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Archive for the ‘Spiritual’ Category

Dreamer coverIs the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Purchase information:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamer-Phillip-Davidson-ebook/dp/B00EZVKPFU/Phillip Davidson - Author

 

About the Author:

Phillip L. Davidson is an attorney who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Karen. He is a former infantry Captain who commanded a group of Cambodian and Vietnamese Kit Carson Scouts on a night ambush team in the Mekong Delta. Phil’s life in the military has provided him with a wealth of war stories.  He has used his creative insight to produce a military action adventure of epic proportions. Dreamer is a must read book. He is currently at work on a second novel.

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

 

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Roberts_Jay-2491-EditJay D Roberts MD is a board-certified physiatrist, specializing in the treatment of physical disabilities with a focus of adding quality to life. He is currently in private practice in California. He is a member and lecturer at national and international conferences related to his specialty, a contributing author to Current Trends in Physiatry, and author of various scientific papers. In addition to his career, Dr. Roberts volunteers as part of a Christian ministry in maximum security prisons. He and his wife, parents of two grown sons, live in Indian Wells, California. Break the Chains is Dr. Roberts’ first book. Following in the long tradition of doctors who combine their passion for saving lives with their passion for writing, Dr. Roberts is currently at work on a novel, concerning children forced to work in mines. Visit http://jdrobertsmd.com/

BUY BREAK THE CHAINS ON AMAZON / B&N / TATE PUBLISHING 

Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself, the person, as well as the doctor who treats patients?

I always wanted the love of my father, even just for him to like me or be proud of me. That is what drove me to be the best in what ever I did. But it did not work. He never told me once he loved me or that he was proud of me. It is “interesting” that I gravitated to treating people for their pain and wounds, while I could not heal my own.

I understand you went to medical school in a third world country against a dangerous political backdrop, and on your return, you had to deal with the demons you’d left behind. Could you expand?

I went to medical school in the Philippines, mainly to get away from my father. Living under martial law was challenging and threatening. It taught me how lucky are those who live in a free and democratic society. But the iron fist rule by Marcos was nothing compared to my tyrant reign of my father over me. While in medical school, my father was dead to me. Returning to the States and facing him again, reignited the terror that had been burnt into my being since my childhood.

There are many events which led to the writing of your poignant, powerful memoir, Break the Chains. Can you share with us some of these events?

So many- tortured by my alcoholic father; turbulent lifelong dialogue with God; cheated death from accidents; escaped attempts on my life by rebel insurgents in the Philippines; healed from a fatal disease; hating myself, God, and my father, until I learned the power of forgiveness in prison.

When did you start writing the book and how long did it take you?

I started about ten years ago. But it was awful. It read like an emotionless scientific paper, so I stopped for a few years. Then I bought books on the craft of writing, attended writing workshops, and started writing again. After a year I stopped again. This time because it was too painful to write of my past shame. I could not write for two years. Three years ago, I surrendered to my burning desire to write and dove head first into my memoir.

9781627467582medWere there times when you wanted to stop? If yes, what kept you going?

Yes. Every time I took down a stone from the wall around my heart, and exposed deep wounds that had been buried for years, I wanted to stop. But the burning desire, that flame that burned deep inside of me would not be extinguished. And Buddy, who you’ll meet in my story, told me I must continue. To trust him. And I did.

Was the completion of this work cathartic?

Immensely.  I never had any form of therapy as a child. First, during my time you never revealed to anyone what went on inside your home. Second, only crazy people or those rich movie stars went to therapy. The process was painful, as I broke down the walls around my heart that had protected me for years and years. In fact, I stopped writing it for two years because of the pain.

What themes do you explore in your memoir?

  • Mysterious power of forgiveness
  • Affirmation of faith in God and the human spirit
  • Physical, mental, and spiritual growth
  • Adapting to survive in two cultures 

In terms of craft, what did you find most challenging about writing the book?

The English language!  In my schooling, I shined in math and science, not English!!

What message do you hope readers will take away?

My hope and prayer is that my story will help others understand the importance and power of forgiveness to break their chains and be set free.

Is this a spiritual book a reader from any religious denomination can enjoy?

Absolutely! Forgiveness is for everyone, regardless of religious denomination, or absence of one.

Tell us about your publisher, Tate Publishing. How did you find them?

After many rejections, one glorious day, one of my mentors, Joan, found my book a home with Tate Publishing & Enterprises, a Christian-based, family owned, mainline publishing house.

I thank Dr. Tate for believing in my story and all the staff at Tate for their help in making my book a reality.

What’s on the horizon for Dr. Jay D Roberts?

I am currently finishing my first novel, Tin Kids, about the abuse of kids in tin mines. It is a medical, political thriller. I am very pleased with it. Can’t wait to send this baby out into the world!!

I plan to use proceeds from my books to help build an orphanage and return to medical missionary work to help heal the wounds of the less fortunate ones.

Any last words you’d like to share with my readers?

