmaster Natrix,” he bowed.
“Viper,” she returned, and waited for him to straighten. “I have listened long for word of my brother. Tell me, what has Cerastes done?”

Book Blast – ONCE UPON A LIE

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Once Upon A Lie
by Michael French

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GENRE: Fiction / Murder Mystery

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BLURB:

Once Upon a Lie  is about a smart, ambitious sixteen year old, Alexandra, who chooses to keep silent when she learns terrible secrets about both her father and her mother, whom she grew up adoring. The price of keeping her “perfect” family together soon unravels her well-planned future, and puts in jeopardy the life of a young stranger whom she befriends and ultimately falls in love with.  We learn how your life can end at any time, and it can end more than once.  And then it can be saved.

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BOOK EXCERPT

Jaleel began to wonder if running away was the smartest thing. Detective Patterson might have forensic evidence, but he couldn’t have any real proof that Jaleel had killed his father. But what Texas jury would believe the story of a twelve-year-old black kid?

Come on, focus, Jaleel thought as he studied a map from the glove box. His plan was to travel northwest, cross into New Mexico, and ditch the Chevy. He would take a bus to Arizona or California. He would find a place to live, get a job, and go to school. He just hadn’t figured out the details. Maybe he’d have to lie about his age to get work. How expensive were apartments? He had never been completely on his own. He hoped that inside him was a gyroscope, the kind he had read about, with an interior spinning wheel to keep him steady.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals. He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying “no” too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.

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Once Upon A Lie Amazon Buy/Pre-Order:
http://bit.ly/oualmrf

Michael French Website:
http://bit.ly/michaelrfrench

Michael French Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelRFrenchAuthor

Michael French Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/mfrenchauthor

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

Michael will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

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

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/03/book-blast-once-upon-lie-by-michael.html

VBT – Apocalypse Wow by Ben Mariner

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Apocalypse Wow
by Ben Mariner

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GENRE: Science Fiction/Humor

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BLURB:

Jack Winters is in a bit of a pickle. Things started out just fine. He had a decent job and a few friends. Then he met the woman of his dreams. They go out on a date and things go really well. That’s when things go south. The morning after turns out to be a week later and the world went ahead and ended itself while Jack was far away in dreamland. Now he’s awake in a post-apocalyptic world with no family, no job, and worst of all, no girlfriend. Along with his friends and some other random tag-alongs, Jack will journey cross country to find the woman of his dreams against zombies, heavy metal horsemen, pirates, and a power so immense and evil it will put his very soul to the test.

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BOOK EXCERPT

7:51 a.m.

My alarm went off at the same time it always did. It prattled out its god awful incessant whine like it’s prone to doing as if I actually cared about its existence. I reached a hand out from under the blanket and slapped the snooze button with a little more gusto than I probably should have. Maybe it’s just me, but putting a little extra mustard on that snooze button in the morning gives me a feeling of satisfaction, like it’ll think twice about bothering me again if I just smack it hard enough.

I rolled over and went back to sleep.

8:00 a.m.

The alarm blared back into life. Who decided nine minutes was the standard amount of time for the snooze feature on an alarm clock? Was there some kind of study done at some point that found that people only needed nine minutes of extra sleep at a time? Personally I would think fifteen or twenty minutes would be more appropriate. Again, maybe it’s just me. I pushed the blanket back and lurched onto my feet. The room was spinning ever so slightly. That had to do a little with standing up too fast, and a lot to do with being hung over. I clicked the snooze button on the alarm with the big toe on my right foot. Everything in my room was on the floor. I didn’t own a traditional bed. It was just a futon mattress lying on the floor, so everything had to be at ground level so I could easily reach it. I was trying to adopt a Japanese style of living.

All right, fine. I just couldn’t afford real furniture. Are you happy now that you got me to admit that?

