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Spotlight – Radio Underground

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About the Author

Alison Littman

Alison Littman lives in San Francisco where she’s a writer by day and standup comedian by night. A former journalist in New Mexico, she covered politics and education while also contributing articles on John F. Kennedy and The Beatles to various specialty magazines. Her feature stories focus on listening to rock ‘n’ roll behind the Iron Curtain and Cold War politics. Radio Underground is her first novel.

Website Address: https://www.readalisonlittman.com/

Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/AliMcShpiel

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/readalisonlittman/

About the Book:

Title: RADIO UNDERGROUND
Author: Alison Littman
Publisher: Last Syllable Books
Pages: 354
Genre: Historical Fiction

Radio Underground

BOOK BLURB:

After years of suffering under the communist regime in Cold War Hungary, Eszter Turján—fanatical underground journalist—would sacrifice anything, and anyone, to see the government fall. When she manipulates news broadcasts on Radio Free Europe, she ignites a vicious revolution, commits a calamitous murder, and is dragged away screaming to a secret underground prison.

Her daughter Dora, then a teenager, cowers in her bedroom as the secret police arrest her mother. Haunted and hurt, Dora vows to work against everything Eszter believes in. But, it’s not that simple.

After nine years, Dora meets a strapping young fan of Radio Free Europe and is unwittingly drawn back into Eszter’s circle. She finds her mother, driven mad by years of torture, is headed for death.

On the brink of losing Eszter again, Dora must decide if she should risk her life to save the mother who discarded her—or leave it to fate.

“A propulsive read and a timely reminder that maintaining our humanity requires courage as much as love.”- Kim van Alkemade, New York Times best-selling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl

“Littman’s debut novel is a delectable blend of history and heartstrings, sure to please the palates of literature lovers everywhere.”- Selene Castrovilla, award-winning author of Melt and Luna Rising

5 out of 5 star review from Readers’ Favorite

Radio Underground reads like a movie…A revolutionary tale written with style.”- Readers’ Favorite

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Book Excerpt:

A black Zis-110 idled ahead of me, the car’s curtains drawn on its passenger windows. I shivered at the sight of the secret police’s hallmark car, thinking of all the friends who had disappeared for no reason, taken away by henchmen in the middle of the night, never to return. It was no coincidence the Zis looked just like a hearse. I scurried onto a side street, dodging the car and the poor captives I assumed sat, trembling, inside of it.

I tiptoed past the Ministry of Interior, where red geraniums lined the building’s windows. In the secret prisons below, police tortured people with whips, limb crushers, nail presses, and scalding and freezing baths. Or else they just executed them. But the geraniums were always fresh.

I slid my fingers across the building’s dusty exteriors, imagining I could somehow transfer my nerves onto the cold, unfeeling brick. I had snuck through the streets after curfew for years, but tonight was different. I could feel the regime sensing our newfound courage, like a dog pushing its nose high into the air, catching the subtle perfume of a rabbit nearby.

After walking several blocks, I spied smoke unfurling in the path before me, like a languid snake expanding as it digests a fresh kill. Following it, I found Antal, his eyes closed, relishing in a cigarette.

“Antal, it’s me,” I said, coughing on the smoke now choking me.

Antal smiled and opened his eyes, his cataracts reflecting the glow of the street lamps. “Eszter, it’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too.” I kissed Antal on both cheeks, feeling his dry skin against mine and wondering how long he’d been outside waiting for me in the cold.

“Tell me, what information do you have for me today?”

“It will happen tomorrow,” I said. “Today, technically.”

It was already past midnight.

“So it’s here, isn’t it?” Antal said.

“Yes,” I said. “I went to their meeting. The students decided they’re going to march. I heard them talking about gathering arms.”

“How many people are participating in this … this march?” Antal asked as he stamped his cigarette into the ground and lit another one.

“Hundreds, thousands, maybe. I can’t be certain.”

“It doesn’t take a genius to predict how Gerő will react.”

