Wednesday, September 22, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: BJ COMMUNICATES

 


ABOUT THE BOOK



Sometimes it’s the conversations not had that do the most damage to the people in our lives. Hard Conversations is a collection of short stories detailing the lives of five urban people who are standing at the intersection of their past and their potential. Sensing that something is still off in the lives that they have built, each has to make the crucial decision whether to address their secrets long buried, or to continue living in the uncomfortable matrix they created. Only they can decide what their future will bring. 



Book Details 

Title: Hard Conversations: Book 1 Breadcrumbs to the Past 

Author: BJ Communicates

Genre: urban fiction 

Series: Hard Conversations 

Publisher: Communic8 Life/Book Baby, June 22, 2021

Print length: 88 pages




LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH BJ COMMUNICATES


A few of your favorite things: Marvel movies, my wife, my son, music, and alone time.

Things you need to throw out: old clothes that are just taking up space in my closet.

Things you need in order to write: peace and quiet.

Things that hamper your writing: A lot of notice and movement around me.

Things you love about writing: the stories and experiences of people of color.

Things you hate about writing: historical figures that I can’t identify with.

Easiest thing about being a writer: being able to tell stories that I want to tell.

Hardest thing about being a writer: handling the business processes after the manuscript is done.

Things you love about where you live: being able to get the city life without all of the traffic and bad traits of larger cities. 

Things that make you want to move: seeing places where tropical weather is their one season all year around.

Things you never want to run out of: faith and love.

Things you wish you’d never bought: a push lawnmower and a couple of pair of sneakers that I never wore.

Words that describe you: faithful, loyal, dedicated, determined, and introverted.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: comical and strong willed.

Favorite foods: anything Italian is right up my alley.

Things that make you want to throw up: liver and beets.

Favorite music: I am very eclectic when it comes to music, so I would say it’s hard to pick one song since I probably have a favorite song in each genre of Christian music.

Music that make your ears bleed: Rock and techno.

Favorite beverage: Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Something that gives you a pickle face: beets.

Favorite smell: Bath & Body Works frosted vanilla cupcake plug-in. 

Something that makes you hold your nose: chitterlings.

Something you’re really good at: writing.

Something you’re really bad at: auto repair.

Something you like to do: sing and write songs in the studio.

Something you wish you’d never done: moved off campus in my senior year of college.

Last best thing you ate: eggs.

Last thing you regret eating: collard greens at a restaurant a couple years back—they gave me food poisoning.

Things you’d walk a mile for: my family and my faith.

Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: drama and confusion.

Things you always put in your books: elements of faith.

Things you never put in your books: profanity or crassness.

Things to say to an author: What are you working on next??

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: Why don’t you write about this . . .

Favorite places you’ve been: the Bahamas.

Places you never want to go to again: camping.

Favorite things to do: board a cruise ship to somewhere tropical.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: listen to someone complain who has no interest in finding a solution.

Things that make you happy: my family, recording music, and being at home.

Things that drive you crazy: complaining and misunderstandings.

Proudest moment: when my son was born. 

Most embarrassing moment: when I tripped and fell in 8th grade gym class in front of half the school.

Best thing you’ve ever done: given my life to Jesus and then married my wife.

Biggest mistake: moving of campus my senior year of college.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: started singing for a camera crew who was doing another story and getting them to feature me on the news and interview me when I was a kid.
Something you chickened out from doing: swimming with the sharks.

The last thing you did for the first time: playing Top Golf.

Something you’ll never do again: pay to see a Will Ferrell movie.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dr. Brad Johnson, LSSBB, CSM, is an influential Bible Teacher, Communication Practitioner, and Kingdom writer. His life’s assignment is to help people, particularly urban people, articulate their experiences, find resolution, and gain the language of the Kingdom of Christ.  As a Bible Teacher, Dr. Brad is passionate about teaching the truths of the Kingdom of Christ and the reality of the balanced and thriving life available to anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord. Dr. Brad is also the CEO and owner of Communic8 Life Consulting; a communication consulting firm that specializes in helping couples, families, and business teams develop better interpersonal communication and conflict resolution skills through virtual sessions and workshops. Using the pen name BJ Communicates, he consistently releases a gambit of music, podcasts, books, and digital platform shows aimed at inspiring and encouraging urban people. Along with his wife Quiana, he is the Co-Pastor of the urban cafe church Transformed City Church in Richmond, Virginia where their focus is helping believers learn, heal, and become everything God had intended them to be.

Connect with the author:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Book trailer 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  
Barnes & Noble


Saturday, September 18, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: KAT FLANNERY


 


ABOUT THE BOOK 


Grace Penner's safe haven crumbles when a body is found outside of town. Gifted the memory bell, a family heirloom, from her grandfather's will, Grace's excitement is soon squashed when the bell gets broken right after she receives it. While gluing the pieces back in place, she discovers three are still missing.

