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Archive for September, 2014

 
EXCERPT FROM BROKEN
by Traci L. Slatton (Parvati Press, 2014)

I am walking home in a cold dark night that follows a frigid winter of snowy, hopeless, dark nights. I am hurrying to arrive before the midnight curfew. It has been a little over eight months since the Germans marched in, and I am used to the curfew and restrictions, the bullying and the bureaucracy, the heavy, ominous feeling of being about to do something egregious for which I will be caught and cruelly punished. After a few moments, I grow aware of footsteps keeping pace with mine, like an acoustic shadow. I can feel a presence, a mind, a few minds, at my back. I am being followed.

I walk into La Coupole, to the bar. It is crowded with Germans, some in uniform, many not; they sit at tables with members of French society who are willing to socialize with them, and they stand around the bar, offering cigarettes and wine to French women. There is a band playing Beethoven, Wagner, and Bach.

“May I buy you champagne, Mademoiselle?” asks a young officer in very bad French. He is tall and broad-shouldered and blond of course, wearing the uniform of the Schutzstaffel.

“No, she is leaving,” says another soldier, tall and as slim as an adolescent. It is young Fritz, the guard from Knochen’s office, which is now at rue des Saussaies. Fritz is accompanied by another boyish German.

The first soldier chides him cheerfully in German, but Fritz shakes his head. He takes my arm, positioning himself between me and the back of the restaurant, blocking a specific line of sight. “He is here,” Fritz whispers into my ear. He angles his shoulder down, and I peer over it to see Knochen at a table with several conservative members of the French upper crust. They are jolly and well lubricated.

A strangled sound escapes me of its own volition.

Fritz jostles me ahead of him and out the door. His friend follows us and calls to him. Fritz leaves me and goes to speak to the other boy, leaning close, nearlycheek to cheek, and patting his shoulder. The other boy frowns but returns to the restaurant. Fritz rejoins me, and his young face is completely bland and unexpressive, like a doll’s ceramic head.

“Why is he here, just to amuse himself?” I ask breathlessly.

“No.He has a deeper motivation, as always. There is endless politicking about who will police Paris, the army or the Party,” Fritz tells me. “He has come up with a strategy whereby he frequents the Parisian salons and socializes with receptive members of the French elite. He is cultured you know, so they like him. He insinuates himself into their lives as a means of gaining information and control. He hopes to rise above the other would-be police chiefs that way.”

“I’m glad he didn’t see me.”

Fritz nods. “Are you going home? Shall I walk you there? It’s close to curfew, but no one will hassle you if you’re with me.”

“Thank you.” I don’t tell him that I was being followed. “You’ve been kind to me, Fritz. I am grateful.”

“I would hate for my sister to meet someone like Knochen,” he says, his baby face souring, as if he had sucked something tart and spoiled.

“Where is your sister?” I tilt my head in the direction of my street.

He nods and his face clears. “She is in our hometown, Amberg. In Bavaria. We have a small farm, and she helps our mother work it. I did, too, until I joined the army.”

“Your father isn’t around?”

“Died ten years ago. He was injured at Verdun and was never good afterward.” Fritz shrugs.

“I’m sorry.”

“He would have hated this, after his service to the Fatherland, what Hitler has done to Germany,” he confides in a low voice. He looks around to make sure we are alone on the street. It is an executable offense to speak aloud what he does. But he is heard only by the posters urging the French to volunteer for work in Germany.

“There must be many Germans who feel that way,” I answer, just as softly. I gesture for us to walk up rue du Montparnasse….

“They tell us to feel no pity for Jews. They tell us to feel no human mercy,” Fritz says in a voice of quiet anger. “I think such commands are inhuman. My father was the gentlest man I ever met. He showed pity and mercy for everyone, even for animals on our farm. He once nursed one of our horses for three days without sleeping through a bad bout of colic. When the depression took everything from everyone, he gave food to people who needed it. He used to read to me about Saint Francis who told us to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord showed mercy to tax collectors, prostitutes, and Samaritans. As He was tortured and crucified, He said, ‘Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.’ If we’re supposed to be like Him, doesn’t that mean we’re supposed to show mercy to everyone, too?”