Never stop writing. Never take “no” for an answer. I was rejected- by many editors, publishers, and agents. I was even told to my face, “Even if you can write, which you can’t because you’re a doctor, and, anyway, no one will ever buy your book because you’re a nobody.” Believe in yourself. You are somebody!

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Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost Cover Reveal BannerAbout the Book:

Eccentric tobacco tycoon Rodger Hawthorne III can have anything his heart desires except his dead wife, Sarah.  Feeling responsible for the car crash that killed her twenty years earlier, he offers one million dollars to anyone who can find her spirit and bring it to him within one week or the money is forfeited.  Six spiritually-challenged—but highly intuitive—women find his ad over the Internet and accept his challenge only to embark on a journey they didn’t quite expect that covers astral traveling, past life regressions and spiritual encounters of the unworldly kind.  While this book is lightly based on a true story of a real man who is offering one million dollars to anyone who can prove that spirits exist, this story is purely fictional.  Or is it?

Coming October 2013!

Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost sm

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About the Authors:

ABOUT HEIDE AW KAMINSKI

HEIDE AW KAMINSKI is the mom of three very successful children, and she lives in southeast Michigan with her partner, her son and her stepson. She teaches English in a high school for juvenile delinquent boys, as well as co-directs the Sunday school program for an Interfaith Center. She is also the editor-in-chief for the Interfaith Center’s monthly 16-page newsletter.  She is currently the author of five books, ADHD and ME , Get Smart Through Art, The Ability Gang (a novel for upper elementary readers), Von Riesiggross bis Klitzeklein (a German children’s book), and South of Eden (a not so serious novel about life in Heaven). She has also published stories in 15 anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Divorced Soul.

Kaminski was born and raised in Germany, and after spending a year as an exchange student in the USA, she ended up marrying an American and has been a permanent resident in the U.S. since 1984, as well as a citizen of the U.S. since 2007. After dedicating many years to being there for her children first, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in English communications at the ripe age of 50 and her English teaching certificate two years later.

ABOUT PAM RYAN

Pam Ryan is a writer and professional psychic from Northwestern Ohio. She is the mother of two and has been a widow for the last five years. Her writing career began back in high school where she wrote a column for the Sylvania Sentinel Newspaper in Sylvania, Ohio. Pam was also the first page editor of the high school newspaper as well as doing the public relations for the high school musicals At the University of Toledo she helped to create the Public Relations Department for the Department of Theatre and Speech, worked as a reporter for the college paper, The Collegian, and was assistant to the Public Relation Director of a local Toledo, Ohio, theatre group, Lynro Productions. After college Pam went to work for the United States Government and part of her duties were to write, and publisher a newspaper for the Migrant Opportunity Program in Phoenix, Arizona. Back in Ohio she lent her talents to the local Muscular Dystrophy Association, Make A Wish of Northwestern Ohio, worked on newsletters for Grace Lutheran Church and Christ the King Church, both in Toledo, and did public relations for the Parent Organization of Lake Elementary School. Pamela Ryan, as she is known professionally, began her professional psychic career in 1990. She presently does private readings and parties, and is also available at Lite the Way,Lambertville, Michigan, and The Healing Oasis in Clay Center, Ohio. Pam has recently completed classes and become a Certified Hypnotherapist and has completed the Master’s level for hypnotherapists. Publication is tentatively set for 2013, for her book, “My Dearest Children”, channeled by Mary Magdalene, and is presently working on a biography of world renowned journalist, Ruth Montgomery and a series of books about a fictional psychic medium. The first one is called, “The Macrame Cross”.

ABOUT DOROTHY THOMPSON

Dorothy Thompson is the owner/founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations firm specializing in online book promotion and social media marketing for authors.  Pump Up Your Book was voted #1 in the Preditor’s and Editor’s Readers Poll in 2012.  She is also the co-author/compiler of Romancing the Soul, an anthology which proves soul mates exist and has appeared in USA Today, Chicago Times and other publications.  Dorothy loves the paranormal and is spatial clairsentient.  She lives on the beautiful island of Chincoteague, Virginia.

Together, they make the writing team of  Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost.  Visit the official book blog at www.RomancingMillionDollarGhost.com or like them on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/RomancingTheMillionDollarGhost.

 

Heide, Pam & Dorothy are giving away these fabulous prizes!

One Halloween party kit (valued at $49) or Paypal Cash!

Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards or Paypal Cash!

One FREE psychic phone reading from one of the authors, Pam Ryan!

and

One Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost ebook gifted from Amazon Kindle Store!

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 a Halloween Party Pack for 18, an eBook copy of Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost gifted via Amazon only, one psychic phone reading from Pam Ryan and two winners will be chosen to receive $25 Amazon Gift Cards (or Paypal Cash)!
  • This giveaway begins September 2 and ends September 27.
  • Winner will be contacted via email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST September 27 2013.
  • Winner has 24 hours to reply.
  • Each blogger who participates in this promotion is eligible to win.
  • Visit each “stop” daily for more entries.

Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost Cover Reveal & Giveaway Page:

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/06/15/cover-reveal-pump-up-your-book-presents-romancing-the-million-ghost-cover-reveal-win-ghostie-swag/

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Unexpected Angel Blog Tour Banner

The most common question I get is about the writing process and how it works. So here’s what I know, based on my experience and conversations with other writers.

I think a common misconception about writers is that we only write when inspiration strikes. Then we become like Jo March in Little Women, hunched like gargoyles in drafty attics amid mountains of crumpled papers while our ink-stained fingers scribble furiously, desperately attempting to keep up with the ideas that flow from our heads like a spigot.

Well…yes. Sometimes it can be that way. And when it is, it’s awesome. But most of the time, it’s a slog. Those moments of inspiration are what every writer dreams about, but for every ten minutes of thrilling creativity, there are usually hours and hours of plain, hard work.

THAT part of writing is meticulous research, ruthless editing, and lots and lots of time spent thinking. Does the story make sense? Would this character really behave this way? Is this the right word or can I think of a better one? Story arc…Plot holes…Grammar…Punctuation!!  And we probably spend more time than we like to admit thinking, “Oh crap! How do I get my characters out of this situation?”

THAT part of writing is not glamorous, but it is the part that takes you from a fleeting idea to a finished manuscript. And THAT part of writing is what allows you to hold your published book for the first time and feel…enormous satisfaction.

So keep on, all you fellow writers! Enjoy the Jo March moments. But don’t forget to put in the rest of the time as well.

About the author

Janet Halling discovered her love of writing at the age of six when her story of a lonely duck won a first grade writing contest. She has a degree in Marketing Communications and lives with her family in northern Utah. She is currently working on her next novel.

janet-k-halling_37

 About the book

Ella Davies, is focused, independent, and driven. Her hard work is finally paying off and she is on the brink of great success. But what no one knows is that her frantic drive is born not from a desire to succeed, but from a need to forget – forget her past, forget her guilt, and mostly, forget the tragedy that changed her life forever.

Ella’s strategy seems to be working but on Christmas Eve she meets Cohen, a strange man with an even stranger purpose. Cohen catapults Ella back through time and forces her to confront not only her own pain, but the pain of those long since passed. In the process, Ella learns about courage and compassion and that in the darkest hour, no one is ever alone.

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Buy Info

Retail: $8.99

120 pages

Genre: gift/holiday, inspirational

Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.

Release Date: October 9, 2012

 

Find more about the author  

JanetKHalling.com

Facebook.com/Janetkhalling

Book trailer on YouTube

TV interview (Recorded 11/27/12 for Good Things Utah ABC4)

Amazon book page 

 

An Unexpected Angel – Excerpt (All rights reserved)

 

Somewhere there was a rhythmic humming—a kind of a swooshing sound that increased and decreased in volume at regular intervals. She couldn’t remember where she was. Her whole body ached, and her head felt as if it would explode.

Ella groaned and opened her eyes. She was still in the gym, lying crumpled against the weight machine. The treadmill had stopped, and the rhythmic sound was coming from the man riding the spinning bike, which sat nearby.

Her fingers trembled as she felt the goose egg on the side of her head. Her face was on fire, probably scraped on the belt, and her knees were bloody, also from the belt.

Suddenly she stiffened. There was a man riding the bike! A man riding the bike. While she had been lying there unconscious. Had he just sauntered in and climbed on without seeing her at all or had he viewed her inert form without concern? That was cold, even for New York City. Gingerly, she turned her head to look at him.

It was the clerk from the deli, and he didn’t stop pedaling as he glanced her way. “Oh good, you’re awake.”

She stared up at him in mute astonishment.

He reached for his water bottle and took a long drink. “I’m glad you woke up on your own,” he said pleasantly. “I was about ready to pour this in your face, so you can thank me for sparing you an unexpected shower.”

Ella grasped the weight machine and pulled herself slowly to a sitting position. Her head was throbbing, and her stomach lurched. “I could sue you for failing to come to the aid of an injured person,” she snapped rather feebly.

The man studied her contemplatively. “Hmmm, yes, you would think of that, wouldn’t you? But I’m not too worried, Ella. You’re not going to sue me and we both know it.”

She opened her mouth to snarl a retort but stopped abruptly. “How do you know my name?” she demanded. “And what are you even doing here? You don’t live in this building.” She hesitated, realizing she wasn’t sure. “Do you?”

He jumped off the bike and held out his hand. “You should get up. Want help?”

She shrank away from him. “Don’t touch me! Who are you, and how do you know my name?”

“Well, it’s simple really. My name is Cohen, and I’m your guardian angel.” He broke into a brief but rapid tap dance routine and finished with flair. And with jazz hands.

Ella stared at him in perplexed silence, unsure if he was a hallucination or just crazy. “Uh-huh. Right,” she finally said, groaning as she pulled herself to her feet. A wave of nausea hit her, and she stopped, doubling over and willing herself not to vomit. She for sure had a concussion.

