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Archive for August, 2017

 

Publication Date: September 2016

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Formats: Ebook

Pages: 76

Genre: Biography/Autobiography

Tour Dates: August 14-August 25

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Although Dr. Patrick Mbaya’s illness caused a lot distress and nearly took his life, the emotional symptoms of the depression he developed helped him understand and empathize with patients and how they feel when they become ill. In My Brain is Out of Control, Mbaya, fifty-five and at the peak of his career, shares a personal story of how he suffered from a brain infection in 2010 that caused loss of speech, right-sided weakness, and subsequent depression. He tells how he also dealt with the antibiotics complications of low white cell count and hepatitis. He narrates his experiences as a patient, the neurological and psychiatric complications he encountered, how he coped, and his journey to recovery. Presenting a personal perspective of Mbaya’s illness from the other side of the bed, My Brain is Out of Control, offers profound insight into battling a serious illness.

 

Dr. Patrick Mbaya is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He is a consultant psychiatrist and honorary clinical lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He has a special interest in mood and addiction disorders.
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Title: Poor No More
Author: Steven Bentley, MD
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Biography/Autobiography
Format: Ebook
Now retired, author Dr. Steven Bentley was a successful emergency physician. But his path in life wasn’t always an easy one. In Poor No More-An American Dream, he shares his story of how he survived a rare birth defect, abject poverty, an alcoholic mother, a KKK father, an abusive children’s home, and a cruel step-mother.
This memoir tells how Bentley emerged from a difficult childhood and adolescence to practice ER medicine during a time of enormous change in the field and how he developed a lifelong love affair with his chosen profession. He discusses how he found it gratifying to apply his medical knowledge and to impact someone’s life for the better. He relays a host of stories from both his personal and professional life, detailing the trials and tribulations and the challenges and rewards.
Poor No More-An American Dream describes Bentley’s journey to escape his roots and become a successful doctor in America. It tells about one man who lived in and through some interesting times.

 

Steven Bentley, MD, is a retired emergency physician who is married and lives in the North Carolina mountains. Bentley has two living sisters-one in Florida, the other is an ER nurse in Charleston, South Carolina. He travels extensively with his wife and enjoys beekeeping, gardening, flowers, and everything about the natural world. This is his second book.

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Title: Poor No More
Author: Steven Bentley, MD
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Biography/Autobiography
Format: Ebook
Now retired, author Dr. Steven Bentley was a successful emergency physician. But his path in life wasn’t always an easy one. In Poor No More-An American Dream, he shares his story of how he survived a rare birth defect, abject poverty, an alcoholic mother, a KKK father, an abusive children’s home, and a cruel step-mother.
This memoir tells how Bentley emerged from a difficult childhood and adolescence to practice ER medicine during a time of enormous change in the field and how he developed a lifelong love affair with his chosen profession. He discusses how he found it gratifying to apply his medical knowledge and to impact someone’s life for the better. He relays a host of stories from both his personal and professional life, detailing the trials and tribulations and the challenges and rewards.
Poor No More-An American Dream describes Bentley’s journey to escape his roots and become a successful doctor in America. It tells about one man who lived in and through some interesting times.

 

Steven Bentley, MD, is a retired emergency physician who is married and lives in the North Carolina mountains. Bentley has two living sisters-one in Florida, the other is an ER nurse in Charleston, South Carolina. He travels extensively with his wife and enjoys beekeeping, gardening, flowers, and everything about the natural world. This is his second book.

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Publication Date: March 5, 2014

Publisher: XlibrisAU

Formats: Ebook

Pages: 396

Genre: Mental Health

Tour Dates: July 24th-August 4th

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In this chaotic, desperate storm the brain tries hard to gather its fragmented parts, and anchor down the guy lines. To weather out this hopelessness, this turmoil and this pain, -prevent disintegration until the calm returns and clear skies come again.In this chaotic, desperate storm the brain tries hard to gather its fragmented parts, and anchor down the guy lines. To weather out this hopelessness, this turmoil and this pain, -prevent disintegration until the calm returns and clear skies come again.