“Gerő will slaughter them,” I said, feeling dizzy as I said aloud what we both knew. Hungary’s leader, Erno Gerő, was a Soviet puppet with an arsenal at the ready. “Without enough people hearing about it and organizing, it will just be a bloodbath.”

Antal fell back against the brick wall, suddenly losing his breath. He was always so levelheaded, so much so it often drove me to even greater heights of anxiety as I tried to compensate for his indifference. His fingers, still clutching the cigarette, quivered as his eyes searched the space behind me.

“The state radio will probably ignore this and just keep spewing out its propaganda,” he said.

“Exactly. We’re going to print with this too. But Realitás won’t reach enough people in time. An announcement on Radio Free Europe is the students’ only hope.” I held on to Antal’s shoulders to steady him. “It has to happen first thing in the morning, so people will have time to plan.”

The closest Radio Free Europe outpost was in Vienna. If Antal left now, he would get there by four in the morning.

“I already have meetings scheduled in Vienna for today,” he said. “I’ll visit our Radio Free Europe contacts as soon as I get there and cancel my other meetings to get back in time for the march. Gerő will think I cut short a routine visit to be by his side.”

Our lives by day were lies—Antal’s more than most. He served as the regime’s Deputy Interior Minister. After being forced to coordinate the executions of his friends—communists who threatened the power structure when they became too popular—he resolved to undermine the regime in any way possible. He began relaying intelligence to the American-run Radio Free Europe. With the freedom to travel at will and deep knowledge of the government’s inner workings, he also became an asset to Realitás, the underground newspaper I ran.

“It’s already one in the morning,” I said. “What will you do when they ask you why you’re crossing the border so late?”

“This is normal for me. I go to Vienna at all times of the day and night, just to keep them guessing. Just in case I run into a situation like this.”

“Smart. Well, you better leave now before Gerő tries to get in touch.”

We both knew Antal’s phone could have been ringing right then. I wondered what it would cost him—or his children and grandchildren—if he wasn’t there to answer it.

“I’ll be back,” Antal said, coughing into his hands, still shaking from what I knew was the fear we all shared.

“Wait.” I pulled out a tattered piece of paper, wincing as the cuts in my hand protested the sudden movement. “Take this with you. A student gave it to me yesterday. It’s a coded list of meeting points and times for the march. You have to get this on air too.”

Antal nodded as I slid the paper into his coat pocket, making sure to secure the meticulously crafted plans of the brave, hopeful students. They probably didn’t even realize that at this moment, Soviet troops were almost certainly readying their tanks at a base nearby.

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VBT – Song of the Boricua

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About the Author

AuthorPhoto_SongOfTheBoricua

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson’s College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

Website Address: www.oliviacastillo.org

Blog Address: https://www.oliviacastillo.org/blog

Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/oliviacauthor

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/songoftheboricua/

Goodreads Address: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14629912

About the Book:

Title: SONG OF THE BORICUA
Author: Olivia Castillo
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 335
Genre: Fiction

BOOK BLURB:

Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.

Elena: Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.

Maria: Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love. Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.

Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.

Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?

New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos’ fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.

BookCover_SongOfTheBoricua

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Book Excerpt 

            Catala wanted her Elena to be educated and help fight for the revolution—for the independence of Puerto Rico. She firmly believed the tiny island should stand on its own two feet. She would read to her from many books, and as Elena grew older, she occasionally read from the Journal of the Liga Feminina, the Feminist League of Puerto Rico. The journals were published by the league to address issues faced by women and promote women’s right to vote. La Liga Feminina was a feminist organization founded by Ana Roque de Duprey in 1917, who was also one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico. “A Puerto Rican woman, if educated as a man, is capable of intervening if it is God’s will, in the workings of her country’s government,” Catala would read aloud to Elena passionately.

            Elena also belonged to La Treinta, a group of the Creole elite that consisted of writers, professors, and intellectuals that had a base at the University of Puerto Rico. Catala, had joined La Treinta a few years back and had encouraged Elena to join: La Treinta wanted Puerto Rico to have its own identity and to keep its connection to Spain, the mother country.