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Ben Mariner is the author of Apocalypse Wow as well as The Many Lives of Zane Montgomery, which definitely sold some copies to some people. He currently lives in Denver with his wife and animals. He enjoys mozzarella sticks, dunk tanks at carnivals, and solving crime with his psychic powers and best friend/sidekick.

Amazon listing:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1507635222?keywords=apocalypse%20wow&qid=1449351236&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/A_Writer_Guy

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

Blog:
http://www.awriterguy.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1319987.Ben_Mariner

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Ben Mariner will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

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

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/01/vbt-apocalypse-wow-by-ben-mariner.html 

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Interview With….

Ben, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you.
I prefer Oingo to Boingo. I love puzzles both crossword and jigsaw. I was raised on Seinfeld and Friends. I strongly believe in the use of proper punctuation and not shortening words for no reason. If I could be any animal in the world, I would choose a kangaroo.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would probably say Adam Brody. He just seems like a pretty chill guy that would be super fun to just grab a drink with and debate the everyday minutiae with. Plus, Seth Cohen from The OC is one of my favorite characters of all time.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
That story is over a decade long and kind of hard to sum up quickly. The idea has been bouncing around my head since high school and I kept coming back to it, trying to write it down, but it never really took hold. I never really got past the first chapter until a few years ago. Once I broke that barrier, it was easy to finally bring this book to fruition.

What is your writing process? 
I’ve got to start every writing session off with Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. With Apocalypse Wow I tried to listen to as much 90’s music as possible to help me get in the 90’s frame of mind.

Tell us about your main character:
Jack Winters is just kind of a loser. He works in a record store with his friends and lives in a crumby apartment. He has an almost unhealthy fixation on 90’s pop culture and a deep rooted love for retro video games. He’s just kind of drifting along, going with the flow and using sarcasm as a way of dealing with the everyday doldrums.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Unfortunately, since Johnathan Brandis is no longer with us (RIP), I’d want to see Alex Solowitz as Jack. He was absolutely hilarious as Mickey Parke in the 2gether movie back in the early turn of the millennium and I’d like to see him in more of a leading role.

What are you working on next?
Next up is Apocalypse Wow 2: Apocalypse Wower. It’s set a year after the events of the first book. Jack is missing and everyone in the world seems to be out to find him.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Keep plugging away. Times will come when you think no one cares or wants to read it. We all have to go through those things. Just keep pushing your work out there and know that there will always be people who want to read it.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I just finished reading The Call By Eli Freysson. It’s a fantastic YA fantasy book that just really captivated me. It was dark and gritty. Really good stuff. I highly recommend that to anyone looking for a good adventure.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I don’t know if it’s a talent necessarily, but I’m a bottomless pit of useless information, especially when it comes to pop culture. I remember things most people never even noticed in the first place. That information, however, almost never comes in handy.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Such a touch question. There’s so many amazing powers. I think I’d go with healing power like Wolverine’s. Mostly because I hate being sick or injured. It’s annoying. So eliminating that would be pretty sweet.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Get Mickey Mouse to throw the first punch
  2. Wrestle a space troll
  3. Literally eat my weight in pizza rolls
  4. Be an extra in a movie who garners as much attention as the guy double fisting margaritas in Jurassic World
  5. Start an internet company that sells nothing but secondhand Zubaz pants

Any final thoughts?

I just hope everyone who decides to read Apocalypse Wow enjoys it and wants to recommend it to a friend. It’s just out there to entertain, and I hope it does that.

Book Tour – A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth

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A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth

by Gerhard Gehrke

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GENRE: Science Fiction

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BLURB:

What would you do if you found a dead alien on a lonely highway?

Was it an accident, sabotage, or murder? And why is everyone blaming Jeff?

The extraterrestrials aren’t waiting for answers. They want revenge. And Jeff isn’t ready for company.

His only hope is an outcast mechanic from another world and a woman who might do anything to get off planet, including selling out her own kind. Jeff has to get to the bottom of why there are so many alien bodies piling up and who is really responsible.