 

Mary is a General Practitioner, a Family Doctor, and became anorexic and depressed at age 12. She writes of the chaos and pain of her life, through her abnormal adolescence and adult years, to the equilibrium of the current day. It is an enlightening and inspiring story of Anorexia Nervosa and Bipolar Affective Disorder or Manic Depression.
 

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Like most writers I’ve talked to, I’m notoriously finicky when it comes to putting pen to paper. As a perfectionist, it’s so much easier to daydream about a story than to actually put in the work to realize it, because I tend to edit as I draft. I might sit down for a day’s worth of writing and only get a few hundred words out. They’re a solid few hundred words, absolutely—and it makes a second pass much easier, if I can eventually follow through and finish the first one.

I have a Word document filled with story ideas and various plot treatments for each. And for the longest time, my short story The Raven Bride was one of those ideas. That is, until my creative writing course in college rolled around. With a course description that was nothing more than read short stories and write your own, I knew this would be the incentive I needed to actually write the thing. Because, with a deadline, I can’t afford to be a perfectionist. Not at first. Get it all out and then tweak away until the deadline hits. And that’s exactly what I did. I’m eternally grateful to Ed Gleason and my writing buddies that encouraged me during the course.

The Raven Bride was originally inspired by a more robust project that I wanted to write, taking a look at a world where the protagonist Victoria returned following the events that transpire in the short story. Time wouldn’t allow for that (yet), so I focused on what happened in more detail than I’d originally planned. But as the years have passed since first penning these words, I’ve come to realize that Victoria’s plight is one that many Christians have suffered over the centuries: persecution for different beliefs, not from the outside world, but from within their religious circle. It’s something that I myself have witnessed, something that’s happened to me, and more than likely something I’ve done.

And while Victoria’s ultimate reaction might not be the way people should handle such persecution, it serves as a reminder that the words we use have lasting consequences and can lead to some undesirable outcomes. The words that I’ve penned, I hope, can bring some awareness to this issue and help those better understand what is going on in the Christian world—and perhaps help someone trapped in an abusive church realize what is happening to them.

The Raven Bride 2017 Cover- High Resolution

About the book:

The year is 1692, and sixteen year old Victoria Crowe lives with her mother and sister just north of Salem, Massachusetts. One night, Victoria’s mother leaves under mysterious pretenses, putting Victoria in charge of the house. Hours later, Victoria is woken from her slumber by a pounding on the door—the local deputies have come to arrest them as witches! It is up to Victoria to prove both her and her sister’s innocence—an impossible task for anyone, let alone someone who is still trying to wrap her mind around the sermons the Reverend preaches. Will she be able to convince the town that they are not evil? And if she fails, what happens to her and her sister?

Sean Fesko Headshot

Author’s bio:

Sean can’t remember a time when he wasn’t telling stories. When he was little, he’d pen simple, thirty-page “novels” about spies and superheroes, and although his works have gotten longer and more complex in the years since, he’s just as enamored with the written word as he was then. His current list of published works includes a novel, two short stories, and more on the way. When he’s not writing for fun, he’s writing for work, providing commentary for NASCAR websites and writing content for the world’s official SAP publisher, SAP PRESS. You can follow Sean on Twitter @TheWriterSean.

Link to author’s website or blog:

www.thewritersean.com

Link to excerpt:

https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Bride-Sean-Fesko-ebook/dp/B015WVOT58/

Link to purchase page:

https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Bride-Sean-Fesko-ebook/dp/B015WVOT58/

 

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karst headshotThe daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned at a young age, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now now writes the Sally Solari Mysteries (Dying for a Taste, A Measure of Murder), a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.

Originally from Southern California, Leslie moved north to attend UC Santa Cruz (home of the Fighting Banana Slugs) and after graduation, parlayed her degree in English literature into employment waiting tables and singing in a new wave rock and roll band. Exciting though this life was, she eventually decided she was ready for a “real” job, and ended up at Stanford Law School.