I stop and slowly turn to face Fritz. “Yes. Jesus of Nazareth embodied mercy.”

“So why do the clergy watch Jews being led away, and say, ‘There go the Christ killers’?” Fritz bursts out, louder than he anticipated. He cranes his head around again, making sure we are alone. “They know, everyone knows, what is being done to Jews! And it will only get worse.”

 
 
SYNOPSIS
 
Power is pornographic.
Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in?
Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German Occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?
  Purchase BROKEN
 
The Author
Traci’s  Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and the award-winning, internationally published

author of books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She is also the founder of Parvati Press, an independent press which was recently recognized by the IRS as a

501(c ) (3) not-for-profit corporation.

She lives in Manhattan and her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel IMMORTAL, which was published around the world and achieved bestseller status in Italy, Russia, and Brazil. BROKEN tells the sensual, heart-rending story of a fallen angel in occupied Paris from 1939-1942. Her novel THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR is a contemporary romp through the art history byways of vampire lore. Her novelFALLEN is the first of the acclaimed romantic After Series set during the end times. Its sequel COLD LIGHT and Book 3 FAR SHORE further the dystopian tale. The quirky, bittersweet sci fi love story THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE seeks to answer the question: What worlds would you move for your soulmate?

DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE is her first book of poetry; PIERCING TIME & SPACE is a non-fiction look at the meeting of science and spirit. THE ART OF LIFE is a photo-essay of sculpture history and philosophy written with her husband Sabin Howard, whose work is also showcased.

 
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61XC2aC7g7L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_[1]Noddy in Wonderland is a unique fantasy novel for all ages. It will keep the reader turning those pages. It is filled with romance and magic. What a great combination for a novel!

Noddy in Wonderland is a multifaceted drama, imbued with philosophical, social and psychological implications. Yet, one of the greatest aspects of the novel is that it never makes its connection with that genre completely explicit. I love the freshness and uniqueness of this story.

The story is about a former soldier, Noddy who returns to his hometown, Liverpool.  He dreams of becoming the king of Liverpool. When he shoots a government minister in the bottom, he accidently divides the country into two groups, a group of fans who approve of him and the entire government machinery who threaten to go against him. How does Noddy manage to turn this situation around and see his dream come true?  This is a very intriguing part of the story that the reader should explore for him/herself. And on this fantasy adventure he chugs along a large group of accomplices and friends including his brother Knobby, a beautiful girlfriend Meryl, and an elf and a talking dog. This is quite a combination of unique characters.

In this story, Bostock mixes satire and sarcasm into a delightful story. Turning this into a fantasy takes a lot of hard work. But Bostock pulls it off with honours.  But what is more, behind the hilarity lies a profound understanding of human nature and an in-depth contemplation of some pretty ineffable issues.  The book is also paced perfectly. I just love stories that have this kind of depth and meaning. 

Bostock’s novel is one of self-development and it will make the reader rethink and reassess some of his common frameworks and viewpoints. Being a philosopher interested in philosophical psychology, this book tweaked my interest quite a bit and held it until I finished reading it. What a GREAT book!  Now, I plan on rereading it.

I recommend Noddy in Wonderland to anyone who loves to read fantasies. Get ready to be transfixed by this book.

Rating: 5 stars 

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

 

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Bev_mediumWhen Beverly Stowe McClure was in eighth grade, her teacher sent her poem “Stars” to the National High School Poetry Association, and she was soon a published writer in Young America Sings, an anthology of Texas high school poetry. Today, Beverly is a cum laude graduate of Midwestern State University with a BSEd degree. For twenty-two years, she taught children to read and write. They taught her patience. She is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.

Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices in her head tell her. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps photos of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. She also enjoys visiting with her family and teaching a women’s Sunday school class at her church. Her articles have been published in leading children’s magazines. Two of her stories are in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ANTHOLOGIES, and she has nine novels published, two of them award winning novels at Children’s Literary Classics and other competitions.

Connect with Beverly on the net:

http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com

http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/beverlysmcclure

https://twitter.com/beverlymcclure

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. What was your inspiration for it?

