Blog Archives

VBT – ALICE, A MEMOIR

Tourbanner_Alice A Memoir

Alice, a Memoir

by Alice Gilmore

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Non-fiction

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Few, if anyone, could have had a life like Alice Gilmore. It was almost unbelievable yet carried on under the cover of a respectable middle-class existence.

You might strongly disapprove of what she did, but Alice was determined. She overcame insurmountable obstacles to keep the love she longed for.

Her single-minded fight to live out her love makes a gripping, riveting story that one eminent literary person called ‘staggeringly readable’. It is shocking. Her methods will upset some, but are you with her or against her? Your decision.

This is no misery memoir. It’s a story told with joy, wit and fervour – the astonishing story of the overwhelming love Alice Gilmour was determined to live out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

I am going to tell you our story, my darlings. It is really only for you three and one other (you know who) but I can’t help hoping that the world will read it, which is why I shall probably publish it. But not for some years. When you’re fully grown up and have flown the nest. God knows what they will make of it, the world I mean, whoever they are, but I am not suggesting that any rules or taboos should be changed by our story, or new rules made. Leave all that alone. Our story, perhaps I should say my story, just is. You could tritely call it the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps that is just what it is: unique. I doubt that but it is certainly extraordinary. I have carefully chosen those words. Any old event of yawning banality is called ‘amazing’, ‘fantastic’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘fabulous’ in our current jargon. Whatever else people may call my story it is certainly extraordinary.

It is, above all, a love story, an all-consuming love story, though I have never felt consumed by love, rather continually renewed. But isn’t that what love should do to you? Consume you and renew you constantly like the phoenix. And it brought with it another constant emotion: fear. And pain. The fear of pain. The fear of the pain of losing it, this wonderful state. The word love doesn’t fully express what I/we felt. Another word that is more or less totally debased.

Alice Gilmore v3

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

If you want to know about my life and background read this book. I can scarcely add to what I have written about myself in there. I earnestly hope that the rest of my life is too uneventful to even consider writing anything else, I am no novelist. The life I have described was full enough and rich enough for me. God knows what I would come out with if I had to invent. If you find you need a good chef I shall consider anything not too energetic – which rules out most jobs in the kitchen.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/100110001-alice-gilmore

https://www.facebook.com/alice.gilmore.92775

https://twitter.com/AlicetheWife1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alice-a-memoir-alice-gilmore/1131732791

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/940716

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/alice-a-memoir

https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Memoir-Gilmore-ebook/dp/B07S8HK65K/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

INTERVIEW

What are your favorite TV shows?

Good four to six episode thrillers or police dramas. Good documentaries about current events. Some quizzes.

What is your favorite meal?

I start with grilled whitebait; go on to liver, not done with bacon and too much juice in the English way but fegato con salvia as the Italians cook it. That is liver lightly grilled with sage and sauté potatoes. Afterwards blackberry and apple crumble with lashings of clotted cream.

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

It would have to be a family saga stretching through generations. That could encompass everything from love to war to adventure to business, religion, snobbery, treachery. It can all be in there.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

Difficult to think of one but I love Kate Atkinson’s prose. She can pack so much subtle humour into one sentence she makes me squirm with delight and she just keeps doing it. I think William Boyd is the best novelist writing in UK English at the moment. If I look back, Jane Austen, of course, and George Eliot, Dickens and Evelyn Waugh but I have a very special place in my heart for PG Wodehouse. Just listen to him when read out loud by a good actor. Comedy heaven.

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

Oh, don’t. My title, Alice, A Memoir, about as dull as you can get, is a compromise reached after the publisher and I had wracked our brains trying to think of something that was not a clue to the content of my story. I am the worst inventor of titles in the world, I think.

Advertisements

Spotlight – Misfits and Supermen

Misfits and Supermen banner

About the Author

Steve Starger

Steve Starger is a journalist, author, and musician. His 2006 book, “Wally’s World: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Wally Wood, the World’s Second-Best Comic-Book Artist,” was short-listed for the Will Eisner Industry Award for Best Comics Related Book of 2006.

His latest book is a memoir titled MISFITS AND SUPERMEN: TWO BROTHERS’ JOURNEY ALONG THE SPECTRUM.

Website: www.misfitsandsupermen.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Steve-Starger-2222670174658438/

About the Book:

Title: MISFITS AND SUPERMEN: TWO BROTHERS’ JOURNEY ALONG THE SPECTRUM.
Author: Steve Starger
Publisher: Friesen Press
Pages: 178
Genre: Memoir

Misfits and Supermen

BOOK BLURB:

The bond of brotherhood is hard to break, but a lifetime of dealing with familial expectation, bitterness, and psychological disorders can bend and warp it into something nearly unrecognizable. This story tells the tale of two brothers: Melvyn, the elder, whose amalgamation of disorders leave him completely unable to function within society; and Stephen, the younger, whose own emotional and psychological issues are overshadowed to the point where he becomes little more than a pale and twisted reflection of his brother.

On different ends of the same spectrum, Melvyn is blissfully unaware of their troubling connection (or so his brother can only assume), but for Stephen, it is undeniable. He lives with it every day, sensing his own otherness in every twitch, outburst, and inability of his brother to overcome his inner demons. Left largely on his own to deal with his peculiarities-while carrying the burden of being “the normal one,” of whom much is expected- Stephen begins a complicated and unpredictable journey, one which will take him as far from his brother as he can manage to get, even as it brings them inexorably closer.