For the next twenty years Leslie worked as the research and appellate attorney for Santa Cruz’s largest civil law firm. During this time, she rediscovered a passion for food and cooking, and so once more returned to school to earn a degree in culinary arts.

Now retired from the law, she spends her time cooking, gardening, cycling, singing alto in her local community chorus, reading, and of course writing. Leslie and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, A Measure of Murder. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?

A: In A Measure of Murder, the second book in my Sally Solari series, Sally is busy juggling work at her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s, and helping plan the autumn menu for the restaurant she’s just inherited, Gauguin. Complicating this already hectic schedule, she joins her ex-boyfriend Eric’s chorus, which is performing a newly discovered version of her favorite composition: the Mozart Requiem. But then, at the first rehearsal, a tenor falls to his death on the church courtyard—and his soprano girlfriend is sure it wasn’t an accident.

Measure CoverAlthough the prime focus of my Sally Solari mysteries is on food, cooking, and restaurants, there’s also  a secondary theme to each of the books in the series: one of the human senses. The first, Dying for a Taste, concerns (obviously) the sense of taste, and A Measure of Murder delves into the sense of hearing—more specifically, music.

Music has long been one of my passions. I studied clarinet as a youngster, later fronted and wrote the songs for two different bands, and for the past seventeen years have sung alto in my local community chorus. So when it came time to plot the story about the sense of hearing, there was no question but that it should focus on music.

As with Sally, one of my favorite compositions is the sublime Mozart Requiem. But in addition, the piece is perfect for a mystery novel, as the Requiem itself is surrounded by secrets and mystery: who commissioned it, who completed it after Mozart died, which parts were composed by whom. So, truly, how could I resist?

Q: What do you think makes a good culinary mystery? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: Having been trained as a lawyer, I have no problem narrowing issues down to whatever elements are required by the situation. Here are my three:

  1. Any good mystery requires that perfect balance between being possible to solve (i.e., the proper placement of clues) yet being sneaky enough to make the solution tricky, all without being unfair. To my mind, this is by far the most difficult aspect of writing the book.
  2. But to make the story truly engaging, I believe it needs more than simply a clever whodunit. My favorite crime novels also incorporate themes and subplots that are woven into the mystery and which give the reader a glimpse into some new culture or way of life. Dorothy L. Sayers was a master at this, with her peeks into the worlds of London advertising (Murder Must Advertise), bell ringing (The Nine Tailors), and academia (Gaudy Night).
  3. Lastly, a good culinary mystery must, of course, abound with food and cooking, the more delectably described the better. In the best of the genre, the food is at the heart of the mystery, but as long as the reader is left salivating and hungry, I’d say the author has done her job well.

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: I think of myself as an absolute plotter (as opposed to a pantser—someone who flies by the seat of their pants). I usually first come up with a basic idea, next a group of three to five suspects (one of whom will be my eventual murderer), and then a series of plot points and events that will occur during the book. Organizing these plot points into an effective story arc is crucial but rarely easy. With A Measure of Murder, I had compiled a multiple-page list of events and occurrences that I knew I wanted in the book, but which were in a completely random order. I printed out the list and cut the events apart with scissors, then spread them out on the dining room table. Over a period of several days I arranged and rearranged the order of events until I had a rough outline I was happy with. I then glued them back together onto new sheets of paper. A literal cut-and-paste job.

Things don’t always work out exactly the way you expect them to, however, when plotting a mystery novel. For example, I knew for a certainty before I started writing A Measure of Murder who would be the killer. But then about a quarter of the way through the first draft, that character forcefully informed me, “I am not your murderer.” Realizing they were absolutely right, I changed the plot accordingly. (But I also completed a brand new, detailed outline through the end of the story before continuing on with my writing, so I’m still most definitely in the “plotter” camp of writing.)