            She had met some of the writers when they came to visit the University of Salamanca, Spain. Catala also read to Elena from the books handed to her by her own mother from Spain, favorites like El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, by Miguel Cervantes. Elena was committed to arming her daughter with knowledge and power to better herself, and one day, her country.

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/RQIEu0r2apk

Spotlight – Shelter Island

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About the Author

John Paul Tucker

John Paul Tucker holds degrees in Theatre and Theology and has many years experience as an Ontario Certified English Language Teacher, in addition to teaching mime, puppetry and Drama to teens and children. His unique journey has furnished him with an eclectic head of ideas.

He is currently celebrating his 50th article on www.thewriterslessonbook.com, an educational website he created for writers, featuring writing tips and techniques harvested from the books we love to read. He has published poems in the Toronto Sun, Little Trinity Print Magazine and Imago Arts e-magazine. His poem City Sidewalks won first prize in a Toronto wide poetry contest. Two of his short stories, The Crooked Tree and The Debt Collector have each won a prize awarded by The Word Guild and The Prescott Journal respectively. You will find one of his fantasy stories recently published in the popular Hot Apple Cider anthology Christmas with Hot Apple Cider. JP has been busy polishing up The Rooster and the Raven King & The Rise of the Crimson King, Books II & III of The Song of Fridorfold trilogy, pursuing Cary, Clarisse and Gregory on their fantastic adventures.

John Paul is excited to be putting the final touches to his fourth novel, a YA fantasy inspired by the remarkable storyteller, George MacDonald. Gather the latest news about JP’s upcoming novels, enjoy a book trailer, dive into some free stories and poems, contribute some art work, take a peek at some photos, or for no other reason drop by to say hello at his official author website www.johnpaultucker.com.

John’s latest book is the middle grade fantasy adventure, Shelter Island.

Website Address: https://www.johnpaultucker.com

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/johnpaultucker.author/

About the Book:

Title: SHELTER ISLAND
Author: John Paul Tucker
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 224
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

BOOK BLURB:

Thirteen-year-old Cary and his sister Clarisse must return home every day after school to mind their eight year old brother, Gregory. “It’s a non-negotiable,” insist their work-obsessed parents. There is another problem. Clarisse and Gregory don’t like Cary much, and Cary doesn’t much like anything, especially being tagged with his gummy-fingered little brother. But their troubles are about to grow talons.

While bickering over the contents of a small, intricately embroidered pouch, the siblings unintentionally summon three mail-clad birds, who hasten their three young conscripts to Shelter Island, refuge to a long divided realm hidden from the children’s homeland for hundreds of years. Spotted above enemy territory, the small company is attacked. Clarisse and Gregory escape to the caves of Husgard. Cary’s captors dispatch him to Vangorfold, a centuries old stronghold sworn to Husgard’s destruction. Entangled in a centuries old conflict, the children’s own blur of problems comes into sharp focus, hastening the fortunes, for good or ill, not only of a forgotten civilization of birds, but of the children’s homeland.

Shelter Island 2

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Book Excerpt:

Clarisse hovered over the tiny artifact the same way

her parents would have conducted their research. The letters

on the scroll were written in the same spidery golden

threads of the embroidered feather on the pouch.

She hesitated to check a word.

Three fair feathers travellers are,

Bearing friends or foes afar.

Bound together, by bearers three,

Summons three bearers to bear ye.

“It’s a riddle,” said Gregory, his eyebrows climbing with

each new revelation.

“Maybe,” said Clarisse, who had recalled a passage

from a story she had read. “It sounds more like an enchantment.”

Watch the Trailer!

https://youtu.be/s-P0_de7_AY

Book Spotlight – You Can’t Force Love

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About the Author

Marie Drake

Award-winning author, Marie Drake lives in a small town near Lake Ontario with her husband, four sons, and three rescue pups. With many years of experience in the Foster Care community and advocating for other victims and survivors, she specializes in realistic and psychological fiction depicting the lives of abuse sufferers; their obstacles, their triumphs, and their downfalls.

