Blog Archives

Hitherto & Thitherto – Trailer

A memoir of four decades into the future set against the backdrop of difficult times in the United States, starting from late 2010 and ending in 2045. This is the story of an unusual American family as they struggle against the convergence of oncoming economic hard times, social ills and political instability. From witnessing a complete economic collapse to the unfolding of a race war to a full-scale revolution, the family matriarch’s dream of riding the success of American civilization, instead veers to living the nightmare of the country’s demise.

This is the only futurology book where three of the predictions in the book have, in such a short amount of time, manifested: the disintegration of the Iran nuclear deal, Trumps tariff wars and the Russian meddling in US affairs. Read to find out further…

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Keeper of Slaves

Keeper of Slaves: Book Two of Antebellum Struggles by [Erman, Dickie]

Collette should be one of the happiest women around. As the wife of a wealthy plantation owner, she has everything she could possibly want and lives in the home of her dreams. Her husband, however, makes living her best life impossible. As he has taken up with Amana, one of their slaves, Collette’s life has taken quite a tragic and sad turn. When Amana finds herself in just the right place at the ideal moment to save Collette’s life, both women begin to realize there is much more to their relationship than either of them could have ever imagined.

Keeper of Slaves, Antebellum Struggles Book 2, by Dickie Erman, traces the drama surrounding Trent and Collette Winters and the battle to survive via the Underground Railroad. Erman skillfully crafts a cast of characters who are deeply involved in making the Underground Railroad successful. The author appeals successfully to readers’ emotions and describes incredibly intense scenes of fearful and anxious moments of planning as the book’s main characters attempt to do what feels like the impossible given the time period and the extreme circumstances of their lives.

Even though Erman includes a brief summary of events from Book 1 at the outset, I feel there are several key elements I was missing as I read. Quite a bit of time was spent trying to visualize situations and subplots. There is a history between this entire cast of characters that is begging to be read.

I am beyond intrigued by the “ghost ship.” I found it to be a fantastic addition to the plot and was able to visualize each and every aspect of the ship and its lack of life, the missing supplies, and the eerie and overwhelming silence. Though it sounds a bit out of place in a story of this genre, it actually works quite well.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the concern I have over the dialect. While the bulk of the dialogue feels quite authentic, there are a few things I found distracting as I read. Accents and turns of phrase felt accurate throughout the book for the most part, but a few terms like “machismo” and “space aliens” struck me as odd and felt out of place for the book’s antebellum setting. Periodically, the reader is given the impression that the third person narrator is, indeed, part of the story. While this works in some cases, it doesn’t feel effective here. I was especially confused when, in the narration, the alligator that attacks Collette is referred to as a “gata.” The sudden switching on and off of the more personal narration is a bit difficult to reconcile with the rest of the book.

I am giving Keeper of Slaves, Antebellum Struggles Book 2, by Dickie Erman, 4 out of 5 stars. Fans of historical fiction who desire a bit of romance in their plots will enjoy Erman’s work. I highly recommend Keeper of the Slaves, Antebellum Struggles Book 2 to those who are particularly attracted to Civil War stories with generous amounts of character interaction and authentic dialogue.

Pages: 211 | ASIN: B07NN5ZF8X

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The Money Trail

The Money Trail (The Sean Kruger Series Book 5) by [Fields, J.C.]

The Money Trail is another excellent edition to and Sean Kruger series. Once again we meet Sean Kruger and his band of intriguing friends. It’s obvious that Fields cares about his characters as the development of core characters that have been present throughout the series is extremely well done. There’s just enough action to get your heart pumping and just enough drama to have you on the edge of your seat.

It takes skill to keep readers coming back again and again to read about the same characters in slightly similar situations. It can get redundant and boring when executed poorly. That is not what readers will find in this book. Lovers of the Sean Kruger Series will only find more of what they’ve come to love and expect out of Fields. His characters are well developed, the action and drama are paced well and the twists and turns will have readers guessing with just the right amount of bait. It’s hard to put down a book in the Kruger series once you’ve picked it up and The Money Trail is no exception.

Fields has been writing these books for nearly five years. That’s a long time to keep characters straight and ensure that you don’t have them acting out of turn. Clearly Fields has a method to his madness as every book further develops the characters personalities and honors their growth from installment to installment. His books have won awards and are sure to influence a generation of readers. High praise for someone who began as an Indie writer making a break on their own.