A: One summer, on a visit to our son and his wife in South Carolina, we went to Folly Beach, not far from where they lived, to watch the sun rise over the water and lighthouse. It was a beautiful sight. But what caught my attention more than the sunrise was the lighthouse sitting in the middle of the inlet. It was deactivated years ago, but was used during the Civil War. A lighthouse must have a ghost, right? My mind started chasing different scenarios as to who the ghost was and why he was a ghost. What kept him from finding rest? A blockade runner worked nicely, since the ships came into the harbor bringing supplies to the city. Other ideas popped up, too. Pirates were quite active in the area although in earlier years. But, if they were ghosts they could have been around for years. So I added a couple of pirates to the story. And what’s a good ghost story without a cat? My MG/Tween novel APirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat was born.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Thirteen-year-old Erik Burks is a typical young teen. He plays baseball and likes to hang out with his friends. When his dad leaves home, Erik’s life changes in ways he could never imagine. First, his mom takes Erik from Texas to South Carolina where they move in with her sister. Second, he meets the weird twins that live down the street and that claim they’ve seen a ghost ship in the harbor. Third, Erik doesn’t believe that ghosts exist. Fourth, he soon discovers he might be wrong.

pirate-blockade-runner-cat-333x500Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A: I had fun creating Erik and the twins, typical teens, if you count a girl who can read mind dreams typical. The ghost pirates are based on real pirates, and I did a lot of research to learn about them and their ships so the historical facts would be accurate. I am a slow writer and it took probably two years to write and edit the story. No major bumps along the way. I had visited some of the places in the story, like the lighthouse, and tried to remember what they were like.

Getting the pirate language just right took some research too, but was a lot of fun. Avast, matey. I discovered fascinating information about the two pirates that ended up in the story.

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?

A: I try to put the characters in exciting circumstances. In novels for MG readers, the kids like action. They’ll stop reading if they’re bored. Forget description unless it moves the story along. I let the characters get in trouble so the reader will wonder if they’ll get out of it. At this age, friendships are important. And they need trouble. Lots of trouble. Ghosts are just right to cause trouble, along with a cat that Erik hates, and the feeling is mutual.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?

A: Sometimes, I look at the blank screen on the computer and think, Okay, where do I start? Will anyone like this story? Can I even write it? The only way to deal with anxiety is to start typing. Yes, there will be many changes, at least for me. I usually rewrite the beginning a jillion times. If I don’t get those first words down, I’ll never have a story. So I go for it and hope I’m headed in the right direction.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: I’m a morning person. Usually I work on my WIP from 9:00 AM to 11:30 or 12:00 noon. Then I take a lunch break and maybe check emails or look at blogs. (I’ve done some mail early in the morning before I started writing.) Around 2:00 PM I do edits if I have a manuscript that’s been sold, or else I check my blogs and post on other blogs. Evenings, I write reviews, do critiques for my critique groups (I’m in two), and whatever else needs to be done.

I’m retired from my teaching job, so I have no outside work to interfere with my writing. I’m a playmate for my cats, but other than that, my time is my own.

Q: How do you define success?

A: Success to me is writing novels that help young people enjoy reading, and if they take anything away from the story that makes their lives happier or more understandable, that’s an added bonus.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?

A: It’s hard when your family doesn’t support you, but I feel we each have the right to pursue our dreams. I’m not saying neglect your significant others. Don’t neglect yourself either. Let them know how important your writing is to you. They may surprise you and understand. If they don’t, find time when you’re alone, or make time to be alone, even if it’s only 30 minutes or an hour. Maybe while they’re at work, or anytime they go out for whatever reason. Don’t give up. Follow your dreams. You only have one life.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?

A: Oh, yes. A writer has to be driven; otherwise, why would we sit in a chair for hours a day, typing our hearts away, for pennies a day (at least in my case)? Perhaps we’re a little insane. And the beauty of it is we don’t care. We’re doing what we love.

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: Just thank you for hosting me today. Thank all you awesome readers for your comments and thoughts. You’re the ones that keep us writing, you know. If you have a chance, stop by my blog and see what’s happening.http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com.