She tried to think. Should she go to the hospital? Or maybe just go home and try to sleep? She didn’t know. She made a move toward the door, but Cohen tap-danced over to block her path.

“Get out of my way,” she snapped at him with more bravado than she felt.

He grinned. “Can’t do that. You and me, we have business tonight.”

For the first time, she felt a small dart of fear. Cohen wasn’t exactly menacing, but he certainly was strange. If he attacked her, would she have the strength to fight him? If only her head would stop hurting!

“What do you want?” she asked.

“I already told you, I’m your guardian angel. Well, not technically an angel, but that word will serve as well as any other. Anyway, I’m here to help.”

“Sure. Like you helped me when I was unconscious a minute ago? If that’s your kind of help, no thanks.”

“No, not that kind of help, silly.”

“Look, whatever you’re on, whatever you’re offering, I’m not interested. Just leave me alone, please? I’m sore and tired, and my head is killing me. I need to go lie down.”

“Oh, right. That.” He made some sort of vague gesture and instantly her nausea subsided and the pain in her head vanished.

Chills raced up and down her spine, and she stared at him, “Wait . . . what’s . . . what’s going on?”

“Okay, no more joking around.” Cohen looked suddenly serious. “Here’s the deal. You need help and there’s a lot you need to learn. Only you’re far too stubborn to admit it. You might not even know how much help you need. But I know; so here I am.”

The pieces were starting to fall into place. “Wait . . . Christmas Eve . . . guardian angel. This is some kind of a joke, right?” she said before adding sarcastically, “What’s the matter, Jacob Marley was busy? Clarence already got his wings? Or wasn’t he on duty tonight?”

He grinned. “Both good men. But you got stuck with me. Although, all things considered, maybe it’s me who got stuck with you. You can be quite unpleasant, do you know that?”

Ella snorted derisively. “So when does the Ghost of Christmas Past show up? Or is he waiting for me upstairs?”

“Dickens took some liberties. It doesn’t exactly work like that. At least, this time it won’t.”

“You have exactly one second to get out of my way or I’m going to start screaming at the top of my lungs!”

Cohen cocked his head to one side and gave her a brief shrug of resignation. “Okay then, you win. Can’t say I didn’t try.” He stepped smoothly to one side and swept his arm in a wide arc toward the door. “Be my guest.”

Throwing him what she hoped was a withering glare, Ella marched past him, flung open the door—and stepped into a nightmare.

 

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I thought it might be fun to share some of the lore that ties in with the world building in my Immortyl Revolution novels.  Although most vampire myths were spawned in Eastern Europe, a lot of evidence points to the legends first arising out of India.  When I was developing my series, I became fascinated with Indian religions, mythology, and folklore.  Indian myths and folklore give us many examples of vampire-like spirits and deities.  In the various regions are found a plethora of demons that inhabit cremation and burial grounds.  These bear a striking resemblance to the vamps of Eastern Europe.  Many of these are said to be the spirits of those who died an unnatural death, or a woman who died in childbirth.  Others are succubus-like creatures that drain men of energy, yet leave them with a feeling of euphoria.  It is likely that traders along the Great Silk Road and the gypsies carried these stories west.  In Greece, the tales gave inspiration to the Lamiae, or female vampire-like spirits.

One deity sometimes associated with vampirism is Kali, a fierce form of the mother goddess (Shakti).  Like her husband, Shiva, she both creates and destroys.  She’s often shown standing on his body, symbolizing that in the scheme of the cosmos the male principle is subordinate to that of the female.  Kali is usually depicted with dark blue or black skin and a third eye.  She wears body parts as jewelry and has a tongue that sticks out in defiance.  Her favorite places are battlefields and burial grounds.

Kali is often misunderstood in the West.  She is the goddess of time, not death as many think.  She slays only evil demons.  Symbolically, she annihilates the selfish impulses and ego that bind us to our material bodies.  Her aspect is fearsome, but she is called Kali Maa (Mother Kali) and is revered in many parts of India.  Kolkata (Calcutta) is sacred to her and named for the goddess.

Tantric cults often focus on Kali.  Tantrism is an older religious tradition than Hinduism, dating back to the time before the Aryan tribes migrated into India.  These groups center on Shakti worship and sometimes use sex and even blood in their rituals.  The idea behind this is to gain control over the body to capture divine energy and gain blessings.  The adepts of the ancient arts in my novels practice a form of tantra.

In my reading, I’ve come across only one group associated with Kali that was violent.  They were known as the Thugees.  This is the root of our word thug.  These devotees would waylay travelers and use them as blood sacrifices to the goddess.  The Thugees inspired the Kali worshipers in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  They are by no means representative of the vast majority of her devotees.

Kali is the great mother, who protects her earthly children.

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Denise Verrico is giving away a free ebook of shorts to every commenter at the blogs.  