Reading an installment of the Sean Kruger Series can be bitter-sweet. There is the thrill of the read: finding out what Kruger is up to now, where he will go and who he will bring with him. But there is also the disappointment when it ends because you simply want more. The Money Trail by J.C. Fields brings out that feeling effortlessly. It’s such an engaging read that is engrossing and fun. This book is an excellent installment in the series and I can’t wait for the next thrilling drama he gets caught up in.

Pages: 349 | ASIN: B07MTMCCDQ

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Decades to Resolve

K.B. Laugheed Author Interview

K.B. Laugheed Author Interview

The Gift of the Seer follows Katie and Hectors journey across the continent as they learn more about each others ways. What was the inspiration for the setup to this series?

I had a fairly bad childhood, but when I was seventeen, I became captivated by Native American history, and I have never looked back. I have spent my life studying Indian history, cultures, and stories, and I even went on to get a Masters Degree in English with a specialty in Native American literature. After having read dozens and dozens of captivity stories from the 17th, 18th, & 19th centuries, I wanted to write a book to share what I learned with people who have neither the time nor energy to dig through all those old documents.

Katie and Hector are dynamic characters with an interesting relationship. What were some driving ideals behind their characters?

I see Katie and Hector as metaphorical representatives of their people. They are endlessly intrigued by one another, even as they also pose a very serious threat to each other. Because they formed a physical bond before they understood much about each other’s worlds, they created a conflict that takes them decades to resolve–which is, oddly enough, equally true of almost all young lovers who get married and have children! So one of the basic premises of the story is that relationships are hard, whether those relationships are between individuals or nations, and finding common ground is an ongoing challenge. But, oh!–meeting that challenge is definitely worth the effort!

I enjoyed the nuanced world views and philosophies in the book. What were some themes you wanted to explore in this book?

I was very intrigued by the idea of writing a story that could be read on multiple levels. If you are interested in American Indians, you can read this book to learn more about Native cultures. If you are interested in complex marital relationships, you can read this book to find out how one “odd couple” made a difficult marriage work. If you are interested in personal identity issues, you can read this book to see how someone who suffers from chronic self-doubt deals with the challenge of living up to other people’s high expectations. If you are interested in Spirituality, you can read this book to ponder the role Spirit can play in the everyday life of humans. And if you just want a fast-paced adventure story, you can read this book simply for the thrills and chills.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I was working on an intriguing manuscript three years ago, but I gave it up when I could not see how the story ended. Then my mother died, and I suddenly understood exactly how that story ended. Now that I have finally gotten The Gift of the Seer into the hands of the public, I am returning to my unfinished manuscript, and I hope to have something readable by mid-2020.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

The Gift of the Seer by [Laugheed, K.B.]

Katie O’Toole’s epic adventure began in The Spirit Keeper (Plume 2013) when she was rescued from a 1747 frontier massacre in Pennsylvania only to find herself chosen as the “Spirit Keeper” of a dying Indian Seer. She hesitated to accept this mysterious obligation until she fell in love with the Seer’s bodyguard, an Indian man she called Hector.

In The Gift of the Seer, Katie and Hector continue their journey across the continent, but the more Katie learns about the peculiar ways of her husband’s people, the more she dreads arriving at their destination. Will anyone believe she is the Spirit Keeper she pretends to be? Equally troubling, Katie knows the Seer expected her to prove his Vision—a Vision which foretold of infinite Invaders coming to his world—but to prove this prophecy, she must give his people the great Gift he also predicted. The only problem is that Katie has no Gift to give.

Years pass as she desperately searches for a way to fulfill her promise to the dead Seer, but when his former rival threatens to expose her as a fraud, Katie finally understands that her life and the lives of all the people in her new world hang in the balance. That’s when she knows she must give a Gift—she must—before it is too late.

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Six Minutes Early – Trailer

Max Kenworth, a former Delta Force officer and nuclear weapons expert, is tasked with stopping a major attack on US soil in this thrilling adventure.

FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) has stolen a cache of man-portable nuclear devices from a secure American facility in Panama. The weapons end up in the hands of ex-special forces officer Bart Madison. With the help of ISIS, drug cartels, and a US senator, Bart is planning to use the devices to create an atrocity in the American heartland.

Max is briefed on the situation by SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and teams up with FBI agent Gail Summers and Mossad agent Danya Mayer to find the weapons before they can be used against American citizens. The three will face opposition from both foreign enemies and so-called allies as they follow Bart’s trail across the continental United States. Their foe is intelligent and well connected, but the three of them are determined to stop this terrorist before more lives are lost.