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Why I Love (and Write) Sci-fi Novels

By Peter Darrach, author of Second Skin, Second Skin Too, and the Tavern on the Edge of Time (www.peterdarrach.com)

What child does not dream of fantastic places to color the drab everyday world all around, to people it with extraordinary creatures involved in Tavern on the Edge of Timeamazing exploits? As a youth in London, I found my solace in fairytales, and then, in New York, in science fiction, devouring fanatically everything that came to hand.

Adolescence has a way of derailing one’s interests, of course, and so, for a while my love of the genre lay dormant, only to spring alive after decades of executive drudgery in the work-a-day world, and again afford me the pleasure of pure, unadulterated fantasy.

To be sure, those working years added a strong foundation of fact-based description, to explain the opportunity to mine metals in space, an asteroid’s mineral composition, or even particle physics, for example, which all lend a hand in forming a realistic setting… a stage on which the action can play out.

And now the hand that draws those characters, that framed those familiar but still exotic worlds was my own—the figures in the stories, my friends, with souls, and dreams of their own, living to love, to fight, to attack and protect—a whole universe, or indeed, multiple cosmoses at my command through the purest of creative forms, where virtually everything is possible.

Better yet, to hear back from fans, who agree that I have succeeded in transporting them to this space for a time, so that they might claim that “reading my books is like dreaming with your eyes open”—that’s why I enjoy science fiction, especially writing it.

About the Author

Peter DarrachPeter Darrach has lived in New York, London, Prague, Munich and Vienna. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts degree in German Literature, both from Pennsylvania State University. Darrach pursued a career in sales and marketing in fields as diverse as amusement parks and retail before moving to Europe in 1991. Since then he has worked in Eastern and Western Europe, holding a series of executive positions with blue chip FMCG companies. Most recently he has returned to the U.S. to pursue his career as a business coach and fiction author and currently lives in Florida.

His latest book is the sci-fi, Tavern on the Edge of Time.

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EXCERPT GOD’S BANKER by Chris Malburg

       The young SEAL slowly raised his right hand in salute. All 243 of America’s Squadron saluted their President at the same time.

“Oorah, son,” said the President.

The young lieutenant hadn’t expected that from America’s chief executive. “Oorah, Mr. President,” he said back in a loud and proud voice that did justice to any man or woman who ever wore the uniform.

“Oorah,” thundered 243 voices behind him.

The President stood in the summer sunshine of Washington DC. At this moment, he realized there was no place on this earth that he would rather be than right here. The finest examples of courage and bravery in the American people he had the privilege of serving stretched before him. These people had taken time out of their busy lives to come here to the White House to see him. About what the President still couldn’t say. But he could smell the ribs already beginning to smoke next to the hastily erected canopies that shaded picnic tables off to the side near where they land Marine 1, the presidential helicopter.

A White House staffer had already brought a microphone and plugged it into the permanently installed outlet. They often used this spot for events when the weather was nice. The President stepped up and said, “America’s Squadron, I salute you and the American people salute you. I am…” he bowed his head for a moment as it slowly began to dawn on him why they might be here. “…I am humbled that you have taken the time to come here to what is truly your house. You have fought for it and have bled for it. Your families have paid dearly for it. I am just its temporary caretaker. But make no mistake, it is yours and by God always will be yours.”

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

God'sGod’s Banker

Publication date: May 14, 2014

Cardinal David Caneman took just three years to engineer his ascension into the CEO’s office of Vatican Bancorp. His cabal of fundamentalist zealots now quickly moves to seize the world’s largest institution. First by publicly assassinating the Pope. Next by replacing him with Caneman. Finally by giving the masses a common, everyday object—unquestionably used by their savior—to rally behind. For centuries, folklore has claimed the sacred item laid in wait sealed within the Church’s lost treasury vault. Caneman races to unearth the vault—if it exists. He has bet everything that he can find the blessed object, surely buried within. He intends using it to sweep the faithful from their ungodly ways and into his personal standards of piety.