Determined to find them, she is halted when the new detective, Bennet James, investigates her family. Grace is intent on showing the detective her family isn't capable of murder, but as the investigation deepens, and pieces of the bell show up with ominous notes, Grace soon realizes the Penners are not what they seem. Amidst the tightly knit family; dark secrets, deception, and possibly even murder unfold. Will Grace be able to save the family she loves more than anything without losing herself forever?


Book Details:

Title: The Memory Bell

Author: Kat Flannery    

Genre: mystery, women’s fiction

Publisher: Black Rose Writing (July 1 2021)

Print length: 288 pages





LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH KAT FLANNERY


A few of your favorite things: books, candles, whiskey, iPad.
Things you need to throw out: my clothes from 20 years before. LOL 


Things you need in order to write: candle, quiet, whiskey, coffee.
Things that hamper your writing: noise, laundry, overwhelming schedule.


Things you love about writing: escaping to another world.
Things you hate about writing: deadlines. They are the worst.

Easiest thing about being a writer: there is nothing easy about being a writer.
Hardest thing about being a writer: writing something new that your readers will love as much as the last book.



Things you love about where you live: the people.
Things that make you want to move: the cold weather.


Things you never want to run out of: coffee.
Things you wish you’d never bought: chocolate, because I LOVE it.


Words that describe you: introvert, kind, friendly.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: quiet, reserved, unfriendly.

Favorite foods: spaghetti (I am Italian—it’s a staple).
Things that make you want to throw up: anything with cilantro in it.

Favorite music: I love almost all kinds of music and listen to it all of the time.
Music that make your ears bleed: Screech . . . who can even understand that?

Favorite beverage: coffee and then whiskey.

Something that gives you a pickle face: tequila.

Favorite smell: pine.

Something that makes you hold your nose: my son when he douses himself in cologne. LOL


Last best thing you ate: chocolate cupcake.

Last thing you regret eating: chocolate cupcake.

Things you’d walk a mile for: my kids, My husband … the chocolate cupcake.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: politics.

Things you always put in your books: family and friends’ names.

Things you never put in your books: the Lord’s name in vain.

Best thing you’ve ever done: have my children.

Biggest mistake: again, the chocolate cupcake.



EXCERPT FROM THE MEMORY BELL


“Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.”   ~ Iyanla Vanzant

CHAPTER ONE

Detective Bennet James stood over the remains of a hand dug grave. The morning air was brisk for July, and a foggy cloud permeated the air as he exhaled. He’d woken as the first rays of dawn crept through his hotel window casting sundogs along the planked floor.

Bones were found by the grain elevators at the mill in Oakville. The sleepy town was an hour’s drive from Chicago and where he’d been stationed for the last two weeks. It was hell, but anything was better than sitting at home waiting to hear his fate. He flexed his shoulders. The muscles ached from the mounting pressure.

He took a sip of the coffee he’d bought at the local gas station. The bitter blend was cold and old. Probably made the night before and just waiting for some poor soul to drain the last of the dregs from the decanter.

With no details other than the presence of human remains to work with, Ben made quick work of taping off the area and closing all access in and out of the mill. The trains were halted and all productivity near the tracks was at a standstill. He surveyed the grounds. Three metal silos stood in a row to his left with tracks laid in front of them. Directly behind were wooden buildings with peaked roofs, and a single track led to a dead end.

He gathered the mill was over fifty years old by the way the boards heaved and sagged. Out of commission for some time, he wondered why no one had torn the dilapidated buildings down. Being that the place was pretty much deserted it’d make things difficult in the investigation. He snorted. It wasn’t his investigation, and if things didn’t work out for him with the state, he’d never see another one again.

He rubbed his hand across his face. His heart quickened with the familiar feeling of piecing together a puzzle. It was the same feeling he got every time he was dealt a new case. Except this one was different. It wasn’t his, and even though the thought of having something to occupy his mind was appealing, he doubted Sheriff Rhoads would let him take the lead on it, much less be a part of it.

Ben glanced down at the body. Nothing left but bones and a few fragments of hair which signified the death happened years before. The grave was not shallow, but not deep either. Ben guessed it was four feet into the ground. A blue blanket caught his eye. He fingered the soft cotton with a gloved hand, a crocheted throw that was now pulled from the knots someone delicately placed there. Whoever had wrapped the victim in it did so with pristine care.

“Where is the witness?” he asked the young deputy standing to his left. He couldn’t remember the boy’s name, or was it he didn’t care? It didn’t really matter. He’d stopped caring about those around him a long time ago.

The deputy looked a bit flushed, and Ben figured the kid living in the small town had never seen anything like this before. Regret settled in his stomach at making the boy stay with him while he looked over the body and its surroundings. Ben remembered seeing his first body, a young girl, no more than six. Her image still haunted him on nights when sleep wouldn’t come.

He blinked, collected his thoughts, and faced the young man.

“You’re no longer needed here,” he said. 

