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Archive for November, 2017

Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy worked as an actress and writer in film and television in the United States and Israel. Night in Jerusalem is her debut novel, which she has adapted to film. She lives in Ojai California with her husband and daughter.

She writes, “I lived in Israel in the 1960s, a naive twenty-year-old, hoping to find myself and my place in the world. The possibility of war was remote to me. I imagined the tensions in the region would somehow be resolved peacefully. Then, the Six Day War erupted and I experienced it firsthand in Jerusalem.

I have drawn Night in Jerusalem from my experiences during that time. The historical events portrayed in the novel are accurate. The characters are based on people I knew in the city. Like me, they were struggling to make sense of their lives, responding to inherited challenges they could not escape that shaped their destiny in ways they and the entire Middle East could not have imagined.

I have always been intrigued by the miraculous. How and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny. How two people who are destined, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another.

Israel’s Six Day War is not a fiction; neither was the miracle of its victory. What better time to discover love through intrigue, passion, and the miraculous.

Writing this story was in part reliving my history in Israel, in part a mystical adventure. I am grateful that so many who have read Night In Jerusalem have experienced this as well.”

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Yes, but I didn’t know it until my twenties. Before then, I was always intrigued by people – their stories, mannerisms, and how they behaved. I’ve always read a lot. I love stories that are told simply, where the writer is unobtrusive and the characters and plot say it all. It is hard to write stories that are so clear and transparent you can see right into the souls of the characters. That’s what works for me.  I studied creative writing at Columbia and came to appreciate the astonishing virtuosity of our writers. I was in awe of their literary talent. But a pivotal shift for me came when I realized I am not at all interested in writing for its own sake, no matter how well-crafted it is. The writing I love is where the writer becomes invisible. I found it hugely liberating to disappear into my characters and their world. I have never looked back.

What was your inspiration for Night In Jerusalem?

The love story in Night In Jerusalem came to me on a movie set. We were filming on a blazingly hot day, dressed as lightly as possible. A young Hasidic woman in long black clothes and a wig kept coming out to look at us from her balcony. We spent most of the afternoon filming there, and she kept reappearing. I realized she was attracted to one of the crew members who had unbuttoned the top of his shirt, exposing his handsome chest. I sensed how strongly she yearned for contact. The gap between us could have been crossed in a few paces, yet we were centuries apart. I imagined what it would be like to be her, what courage it would take for her to break free, how she might do it. Decades later, I wrote her story in Night In Jerusalem.

I set the book in Israel at the time of the Six Day War, which I experienced firsthand. I remember vividly huddling in shelters with other women, listening to Arab radio news reports proclaiming victory while we contemplated how we would end it for ourselves. It turned out, of course, that the war went the other way. We were to live! Winston Churchill wrote that there is nothing as exhilarating as when someone shoots at you and misses. Emerging from that shelter was exhilarating. It also brought up questions that have been with me ever since – why does it take such courage to truly love, how impossible it seems to bring peace to the world, and, of course, why “God works in mysterious ways.” There are endless ways to work with these themes, it’s just a matter of grounding them in a time and place, with characters you love and admire. The characters in Night In Jerusalem, and their responses to the challenges they encounter, express different points of view that I share, even as they conflict with each other.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I have always been intrigued by the miraculous: how and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny; how two people who are destined to love, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another. Night In Jerusalem is a love story set during Israel’s Six Day War in which passion, mystical encounters and the miraculous come together to change the lives of everyone caught up in it.

How long did it take you to complete the novel? 

The story percolated for decades, but the actual writing took two years – six months for the first draft, then the re-writing.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.   

I write every day. I especially enjoy writing before sunrise. In India, they call the two hours before dawn the “ambrosial hours” when the world is most open to spiritual connection. I understand why! In the afternoon, I usually do rewrites and edits.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

There are endless ways to work with these themes. It’s a challenge to ground them in a time and place with characters you love. As you get to know the characters, though, they tell you more about themselves. That’s when the story reveals itself, often in surprising ways.

What do you love most about being an author?

I can’t wait to meet my characters every day. Previously, I have written screenplays. They are, of course, visually-oriented and they provide limited opportunity for the writer to describe the characters’ states of mind – everything has to be shown on the screen. I was drawn to writing a novel because the canvas is so much larger –as big as you like –  and the story does not have to fit a budget. Also, the relationship with the reader is more intimate and complete.

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?

I decided to self-publish. I had an agent tell me she liked my writing, liked my story, but didn’t like my book. Go figure. But after working in Hollywood, I’ve not encountered much by way of new craziness in the publishing industry – and it’s wonderful that authors can now publish and promote their own books, without having to genuflect to “the industry” – not an option with movies. I found the notion I could publish my own work the way I wanted it, without “taking notes” in endless meetings, just fantastic!