She is also doing a tour wide grand prize basket consisting of a trade paperback of Servant of the Goddess, a Cara Mia t-shirt (XL), a set of posters (one from each book), a pen, a keychain, vampire notepaper and some other small items US entries only. 

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Blueprint is the story of one soul’s journey in planning her last incarnation on earth and what happens when friends take over.

The novel opens with Arielle and Raphael in Heaven as they discuss Arielle’s upcoming and last incarnation. Raphael, who’s been her soul mate for thousands of years, offers to help her plan it and she accepts. He suggests that they get their 12 special friends in Heaven involved. To accomplish this, they decide to invite them all for dinner. At dinner, the friends take turns making suggestions for Arielle’s final life: a healer, a transexual, a homeless person, an orphan, a psychiatrist, a child prodigy, among others. Together, they weigh the pros and cons of each scenario while Raphael answers many of their questions about religion and spirituality. Finally, Arielle makes her decision and presents her ‘blueprint’ to the council of elders.

Blueprint is a short light read that explores various aspects of reincarnation, numerology and astrology, among other esoteric subjects. The story is rather linear because the aim of the author is to present these ideas rather than offer a fictional story for fiction’s sake. The chapters are short and simple and the writing is mostly dialogue. An unusual, interesting read for those interested in the topics mentioned.  

To learn more about this book, visit the author’s website

 

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Combining elements of drama, historical fiction and science fiction, The Underlying Hand is an original, fascinating novel that explores controversial subjects such as the origins of mankind, the Sons of God, Eden, and The Flood.

The story begins in the Nibiru Space Station 64,000 years before The Flood. Having escaped from near annihilation, the Marduks are now in search of a solar system and habitable planet that can sustain their existence. They must find a new home as soon as possible because they’re being bombarded by cosmic radiation and many of their people are suffering from tumors and cancer. Fortunately, scientists are working on this to find a solution and do so early in the story, with the added advantage of near immortality. Years pass and they finally reach planet earth, a place similar to their own in atmosphere and cellular life. They first land in a valley filled with lush grasslands and berries, a valley they name Eden. When they realize the creatures in this planet are technologically inferior, the Marduks take the arrogant assumption that they’re superior in all aspects and they’ll be looked upon as gods. Most of them don’t consider the possibility that perhaps these primitive-looking, earthly creatures are more advanced in other ways than their own.

The Marduks are a technologically super-advanced society with a dictatorial monarchy. Their original lifespan of 12,000 years has been expanded to near infinite provided they take their radiation bath cure. The king, Jova, has absolute, god-like power. His power is followed by a Council. The novel, however, is mainly told from the perspective of Nin, Jova’s daughter, who acts as a kind of observer to everything that is going on. Through her dialogue with other characters and especially her conversations with her two brothers as well as with Uriel, the royal sage and mentor, the author raises many important issues such as: What is the spiritual cost of a super-advanced society? Is immortality worth pursuing? Is it the law of the universe for the stronger to dominate the weaker? Is there such a thing as a soul or consciousness?

As the Marduks begin colonizing earth, they experience a shift caused by the “eternal polarizer”—that is, God and religion. Jova’s two sons take opposing, conflicting views as they rule over the earthly creatures, causing prosperity and harm to both their own race and mankind. Eventually, they must decide whether or not to sacrifice their identity and genetically mingle with mankind in order to survive and reach their ambitious aspirations.

Written with special attention to detail, The Underlying Hand is an engrossing, fascinating read that will make you think about our origins and wonder about the hierarchies of intelligent societies. Though it has strong science fiction elements, it reads more like serious drama than a regular commercial page-turner. The author uses a lot of dialogue to relay information and advance the plot. The setting is skillfully crafted, making the space station and the world of the Marduks alive with vivid images and detail. There’s also a lot of interesting description relating to biology and genetics. This isn’t a novel easily forgotten and I’m certainly looking forward to the next installment in the chronicles. Recommended. 

Originally published on Blogcritics.

Title: The Underlying Hand – Book One of the Divine Chronicles
Author: Roger P. Koch
Publisher: Xlibris
Publisher’s website: http://www.Xlibris.com.au
Publication date: November 2011
ISBN 10: Paperback 978-1-4653-0020-1
ISBN 13: Hardback 978-1-4653-0021-8
Number of pages: 330
Price: $29.99 Paperback; $49.99 Hardback
Genre: Visionary Fiction

Also on Amazon.

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After receiving a journalism degree, Susan Goldsmith was an undercover private investigator, worked as an outside sales rep, and then spent five years in pharmaceutical sales. Today, she is living her dream with her high school sweetheart and their two daughters in The-Middle-of-Nowhere, Arizona, where she spends her days unleashing her rampant imagination and documenting all the crazy places it takes her. Be sure to visit her Facebook page and website to learn more about this author and her work.

Q: It’s wonderful to have you here, Susan. Why don’t you start by telling us a little about your background and how you started writing?