A science fiction adventure novel, A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth tells the story of a reclusive ex-computer programmer who is the unwitting central figure of a plot to keep humanity from ever making first contact.

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Excerpt:

First contact with the humans wasn’t going as planned, as was obvious by the rank smells that choked the air of the alien visitorsʹ craft. But no one called them aliens where they came from.

Seven little Greys, short bipeds with large heads and big eyes and delicate limbs, sat in the flight seats of their ship’s crew compartments and listened as the Mission Commander lectured them from the Command Module. The harangue lingered in the air, not as words or even sounds but as a smell, a ripe one replete with pheromones and scent packets that the Greys used to speak with one another. A new string of curses from the Commander’s glands smelled of licorice. The Mission Commander composed itself. It wiped sticky sweat from its hairless frontal lobe.

The lights and displays in front of the seven crewmembers blinked and flashed. No one would so much as touch a button until the Commander was finished addressing the crew.

“I’ll hear no more of it,” the Commander said. “We’re on the human world. We go forward. Probability calculations for success show at 100%. The computer will be trusted.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Gerhard Gehrke studied film at San Francisco State University. He wrote and produced several shows for community television. His Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror short stories have appeared in several publications, including an Editor’s Choice-winning short story at AnotheRealm.com. A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth is his first novel.

You can connect with him at Gerhardgehrke.com.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gerhardgehrke

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gerhardgehrkeauthor

Blog: www.capriciousnarrator.wordpress.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=a+beginner%27s+guide+to+invading+earth+

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-beginners-guide-to-invading-earth-gerhard-gehrke/1122581957

Also available on iBooks

YouTube Trailer:

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GIVEAWAY 

Gerhard Gehrke will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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INTERVIEW

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Hunger and other base needs keep me from sleeping in. Writing comes into the picture as early morning is the only consistent time I have to write, so I want to get up early and I have been in the habit of doing so for quite some time.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would love to hang out with Charles Shultz, the creator of the Peanuts characters. Wouldn’t it be great to hear how he managed to portray a hopeful, positive view of the world through his characters while they focused on the mundane frustrations of childhood? His comic strips could be at once simple, funny, and profound and Mr. Schultz never wavered in a consistent output that lasted for decades.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth began in my work truck’s notebook with the line “No one likes them very much.” That line was to be the conclusion reached by aliens intent on first contact who landed the USA and decided to try other parts of the planet after some unfortunate experiences. This developed into the aliens wanting nothing to do with the entire planet and them hanging a virtual “Do Not Disturb Occupants” sign on our doorknob. As I fleshed this out over a few months I decided a smaller story that focused on one man’s experience as a scapegoat for an alien conspiracy that was trying to make first contact fail just felt better. By then I had a rough idea on where I wanted the project to go, and the aliens would have to be part of it.

Tell us your writing process
When I can’t shake an idea, it goes into a notebook. When the notes in the notebook has enough friends I see what happens when I put them on a page. If they play well together and get my figurative juices flowing, I keep on it. I work with loose outlines, more of a connect-the-dots approach informing me where I want a story to go. My notebooks have lists of out-of-order scenes, words, and phrases that I later add. Plenty gets left behind and never used. Most of my writing gets done early in the morning because my brain turns to mush by 9am when the coffee wears off and I turn into a pumpkin once the sun sets.

Do you have any promo tips you can share with other writers?
I’m very new at promotion too as this is my first novel to see the light of day. From running a business I know that you have to advertise and you never know what will take. Social media is an essential component. The message can’t be “Buy my book” or you’ll fall in with thousands of others sending out the same message and be ignored. Engage with people. Try to be interesting or funny. Give them a reason to listen to you, whether its a blog, podcast, or cheeky tweets.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
There’s never been a singular moment. In grade school I made Pac-Man comic books. I wrote regularly in a notebook and started putting down stories soon after. Getting involved in local community television introduced me to actually finding an audience for things put down on paper, even though most of what we worked on was non-narrative in structure. Writing fiction evolved from that.