In my previous work, I was not involved in the promotional side of things.  I don’t know much about book promotion and there is a whole lot of work to do there. Fortunately, I have a partner who is well-versed in it, otherwise I would be lost. Also, going into this project, I had no idea how pivotal an editor is. After working for months, on and off, with the editor of Night In Jerusalem, I would never consider publishing a book without a strong and talented editor. So, for me, self-publishing does not mean going without professional support; it means you must take the initiative yourself to find the right professionals to partner with.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://www.nightinjerusalem.com

 

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Title: Constitutional Renaissance

Author: Richard Monts

Publisher: XLibrisUS

Genre: Political Science/Government

Format: Ebook

Have you had enough? When will the United States government stop growing? All constitutionally enumerated activities should have been in place long ago. There should be no more expansion in scope, yet there is. What we have now is an overbearing out-of-control central government—expanding far beyond constitutional limits—imposing on member states’ sovereignty. The result is a reduction in competition among states, a stifling business environment, and citizens and businesses suffering under complex taxation and regulations. On top of that, a litigious environment depresses economic activity further. There is an alternative! This book presents one that is very business friendly, establishes competition among the states, and provides a positive environment for the individual to strive for their potential while honoring the genius of the Constitution.
Mr. Monts has been concerned about continued expansion of the United States government since the Kennedy administration. He deferred to others, constitutional and legal experts galore, for the correct interpretation of the Constitution. He assumed they were right. During the Affordable Care Act discussions, he had heard enough. He determined to answer two questions to his own satisfaction. First, what is the role of the United States government? Second, what is the best environment for the individual to realize their own potential? After reading the Constitution and other contemporary writings, using his own common sense, putting intellectual integrity and honesty before ideology, ignoring case law, using correct meanings of critical words, he had his answers. The results are in this book.

 

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Title: The Silver Horn Echoes: A Song of Roland

Author: Michael Eging and Steve Arnold

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Format: Ebook

The Dark Ages—a time of great turmoil and the collision of empires! 



As the Frank kingdom prepares for war, Roland, young heir to the Breton March, has been relegated to guard duty until a foreign emissary entrusts him with vital word of a new threat to the kingdom. Now Roland must embark on a risky journey to save all he loves from swift destruction. 



And yet while facing down merciless enemies, he must also reveal the hand of a murderer who even now stalks the halls of power and threatens to pull apart a kingdom reborn under the greatest of medieval kings, the remarkable Charlemagne. 



For Roland to become the champion his kingdom needs, he must survive war, intrigue and betrayal. The Silver Horn Echoes pays homage to “La Chanson de Roland” by revisiting an age of intrigue and honor, and a fateful decision in the shadows of a lonely mountain pass—Roncevaux!


Michael Eging is co-author of Annwyn’s Blood, as well as a screenwriter and partner at Filibuster Filmworks. He and his wife have five children and live in Virginia. Steve Arnold lives in Ohio with his wife and kids. Besides co-authoring Annwyn’s Blood, he has corroborated on everything from short stories to screenplays for Filibuster Filmworks.




a Rafflecopter giveaway 


 

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Bound 4 Escape

Mamá Graciela’s Secret

Publication date: October 10, 2017

Written by Mayra Calvani

Illustrated by Sheila Fein

MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing

http://www.maclaren-cochranepublishing.com

36 pages, 3-7 year olds

Reading guide at: www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com

 

Description

Mamá Graciela’s TENDER, CRUNCHY, SPICY bacalaítos fritos are the best in town…

Local customers (including stray cats!) come from all over the island to enjoy her secret recipe. But when the Inspector discovers that Mamá secretly caters to so many cats and he threatens to close her tiny restaurant, Mamá must come up with a plan to save it—and all of the animals she loves.

Available on Amazon.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Mamá Graciela’s Secret is a wonderful story about Mamá Graciela’s love for animals. She has to make a decision about what to do when…

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My Brain is Out of Control

 

Publication Date: September 2016
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Formats: Ebook
Pages: 76
Genre: Biography/Autobiography

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.

BOOK REVIEW:

Do doctors make good patients? Have you ever seen a doctor and wondered? I know I have. This book delves into one doctors experience as a patient, and this isn’t just some minor illness.

Dr. Mbaya had a bustling career and a good personal life when a brain infection turned his whole world upside down. This book is a detailed account of what he went through both physically and mentally and how he overcame them all.  Going through it all he learned how to better relate to his patients and how to be a better person overall.

This book is a great read and gives insights not normally seen. I highly recommend it!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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: Home Coming

Author: Charles Lansford and Irene Nickerson

Publisher: XLibrisUS

Genre: Coming of Age

Format: Ebook

Homecoming is that surreal feeling that a soldier has when he has returned home. For our heroes, each is facing new challenges, hopes, and fears. Ti is worried about what the shape-shifter major told him. He wonders what other secrets might be hiding in the shadows and what dangers they might hold for his family. Beary and Crew have returned home to build a new warship to face the growing threat to the Bearilian Federation. It is one that is pointed directly at his family like a dagger to his throat. Angelina and Octavious have discovered that old enemies have joined in the vendetta against their family. Old secrets may surface. Old threats may appear. All the pieces are now in place. It has been a month since everyone has returned.


 

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Title: 2D Surgical Hospital

Author: Lorna Griess

Publisher: XLibrisUS

Genre: Military Biography

Format: Ebook

This book is about living and working in a mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) in South Vietnam. It talks about the hospital itself, the setting, how we lived, how we coped with less-than-good circumstances, the type of patients we received, the equipment we worked with, and the emotional highs and lows that were part of every day. The stories are true. Some of the dates and numbers of things may be off a little; that was a long time ago. Names have not been used to protect the wonderful, dedicated people with whom I worked and lived with.
Lorna Griess made the Army Nurse Corps her career after her tour in Vietnam. She served in hospitals worldwide for almost thirty years. She retired as a full colonel and chief nurse at Letterman Army Medical Center on the Presidio in San Francisco (now closed). Fully retired from nursing, she joined the Military Officers Association of America, California Council of Chapters, and became their legislative liaison. She serves as a veterans’ advocate in the California State Legislature. She is a member of several other veterans’ organizations including Vietnam Veterans, AMVETS, and VFW. She writes articles, reporting on current legislation for local newsletters. For relaxation, she has become an artist. Her oil paintings have been on display at several galleries around Sacramento, including the Crocker Art Gallery.

 

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