“The men who found the body are over there,” the kid stammered. His hand shook as he pointed to the two silhouettes standing twenty yards away.

“Thanks.” Ben dismissed him and walked toward the two men sipping coffee from their mugs. A part of him wanted to turn back to his car and leave now that Rhoads was here, but his pride and his duty wouldn’t allow it. He pulled out the small note pad and pen he kept in his pocket.

“Morning. I need to ask you a few questions.”

“Ain’t you the new fella?” one of the men asked.

“Yeah.”

“You’re that swanky detective from the city.”

Ben didn’t answer.

“Why in hell would you want to come out here?”

He remained silent. It was none of the old man’s business why he’d been placed in this shithole town.

“Talk is you got into hot water up there.”

“I need to ask you some questions,” Ben repeated, an edge creeping into his voice. He wasn’t about to discuss his shit with these guys. He shifted from one foot to the other, took a deep calming breath, cleared his throat, and waited.

“Not much to tell,” the man said. His thick white moustache spanned the whole of his upper lip and the bottoms of his cheeks.

“Your name?” he asked.

“Walter Smythe.” The man leaned in to read what Ben wrote and tapped his index finger onto the paper. “That’s Smythe with a Y not an I.”

Ben nodded.

“Can you tell me how you came upon the body?”

“Ol’ Russ was the one who found it.”

He turned to the other man.

“I ain’t Russ,” the farmer said.

“Who is—”

“That’s my dog.” Walter whistled. A large St. Bernard came loping up from the field behind the buildings.

“The dog found the body?”

“That’s right.”

“What were you doing out here?”

“I come out from time to time.”

“Why if the place is closed down?”

The man shrugged.

“Have you brought Russ out here before?” Ben asked, still trying to piece together how the remains were found.

“Sure. I bring him everywhere.”

“Why was he in the elevators?”

Walter’s wide shoulders lifted underneath the plaid jacket.

“Did the dog take anything from the grave, or disturb it in anyway?”

“Once I seen him diggin’, I called him over.” Walter guffawed. “But the damn mutt just kept on going back. So, I went over to see what the hell he was after.”

“At what point did you figure out it was a body?”

“Right away when I saw the bones.”

“Russ dug up most of the grave?”

“Nah, maybe a foot of it.” Walter nudged the farmer beside him. “I called Bill and we determined it was best to call the sheriff.”

“Why didn’t you call the sheriff first?”

Walter didn’t answer.

“Did you remove or touch anything?” Ben asked.

“Nope.”

As much as the farmer was rough around the edges, he could tell Walter Smythe spoke the truth.

“One more question. Has anyone gone missing in the last ten years?”

“Not around these parts. Most people who go missing leave for the city.”

“Why is that?”

“Small towns ain’t for everybody.” Walter’s eyes narrowed. “Stuff like this don’t happen around here.”

Ben nodded before he walked away and headed back to his car. He opened the door but didn’t get in. Tall silos, train cars and tracks were surrounded by a field. Waist-high stalks of yellow waved in the breeze and from what he knew of farming, it looked to be canola. Why wasn’t the body buried in the field? There must be over a hundred acres of land. Until he received the coroner’s report, he couldn’t begin to guess at anything yet. Before he left, he’d need to talk to Sheriff Rhoads and see about any missing persons reports in the area.

“Well, that is odd.” Rhoads sauntered toward him, brows furrowed.

“What is?” Ben asked.

“A body, here, at the elevators, in Oakville.” His forehead wrinkled, and a perplexed look crossed his face. “Nobody has been here in years.”

“These things can happen anywhere. There are no rules for death.”

Rhoads focused on him, but remained quiet for some time before he said, “Not here.”

“I’d like to take the lead on this,” Ben said. The words surprised him, but he couldn’t take them back now. Besides, he needed something to keep him busy. The minor misdemeanors at the old folk’s home, break-ins, and an occasional kid in trouble wasn’t enough to keep him from going crazy with boredom.

“Not sure that’s wise, with your probation and all.”

Ben nodded, figuring that would be the answer.

“But I don’t see it as more than an unfortunate accident, so go ahead.”

Ben wasn’t so sure.

***

Excerpt from The Memory Bell by Kat Flannery.  Copyright 2021 by Kat Flannery. Reproduced with permission from Kat Flannery. All rights reserved.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kat Flannery is a bestselling author, she has been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career, and continues to write for blogs and online magazines. Her books have been on Canadian, USA and International bestseller lists.



An Amazon.com bestselling author, Kat’s books are available all over the world. The BRANDED TRILOGY is Kat’s award-winning series. With eight books published, Kat continues to write and market her books.

 


Connect with Kat:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble

Thursday, September 16, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: STEVEN MANCHESTER

 

ABOUT THE BOOK


Three generations of dads, playing traditional roles in each other's lives, arrive simultaneously at significant crossroads. The decisions they make and the actions they take will directly – and eternally – affect each other.