Patrick Parker tackles today’s most important issues in this sociopolitical suspense novel. He uses Six Minutes Early to explore the tension between intelligence agencies, holes in national security, and threats from around the world.

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Silent Spring – Deadly Autumn of the Vietnam War – Trailer

WHAT HAPPENED IN VIETNAM DIDN’T STAY IN VIETNAM. IT CAME HOME WITH US!

Silent Spring – Deadly Autumn of the Vietnam War is both a memoir and an investigative journey into all the complications the U.S. government hasn’t told you about the Vietnam War. It’s not just another book about Vietnam or Agent Orange. Rather it’s a “silver bullet” which cuts through to the heart of the circumstances and pesticides used during that war—highly toxic herbicides and insecticides, which in some cases are still being used to this very day all over the globe, even right here in the USA.

So, forget everything you’ve heard from our government and everything that you think you know about the Vietnam War because this book is much more than a memoir of one Vietnam veteran’s struggles over the decades following the war. It’s a story of all the veterans who served in Vietnam and their children. And it could even be the story of you and your children, too.

As you read through the book and its volumes of information, you will be absolutely stunned at what the US government had willingly dumped on Vietnam and its own troops.

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An Intriguing Tapestry

Paul Scopel Author Interview

Paul Scopel Author Interview

Tarnished Tiara is a fascinating story about the mysterious death of an innocent young woman. What was the inspiration behind this book?

I attempted to weave an intriguing tapestry which pulled from three key inspirations. First, the untimely deaths of close family members who left little direction as to their end of life plans remained heavy on my mind. Subsequently, I obsessed over the importance for such planning in our life and issues of elder care. The remedy found itself in receiving professional advice. Next, I pulled from common themes in today’s media centering on vain beauty queens with fragile egos, multiple marriages, and mysterious deaths. It is not an uncommon event. Just before writing the book, I realized at least seven title holders of various beauty pageants, all of them influential people including a former Miss America, had actually been present in my younger years. Finally, I wanted to expose the disease of animal hoarding. From the moment I left the scene of a house in a hazmat situation destroyed by multiple cats, similar to the one in my book, I wanted to express my shock and fury over this real condition. Entering that house was the worst day of my life.

Cece and Liz are interesting characters that shared a deep bond. What were some themes you wanted to capture in their characters?

How deep loyalty and trust of certain family members is rooted

Parenting provides the roots of self-esteem

Dealing with elder care legal and mental health issues

This story takes us through many phases of the girl’s lives. What were some ideas you wanted to explore in this book?

The central idea is that some family members earn the enduring love which leads to trust, while other relatives provoke strained and broken ties. These pleasant and sour attitudes lead to choices which matter, in the end. Choices such as spouses, careers, where to live, and even pets. Hoarding, specifically the destructive effects of animal hoarding on health and property is a key idea I pursued. Further, untreated mental health illnesses and prescription drug abuse affects families and institutions across the country in real, tangible ways. Finally, as our population ages, there is a need to recognize that end of life decisions should be made proactively instead of burdening our loved ones.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am starting to write two books currently.

“Richie and Crazy Joe”, a fictional sequel to Tarnished Tiara, examines the symbiotic relationship of two cousins, a quirky male and supportive female. The male falls under the influence of shady dealings of cousins on the “other side” of his family. Expected: Fall 2020.

“Dirt Court”, fiction based loosely on a female “All-State” basketball player in Texas in 1930, who also was my mother. It is about the life of an immigrant who succeeds despite abject poverty, language barriers, and girls playing basketball when it was not cool for women to be in a sport dominated by males. The high school girls’ team became known as the Legends of Texas and were undefeated in their senior year. Expected: Fall 2021.

Author Links: Amazon

Two women grow in surprising ways to ultimately switch roles as the idol falls from grace
To the outside world, Liz Perkins had it all – beauty, charm, poise, talent and many adoring men. One wonders, how could it all have gone so shockingly wrong?
When the flirtatious beauty queen, Liz, entered a room with her enigmatic flair, no one sensed her fragility – a result of the badgering of a demanding stage mother.
Over the years, the lives of two close girl cousins took dramatically different turns. Cece found long-term fulfillment in her rock, Ross Turner. But contrary to expectations, Liz’s legacy unfolded much differently than imagined. When happiness eluded her through multiple abusive marriages and dubious companions,she was left with the only company that offered her unconditional love – her many cats.
To the casual observer, Liz achieved success and fame. Though attaining celebrity through television, advertising, and public speaking, her search for happiness ended one mysterious and tragic night when everything changed…

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Cottonblood – Trailer

This saga begins amid the wealth of Southern plantation owners and Northern investors. By identifying the equities gained, greater concerns began to rise among the nation’s abolitionists. As a consequence, regional politicians began moving the citizenry into opposing camps.