A portion of proceeds from this book will go toward the Camp Cuheca Scholarship – Melvyn D. Starger fund at Waterford Country School, Quaker Hill, CT., to help fund a two-week summer residency at the camp. For more information about Waterford Country School, please email development@waterforddcs.org.

A finely crafted, affecting memoir of two brothers.”

— Kirkus Reviews

If you want an honest book about life with mental illness in the family, this is it. Great writing. Brutally honest. Hard to put it down. Great stories about CT, NY and CA from the 1940s to 2000.”

–Amazon Reviewer

Misfits teaser 4

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=misfits+and+supermen&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Barnes & Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/misfits+and+supermen/_/N-8q8?_requestid=1514906

Book Excerpt

On a clear, cool night early in the spring of 1967, I lay on a stone wall fronting Long Island Sound, waiting for the acid to come on. I was in the back yard of a mansion in Stamford, Connecticut, staring into the star-filled sky, listening to the small waves gurgling against the shoreline. My mind was serene, but I was nervous, as always when I took acid or some other psychedelic substance. The unpredictability of the drug both thrilled me and made me anxious. Where will I go? What will I see? What will happen? Will I survive? If I lose myself on this plane of existence, what will come next?

My expectation and anxiety were more intense than usual this night. I had dropped what I had been told was two-hundred-fifty micrograms of pure Sandoz LSD-25, the Holy Grail of psychedelics. Or something very much like it.

I had no idea who obtained this rare specimen of a heralded consciousness-altering substance or who manufactured it, but it showed up at the house where my band, NGC 4594, had camped to rehearse. The sprawling home was a prime example of a southern Connecticut Gold Coast mansion; it belonged to the family of our flute and mouth-harp player.

The tablet I had swallowed, about the size and color of an adult dose of aspirin, purportedly had the purity and power of LSD-25, the legendary psychedelic accidentally discovered at Sandoz Laboratories, in Basel, Switzerland, by a chemist named Albert Hoffman, in 1938. Dr. Hoffman’s cosmic experience was decades in the past, but this dose was supposed to be light-years beyond any acid I had previously taken.

The pitch that accompanied this acid could have been lifted from a used-car salesman’s book, but if the claim was correct, I was in for a journey to the center of consciousness, where “clear light” waited to bathe me in its cleansing glow. I had taken other “clean” acid trips, uncut with amphetamines to make the trip come on faster, and free of other additives favored by the street “acid men” to stretch their product for maximum profits.

As the acid slowly insinuated itself into my nervous system (one test of purity is the length of time it takes for uncut LSD to start working, about forty-five minutes to an hour), I felt the heightened combination of exhilaration and anxiety that signals the acid beginning to work its magic.

A gentle nudging began to assert itself at the edges of my consciousness. I gave myself over to the Sandoz simulacrum and let it take me where it would.

Over the course of what seemed like millennia, the acid took me far away, into the vast field of stars above me, and into the water, where I imprinted my image on the surface over and over, until I became an armada of insubstantial clones breaking on the shore. In a quick burst of rational thought, I thought, so, this is what the shouting is all about over Sandoz. Well … let it come down!

Inside the house, NGC was playing to a group of local day trippers who showed up every Friday night to get high and listen to us. We had moved into the mansion from Storrs, Connecticut a couple of months before and had become the latest attraction for the local sensation seekers.

As I lay wrapped in ecstasy in Stamford, my brother, Melvyn Starger, lay on his small bed in his small cell of a room on the opposite side of the state, at Norwich State Hospital. He too had taken drugs, ones very different from what I had consumed by choice. He was not given a choice in the matter; his drugs were prescribed and mandatory. His meds probably were benzodiazepines, psychoactive medications that produced sedative, hypnotic, anti-convulsive, and muscle relaxant effects. In other words, they were used to control patients’ behaviors, which could be explosive and unpredictable.

Someone meeting Melvyn for the first time would wonder why it was necessary to give him medicine designed to pacify him. He seemed so calm and diffident to most people. But he had a temper that could get way out of hand, and it could explode in seconds. He was too thin and under-muscled to do any physical damage to people, but he could be scary. He could yell at the top of his range for a long time.

I can’t presume to know where Melvyn’s mind went when he was on his meds. His inner workings had been a mystery to me and my parents for many years. I did my best to hold off thoughts of him as I peaked on the acid. Had I thought of him in this blissful state, I thought I would freak out (as we used to say). That would have been a shame, because this trip was one of a kind. Nothing should be allowed to ruin it. Not that I hadn’t thought of my brother over the years since we were kids, but there were times when it just wouldn’t have been fair to let reality intrude on my experience.

My efforts to keep my brother at bay have never worked. He was always there, ready and waiting—my constant Virgil on our travels together. He had appeared to me many times over the years, a stoop-shouldered wraith shambling through my thoughts, not so subtly reminding me that our bond would never be broken, least of all by changing locations and doing drugs.