After a life of hard work and raising children, Robert is enjoying his well-deserved retirement when he discovers that he has an illness he might not be able to beat. At 19, Jonah is sprinting across the threshold of adulthood when he learns, stunningly, that he's going to become a father. And Oliver – Robert's son and Jonah's dad – has entered middle age and is paying its demanding price. While reconciling the time and effort it has taken him to reach an unfulfilling career and an even less satisfying marriage, he realizes that it's imperative that he keep it all together for the two men who mean everything to him.

When different perspectives lead to misunderstandings that remain unspoken – sometimes for years – it takes great strength and even more love to travel beyond the resentment.

Dad: A Novel chronicles the sacred legacy of fatherhood.


Book Details:
Title: Dad: A Novel
Author: Steven Manchester
Genre: literary fiction
Publisher:The Story Plant (September 14, 2021)
Print length: 336 pages 



 

GUEST POST


Steven Manchester’s new heartfelt book, DAD: A Novel has just been released.

It's become a bit of a signature for Steven to include a poem at the very end of his novels.


The Greatest Teachers


by Steven Manchester



My children have taught me…

that trust is sealed before the first step

and real understanding does not require words;

that a baby’s breath and angels’ wings make the same sound,

and bonds forged on sleepless nights are eternal.



My children have taught me…

that the greatest wonders are found within the smallest moments;

and the grip of a tiny hand slips away much too fast;

that the word “proud” can inspire unimaginable feats,
while the word “disappointed” can scar the soul.



My children have taught me…

that doing something means so much less than being there,

as one day at the park is more valuable than ten visits to the toy store;

that laughter is contagious and can destroy all worries,

and Santa Claus is alive and well—all that’s needed is faith.



My children have taught me…

that the most powerful prayers are made up of the simplest words,

humbled, grateful and spoken from the heart;

and that for most ailments, the best medicine is a kiss
or a hug for someone who wouldn’t dream of asking.



My children have taught me…

that friends can be made with no more than a smile

and real blessings are found amongst family and friends;

that the future promises magic and wonder,

and that dreams must be chased until each one comes true.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin' Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island; the national bestsellers, Ashes, The Changing Season and Three Shoeboxes; the multi-award winning novel, Goodnight Brian; and the beloved holiday podcast drama, The Thursday Night Club. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a multi-produced playwright, as well as the winner of the 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2018 New York Book Festival. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.


Connect with Steven:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon
 


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: VICTORIA WRIGHT


ABOUT THE BOOK 


How can one innocent question shatter everything?

Hello. I’m Evie Prince. A proud forty something bi-racial highly successful woman. I’ve always known where I was going and what I was doing. Until I found myself in a place that I never thought I would be – single, living through a pandemic, and unemployed.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the unthinkable happened. Someone asked – What do I really want to do with my life? What kind of a foolish question is that? I was soon to learn it was the kind of question that would turn my world upside down. Trying to answer that question led me from Colorado to Martha’s Vineyard and uncovered things about my family that would either make or break me. 

Follow my journey to self-discovery and meet the people in my life that helped me remember that everything I needed was contained within. 


Book Details 

Title: Listen Within, A novel of discovery and finding true self

Author: Victoria Wright

Genre: literary fiction

Series: The Evie Prince Series

Published: September 30, 2021

Print length: 200 pages





LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH VICTORIA WRIGHT


Things you need in order to write: for me to write at my best, I absolutely need a quiet space, an open heart, and snacks.

Things that hamper your writing: I find it hard to write when I am feeling stressed, doubt my abilities as a writer or when I am hungry.

Things you love about writing: writing to me is the ultimate creative space. It allows me to build worlds, share wisdom, and gives me a space to release my emotions.  

Things you hate about writing: just like when I read a good book that I don’t want to end, I dislike writing the ending. How to do it. Will it leave the reader satisfied? Also, I get discouraged when I can’t find the perfect word(s) to create the right emotion.

Easiest thing about being a writer: you can do it anywhere at any time.

Hardest thing about being a writer: being okay that not everyone will like what you have written as much as you do.

Things you never want to run out of: toilet paper, cheese, and chocolate.

Things you wish you’d never bought: three-inch heels.

Words that describe you: positive, level headed, big heart, creative, persistent.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: stubborn.

Favorite foods: sushi, lobster, Thai food, fresh baked goods, freshly squeezed juice.

Things that make you want to throw up: fast food, liver, and head cheese.

Favorite beverage: Arnold Palmer (non-alcoholic) Mojito (alcoholic).

Something that gives you a pickle face: eggnog.

Favorite smell: fresh mint.

Something that makes you hold your nose: cigarette smoke.

Something you’re really good at: baking.

Something you’re really bad at: rock climbing.

Last best thing you ate: lobster.

Last thing you regret eating: fast food hamburger.

Things you always put in your books: I always try to put an element of my own personality in each character.