Tell us about your main character:
Jeff Abel is a paranoid recluse whose mental condition has cost him his marriage and his job as a computer programmer. Unbeknownst to Jeff, he actually is being watched, and the aliens are coming for him. But it’s his skills with technology that may prove to be his and the aliens’ salvation, as they have a traitor in their midst and only Jeff is in a position to stop him, er, it.

What are you working on next?
I have a follow-up to A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth that is now going through editing. Also I have a post-decline of civilization novel I’m writing where a young girl escapes from a secret sanctuary only to discover that the world outside is a much more complicated place than she had ever imagined.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I have memory tricks for people’s names that irritates my brother-in-law whenever it actually works. I’m good at mixing drinks even though I don’t drink the things I make. I never use an alarm clock. And I can make the grumpiest baby smile for me.

Who are your favorite authors?
Margaret Atwood for her world building and defying my expectations for where her stories are going. Octavia Butler for creating aliens that are, well, alien. Andy Weir for making the memorable character Mark Watney. And Allan Cole and Chris Bunch for writing the most re-readable military sci-fi adventures out there.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Hiking, cooking, reading, and watching movies, all of which I do with my lovely wife Abby.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Besides the two projects listed above, a far-ranging project that I try not to think about too much as it would become distracting is a story that follows a group of ordinary children of some super villains.

 

Book Tour – Travel Bites by The Hungry Traveller

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Travel Bites
by The Hungry Traveller

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GENRE: Non-fiction travel literature

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BLURB:

Travel Bites is a collection of anecdotal travel stories that crisscross the globe. It is the first work by The Hungry Traveller who has combined his two great life passions: travelling and eating! The Hungry Traveller has been travelling for the last fifteen years and, along the way, has experienced many different sights, tastes, and cultures. Central to his travel experiences has been the role of food. Through his unique and very personal style of storytelling, you too can share in the highs and the lows of his stories from around the world. At the end of each story is a recipe for a dish inspired by his adventure. Travel Bites will capture your imagination and curiosity; and will leave you yearning to plan your next holiday, adventure or escape!

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Book Excerpt:

My Most Memorable Burger Experience
Location: Meknes, Morocco

I consider myself somewhat of a burger connoisseur. I believe that my teenage years spent flipping burgers is as good a grounding as any to this claim. And to be clear, the basic definition of a hamburger is a broiled ground beef patty IN A BUN.

AUTHOR BIO:

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The Hungry Traveller is a travelling enthusiast who loves to eat! When travelling, he enjoys meeting new people and engaging with locals to learn about their culture, history and the food that they eat.

Excerpt: http://travelbitesbythehungrytraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Travel-Bites-excerpt-americanized-text2012.pdf

Twitter: @Travel_Bites

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

Website: www.travelbitesbythehungrytraveller.com

Please link to Publisher Twitter: @wattlepub

Publisher Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WattlePublishing?sk=app_190322544333196

Publisher website: www.wattlepublishing.com

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Buy Links:

Kindle Edition:

US http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007D92F0Y/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwwattlepubl-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B007D92F0Y

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007COBA74/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wattlpubli-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B007COBA74

iBooks:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/travel-bites/id508894628?mt=11

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/travel-bites/id508891669?mt=11

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/travel-bites-americanized-text

Paperback Edition:

US http://www.amazon.com/Travel-Bites-The-Hungry-Traveller/dp/1908959134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412162248&sr=8-1&keywords=9781908959133

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Travel-Bites-The-Hungry-Traveller/dp/1908959134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368378279&sr=8-1&keywords=Travel+Bites+by+the+Hungry+Traveller

Wordery: https://wordery.com/travel-bites-the-hungry-traveller-9781908959133

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GIVEAWAY 

The Hungry Traveller will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

Book Tour – The Torment of Rachel Ames

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About the Book
Title: The Torment of Rachel Ames
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Genre: Thriller / Horror