Even in the middle of my cosmic dance on Long Island Sound, I occasionally felt the sorrow generated by my brother’s presence creep in, slowly and inexorably. This time, my altered perceptions absorbed Melvyn and his aura with barely a whimper. I didn’t panic; no ambulances had to be called. I simply rode the whirlwind to its conclusion: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

By then I had learned enough about how to guide myself through a psychedelic experience to understand that walking the Via Dolorosa (“the way of grief”) can be an important part of the experience. After all, the language we used to describe an acid trip or some other mind-altering experience employed such phrases as “ego death,” states of being one must travel through to reach the true center of consciousness, where the pain and suffering brought on by human folly melts into divine nothingness.

Our perceptions of the power of psychedelic drugs came from our readings of Buddhist philosophy and certain practices found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which had been appropriated by the Harvard psychedelic guru Timothy Leary for his own usages. In terms of getting high on psychedelics, it probably amounted to nonsense, but if that got us through bad experiences, what was the harm? In fact, the truest thing I had learned about acid, peyote, mescaline, magic mushrooms, and even things like lowly marijuana was how strong these substances were. One could believe anything behind their power to distort the senses and disrupt the orderly flow of one’s mind.

In my brother’s case, he walked the Via Dolorosa his entire life.

In some societies, my brother might have been revered as a holy man, treated with respect and deference. In our world, he was crazy. A looney-tune. A moron. No one in polite society called him those terrible names, of course, at least not in public. I called him those names, in private and in public.

Divorced from the rest of “normal” society by his multiplicity of psychiatric afflictions, my brother grew up inside his own life. It was not a life that anyone would have chosen, but it was his, thrust on him by nature. His world was rigidly self-contained. He was the only permanent resident. He could relate to the “outside” when he chose to, but those were rare moments. My parents and I had to do the work required to enter his world. It was a hard, frustrating task, but there were occasional payoffs, if one worked hard enough. Small flickers of light would dance in his eyes on those rare moments when he was able or willing to enter the world of the others—our world.

This brief description of my perception of Melvyn’s affect and demeanor may remind some of the classic symptoms of autism, or as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) terms it, “Autistic Disorder.” The DSM’s list of symptoms includes: Marked lack of awareness of the existence or feelings of others; no or abnormal seeking of comfort at times of distress; no or impaired imitation (e.g., does not wave bye-bye, does not copy mother’s domestic activities, mechanical imitation of others’ actions out of context); no or abnormal social play; and gross impairment in ability to make peer friendships.

Melvyn did display some or all of these manifestations at various times throughout his life, sometimes all of them at once. The diagnosis of autism was not generally heard during the time of Melvyn’s development, and even if it had been, the tagging of Melvyn as autistic, or “on the spectrum,” may not have made a difference in my parents’ comprehension of their son’s many aberrant behaviors. In retrospect, the gap that existed between Melvyn and the rest of the world would surely have remained—in fact, did remain—for his entire life.

But Melvyn did not live in a vacuum, despite all of the obstacles that separated us. Melvyn—the fact of Melvyn—exerted a profound influence on everyone who came into his world. My parents struggled for their entire marriage under the weight of Melvyn’s conditions.

Some families, when faced with crippling mental disabilities in a family member, bond together and face their futures in some kind of harmony. Other families fall apart, unable to face the fact of a terrible intruder in their midst. My family went the latter route.

When Melvyn’s strangeness could no longer be ignored or explained away, my parents’ reactions took very different forms. Over the long term, my father grew more distant and depressed, and he began to blame my mother more and more for Melvyn’s problems. My mother adopted the pose of a martyr, taking verbal abuse from my father that increased with passing years. My mother became “Long-Suffering Elsie” in the eyes of friends and family. The perception wasn’t entirely fair. She could still laugh and socialize and have fun playing the piano, but there was no doubt that something deep and sad had possessed her. One can argue that we all affect each other simply by being in each other’s lives, but living so closely with someone of Melvyn’s uniqueness takes that rather obvious observation to a very different place.

As Melvyn’s wrongness became more and more pronounced, my parents turned their gazes on him and never looked away. My developing antisocial behavior and rock-bottom self-image took a backseat to Melvyn’s much bigger problems. My parents missed the danger signs in my young life early on. Their concentration on Melvyn bored like drilling tools into Melvyn’s being, as if my parents could mine information from him about his strangeness. They watched in mounting horror as he transformed from a seemingly normal child into an alien creature lurching toward entropy. They reacted to the early years of Melvyn’s thwarted development with shock, disbelief, denial, increasing pain, depression, and cruelty.

The fact that it took years for Melvyn’s first symptoms of psychiatric disorder to appear—holding out hope for my parents where none really existed—exacerbated a situation that eventually flowered into a force that destroyed the fabric of my family.

This may sound like melodrama, but I watched it happen. My mother, refusing to believe the evidence of her eyes, would swear at times that Melvyn was reading full sentences when he was 2 years old, which proved to her that what was clearly happening to him was beyond her comprehension. She was indulging in magical thinking to save her own sanity.

Misfits and Supermen 3

Spotlight – My Last Baggage Call

My Last Baggage Call banner

About the Author

Glenn Powell

Sergeant First Class Glenn W. Powell (Retired) is a native of Toledo, Ohio. He enlisted into the United States Army in 1982 and retired in 2002. During his military career, he served as a heavy vehicle driver, a squad leader, and non-commissioned officer.