Website Address: https://www.MarieDrakeauthor.com

Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/MarieDrake72

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/MarieDrake/

About the Book:

Title: YOU CAN’T FORCE LOVE
Author: Marie Drake
Publisher: RedBird Books
Pages: 286
Genre: Realistic Fiction

BOOK BLURB:

“A battered butterfly, he’d build Kimberly up, nurture her strength and watch her return to flight. He repressed the visions dancing in the back of his mind; her naked body brandished red flags and spurred him to stampede. Bulls and butterflies did not mix.”

Jordan Fry’s obsession is born in “You Can’t Force Love” by Marie Drake, Book I in the Locked Hearts Series.

From different towns and social backgrounds, Jordan Fry and Kimberly Orvine experience life-altering abuse, lose a parent and land in the same foster home. Angry, and self-deprecating, fiery redheaded Kimberly is deadset on lousy behavior and suffering the consequences, punishing herself for former sins. Scared by his inner darkness, pyromaniac Jordan has vowed to change for the better. He focuses on Kimberly as the key to his success, but she intends to make him break his promises. Unaware of Jordan’s atrocious actions in the past, she’s dangerously close to unleashing the evil he struggles to contain during their epic battle of wills. Can they both survive?

You Can't Force Love

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Book Excerpt:

July 1986

Crescent Hollar Trailer Park

Gloucester City, New Jersey

Fresh, black pavement radiated visible heat; scorched grass crunched beneath Jordan’s feet; sweat drenched his shoulder-length, blonde hair, and it clung to his neck. The mobile home park’s road ended at a small store; he paid twenty-five cents for two ring-shaped lollipops, saved a pink candy, unwrapped a blue one and reclined on a canopy shaded bench.

A black and yellow butterfly fluttered toward him; sunlight clarified its translucent wings and turned it magical, otherworldly. Jordan stared at the creature hovering above his leg. It glided to his knee. Tiny feet danced on his bare skin, a slight tickle. Sparkling like gold dust; glowing, powdery residue transferred on his fingers. Airborn again, impulsively, he reached and knocked it to the ground; one wing beat up and down.

Humming distracted him, and he stepped on the butterfly as he crossed the road. Lily skipped across the grass in pink, canvas sneakers. Her long, cinnamon-colored hair billowed; it tapped her thin, white blouse below her shoulder blades and bounced with each step. A faint halo highlighted her lovely features. Enhanced by sapphire-colored stones in her ears, her blue eyes shined brighter than the butterfly. She smiled. Calescent stomach pain folded him in half. With gritted teeth, he straightened, took a step, smiled back at her, and offered the ring-pop from his pocket.

“Strawberry, my favorite.” She tugged the lollipop from its wrapper and slipped it into her mouth. Her eyes crinkled in the sun. She dragged the candy over her lips with a final sucking motion, lifted her hand and let the sunshine filter through the gem-shaped sugar. “Pretty,” she said.

Pain struck Jordan again, stronger. It radiated through his lower body. Lily held his hand and walked along the road’s edge. She stopped at a red and white toolshed at the corner of her backyard. Jordan peeked into her driveway, no car.

“Just one time, right?” Lily asked. She closed her eyes.

Jordan smothered her with his mouth; she panicked and struggled, but he closed in and restrained her. His mind emptied, his eyes went blank; a blinding drive took over, and he pressed her to the ground. Tear-filled eyes didn’t dissuade him.

A horn honked, and a door slammed near the house; he froze. Lily’s dad carried grocery bags. Jordan rolled. She ran toward home; he traced her body’s imprint in the grass and discovered a shimmering deep-blue earring.

A vice clamped his arm, and with a yank, he met angry eyes; he cowered inches below Lily’s father’s face.