Things you never put in your books: hate.

Things to say to an author: “I love your work.”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “Why don’t you just . . .”

Favorite places you’ve been: Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, New Zealand, Japan.

Places you never want to go to again: states that do not welcome diversity.

Things that make you happy: family.

Things that drive you crazy: family.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: leaving my well-paying job to find my true self. 

Something you chickened out from doing: bungee jumping.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 




Inspirational writer Victoria Wright has embarked on a journey to find her true self. In the process, she is remembering how to be whole, to look inward for guidance, and to know her truth. Her journey is full of beauty and discovery. She invites you to join her on your own journey of remembering.

Connect with Victoria:
Website  |  Blog  |  
Facebook  

Buy the book:

Amazon  |  
Barnes & Noble

Friday, September 10, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: DENNIS ROTH

 



ABOUT THE BOOK


In the 1970s, in western Pennsylvania, a multi-millionaire’s singularly selfish decision destines his two sons, half-brothers, to wage war in a winner-take-all battle for the family legacy.

The father, wealthy Henry Molnar, shares a secret with his lawyer and best friend, Murray Applebaum; a secret so damaging and powerful that neither has ever dared to reveal its truth. But the final whispered directives of Molnar set in motion a series of events with far-reaching consequences for his family.

With his last breath, Molnar instructs Applebaum to disclose the existence of his illegitimate son, Phillipe-André Desforges. The surprise revelation at Molnar’s funeral thrusts the family members onto paths of deception, corruption and blackmail.

Revenge infused hatred and contempt for his father and his empire permeate Phillipe-André’s daily thoughts. It compels him to employ an arsenal of devious strategies to wrest control of Molnar Enterprises from his benevolent brother, Jason Molnar.

With such high stakes, Jason as the bequeathed chairman of the board must garner the psychological strength to withstand his half-brother’s siege. The consequences of failure will deliver to Phillipe-André what he has long believed to be rightfully his.




Book Details

Title: The Bastard’s Inheritance 

Author: Dennis Roth

Genre: literary fiction

Series: The Bastard’s Trilogy, book 2

Publisher: Five Square Press (September 1, 2021)

Print length: 293 pages






LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH DENNIS ROTH


Things you need in order to write: a peaceful quiet space.

Things that hamper your writing: distractions, conversations, iPhone, texts.

Things you love about writing: getting to know and being surprised by my characters.

Things you hate about writing: stiff joints from sitting at the computer too long.

Easiest thing about being a writer: writing when my muse is with me, like very early mornings.

Hardest thing about being a writer: getting started without my muse.

Things you love about where you live: for being a small city, Pittsburgh has the amenities of a very large one.

Things that make you want to move: the dreariness from November through March.

Words that describe you: teacher, perfectionist, controlling.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: egotistical, snob.

Favorite foods: comfort foods from recipes of my long deceased grandmother.

Things that make you want to throw up: liver.

Favorite music: classical guitar music.

Music that make your ears bleed: hip hop/rap.

Favorite beverage: Viader Wine.

Something that gives you a pickle face: anything with vinegar in it.

Favorite smell: freshly baked home-made bread.

Something that makes you hold your nose: port-a-potties.

Something you’re really good at: knowing when to say “that’s enough.”

Something you’re really bad at: golfing.

Things you’d walk a mile for: ice cream.

Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: broiled liver.

Things you always put in your books: my heart and soul.

Things you never put in your books: a first person narrative.

Favorite places you’ve been: Siena, Italy.

Places you never want to go to again: Tyrone, Pennsylvania.

Things that make you happy: intelligent conversation.

Things that drive you crazy: incessant talkers.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: sailing with only my wife and me to the Caribbean.
Something you chickened out from doing: going on Space Mountain at Disney World.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Roth is always stretching his boundaries and does the same for his readers and fictional characters. This has led to a remarkable life. When he has become an expert in a field, he moves directly off to another. After earning an engineering degree from MIT, he founded what has become one of the largest structural engineering firms on the east coast of the US. He retired young and lived with his wife on-board their 35-foot sailboat, Second Wind, in the Caribbean. After enjoying a thousand magnificent sunsets and then burying the anchor, he moved to watercolor painting. His innate skills blossomed into beautiful, nationally shown and awarded landscapes and seascapes that he exhibited and sold in his art gallery, Studio Phase 3. Since 2012 he has dedicated his creative energies to writing poems and stories which in addition to being published in journals and magazines, have been collected in his two chapbooks, Reflections & Other Musings and Harry & Other Stories. And now he has created The Bastard’s Trilogy anchored by the new novel The Bastard’s Inheritance.

Dennis Roth is a teacher at heart. Since high school, he has shared his knowledge, serving as a tutor of students in math and science, as an instructor and lecturer to architectural and engineering students at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, and as a teacher of his unique watercolor techniques to budding watercolorists.