In September 1991, SFC Powell joined the George HW Bush White House as a chauffeur, and in 1992, was promoted to transportation coordinator for the white house Press Corps, serving in the Clinton Administration.

In December 1995, he assumed the duties of transportation supervisor for Air Force One.

In January 2001, during his service under President George W. Bush, SFC Powell was transferred to the White House Military Office, Customer Support and Organizational Development where he served as deputy director.

SFC Powell retired with distinction from the Military in 2002. He received numerous awards and decorations throughout his service, including the Legion of Merit Metal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the United States Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He received U.S. Service Ribbons for both domestic and overseas service.

Glenn and Ronda Holloway Powell have been married for 25 years, and have three sons, Darius, Warren, and Glenn, II. They reside in Virginia.

His latest book is My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family and Friendship.

For more information, or to contact Glenn Powell regarding availability for speaking opportunities, please email him at glennwpowell@aol.com. Visit his website at: http://www.gwpowell.com

Follow on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/GlennWPowell

Follow on Twitter!

http://www.twitter.com/glennwpowell1

About the Book:

Title: MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE
Author: Glenn W. Powell
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 226
Genre: Memoir

My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One

BOOK BLURB:

This exciting memoir chronicles the life and memories of SFC Glenn Powell, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, and 10-year veteran of the White House where he served under Presidents George HW Bush, President William J. Clinton, and President George W. Bush.

SFC Powell was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. He says his real-life journey began in 1982 when he bypassed his high school graduation to join the U.S. Army. That journey would take him from Fort Dix, New Jersey, to Manheim, Germany where he met Ronda Holloway, a young, beautiful soldier and fellow Ohioan, who has been his wife and soulmate for 25 years.

Powell’s poignant and inspiring story includes both, his own memories, and memories from some 50 white house colleagues, family members and lifelong military buddies who enriched his life, and made an indelible impact on his journey. SFC Powell’s story is that of a restless young man who grew up in a working-class environment with ample opportunities to journey down the wrong path. Yet, thanks to his childhood village –the many role models whose lives exemplified the best in American values—made all the difference in his journey.

Except for that “village,” of his childhood, Glenn believes his story might have had a different ending. The hardworking citizens living purpose-filled lives, served as a buffer against the discontent and civil unrest plaguing the rest of world. The centerpiece of that village, Glenn says, was his parents who, while they never lived under one roof, both loved him unconditionally.

Margaret Powell was a young single working mother, and a constant reminder of the importance of working toward excellence at one’s chosen career. She would become Kroger Stores’ first African American manager. His father, a prominent entrepreneur in the Toledo area, would remain a constant in Glenn’s life until the end.

Glenn says these lessons sustained him throughout his journey – from the pampered child, to the responsible teen, to the ambitious young soldier, to the doting husband and father; and the loyal and “never say never” Sergeant and aide to the President of the United States of America.

My Last Baggage Call Aboard AF1” chronicles a most amazing journey that magically transformed Glenn Powell’s life, and so richly impacted those who knew him.

Glenn W. Powell was a featured speaker on The Christian Authors on Tour TV Show. Hosted by Leroy Mckenzie Jr. and Lynn Pinder. Watch the CAOT TV replay of the interview: https://youtu.be/1OfUReG_VAk

Purchase My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One by Glenn W. Powell

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Baggage-Call-Aboard-Force/dp/1986878406

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/LAST-BAGGAGE-CALL-ABOARD-FORCE-ebook/dp/B078KQ9Z89

B&N

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-last-baggage-call-aboard-air-force-one-glenn-w-powell/1128407880

Book Excerpt

A Soldier’s Story 

Shortly after I turned 18, I enlisted in the army. Around that time, I learned that the young woman I’d been dating was pregnant, so going into the army would be an opportunity to provide for my child. The army sent me to Fort Dix in New Jersey for boot camp training on April 22, 1982. It was the perfect enlistment site for me.

Because of the popular television show, Dallas, I had in mind that I wanted to go to Fort Hood, Texas and meet JR Ewing. Not only did I meet Larry Hagman, the actor who played JR, but I also met the entire cast at one of the big Dallas malls. That was in the 80s when the networks spent money to have cast members show up to greet their fans, and when fans could easily get a photo with the stars. Meeting JR had been on my mental bucket list. Later I learned that “Klinger” from Mash and Danny Thomas were both from Toledo, and so I added them to the list.

In 1983, I re-enlisted and chose Hawaii as my next army stint. There for 18 months, I’m convinced that the Hawaii move helped me look long and hard at myself and my future. In Hawaii, I decided I needed to better myself. I enrolled at the Wahiawa Community School for Adults and got my high school diploma. My mother was so disappointed when I didn’t graduate from high school, so I did it as much for her as for myself.

My long transportation management career began in Wahiawa. I was one of a large number of applicants who applied for a temporary mission of driving for the Sergeant Major for the division. He was the senior enlisted man at the post. I beat out the other candidates for that position. Later, I drove for the one-star general at the post. After that, I returned to my unit and worked as the battalion mail clerk until he left in 1985. While there, I met friends and mentors who would help me decide on my career journey. That same year, I was asked to re-enlist, and First Sergeant Herbert Harris became a lifelong mentor and friend. Sergeant Harris recommended that I choose Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia for my re-enlistment. I remained at Fort Eustis from April 1985 until January 1988.