Suffering from writer’s block, novelist Rachel Ames escapes to a lake cabin to calm her mind and regain a sense of herself. The location is perfect. Isolated. Beautiful. Inspiring. It even comes with a good-looking landlord who shows an interest in her. But she can’t shake the sense that something terrible has followed her to the lake, something just beyond her consciousness, something out on the edge where the sounds of a raging fire and sirens linger whenever she slows down to listen. Determined to make the cabin work, she tries to settle in and give her new life a chance. But when strange things begin to happen around her, she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. As the darkness that’s followed her manifests itself in inexplicable ways, her concept of reality is stretched thin and she realizes nothing at the lake is what it seems. As she fights to survive with her sanity intact, she understands too late that the location she’s chosen for herself is far from perfect.

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Author Bio

JeffG.

Jeff Gunhus is the author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Jack Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 100 on Amazon and have been Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and Gold Medal Winners.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Torment-Rachel-Ames-Jeff-Gunhus-ebook/dp/B015545GBI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26308383-the-torment-of-rachel-ames?from_search=true&search_version=service
Author Site: www.Jeffgunhus.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeffgunhusauthor
Twitter: @jeffgunhus

Book Excerpt

Rachel Ames knows she’s making a terrible mistake, but that’s never stopped her before. Even as she speeds down the empty highway, she’s certain nothing good will come of this trip. She can’t say why she has this belief, only that it’s deeply rooted, part of a visceral animal instinct clawing away at her insides. Call it intuition. Or call it common sense, doesn’t matter. Can’t change the fact that it’s the truth.
She refuses to change her destination, even if the rising sense of dread causes her heart to beat right out of her chest. She’s committed, this much is a fact, so she pushes aside all thought of turning around and focuses on the road ahead.
She checks the map on her phone, taking comfort in the little blue dot on the screen that symbolizes the exact spot in the world occupied by her aging Honda Accord with faded red paint, bad muffler and squeaking brakes. The dot sails along a straight white line surrounded by an ocean of green. She appreciates the simplicity of the image, the perfection of it. An object moving at a steady rate along a direct path toward a specific destination. No hurdles. No obstacles to navigate. Not even an intersection or a fork in the road. There are only two decisions to make. To continue forward or stop the car and go back.
And there’s no chance in hell she’s going back.
Her two gentlemen passengers are the perfect companions. Silent, good-looking and only there to cater to her whims and needs. They sit together in the seat next to her, sharing the seatbelt. That might have been overdoing it, but strapping them in together makes her laugh, so she forgives herself the indulgence. This is her journey, her time, so acting odd is her prerogative.
Besides, the two of them are the perfect complements. Daniels and Underwood. Booze and typewriter. Soul mates bound by common history and mutual reliance.
The Underwood typewriter was a great find her sophomore year in college, given to her by Professor McNeely’s widow soon after his very public death from a massive aneurism. It’d happened right in the middle of her creative writing class, just as the old bastard was finally saying something nice about her novel-in-progress. Mid-sentence, he’d slapped a hand to his head, made a small grunt and rolled his eyes back in their sockets. At first, she’d thought he was mocking her work, but then his back arched and he collapsed to the floor. After that came the convulsions, followed by the shit and urine filling his pants as her classmates screamed. Then, as the good book says, the lights went out and Elvis left the building.
But unlike Elvis, the man wasn’t much loved. A taskmaster who hated any writer beside himself, he used critiques as an assault rifle to mow down any young soul with the temerity to attempt the art that, in his mind, belonged only to him and a handful of his peers. Sure there were the appropriate candlelight vigils and the church service to honor the brave soul who died fighting the good fight in his ivory tower, but right under the surface, the humor rolled dark and furious.
I heard that the last pages he read really blew his mind.
You know that saying, would it kill you to say something nice?
Rachel guessed it had.

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