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A: Sally Solari is an ex-lawyer who, after losing her mother to cancer, reluctantly returns to the family fold to help her dad run his old-school Italian restaurant, Solari’s. She’s not yet forty and already experiencing erratic hormones and hot flashes. As a result, she can tend towards over-the-top emotions and sarcasm (though cycling and bourbon help). But she’s also smart, stubborn, and resolute, and rarely takes no for an answer. So when Sally sets her mind on tracking down a murderer, you do not want to be the one who gets in her way.

Perhaps I should have done some character sketches before I started the first Sally Solari mystery (Dying for a Taste), as this would no doubt have allowed me to avoid a fair amount of reworking of the manuscript. But instead I jumped right in. The idea for Sally came to me nearly fully-formed—she’s a conglomeration of many different people I’ve known over the years (including parts of myself). But having just turned in the m.s. for book number three, I can say that her character is still growing and evolving in my head, and in the stories, as well.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: I can’t really answer this question without giving away important spoilers. But I will say that several of the suspects—as well as the deceased—in A Measure of Murder are members of the community chorus Sally has joined. And having sung in my own local chorus for many years, I have a pretty good understanding of the dynamics that can arise within a tightly-knit group of artistic, passionate, and ambitious people. The egos, competitiveness, and romantic tensions that occur in the book, though sometimes perhaps slightly exaggerated, are all based on reality.

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: Raymond Chandler once dismissively said of his time writing detective stories for pulp magazines, “When in doubt have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.” Taken as a metaphor, this actually isn’t bad advice for the crime writer, since it’s good practice to periodically throw in a surprise to keep your reader on edge. But the way I see it, an engaging story is one that is constantly moving forward. Every scene should advance the plot in some way, and the end of every chapter should leave the reader eager to learn what happens next.

In addition, as I noted above, subplots and underlying themes serve to flesh out your mystery novel and make it more exciting. A Measure of Murder is, at its most basic level, simply the story of Sally trying to figure out whether the tenor was murdered and, if so, who did it. But other parallel plot lines keep the story moving forward as well: How will Sally juggle managing Gauguin, the restaurant she just inherited, as well as working at Solari’s, with all her chorus rehearsals? Will she be able to extricate herself from having to help her dad run Solari’s, and how will this effect her relationship with her father?

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: The setting for my Sally Solari mystery series is based primarily my own experiences. I moved to Santa Cruz after high school to attend UCSC, and never left. At the time I arrived here in 1974, it was still a sleepy beach town, home to Italian fishermen, ranchers, retirees, and summer vacationers drawn by its famous redwood trees and Boardwalk. But over the years, largely because of the advent of the university, Santa Cruz has experienced profound changes, and these days the town is teeming with hipsters and hippies and urban professionals. And along with these newcomers, the food movement has descended full-force upon the surprised old-timers.

 

As I witnessed (and participated in) the advent of this “foodie” revolution and its effects on our once-sleepy town, it hit me that the juxtaposition of these two cultures would make for a terrific backdrop to a mystery story: What would happen, I wondered, if a local Santa Cruz gal suddenly found herself caught between the world of her family’s traditional, old-fashioned Italian restaurant, and that of the newly-arrived, politically-correct food activists?

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: I was aware of the themes before I started writing the book. As noted above, the sense of hearing plays an important part in A Measure of Murder, with Sally not only joining the chorus to sing the Mozart Requiem, but also along the way learning the importance of truly listening in general—listening to your inner feelings, and paying attention to what’s going on around you.

In addition, themes that recur in all the Sally Solari mysteries concern family and the food movement, in particular, how the two create a conflict between Sally and her father. The Solaris are descended from one of the original Italian fishermen who arrived in Santa Cruz in the 1890s, and Sally’s dad is fiercely proud of the family’s traditional, old-school Italian seafood restaurant out on the Santa Cruz Wharf. But Sally is also very much aligned with the food-conscious folks who have arrived in town over the past two decades—even more so now, after inheriting her aunt’s trendy restaurant, Gauguin.