A: Stories are what got me through my childhood. When real life was overwhelming, I’d crawl into my imagination where sick mothers could be made better with a magical potion, or crazy fathers weren’t really crazy. They were just more evolved than the rest of us. Could see whole words and realities we couldn’t. Mean teachers? Witches – the whole lot of them. I soon branched out, and after sitting in Stephen King’s head for a while, decided my life was a Disney movie compared to the stuff his characters endured. Poor Carrie. Now that girl had issues!

I loved stories, and had an endless supply of original ideas that would make fantastic books, but darn it, no matter how hard I willed those ideas to be carried through osmosis from my brain to my favorite authors’, it never happened. There they sat, alone in the dark, wilting, while I pursued every career, but writing, and no, graduating with a degree in Journalism most definitely doesn’t count. Journalism and imagination are two words that don’t belong in the same sentence.

A creative imagination was also frowned upon in my brief stint as an undercover private investigator with Pinkerton when I was placed in a company (no, I’m not telling which one!), and was told to write down my observations. Uh oh, I had a captive audience but couldn’t embellish what I was seeing and boy was my imagination coming up with some really good stuff. In reality, I was bored silly. Eventually that boredom had me shaking things up… but that’s another story entirely.

Several career paths later, fate intervened and I found myself home, being a full time mother and wife. Suddenly, I was staring at the blank computer screen, not writing, just staring. I’d make a point to walk by it on my way to the bathroom, in-between Barney episodes, or during those times when my children actually did fall asleep during nap time.

Eventually, I did turn the computer on, and have been writing ever since.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your first novel, Abithica. That’s an unusual name. How did you come up with it and what does it mean?

A: Abithica is a word I made up. Without giving too much away, it is the name of the main character, so it had to be both unique and otherworldly.

Q: What is Abithica about and what was your inspiration for it?

A: Abithica must borrow all that she is from others: names, lives, even bodies, but only for periods of time she cannot control. What is she, and why is she compelled to fix the lives of the people she inhabits, even the despicable ones?
When she switches into the troubled life of Sydney Turner, she ends up breaking the one rule that has sustained her, the one thing in her control—never get attached—and learns the pain of loving and being loved in return.
My vacuum, Thomas Moore and my very persistent imagination were the inspiration behind Abithica. Maybe I should explain that. You see, all my best thoughts have come while pulling a vacuum. Now enter Thomas Moore. He wrote a book called Care of the Soul. In it, he asked a very profound question: what is your worst fear? Hmmm, what is my worst fear, I wondered. Naturally, I grabbed said vacuum and unleashed my imagination.

Losing my husband and children was the answer. Oh, but what if I was taken from them without their knowledge and they didn’t even know I was gone? Ouch! That would definitely suck. But what would suck even more is if another soul took my place and I was there, unseen, invisible, watching their lives continue as if I had never existed.

I was getting closer to my worst nightmare, but I wasn’t quite there yet. It needed a little something more. Got it! What if the body I was in had never really belonged to me in the first place? What if it was me who had been the intruder all along? I had been borrowing the woman’s life… and now… she wanted it back.

The question became an obsession, and my vacuum and I spent a lot of time together. Soon, the idea of “switching” was born. It grew legs and arms and even acquired a face, Abithica’s face.

Q: What is your protagonist like? Tell us something irresistible about her.

A: She is you and me. She is anybody who has ever asked the questions, why am I here? Is there a God, a purpose, a cosmic plan? She perceives herself as a victim, a pawn in some cosmic joke, only to discover in the end she is oh, so much more!

Q: Who is your target reader?

A: My target readers are bound to be urban fantasy lovers, the romantic at heart, and those of us who like to ponder all those enormous, unanswerable questions about life, and what the heck we’re doing here.

Q: How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?

A: You have no idea how funny that question is! My “creative process”, if you insist on calling it that, was throwing tantrum after tantrum. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, but the words… they weren’t matching the woman in my head. The tone was wrong. The voice was wrong. The action was wrong. The whole darn story was wrong. It wasn’t Abithica, not even close.

The problem I soon learned was I didn’t have an outline, so I ended up re-writing the first chapter 30 different ways and every one of them was the beginning of a completely different story. I was like an artist standing over an empty canvas. Was I going to use pastels, pencil or paint? Was it going to be a nature scene, or a portrait? Why not an elephant? Did it even have to be on a canvas? Why not the side of a building or a sidewalk? I had no idea so I kept trying a little of everything, until eventually, nothing worked and I found myself pinned to the ground, screaming uncle.

At the same time, I was well aware that some of my best writing had come about by accident when I had unwittingly allowed the characters to tell their own story. They were the writer, I was the vessel. Every single writing session after that, it’s what I strove to duplicate. I’d sit down at the keyboard, clear my mind, and relax enough to set the characters free. On a really good day, they’d talk for eight hours straight and take me places I had never even imagined. Eventually, I got better at it, I started to set an alarm to remind myself to eat. I’d then set it to remind myself to start dinner and then again to remind myself to pick up the kids. This was the reason I wrote, and the reason I kept coming back for more.
I had a problem though. What I needed was something to keep Abithica on task, without constricting the creative flow I craved. The answer: a plot summary. I took the next couple of days building on that concept until I had a sketchy beginning, middle and end. I now had a direction, but Abithica still had plenty of wiggle room to be creative and I was still willing to follow her on whatever tangents she chose to take me on.