Spotlight – 50 Ways to Get Your Way

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50 WAYS TO GET YOUR WAY by Juliet Huck, Motivational/Nonfiction, 120 pp., $14.95 (paperback)

 

Title: 50 WAYS TO GET YOUR WAY

Author: Juliet Huck

Publisher: The Huck Group

Pages: 120

Genre: Motivational/Nonfiction

 
50 Ways to Get Your Way by Juliet Huck
Promotes
the Art of Persuading Others
Using the Simple Power of Commonsense Values
In 50 WAYS TO GET YOUR WAY, Juliet Huck
shares the lessons she learned while growing up on her family’s farm in rural
Ohio—values such as being grateful, nurturing relationships, and listening
intently, which she used to build a successful career as a persuasion
strategist working with corporate clients and on high-profile legal cases. Huck
teaches readers how to be persuasive in a manner that is honorable and
respectful, while making genuine human connections.
The tools Huck shares in 50 WAYS TO GET YOUR
WAY
are familiar, but the author notes that many of these values are
missing in the current social climate. Using beautiful images (many
photographed by the author) and conversational prose, Huck encourages readers
to commit to a practice of awareness—of self and others—and guides them through
the dance of building relationships that will help them achieve their goals.
While all of the pearls of wisdom presented in 50 WAYS TO GET YOUR WAY
are essential ingredients for developing into a solid human being, several
offer the building blocks for becoming an exceptional person who gets what he
or she wants. Being empathetic by learning what other people find meaningful,
paying attention to the effect that one’s tone can have on others, telling a
compelling story, letting go of expectations to minimize disappointment, and
understanding the importance of clarity when asking for assistance or sharing
plans are just a few of the gems that Huck examines in her book.
Huck acknowledges that the principles outlined in 50
WAYS TO GET YOUR WAY
are not “rocket science”; however, she believes they
are timely. “Observing the current environment, I could not sit back and be
silent about how we are treating each other—especially when we need something
from someone else. I felt instead of fighting with others, it is time to remind
us of the beautiful things that can connect us,” Huck said.
50 WAYS TO GET YOUR WAY was written with the intention of helping
people fulfill their personal and professional needs by mastering the art of
making genuine connections.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

The Declaration of Persuasion
Persuasion in NOT a call to action – it is a directed action
It is
time to break up the myth that persuasion is
a call
to action. To “call” is to “invite.” This puts all
the
power in someone else’s hands. While to “direct”
is to
“control.” This is the ultimate way to give you
the
power you need to get what you want. Inviting
someone
to do something allows them to say no. You
must
lead or direct them to what you want in simple
words,
statistics and/or visuals proportional to the
magnitude
of your need. Think of a traffic cop. They
are not
inviting you to take their direction. You are
clearly
persuaded to do what they want you to do
as they
are in control. Moving someone to decide
in your
favor is not always easy but there are steps
which
you can take that will get you what you want.
Carry on!

 

 

 

 

 
Juliet Huck is an expert in persuasive communications with 25 years
of experience. She was born in Marietta, Ohio, and holds a bachelor’s
degree in fine arts. During her career, she has worked with the US
Department of Justice for the Enron litigation, Exxon Mobil, Boeing, and
law firms, such as O’Melveny and Myers, Kirkland and Ellis, and King
and Spalding, among other high-profile clients. Juliet is the author of 50 Ways to Get Your Way and The Equation of Persuasion: Securing Decisions in Your Favor.Her latest book, 50 Ways to Get Your Way, offers insights
for skillfully using persuasion in work and in life by forming
meaningful relationships. It is the first book in a series that will
teach readers how to get what they want in all facets of their lives.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

AUTHOR WEBSITE | BOOK WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK |

INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE | LINKEDIN

 

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

 