I became a squad leader, and for the next six months, I managed a squad of truck drivers in and around the base. After that, I was set on transportation becoming my specialty, but my career trajectory changed some when I was appointed to head up NCO Training, where I was responsible for the training of 270 soldiers.

Around this time, I met First Sergeant Fletcher Walker. He was sent in to straighten out our company, and he did just that. He would stand up at the top of the stairs with his hat covering his eyes, but looking down at us. Sergeant Walker was a ‘soldier among soldiers,’ an airborne paratrooper, a Vietnam Veteran who had been shot three times. There was no one more surprised when he chose me to run the training.

I knew he had high expectations, and I was determined not to disappoint him. He was the kind of leaders for whom soldiers would fight and die. He was a true hero who taught me how to be a soldier and a man. He shared a lot about life with me. I imitated him in many ways so much that everyone would call me “Baby Walker.” I met his family and it was an honor. He retired as a Command Sergeant Major.

VBT – SMUGGLER

tourbanner_smuggler

Smuggler
by Nicholas Fillmore

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Memoir/True Crime

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

When twenty-something post-grad Nick Fillmore discovers the zine he’s been recruited to edit is a front for drug profits, he begins a dangerous flirtation with an international heroin smuggling operation and in a matter of months finds himself on a fast ride he doesn’t know how to get off of.

After a bag goes missing in an airport transit lounge he is summoned to West Africa to take a voodoo oath with Nigerian mafia. Bound to drug boss Alhaji, he returns to Europe to put the job right, but in Chicago O’Hare customs agents “blitz” the plane and a courier is arrested.

Thus begins a harried yearlong effort to elude the Feds, prison and a looming existential dead end…. Smuggler relates the real events behind OITNB.

cover_smuggler

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

At the other end of the terminal was another set of steel doors—simple double doors leading right out to the street, daylight and fresh air strobing through each time someone exited; cabs lined up and waiting, freedom lingering out there.

I hoisted my bag over my shoulder, bypassing the baggage carousels where a cop was walking around with a dog, and headed towards the doors. A single Customs Agent was perched on a stool to the far right, reading a magazine. As I got about a third of the way there, he seemed to stir. I changed direction ever so slightly.

He roused himself. A small group was moving toward him from the right, but he seemed to ignore them.

I looked out the corner of my eyes for someone, anyone I could fall in behind, but everyone seemed blissfully out of reach—and I imagined this is what it must feel like to drown: to take one last desperate look at help swimming strongly away.

Then the agent sauntered ever so slowly out into the middle of the room. My heart raced. Then he looked up. I saw it coming, could feel it coming. Oblivious to the rest of the herd, he’d singled me out; and for a second I felt I might just swoon right there. Then some sort of instinct kicked in. I resigned myself to being questioned and headed right at him.

For some seconds he hung back as I did my best to play the part of the unassuming traveler.

“Where are you coming from, sir?” he asked, at an angle.

“Paris,” I said.

“Can I see your ticket?”

I handed him my ticket.

“How long were you in Paris?”

“A week.”

“What were you doing there?”

“Business.”

“What kind of business.”

“Magazine. Publishing.”

“What magazine?”

And here I faltered. Nun Civa Orcus. What the hell was that? My mind raced for all sorts of explanations. For a second I considered making something up. But that would only mean trouble. You tend to say stupid things when you veer from the script like that. Someone might ask your name, for instance, and under duress you might say Peter Rabbit or Dick Nixon, who the hell knew? Had he detected my hesitation? I had to speak.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

author image

Nicholas Fillmore attended the graduate writing program at University of New Hampshire. He was a finalist for the Juniper Prize in poetry and co-founded and published SQUiD magazine in Provincetown, MA. He is currently at work on Sins of Our Fathers, a family romance and works as a reporter and lecturer in English. He lives on windward Oahu with his wife, his daughter and three dogs.

Author website: http://www.nicholasfillmore.com
Publisher Website http://www.iambicbooks.com
https://www.facebook.com/Nicholas.Fillmore.10/
https://twitter.com/nicholasfillmor

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Nicholas Fillmore 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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Interview With …

Tell us about you as a person. 
I should have stayed on the farm, so to speak. My parents are nice, small-town people. And I’m really a simple, shy person at heart, given to daydreaming and writing poetry. But life comes at you and you grow up.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why? 
I have to say it would be Jesus. Running around Palestine denouncing the scribes and Pharisees, and preaching to the multitudes whilst the political powers of the ancient world hang like dark clouds in the offing—this is my idea of a good time.

What’s the story behind your latest book? 
As memoir that’s pretty straight forward. I got hooked into this heroin smuggling conspiracy—part out of boredom, part out of greed, part out of a desire for adventure and part out of a desire to take a burden upon myself (to write about.)

What is your writing process? 
Usually I write late at night. I might listen to music or not, but not with lyrics, which counts out most pop music. I can’t write while someone else is talking. Otherwise, as far as “process” I’m pretty recursive, which is a leftover poetry habit and a problem; when you’ve gone over a sentence or paragraph or chapter so many times with an eye toward its inner coherence, it can become a little insular. Writing Smuggler I learned that sometimes you need to let up on the verbosity so that when you do want to write from some elevated state it shows up. Of course later on you can obsessively pour over every phrase and comma.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why. 
I’m not quite up on the young film stars. A young Tim Roth?