The Taliban took just two years to overthrow Kabul. Armed with over a billion faithful worldwide and a $200 billion war chest—and the sacred Broom Of Formia—Cardinal David Caneman figures it will take him just half that time to conscript the hearts and minds first of Europe, then…

Jackson Schilling enjoys his happy, early retirement. He attends minor league ball games near his home in Elkhart, Indiana. He’s an amateur chef. And Jackson Schilling is a hunter. Then the SEC drafts him. Come on, Jack. One last audit. It’s mandatory after an attempt on the Vatican Bank Chairman’s life. But Jackson Schilling is no ordinary auditor. And it was his Commander in Chief who personally ordered him drafted. Schilling exhaustively uncovers Caneman’s deadly purpose. First he must stop a professional assassin from completing his mission against the Pope. Now the hard part—derail a fundamentalist faction led by a brilliant, ruthless [and some would say] saint to over a billion faithful. Jackson Schilling battles a force growing faster and more deadly than the Crusades, the Inquisition or the Taliban ever were. Legitimate governments will surely topple, becoming answerable to one man and his band of strict fundamentalists if Schilling fails.

 

 Purchase God’s Banker

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The Author

Chris’s  Website / Twitter Facebook Goodreads 

Chris Malburg is a widely published author, with work spread over 11 popular business books–includingHow to Fire Your Boss (Berkley) Chris Malburg Photoand Surviving the Bond Bear Market (Wiley, March 2011).  In his other life, Chris is a CPA/MBA, a former investment banker and now the CEO of Writers Resource Group, Inc., providers of professional financial literary content to corporations (www.WritersResourceGroup.com).  That’s the professional side of Chris’ career.  The fun side began when UCLA’s Writers’ school taught him to transition from biz-speak to fiction. GOD’S BANKER and the first installment in the Enforcement Division series, DEADLY ACCELERATION, both combine Chris’ natural talent for story telling with his professional command of the high-stakes investment world and what money and power do to some people.

GOD’S BANKER  came to fruition from Chris’ hospital bed while recuperating from an athletic injury.  As a long-time endurance athlete, Chris is no stranger to the surgeon’scalpal.  Over 130,000 words later,GOD’S BANKER was complete.  “It just poured out me,” says the author.  “I carried my note pad to physical therapy; made plot notes during the hours in the gym doing rehab; even while on my long bicycle rides through the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean where we live.  Slowly endurance returned and with it, GOD’S BANKER.”

Chris Malburg lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Marilyn.  Their hobby is raising service dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind.  As of this writing, they have raised eight Labrador retrievers and have had three make the cut for placement with their disabled partners.

Follow the entire God’s Banker tour HERE!

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Title: What is Growing Out of Your Ear

Author: Angela Graham

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Pages: 24

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

It is summer and Angela eats a bowl of cherries. After she swallows some cherry pits, her Grandpa warns what will happen — “A cherry tree will grow out of your ear.” Angela thinks that is silly. Do you believe a cherry tree can grow out of Angela’s ear? 

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 Angela Graham lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband, two lively children and their dog. She has enjoyed writing stories for her children since they were young to inspire the love of reading. Angela’s stories add a humourous twist to real life. This story is motivated from Angela’s own childhood.

 

Angela is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 1 and ends on September 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 16.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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bible bandsBible Bands is a fun, educational how-to book for children who love making jewelry. Not only does it teaches how to make lovely designs, but it also strengthens children’s faith by combining hands-on creativity with Bible verses and stories.

Rubber band jewelry seems to be the hottest new craze, so Eden’s book comes at the right time. Though at first glance, when you look at the jewelry, it might seem complicated and difficult to make, especially for kids, the author demystifies it with simple step-by-step instructions accompanied by colorful photos. I found the language and descriptions clear and straight-forward, easy for most kids to understand, though the younger ones will need guidance from an adult, at least at first. There are over 12 designs, from the simplest to the most elaborate.

Eden incorporates faith with verses and symbols, such as a blue and white pattern to symbolize Christ’s baptism, a heart design to remind you of God’s love, and a multi-colored weave to match Joseph’s coat of many colors, among others.

Bible Bands doesn’t come with the looms or bands, but you can find these at most craft shops. This will make a lovely gift for any child, especially those who are into crafts. It is also a good book for those long summer and Christmas holidays, as it will keep children entertained for hours. Recommended!

Find out more on Amazon.

My review was previously published in Blogcritics.

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H. Peter AlessoAs a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.