Spotlight – Our Secret Powers

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About the Author

Terje Gerotti Simonsen

Terje G. Simonsen is an author with a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas. He has increasingly focused his attention on the esoteric and occult traditions and on paranormal phenomena, as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, healing etc. Recently he published the highly acclaimed Our Secret Powers, based on his extraordinary knowledge within this field. Elegantly and with great personal wit and insight, he discusses parapsychological phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. Several of the world’s most renowned experts on the paranormal has praised Simonsen’s work: The bestselling parapsychologist, Dean Radin, PhD, chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, says: ‘As an encyclopedic introduction to the psychic side of the fascinating but puzzling domain known as the paranormal, there is no better choice than Our Secret Powers.” And Stanley Krippner, PhD, expert on hypnosis, shamanism and altered states of consciousness, former leader of two departments in the American Psychological Association, says: “This is an outstanding book and it deserves all the attention it can get. Not only is Our Secret Powers a book for all seasons, it is a book for all reasons!’

About the Book:

Title: OUR SECRET POWERS: TELEPATHY, CLAIRVOYANCE AND PRECOGNITION
Author: Terje Gerotti Simonsen
Publisher: Pari Publishing
Pages: 528
Genre: Nonfiction/Spiritual/Consciousness/Paranormal

Our Secret Powers

BOOK BLURB:

Is the paranormal normal?

Many readers will be surprised when learning that reputable scientists, among them several Nobel laureates, have claimed that telepathy is a reality. Their curiosity will increase when reading that both Cleopatra’s lost palace and Richard III’s burial place were recovered by means of clairvoyance. And some will think it to be sheer science fiction when finding out about Stargate––the espionage program where the American military and CIA for 20 years engaged in the development of psychic spies!

Simonsen, a Norwegian historian of ideas, introduces an array of entertaining paranormal tales from history, archaeology, anthropology and psychology, and presents scientific research that has provided fascinating results. He argues that the stories we hear about telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition ought not to be dismissed as superstition

In step with spiritual and occult traditions, the author suggests that consciousness is not limited to our own head. Rather he thinks that all humans (and perhaps all living beings) are linked together in a “Mental Internet.’ Via this network we may exchange ‘telepathic emails’ with friends and family and make clairvoyant ‘downloads’ of information.  Thus perhaps what we usually call ‘supernatural’ is completely natural but little understood communications via this Mental Internet?

Our Secret Powers gives us a thoughtful and engaging presentation of a controversial subject and would make an excellent travel companion.

Watch the Trailer!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CemWOrGnVU


ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Book Excerpt:

The majority of the considerations in this book are based on strange incidents reported by scientists of one kind or another—archaeologists, anthropologists, psychologists, physicists and philosophers. Such people are more often than not very resourceful with well-developed skills in observation as well as in thinking. It therefore seems reasonable to take their reports seriously, even when—or especially when—they dare to speak against the consensus and vouch for the paranormal. It is not unusual to think that those scientists who report having experienced paranormal phenomena are misinterpreting their experiences at best or are fraudulent at worst. I suggest we take ‘the road less travelled,’ and regard ‘the defendants innocent until proven guilty’ and seriously listen to their stories. They were there—we were not.

VBT – Room for Grace

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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:

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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.

Pre-Pub Blast – Darkest Before the Dawn

Darkest Before the Dawn banner

About the Author

Mike Martin

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series.is Darkest Before the Dawn.

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About the Book:

Title: DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Pages: TBA
Genre: Mystery

Darkest Before the Dawn

BOOK BLURB:

Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There are signs of trouble that may disturb his pleasant life, including a series of unsolved break-ins and the lack of supports for young people in the most trying time of their lives. But there are always good friends, good food and the sense that if we all pull together, we can find a way to get through even the darkest days.

Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new character enliven the pages as Windflower and Tizzard and the other police officers awaken the secrets that have been lying dormant in this sleepy little town. The deeper they dig the more they find as the criminals they seek dive deeper behind the curtains of anonymity and technology. But more than anything, this is a story of love and loss, of growing up and learning how to grow old gracefully. It is also about family and community and looking after each other. Of not giving up hope just before the dawn.

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