What are you working on next? 
It’s called Sins of Our Fathers, an attempt to reimagine family incidents over several generations that inform the family’s fortunes, such as they are.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now? 
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I would say ESP which has its obvious benefits. The implications for being a writer are interesting. It seems there would be little room for the imagination, though you could do staggering historical works.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Finish next novel.
  2. Move to Paris.
  3. Write another novel.
  4. Get daughter into college.
  5. Write another novel.

Where can readers find you on the web?

http://www.nicholasfillmore.com 

VBT – My Wonderful Wobbly Life

TourBanner_WobblyLife

My Wonderful Wobbly Life
by Charles Irwin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Memoir (Autobiography)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Teaser_WobblyLife

BLURB:

Having survived quite a few birthdays and had some interesting experiences, I wrote them down. That’s how “My Wonderful Wobbly Life” was conceived. It was nearly born in 2004, but decided to hang on until 2018 to become ‘Born again‘ Alleluia!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cover_WobblyLife

EXCERPT

Chapter 1 – SURVIVAL

“I’ve changed my mind! I’ve changed my mind! I don’twant to go.”

I have a vague memory of making this cry from a railway carriage as I was stolen from my parents by authoritarians.

I was five years old when the authorities decreed I had to be placed in a home for children. Their decision was final and all avenues of appeal against it were exhausted when my father, to soften the blow of parting, talked me into what he described as an adventure.

It was not until the train began to move and the realisation came I was leaving my parents forever, that I made my plaintive cry:

“I’ve changed my mind!”

When I arrived at the home my world changed, never to be the same again. My loving mother and my fun-filled father were gone and in their place were grown-ups I did not know. I did not understand what was going on. There were lots of crippled children, but why was I there with them? Okay, I couldn’t walk very far without falling over. I shook uncontrollably most of the time for no apparent reason. I couldn’t speak very clearly. But, I’d been like this all my life, for me it was normal. So, what was I doing here? “

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Me 85

AUTHOR Bio and Links

Charles was born in London U.K. in 1932. During his birth the forceps slipped, resulting in brain damage to the motor control nerves of his right side and causing total body spasticity. However, his intellect was not damaged. Throughout his life the two adversaries, controllable brain and semi-controllable body, always needed to be balanced. After several years of work and study he became a Chartered Production Engineer. In 1971 he emigrated to Australia and became a senior examiner in the Australian Patent office. This autobiography illustrates the rhyme: “He started to sing as he tackled the thing, That couldn’t be done – but he DID IT!” Charles chronicles his journey from useless to useful, with humour and joie de vie. He pays tribute to friends who only gave him help when it was asked for. At a young age he recognized his psychic abilities and, by using lessons at the end of each chapter, shares some insights with readers

https://wobblycharles.com

Buy Link: BOOK IS ON SALE FOR $0.99 DURING THE TOUR

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/My-Wonderful-Wobbly-Life-Autobiography-ebook/dp/B077PF88CT/ref=sr_1_1

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-wonderful-wobbly-life-charles-irwin/1127552673

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

INTERVIEW

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
There is no point in apologizing in retrospect, because the incident that took place does not have the same significance now time has washed over it. Ergo, there is no-one to be given an apology.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Pegasus the winged horse. Then I could invent and indulge in a new hobby of ‘Drone Round-up!’
How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
That is easy to answer. I don’t let them live my life for me.
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
I cannot recall ever having been given any advice about writing in general. Any advice I have been given has usually concerned specific points being presented in an article I was writing. However, since publishing my book and trying to write another, I have been given a platinum piece of advice. Which I share with you, “Write like a Reader!”
Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The title of my book being “My Wonderful Wobbly Life,” gives a big clue to the answer of this question. It is a memoir of my life, outlining the trials and tribulations of coming to terms with being disabled in an abled world. The problems of getting an education, finding and keeping employment, being accepted in society and by the opposite sex were difficult to overcome. ‘The rows were hard to hoe, but the plant of life grew to maturity.’

VBT – Room for Grace

Room for Grace banner

About the Authors

Daniel Kenner

Daniel Kenner rocked out to Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” while other infants sang “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” A proud member of Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and National Players Tour 60, Daniel was a Presidential Arts Scholar at George Washington University and Scholarship recipient at The British American Drama Academy. Directed the Washington D.C. premier of Sarah Kane’s Crave. Author of the manuscript, Roux. Winner of the Rhode Island Playwriting Festival for his World War II letters home drama, Fields of Sacrifice. Adapted Les Misérables for high school stages.