His latest book is the science fiction space opera, Lieutenant Henry Gallant.

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Would you call yourself a born writer?

Not really.

Lieutenant Henry Gallant 2I love words, but that wasn’t always the case. My first infatuation was with numbers which explains my career as a research scientist. However, with maturity came insight into the elegance and efficacy of words. I learned to express myself in narratives rather than in algorithms.

I discovered that basic human behavior—emotional and physiological reactions to specific internal and external stresses—could be well-expressed though stories. What makes a science fiction story special is the tension originates at unexpected locations with unusual characters and strange circumstance, all of which combine to produce surprisingly ordinary human responses.

I’ve enjoyed this wonderful form of entertainment

What was your inspiration for Lieutenant Henry Gallant?

Science fiction novels provided wonderful adventures in unexpected places with unusual characters and strange circumstance. I’ve enjoyed them all my life, so when I first began to develop science fiction stories, I wanted to write adventures that I could vicariously enjoy.

Henry Gallant is handsome, brave, and daring—just what you want in a hero who sets out on a great adventure. A rival challenges him for the love of a young, beautiful, and bold woman—just what you’d expect in a warrior princess. Together they face an alien invasion, a jungle full of dangers predators, and a malevolent artificial intelligence bent on exterminating humanity.

Can you guess who wins in the end? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the corrupt politicians who maneuver to upset all Gallant’s efforts to protect the people and stop the malicious AI.

How much fun do you think I had writing this tale?

Actually, I had more.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

In the past, the scientific speculation of science fiction has helped spark the curiosity of researchers in many fields.

As a result, I believe science fiction should start on hard scientific principles. I researched the technologies included in the story and tried to predict their development path into the next centuries. For example, genetic engineering is current an important social topic and humanity faces difficult choices ahead. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against a competing innovation—Artificial Intelligence.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It takes me about a year to write, edit, and prepare to publish a book—though the time flies by once the basic story arc is firm. I enjoy most aspects of the project including the second and third draft stage when I have a good idea of the chapter content and I am ready to embellish the descriptions and bring personality to the dialog.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

My work habits are ‘slow-and-steady,’ but not a rigid regimen. I let the day unfold and find a quiet time to do some writing when I feel I have worked out some ideas in my mind.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

I believe science fiction should be based on hard scientific principles. I researched the technology included in the story and tried to project their development path into the next centuries. For example, genetic engineering is current an important topic in our society and humanity faced difficult choices as it develops over the course of the next century. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against another important innovation that also may prove a future concern—Artificial Intelligence.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

In the past, I have published several books through large traditional publishers, but for Lieutenant Henry Gallant I chose self-publication in order to get the book to market more quickly.

Where can we find you on the web?

My Web Site is: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

My books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel as well as most web outlets.

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Lawrence St. JohnLaurence A. St. John was born on January 11, 1965 in Toledo Ohio. Laurence has one older brother and two younger sisters. Laurence along with his parents, brother and sisters moved once while growing up to Genoa Ohio, just south of Toledo. While attending Genoa Area schools, he was active in track, football and baseball. Later, after he graduated from Genoa High School (Comets) in 1983, he worked for a few manufacturing companies.

At the age of 23 and after three years of dedication, hard work and sweat, in 1988, Laurence received his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in Tae Kwon Do. This gave him the self-confidence and perseverance needed to surmount anything that came his way.

When Laurence was 25 years old he fell in love then married the love of his life, Julie in 1990. He then adopted her two young wonderful children Joe and Jan shortly after.

Out of high school for nearly fifteen years and after persuaded by his former manager, Laurence attended Owens State Community College where he obtained an Associates Degree in Microcomputer Business Systems while working full-time. In addition to computer classes, he enjoyed composition classes where he could free his mind and write what he wanted.

While working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, Laurence’s place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for his job, again. In the same year his first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. He described this as one of the most uplifting moments of his life. In addition, it was during this time when his emotions were running wild; he became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper.

Nearly four years later, he had completed his first middle grade fantasy novel, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen. His latest book is Metatron: The Mystical Blade.