This dynamic between Sally and her father—who is hurt that his daughter no longer wants to work at Solari’s, and who thinks she now looks down on her family heritage—is very much at the forefront of both Dying for a Taste and A Measure of Murder.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: The two are inseparable, as far as I’m concerned. Most great art involves a certain amount of craft, in addition to “inspiration” or “muse” or whatever you want to call it. Even art that may appear spontaneous and free—such as a crazy drawing dashed off by Picasso on a scrap of paper—is generally the result of years of training and craftsmanship.

A first draft is to an author like the initial sketches or undercoats to a watercolorist. Once you have the basics down, the next step is to go back in and fine tune your work, adding highlights, details, embellishments. But there’s no reason editing can’t be as enjoyable as composing the first draft. In many ways, I actually prefer the revision process to the the initial getting-it-down-on-paper stage of writing. To me, that’s where much of the magic happens. Like the buffing of a shoe after its blacking has been applied, the editing process is when the book finally emerges from its rough finish to become a gleaming work of art.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: Imagination, hard work, and perseverance.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

A: Ha! That reminds me of what I’ve always said about my past career as a research and appellate attorney—that it was like writing a term paper every single day of your life.

The life of an author is indeed similar to having homework all of the time, in that the work never ends. At any given time, you’re simultaneously promoting your last book, editing and revising the current one, and plotting and outlining the next one. But I never much minded homework during school and college, and I must say that the homework that comes with writing mystery novels is ever so much more fun than what I had to do as an attorney.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A: I have to give a shout-out here to the wonderful organization, Sisters in Crime http://www.sistersincrime.org/, and its chapter, the Guppies (for the Great UnPublished http://www.sinc-guppies.org/). I truly believe I would not be a published author today but for the advice, feedback, generosity, and all around support I received from the SinC and Guppy members as I was learning the craft of mystery writing and wandering dazed through the labyrinth that is the literary publishing world. If you write crime fiction, I encourage you to check them out (and they eagerly accept misters as well as sisters!)

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: My advice to all aspiring authors is this: Never give up and never stop believing in yourself as a writer. As the fabulous developmental editor, Kristen Weber, said to me when I became discouraged after receiving more than eighty passes on the manuscript that ultimately landed me my publishing contract, “You can get hundreds of rejections, and many writers do. But remember: It only takes one yes.”

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Lee Matthew Goldberg’s novel THE MENTOR is forthcoming from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press in June 2017 and has been acquired by Macmillan Entertainment. The French edition will be published by Editions Hugo. His debut novel SLOW DOWN is out now. His pilot JOIN US was a finalist in Script Pipeline’s TV Writing Competition. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his fiction has also appeared in The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, Verdad Magazine, BlazeVOX, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series. He lives in New York City.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Yes, I’d definitely call myself a born writer. It’s in my blood.

What was your inspiration for THE MENTOR?

I wanted to right a twisty thriller that also read as literary too, since it takes place at a publishing house. I was very influenced by the films Cape Fear and The Wonder Boys. I was reading a lot of Stephen King while I was writing as well as Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I like to explore the ideas of obsessions. In The Mentor, one character is obsessed with bringing the opus he’s worked on for a decade to life, while the other character becomes obsessed with how his own life is turning into the kind of twisty thriller he publishes as a book editor.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

A year for the first draft. And then I worked on it with my editor for a few months after that.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I’m very disciplined. I edit in the mornings, break for a work-out and lunch and then write all afternoon. Sometimes I edit at night too.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Making the villain relatable was the hardest part. I wanted readers to feel for him, even when he’s doing terrible things. Someone had done terrible things to him in the past, and he’s unfortunately repeating those mistakes.

What do you love most about being an author?

I absolutely love writing everyday and the thrill of creating. I love research too. I’m starting a new book in the fall that partially takes place during the Gold Rush so I have a lot of research to do for that.

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?

St. Martin’s Press is publishing the book so I was very lucky to get a deal with a big press. My first novel Slow Down was with an indie press.

Where can we find you on the web?

Leematthewgoldberg.com – You can link there to my Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads accounts. I love hearing from readers so feel free to send a message!

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