Q: What is your writing schedule like?

A: My writing schedule revolves around my family. When the girls are at school, my hubby is at work, and I’m alone, (if it’s possible to be alone with 3 dogs, 2 cats and a bird!) I unleash my imagination and hold on for dear life. My favorite part is the end, when I get to read the crazy places my imagination took me that day.

Q: How did you find Twilight Times Books?

A: Twilight Times Books was recommended to me by my mentor, Gerry Mills, who helped me put some “magic” into my writing. It didn’t hurt either that TTB was recommended by Predators & Editors, or that the water cooler discussion on Absolute Write had nothing but positive things to say about TTB and its founder, Lida Quillen.

Q: What has been the most surprising aspect of publishing for you so far?

A: I was delusional. I actually thought when I wrote, The End, I was done. Oh contraire! That was only the beginning. The hardest writing I’ve ever done was condensing 95,000 words into a one sentence summary!

Now, I’m learning the wonderful world of marketing. All I can say is, God Bless Goodreads! If it wasn’t for that website nobody would know Abithica exists, and believe me… she is so done with that!

Q: I hear there’s a sequel in the horizon. When is it coming out?

A: Yup, there is a sequel. I am 40,000 words into it. The beginning and the end are done. All I’m doing now is filling in the middle.

Q: What is your best tip for aspiring novelists?

A: Don’t just talk about it, do it. Write it for yourself, and then later, after you’re convinced it’s a masterpiece, set it in a drawer and forget about it, the longer, the better. Then read it with fresh eyes. Fix all the problems, and then repeat, again, and again, and again….

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

A: Come visit me on Goodreads, facebook, or even my website. I love talking to readers!

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Irene Watson is the award-winning author of The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference and The Story Must be Told. She’s also the Managing Editor of Reader Views, a book review site author_12catering to readers, writers, and the publishing community. Currently, Irene is touring the blogosphere to promote her memoir, The Sitting Swing, a candid, uplifting book about her sad, dysfunctional childhood and how she was able to find the path to recovery, healing and hope.

Thanks for being here today, Irene. Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself?

My life has taken me on many paths, with breakthrough results and exemplar growth, to find my authentic and true self. I’ve designed and facilitated workshops and retreats throughout the United States and Canada. I hold a Masters Degree in Psychology, with honors, from Regis University in Denver, CO. My emphasis was spirituality and psychosynthesis. At present I live with my husband of 42 years on the banks of Barton Creek in Austin, Texas along with our Pomeranian, Tafton, a rescued cat Patches, and a rescued cockatiel Clement.

When did you decide you wanted to become an author?

I had a story to tell, and I felt my story was going to help others heal from dysfunctional experiences in their childhood. I believe it’s never to late to find a way to re-write our scripts passed down for generations. By telling my story, I feel it gives hope to others.

Do you have another job besides writing?

Yes, I am the Managing Editor of Reader Views, a book review and publicity service based in Austin, Texas.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?

No, I wasn’t an avid reader as a child. Reading and education weren’t encouraged in my family or culture I grew up in. The emphasis was to become a “good wife.”

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.

My pretentious life could go no further until I faced my past. My memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, where I had gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt and uncertainty. My story is a testament that it’s never too late to change your life, never too late to heal.

The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference shows us how guilt, fear and ignorance are borne by our children. Two distinct parts of the book look at an abusive child rearing and the process of recovery that takes place years later. On many levels this is a classic story showing us that change, growth, forgiveness and recovery are possible. It is also a heart warming healing story and a testament to the strength and courage of the human spirit. In the end it gives hope and freedom to those that accept the past and move forward by rewriting life scripts that have been passed down for generations.

What was your goal when writing this book?

I want readers to parallel their lives with mine, and know there is a way to make a change in their lives and move forward. Sometimes our lives become enmeshed with what I call “stuff” that gives us a sense of hopelessness. My hope is readers will grasp the fact there IS hope.

The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference not only has my story, but it has much information about recovery, dealing with the first 3 steps of the 12-Step program, and a lot of explanation and clarification of how the recovery process takes place.

What will the reader learn after reading your book?

They will learn many tools to help them create a life they want for themselves. Although The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference is a memoir, it is also a book of inspiration and self-help, not only for mind but for the spirit also.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

Yes, I sure do. My personal website is www.irenewatson.com and my blog can be found here. My blog has articles pertaining to life, re-writing scripts, spirituality, addictions, and musings.

I love to communicate with people and I promise to answer all emails, as well as respond to comments on my blog.

Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?