On the side, Dennis Roth has learned Spanish and Italian to help him understand more fully the cultures of Mexico and Italy during his months-long visits to those countries.

These broad and extensive experiences provide Dennis Roth the material to weave his imaginative and thought-provoking writing, writing that is about life and living, its joys and sorrows, its thrills and disappointments. Whether in his poems inspired by his struggle with depression or in his stories of love and loss, we find he writes about reality with depth and conviction that can only be achieved by someone of his vast experience. He inspires us as he has his hundreds of students to use our minds to improve our souls.


Connect with Dennis:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

Buy the book:

Amazon


Sunday, September 5, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: PAMELA FERNANDES


ABOUT THE BOOK


Love behind the wickets.

English vice-Captain Claude de Lussan is the poster boy for English cricket. He’s smart, handsome, rich and a damn fine cricketer. And Delilah Taylor loves him to bits. Her whole existence revolves around him so much so, she polishes his autographed ball from his first century every weekend as it sits in her cabinet. Except, Claude de Lussan doesn’t love her back.

Following a heady summer, she finds herself suddenly married and divorced from the cricketer only to find him return to her world years later. Can they resolve old hurts and bury the past to rebuild a future together? Can they overcome family resentment, old flames and misunderstandings to accept that they what they had was and still is special?

Book Details

Title: Stumped

Author: Pamela Q. Fernandes

Genre: contemporary sports romance

Series: To Love A Sportsman Series

Publisher: Touchpoint Press (July 9, 2021)

Print length: 137 pages





LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH PAMELA FERNANDES


A few of your favorite things: the Casio keyboard my dad gave me, my red Bible.

Things you need to throw out: plastic stud earrings, have them for over ten years and wear nothing else.

Things you need in order to write: quiet, a nice view maybe.

Things that hamper your writing: noise, people.

Things you love about writing: I love creating something new, discovering new places and things to write about.

Things you hate about writing: killing off characters, it hurts even if they’re made up people.

Easiest thing about being a writer: the freedom that comes with the craft, you can’t do with other jobs
.
Hardest thing about being a writer: the responsibility to produce good work with every single manuscript.

Things you love about where you live: the low cost of living and the food.

Things that make you want to move: the humidity.

Things you never want to run out of: ketchup and instant noodles.

Things you wish you’d never bought: a winter mini skirt, but it’s too cold to wear it in the winter. . . (why did I ever buy it?)

Words that describe you: honest, committed, funny, straightforward.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: silly, impatient, introvert.

Favorite foods: fried fish.

Things that make you want to throw up: gelatinous food, hate puddings and gooey textured food.

Favorite music: my new favorite worship band is CityAlight, I have their song “Yet Not I” on repeat, and I can’t stop hearing it. I also recently listened to Baek Yerin’s “Blooming Memories,” so pretty. While I wrote Stumped, I remember playing a lot of “My love” by Lee Hi, especially the sadder parts of the book. 

Music that make your ears bleed: hard rock! and rap!?!

Favorite beverage: sweet lime soda.

Something that gives you a pickle face: liquor. It all tastes soooo bitter.

Favorite smell: one of my favorite natural scents is of the beach, I love being at the beach. Growing up, my parents always took us to the beach to play. 

Something that makes you hold your nose: pigeon poop, it stinks.

Something you’re really good at: I’m good at table tennis (and no please don’t call it ping-pong) and crosswords.

Something you’re really bad at: I suck at playing the piano, even though I’ve been learning it since I was a child.

Something you wish you could do: I wish I could bake bread, I can’t seem to master it.

Something you wish you’d never learned to do: I wish I had never learned piano and taken up guitar instead.

Something you like to do: I like walking a lot. During the pandemic, a friend of mine and I covered 11 miles a day walking all the way from Park Slope to the Pier Park every day and she kept pushing me to walk another block or another mile. 

Something you wish you’d never done: no regrets . . .

Last best thing you ate: my BFF made me a homemade falooda with her sister’s honey ice cream just last week. It was so good and full of nuts. I usually don’t like it but somehow had an entire glass of it. It was delish.

Last thing you regret eating: Chinese fried rice, upsets my tummy every single time.

Things you’d walk a mile for: Gelato.

Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: mice.

Things you always put in your books: sarcasm.
Things you never put in your books: curse words.

Things to say to an author: What are you writing next?

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: You should write about X or I’ve got an idea for you or how many books do you sell . . .

Favorite places you’ve been:
Prague.

Places you never want to go to again: Oman.

Favorite things to do: jive dance, walk at the beach, bake.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: a party with lots of talking and no dancing!

Things that make you happy: good food, beaches, worship.

Things that drive you crazy: dirt.

Proudest moment: becoming a published author.

Most embarrassing moment: forgetting my entire debate speech during a debate in school. My dad was watching, and I was so embarrassed.

Best thing you’ve ever done: said yes to becoming an assistant director on a drama production.