Laurence currently lives in Northwood Ohio with his wife of 24 years, Julie. His son Joe is married to Cari and they have three daughters, Kendall, Sadie and Harper. His daughter Jan is married to Andrew and they have a son Eli and a daughter Evelyn. Laurence currently holds the position of Administrations Manager at Precision Strip, Inc. in Perrysburg Ohio, where he works full time. He continually writes in his spare time; weekends and after work, and is endlessly inspired by his five grandkids Kendall, Elijah, Sadie, Evelyn and Harper.

For More Information

Would you call yourself a born writer?

I think so. My writing started in my head when I was probably around ten years old. I had these cool characters and story lines in Metatron 2my head but I never acted on them. I was too busy playing sports and being a kid.

What was your inspiration for (METATRON: THE MYSTICAL BLADE)?

One day while working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, my place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for my job, again. In the same year my first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. This as one of the most uplifting moments of my life – one of the few times I remember crying with happiness. In addition, it was during this time when my emotions were running wild; I became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper. My first novel was published in 2012. The second novel in the series, Metatron: The Mystical Blade was published August 2014.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

To believe in yourself; Whatever you want to do, you can rise above your doubts and attain anything you set your mind on doing.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

This novel took me nearly six months to write then another three months for editing. Unfortunately, since I have a full time job that pays the bills it takes longer to write my books. Hopefully one day writing will be my full time job.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I am very much disciplined. I wish I had a typical day of writing. But when I do write which is usually at night and/or weekends I input all my recent thoughts then begin on the paragraph where I left off. I try to get at least 1000 words typed at one sitting. In the back of my head I’m constantly thinking of the first and last sentences of the book. They have to be the most awesome sentences – in my opinion.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The most challenging aspect was trying to get the book written and edited in time to make the cut-off date of my publisher along with to make the story better than the first book. I think it came out pretty good.

What do you love most about being an author?

When my readers such as Jarod, a ten year old boy walked up to me after a church Christmas play a year ago and asked me, “Are you Mr. St. John who wrote Metatron The Angel Has Risen book?” “I replied, yes I am, did you read it?” “He replied, yes I did and I loved the book and the story – thank you for writing it!” That is what I love most.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

This is actually my second book published by the same traditional publisher, Imajin Books. After my first book was completely drafted, I had no idea what to do next. Ironically, the next day in the mail was a quarterly letter from the college I graduated from – Owen State Community College. In it was an article about an alumnus who was also an author. And behold, his email address was also included in the article. I sent him an email introducing myself then asked some questions. Within a few days he actually called me and provided me with valuable advice and contact information of an author/editor. After my manuscript was edited by the author/editor along with another editor and query letters sent out to over 100 agents and publishers, I didn’t receive a contract. Contemplating the idea of self-publishing I sent out a help memo to my networking contacts from Facebook and Twitter. I received some great advice from many of them but most importantly a reply to have my manuscript reviewed. Finally, after a couple of months I was offered a contract with Imajin Books. I smiled so much my cheek muscles began to hurt. With my current novel, Metatron: The Mystical Blade, the process was so much easier. I’m happy with my current publisher however maybe someday I’ll acquire a much larger publisher; one that would stock books in bookstores and other retailers.

Where can we find you on the web?

My website has all my social networking sites along with where to purchase my novels.

www.laurencestjohn.com

Thank you for having me, I greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Laurence

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ABOUT A RIVER OF TEARS, THE RIVER OF HOPE