Maureen Kenner’s heart was in the classroom. For thirty-five years she was a Special Education teacher in the Providence Public Schools. Born and raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Maureen graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in education and later earned a Master’s Degree from Providence College. Maureen was a vital influence at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School at Fox Point, working tirelessly as a mentor for the betterment of all children and their families. Honored with many accolades throughout her career, Maureen was awarded Providence Teacher of the Year in 2003. Living with cancer, as a model patient, Maureen exemplified integrity, courage, grace, and hope. For thirty-one years, through sickness and health, Maureen was the beloved soul mate to the late Jacob “Buddy” Kenner, her intense love recognized in 2016 as a Rhode Island Caregiver of the Year.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Room for Grace

About the Book:

Title: ROOM FOR GRACE
Author: Daniel Kenner & Maureen Kenner
Publisher: Silver Boot Imprints
Pages: 200
Genre: Memoir & Biography

BOOK BLURB:

Stage 4 cancer for her and a debilitating disease for her husband: life crashed down in an instant. Maureen Kenner found resilience, however, in the lessons she learned from her Special Ed students in Providence, RI. Her students lived with their hearts opened despite struggles of the highest magnitude. Through these students, Maureen gains courage, humor, and the strength of spirit to face her devastating realities, head on. Maureen’s oral history was captured by her son Daniel who tenderly wrought this book out of their recorded conversations. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace.

PRAISE:

“Maureen Kenner was one of those people who brightened every room she entered. Thanks to Room for Grace, that light is not extinguished. Although her story shares great sadness, Room for Grace is a book of hope and a celebration of life that sheds Maureen’s light on us all.” — Ann Hood, Author of The Obituary Writer and The Red Thread

“In these pages, you will find a story like no other. Maureen’s story is one of courage and love, a story that will move you to your core.” — David Flink, Chief Empowerment Officer, Eye to Eye

“The piercing light of Maureen’s compassion, love and intelligence, will leave every reader wanting to reach out in the spirit of service and live life to the fullest.” — Annie Lanzillotto, Author of Hard Candy: Caregiving, Mourning, and Stagelight

“Buddy Kenner was a big-hearted teacher, universally beloved by all, a warrior for the arts and their importance in the curriculum. Amazing and unique guy. Read this book.” — Tom Chandler, Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emeritus

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Book Excerpt:

STAGE 4

Mary Poppins was my nurse on Day 6. “Pretend you’re at summer camp,” she joked, encouraging every step I made toward healing and recovery. “We’ve got a whole bunch of activities for you to choose from.”

“But instead of Newcomb and color wars and collecting orange salamanders or dancing to Tommy James and the Shondells,” I said, “today’s activities at the hospital include pain med management, ice chip crunching, and Dammit! Doll whacking…”

“Don’t forget IV pole walking,” she teased. “I always know when you’re coming because your IV pole is the squeakiest.” She tenderly guided me back into bed.

“But instead of early morning skinny dipping,” I said, “someone signed me up for the johnny gown flash mob.”

That really made her laugh. “I wish all my patients worked like you.”

Well, you help make it easy,” I admitted. “I loved sleepaway camp. I’d pack my trunk with stamped stationary and Razzles, pick-up sticks and jacks. And my Magic 8-Ball. My bunkmates and I thought we could predict the future. Go figure. I could never have predicted this.” She wrapped a warm blanket around my feet. “One year,” I continued, “I was the last camper to be picked up and, on the way home, my sisters teased me that my parents wanted to leave me there.”

“That’s one of the reasons I love my job here,” she smiled. “The staff is a family. We’re planning a barbecue together this weekend.”

It was August 2013.

Dr. David Sanfred, our family practitioner, walked into my room at 6:45 a.m. and stood at the end of my hospital bed. “Maureen, we’re getting ready to send you home soon,” he said. And then, “It’s time to talk.”

It was time to face what I’d avoided all week.

“I’m sorry to tell you, but it’s very serious.” Though by our family’s side for many difficult situations, I’d never heard Dr. Sanfred’s tone this methodical. “We thought it was Stage 1 but the cancer metastasized from the colon to your umbilicus and has advanced to Stage 4.”

The hospital symphony went silent. I turned my head and watched the early morning sunlight peek through the window. “Is it curable?”

He gave my hand a soft pat. “No, it is not curable.”

I heard myself gasp.

I was in a panorama shot. I saw Mary Poppins outside the thin curtain share morning notes with the nurse coming on. They whispered, glanced sympathetically in my direction. I struggled for breath and gripped the Dammit! Doll.

“Will I be able to go back to my classroom?”

“No,” he cautioned, “you will not be able to teach right now. But soon. We hope.”

The tears kept coming. Mary Poppins came back into the room. She reached out and hugged me gently, with so much affection I could feel her heart break.

Book Blast – MUSING MEDITERRANEAN

TourBanner_MusingMediterranean copy

Musing Mediterranean
by Beth Daigle

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Memoir

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Teaser_MusingMediterranean copy

BLURB

A trip to the Mediterranean—who wouldn’t be thrilled? Beth Daigle should be doing back flips as she prepares to escape her humdrum suburban life, but travel anxiety gets the best of her. This is a trip of a lifetime, something to look forward to, yet Beth is dreading it.

The daughter of an Italian mother and Greek father, Beth has always dreamed of visiting Greece and Italy. Her Type A husband, Tony, revels in planning every detail of their two-week vacation. The plan expands to include not only Beth and Tony’s two tween daughters, but Beth’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew.

As her family’s excitement mounts, so does Beth’s trepidation. She experiences serious anxiety about the flight itself, plus spending two solid weeks with her extended family.

Despite her worries, Beth manages the eight-hour plane ride to Rome, and the adventure begins.

If you’ve never experienced the beauty of the Mediterranean, or even if you have, Musing Mediterranean will take you there through Beth’s eyes, page by page.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

ROME

Our first tour of Rome took us on a romp through the city on a guided golf cart tour. That’s right, I said golf cart.