Another book? Oh my, possibly. Right now I am concentrating on facilitating at retreats and workshops. That is a passion of mine. The facilitation I do goes in line with my book, my philosophy and my experience. My goal is to help others find tools to help them take their lives to higher states of consciousness – a place where their dysfunctional past no longer controls their lives. I want readers to find their authentic self and live the life they were meant to live – full of fun, love, and laughter.

Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here!

Thank you, the please is also mine.

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I am very grateful for the unique opportunity I have been given here in that it is so very rare that writers are asked about the writing process itself. As someone who has taught numerous poetry and creative writing workshops the process of writing or the craft as I have always called it was a major aspect of helping aspiring writers learn how to hone their writing skills.

My book, HER GODMOTHER, is a magical story that addresses the presence of an alcoholic parent that ultimately causes the breakup of a little girl’s family. Firstly, this was a book I had to write as I am the adult child of an alcoholic. I know how this disease impacts on a child but I also know first hand the scars that remain into adulthood. I have met numerous other adults who had a parent that was an alcoholic as they were growing up. Some of them carry scars far deeper than I carried.

It was very important to me to bring this message forward so that children would find a special place within this story to journey with Allie on her road to healing and in so doing touch something magical within themselves to begin their own healing process. As Allie’s mother plans relocation to start a new life she sends Allie to stay the summer with her godmother, Brigid who is very colorful. Brigid sees everyday life as a magical adventure. And in introducing this new insight for Allie into the book, I crafted what is to be a better understanding of real magic and yes, Witchcraft. As a Witch myself and a fan of Harry Potter as well I wanted to demonstrate the magic of every day life that Witches observe, are grateful for and celebrate. You see by being able to see and feel the magic of everything around you, you simply have to heal. Many call these experiences miracles and I believe in miracles. I simply call it magic. A misunderstood belief system, Witchcraft (which in no way is Satanism) is often maligned or grossly misrepresented (no offence to Ms. Rowling for her work is both wonderfully entertaining and provided a venue for interest and even tolerance.) I wanted to help people understand that Witchcraft is a gentle path which I know will surprise many and that it is not flying on broom at all.

In HER GODMOTHER, Allie learns that the responsibility for her suffering is not hers but her father’s because he has a disease and an inability to choose treatment. This subject of accountability is a primary tenet of Witchcraft. Allie’s father must assume responsibility for his actions with a sound treatment plan as pivotal to the hope of recovery. In HER GODMOTHER, the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is also a major factor in helping Allie heal. Many children who read this book that may have someone in their family that is an alcoholic may not know about AA. This book will help them realize that there are programs that do insist the alcoholic take responsibility for his/her illness. This is very important for children to acknowledge for I myself, like Allie, always felt that somehow it was my fault that my dad drank. It makes no sense but that is the mechanism of the dysfunction. Adult lives are often impaired by the “ghosts” of self judgment that can haunt the adult child of an alcoholic.

Wicca and Witchcraft to the surprise of many are truly tolerant paths and in HER GODMOTHER, this gentle belief system is exemplified through the example of Brigid, Allie’s godmother. To bring the belief system home, so to speak, the location of this story is in Livingston Manor where I live. The Manor has been a magical experience for me in that it is rural and it is here that I am fortunate to experience the magic of a sunny day and the hardship of the force of winter but each of these and so many other things are magical! Witchcraft is living in appreciation and respect for all things and in harmony with the environment as much as possible. Choosing a country setting and taking the time to go into great detail about what Allie sees and experiences there was my way of assisting the reader in traveling from wherever they are to where Allie is.

As an animal lover I was sure to make HER GODMOTHER rich with interesting animals and in fact one pet is a major character with a story of her own! In this regard I wanted to help children see the soul of animals and pets as I know them to be which is an amazing experience in unconditional love.

These were the points I worked very hard to impart: education on programs that treat alcoholism, religious understanding and tolerance, an awareness of the everyday miracles and magical experiences that are all around us as tools for coping and healing and a sensitivity to other entities that share this home called earth.

I had test readers that were children and adults alike as I continued to rewrite because although HER GODMOTHER is classified as a children’s book, the writing style, while age appropriate for the target audience is also of the quality of many novels adult read.
I knew what my storyline was and simply focused on telling it in a way that would be fun for anyone to read. This was deliberate on my part because I also wanted adult children of alcoholics to experience a respite from their “shadows” and if unfamiliar with AA groups to perhaps begin to research them and ultimately join to facilitate further healing. I very carefully selected words that would make this book fun reading for children and adults alike and based on feedback I have succeeded.

The bottom line is I am extremely proud of having accomplished what I set out to do. I created a book that is well written. It provides insight into healing on different levels that also offers readers the opportunity to experience a catharsis from their demons while delivering entertainment. To this end HER GODMOTHER has not, to date, received less than a five star rating!

Cate Cavanaugh is the author of HER GODMOTHER, available at fine bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com. If you want to read a bit about everyday magic, visit Cate’s blog and, if interested in the science of magic, please visit quantumspirituality.tripod.com

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