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Spotlight – Slay Bells

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About the Author

T.C. Wescott

T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.

The Christmas Village Mystery series launched in November of the same year with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple – mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.

Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as many essays and articles.

His latest book is the cozy mystery, Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery).

Website Address: www.tcwescott.com

Twitter Address: www.twitter.com/MousetrapBooks

Facebook Address: www.facebook.com/BetterMousetrapBooks

About the Book:

Title: SLAY BELLS (A CHRISTMAS VILLAGE MYSTERY)
Author: T.C. Wescott
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Books
Pages: 273
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Slay Bells

BOOK BLURB:

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the village, the night settled in over swirling-smoke chimneys; the air was alive with pine and holly, with sugar and cinnamon and cider, by golly!

Along snowy lanes and through shadows it crept, past windows behind which each villager slept, where sleeping dogs lie and cats rest a’purring-

Tonight, in Christmas Village, a killer is stirring.

Welcome to Christmas Village, a magical hamlet where even in December the roses hold their luster and bees buzz among the bluebells. Nestled betwixt an opulent garden with meandering footpaths and an ancient grove of plum trees, Rose Willoughby’s boarding house is plum-full with lodgers. There are no vacancies, but just wait. Soon there will be one…and another…and another.

When the Inn’s guests begin dying in inexplicable ways, some villagers believe a beast from old village lore is the culprit. The sheriff knows better, but he’s just as helpless to catch the invisible killer as are the town folk with their eyes to the sky in search of a flying creature. But our mysterious murderer hasn’t counted on yet another lodger coming to the cottage: Maribel Claus.

Short as a stump, round as a wheel, sweet as a candy cane, and a sharp as a whip, Maribel loves a good puzzle. But can she unmask the phantom killer in time and save Christmas?

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Book Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Night settles in over smoking chimneys and snow-capped rooftops.

A potpourri of pine, holly, and cinnamon swirls in the breeze over white pastures and along sleepy lanes as festive decorations left hanging on each street lamp and along every thoroughfare dance upon its passing.

Winter birds offer up their sing-song as the rows of cottage windows blink out their goodnights.

But for many in the happy hamlet of Christmas Village, the night will be a short one, made restless with excitement for the morning when they will rise early to prepare for the inaugural day of the annual Christmas Festival.

The festival, running the full week before Christmas Eve, is the last great hurrah of the year, barring the ringing of the new year bells. It is no exaggeration to say that the best hope one has of experiencing something more glorious is to return the following year for the next Festival.

So, it is with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts that every soul in the village, farmer and squire alike, closes their eyes in anticipation of sunrise.

One among them will not live to see the sun.

Something moves among the birds, along the snowy lanes, skirting the light in favor of shadow.

In Christmas Village, this night, a creature is stirring.

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Spotlight – Die Back

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About the Author

Richard Hacker

Richard Hacker is a longtime resident of Austin, Texas who now writes and lives in Seattle.

His writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In addition to his writing, he provides editing services to other writers and is the editor of an online science fiction and fantasy journal, Del Sol Review. His three published humorous crime novels ride the sometimes thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. DIE BACK, his first fantasy thriller novel, has been published by Del Sol Press.

When not writing he’s singing in a vocal jazz ensemble, cooking with a sous vide and a blow torch, or exploring the Pacific Northwest with his wife and his springer spaniel, Jazz.

Website Link: http://www.richardhacker.com

Twitter Link: @Richard_Hacker

Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/RWHacker

About the Book:

Title: DIE BACK (Book One of the Alchimeia)
Author: Richard Hacker
Publisher: Del Sol Press
Pages: 332
Genre: Fantasy/Thriller

Die Back

BOOK BLURB:

In 272 AD Egypt, an enemy thwarts an attempt by League Inkers, Thomas Shaw and Nikki Babineaux, to obtain the Alchįmeia, a document holding alchemical secrets. Sensing his impending death, Thomas secures Nikki’s promise to keep his son, Addison, from the League, an organization defending the time continuum. After his father’s death, Addison inherits a mysterious pen, accidentally inking himself into the consciousness of a man who dies on a muddy WWI battlefield in France. Hoping to make sense of his experience, he confides in Nikki, his best friend and unknown to Addison, an Inker. Keeping her promise to Thomas, she discounts Addison’s experience.

Fixated on the pen, Addison inks into a B-17 bombardier in 1943. The pilot, whose consciousness has been taken over by someone calling himself Kairos, gloats over killing Addison’s father and boasts of plans to destroy the League. As Kairos attempts to wrest Addison’s consciousness, Nikki shocks Addison out of the Inking. She confesses her knowledge of the League. When Kairos threatens to steal aviation technology, she she sends Addison and his partner, Jules, to an Army test of the Wright Flyer in 1908. Believing they have succeeded, they return to find the continuum shifted and Nikki knowing nothing about the League.

Inking back to his father’s mission in Alexandria, Addison and Jules hope to get his help in returning the time continuum to its original state. Instead, Addison’s father gives him the Alchįmeia to hide in a crypt at the Great Lighthouse on Phalos. On their return to the present a Kairos agent murders Jules, her consciousness Inked into the past. Addison follows the clues, Inking into Pizarro in 16th century Peru. He finds Jules in the child bride of the Inca emperor. His plan to find the technology and save Jules without destroying the Inca civilization is thwarted by a fleet of Inca airships. Captured, he is taken to Machu Picchu. With Jules help, they find the stolen schematics, but are confronted by Kairos. He stabs Addison, forcing Addison’s consciousness back to the present and traps Jules in the 16th Century. Addison returns to another altered world. Nikki no longer exists, the world is at war with the Inca, and Manhattan lay in ruins.

Addison Inks his father, learning the origins of the League. Thomas urges Addison to uncover their enemy with the help of his colleague, Maya. Putting suspicion on another inker, Cameron, she insists he must be killing Inkers and acquiring Pens. In a final attempt to stop him, they entrap Cameron, only for Addison to discover Maya is Kairos, his enemy. She kills Cameron, also wounding Addison. He chases Maya, who intimates that she holds his mother’s, Rebecca’s, consciousness. Confused he delays, giving her time to scrawl a name with her pen before shooting her dead.

Inked away when Maya died, Kairos finds himself, not in his intended host, Hitler, but in a German infantry soldier POW in the Ardenne during the Battle of the Bulge, WWII. Hoping to repair the shift in the time continuum, Addison brings the League Pens together with the fate of the world and everyone he loves at stake. He awakens to a dissimilar world, but Jules and Nikki exist. And with life there is always hope.

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Watch the Trailer!

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Book Excerpt:

After hanging up, he recalled Maya, a woman his father had dated a few years ago. I guess they stayed in touch. Flipping through the contents of the file, he found a piece of paper, folded in half with a date and a name written by hand, circled with a felt tip marker. This must be one of the MIA’s.

Died in the Battle of Cantigny on May 28, 1918

Emmett Earl Pike

All he had to do was fill in a form and this had the bonus of a paycheck at the end. I’ll never get another chance to help Dad complete anything. Addison rarely used pens, opting for his laptop and the tablet his father had given him as a Christmas present. However, it seemed a good time to give his inheritance a road test. After finding the form Maya mentioned in the file, he lifted the fountain pen from its resting place once again. Where do I put the ink? He fumbled with it a bit, then found he could unscrew the bottom, revealing a small chamber. Opening one of the bottles, the ink moved as if alive, a green vaporous fog hovering just inside the neck. A small glass eye dropper lay nestled beside it. He placed the dropper’s glass tube into the ink, squeezing and releasing the bladder to draw the green liquid. He squeezed the dropper again, releasing ink into the chamber. Screwing the bottom of the pen back on with his now green ink-stained fingers, he wiped the pen with a soft cloth he found by the ink bottle.

No wonder the ballpoint was a big hit.

As the mantel clock struck noon, he turned back to the page. Placing pen to paper he scratched the nib across the surface, copying the date from the slip of paper he had found in the file. Addison then scribed the name:

Emmett Earl Pike

He scanned the papers on the desk for the second name, when his body violently seized, as if he’d been given deadly neurotoxin. His stomach caught in his throat squelching any scream over a deafening jet-like roar. Ice cold air froze him to numbness, the world a vast kaleidoscope of color and pattern, his mind exploded into billions of particles, until he lurched from the chair face first into the muck.

God, the stink of rotting flesh. Throat dry, goddamn smoke. What is that foul stench? Thunderous detonations like the footfalls of mighty giants slam into the ground, shaking the earth. Rats scurry, but nowhere to hide. A whistle blows in the cool, moist dawn air. I’m…in a trench? Men, their drab uniforms stained with mud and blood, rock anxiously, morning light reflecting off mounted bayonets.

Where in God’s living hell am I?

Sarge shouts, “Over the top!”

I don’t want to move, but I’m not in control. Up and over the mud wall of a trench, the weight of a pack straining my back, the rifle heavy in my hands. A man to my left flies backward as if jerked by a cable, his cry muffled by explosions, his chest ripped open, organs spilling into the muck. I, we, plod forward through mud. A rhythmic takka-takka-takka, tat, tat, tat in the distance and more explosions vibrating through my feet.

Sarge yells again, “Stay together! Look sharp!”

A battlefield? But how? A slap on my shoulder. I look to my right to see a kid my age with blue eyes and a dirty face shadowed beneath a WW I doughboy helmet.

“Emmett, this is it! We’ll show these Huns!”

I hear words tumble from my mouth. “Yeah, Jake. Don’t get your arse shot off.”

A scowl crosses his face like I’ve never seen from my friend before. “Not to worry, Addison. You won’t be here for long.”

Addison? Who…?

Bayonet in hand, Jake slices a deep gash across his palm. He steps in toward me. “Time to say goodbye, Addison.” His bloodied hand races toward my face.

What the hell—

A fiery white blast, like a blow of Thor’s massive hammer, slams me to the ground. My insides hurt, my head throbs. I try to get back up, but, oh god, my legs. Gone. God. Jake? I see his blue-eyed face, the remaining half looks startled, his shoulder and arm and part of his torso ripped off. The mud smells of death. Falling back I see blue sky with large billowing white clouds floating like great ships at sea. So peaceful, so calm, so…

My body’s an empty shell. Matter flows into me—each corpuscle and vein, tendon and bone, organ and muscle. Am I dying? Or coming back to life? Like the wax of a spent candle, I am fallen to a puddle of life.

***

Addison gasped, acidic vomit rising in his throat. Flailing, he fell backward, his chair crashing to the floor. He clawed at the carpet, in a blind panic, slamming into a wall. A caustic taste of death and cordite lingered in his mouth. He reached for bloodied stumps, but found legs, the agonizing pain gone, but still a memory. He pulled himself up, his back to the wall. Clammy and cold, his green ink-stained hands shook, each shallow breath struggling to keep up with his racing heart.

The mantel clock in the hallway chimed. How much time have I lost? Addison looked at his watch, both hands at twelve. The clock continued, the twelfth strike reverberating through the room. Noon? Of the same day? He found his cane, leveraging himself into a standing position by his desk. The fountain pen rested innocently on the paper, a small green smudge at the end of Emmett Earl Pike. He tried to screw the cap back on, but his shaking hands made the task difficult. After several attempts he succeeded, weaving the fine threads of pen and cap together. He laid the pen back into the safety of its box and placed it in the bottom drawer of the desk, which he locked. Still light-headed and trembling, he limped out of the study, closing the door behind him.

In the kitchen, he tossed open the refrigerator door, pulling out a PowerJolt.

What the hell was that? Jesus. You’re losing it, Addison.

He struggled with the can. Losing his grip as he thrust the push tab down, the can spun away, PowerJolt splashing across the island counter. Reaching for the errant object, he hurled it across his kitchen, the can banging and clanging against cabinets and pots.

He didn’t smoke, but the urge for a cigarette, a Camel, consumed him. Hell, I’d take a Navy Cut off a Tommy in a heartbeat. He rifled through the back of a drawer at the end of the counter until he found the cigarettes and matches his father thought had been hidden. Marlboros. No Camels? This would have to do. Fumbling with the box, he slipped one between his lips, lit it, inhaling, only to choke and cough as the smoke burned his throat.

It felt so goddamn real, like I was actually there. The artillery fire, the stench of the place, and Jake. I knew Jake. We trained together, drank together.

He took another tentative drag, coughing up another puff of smoke. In his dreams he walked and ran. But this experience didn’t feel like a dream. He had run across a damn battlefield.

And those two girls we met before we shipped out. I married mine. Esther. Esther Lawrence. We made love my last night of leave. God, I remember her. The soft skin, the curve of her hips.

Addison floated in the memory of Esther, a woman he couldn’t know, a woman old enough to be his great-great grandmother. He tamped out the cigarette on the granite counter, and grabbed a loaf of bread and some peanut butter. Something normal. Something he did every day. Something unlike whatever just happened.

There’s got to be an explanation. If I’m having a hallucination, it’s one realistic multi-dimensional hallucination. I must be stressing out. PTSD, that’s what the shrink said after I killed Beth. Maybe with Dad dying and all, it’s coming back.

He lit another cigarette, this time taking a long drag, the smoke rising, twisting and turning away. A moment of calm flowed through him. He knew the feeling from playing baseball and soccer prior to the accident. Standing on a field, the game turning into a righteous shit storm, all hell breaking loose, his body strong, his mind sharp, his determination hardened like forged steel. In that moment of calm, his father’s words emerged.

“You, my son, are an Inker by calling.”

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

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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


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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.

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