At one point along the tour, I was positioned on the back seat of the cart facing oncoming traffic. This didn’t faze me, as I don’t experience motion sickness.

Hanging off the back of our cart, I held on for dear life as we attempted to keep pace with traffic and simultaneously not lose our caravan. It wasn’t until I was faced with one particularly anxious bus driver that I began to worry that we might not end our excursion with the same number of people as we began. As traffic slowed and my cart came to a near stop, the bus pulled up behind me so closely and so quickly I could’ve leaned over and kissed it.

As the bus approached, I didn’t know what else to do other than to squeal in horror and cover my eyes—I was sure I was about to meet my fate. It all happened so quickly that I froze, unable to think of a better way to save myself and others on board.

“What is going on back there—why are you screaming?” Tony shouted.

“I’m about to be flattened by a bus!”

When Tony looked back to see how close the bus really had come, all he could say was, “Holy crap!”

BookCover_MusingMed_CVR_LRG

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPhoto_MusingMed

Beth Daigle is a lifelong New Englander residing north of Boston with her husband and daughters. Prior to settling into her role as a writer, Beth was a marketing professional whose favorite part of the job was writing. As a freelancer, Beth has enjoyed contributing to numerous lifestyle and home publications, yet she yearned for something more than a magazine article. Then along came Musing Mediterranean. Beth quickly became immersed in chronicling this travel event and articulating her perceptions of the places she visited, the people she met, the foods she enjoyed and the crazy moments she encountered. The idea that someone who may never travel to Greece, Italy or Turkey could appreciate this experience through Beth’s eyes became a driving force behind the story. Revealing her struggle with travel anxiety helped Beth move forward and embrace, once again, how very wonderful it is to travel the world.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine.

Beth is a creative soul who finds joy in art, home design, gardening, reading, writing, a good laugh and an even better television show.
Website: BethDaigle.com

Blog: 3OlivesandaTwist.com

Instagram: 3olivesandatwist

Facebook: @3olivesandatwist

Twitter: @3olivesnatwist

Available at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1947966073?pf_rd_p=d1f45e03-8b73-4c9a-9beb-4819111bef9a&pf_rd_r=W3MJ4WHBPK1MTJC8KW6Y

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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

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

VBT – Nothing Is Predictable

TourBanner_NothingIsPredictable

Nothing Is Predictable
by Adalina Mae

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Autobiographical Novel – Memoir – AutoFiction

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Zara is eight years old, her father, in a drunken rampage, accidentally shoots himself dead.

Her childhood memories leave her struggling with romantic attachments and hinder her from developing healthy relationships.

Seeking answers, She meets a monk for wisdom, and a gypsy for insight.
The journeys Adalina Mae takes us on are interspersed with heartbreaking moments as well as hilarious escapades.

This is life and nothing is predictable. The story keeps you on your toes and offers mysteries to solve.

Why does Zara have recurrent nightmares of her last night with her father?

Why does she struggle with love?

BookCover_NothingIsPredictable

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

“Run sweetheart, hurry, run! We will hide in the neighbor’s storeroom, he can’t find us there,” Mom whispered as we ran for our lives away from home hoping Dad would not find us. We entered the storeroom beside our neighbor’s old cottage. It was dark and moldy and infested with rats. From a distance, we could hear him following us and approaching.

I cried silently with my eyes shut, fearful about what was going to happen. That dreadful monster is back, what damage is he going to cause tonight?

“Shhh, don’t cry, he won’t find us here, we’ll be okay darling, don’t worry,” Mom whispered as she held me tight to comfort me, yet I could see in her eyes she was not convinced.

“Where are you? You think you can hide from me! I’ll show you who the man of the house is! You’re taking my daughter away from me, I’ll show you woman!” Dad shouted, his voice approaching closer and closer.

He was so drunk he didn’t realize Mom was only running to safety. He thought she was taking me away from him. How on earth do you come to that conclusion? His footsteps stomped louder, as he walked toward the storeroom where we were hiding.

“Where are you? How dare you run away!” his voice projected from outside the room.

And then, BANG! The wooden door was flung open and it bounced off the wall.

“Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” I screamed so loudly I can still hear the echo of my voice.

I was eight years old.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPhoto_NothingIsPredictable

Adalina Mae is the author of the published novel Nothing Is Predictable and soon to be released Nothing Can Last Forever.

After leaving the corporate world of management, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion to write.

She’s also a lover of movies and hopes that her novels become a motion picture.

Adalina wrote Nothing Is Predictable to inspire optimism and positive thoughts, reminding us we are strong and can overcome life’s challenges. Particularly those who suffered childhood trauma like she has.

She is determined to spread the inspirational message of her story.
Her life’s incidents have taught her that,

Nothing Is Predictable and Nothing Can Last Forever.

Website: www.adalinamae.com

Book stores Link: http://bit.ly/bookstoreslink

Amazon only link: http://bit.ly/buybookfromamazon

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/goodreadsbooktitle

Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/ILoveThisStorySpecialEdition

Facebook: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorFacebook

Instagram: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorInstagram

Twitter: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorTwitter

Teaser_NothingIsPredictable

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Adalina Mae will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

%d bloggers like this: