Author Larry Landgraf (Guadalupe River Delta, Texas Gulf Coast, USA)

Into Winter: The Armed Invasion (The Four Seasons Book 3) by Larry Landgraf

The ruthless dictator of Corpus Christi, Sandra Hawkins has blood in her eyes as she plans revenge against Peaceful Valley.

Sean Lin discovers her plan, but does the small community stand a chance against her heavily armed and well-trained army?

The valley’s residents are wary hunters skilled at camouflage and stealth, but will toughness and smarts be enough to save their way of life from overwhelming force?

Cold Coffee Book Review: Let me quickly recap The Four Seasons series books One and Two before jumping into book three titled Into Winter: The Armed Invasion (The Four Seasons Book 3) by Larry Landgraf.

Book One (Into Autumn by Larry Landgraf) takes one of modern man’s worst fears and makes it a reality when the grid fails leaving people to survive by any and all means possible. Communities like Peaceful Valley spring up, but not without advantages and disadvantages to belong.

Book Two (Into Spring-The Next Generation by Larry Landgraf) finds two young adults from Peaceful Valley striking out on their own to find wives. Arriving in Corpus Christi, they find a society ruled by a ruthless dictator named Sandra Hawkins. Survival takes on a different form than Sean and Robbie had known in Peaceful Valley and escape might be out of their reach.

Book Three (Into Winter: The Armed Invasion by Larry Landgraf) brings us to a point in the story where Robbie and two female allies (Florence Ingalls and Beka Livingston) are trying to escape in a Cessna Skyhawk at the Airport. This is a dangerous proposition. Back in Peaceful Valley, the community is gearing up for a standoff against Sandra Hawkins’s army which they learn may be heading their way. Their only defense might be offense with some old equipment as John states “I know a little about electronics”. Will they be able to save their small community from this tyrant and if they do, what lies ahead?

Author Larry Landgraf weaves a believable tale that takes his characters into survival mode that toys with the reader’s imagination and the ‘what ifs’. Like what if our grid was to fail? What if democracy was no more? Each character plays his and her part well and the story flows quickly from one page to the next. I encourage you to read each book in this epic series in order. Author Larry Landgraf wrote book two and three as stand-alone novels to help those who come late to the series. Now we wait for his promised conclusion titled Into Summer: Dawn Of A New Age.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Into Winter: The Armed Invasion (The Four Seasons Book 3) by Larry Landgraf. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on January 16, 2018.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic

Customer Reviews
https://www.amazon.com/Into-Winter-Armed-Invasion-Seasons-ebook/dp/B075VH8KTK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512492415&sr=1-3#customerReviews

Hardcover
https://www.amazon.com/Into-Winter-Armed-Invasion-Seasons/dp/1936442566/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512492415&sr=1-3

Print
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Kindle
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Into Spring: The Next Generation (Four Seasons Book 2) by Larry Landgraf

Twenty years after Into Autumn, Sean and Robbie leave Peaceful Valley for Corpus Christi, hoping to find women who will join their fiercely protective group back home.

What they find is a fight to survive the violent dictatorship of ruthless Sandra Hawkins.

Meanwhile, a new family joins the group in the Valley, except that what seems like a safe addition might bring the worst kinds of change.

Into Spring continues the Four Seasons saga about building a new life in Texas after the collapse of civilization.

Award: Into Spring 2017 finalist ‘Book of the Year’ (action/adventure) Independent Author’s Network (IAN1)

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic

Customer Reviews
https://www.amazon.com/Into-Spring-Next-Generation-Seasons-ebook/dp/B01MZDAAQ9/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512493106&sr=1-2#customerReviews

Hardcopy
https://www.amazon.com/Into-Spring-Next-Generation-Seasons/dp/1936442434/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512493106&sr=1-2

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Into Autumn: A Story of Survival (Four Seasons Book 1) by Larry Landgraf

Lars is living alone in the Texas countryside when the economy collapses and his world becomes a dystopian nightmare.

Joined by outsider Eileen, he and his neighbors band together for survival in their “Peaceful Valley.”

They must learn to scratch out sustenance while fending off predatory invasions in an increasingly violent and lethal world.

Into Autumn is a sweeping adventure, a thought-provoking saga that could happen to us all.

IA Chapter 8 Reading: This is a very important video for anyone trying to decide whether or not to read book one of the Four Seasons Series. A professional actor, Kaleb Alexander, will read Chapter 8 from Into Autumn to you. Just sit back, watch, and listen.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic

Customer Reviews
https://www.amazon.com/Into-Autumn-Story-Survival-Seasons-ebook/dp/B01MYBDX8O/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512493234&sr=1-1#customerReviews

Print
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Kindle
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A Tempest In Texas (Print Replica) by Larry Landgraf

A chilling account of how Lars Lindgren and Eileen Branson must face new challenges when all of humanity is forced into desperate survival mode when the grid shuts down, and government and the economy crumble.

True-life characters in gravely realistic scenarios sure to make some people squeamish.

Awards:
A Tempest in Texas 2017 finalist ‘screenplay’ New York Screenwriting Festival (action/adventure)
A Tempest in Texas 2017 finalist ‘screenplay’ Influx Magazine Festival (action/adventure)
A Tempest in Texas 2017 semi-finalist ‘screenplay’ Los Angeles Screenwriting Festival (action/adventure)
A Tempest in Texas is currently in the hands of two producers.

Genre: Comedy, Humor & Entertainment, Movies, Screenplays, Arts & Photography, Performing Arts

Customer Reviews
https://www.amazon.com/Tempest-Texas-Larry-Landgraf-ebook/dp/B06Y1BBKY6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512492766&sr=1-4#customerReviews

Print
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Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/Tempest-Texas-Larry-Landgraf-ebook/dp/B06Y1BBKY6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512492766&sr=1-4

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How To Be A Smart SOB Like Me by Larry Landgraf

Work, money, food, relationships, life in general—these are the everyday struggles for billions crowded into our challenging world.

Larry Landgraf tells us his story and the many lessons he’s learned for finding extraordinary happiness.

How to Be a Smart SOB Like Me is a stark but heartfelt examination of a life well-lived.

You might like him, and you might not, but you can’t help but learn ways you, too, can achieve your best.

Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Biographies & Memoirs

Customer Reviews
https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Smart-SOB-Like-ebook/dp/B06XVFS5HF/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512492945&sr=1-5#customerReviews

Hardcover
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Kindle
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Cold Coffee Press Author Spotlight Interview With Larry Landgraf

Larry Landgraf was born and raised on the Guadalupe River Delta on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Update: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That being said, I have created two video slide shows set to music. They are “Who Am I?” and “Life in My Swamp”. They are the first two videos in the slideshow to the right. Know me first and you’ll know why I write what I write. Thank you.

After four years of college, Larry spent 20+ years as a commercial fisherman. When that ended he became a general contractor for another 20+ years. He wrote his first book in 1986 in an attempt to save his commercial fishing career. The book and the career failed. After retiring from the contracting business due to a death defying accident, he wrote his second book in 2012 “How to be a Smart SOB Like Me”.

Still he didn’t consider himself an author. He awoke one morning in January 2015 with a story in his head. He sat down at the computer and began to write this story. Next thing he knew, he had written 300 pages. After an extensive re-write and editing, “Into Autumn – A Story of Survival” was published in September 2015. This is his third book, but debut novel. “Into Autumn” was re-published in January of 2017.

As he left some things hanging in “Into Autumn” he had to write a sequel. “Into Spring – The Next Generation” came out in January 2017. It made “finalist” in the Independent Author’s Network (IAN1) 2017 Book of the Year contest. Larry then came up with the idea of a Four Seasons series. “Into Winter” hit the shelves in September of 2017. “Into Summer” is next and is planned for 2018, but before that, another screenplay is in the works as well as turning his “Tales From the Riverside” blog into a book. Larry finally considers himself an author, but you decide for yourself.

Larry still lives on the Guadalupe River Delta…in the swamp. He writes, tends his fruit orchard and his large garden. He enjoys fishing with Ellen, his significant other, traveling and living in the country where he resides.

Update: Hurricane Harvey hit Larry dead center. You won’t believe what happened. His home is okay, but the story is unbelievable. Read it on his blog titled Tales from the Riverside. That Son-of-a-bitch Harvey Almost Got the Best of Me. http://intoautumn.com/?p=562

What makes you proud to be a writer from (Texas)? I’m proud to be a writer from Texas because we can write with a southern drawl and get away with it. When I say my main female character flees San Antonio, you know exactly where she is. When I say my protagonist, Lars, is a Davy Crockett type Texas country gentleman, you can visualize what he looks like, talks like, and the way he carries himself. You know he’s going to take care of his lady. Finally, you know that I write stories as big as Texas. My epic sage of Peaceful Valley, the Four Seasons Series, spans four volumes, three of which are now complete. The finale, Into Summer, will sizzle off the presses in 2018.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I wrote two non-fiction books, the first in 1986 to try to save my commercial fishing career. The book and career ended in failure. My second, How to Be a Smart SOB Like Me was inspired by dumb people, most of which I seemed to find up and down the highway. I did not consider myself an author at this point. A death-defying injury and a contracting business I could no longer run, forced me to retire. But I couldn’t do nothing, but I didn’t know what I was going to do. In January 2015, I awoke with a story in my head and began writing. Before I knew it, I had written 300 pages. As I left a few things hanging, there had to be a sequel. Only when the sequel was published did I decide on the Series and finally considered myself an author.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Absolutely! I grew up wild in the country fending for myself much of the time. I have been self-employed all my life and built my own home with my own two hands. There isn’t anything I can’t do that I decide I want to do. “Can’t” has never been a part of my vocabulary. I am strong of body and mind and I feel everyone else should be as well. I know we can’t all be strong, but I like to help nudge people in that direction. Life is tough. It’s supposed to be that way and people need to learn how to take care of themselves. One day you may not have a choice, and then what are you going to do? Wish then that you had listened to me today? Remember, “What you learn today will determine how well you live tomorrow.” by Larry Landgraf.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I knew I’d publish my first book in 1986 and my second in 2012 and wrote those knowing I would publish them. It wasn’t until the sequel, Into Spring, to my first novel, Into Autumn, that I wrote as a bona fide author. I then had a goal in mind, the Four Seasons Series, and wrote from that time forward knowing my path and that I was now and would continue to be an author.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Acceptance and praise of my work. It feels great when others enjoy what you have written. When someone has read Into Autumn and say they can’t wait to read Into Spring, then that they want to read the entire series tells me that I am on the right path in my writing. I have always considered my work to be as unique as I am, and for others to like who I am and what I’m writing, is priceless.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Receiving awards for my work. I wrote the screenplay for the first book in my series, Into Autumn, and titled it A Tempest in Texas. It made finalist in the New York Screenwriting Festival and the Influx Magazine Screenwriting Festival. I never thought to enter Into Autumn into any contests, therefore it didn’t win anything. A Tempest in Texas won in Into Autumn’s stead. I did, however, enter Into Spring into the Independent Author’s Network (IAN1) ‘Book of the Year’ contest. It made ‘finalist’ in the action/adventure genre.

How many published books do you have? I have six published books, but Dangerous Waters published in 1986 is out of print, so I have five to sell including the screenplay.

Please list the titles of all your books:
How to Be a Smart SOB Like Me
Into Autumn – A Story of Survival
Into Spring – The Next Generation
Into Winter – The Armed Invasion
A Tempest in Texas

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? ‘Before, during, and after’ for the SOB book. The title was changed many times and when the book was complete, I settled on the current title. ‘Before’ for the rest of the series. The main character is loosely patterned after me. Lars Lindgren and I are advancing into the autumn of our lives. That’s where I came up with the title. Into Spring seemed appropriate for The Next Generation in book two. After Into Spring was finished and I had decided to write the series, Into Winter and Into Summer fell into place. That’s why the seasons aren’t sequential in the series. My best friend, after whom crazy Reggie is patterned after in Into Autumn, came up with the screenplay title. We tossed the name around for weeks while I was writing the script. He told me the title had to have the word ‘tempest’ in it. It was easy after that…A Tempest in Texas it was.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My Four Seasons Series books are listed as action/adventure. How to Be a Smart SOB Like Me is non-fiction, but it is about life, my life mostly. The fiction series is about a major catastrophe in life. The characters are all ordinary people with their good qualities and their faults, all thrust into desperate survival mode. But, as in real life, the books are so much more. There is love, camaraderie, hardship, struggle, tough decisions, a menage a trois or two, murder, mystery, suspense, humor, sarcasm, bullying, domestic violence, hopes and dreams, girly stuff, man stuff, and lesbianism. Pretty much what you might find in real life. I look around and write about what I know. I try to hit on all the major conflicts of modern man (and woman), and maybe even a few not so major struggles.

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Into The Winter. The Series is best if read in order, though books two and three were written as stand-alone novels.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? As I said earlier, I awoke from a dream very early one morning in January 2015, with a story in my head. I have no idea where it came from, but the story sounded good in my mind, good enough to get me out of bed and on the computer. I wrote for hours, the words spilling out of my head onto the page. I felt possessed, though I don’t believe in that sort of stuff. Before I knew it, I had written another book. I put my heart and soul into the story. I still love it whether or not anyone else does. But apparently though, quite a few people do like it.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Don’t force the story or words. Write from your heart and soul. If you have the story in you, it will flow to the paper with ease.

Who is your favorite author and why? Mark Twain for Tom Sawyer. I was very sick with measles and mumps at the same time when I was young. My oldest sister bought this book for me. I loved the book and now that my sister is no longer with me, I think of her often and how sweet she was to me from that day forward. For poetry, I have to say Edgar Allen Poe. I love all his poetry, but Annabel Lee is my favorite.

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Amazon Author’s Page
https://www.amazon.com/Larry-Landgraf/e/B00NS3YRLO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4?qid=1512492363&sr=8-4

Professional Website (Primary)
http://www.intoautumn.com/

The Smart SOB (Save The World and Rant)
http://thesmartsob.com/the-smart-sob/blog/

Into The Spring (Work In Progress)
http://www.intospringsequel.com

Into The Winter (Work In Progress)
http://www.intowinter.com

YouTube Channel (23 videos)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHAl2COVDWFIpDB_B8AkoRp3iiaXaKCaC

Professional Blog
http://intoautumn.com/?p=562

Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/intoautumn

Twitter
https://twitter.com/riverrmann

Google+
https://plus.google.com/u/0/105809662207011182230/about/p/pub

Pinterest
https://www.pinterest.com/riverrmann2/into-autumn/

Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/47756876-larry-landgraf

Cold Coffee Café
http://coldcoffeecafe.com/profile/LarryLandgraf

Cold Coffee Press
http://www.coldcoffeepress.com/larry-landgraf

Author Kaylin McFarren (Oregon-USA)

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Kaylin McFarren’s Threads Series

“Stories That Touch The Soul”

From the Author: For many years, I’ve had the privilege to experience remarkable things and rare opportunities while traveling the globe. This includes many forms of transportation, ranging from private planes, helicopters, and hot air balloons to kayaks, submarines, and elegant cruise ships. My journeys have allowed me to meet interesting people, discover fascinating cultures, forge lifelong friendships, and introduce dear friends to all parts of the world. Personal experiences, extensive research, and interesting tales shared by business associates have contributed to making this fun character-driven story possible and it’s my hope that readers are thoroughly entertained.

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Twisted Threads (Threads Series Book Four) by Kaylin McFarren

Akira Hamada is driven by past failure. Two years earlier, she had a chance to kill her greatest enemy–Kaito Mitsui. Instead, the Yakuza boss forced her to become an assassin in his employ. Now Akira carries out the bloody business of the notorious crime syndicate and hates herself more each day.

When Mitsui hears that his sister’s murderer will be on the cruise ship Starfish, he immediately tasks Akira with eliminating the man once and for all. This is what Akira has trained for, but a series of strange events on the ship tests her resolve and shows her a way to redemption.

Devon Lyons, on the other hand, has nothing to do with assassins. He’s merely accompanying his aunt and uncle, Sara and Paul Lyons, on a free cruise. Little does he know that the two are the true targets of the charming Japanese tourist he has just met!

Akira knows that either Sara or Paul is the killer but doesn’t know which one. She hopes seducing the handsome Devon will lead to better intel, but she is surprised to find herself trusting him. And soon, the pair finds themselves fighting for their lives on the high seas.

*2017 NYC Big Book Award Winner, Thriller Category

Cold Coffee Press Review: For all of us following the Threads Series by Kaylin McFarren, Twisted Threads does not disappoint. When we left off with book three, we were wondering if the ‘Watcher’ would ever deliver justice.

This drama opens with Akira Sato contemplating a “justified killing” and she is lost in the consequences, forced to move forward. Devon Lyons laments over his recent demotion and the emotional sting of a forced Caribbean vacation to please his Uncle. Devon’s mind and attention soon shifts when Akira calls him “Sexy”. Women have called him “clever”, “lovable” and “incredibly handsome” but “sexy” has just caught him off guard. With more than romance in the air the voyage brings mystery, suspense and a complex drama with threads so twisted you will keep turning the page.

Here is an excerpt I think you will like: “Akira took the elevator across from the theater, dazed from the four glasses of wine and shot of vodka she had consumed. A few seconds passed, and the doors opened before her. She stepped out into the empty hallway and couldn’t figure out which direction she was facing, let alone which way to proceed. She looked down and realized the carpeting under her feet had red and blue medallions—not the gold and blue diamonds she’d become familiar with seeing. After making numerous trips to various restaurants, she realized she had gotten off on the right floor but on the wrong end of the ship. The enormous staircase on her right led to the upper and lower levels, which should have made it easy to find her way back to her room.

However, her explorations on the ship had proved that not every floor had immediate access to the passenger levels; many were blocked by restaurants, lounges, and shops.

Akira decided it was best to start over—to backtrack the way she had come. She pushed the elevator button and waited for what seemed like an eternity. Then a slight sway in the ship’s motion caused her stomach to lurch. She needed fresh air to avoid further humiliation. A glass exit door stood waiting a short distance away. She slid it open and stepped outside. Oddly, all of the overhead lights above the walkway were out. It was impossible to see more than ten feet in any given direction. She gripped the safety railing and gazed up at the sky, drawing long, deep breaths. A sudden breeze whipped at her hair, tugging tendrils loose from her pinned-up hairdo. She wrapped her arms around herself, warding off the chill, and was about to return inside when she heard the sound of a voice.”

Jump right in and start peeling off the layers of this Twisted Plot, that will be worth the read and will leave you wanting more.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse multi-award-winning author Kaylin McFarren’s Threads Series which include Banished Threads, Buried Threads, Severed Threads and now Twisted Threads. I purchased and reviewed this book from Kindle and the review was completed on January 6, 2018.

From the Author: For many years, I’ve had the privilege to experience remarkable things and rare opportunities while traveling the globe. This includes many forms of transportation, ranging from private planes, helicopters, and hot air balloons to kayaks, submarines, and elegant cruise ships. My journeys have allowed me to meet interesting people, discover fascinating cultures, forge lifelong friendships, and introduce dear friends to all parts of the world. Personal experiences, extensive research, and interesting tales shared by business associates have contributed to making this fun character-driven story possible and it’s my hope that readers are thoroughly entertained.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Customer Reviews
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Banished Threads (Threads Series Book Three) by Kaylin McFarren

A valuable art collection disappears turning a treasure-hunting duo into crime-stopping sleuths committed to vindicating family members in Kaylin McFarren’s action-packed suspense novel, Banished Threads.

While vacationing at the stately Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves’s paintings are stolen from her uncle’s popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife’s missing granddaughter. Determined to clear Sloan Rafferty’s name and, in the process, win Paul’s favor, Chase scours the countryside looking for answers. In his absence, the police accuse Rachel’s uncle of an unsolved murder and secrets surrounding her grandmother’s death and the deaths of Sara’s former husbands turn his wife into the most likely suspect.

With the true villains hell-bent on destroying Paul Lyons and his family, solving both crimes while ensuring her uncle’s freedom not only endangers Rachel’s life but that of her unborn child. Will Chase save them before the kidnappers enact their revenge or will the ultimate price be paid, as predicted by a vagabond fortuneteller?

First place – 2016 Hudson Valley RWA Hook, Line & Sinker Contest

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Banished Threads begins on a dreary night in late October. Stargazer sliced through the surface of the North Atlantic at fifteen knots, heading straight for the coast of England. After facing many perils at sea Chase Cohen is relieved to finally be in London.

Quote from Book: “With Rachel by his side “they disembarked from the train at Whitchurch and stepped through the station’s main door, Rachel’s excitement rose at the prospect of seeing her uncle. He was a younger version of her father, with the same chiseled good looks. He would have been easy to spot, even in this busy place. But from her vantage point, he was nowhere to be seen. Believing he had forgotten about her arrival, Rachel’s heart sank. She turned to Chase and was about to voice her concern when she caught sight of a handsome man in the passenger-loading zone: white cable-knit sweater, tight jeans, in his mid-thirties, shaggy brown hair, rugged jaw, easy smile, dimples, and unforgettable emerald-green eyes. He was leaning against a silver Mercedes, flashing his perfect white teeth and holding up a sign reading, “Welcome to England, Rachel Lyons.”

For a moment, she could hardly breathe, and she wondered if it was possible to fall over and die from shock. Or maybe from the idea of coming face-to-face with the last person on earth she ever expected to see. Although she had spoken to his Irish mother at a fund-raising event years earlier and was told that Killian was living with relatives in Northampton, she had convinced herself that the chance of meeting him was as unlikely as the sky turning green.

Killian Reed. His shimmering eyes were loving and warm and full of laughter. Rachel gasped and dropped her purse and over- night bag. She pulled off her high heels and ran to him. He swept her up and spun her around. When he set her back down, she buried her face in his chest and hugged him with all her might. She took a deep breath, inhaling the familiar scent of bay-rum aftershave. He kissed the top of her head, and she gazed up at him. She didn’t realize she was crying until he reached out and wiped a tear from her cheek.

“I can’t believe it’s really you,” she whispered, gratified to see unshed tears in his beautiful eyes.

“It’s me, seaweed brain,” he said. “I’m really here.”

Rachel stood on her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck. He put his arms around her waist and held her close. His hand smoothed her hair as he whispered, “I missed you, girl.”

She looked up at him and smiled, and it suddenly dawned on her that you meet all kinds of people in your life. Some you never think about again. Some you wonder what happened to and if they ever think about you. And then there are some you wish you never had to think about again, yet somehow you do. Killian Reed just happened to be one of those disconcerting, unforgettable beings. He was part of her past: a distant, bitter- sweet memory that had lingered for years.

With their last parting, they had grasped each other’s hands with a rush of melancholy, tender, and inexpressible feelings, and had gone their separate ways.

But time had moved on, and there was someone else in her life now—a silent observer patiently standing by, watching their every move with an annoyed pinch between his brows.

She took Killian by the hand and led him to Chase. More than anything, she hoped they would become fast friends, but as they shook hands, Rachel found it difficult to ignore the frowns tugging at the corners of their mouths. They both took a step back and just stood there, regarding each other silently, the air now seeming as cold as a razor blade.””

Twenty two chapters entwine a cast of strong characters in this well written mystery drama that expose family secrets, lies, stolen gallery art, kidnapping engaging readers with suspense and romance. Sit back and enjoy book three of this series where each book can be read in or out of sequence. Author Kaylin McFarren teases us with new tales taking shape in the recesses of her mind that are “only a night’s dream away”.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse multi-award-winning author Kaylin McFarren’s Threads Series which include Banished Threads, Buried Threads, Severed Threads and Flaherty’s Crossing (her stand-alone fiction drama). I purchased and reviewed this book from Kindle and the review was completed on March 22, 2016.

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Amazon Reviews
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Buried Threads (Threads Series Book Two) by Kaylin McFarren

A disturbing prophecy sends a treasure hunting duo on an urgent race to rescue a country in Kaylin McFarren’s heart pounding new novel, Buried Threads. Full of erotic suspense and wild adventures, this is one trip that readers will never forget!

Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen work together as the successful owners of a treasure hunting company. But a seemingly simple assignment–to track down a priceless gem that is believed to be buried in a shipwreck deep within the Sea of Japan–takes a startling, and dangerous, turn.

Faced with a monk’s dark prophecy that a natural disaster will soon strike Japan, killing millions, Rachel and Chase must embark on the mission of a lifetime in order to uncover the three cursed samurai swords that can avert the catastrophe.

Chaos ensues as their adventure takes them from shark infested waters and creepy caves to haunted hidden tombs and a confrontation with Yakuza gang members. Time is running out as the prophecy’s day of reckoning draws near. Will Rachel and Chase succeed before disaster strikes?

Buried Threads has received the following awards: 2014 Reader Views Readers Choice Awards – 1st Place for Romance; 2014 Pacific Book Awards – 1st Place Adventure Category; 2014 Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media’s Great Beginnings Contest – 1st Place Paranormal Mystery; 2013 Chanticleer Clue Awards – 1st Place Steamy/Action/Thriller; 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards – Finalist, Best Cover Design; 2014 eLit Awards – 1st Place Mystery/Suspense/Thriller; 2014 eLit Awards – 2nd Place for Best Book Trailer; 2014 Global Ebook Awards – Gold Medal (1st Place) in the New Adult Fiction Category & Bronze Medal (3rd Place) in the Best Book Trailer Category; 2014 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal in the Fiction – Adventure Category.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: When the mysterious, beautiful Japanese woman with a sword peering from the black sheen of the front cover of ‘Buried Threads’ – by Kaylin McFarren arrived, the silent beckoning began.

I always know when I am reading a well-researched, well written action-adventure, mystery, romance novel when the plot enters my night dreams. Although I didn’t read book one in the series ‘Buried Threads’ stands well on its own. The author knows how to take a great plot, create believable characters, hold the reader in suspense and spin the tale with mastery.

Unfamiliar with Japanese culture (beautiful customs, geishas, ancient rituals), especially the underbelly of the Japanese society, warlords, and unseen paranormal conflicts the reader will learn a great deal while experiencing writing in its truest art form.

A treasure hunt for lost artifacts that are embedded with precious stones that are not only priceless, but hold a curse that once stood for a “Prince’s valor, wisdom, and benevolence”.

What would a fast moving, suspense filled, heart beating adventure be without the dangerous, unpredictable interpersonal relationships that leads to attraction, trust, mutually mind-blowing sex and true romance? ‘Buried Threads’ is all that and more.

Compassion and greed, life and death, fear and resolution, mission and accomplishment, struggle and survival, gratitude and faith are all aspects of this story that can only be summed up as spectacular.

I, Theodocia Mclean endorse multi-award winning ‘Buried Threads’ – by Kaylin McFarren as the action-adventure, mystery-suspense romance-thriller that it is.

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Severed Threads (Threads Series Book One) by Kaylin McFarren

Award-winning author Kaylin McFarren delivers an action/adventure romance guaranteed to capture your imagination…

Romantic Suspense Novel by Kaylin McFarren: Believing herself responsible for her father s fatal diving accident, Rachel Lyons has withdrawn from the world and assumed a safe position at a foundation office. When called upon by a museum director to assist her former love interest with the recovery of a cursed relic from a sunken Chinese merchant ship, she has no intention of cooperating until her brother is kidnapped by a drug-dealing gangster. In order to save him and gain control over her life, Rachel must not only overcome her greatest fears, but also relive the circumstances that lead to her father s death.

Inspiration Behind The Story: Kaylin has been involved in the business of collecting and selling Asian antiques for more than a decade. Due to her interest in this field and her fascination with the undersea world, she was inspired to write a story about the recovery of a Chinese concubine’s cursed treasure from a sunken ship, which aids in healing a woman’s damaged soul. Kaylin spent four months researching scuba diving, trade routes, famous battles, and the natural disasters that befell Spanish galleons during the 15th-17th centuries. It is her hope that this action-adventure romance entertains readers and honors dedicated salvaging and exploration companies that have contributed remarkable discoveries and cross-sections of history to museums and institutions around the world.

Genre: Romance, Suspense

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Stand Alone Fiction Drama

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Flaherty’s Crossing (Stand Alone Fiction Drama) by Kaylin McFarren

An estranged father’s dying confession opens a vault of dark family secrets, shocking revelations that threaten all his daughter holds dear.

Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession exposing his part in her mother’s death. While racing home, Kate’s car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion with a lone diner employee, prompting Kate to confront the true reasons her marriage hangs in the balance. When her night takes an unexpected turn, however, she flees for her life, a life desperate for faith that can only be found through her ability to forgive.

Genre: Fiction, Drama

Every dime earned from the sale of Flaherty’s Crossing benefits cancer research at Providence Hospital, which I like to call Kaylin’s Cause. More information is available at: http://www.flahertyscrossing.com/cause.php

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Kaylin McFarren

McFarren is a rare bird indeed. Not a migratory sort, she prefers to hug the West Coast and keep family within visiting range. Although she has virtually been around the world, she was born in California, relocated with her family to Washington, and nested with her husband in Oregon. In addition to playing an active role in his business endeavors, she has been involved in all aspects of their three daughters’ lives – taxi duties, cheer-leading coaching, script rehearsals, and relationship counseling, to name but a few. Now she enjoys spending undisciplined time with her two young grandsons and hopes to have many more.

Although Kaylin wasn’t born with a pen in hand like so many of her talented fellow authors, she has been actively involved in both business and personal writing projects for many years. As the director of a fine art gallery, she assisted in furthering the careers of numerous visual artists who under her guidance gained recognition through promotional opportunities and in national publications. Eager to spread her own creative wings, she has since steered her energy toward writing novels. As a result, she has earned more than a dozen literary awards and was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest.

Kaylin is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College, which originally sparked her passion for writing. In her free time, she also enjoys giving back to the community through participation and support of various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

FUN TIDBITS: She is proud of the fact that her great aunt Bessie B. Cordell, an evangelistic missionary during WWII, was instrumental in opening an orphanage in Tientsin, China and also wrote two published novels, Precious Pearl and Blossoms of the Flowery Kingdom, documenting her dangerous, harrowing experiences.

She keeps a glass of wine close by while writing love scenes, Kleenex on her desk while writing heart breakers, and has been known to empty a box of chocolates when she’s completely stumped.

A consummate “pantser” and perfectionist, she writes and edits as she goes, and uses photographs of models and actors from tabloid magazines to visualize her characters.

She loves her husband of 40 years dearly. However, if Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom came knockin’, well… their marriage just might be put to the test.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Oregon? A lot of talented writers come from the Northwest and it’s great to be included among them at workshops, conferences and on bookshelves.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I kept journals for a number of years and when my father died after a lengthy battle against cancer, I realized that telling my story about my journey to find faith and forgiveness could bring closure not only for me but also for readers face with the same difficult choices in their lives.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? After completing Flaherty’s Crossing in 2009, I elected to submit it to a number of literary contests and when it kept winning first place awards, I came to the conclusion that it deserved to be published.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My environment, cultural immersion, passions, and relationships continue to play a role in my storytelling and the types of books I like to write.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I actually come up with the title to each of my books as soon as I determine what the storyline involves and how it will impact my characters. I love the idea of having a double meaning that readers can interpret for themselves, appreciate and later understand.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? The books I write include romantic suspense stories in third point of view. This genre keeps the pages turning and makes for an entertaining read. I enjoy dropping my characters into difficult situations, making them struggle against all odds then demonstrating their growth while fighting their way back.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? Buried Threads is the culmination of years of travel and exposure to the Asian culture. The “light bulb” or inspirational moment came after speaking to a Buddhist monk and finding myself enlightened by his ability to view a person’s past lives and predict the future with amazing accuracy.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I would have to say the awards, great reviews and kudos that come with it, which motivates and encourages me to write more.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? There’s nothing like seeing your book on store book shelves. It gives your writing credence and makes your feel like a viable writer. But more than that, in regard to a rewarding experience, I would have to say that the letters I receive from readers telling me that Flaherty’s Crossing encouraged them to contact people in their lives, forgive and more on with no regrets is truly beyond amazing. Time is simply too short to fill it with hate and knowing that I’ve changed a life by sharing my personal experiences and beliefs is the ultimate reward.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Never lose sight of your aspirations or be discouraged by what critics, authors or the general public might say. If you have a story inside your heart that needs to be told, cut open a vein and let it flow.

Who is your favorite author and why? I love Jodi Picoult books are my favorite because they delve into current issues, include memorable lines and characters, tend to be controversial, and make me think and analysis my own beliefs.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I would just like to remind readers that every dime earned from the sale of Flaherty’s Crossing benefits cancer research at Providence Hospital, which I like to call Kaylin’s Cause. More information is available at: http://www.flahertyscrossing.com/cause.php

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Author Cherie’ Waggie (Oklahoma, USA)

Message From Author: I am Oklahoma Green Country, ranch raised, proud to be an American Veteran woman.

I discovered my writing talent at age 10, and have been writing poetry, short stories, and books ever since.

I’ve been married and widowed, and all my children have four legs. I love animals, have training as a veterinarian assistant, and graduated from college in 1986 with a degree in Drama. I live with my 87-year-old mother in an old farmhouse between Skiatook and Sperry, Oklahoma, like taking long walks with my year-old Schnauzer, Mahlah, and caring for our four cats, Goldman, Sunny, Happy, and David. We’re visited every night by our neighborhood racoons and opossums, and a sweet dog we call Bud, who comes by every morning.

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Lucifer House by Cherie’ Waggie

After the death of her father, magazine editor, Olivia Gray has to get away for the holidays. The isolated coastal town of Pirates’ Point, Maine seems to be the perfect place.

Her first night at her friend’s beach house, she discovers Pirates’ Point has a night walker.

Chris Wu, a lonely man who lives in an ancient rock house on the cliff overlooking the ocean is a former international pop star who disappeared from public view eight years earlier after a tragic car accident. His home, Lucifer House, built by a notorious pirate captain, Jean-Paul Lucifer, is believed by the townspeople to be haunted by the ghost of 10-year-old Charity Lucifer.

After an accident temporarily cripples Chris Wu, Olivia moves in to help him and soon becomes convinced not only that Charity does haunt Lucifer House, but that she is trying to get a message to Chris concerning the car accident. It isn’t long before Olivia becomes convinced the accident wasn’t an accident and someone in Pirates’ Point wants Chris dead.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: If you love paranormal, mystery, romance and suspense, you will find Lucifer House by Cherie’ Waggie hard to put down.

Author Cherie’ Waggie weaves a believable, multi-layered tale that keeps one foot in main character Olivia Gray’s world and the other in the lure of the past.

I love everything Maine (born on the coast of Maine), so the well-developed characters and descriptive writing kept me engaged, as the sleuth in me needed to know what happened in this coastal town.

Main Character Olivia Gray just needs some time away from the bustle of the city after the death of her father. Little does she realize what awaits her in the cold, damp, coastal, New England fog. I invite you to Pirates’ Point, Maine and specifically invite you to Lucifer House (built by a notorious pirate captain, Jean-Paul Lucifer) where the ghost of 10-year-old Charity Lucifer might just reach out of the mist and touch you.

Settling in, Olivia Gray leaves her room to explore her surroundings and I quote. “Outside, the half-moon dangling over the ocean bathed the world in silver blue light. She went onto the deck to watch the waves play along the shore and movement caught her peripheral vision. She turned her head.

Someone was walking along the beach, his hands in the pockets of his heavy coat, bare head bent, oblivious to the waves that seemed to wash over his feet. A solitary, lonely figure against the backdrop of the ocean and night, he passed the beach house and seemed to melt into the darkness.

Olivia shivered. There were no such things as ghosts.

Returning to her room convinced that the night walker must have been some local unable to go to sleep, she climbed back into bed. Maybe he lived in the house on the hill. And maybe the drive to Maine wore her out more than she thought. Maybe she imagined him. After all, who would walk through ice cold water in the middle of the night?”

The night walker is only the beginning, Olivia finds all her senses fully awake and engaged as the mysteries surrounding Lucifer House beckons her to unravel the truth and bring peace to the spirits on Pirates’ Point.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Lucifer House by Cherie’ Waggie. I bought this book in Kindle and this review was completed on December 31, 2017. After reading Lucifer House, enjoy her other books titled Without Warning: The Fireman; Look Back To Tomorrow; Twisting Dagger; Dakota’s Dragon; Once Upon A Weekend.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Ghosts, Horror, Paranormal Romance

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Dakota’s Drago by Cherie’ Waggie

All Dakota Jennins wants after the murder of her husband and partner in their Private Investigations firm, is to spend her wedding anniversary alone in the mountains. The last thing she expects is to find herself immersed in the kidnapping of the international superstar, Eddie Tseung as his rescuer.

Discovering the half naked Eddie bound in a tarp and dumped in the desert, Dakota frees him. With the kidnappers following and closing in, she and Eddie begin the long, treacherous, and dangerous trip on foot across the desert to where she left her pickup.

Frustrated by her predicament and to the interruption to her grief, she turns her anger on the talkative Eddie by doing her best to ignore him. Eddie isn’t easily dissuaded and Dakota finally gives in to his charm and finds not only is Eddie considerate and understanding, but someone she’s glad to have on her side when the kidnappers finally catch up to them.

Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Suspense, Women Sleuths, Religion & Spirituality, Teen & Young Adult

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Once Upon A Weekend by Cherie’ Waggie

Construction worker Sam Pargeter and his younger brother, Ricky set out with two friends, Ken and Brian, for a quiet weekend at a rented mountain cabin. But things aren’t as quiet as they hoped when mysterious and peculiar things start happening the minute they arrive. Windows change position, hallways lengthen, whole rooms disappear, and Ricky seems to be the target of a spectral woman in white.

Frightened away from the cabin, Sam, Ricky, and Ken soon discover they didn’t leave the trouble behind. Not only do the weird things keep happening, but Ricky mentally reverts to childhood. He and Ken are still persecuted by the woman in white. The only one who doesn’t seem to be affected is Sam, and he is determined to find out what is behind all the paranormal activity and put a stop to it before it destroys his brother and best friend.

Genre:  Teen & Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Horror, Occult, Ghosts

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Twisting Daggers by Cherie’ Waggie

P.I., Philip Chandler takes a temporary position as bodyguard for a movie company filming in Baytown, Washington, and soon finds he has more than he’s bargained for. When unexplained accidents and attempts on the life of the star begin plaguing the set, he not only has to find out why, but who wants to keep the movie from being made and wants international action superstar, Eddie Tseung dead.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Collections & Anthologies

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Look Back to Tomorrow by Cherie’ Waggie

Alive and stronger than ever, the cousins return to their roots in Hong Kong, looking forward to their new lives and new family. From the moment they set foot on their native homeland, trouble seems to dog Tao’s footsteps. He becomes embroiled in a violent struggle of will against his oldest uncle, Wong Kim.

Kim’s nephew, Taibo, is determined to force Tao into a confrontation. It is a battle Tao doesn’t understand. As it ensues a terrible secret from the past emerges that forces Tao to face the truth behind the haunting nightmares and memories locked away in his mind. Facing danger on every side, Tao struggles to solve the mystery that has for him been a lifelong obsession…the murder of his parents, Kong and Tia Wong.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Without Warning: The Fireman by Cherie’ Waggie

In the city of San Francisco no cop was tougher than Lieutenant Detective Tao Wong and when the Bay are Serial Killer decided to take him out, THE TIGER took him on.

Genre: Literature & Fiction

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Coming Up: Heart Of A Tiger Book Three (mid 2018)

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Cherie’ Waggie

Author Cherie’ Waggie joined the U.S. Air Force after she graduated from high school. She had always wanted to go to college, be the first in the family to do so, but we hadn’t the money, and the only money available would have been student loans.  So, when the recruiters came to career day at school, she sat in on all of them, and decided that the Air Force was the best service for her, and she would be eligible for the GI Benefits.  Since this was during the end of the Vietnam war, the old GI Benefits were still in force, so she was able to receive 100%, and she did, after her tour, attended college and earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Her tour was from November 1974 to February of 1979. She went in on a delayed enlistment and began basic training in February of 1975. The Vietnam war had just ended, but only on paper.  So, she was considered a Vietnam Veteran. The actual end of the war didn’t come until the mid-70s.

She was stateside, assigned to Brooks AFB in San Antonio Texas all four years, which didn’t make her all that happy. She never wanted to go to Texas and especially not stay there my entire tour.  But she was from a small town and had never been away from home, so going into the service was the best thing she could have done for herself. It gave her a chance to meet people, some who are still friends, and learn to live on her own and take care of herself. She learned skills that she used though all the years after.

She became an “author” when she was about ten years old. She was always writing stories and poems, and once had a notebook full of them from ages 10 to 15, but she has no idea where that went. She did a lot of reading and writing in school, and worked on the school paper. While she was in the service, she was always writing when she had time, and had a newspaper article published in the San Antonio newspaper. She doesn’t remember what it was about now. She wrote her first full length “book” in 1979, after she come home from her tour. One of her favorite characters was also born that year as a school project at the college she was attending. That particular character has gone through so many metamorphoses over the years that he has taken on a life of his own.

She married in 1980 and moved to England with her husband who was stationed at Upper Heyford Air Force Base near Oxford. She did quite a bit of writing and painting while she was overseas, and when she returned home to begin college full time, she began to write with frequency, especially on the weekends when her roommate would go home and she would be left alone with her typewriter. She has been writing ever since.

All her children have four legs. She loves animals, have training as a veterinarian assistant, and graduated from college in 1986 with a degree in Drama. She lives with her 87-year-old mother in an old farmhouse between Skiatook and Sperry, Oklahoma, likes taking long walks with her year-old Schnauzer, Mahlah, and caring for our four cats, Goldman, Sunny, Happy, and David. She is visited every night by their neighborhood racoons and opossums, and a sweet dog they call Bud, who comes by every morning.

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Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Oklahoma? I was raised on a ranch outside of Pawhuska, OK.  I can’t say I’m proud to be a writer from there or anywhere.  I’m proud of my accomplishments, the books, but blessed to have the talent to write.

What or who inspired you to become a writer?  Growing up on a ranch with no playmates, one tends to develop an imagination.  That was my inspiration.  My mother, who always wanted to be a journalist, encouraged me to keep writing.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Absolutely.  I had no playmates as we lived in the country and I only saw other children during school.  My sister is 6 years older than I, so she was too busy being a teenager.  Because we lived so far out with no neighbors, I spent a lot of time playing in the woods along the creek, riding my horse, climbing trees, hiking and fishing.  Time alone, I would make up stories and was good at playing pretend.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published?  I began writing at age 10. I think I always had in mind to be published.  What good are stories with no one to read them?

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Finishing my first book.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey?  Finding my current publisher.

How many published books do you have? Six

Please list the titles of all your books:  Without Warning: The Fireman; Look Back To Tomorrow; Twisting Dagger; Lucifer House; Dakota’s Dragon; Once Upon A Weekend.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write mysteries because that’s what I like to read.  But I started in Science Fantasy and Fantasy, which I hope to include in my writing in future.

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript?  Usually during the writing, when something jumps out at me in the text.  Sometimes I have a title in mind, but that sometimes gets changed during the writing.

Which book title would you like featured in this interview?  Lucifer House

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? The idea just sort of happened. I wanted to write using a female lead and having a romance of a sort, which I’d never written before. When I was younger, I read a lot of Gothic Romances, such as written by Victoria Holt and Dorothy Edens.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Be careful in finding a publisher.  There are many out there who aren’t “honest”.  Do a lot of research first on the publishers you consider.

Who is your favorite author and why? Bill Pronzini    I started reading his books some years ago and fell in love with his writing and his characters.  He is a wonderful inspiration as he has been writing for many years and in all types of genres.

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Author Russell F. Moran (Long Island, New York-USA)

Robot Depot by Russell F. Moran

Mike Bateman is a visionary businessman, the creator and CEO of the fabulously successful chain of stores, Robot Depot, a company dedicated to selling robots and Artificial Intelligence machines for a variety of uses.

The company is a darling of Wall Street, and is the most popular destination for consumers and businesses looking for labor saving devices.

But the company caught the eye of ISIS, the terrorist Islamic State. They discover a great way to deliver bombs – using the products of Robot Depot to kill people.

Robot Depot changed from being a popular company to an object of fear because of the tampered products it sells. The terrorists use the company for “terror spectaculars,” including the destruction of a skyscraper, a drone attack on Yankee Stadium, and the bombing of a children’s sailing regatta.

Mike Bateman and the FBI are in a race to stop his products from becoming weapons, a race to stop the wanton killings. His wife and partner, Jenny, discovers the true meaning of terror one horrible summer day.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crisp writing, thought-provoking topics and colorful characters. Well-done Mr. Moran.

Book Review: Robot Depot brings technology to a whole new level. If you are up on current world news you should have heard the media talking about how terrorists are experimenting with drones to terrorize people with biological chemical among just a few uses. You might also be wonder if a robot will replace your job in the near future. Author Russell F. Moran has taken robots one step further.

If you have read any of Russell F. Moran’s books, you don’t need me to tell you what a great story teller he is, and Robot Depot will not disappoint you.

Mike Bateman is founder and CEO of a wildly successful chain of 30 stores, in the US, called Robot Depot. As a 38-year-old war veteran, he has tapped into technology that will bring him greater success than Google, Microsoft, Uber, Roomba and others ever imagined. If you can imagine the chore, Mike has a robot to fit your needs.

Well-developed characters (some of whom you have come to know in Moran’s other books) take on the story line that the author weaves so well in a society that is fast adapting to and becoming reliant on robots.

If you worry about how secure your WiFi in your home is, imagine a world where you never know if you are speaking to a robot or a human. What could possibly go wrong?

I invite you to read this futuristic story where the bad guys seem to stay ahead of the good guys and it falls on inventor Mike Bateman to stop the terror. Heart pounding, page turning drama that will cause you pause when you enter into the electronics’ department for your next techno fix.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Robot Depot by Russell F. Moran. The author dedicates this book to the inventors of the world. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and the reviewed was completed on November 14, 2017.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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A Reunion In Time: A Rick Bellamy Book by Russell F. Moran

What if a 37-year-old adult travels back 20 years in time and finds himself in high school, followed by his 36-year-old wife? They’re now teenagers, 17 and 16.

Adults in teenage bodies, they struggle to convince the people from their past that they are real, not apparitions. With the benefit of hindsight, they know the history of the past 20 years, and it isn’t pretty.

Rick and Ellen are married, and now have to adjust to married life as teenagers in 2001. Rick is a senior FBI official and Ellen is a famous architect.

But everybody sees them as kids. Nobody believes that they’re married, and nobody believes their stories—until Rick and Ellen predict 9/11.

How do they find their way back to the year they came from? How do they warn the authorities of the cataclysm that will occur in the future?

The answer is to find the time portal—the wormhole—that brought them to 2001. But the site has changed. It’s no longer the place where they crossed the wormhole. Will they live out the balance of their lives beginning as teenagers?

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy Science, Time Travel, Historical, Thriller

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Matt Blake Legal Thrillers by Russell F. Moran

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Sideswiped: A Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book One by Russell F. Moran

Matt Blake is a Chicago trial lawyer and highly decorated Marine combat veteran. After losing his beloved fiancée in a tragic car accident, he finds that he has more battles to fight: alcohol and drugs. He gradually realizes that his life is spiraling downward, and that he needs help with the battle. He seeks the help of Dr. Benjamin Weinberg. a psychiatrist who’s also a family friend and consultant to his law firm.

Matt, with Dr. Weinberg’s help, tames the monsters that sought to devour him. After rehab, he turns his attention to one of the most serious personal injury cases his firm has handled. It involved a sideswipe car accident in which his client’s husband, a famous political journalist, was killed. The case looked almost routine from a liability point of view. Numerous eyewitnesses gave sworn statements that they saw the defendant motorist talking on his cellphone just before his car slammed into the plaintiff’s husband. The eyewitness evidence pointed toward negligence. At first it looked like an open-and-shut personal injury case.

But evidence began to mount quickly that the ‘accident” may have been intentional—that it may have been murder. But Matt and his team struggle with a big question: Why would James Spellman have been murdered?

Matt finally meets the firm’s client, Diana Spellman, James Spellman’s widow. She’s a strikingly beautiful university professor and well-known writer. Matt, having licked his alcohol and drug problem, as well as the loss of his fiancée, finds himself swept off his feet by the lovely Diana Spellman. He shares his past difficulties with her, and she shares hers with him. Besides having lost lovers in similar type car accidents, Diana and Matt discover that their lives have a lot in common.

But Diana has a problem—she’s a murder target. As James Spellman’s informal editor, she knew every story that her husband was working on before his death, stories that contained secrets—secrets that threaten the highest levels of government, secrets that someone or some group does not want out in the open, secrets for which they’re willing to murder in order to keep quiet.

Matt’s attraction to Diana is mirrored by her attraction to him. They fall in love. But their love is soon complicated by attempted assassination attempts on both Diana and Matt.

What began as a routine personal injury case suddenly evolved into a vast terrorist conspiracy—and Diana was at the center of it all.

Sideswiped is a crime drama, a legal thriller, a tale of terrorism, and finally a compelling love story of two people who dedicated their lives to each other. It’s a story of enduring love, kept alive in the face of crippling fear. The book will grab you by the gut, as well as by the heart.

Book Review: Sideswiped will send a chill up your spine the next time you drive on the freeway!

Russell F. Moran’s well-developed characters and distinct voice brings reality to the situation from sentence one and draws the reader into the story line with immediate empathy.

Main Character Matt Blake (x-Marine) is an Attorney, Blake & Randolph. Matt’s life changed (quote) “I’d never thought of the Chicago River as a romantic spot, especially during the day. It’s a beautiful waterway that meanders through some of the greatest architectural treasures in the country. It’s just not romantic. Until my lunch with Maggie Pierce.”

Get to know the professional and personal side of Matt Blake (quote) “It was Jimmy Escobedo, an old friend from college. Jimmy was nuts, in a good way. He was the funniest person I ever knew, and just seeing him made me laugh. He walked over to me, more like ran, and gave me a bear hug as I downed my next Scotch, almost spilling it. Jimmy was a character, the kind of guy who was a typical class clown. He was also bright as hell, and had his choice of job offers after Northwestern. He looked good, except he was a lot skinnier than I remembered.”

With flawless writing skills the author creates the stage that brings the reader into the life of Matt Blake and into the ins and outs of personal injury litigation. Do you think that all personal injury lawyers are ambulance chasers?

I invite you to come see for yourself how personal injury law plays out in the courtroom. Follow multiple cases and the drama that will take your mind to places where it has never gone. Sideswiped is a face paced, realistic, suspenseful thriller and romantically touching. Your mind will envision every aspect like you are watching it unfold in a dark movie theater and your impressions of somethings will change forever.

Sideswiped is book one in Matt Blake Legal Thrillers (The Reformers-book two is coming soon). Also available The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time (all four books in the Time Magnet series). The Shadows of Terror, The Scent of Revenge (books one and two in the Patterns Series).

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Sideswiped: A Matt Blake Novel by Russell F. Moran. The author dedicates this book to the State and Government law enforcement community who dedicate their lives to keep us safe. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and the reviewed was completed on October 2, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Legal, Spies & Politics, Terrorism

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The Reformers: Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book Two by Russell F. Moran

The Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book 2

The forces of radical Islam are on the run.

Their leadership has been decimated, their ranks thinned, their power disappearing by the week.

Their recruiting efforts have been cut off, the radical websites shut down, and the attraction of jihad is losing its appeal among the young.

With targeted assassinations, military strikes, as well as the loss of oil fields and gold mines, radical Islam is fast losing power.

But who is responsible?

It isn’t the United States Government. It’s a new force the world has never seen before.

Lawyer Matt Blake and his wife Diana find themselves in the middle of the most gigantic plot the world has ever seen, a conspiracy that’s only begun to grow.

Book Review: The Reformers might make you stand up and applaud or on second thought it might cause you to rethink history and even take our political climate seriously.

The Reformers follows Sideswiped in The Matt Blake Legal Thriller series, but stands on its own with story-line and conclusions.

Matt Blake (ex-Marine) and Attorney at Blake & Randolph who is no stranger to pro bono clients first impression of his new client is “just met a lying scumbag. Not only is he a lying scumbag, but he’s a mass murderer, a lowlife piece of garbage.”

After an interview “He didn’t deny that the evidence exists. He didn’t try to shuck and jive away from it. He simply insists that he did not detonate the bomb, nor did he know anything about it. But here’s the weird part. Weird? Hell, it’s almost spooky. When I asked him why someone or some group would try to frame him, he clammed up. He actually told me that he wouldn’t talk about it. He simply told me not to go there. It’s obvious that he doesn’t want to address the question of why somebody would want to frame him.”

“But what about the 12-foot gorilla in the room in the room?” Diana (Matt’s wife) said, “The gorilla that wears a big bandanna that says ‘evidence’? So the guy is a straight-shooting truth teller. Great. What about his prints, his DNA, and not to mention the video showing him next to the bomb?”

From here things go uphill, downhill and sideways and it seems the whole world goes to “H” in a hand basket. Never a dull moment in this thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and questioning who is in charge, how does radical Islam, the moderates and the United States Government play into the pro bono case.

Another quote from the book. “What I’m about to tell you hasn’t been made public yet. I got this information from my inside people. Bartholomew and his NFL group have set up political organizations in all 50 states, including large paid operations in the big electoral states like California and Florida. For some reason, the press hasn’t caught on to this yet, or maybe they don’t think it’s important. These political organizations are not Democrat or Republican. It’s a third-party operation, called The Freedom from Terror Party.”

I dare you to read this thriller and not question what might be on the horizon. Author Russell F. Moran writes with a style and concepts a few steps ahead of our time.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Reformers (The Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book 2) by Russell F. Moran because the fictional drama might not be fiction at all. Purchase and read all Russell’s books from Amazon. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and review was completed on January 16, 2016.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Legal, Spies & Politics, Terrorism

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The President Is Missing: Matt Blake Legal
Thriller Series Book Three by Russell Moran

Matt Blake Series Book 3

“What the hell just happened?” I asked Barbara Hightower, my assistant.

We were watching a TV first, a live broadcast by the President of the United States from a nuclear submarine deep under the waters of the South Atlantic. The President, Matt Blake, also happens to be my husband. Matt, dressed in naval officer’s fatigues, faced the camera holding a microphone. He looked great, but then he always does. Matt’s so natural in front of a camera, it’s as if the technology was invented for him. But the screen suddenly went blank.

“Beats me, ma’am,” Barbara said. “If we can’t maintain communications with a nuclear submarine, what the hell can we communicate with?”

President Matt Blake was addressing the nation from the USS Louisiana, a nuclear submarine submerged in the South Atlantic. His message is suddenly cut off. Nearby ships reported hearing an explosion. Aircraft reported floating debris five minutes later in the vicinity of the sub’s last known position.

The nation went into mourning for the loss of the popular president

First Lady Dee Blake has doubts, which she shares with naval high command and the new president. Her husband, a lawyer, always told her to distrust the evidence. She did more than distrust the evidence—she uncovered a massive conspiracy to hijack the submarine and kidnap the president. She thinks the explosion and the debris were a ruse to make people think the sub was destroyed, and her husband with it.

Could the sub have been hijacked and the president kidnapped?

But who would commit such an act? What is its purpose?

Was it Russia, China, Iran, or a shadowy group of freelance terrorists? One thing was certain: the plot had to include mutineers.

The new president, Roland Benton, agrees with Dee Blake’s suspicions, and sees himself as only an interim president. He appoints Dee as his Chief of Staff, with explicit instructions to find the missing submarine—and President Blake.

Dee finds the workings of a secretive group right in the United States, a group everyone had thought was destroyed.

Her life, and the life of the nation, suddenly take a horrifying turn.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Legal, Spies & Politics, Terrorism

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The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

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The Gray Ship: Book One In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

Description – From Kirkus Reviews

In this stellar time-travel novel, a modern-American nuclear-powered cruiser sails through a time portal and goes back 152 years to the days just before the beginning of the Civil War.

The USS California, under the command of Capt. Ashley Patterson, an African-American woman, is headed toward Charleston, S.C., to participate in a ceremony commemorating the first battle of the Civil War: the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. But before her ship reaches its destination, the massive cruiser—and its 630 crew members—travel through some sort of temporal wormhole and end up near the Charleston Harbor in 1861, just hours before the Confederate assault is about to begin.

After eventually wrapping her head around the fact that her entire crew has traveled back in time, Patterson realizes that she has some difficult decisions to make: Does she let history repeat itself and focus on trying to find a way back home, or does she use the military superiority of the California—“outfitted with enough fire power to unleash Biblical hell on an enemy”—to help end the war quickly and thus save the approximately 620,000 soldiers who would otherwise die in the next four years?

Powered by a cast of well-developed characters—Lincoln and Lee are among the prominently featured historical figures—consistently brisk pacing and a pulse-pounding (albeit slightly predictable) conclusion, the humanist themes of this novel are momentous and just as timely today as they were back in the 1860s.

This provocative, intensely powerful novel is a must-read for sci-fi fans and Civil War aficionados, though mainstream fiction readers will find it heart-rending and inspiring as well. A rare read that’s not only wildly entertaining, but also profoundly moving. From Kirkus Reviews

A Kirkus Best Indie Book of 2013

Genre – Science fiction/time travel/alternative history

Book Review: On the morning of April 10, 2013 the nuclear guided missile cruiser USS California left Norfork, Virginia heading toward Charleston, South Carolina. Once there the ship would anchor at Fort Sumter for a ceremony commemorating where the first battle of the Civil War took place on April 12, 1861. After the ceremony Captain Ashley Patterson would deploy her ship to the Persian Gulf, but as it turns out, time can be unpredictable.

Author Russell F. Moran like so many authors before him wrestles with science fiction and time travel to the extent of what would happen if we could go back into history and change just one event. He thanks his friends Bill Holland, Nick Wartella and his wife for their fresh perspective, input and editorial analyses. He also gives appreciation for invaluable technical input from his friend Lloyd (Hoss) Miller, Rear Admiral, Retired, United States Navy. Admiral Miller was the first commanding officer of the USS California, the ship that plays the pivotal role in the story. Admiral Miller makes a cameo appearance in the book as the strong leader, likeable person and gentleman that he is in real life.

The author is quick to point out that this is a work of fiction and with all fiction imagination plays a pivoting role. At the very start the reader is introduced by name to 55 major characters who bring the story of ‘The Gray Ship’ from the blue-green swells of the Atlantic Ocean through a port-hole (worm hole) that will not only change history, but tens of thousands of lives. His characters are realistic as with Captain Ashley Patterson while in her astute position wrestles with her own inner demons.

Who right now or in our future might want to go back in time to abolish war or the worse acts of humankind? When faced with the dilemma of being forced back through time into a dark period of American history, Captain Ashley Patterson and her crew had to risk mutiny or at the very least commit treason. If and when they could make it back to their own time, how would they be judged by friends, family, the military and the world? Who would believe their story?

One of my favorite quotes from the book reads, “Dr. Weinberg,” said Admiral Miller, “Do you believe these stories?” “It isn’t my job to believe stories or not to believe them, Admiral,” said Weinberg. “It’s my job to assess whether the witness believes his own story. But I will say this. I don’t know much about this time travel stuff, but ever since I worked on that book with Jack Thurber, I’ve noticed that I’ve developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder. I never step on a crack…it may be a wormhole.”

Reading ‘The Gray Ship’ has left me wanting to read this authors other three books; A Time Of Fear, The Skies Of Time, and The Thanksgiving Gang.

I Theodocia Mclean endorses The Gray Ship by Russell F. Moran as a science fiction, time travel story that will cause the thoughtful reader to ask what he or she might change if the opportunity presented itself? I reviewed this book in Kindle and the review which was completed on February 21, 2015.

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The Thanksgiving Gang: Book Two
In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

Jack Thurber has traveled through time – again. This was his fourth journey through time, earning him a nickname The Time Magnet. But this time he’s traveled into the future.

He discovers that he and his wife Ashley were killed in a terrorist nuclear attack on Ashley’s ship on Thanksgiving Day, 2015, in what became known as the Thanksgiving Attacks.

Jack’s got to find a way back to the past, the past when he and Ashley were still alive. To do that he forms a group of people to help him. They call themselves The Thanksgiving Gang.

Dare he change history?

Dare he not?

Rip-roaring, gut-wrenching suspense wrapped in a story of friendship and courage.

Book Genre – Science fiction/time travel

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A Time of Fear: Book Three In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

In a month, five American cities will be devastated by suitcase nuclear bombs. The time travelers take on their old name, The Thanksgiving Gang.

  • They know what will happen, because they travelled to the future.
  • They know what the result will be. They’ve seen the devastation.
  • They know the details. Five American Cities targeted by nuclear suitcase bombs.
  • BUT they don’t know where the bombs are – and they don’t know how to find them.

The clock is ticking and millions will soon lose their lives – unless they find the bombs.

“A riveting, pulse-pounding nail-biter in the spirit of The Gray Ship and The Thanksgiving Gang. A Time of Fear will grip you and not let go, even after you finish the book.”

Book Genre – Science fiction/time travel

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The Skies of Time: Book Four In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

The Skies of Time is a book about time travel, love, and commitment.

Newly promoted Admiral Ashley Patterson is on a public relations flight with her husband, author and Naval Reserve Lieutenant. The idea was dreamed up by the Pentagon to celebrate Ashley’s promotion as the youngest Navy admiral in American History. As happened before, they encounter a wormhole or time portal. Ashley calls Jack her “time magnet,” because he seems to have a talent for finding wormholes.

They’ve time travelled before, but this time it’s different – they encountered a time portal, or wormhole – in the sky.

They have a duty – to warn the authorities of the coming war.

They also have a duty to themselves. They want to return to their home, their home in 2016. But Franklin Roosevelt has different plans for them.

Their plane, an F-18, had a cockpit data recorder, a Black Box, which would give them the coordinates to find the wormhole and return home.

But, to their horror, they realize that 1940 technology cannot read the data on the Black Box. They’re stranded – 76 years in the past.

Will they have to restart their lives from 1940 and never return home?

Or will they find a way to read the secrets of the box?

All they know is that they have an unfailing love for each other.

A nail biter of a tale in the spirit of the other books in The Time Magnet Series, The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, and A Time of Fear.

Book Genre – Science fiction/time travel/ alternative history

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The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

Admiral Ashley Patterson and her husband Jack have done it again. They’ve traveled through time, 200 years into the future—aboard a nuclear aircraft carrier, Ashley’s flagship.

They discover a new world, a strange new world—a post-nuclear war world—one that is both a beacon of hope, and a cry of despair.

They meet a group of people who call themselves The Keepers of Time, an organization dedicated to preserving history and culture.

But the world around them has harkened back to a primitive and savage past, one that includes human sacrifice.

Ashley knows they have to have to get back to the present to warn the government of the unspeakable horrors that await.

But finding the way back to the present is their greatest challenge, an almost insurmountable one.

“A wild time travel yarn that starts fast and doesn’t slow down until the end.”

Book Review: Book five in the Time Magnet series is finally here with another great saga. The adventure begins on June 1, 2017, the day after Memorial Day. Carrier Strike Group 2311 departs the New York Harbor at 8:45 a.m. to begin a long deployment. Things are as they should be until “everything turned dark”.

Whether you have read book one through four in this series first or you are considering this book as your introduction to the series, let me say that each book has its own plot with a conclusion. I suggest you read The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time at some point very soon. However, please feel free to jump in and read The Keepers of Time because you won’t be disappointed.

The author’s superb writing skills will quickly draw you into the story. Forty-two fast paced chapters will keep turning the pages of this novel until the end. Well-developed cast of realistic characters that you will relate to one will keep you engaged. One of my favorite things about Moran’s books is his entire cast of characters detailed in the back of the book. I admit to reading about the cast first in order to firmly get everyone in my mind. As a follower of his, I know each character is important to the plot and I don’t want to miss anything or overlook anyone.

Throughout history authors have taken us back in time and forward into the future. Those that take us into the future like Author Russell F. Moran are rare individuals who meticulously look at world history and real time world events to weave a story of unimaginable happenings. History shows that many of these fictional authors are correct in their assessments of the future. So we must pay due vigilance to these authors so that their fiction does not become the world’s reality in the future.

I invite you to read The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran and spend 15 days in an alternate universe. Meet the Keepers of Time and don’t forget to mark your calendar on April 12, 2018 as the day the world ended. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Time flies when you’re scared out of your mind.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran as a science fiction, time travel story that will cause the thoughtful reader to look at the importance of current world events in a different perspective. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and this review which was completed on March 30, 2016.

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The Time Magnet Series (4 Book Box Set)
Kindle Edition by Russell F. Moran

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Patterns Series by Russell F. Moran

The Shadows of Terror: Patterns Series Book One by Russell F. Moran

The Shadows of Terror – A novel that explodes off the front page of your newspaper. Terrorism now has a new face, a face that’s obscured in the shadows. The radical forces of destruction have learned to make themselves invisible to the West, and preventing a terrorist attack has become almost impossible.

A new war has begun, World War III. Rick Bellamy, an FBI agent who specializes in counter-terrorism, is engaged in his own war, a war with no end. Bellamy’s wife, Ellen, a prominent architect, discovers that she’s in the middle of the greatest terror plot to date. To defeat the enemy, Bellamy first has to uncover the clues, to shine a light on the shadows. He has to find patterns – before it’s too late.

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The Scent of Revenge: Patterns Series Book Two by Russell F. Moran

The world is at war – World War III. FBI Agent Rick Bellamy and his wife, Ellen, find themselves in the middle of a sinister terror plot. Someone is attacking young prominent women, inflicting a horrible disease. Nobody knows its origin, nobody knows how to stop it, nobody knows how to cure it.

Rick Bellamy and a team of scientists want to go on offense. But how?

Will the lives of the women be changed forever?

When will the attacks stop?

Book Review: Although Science Fiction, The Scent of Revenge might be at America’s doorstep!

The main character Rick Bellamy is a FBI agent, head of counter-terrorism unit. The love of his life is 38 year old Ellen Bellamy, Architect by day, lover and writer by night. Ellen’s beauty is more than skin deep as she radiates warmth and cares deeply about everyone who crosses her path.

With an impressive cast of characters that include William Reynolds who is President of the United States with his First Lady Amanda Reynolds standing by his side, he has just addresses the American People announcing that that World War III has begun.

A serious disease with symptoms of severe dementia, mimicking Alzheimer’s disease is attacking America’s Women. With research still seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s, the race is on and the questions commence. Why these particular women, why and how, and is the male population at risk?

Will President Reynolds be forced to suspend the right of habeas corpus? Do you know what this even means?

Heart pounding, can’t put down thriller that will force you to look at terrorism in different light. Life in America will never be the same.

Author Russell F. Moran is an exceptional story teller. As with all science fiction we hope it is not possible at least not within our lifetime. Moran’s futuristic thrillers (each book part of a series, but stands alone) must be examined by each reader intelligently as they will lurk in the shadows of your mind well after the book is closed.

The Scent of Revenge “is dedicated to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and especially to their families who suffer along with them.”

I, Theodocia Mclean endorse The Scent of Revenge (book two in The Patterns Series) by Russell F. Moran The Shadows of Terror is book one. Also available The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time (all four books in the Time Magnet Series). Another great read is Sideswiped which book one in Matt Blake Legal Thrillers with The Reformers coming soon. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and the review was completed on October 3, 2015.

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Russell F. Moran

Russ Moran is the author of 12 novels. The Gray Ship, Book One of The Time Magnet series, is a story of time travel, alternate history, romance, and a nuclear warship that finds itself in the Civil War. The Thanksgiving Gang is the sequel, A Time of Fear is Book Three, The Skies of Time is Book Four, and The Keepers of Time is book five.

The Shadows of Terror is Book One of The Patterns series, followed by The Scent of Revenge.

A Reunion in Time is a time travel novel, but not in the Time Magnet series.

The President is Missing, a suspense thriller, was published in May 2017

Robot Depot, a novel about our automated present and future, was published in October, 2017

Moran also published five nonfiction books: Justice in America: How it Works—How it Fails; The APT Principle: The Business Plan That You Carry in Your Head; Boating Basics: The Boattalk Book of Boating Tips; If You’re Injured: A Consumer Guide to Personal Injury Law; How to Create More Time. He’s a lawyer and a veteran of the United States Navy. He lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife, Lynda.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Long Island, New York? A lot of published authors live on Long Island, and I’ve gotten the chance to meet a few of them.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? A teacher in High School and my wife.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? 2010

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes. I have a background in law and the military. I’ve used these backgrounds in my writing.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? After the manuscript or sometimes part of the way through.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Science fiction/time travel and detective thrillers

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Praise from friends.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The Gray Ship a Kirkus Indie Best books of 2013

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Read On Writing by Stephen King, and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Then, dispel the notion that there is any such thing as writers block. It doesn’t exist unless you convince yourself that it does.

Who is your favorite author and why? Nelson De Mille. Great story teller with a conversational voice.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Don’t give up!

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Author Larry P. Auerbach ( Pt. St. Lucie, Florida-USA)

Mr. Wysquers by Larry Auerbach

Pemberton N. Wysquers is a very dignified old English gentleman who own a very old package delivery business that operates on a worldwide scale. Once a year, usually at year end, he leaves the confines of his work environment to travel around in order to visit some of his most special and deserving customers. He selects a town and spends a week mingling with the residents, helping out where he can and bringing both hope and encouragement to those he interacts with. He leaves a permanent imprint on all of those with whom he meets, and he truly leaves his hosts in a much better state than he found them.

Book Review: I love this book and invite you to read the most intriguing story about an English gentleman named Pemberton N. Wysquers. While you read I believe you find yourself relating in some way to the characters who have in one way or another come to the end of their emotional life. When all seems lost, in one moment in time, as if by coincidence or magic, they brush shoulders with Mr. Wysquers.

As a young child you were probably taught about Santa Clause. As time moved on, your innocence was shaken by unspoken reality. While young you believed that time is infinite and you are invisible. When time marched on reality dulled your senses, the magic you found in childhood was buried in life experiences. This book will remind you that in a few fleeting moments, magic can stir. If you open your mind to the possibility, Mr. Wysquers might just pay you a visit.

Let me quote what Melody said: “I know this is going to sound strange, but I owe my life to a corned beef sandwich. The really weird thing is, I never liked corned beef. I would have one now and then, but it was never my favorite sandwich. But now? I smile every time I eat one, and that’s usually once a week, normally on Thursday. Why Thursday, you ask. Because that’s the day all the magic happened. Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be a magical day when I woke up. After all, you never see the magic coming.”

Each person in this book has their own story to tell. Here is how Ivan’s story begins: “I don’t have a lot of time to give you this story, I have somewhere to be and I can’t get out of it. I guess you first have to know a little bit about me to understand what I’m going to tell you, and why I’m telling you.

My story begins about twenty years ago, when I was a teenager and hanging out with my friends. We were the usual gang, looking for girls, driving around at night, and sneaking our drinking when our parents weren’t watching or around. The night that changed my life didn’t start out as anything significant, other than it was a Saturday.”

Which one of these stories mirror your own and where would Mr. Wysquers accidently or on purpose walk into your story?

This book is heartwarming and a must have gift item for your friends and family any time of year. I am giving this book as a Christmas gift this year.

I (Theodocia McLean) endorse Mr. Wysquers by Larry Auerbach as a story for all time and begins when a Candy-Apply Red Vintage Cadillac comes your way. Other books by Larry Auerbach include A Matter Of Honor, A Matter Of Justice, Common Threads, The Spirit of Redd Mountain and The Troll Bridge. I read and reviewed this book from a print format. This review was completed on November 12, 2017.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

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The Troll Bridge by Larry Auerbach

In 1935 west Texas, two teenagers — Duane McCathern and Tony Picano — decide to go search for a lost treasure of Confederate gold based on an old tale told by a retired Texas Ranger, involving Indians and a mysterious spirit. As their hunt starts, another boy, a long-time rival, finds them in a cave and they must reluctantly include him in their hunt, It doesn’t take them long before they realize they need more help so their new partner brings in someone, an A. B. Conway, that he says has the expertise and the skills they need to get the gold they believe is hidden in that cave. The only problem is that A. B. Conway is Abbie. Tony is at once smitten and Duane is clearly annoyed.

Once they get the hunt underway, Abbie proves her skill at fabricating machinery is beyond their expectations. And that is a good thing as the hunt suddenly takes an unexpected turn as all of them begin to have out of body experiences and they run into other supernatural problems. As they get closer to the gold, the problems mount and Duane and Tony start showing signs of stress. Then things really start getting strange as all four start having visions of the past. A spirit from the past begins influencing their actions, leading Duane in one direction and Tony in another. As both the distant and the recent past begin to reveal themselves, all of them must make decisions that will have long lasting results. Abbie has to choose between Duane and Tony, and Duane must choose between Tony and Abbie. Who, if any, will make it out of the cave and who will make a deal with the Devil.

Genre: Genre: Paranormal (Supernatural), YA, Teen, Tween

Book Review: Raised in Vermont I have always been fascinated with covered bridges, railroad bridges and river bridges. So the title ‘The Troll Bridge’ by Larry Auerbach caught my attention right away. The prologue hooked me and it was very hard to put this book down for any reason.

Larry Auerbach is a master story teller and if you ever loved exploration as a kid and dreamed of finding something of value while exploring the farm yards, local woods, railroad tracks, old buildings, river banks etc. around your town, this book will draw you into this teen adventure that involves a hidden cave in West Texas.

Well-developed characters like Duane McCathern, Tony Picano find they need some help when the old town’s folklore about a hidden cave may have more merit than just to spook kids. Here is a quote from the book to peak your interest.

“We’re here, we’re a team, and we’re all going to watch each other’s back. We all share the risk, we all share the rewards—equally,” Duane told him. He put out his hand to Ron, who took it and held it in affirm grip. Tony put his hand over theirs, and all three of them put their other hand on the pile of hands. It was done. Tomorrow they would go to school, and come Friday, the adventure would begin for real. Fame and fortune awaited them in that hole. It was a sure thing, they were all certain. What could possibly go wrong?”

Eleven fast paced chapters will take you on an adventure of paranormal (supernatural) intrigue written for Tweens, Teens and Young Adults along with you if you are young at heart, spirit and mind.

I invite you cross over ‘The Troll Bridge’, feels the spray from the raging water below, walk the river banks if you dare as “Trolls” are known to live under bridges where people and things go missing. Join these teens as they use every creative bone in their bodies and life skills to explore a hidden cave in the hopes they will all make it out alive with treasure worth dying for.

I (Theodocia McLean) endorse ‘The Troll Bridge’ by Larry Auerbach as an adventure worth taking. Other books by Larry Auerbach include Common Threads, The Spirit Of Redd Mountain, A Matter Of Justice, and A Matter Of Honor. I read and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on 02/20/2017.

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A Matter Of Honor by Larry Auerbach

Set in 1877, in New Mexico Territory, former Union sniper Jonah Berryman is presently working as a bounty hunter who is known for bringing his man in alive, but Jonah is here on personal business and is hunting someone on his own time. He has some unfinished business with a doctor who saved his life but left his cousin to die. He has been looking for this doctor ever since the War ended, but not knowing what the doctor looked like has been a big problem.

Now he is here in the town of Willow Springs because someone sent him a wire saying the man was here. But as soon as he arrived in town someone started shooting at him. Now he is the middle of another war, and Jonah can’t tell which side is which…or even who is one what side. All he knows for sure is that he is in the middle. As the lead continues to fly his way, Jonah realizes someone has set him up to be the next casualty of their own private war. He has to figure out who it is that is behind all of this, if he has any hope of getting out of town alive. And he still has to find out who put him in the middle of this and why.

Genre: Traditional Western

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A Matter Of Justice by Larry Auerbach

This is a story of justice delayed, and how each person’s life can intersect with another, with a varying degree of impact.

Jonah Berryman is a former Union sniper, who is hunting for someone out of his past. He has some unfinished business with the doctor who saved his life and allowed his cousin to die. When he went to find the doctor later, he learned he had never even existed…except for saving his life and his sight.

After the War, Jonah became a bounty hunter, and whenever he rides into a town, anyone who has something to hide gets nervous and lead begins to fly. Willow Springs was no exception. In A MATTER OF HONOR, after receiving wire saying he was in Willow Springs, Jonah rode in looking for the doctor but he found a whole lot more than he was bargaining for. People began dropping like flies from the moment he hit town, and most of the lead that was flying through the air appeared to be coming his way. It didn’t take long for him to discover there were a lot of players in this game, and that there were more than two sides in this war. In the exciting conclusion of this story, Jonah has already figured out that nobody is who they appear to be. Now he has to end someone else’s war if he is going to save his own skin. That’s going to be hard, since he can’t really be sure who is a friend and who isn’t.

There are hidden players in this game, and they all have their own agenda for how this will end. Jonah didn’t realize it at the time, but he was actually lured here because of his reputation. Someone wanted him to be the catalyst to bring A MATTER OF JUSTICE to this town for a lot of people.

Genre: A traditional western, and the conclusion of the story started in “Matter of Honor”.

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Common Threads by Larry Auerbach

The town of Pinetar, Alabama was almost ruined and burned out of existence during a protracted siege during the War Between The States. Twelve years later, it is still just barely hanging on, but good times may be coming. A large financial investment is coming to Pinetar, to help newly enfranchised former slaves, and former Rebels build new lives in what is now their war ravaged home, if they can all learn to work together. The government is also sending a teacher to start a school to help them all learn to read, write, and do their sums. The own desperately needs this financial assistance, as there is no industry and no work for anyone, and the dreaded carpet-baggers are coming to town.

The new Klu Klux Klan has become a force in the south and is threatening the stability of the community by using threats, intimidation and terrorism to drive the new citizens out of the area. A U S Marshal is ordered to take a team to the town and drive the Klan out of the area and protect the financial rebirth of the community, all but wiped out by the devastation of the war only the South wanted and only the North could hope to win.

Pinetar has its own secrets, however. Twenty years ago a black man was murdered to hide a scandal that would have ruined a very important man. Some people in Pinetar are seeking to rebuild their fortunes, while some are seeking to return to the old lost order. Others are coming to Pinetar for a variety of reasons. One is seeking redemption for a ruined military career, while another is coming to make an un-scheduled withdrawal from the bank. One man is coming to seek revenge for an old injury, and another will clear his conscience. The connection between all of these issues, and the key to the resolution of that twenty year old murder mystery is on the way. All of these people will meet in Pinetar and they will discover they all share COMMON THREADS.

Genre: Traditional Western

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The Spirit Of Redd Mountain by Larry Auerbach

Redd Mountain is a famous multi-mountain resort in western Montana, that boasts skiing on one side and hunting on the other, with a wide neutral zone between the two mountains.

Thirty years ago, Warner Barney, a world class big game hunter, came to Redd Mountain on a hunting trip. His narcissistic belief that rules of safety did not apply to him led to the death of several people, as a result of his reckless behavior in the pursuit of his single-minded goal. When Warner barney left the mountain, he left death and chaos for many in his wake.

In the months after he left, two legends began to grow. One is the story of a magnificent elk who is possessed of a singularly reddish color coat. No hunters have been able to take him, although many have seen him, because he always seems to be just out of range or behind a tree. The locals have dubbed him the protector of the forest, as hunters pass on the other animals in their efforts to bring him down, all of them failing.

There is also a legend of a mysterious red-jacketed skier who has been sighted for years, intervening in the activities of other skiers who are in danger of losing their lives, due to their recklessness or the unpredictable whims of nature. No one knows who he is, or where he comes from, or where he goes, but all are very grateful for his unexpected appearance whenever it comes. Every year, both of them are seen by skiers and hunters alike, and their legends grow bigger each year with every drink in the resort lodge.

Now Warner Barney is back, supremely confident in his belief that he is the one to claim the legendary trophy elk that has been a part of this mountain for almost as long. He has not changed at all, he still believes that rules do not apply to him. He wants this elk for his trophy wall, but there are forces standing in his way, including the chief ranger and safety supervisor for the resort, a party of conservationists and wildlife experts who are determined to rescue the elk and take him to a preserve. Also on this expedition is Warner’s old guide from his previous hunt, who has a debt to pay and hopes to find some answers of his own on the mountain. Some of these people have their own reasons for being on this hunt, to resolve old wounds and out an end to old debts.

This party also includes a newspaper journalist who is determined to use this hunt to advance her own career, regardless of the cost to others. After agreeing to follow the rules of the non-lethal hunt, Warner breaks away on his own to follow his own path to claim this magnificent animal. His blind obsession leads Warner to find his destiny, and to discover the truth of the old saying that time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels. Warner Barney, and these two local legends, have a date with destiny to resolve some old wounds, and they will do this on Redd Mountain.

Genre: Supernatural Tale Of Revenge and Resolution

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Larry Auerbach

Larry Auerbach is a practicing psychotherapist of twenty-five years, in Pt. St. Lucie, Fla, where he lives with his wife of 32 years. He earned his Master’s in Social Work form Barry University in Miami Shores, FL in 1991 and has maintained a busy practice since. He has traveled out west for numerous pack trips and re-enactment rides and his interests include chess, horseback riding and the American West. He is a member of the Western Writers of America and this is his fifth novel. He is a collector of frontier memorabilia, and maintains an extensive library of the people, places and events of that period.

Interview:

What or who inspired you to become a writer? My English teacher in high school, Mrs. Jackson. And my wife, Chari, encouraged me to write the stories I was telling her.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I was always given books as a child and encouraged to read extensively. I have always enjoyed reading and hearing a well-told story. I have learned to appreciate character development more than mindless actions.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 2010 my wife and I were playing word games on our way to a conference and the story line for “Common Threads” came to me as we were talking, and she said I should write it. I finished it in six months and decided it was so much fun to do, I wanted to do another…and another….

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Seeing it in print, knowing I created something that will live on. Something that I created out of my own consciousness and imagination.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Seeing the copyright notice from the Library of Congress on each title.

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I work in a different manner than most other writers I know. I start with the reveal at the end and then develop a story to support it. I am much more interested in meaningful character development than I am in routine action. For me, the action has to be a natural flow from the character.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Although I want to write westerns, I seem to have more of a leaning to the supernatural story. I suspect that it has to do with some drive I have to see justice and resolution for those who have been wronged, and to see them have an opportunity to rebuild their lives. I am, after all, a clinical psychotherapist.

Published Books:
A Matter Of Honor
A Matter Of Justice
Common Threads
Mr. Wysquers
The Spirit of Redd Mountain
The Toll Bridge

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Mr. Wysquers is a very charming old English gentleman who is involved with a shipping business up north somewhere. He comes down for a visit to some old friends and interacts with several people who are at the end of their emotional rope, depressed and alone, with no future or hope of having one. He comes into their lives at their lowest point and with a few words of encouragement and a new perspective, he puts them back on the path to a brighter life. But he doesn’t do it for them, he only shows them how they can do it for themselves.

I am a therapist, my goal is to offer people, trapped in a personal myth about themselves that isn’t working, a new way of looking at their options so they can create a new story for their lives to follow. Pemberton does that for the people he meets. His favorite mode of transportation is a candy-apple red vintage Cadillac with a gleaming white leather interior that runs as quiet as a whisper.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write about what you know best, and have fun doing it. If the reader doesn’t care about the characters, hero or the villain, they won’t get involved in your story. Good character development drives the story, mindless action is just visual eye candy.

Who is your favorite author and why? Clive Cussler (I like his characters); Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I love his famous character and his methodology; William Johnston (his plots move along), Robin Cook (his use of modern science and medicine as a foundation for his stories).

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Author Roxanne Bland (Washington, D.C.-USA)

Invasion by Roxanne Bland

Kurt, vampire Master of Seattle, Garrett Larkin, mage of Balthus Coven and Parker Berenson, alpha of the city’s werewolf pack, are in a world of trouble. Already divided by love and jealousy, the three discover their auras are inextricably bound, the result of a spellcasting gone terribly wrong. Each one’s aura has been invaded by the auras of the others, and the consequences are both frightening and deadly. Worse yet, Shen’zae Melera, interstellar assassin and Parker’s love, has returned to Earth with dire news: she didn’t return alone. She’d been followed by her nemesis, Mag Beloc, and his fleet of warships. Even if Beloc recaptures her, Melera knows that Earth will suit his purposes, and that his presence may well become permanent. Drawn together by choice and fate while doing what they had to do, can Kurt, Garrett, and Parker now find a way to undo the magick that binds them, and with Melera, stop an alien invasion before it begins?

Book Review: Invasion by Roxane Bland begins as Kurt (vampire Master of Seattle) “fears the very powers that he almost died twice for are weakening.” Meanwhile Parker Berenson (alpha of Seattle’s werewolf pack) contemplates his love for “Melera (interstellar assassin) who, as the story opens, has left him for her home galaxy.” Garrett Larkin (powerful witch and mage of the Balthus Coven) discovers that there might not be a counter spell as she, Kurt and Garrett auras have been bound by a spell gone bad.

Author Roxanne Bland is a great urban dark fantasy story teller that pushes the limits in the US city of Seattle Washington, which is now the tale of two cities. One city is for the humans and the other city plays out in the darkness under the moon. For me the ‘Invasion’ follows ‘The Underground’ extremely well. With vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and space aliens, this adult adventure is fast paced, graphic, and puts “Earth in Mag Beloc’s—Melera’s alien nemesis cross hairs.”

I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “Inside Melera’s huge cavern base, Parker lay on her bed half asleep, luxuriating in his vacation from the world. These last eight days or so with Melera had been like heaven. No phones, no clients, no pack, just the two of them.

He smiled as he listened to her play her whatchamacallit and sing along with it. At first, it sounded more like noise—screeches, howls and growls—than music. But the more he listened, the easier it was to make out themes and motifs, and at times, he could even follow its syncopated rhythms. He’d gotten to the point where he actually kind of liked the piece.

His smile faltered. Melera wasn’t playing her instrument for his benefit, he knew. It was the code she was trying to break, that would alert her battle fleet for delivery to the Vst.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Invasion by Roxanne Bland as this adult dark urban fantasy is an easy read after I got to know some of the characters in ‘The Underground’. Each book stands alone and will hold your attention if you love all the things that could go bump in the night on the ground and overhead. I purchased this Kindle book on November 3, 2017 and this review was written on November 6, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban, Alien Invasion, Military, Space Fleet

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The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland

Roxanne Bland does bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, J.R. Ward, and Laurell K. Hamilton one better with The Underground–rocketing into the upper ranks of urban dark fantasy and paranormal romance by adding a touch of science fiction to the fantastic, horrific, erotic mix. Set in an alternate Seattle, Washington, Bland’s heart-pounding, deliciously sexy adventure imagines a city where communities of “exotics”–shapeshifters, witches, elves, and vampires–live among the murderous human population and are ruled over by the cruel, insatiable vampire, Kurt.

The powerful alpha male of the city’s werewolf pack, Parker Berenson, is one of the Master’s enslaved servants, and he would like nothing better than to hasten the downfall of the vampire overlord who stole his love, the beautiful mage Garrett Larkin. But in a night city already on the razor’s edge–in the midst of a spate of inexplicable bloody murders–the alpha wolf’s passionate encounter with a stunning interstellar assassin could upset the very delicate balance and ignite a war that neither exotics nor humans can survive.

Warning: Profanity, Violence, Graphic Adult Content

Book Review: The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland is a blend of genres which include science fiction, dark urban fantasy and paranormal romance with an adult theme which includes profanity, violence and graphic erotic content.

It is not lions and tigers and bears, but rather werewolves, vampires, witches, and shapeshifters called “Exotics” that rule the night. You will either love it or hate it depending on your ability to meld into the author’s fantasy world and find something strangely different about her cast of characters.

Set in an alternate Seattle Washington where the night hours are more than bewitching, they are truly murderous. The book opens with Parker Berenson, alpha of Seattle’s werewolf fighting to stay in human form. Like many good stories, a love has been lost and someone or something must pay. Parker has anger issues and Garrett (Powerful Witch) is his former girlfriend and perhaps the only one who can truly see “the big picture”.

I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. With ninety-one chapters in this book, I chose an excerpt from Chapter 10.

“At nine a.m. on February second, a cinquet of five witches arrived to fetch Garrett for the first of her many ritual baths. They discovered her sitting naked in a half lotus on the floor, deep in a meditative trance.

Garrett had been awake for hours. She’d had too much on her mind the night before and hadn’t slept well. At five, she’d gotten out of bed and showered. After that, she’d meditated on the silk prayer rug next to the bed, hoping she could replace at least some of her lost sleep. The last thing she needed was to be incapacitated by fatigue when she channeled Goddess.

The cinquet waited in respectful silence until Garrett came out of her trance. Her gaze settled on Paul. “Good morning, Garrett,” he spoke for the other four witches.

Rising from the prayer rug, Garrett stepped over to Paul and kissed him on both cheeks, and then did the same to the others. Pinkie pre- sented her with a pair of soft indoor moccasins. Georgia held up a white, silk-lined satin robe and helped her put it on.

Paul smiled. “Ready, my Lady?” “I’m ready.”

The elder turned and with Garrett walking behind, led the group out of the bedroom to the purification room. The room’s most prominent feature was a square, white, marble Jacuzzi large enough for two people. One side was set into a wall covered with a slab of marble that rose half- way to the ceiling. Neck-sized indentations had been scooped out along the tub’s upper edge. From there, the tub sloped to its bottom, providing back support.

The rest of the wall to which the tub was attached, as well as the room’s other three walls, was covered in dense, dark blue carpet. The floor was laid with waterproofed linoleum in the same color. A series of wall sconces provided a dim light.

I love being in here. The room always evoked in Garrett a sense of inviolate safety, a comfort she never felt outside the Temple’s walls. This must be the way a baby feels in its mother’s womb.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland as an adult dark urban fantasy that will either grab and hold your attention or turn you off depending on your appetite for violent, graphic and erotic content. I purchased this book in a Kindle format on June 7, 2017 and this review was written on June 9, 2017.

Genre:  Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban, Science Fiction

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The Moreva of Astoreth by Roxanne Bland

In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of the priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year to a volatile far corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Cold Coffee Press Interview With Author Roxanne Bland

Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated.

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Baltimore? I can’t say that I’m proud to be a writer from anywhere (though I will say that while my living in Baltimore is happenstance, Washington, D.C. is my home). Writing is simply what I do, and it’s what I do best.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I suppose you could say it was the books I read as a child. They wrote down their stories; maybe I could write down my stories, too. But those little stories never saw the light of day. I threw them out. Then, I won a writing contest when I was around ten. You’d think that would have been my clue, but it sailed right over my head. I wrote off and on over the next several decades, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that it dawned on me that “hey, I’m pretty good at this, and it’s fun!”

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Not really. Back in those days, I wrote to pass the time (when I had any!), or as a school exercise. My focus was on becoming a career musician. Incredibly time consuming. I did have one high school teacher who suggested that I become a writer, but of course, at that time, it was out of the question.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Sometime in the early 2000s. I wrote a little piece while recovering from illness, and a dear friend browbeat me into making it into a novel. When I realized that I actually might have something, I started shopping it around. No takers. Then I was lucky enough to find an editor who saw promise in my scribblings and agreed to work with me to polish it up. No, that’s not true. We didn’t just polish it up, we made it into an entirely new book.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I love watching the words spill out over the page (or pixels on a screen, as the case may be). My thoughts, my characters, my story—coming to life. Some writers say that writing “the end” is their reward. To me, writing those two little words is kind of a letdown. Of course, that’s when you start writing another book.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Founding my publishing house, Blackrose Press. My idea is to publish works by people of color. I’ll be ready to take on submissions from other writers sometime in 2018. We’ll start off as an ebook publisher, and then, if the sales warrant, graduate to POD. I’m starting small; only two books per year. Hopefully, when Blackrose Press matures, I’ll be able to publish more.

Published Books:
Invasion
The Underground (First Edition)
The Moreva of Astoreth
The Underground (Second Edition)

Please tell us the genre of each of your books. The Underground books are paranormal urban fantasy/science fiction with romantic elements. The Moreva of Astoreth is a science fiction/romance.

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Usually while I’m writing the book. I have working titles so I can find it in my files, but the working title never becomes the final title. For example, the working title for The Underground was The Alien Within.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write paranormal urban fantasy and science fiction. I don’t know that I prefer to write in those genres. It’s more like those are the channels in which my imagination runs.

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Underground: Second Edition

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? It was the reviews that I received for The Underground. The readers obviously saw merit in the book, but it had issues. So, after kicking it around in my head for a couple of years, I decided to rewrite it. I felt I owed to it my readers to produce a better book, but more than that, I owed it to myself as a writer

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Keep writing and don’t give up.

Who is your favorite author and why? Edgar Allan Poe. I love the lyrical flow of his words, especially his poems (and I’m not into poetry). I know his style of writing is out of date, but I’d love to be able to write like him.

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Author Bernadette Y. Connor (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-USA)

Limpin by Bernadette Y. Connor

If you ain’t got love you’re . . . LIMPIN’. Ida Evers shares all of the trials and victories of their lives together, with her husband, James Evers, who has Alzheimer’s. His reactions are hilarious and heartwarming. Her gripping storytelling is filled with all of the angst, surprise, joy and loss of lives lived thoroughly with love as its anchor. Tales of family life will come and go, but you will never forget the Evers.

Book Review: Limpin’ is a well told, very interesting fictional African American family drama.

The book opens with this; “The doctor told me James had Alzheimer’s four years ago, and that he would forget things and do strange things he had never done before. I thought that diagnosis was funny at the time because corn liquor had been doing that to James for over fifty years. As far as James doing anything he had never done before, I thought that impossible. If he got his back up about something or a load on, James always could and would do some pretty stupid things.”

This book reminds me of the book/movie ‘The Notebook’. It is a love story that goes beyond the love between husband and wife to encompass the love and dynamics between family members.

Author Bernadette Y. Connor uses her main character Mrs. Ida Evers to share this heartwarming story where love anchors their lives through it all, especially towards to end when Alzheimer’s works to rob her husband James of his memories.

Here is a quote from chapter 19: “The summer of forty-eight. What can’t be said about it? The most profound phrase that comes to mind is, ‘I wasn’t in Gadsden.’ We experienced unbelievable highs and devastating lows. It seemed as if I would at long last get to know a loving relationship with my husband. We could have that honeymoon I read about other people having and enjoying so much. Oh, James, we came so close to having all of that, and so much more.

We drove up to Virginia Beach the first weekend we were alone. I saw the ocean for the very first time in my life.  It was truly a grand sight too. It stretched to forever; all blue and green with white foam smashing against the dark tan colored beach. You told me that the sand was mixed with dirt and that the farther down the coast you went the brighter it got and that there were actually white beaches in Florida and Mexico.

Born and raised colored in the south the trip was a rude awakening for me. We all knew our boundaries and basically stayed within them. Every once in a while, someone would get rambunctious and find out the hard way that white folks don’t play with you. The way I saw it at the time, white folks were the least of my problems because I dealt so little with them.”

You will have to read this book to understand this reference: “I wasn’t in Gadsden”.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Limpin’ by Bernadette Y. Connor as a family drama that shines the light on love vs control. I purchased this book from Kindle and completed this review on November 6, 2017.

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He’s Mine by Bernadette Y. Connor

What’s a girl to do when she moves to a new town and falls in love with the most desired man in town?

What’s a girl to do when that man belongs to all in his family and social circle?

What’s a girl to do when their infatuation with him is unhealthy to the point of being dangerous?

What’s a girl to do when one of them threatens her and she doesn’t know which one it is?

What’s a girl to do when that person declares, “He’s Mine!”?

“Dream come true turns nightmare!”

“A romantic, gritty and disturbing fatal attraction.”

Tall, dark and incredibly handsome, Miles Alexander is admired by his friends and colleagues, loved and adored by every woman in town, including his family.  He is an attorney from a wealthy family, and an incurable romantic who has dated every attractive woman in town.  Miles’s world is comfortable and carefree until Patrice Mays whisks past him in the lobby of his office building and his appreciation of a beautiful woman eclipsed.  With just the two of them on the elevator, Miles inspects her from head-to-toe and cannot believe his eyes, she is perfection.

Patrice Mays is new in town and Miles is the first person to penetrate her determination to be on time for her first day at Tymes, McNeil and Lowell Law Offices.  The gorgeous floral arrangement and warm welcome note Miles had delivered impresses her.  The recollection of his handsome, well dressed physique made her smile.  However, Patrice is focused on her career, Miles is focused on Patrice.

Miles makes his infatuation with Patrice well known immediately, and the information is not well received by all. Patrice is confronted at the end of her second day by an irate Miles romantic reject and receives a mind-boggling note in her inter-office mail that simply says, “He’s Mine!”

Book Review: ‘He’s Mine!’ by Bernadette Y. Connor is a romance that begins as a chance meeting in an elevator, turns into an adventurous pursuit, infatuation, intrigue, romance, jealousy, stalking and attempted murder. All the elements that keep the reader tuning the page and creates caution in the minds of single hearts looking for love.

Two main characters from different backgrounds bring their own history and unique circumstances to the story. Miles Alexander is an attorney from a wealthy family. He is tall, dark, handsome and carefree with a giant Doberman named Roman. His good looks, money and carefree lifestyle makes him a target for women who want the best and are willing to go to any length to accomplish their quest. Patrice Mays is the new woman in town, focused on her career and is about to find herself in the cross-hairs. I quote a passage that stands out in my memory: “Patrice stood in the doorway watching Miles and Roman disappear into the night, and she was surprised by the number of people still sitting on their steps. Patrice would soon learn that this was a ritual of summer in the inner city.”

I especially like to read passages that give insight into how different two people can be when a friendship begins. I quote: “He especially loved the way she ate the barbeque with her fingers and licked them afterwards. Patrice had not gone to any trouble trying to impress the great Miles Alexander.  Miles had never eaten a piece of meat with his fingers until he was in college, and to date had never licked his fingers. His mother would have had a massive coronary if she had witnessed him doing any of it.”

Romance that begins as a fine fragile line between two people. I quote: “In silence, Patrice dissected and analyzed her anger. When the particles settled, there was only one answer. Patrice Mays was more physically attracted to Miles Alexander than she had ever been to any man in her life and it had made her horribly uncomfortable. Truthfully, she had no idea whether she was acting rational or not. Her hormones were blitzing her brain cells.”

Secondary characters who may or may not have a reason to come between Miles and Patrice. Attraction is one thing, but when mixed with some mental illness things often change without warning. Chaos can affect a wide circle of people and the criminal justice system can’t always protect the innocent.

I, Theodocia Mclean endorse He’s Mine! by Bernadette Y. Connor as a romance with a fatal attraction mystery entwined. We admire the author’s inner strength and ability to raise three children alone and inspire them to graduate from college. Our heart acknowledges her struggles through her own medical issues and the brutal murder of her eldest son in 1991.

Her early writing began in the wee hours of the morning when her children were sleeping and resurfaced later when she wrote and published her debut novel, ‘Damaged!’ in 1998. This book garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004” for the first psychological thriller published by an African American Woman. From here she went on to publish Inherited in 2005, PEARL AND ANGELA in 2009, SASHA’S New Beginning in 2011, THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS in 2012 and He’ s Mine! on September 15, 2014.

The review was completed on May 10th, 2015. For more information please contact Cold Coffee Press.

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Damaged by Bernadette Y. Connor

Adrena Reynolds is the teenage survivor of years of child abuse that leaves her filled with murderous rage. State- assigned, psychiatrist Vivian Matthews tries to help Adrena overcome the psychological damage she has suffered. Their relationship grows beyond that of doctor-patient and Dr. Matthews takes Adrena into her personal life, which includes the handsome, sexy, and successful Howard Shaw. Therapy and love bring Adrena to the brink of happiness, but will the insane legacy of her past allow Adrena to live and let live?

Genre: Fiction, General Psychological Thriller

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Inherited by Bernadette Y. Connor

Derrick Dawes is a cafe au lait Adonis who lives comfortably and enjoys bachelorhood. When Derrick receives a call informing him that his wife has left the hospital it begins as an obvious mistaken identity that turns into a nightmare. His security and peace of mind are shattered by the reality that there are newborn twins with his name listed as father. DNA will free him, if the babies are not his, in three months without the mother’s DNA contribution. If he signs anything, he is acknowledging paternity. If he leaves the hospital without them, he will be charged with abandonment.

Derrick Dawes as Daddy is a comedy of errors until he meets their nurse and angers an old girlfriend who makes his life a living hell. Through it all, Derrick searches for the mother of the twins.

Genre: Romance Contemporary

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Pearl and Angela by Bernadette Y. Connor

Pearl and Angela is a suspense-filled story that profoundly chronicles the emotional damages of hatred and cruelty and the miraculous healing power of love. The characters come to life, providing on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment and intrigue wrapped in a timeless love story. Pearl Little grew up an only child in a typical late 1940s Midwestern town in the shadow of a maniac, Barry “Pop” Little. Pop had ranted his expectations all of Pearl’s life, and after his death, his words haunted her. A trip to the Fair with a young man Pearl had fallen in love with and his best friend, without Pop’s permission, tragically altered their lives. Angela Bowman was tossed from a car and left on the side of the road in town and Pearl happened upon her. Pearl brought Angela home and the two women’s lives flourished, clashed, and healed. Angela had been sold at the age of six to a brothel owner in a nearby town. To escape her past, Angela craved the one thing she thought would set her free money. Money to run, to live the high life, to be free of anything she found confining. Pearl and Angela came together and each supplied the other’s needs. They developed a comfortable existence and then the unimaginable happened.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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Sasha’s New Beginning by Bernadette Y. Connor

On the surface, Sasha and Terrence Bain are the American dream. She is beautiful, intelligent, graceful, a wonderful homemaker and mother of three incredibly witty children. He is a successful banker and illegitimate son of a long line of successful bankers. Financially, they want for nothing.

All Sasha wants is to make Terrence happy. All Terrence wants is to make Terrence happy too. Their life together is both wonderful and challenging. Sasha’s torment at not being able to be the woman who makes Terrence’s eyes light up each time he walks in the door is obvious. His unfaithfulness is also obvious, and Terrence has lived a charmed life with his dedicated wife and adoring children.

Sasha’s life takes on a new glow when she receives lavender orchids from a secret admirer. When an unexpected tragedy strikes the Bain family, Sasha’s joy withers like the petals on her beloved orchids, and she wonders if her secret admirer had been Terrence all along.

Sasha’s journey through love, betrayal, loss, and rebirth is an all too familiar one with an ending that will take your breath away.

Book Genre: Romantic, Suspense, Thriller

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The Parcel Express Murders by Bernadette Y. Connor

Detectives Hall Hawkins and Edward Clark of the 30th Precinct Homicide Division are assigned the daunting task of solving the brutal murders of the handsome, Exquisite Wheels owner, David Bass, and his beautiful, fashion designer date, Kay Spencer. The case is every homicide detective’s nightmare: A double murder with only one clue . . . corpses riddled with bullets from a .45.

As Hawkins and Clark pursue this cunning, cold-blooded killer, they uncover one sordid detail after another about the lives of the wealthy and worldly victims, shedding no light on the case. A string of unsolved murders following on the heels of the Bass and Spencer case deepens the mystery.

Detective Hall Hawkins’ stunning family friend, psychiatrist Samoa Tate, is introduced to the sophisticated and charming Detective Edward Clark and finds herself embroiled in a love triangle that she alone knows all about and a murder mystery of which she is completely unaware.

Bernadette Y. Connor has again given her readers a story filled with twists and turns and enough suspense to keep them up burning the night oil to find out ‘who done it and why.’ The love story that weaves throughout the murder mystery is rich and sophisticated, simple and devilishly complicated. THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS is filled with characters you want living next door and characters you want living next door to someone else someone far away.

Genre: Crime, Fiction, Detective Thriller

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Bernadette Y. Connor

Bernadette Y. Connor is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was born at home in a one-room apartment in North Philadelphia; the fourth of five children. To help her family financially, she sang rhythm and blues in many of the local nightclubs until she graduated from Dobbins Vocational Area High School in 1969 and was hired as a secretary by Sun Oil Company.

Her first love was music, but she found herself writing poetry in Junior High School. Some of her earliest writings were published in SCLC monthly magazine. Both singing and writing had to take a back burner to caring for her family, but midnight often found her doodling. A divorced mother of three, Bernadette saw that all of her children graduated from college.

She found her niche’ at AT&T as a communications technician. With the merger came a lay-off and she saw as an opportunity to begin a new career, but that was put on hold by a series of medical problems and finally the devastation of the brutal murder of her eldest son on Christmas Eve of 1991. Her zest for life, travel and adventure were nearly extinguished. However, Bernadette’s thoughts slowly returned to writing.

The literary fire was stoked by reacquainting herself with her earlier poems, and Bernadette embarked on yet another adventure. She wrote a simple love story called ‘Finally’ that opened the gate to an avalanche of works which include 13 novels and 12 screenplays.

Bernadette’s published debut novel, ‘Damaged’, the first psychological thriller ever written and published by an African American garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004”. Publishers Weekly dubbed her the “genre-crossing writer” and she loves the distinction. Agent, Mondella Jones, labeled her “a master storyteller.”

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Philadelphia? It is an honor to be a writer from Philadelphia. There is a rich literary history from James A. Michener, Edgar A. Poe and Diane McKinney-Whetstone. These authors have blazed a glorious fictional trail for me. While Edgar A. Poe was not born in Philadelphia, he wrote and published while living here. His home is on our Historical Registry.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Honestly, I believe I have always had a writer’s spirit; needing to know who, what, when, where and how. It was awakened by hearing Edgar A. Poe’s poems on phonographs in English class in Junior High. It was my baptism into the written word has a distinct rhythm and sound. If I hear “The Bells” or “Annabel Lee” today, I am still mesmerized by them. Langston Hughes inspired and nurtured that belief for me. The way he wrote about his people made me believe he loved and respected every aspect of their existence. If I can scratch the surface of the power of his love, I will believe I have accomplished something.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 1997, after lots of long-winded rejection letters swearing I was good and praising my skills, but they could not publish my work. Of course, they never said exactly why they could not publish it.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes. I put all of my experience to work in my work without ever writing about my life. The dreams, passion and devastation of life fascinates me. The ways we love and hurt each other is my springboard.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I have done both.  Sometimes, the title comes weeks before the story begins to unfold.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Romance and psychological thrillers.  I write in these two genre because they are the heart of our existence. They propel or stifle us in life. To love and be loved is our reason for being. Our attempts to achieve our reason damages us irreparably when it is not accomplished, or the ones we want to love desperately have been so wounded that they wound in return.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? The thought that no matter how “perfect” the people in the relationship or the relationship itself appears to onlookers, there are always challenges to overcome. What happens when you can’t name the challenger? What happens when you name the challenger, but can’t name the reason why they are challenging your relationship? What made your challenger’s insanity choose you as their target?