Title:
 A River of Tears, the River of Hope

Genre: School & Teaching/Inspirational

Author: Orit Rehany

Publisher: AuthorHouse

EBook: 151 pages

Release Date: December 17, 2013

A River of Tears The River of Hope centers on the saga of the Two Torah Scrolls, and of an fluent and thriving community living peacefully for 2600 years until World War II and the events of Nazism, anti-Semitism and hatred took place in the ancient region known as the Cradle of Civilization, or modern days Iraq. The creation of Iraq by the British installed an unsuccessful attempt at Monarchy. The results were staggering and ultimately ended in the displacement of an entire community to Israel and the first settlement of the community in this newly created State. A River of Tears The River of Hope follows the enchanting and fascinating Murad family. The Murad family brought to Israel a proud heritage to share with the world including the two Torah Scrolls of their beloved father and grandfather, Rabbi Ezra Murad. Rabbi Murad’s two Torah Scrolls traveled with the family to Israel, where he was rightfully recognized as an important and impactful role models. His name shined within the community in Baghdad, and his memory and the valuable Two Torah Scrolls continued to stand out in Israel. While settling in Israel the Murad family showed us the most valuable elements of hope, drive, and determination as they continued to thrive in Israel and Canada. They continued to believe in their abilities to succeed. Indeed, as their lives changed and they relocated, the Murad family always maintained focus and the belief in their ability to survive and flourish. A River of Tears The River of Hope will welcome readers into the history of the Murad family and their amazing journey from a world filled with oppression and tyranny, to one supported by acceptance and support.

AuthorHouse

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

It is easy to criticize ourselves, but we don’t stop to think about what makes us great often enough. I would like to explain why integrity is a quality that I like about myself:

What are  the values and principles of Integrity? Why do we respect people with integrity?

Integrity is one of the most important terms of virtue. It is the base of healthy relationship, business, or society. Persons of integrity may be regarded as honest and truthfulness, and consistency of characters. It stands in opposition to hypocrisy.

Some people could or may act immorally—though they would usually not know they are acting immorally. Thus one may acknowledge a person to have integrity even though that person may hold what one thinks is importantly mistaken moral views.

 



What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

I came from a community that reputation mattered. Demanding of myself high standard, constantly tried not to blemish my name and to have a good credit, and constantly was worried about what others feel about me, I found out that to always try to please everybody else all the time was exhausting. It’s one thing to help out a person who needs it; it’s quite another to end up swamped underneath everyone else’s wishes and requests, with no time left for yourself. So, I decided to reclaim my personal worth and learn not to care about what the others are saying and feel about me. Let them criticize me, take time for myself. Most importantly is to take track my achievements.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

Since my high school days I loved my literature classes It inspired to start my own novel, which I did, based on achieving happiness through love. I was an avid reader, Agatha Christie’s books, or any suspense books, biography books, novels, and inspirational books. The fear of failure held me back. The fear of fluency in languages, particular pieces of writing isn’t going to turn out well, so I avoided working on writing in order to avoid feeling the fear. Overtime I learned to push away the negative feelings of fear and created history courses for adults. I became a guest speaker on Iraq and the Middle East alike shortly after 9/11. I had the capacity to work hard, although I did not like the increased pressure, I still had the drive to write my first book.

Who or what influenced your writing over the years? 

My mother, as small children in Baghdad, used to tell us stories with the morals. Each one of my siblings was excelled in school. My brother Haim, who passed at the age of 16, created a library at home. I grew up in this kind of atmosphere that studies and education are essential to your future. In Israel I was inspired from my literature classes, started to write a novel, I was an avid reader, throughout all the countries I lived in, (four countries) when I became a teacher it was the involvement in school and the research for my students and studies alike that contributed to the power of writing, What inspired me to write this book was the desire to accelerate my grandfather’s name, and the Saga of the Two Torah Scrolls.

How did you come up with the title of the book? 

The biggest inspiration I got when considering the title of my book were the fond memories I had from the Tigris and Euphrates River at the time of living in Baghdad as a child. Those memories were of family outings, picnics, fishing, boating or swimming in the river. My mother sent me to swimming lessons along with other 10 boys and I was the only girl getting swimming lessons at the end of the 40s beginning 50s. The Two Rivers were such a vital element in the life of the population in Iraq. In 1951 was the mass immigration to Israel, the two Torah Scrolls, which my grandfathers wrote and were precious to the family, were transported to Israel. I wanted their voyage to their new country to pass through the River. The departure from Baghdad was with a lot of TEARS, HOPE and new beginning is replacing the tears.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

The hardest part in writing my book was accumulating all the material. It was not just to honor and be just too, I wrote about but also interviewing family member, and others, living in four countries, getting all the images in high resolutions, and writing about each member of the family. I was very demanding of myself in producing a professional material, since it was my first book, the search for a professional editor was very hard to say the least, I went through many offers of editors, and started with one that did not have the vision for the book. Justin Spizman is an editor whom I recommend.

 

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