Biggest mistake: signing up to Facebook. After the report on Clearview, I scrubbed all my pics from there.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: traveled to the US. 

Something you chickened out from doing: doing the Camino Pilgrimage this year. I was training, walking, and preparing but the thought of doing it alone scared me. It’s hard to find someone willing to do such an intense walk.

The last thing you did for the first time: narrated my own audiobooks! Super stoked about this . . .

Something you’ll never do again: taste tequila . . . not my cup of tea.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Q. Fernandes is a doctor, author, and medical writer. She hosts The Christian Circle Podcast and plays the piano. When she's not writing or practicing medicine, she's baking or traveling the world.

She started as an author with Seoul-Mates and since then has written many romances, Under A Scottish Sky, Cinders Of Castlerea & other short stories.

Her Christian non fiction series, Ten Reminders, is based on her own conversations and life with fellow Christians.

Pamela writes romance, speculative fiction, women's fiction and Christian non-fiction.

Connect with Pamela:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads
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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: DEB PINES



ABOUT THE BOOK


When Al Martin, the editor of a satiric newspaper in Chautauqua, N.Y., reportedly dies of COVID-19, the local consensus is: good riddance.
 
A sister suspects foul play. She wonders why Al was cremated in a hurry.
 
The police stay out of it.
 
So it takes reporter and relentless snoop Mimi Goldman to try to find which of Al's haters— including an estranged wife, three bitter siblings, a secretive caregiver, old enemies and the many targets of Al's poison-pen sarcasm—might be a ruthless killer.

The novel, No. 8 in a series called “an Agatha Christie for the text-message age,” once again offers page-turning suspense. Wit. And the unforgettable setting of Chautauqua, a quirky, churchy, lakeside, Victorian cottage-filled summer arts community that launched an adult-education movement Teddy Roosevelt called “the most American thing in America.”


Book Details:

Title: A Plague Among Us
Author: Deb Pines

Genre: mystery

Series: A Chautauqua Murder Mystery
, book 8

Published: June 22, 2021

Print length: 288 pages







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH DEB PINES


A few of your favorite things: my coffee, Broadway mugs and computer.
Things you need to throw out: my notes and other papers cluttering my New York City apartment that really don’t spark joy in my husband.

Things you need in order to write: #1 nonnegotiable: coffee. Uninterrupted time. A background hum of activity that resembles the newsroom buzz I’m used to as a New York Post copy editor and former reporter.
Things that hamper your writing: interruptions and loud music.

Things you love about writing: the rare moments when I set out to convey something—an image, a conversation, an emotion—and actually nail it.
Things you hate about writing: how it never gets easier and remains a marathon.

Proudest moment: When my first Chautauqua mystery sold a few copies in the Chautauqua Bookstore and when my New York Post headline THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN FREAKING (for a JetBlue pilot’s midflight mental breakdown) was a clue on Jeopardy!


Most embarrassing moment: when I was a young reporter, I had never heard of the song, “The Girl from Ipanema.” Trying to add color to an election-party story, I listed some of the jazz music playing in the background, including (yes, I really wrote this) “The Girl with Emphysema.” When my colleagues noticed the blunder a few days later, they teased me mercilessly.

Favorite foods: I could eat pasta with red sauce or pesto every night. I also love my cappuccinos and gin and tonics.
Things that make you want to throw up: raw fish like ceviche and gamey birds like squab and quail.

Favorite music: show tunes (Especially “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” from Showboat) and classic rock, especially anything by Bruce Springsteen.
Music that make your ears bleed: electronic dance music.

Things you always put in your books: humor.

Things you never put in your books: graphic sex.

Favorite books: I love mysteries and classic literature. My favorite mystery writers include Michael Connelly, Agatha Christie, Laura Lippman, Tony Hillerman, and Sue Grafton. My favorite literary writer is Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge.

Books you would ban: my least favorite are mysteries with a very slow plot that seem more interested in poetic writing than action.

Things that make you happy: my morning coffee seven days a week (over the phone or in person) with my best friend, laughing with my grandson, writing a funny New York Post headline.

Things that drive you crazy: family conflict. I prefer drama in literature, not in real life.


Most daring thing you’ve ever done: I have trekked with my hiking-mad Eagle Scout husband Dave to Everest Base Camp in Nepal (nearly 18,000 feet).

Something you chickened out from doing: I have never skinny-dipped.



EXCERPT FROM A PLAGUE AMONG US

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Mimi and Sylvia were on the road again, heading to the Tissue Donor Center in Jamestown to chase Winston Suarez.

The center wasn’t far from the Loves’ funeral home. But this time Google Maps was directing them to take the highway, not back roads.

They started out the same way, heading west on 394, passing the same early landmarks: the Institution’s empty parking lots, busy golf course and We Wan Chu Cottages.

“So what’s new?” Sylvia asked.

“Too much,” Mimi said. “It’s crazy how I keep learning stuff without seeing how any of it means anything.”

“Because the medical examiner still hasn’t called?”

“Uh-huh.”

Sylvia sighed heavily. “Maybe he’s just as difficult as his dad.”

Tom Love Sr., in Mimi’s opinion, wasn’t difficult. All he had done was stand up for his son before Sylvia picked a fight with him. But Mimi let it go.

“Well, one thing I’ll grant the older one,” Sylvia said.

“What?”

“He’s above average in the looks department.”

Mimi chuckled.

“What?”

“I thought you’re done with all of that nonsense.”

“I am.”

Sylvia moved to the left lane to take the ramp onto Route 17/Interstate-86 East and floored it.

“Whoa, hey,” Mimi said. “Mario Andretti, slow down.”

Okay, okay,” Sylvia said. “Just had to get us on the highway.”

Sylvia slowed down to fit into the slow lane, sticking behind a FedEx truck going a steady 70 miles an hour.

Mimi filled Sylvia in on what she had heard from Shannon about Liam and Patrick. Their denials of knowing anything about the pranks. Their claims the decisions to have no autopsy and a quick cremation were just expedient—so Patrick could get home.

“So what time does Winston Suarez get off work?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s 5.”

Mimi had reached Winston once, described why she was calling. He got quiet, then hung up. After that, she called Winston and never reached him—leaving something like five or six messages.

They stayed on the highway about ten miles before taking the Jamestown airport exit, then winding around a maze of city streets until signs with a big “H” led them to the UPMC Hospital campus.

“Hopefully,” Sylvia said, “we’re more irresistible in person.”

The Tissue Donor Center was one of many outbuildings with medical-sounding names surrounding the redbrick main hospital.

Some were done in their own architectural style. Most, like the Tissue Donor Center, imitated the low-slung, redbrick design of the hospital, down to having a white number (for their address) and a primary-colored letter on their sides.

The letters were explained on campus signs. Building A was the main hospital. Building B, the signs said, was Outpatient Svcs. C was the Sherman Medical Bldg. D was Imaging & Medical Bldg. E was Physical Therapy, Pharmacies. F was the Tissue Donor Cntr.

Sylvia zipped past the early letters of the alphabet, slowing at F, the Tissue Donor Cntr. The main door had its name above it, an intercom to the right. Near the curb, another sign said, “No Standing any time. Ambulance Lane.”

They didn’t see any ambulances, but Sylvia decided to wait for Mimi anyway in a parking lot across the street.

“Break a leg,” Sylvia yelled as Mimi got out.

Mimi laughed.

If she did break a leg, no question, this was the place to do it. Her limb could be X-rayed at the Imaging Bldg.(D) and then set at Outpatient Svcs. (B).

At the door of the Tissue Donor Center, Mimi knocked.

“Who is it?”

The woman’s voice, through the intercom, was familiar.

“My name is Mimi Goldman,” Mimi said. “And—"

“Let me guess? You’re looking for Winston?”

Mimi laughed. “I guess I’m pretty predictable. Is he here?”

“He is. This is Hannah, by the way. We keep speaking on the phone. Why don’t I see if he’ll come out?”

Mimi had high hopes. How hard would it be for Winston to take a few steps to walk outside and see her?

On the other hand, blowing her off might be easier.

When she heard a ping, Mimi examined her phone. Sylvia, after coaching from her grandkids, texted like a teenager.

Wassup?

I asked for WS and someone said they’d get him. Just waiting.

Standing there, Mimi went through her email. Then she switched to her latest word game addiction: Spelling Bee in The New York Times.

Players have to make the most words, four letters or longer, from seven given letters, including one letter that had to be used in every word. The words that day had to be made from BLWCHAE, with all using an E.

Mimi started with the obvious ones: BLEACH, BLECH, BEACH, EACH, LEACH, LECH. She was moving on to trickier words when the center’s door swung open.

Out stepped a tall, handsome, dark-featured young man in a white surgical mask and blue scrubs with the name SUAREZ above his shirt pocket.

“I don’t know who you are,” he said. “I don’t know why you keep asking me about this case, but . . . I’m pleading with you to drop it and just go.”

Mimi had expected an asshole, too lazy or too self-important to talk. Not a frightened young man.

“Can you say why?” she asked. “I have no idea why this case is at all sensitive.”

Winston shook his head.

“How about off the record? You have my word that I’d never tell anyone you ever spoke to me.”

“Sorry,” he said. “I can’t risk losing my job.”

***

Excerpt from A Plague Among Us by Deb Pines.  Copyright 2021 by Deb Pines. Reproduced with permission from Deb Pines. All rights reserved.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR   


Deb Pines, an award-winning New York Post headline writer and former reporter, is the author of eight murder mysteries that are top sellers in the Chautauqua Institution in western New York where they are set. Her series includes four IndieReader-approved titles. She lives in New York City with her husband Dave.



Connect with Deb:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Chautauquau Bookstore