COTTONBLOOD tracks the lives of two adolescent murderers: The first, a mixed-breed Canadian entering American waters as a deckhand aboard a French freighter. The second, a youngster captured from Sierra Leone to a foreign land where a strange language is spoken. Although the two men never meet, their journeys lattice one another as each search for some form of security. When false hope leads one into an unsolicited life of labor, the other haphazardly finds a future of opulence.

The plot traces their lives, and relations, through generations of survival leading the inheritors into the first year of America’s horrendous Civil War.

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On Loving – Trailer

In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora’s box. It is a world both foreign and familiar, in which her primary place is as the heiress to a great tribe. In Iran, Rose will find family she never dreamed of, her own people, and a man who loves her as passionately as he does the rare black roses of his garden. She will return to the United States carrying a new secret and torn between two men: the one she loves helplessly, and the one who loves her unconditionally.

Woven throughout with Persian poetry ancient and modern, On Loving is the story of one woman’s lifetime of love and loss, of societal change in a nomadic people, and of overcoming personal challenges, including mental and physical health, to find true contentment. Above all, it is a story of love: its physiology, psychology and philosophy; the many forms it takes; its myths and truths; its challenges, its joys and its gifts.

The title of this novel is proudly chosen in honor of Forugh Farrokhzad, the popular contemporary Persian poet. Her famous poem by the same title “On Loving” or “Az doost Dashtan” has considered to be one of the most beautiful literary works created by her in her short yet productive life.

“On Loving”, A Novel, is dedicated to the memory of this bold, talented woman and all the women around the world who have been attesting the taboos and discrimination against women in any form by using their voices, artistic, constructive views, works of art and more importantly professional achievements.

 

 

A Swift and Deadly Maelstrom: The Great Norwich Flood of 1963, a Survivors Story

'A Swift and Deadly Maelstrom: the Great Norwich Flood of 1963, a Survivors Story by [Moody Jr, Thomas R.]

March 1963 saw the devastation of the Great Norwich Flood and the aftermath that left one town struggling to pick up the pieces. One young boy and his family found themselves fighting for their lives when the dam wall burst and a watery hell was brought forth on their homes. As floodwaters moved from an odd trickle down the center of the street before them to a panicked roar, author Thomas Moody, his parents, and his siblings made a mad dash to escape their home and flee to higher ground. Neither the Moodys nor their neighbors could have predicted that a normal, peaceful night could have so quickly turned deadly for so many residents of their town.

A Swift and Deadly Maelstrom: The Great Norwich Flood of 1963, A Survivors Story, by Thomas Moody, is the account of the night that took his own mother’s life and changed the course of history for so many friends and neighbors in his hometown of Norwich, Connecticut. Moody, a young boy on that fateful night, relates the facts of the dam’s construction, its subsequent mismanagement, and the events leading up to that fateful rupture when the waters spilled into the streets, sweeping away automobiles, filling the local mill, and pulling citizens under its torrent.

Moody’s insight into the deadly night is invaluable to the reader. In addition to relating the events as they occurred and how they impacted families across the city, he includes his own thoughtful analysis as to what may have actually been the cause for his mother’s inability to maintain her grasp on her father’s hand in the final moments of her life. The heartbreaking moment his family loses their beloved wife and mother will forever be etched in the readers’ minds.

Moody gives readers stunning imagery over which to pore as he moves from one stage of devastation to the next. Accounts from other survivors serve to strengthen the impact of Moody’s writing and continually add layers of emotion to the tragic story. Moody includes the most amazing mental images of homes and businesses that miraculously escaped the floodwaters with minimal damage or no effects at all from the dam’s hellacious rage. Interspersed throughout Moody’s writing are stories of shining moments, making the overall tone of the account more bearable. The author manages to provide a wide array of views on that ominous night in March.

To find as an adult that the safety and security of the dam’s structure was so blatantly overlooked year after year and ultimately led to his mother’s death had to be unimaginably emotionally draining. I cannot imagine the strength and fortitude it must have taken to write the story of his own mother’s passing and relive the horrors of that night in print, but Thomas Moody has provided us all with a survivor’s account worth reading and taking to heart.

Pages: 288 | ASIN: B079K2GQDY

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