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Knowing that people who do not read have thoroughly enjoyed my work. Knowing that scholars have used some of it for class study. Knowing that people who have experienced some of the challenges identify with the stories and situations. My real reward is that I entertain people for a little while. I turn their attention away from their lives with the intrigue of what’s going to happen to someone else.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? At a book signing; to have a young lady bring me a paperback copy of ‘Damaged’ that was held together with a rubber-band saying, “Ms. Connor, I think I need to have it in hardback. All of my family and friends have read and destroyed this copy.”

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Be true to yourself. At the end of the day you will always look back and know you did it your way. If you’re writing to make money, follow others.

Who is your favorite author and why? Langston Hughes and J. California Cooper. They both could write dynamic short stories that made me believe they loved their characters.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I am not a person who builds a story. I allow the characters to tell their story. Sometimes, I feel more like a stenographer than an author.

Please tell us something that you believe your readers would like to know. Pain and passion in a novel are necessary elements. Too much sunshine burns the story up. Too much rain drowns it.

Published Books:
Damaged
He’s Mine
Inherited
Limpin
Pearl and Angela
Sasha’s New Beginning
The Parcel Express Murders

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Author Suzanne McMillen-Fallon

Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich
(Mommy Writings Series Book I, Mommy’s Writings)
by Suzanne McMillen-Fallon

True Story

“There’s one thing I know – God exists.”

At age nineteen, MaryAnne McMillen severed two vital nerves at the base of her skull when she suffered a near fatal fall. This was followed by an out-of-body experience, life after death, in which she heard the words, “It’s not your time.”

When the two nerves fused together, MaryAnne was left in unrelenting, excruciating pain. Being the mother of a young son and married to a philandering brute of a husband when the accident occurred, the family disallowed the use of any medicine because it was against their religion. After fourteen years of agony, doctors were finally able to perform a unique surgery known as extraspinal rhizotomy.

This story weaves together the idea of family and faith, while also creating a sense of longing in the reader’s own life for something bigger than themselves. Mommy’s Writings is the extraordinary memoir of the love between a mother and her young son, and a great-grandmother whose intense devotion to the two of them kept their little family together. It is a story of faith in God, of forgiveness and acceptance, and of gratitude.

When defining who she is, Suzanne McMillen-Fallon writes, “Mother of Chad C. McMillen and author.” In her younger years, she was an artist. After the 1983 surgery, she is a published writer of poetry and prose, and co-authored the book Shadows of Yesterday with her late second husband, Gene Fallon. Her next book, Parallax Crossroads: Finding My Way continues the Mommy Writings Series. The author’s son Chad C. McMillen is shown at nearly five years of age. As an adult, he is a PMI Project Management professional.

Book Review: It takes a special type of person to share their deepest and sometimes darkest life experiences in a memoir. It also takes a special type of reader to set aside their own life experiences to read, have empathy and sympathy for the trials and tribulations of others.

This must have been a hard book for author Suzanne McMillen-Fallon too write. I imagine writing it caused her to relive the years written about; like it did for me, when I wrote my memoir. I find a certain component of therapy in reading non-fiction. Non-fiction memoirs allows some readers commonality.

I am moved by Suzanne’s strength and courage, while speaking about her near-death experience that happened on February 14, 1969. Controversy in the medical and religious communities, over this topic, makes this book and Suzanne’s interview, in ‘The Documentary: One A Guide to Enlightenment,’ by Dr. G. J. Link, MD, PhD. on November 21, 2016 (found on You Tube), both, insightful and intriguing.

As a mother of a son two years older than her beloved son Chad, I relate to and admire her maternal instincts to love, cherish every moment, protect and raise Chad under the most difficult circumstances. The influence of her in-laws and their extended family had massive sway over her life, to the point of studying under their religion. It is evident that this religion doesn’t agree with much in the medical community.

Through physical, mental and emotional pain, Suzanne holds onto her deep faith in God, as he reveals himself to her. She uses poetry and scripture to help explain her thought process to the reader. I am convinced that it is her faith and deep connection to her son Chad, that kept her alive thus far.

‘Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich?’ is the first book in her ‘Mommy’s Writings’ series. This book is two books in one, as she takes us from 1969 through the pre-teen years of her son, Chad. Suzanne (formally known as MaryAnne McMillen) has endured more than most and still has a positive attitude and grateful heart.

As we wait for the next installment in this series, let me quote the author, “I’m joyful in having watched Chad grow into a man of integrity and, most importantly, having understood why we’re blessed. God is love, and my priorities are the same: God’s first, then my family, Chad, friends, and then, of course, the writing.”

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse “Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich? (Mommy Writings Series Book I, Mommy’s Writings)” by Suzanne McMillen-Fallon, as a deeply honest account of her near-death experience and the years that followed. I purchased this book in print, and this review was completed on October 23, 2017.

Genre: Non-Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Worship & Devotion, Faith, Parenting & Relationships, Biographies & Memoirs

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View This Near-Death Testimonial by Ms. Suzanne McMillen
(in the center of this video)

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Message From Author Suzanne McMillen-Fallon: “Let me share this specific Mommy’s Writings’ query, of so long ago, for Book 1. I wrote: “They’re so many words to write about a true story that inspires the love of God, but I use Mommy’s words to best express Mary’s thread.

In 1983, while sitting at my bedroom desk in Warren, Ohio, I understood that I’d write this story. I heard words then as if someone had clearly spoken them, and I paused for the longest time. After all, I did just have a unique head surgery. Fourteen years of unbearable nerve spasms which often left me unconscious, especially in the days approaching the surgery. I did not question then that I heard the words. I questioned, how can this be?

My son Chad is my life. But who’s Chad’s Mommy? I glanced about the room and then through an enormous bay window, whose light is comforting, as I gazed into the distance. I closed my eyes to feel the light’s warmth which so often helps to sift out the harshness in an all too real world that demands perfection. With thoughts then ended I returned my attention to a desk and to a typewriter that stares back at me, but I didn’t know if I could even type. I had been swallowed whole then spit out in pieces that are to somehow fit together once again into a world that doesn’t recant in missed time. Others told me that I had typed, and my resume implied that indeed I was quite proficient in this skill. Still, I felt lost in the resume words that claimed who I am as I surely didn’t recognize Mary. In these moments I realized then that I did not remember me; so alone in my home, MaryAnne McMillen cried. I have a very, very long road ahead if I’m to salvage fragmented pieces which left me humbled by God.

Just like Mary’s name is part of who I am, so are these words then clearly heard by me. ‘You will write this story.’”

What does this mean? Well, for me, since 1983 I continue reading theologian Bible research; more recently, an interest in quantum physics brain research on consciousness. Enough said, because everyone’s time is valued and respected.

I just had business cards made, seeing myself: for book-signings and readings and still writing and research; in spite of a poor medical prognosis. As I continue recouping from a 2015 major surgery, with complications slowly going away (I advocate the shingles’ vaccine for anyone whose had chicken pokes and is of the age sixty and over); to another, future, major operation for me, having been informed by physicians. But more importantly, is in knowing now God’s plan is fulfilled for my life, with Book 1’s 2015 Literary Marketplace entrance, and yet to be, if the Lord will (In the Bible: Hebrews 4:13-15 (AV); Rom. 8:28; James 4:13-15; 1 Cor. 13:12-13).

Author Suzanne McMillen-Fallon has a background in the performing arts in theatrical production; with both film and television experience. I am a published poet (sixteen anthologies). Collaborator of plot development, and Co-author for Shadows Of Yesterday; a fictional story based on proven facts about the first human clone.

Joint seminar speaker for Valencia Community College, Orlando, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, (Jeff Atwood, dean at both); extra for Universal Studios Florida, through Stevie Lynn Productions, Orlando. Associate Director and instructor, Television Workshop, Inc. and Center for Communication Arts, Cleveland, Ohio and Center for Communication Arts in Orlando, Florida)

Mommy Writings Series Book 1 is entitled Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich? A True Story.

I’m qualified as a reader and speaker at book sellers and on radio and TV talk shows, and will go anywhere I can to sell and promote Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, Would You Like a Sandwich?”

Resume: Suzanne McMillen-Fallon was previous business owner and CEO of the Center for Communication Arts, Inc. in Orlando; having been associate director of Television Workshop, Inc. with Gene Fallon in Cleveland, Ohio. Past business experience includes apartment house ownership and management and a family-owned business affiliation in the oil and gas industry.

Ms. McMillen-Fallon has a background in the performing arts in theatrical production at the famed Youngstown, Ohio Playhouse; developing an amazing role-playing ability than used as a teaching technique in Florida, where becoming the instructor’s protégé, she acted out parts audiences easily related to:

1992 – 1996 – (DBA) doing business as Center for Communication Arts, Inc. in Florida State: joint seminar speaker with Gene Fallon for Dale Carnegie Productions in their Central Florida Division; with Ken Roberts, as principal.

DBA-CCA, Inc: Team instructor with Gene Fallon at Valencia Community College in Orlando, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach; with Jeff Atwood, dean at both.

DBA-CCA, Inc: Contracted public seminars for the Fallons at Orlando Universal Studios through Stevie Lynn Productions.

What had made the Center for Communication Arts teaching style so valuable was that anyone who could read from a workbook could also be taught effective communication techniques. Thousands were taught from top executives to mothers and even grandmothers.

CCA, Inc. was licensed for teaching, speaking and writing purposes.

CCA, Inc. closed March 23, 2008

Her Current Read: For, one chooses to believe, or not, Albert Einstein’s thinking on the quantum theory and its weirdness, which bothered him during his lifetime. In the enigmatic implications, which physicists call “the measurement problem,” and is cited in the publication, “Quantum Enigma, Second Edition,” by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner. In simple words, human perspective – in quantum mechanics – encounters consciousness. (This book is absolutely the best read, if one seeks proven knowledge. Thank you, Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, for the Second Edition, which reveals, and enables humankind to understand more clearly physics encounters consciousness.)

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from (Toledo, OH)? This is the second time living in the State of Ohio, in a different locale – my beloved son Chad McMillen is here – having previously relocated from Mukilteo, WA in 2010; with my formative years lived in Warren, OH. Perhaps, it’s the challenge whenever being asked, “What are you writing, when you’re working?” It brings a smile to my countenance. Because their question’s truth is surreal. As I grasp the reality of the words, as any writer probably relates to. Writing is what one does. Anyone may write. But it’s the writer who continually scribbles down thoughts simply because it’s a part of them. Sometimes, writers are given inspired writing, creativity flowing through them, like an artist’s canvas, to manifest something bigger than themselves. It’s those moments of true inspiration, which has me a writer; an individual, accessing a divine stream of consciousness. Prayerfully then, in a cognitive ability to then share it with everyone.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Becoming a writer, a sense of it, manifested in a poem entitled, “Watching Chad Grow.” In 1990, while residing in Warren, Ohio; when son Chad was in Howland Middle School – Class of ’97 – where I attended an open house for parents.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, I believe so. As I lived a peaceful life, while living on an Ohio farm with my beloved grandparents’ Pansy M. Holmes and Clyde L. Holmes and with Uncle Ralph B. Hodge, whose presence is just as loving and introspective as gramma Pansy and grampa Clyde; who gave me Smokey, a black stallion Shetland pony to pass the time together. As well as our family’s good-sized Holy Bible – the Word of God – with its beautiful color prints, being clearly in view for reading; or just glancing at the amazing pictures, when one is little and cannot read. But always present is our family’s reverence to God.

The farm home is small, and I still recall our address: 2634 Ridge Road, Southeast, in Warren, and our phone number is Express 45012. Funny how things stay with you. The place you once knew as home, the only house on the old road that borders Warren’s outskirts, until passing years bring neighbors. It’s a quiet country home, and stepbrother Richard C. Limber shared it with me – until age thirteen.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Some months later, following a rare and unique head surgery known as an intraspinal rhizotomy. In autumn 1983, when clearly hearing the words “You will write this story.” Although, it would be decades later, in 2001, when the Mommy Writings Series Book 1, entitled “Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich? would flow through me, and into written words; copyright JAN 04 2007. Literary Marketplace entrance: JUNE 18 2015. Publisher: dba Strategic Book Group, LLC.

Back then, “in 1983, while sitting at my bedroom desk in Warren, Ohio, I understood that I’d write this story. I heard words then as if someone had clearly spoken them, and I paused for the longest time. After all, I did just have a unique head surgery. Fourteen years of unbearable nerve spasms which often left me unconscious, especially in the days approaching the surgery. I did not question then that I heard the words. I questioned, how can this be?

My son Chad is my life. But who’s Chad’s Mommy? I glanced about the room and then through an enormous bay window, whose light is comforting, as I gazed into the distance. I closed my eyes to feel the light’s warmth, which so often helps to sift out the harshness in an all too real world that demands perfection. With thoughts then ended I returned my attention to a desk and to a typewriter that stares back at me, but I didn’t know if I could even type. I had been swallowed whole, then spit out in pieces that are to somehow fit together once again into a world that doesn’t recant in missed time. Others told me that I had typed, and my resume implied that indeed I was quite proficient in this skill. Still, I felt lost in the resume words that claimed who I am, as I surely didn’t recognize Mary. In these moments, I realized then that I did not remember me; so alone in my home, MaryAnne McMillen cried. I have a very, very long road ahead if I’m to salvage fragmented pieces, which left me humbled by God.

Just like Mary’s name is part of who I am, so are these words then clearly heard by me. ‘You will write this story.’”

So decades later, residing in Washington State, with retired second husband, Gene D. Fallon, our focus is on writing; Fallon being twenty-four years my senior, I worked part time for Hallmark Retail, Inc. (Andrews’s Hallmark, and then Amy’s Hallmark), and attended to Fallon’s failing health. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; with our commuting for his care at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance building, shortly after moving to Mukilteo, Washington in 1996.

It’s in Fallon’s latter days, when his strength was little and he slept mostly, that the novel “Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?” flowed through me. It was inspired. As I could see his resting form, a body slowly weakening from a fatal disease, but never removing away from him his loving nature. The injections I gave him finally were of no earthly use, and Gene David Fallon died on 12-1-2003; but not before his reading of my creative work, Mommy Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?

It’s in my marriage to Fallon, during those years, when the dear Lord had me learning the writing process. “Would I have accomplished this work without my patient husband’s support for his Suz? Let’s just say, with his love and respect that his Suz finds strength in two hearts now released as one.”

Yes, I knew I’d someday write this story. In spite of the head injury, and the permanent brain impairment, I live with. Yet, it’s like author Darrell Laurant shared with me in his October 15, 2015 e-mail, “…there are also the wild cards of prayer and personal determination.” And it’s true, this I know.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? It’s understanding the power of the word “I am” (the Holy Bible: Exodus 3:13-15, AV) to be most rewarding for me. As a writer, planting the seeds of curiosity, courage, consistency – the family of God – and creativity. In retrospection, I learned Walt Disney combined what might be called the four “C’s” that give him the power to do the things he did. Think about it.

In my perspective of what is, I continue theologian Bible research (AV), by means of Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, edited by Matthew Black and H. H. Rowley, since 1983. “I’m not religious. I do not proselytize. I believe in God.” With a present read on Physics Encounters Consciousness, entitled “Quantum Enigma,” Second Edition, by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner.

In defining who I am then in the literary industry, I am Suzanne McMillen-Fallon, “Mother of Chad C. McMillen and author.” In my younger years, I was an artist. After the 1983 surgery, I became a published writer of poetry and prose, and co-authored the book “Shadows of Yesterday” with late second husband, Gene Fallon.

Since the 2015 Literary Marketplace entrance of the Mommy Writings Series Book I entitled, “Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?” I continue to write, and to be part of the literary world. I’m joyful. Still, more importantly, I am more than this, as is everyone. Because humanity’s instilled with infinite possibility – attributes – of its creator. No matter, one’s faith; in being something bigger than themselves (Matt. 17:20). In principle, I am everything, and I am no-thing.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? As written in the Conclusion, p. 453, in Mommy Writings Series Book I, it is: “Psalm 143:8 (AV). With this novel, I’ve fulfilled what I perceive as a heavenly Father’s purposed plan for my life. It gives my soul rest (Ps. 139:13–14). Laus Deo. Amen (2 Cor. 1:20). Selah.

While there are words to write, it materializes only through inspiration, as are all things belonging unto a universal source (Acts 17:26). For me, the gift of writing continues in a heavenly Father’s time and in his way, as I’m forever humbled in a divine creator’s gracious consciousness whose compassion is infinite (Heb. 13:8). The invisible things one doesn’t see are the evidence of the things that are made by a universal creator, known as God, whose creation is forever unfolding in one’s journey of perpetuity (Rom. 1:20). There’s one home, which is eternal (Eph. 1:4–5). Our God-given blessing is omnipresent and omnipotent for his creation, of whom we are his own (Rom. 8:29–30).

I know so very little, but for what I’ve written, and it’s as follows:

“There’s one thing I know—God exists. If you have an open mind, you never know where God is going to lead you.”

How many published books do you have? One book; as well as, published in eleven poetry anthologies.

Please list the titles of all your books:

  • Mommy Writings Series Book I entitled: Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich? Literary Marketplace entrance: June 18, 2015. A True Story.
  • Shadows of Yesterday (co-author) Fiction. (copyright 2012).
  • Mommy Writings Series Book II entitled: Parallax Crossroads: Finding My Way (copyright 2012).

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? With Mommy Writings Series Book 1, it’s before. Being entitled, “Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?”

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Nonfiction. Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich? is inspired. A True Story. This story flowed through me, and then I read it.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? Believe it or not, in knowing God exists.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write for something bigger than ego. Write, because it’s a part of you – a reflection of what is – divine consciousness – being expressed through its creation – joyfully at work. Bringing another facet of life too light for everyone.

Who is your favorite author and why? Hmm. It is J.K. Rowling. “For, in joyful hearts, open-mindedness, one sees: beyond earth’s realm and the heaven’s stars lies the gift of imagination – possibility – the mind’s gateway. In desire and passion’s flight, keeping hope alive and promises fulfilled. Its rainbow treasure is but a thought away.” Qtd. by a.smf

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The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear

The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear

“Two generations of dementia are enough!”

Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end, he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.

In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of other residents: his neurotic sister, Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); and Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him.

Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson?

Book Review: I found The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear most interesting because my grandparents managed a retirement home and nursing home. I grew up around these homes, associating with many of the older people who lived in both. When my father became disabled (car accident, my mother, father and I teenager) we moved into an apartment within the Retirement Home. I lived there until I graduated from high school and left home. This book brought back a lot of wonderful memories of the older people that I associated with in my youth. It also brought back memories of those I saw physically and mentally decline.

I love how the author draws the reader into the daily lives of the people who live at “The Fountain of Youth” and I love the title. As I said, I have already lived in an old folks’ home, so when I get old I want to go to a young folks’ home. The colorful characters who reside at “The Foundation of Youth” bring with them their past experiences, their lifelong stories, their strong personalities, human emotions. They exhibit an ability to adjust to their surroundings as they fight to stay in control of their physical and mental health with full knowledge that the road ahead is not what anyone would want for themselves or anyone else.

Main character Robert Glickman is acutely aware of his genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He has lost family and friends and he refuses to go quietly into this physical and mental hell. Adding a little romance can’t hurt. Robert did his best to encourage others through reading to them. Here is a good quote from Robert: “As I dropped down to LL2, it occurred to me that I no longer considered the lowest floor as Hades or the River Styx and when the elevator doors opened it didn’t seem as hot and oppressive. It was certainly quiet however. I stepped into the lounge and stared at the couch where O’Reilly and I read Gatsby. I could still see the crowd of patients in wheelchairs, on walkers, and sitting uncomfortably in those same gray folding chairs everyone purchases from Costco… Patients! I referred to them as patients, not residents. The word rolled off my lips without a bit of concern. Maybe I was reconciling myself to the future. Never!”

You probably know someone or even care for a loved one who is struggling with one or more diseases that cause dementia. As researchers work hard to find cures for these diseases, it is our job to stay informed of the latest advances in medications and assistance for end of life. Although fiction, I think this author has addressed these issues well.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear. I give the book 5 stars because the author shows great compassion for those afflicted and this book addresses a difficult subject that affects missions of people, their family, friends and caregivers. I purchased this book from Kindle and the review was completed on October 12, 2017.

Message From The Author: When I was growing up, sharing a single bedroom with three brothers in a duplex on Dartmouth Avenue, my maternal grandmother, Mama, lived with us and had her own room. Often, she would babysit when our parents went out and we would play gin rummy, Mama and me. She cheated but I still won. Mama would also buy individual packets of sunflower seeds (we called them ‘polly’ seeds) from our uncle who lived upstairs. He was a pharmacist and even though she bought them wholesale, she sold them to us boys retail. Of course, we knew where she hid them so I’m afraid to say she got the short end of that deal. At the time I didn’t think she knew we were stealing them. At the time I was young and stupid.

When Mama was around nine-two my parents moved her to a nursing home. In those days you really didn’t want to visit a nursing home, but we did, every Sunday. During one visit, Mama introduced me to ‘Aunt’ Charlotte, her next-door neighbor at the home. “Mama,” I said, “She’s not my aunt.” But she stood her ground and insisted Charlotte was my aunt and I should greet her accordingly. Finally, while I was still arguing with her, she said, “Stevie, mit her money and no one to leave it to, she’s your aunt.” Again, I was young and stupid.

Thank the powers greater than us (if there are any), Mama did not live long in that nursing home (which she hated) and she died with the humor I grew up with. She was one of the reasons I wrote The Fountain of Youth. 

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Drama

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The Trials Of Adrian Wheeler by Steve Shear

Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants.

As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he, do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent?

Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.

Message From The Author: From the Author: When I started writing Adrian, the only thing I had in mind was a friend from my poetry critique group, a gentle soul with natural artistic creativity, who was ‘forced’ to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam for his country by his bombastic father. My friend had MS and other bad things after being exposed to Agent Orange. He died last year but not before he published several books of his poetry.

Actually, I had two other things in mind when I began thinking about Adrian. I had been against America invading Iraq and I blamed it on W, our president who made the decision to invade. I had just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi’s book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and I wondered how many soldiers regretted their decisions to join up in the first place, like my friend. I’m not talking about those soldiers who died in battle (that’s bad enough), but those young men and women who came back (and are continuing to come back) from Iraq and Afghanistan–only to discover a battlefield far more relentless and infinitely more lonely. I am speaking about all those warriors who do battle every day in their mind’s eye, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the loss of a limb, their own or a buddy’s–or who experience the last five minutes of their buddy’s life. There’s no special day just for them. There is no Veterans with PTSD day.

Its full name is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; at least that’s what we call it now. In the past it was battle fatigue and shell shock, but a rose by any other name is just as devastating I learned when I started the research on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. When George W. Bush dropped his first bomb on Baghdad in March 2003, I was so upset I produced what I still consider my best work of art, a painting I entitled The Sisters of Baghdad which can be seen on my website, steveshear.net. Shortly thereafter I wrote a poem, The Bombing of Baghdad which appears at the beginning of Adrian. Around that time, I remember getting a haircut and ranting to my barber, Harold, about how terrible President Bush was. My barber was ultraconservative, although I didn’t know it at the time. His bald head (wouldn’t you know it) turned red, his eyes bulged and his lips quivered. My only thought at the time was to blurt out: “HAROLD, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!” Fortunately, I am still alive and Harold is still cutting hair, I assume.

By the time I finished writing Adrian and living in the skins of the characters, George Bush became a bit more than a footnote. The characters and the family dynamics took over, Adrian, Pa, Daisy, Esme, Rachael, Rabinowitz, Benedetti, and the others. Actually, characters like these along with what they do and say tend to get under your skin and go where you go whether it’s at the computer, on a long walk, brushing your teeth, or in my case playing Pickleball. That’s what happens during nineteen drafts and before you ever think about sending out your first query.

Steve is happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated move, NO), and the screenplay has been completed. Steve is also a published playwright, having co-authored with his wife, Susan, The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal, interactive courtroom dramas published by ArtAge Publications. You can learn more about Steve and his other endeavors (as a painter, sculptor, poet, and retired intellectual property attorney) at www.steveshear.net.

Genre: Law, Specialties, Military, Arts and Photography, Theater

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight With Author Steve Shear

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler is author Steve Shear’s first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

Steve is happy to announce that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and Steve. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and Steve have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, Steve’s second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

He and his wife, Susan, collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

In addition, Steve has four novels that have recently been completed: A trilogy including The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and Black Hearts & Hungry Bears and The Click, a Sci-Fi thriller. He has written screenplays on the first two and is presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

Steve also has been writing poetry for over fifteen years (a number of which have been published) and is also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. He is presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. His work can be seen at his website, www.steveshear.net

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area? I spent most of my career in Silicon Valley and just returned after almost 24 years. It’s great to be back and to be writing in a broadminded, liberal state. We were in Boulder, Colorado the first 12 of those 24 years, another liberal environment, and in Tucson, Arizona the last 12 years … not so liberal to say the least.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I was a patent attorney for over 40 years which meant I wrote quite a bit, mostly technical garbly-gook and legal mumbo jumbo. Approximately 30 years ago I began painting and sculpting the figure. At some point I decided I would like to write fiction as well as I painted. It’s now been over fifteen years and I enjoy writing more than painting. I thought I’d never say that.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? No. I spent most of my time on the basketball court. But alas I didn’t even make it to 6 feet even though I stretched on a daily basis. Hope springs eternal, I thought. No such luck.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Ten years ago, when I wrote my first novel. After two or three drafts I gave it to my wife and a friend who taught creative writing at one of the local colleges, all 250,000 words. They told me I was full of myself which when I think back is true. I then spent six months revising it down to 110,000 words While that book has not as yet been published, over the last ten years it as morphed into a trilogy and I believe my best work, but who knows, maybe I’m to close to my first real creation.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? How much I have improved, although that may or may not be saying a lot, but much more important how much I love the process … writing NOT marketing God help me!!!!!

How many published books do you have? I have two published books and two published plays.

Please list the titles of all your books: The Trials of Adrian Wheeler (originally published by L&L Dreamspell and The Fountain of Youth published by The Wild Rose Press. The two plays are: The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal, published by Artage Publication. They are presently being produced around the country.

Please introduce your main genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I have no main genre, although all my novels (six in all) focus on serious issues within plotlines that are at time quite serious and dramatic and at times humorous. I have dealt with religious bigotry, PTSD and the Iraq war, dying with dignity, overpopulation, and other “simple” subjects.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Love it or leave it!

Who is your favorite author and why? I have no favorite author. If I’m reading a really good book that author at the time is my favorite author. I will say this though. If the writing is not exceptional (like for example the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez), I usually never make it very far even if the story is good. On the other hand if the story is slow and stodgy like many of Wallace Stegner’s I don’t get any further. Some of the old science fiction/fantasy authors like Jack Chalker and Stephen McDonald were (possibly still are) amazing.

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Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi

Divine Comedy by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

“Divine Comedy” is a comical take on life’s medical and personal challenges. Though it is based on a one man’s real life, it is in the form of fiction since the fine line between real life and fiction is very thin and can often be crossed.

Pacific Book Review: What is reality and what is fiction? Do any of us really know in the end? This is something which the author, and in turn the reader, ponders throughout this novel by Sabri Bebawi titled Divine Comedy. How can one man face so many medical obstacles in a single lifetime? Can one man have such fervent love affairs with so many exotic women and yet never seem to really find true love? Life is, after all, a Divine Comedy. As the author wrote, “There are only two ways to react to life’s trials and tribulations: either to become frustrated, bitter, angry and feeling sorrow, or to see all as events as comical and, somewhat, wacky.”

Bebawi does a great job of reiterating his book’s theme throughout the novel. There is no doubt left upon the readers of this book exactly what the author set out to accomplish through his unique style of storytelling. The revolving mention of Divine Comedy is interwoven in almost every chapter; showing life can be full of twists, turns and upside downs, as well as times of beauty and love. This point was well articulated throughout the storytelling of the book.

As an uncommon angle throughout the story, the narrator has a wondering eye along with an enticing way with the ladies, leaving me wondering what void the character was trying to fill. I believe this humanized the character in a great way and showed great restraint. I believe what outwardly was shown as a strength was indeed something which many would look upon as a great weakness.

On the surface this book is easy to read, however to grasp the connectedness of the writing is a bit more challenging, requiring to slow down at times to absorb the deeper meaning of the story. While the words and overall thoughts flowed well, the reader needs to allow for the theme to be revealed, otherwise one may find something in the story missing. I believe the rhythm of this author is uniquely different than all others I have experienced. The reveal of the story is only the beginning of the journey; thus the strength in his writing is accomplished with the addition of allowing time for mulling over the underlying irony of the character’s awareness, affording the philosophical undercurrent to rise from just the reading of the words.

The author did a excellent job of reminding us of the ever-changing nature of our world. Bebawi threaded a similar situation repeatedly, although the ailments and the faces changed. The ability to be true to a theme while still introducing new challenges and ideas allow Bebawi to truly master the writing of this book.

Bebawi leaves the readers to decide what is factual and what is fictional within the book. It makes for the reader to always wonder about the threads of reality which is exactly the point of Divine Comedy. Overall, I found Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi to be a charming, unique story, full of adventure and emotion, with a creative edge for storytelling.

Book Review: Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi is a short, but intense read. The story is a stormy one told by the main character named Alexandre Akpors. Alexander shares with the reader on an intimate level his life from the age thirty-five to well into his late fifties.

As a woman, I found this book hard to read, but I am very glad that I read to the end. This book is for adults and I suggest you lay your own personal and world views aside, so you can read with an open mind. I personally do not agree with the religious, political and economic views of Alexander, but my heart and mind listened to his story. We all have a story to tell, ours is factual and this story, I will leave it up to you to determine.

This is perhaps the most important quote that I can share from the book: “The divine comedy is life, and life is a divine comedy; therefore, there is no ceasing. I continued to look at every day’s affairs as a form of divine comedy and to smile at all things, whether they were positive or negative; I saw them merely as the divine comedy of human existence. As the great Dante wrote, “There is no greater sorrow than to be mindful of the happy time in misery.” I am relentlessly mindful. I am continuously aware. Again, as the great Charles Dickens wrote in his masterpiece A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” All is just the same except our mindfulness of the happy time when desolation strikes. I, Alexandre Akpors, have been here and there, at times stretching the fine line between fiction and reality and at other times jumping the line altogether. I have done this so often that I normally have no idea which side I am living on: fiction or nonfiction.”

My assessment of the character: He is self-indulged primarily due to his life experiences and has a narrow view of how others live and think. I have not walked in his shoes, but the very fact that he uses the word “Divine” over and over gives me hope that through it all, he will come to the truth when he finds himself at the end of his life’s journey.

About the author: Sabri George Bebawi was born in Egypt in 1956. He is well-educated, an avid reader and is a professor of English. He has acquired training in journalism, teachers training, and educational technology. His first novel, God on Trial, has won many awards, including a British literary award in 2015. This is an important quote about the author, “Bebawi waits for that certain-to-come day when all religions, conformity, capitalism, republicanism, and inhumanity are eradicated. He wishes America well, though it appears to him that it is a little too late; evil forces have possessed America, and no one knows how.”

I reiterate, I do not agree with the character’s views, but I am happy that I read ‘Divine Comedy’ all the way to the end. I came away with a profound sense of gratitude for the blessings in my own life. I have to admit that my emotions were all over the place as I read Alexandre Akpors’ story. Personally, I conclude that this story is told with brutal honesty. Fact or Fiction, I will leave it up to you to decide.

I, Theodocia McLean (Cold Coffee Press) endorse Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi as a personal tragedy which the character refers to as “Divine Comedy”. I give this book 5 stars because the character Alexandre Akpors is brutally honest. If you are reading this, it is because you live in a country that affords you the freedom to do so. Freedom must be protected at all cost. I purchased this book from Kindle and this review was completed on October 18, 2017.

Genre: Short Read, Contemporary Fiction, Literature & Fiction

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A Dream Is Just That by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

From his childhood in Egypt to his immigration to the United States, Dr. Sabri g. Bebawi has assembled scores of incidents, which weave a tapestry of his life with candor, honesty and intelligence in his book, A Dream Is Just That: An Interminable Journey from Egypt to America.

A foreign upbringing by American standards, Dr. Bebawi began his book by telling tales of his childhood in an Egyptian oasis called Fayoum. As virtually any childhood parallels in human emotion those of children around the world, his intellectual curiosity and passion for truth filled his world around the Egyptian dust and dirt, religious laws and culture, giving him a rather unique upbringing. Being from a family of wealth, he was afforded comforts and education; however all was not at peace within his youth. Instances of naivety while being sexually abused, and witnessing indescribably bizarre events, etched a permanent chasm of ideological awareness of life in his developing mind.

From the frailty of being a victim of various childhood diseases, he relied on his one physical characteristic of strength, his mind, for survival. This prowess has manifested itself in his literary achievements in journalism, authorship, and achieving his PhD in English as a part of his higher education. After his autobiographical account of his upbringing and family, the book shifts to America, the “Land of Freedom,” so he thought. What are described are incidents of hardship, legal abuse, financial slavery and class struggles in society; which Dr. Bebawi cleverly juxtaposes against his Egyptian culture. He concludes there are more similarities than differences, and human nature is eerily constant within the various geographical and political environmental regions of the world. I must admit I found a tidbit of arrogance in his written voice, as he describes legal battles and confrontational issues with established American corporate behemoths over policies of customer apathy.

Dr. Bebawi found a call to action as he became the self-appointed spokesperson for the less articulate and educated masses; as he single-handedly attempted to change American society. His battle was brought all the way to The White House where he received a customary reply thanking him for his concern; but leaving the situation unchanged. Hence A Dream is Just That…..a dream. This book is surprisingly compelling and difficult to put down. It reads rather swiftly due to the layout of short “scenes” intermixed with very interesting photographs and exhibits. The single most quality which resonates throughout his writing is truth. This, I imagine, comes from his years of journalistic work, but is obviously rooted in his morality and his own core values. With all of the turmoil going on in the world, especially from his homeland of Egypt, I found this to be extraordinarily timely and pertinent. Americans need to see ourselves not from within our culture, but from foreign observations, to realize some of the truths and rights we hold to be self-evident are a part of the American Dream, and A Dream Is Just That.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Ethnic & National

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Chiara by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.

Chiara is a 22 year-old-girl who has just graduated with a degree in Art History. She travels to Rome and lives with one of her mother’s friends, Sofia. Chiara falls in love with Sofia’s nephew, Professor Rafi Curti. Several events take place and Chiara finds that her mother slept with Rafi and her father with Sofia. She later discovers that Rafi is engaged to one of his students at the university of Florence, Italy. The novel has a surprising conclusion.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Dramas & Plays, Regional & Cultural, United States

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God On Trial: A Short Fiction by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.

For the main character of Sabri Bebawi God On Trial, each moment brings a torment of some kind. The character is extremely intelligent and yet disturbed by thoughts that never cease, as well as memories that evoke strong responses, eventually leading to a confusion of time and current reality. Indeed, as time progresses, the confusion grows worse; his reality rarely merges with truth. Paranoia and hallucinations take over his mind and thoughts, provoking dangerous responses on his part. As this deterioration advances, his connection with his wife becomes tenuous in that she is not able to understand the dimensions of his personal reality.

He may have little intellectual connection with his wife, but one portion of his thoughts remains largely coherent. In an attempt to gain some recompense for his suffering—and possibly to protect others from similar problems—he wishes to put God on trial. With little sleep or rest, he begins to gather the data needed for such a task even as his life begins to fall apart. His rage against God takes on new proportions as he develops the case; reviewing Holy Scripture, he in fact finds God culpable in the most heinous of crimes against humanity. The case envelops his imaginings, isolating him from those who care about him most. This disturbed man is presented in Bebawi novel as a remarkably compassionate person who has experienced the worst of life in his various ailments. He is certainly representative of much of the reader’s own private questionings of God and the trials that are faced by even the most innocent.

Even in the midst of obvious hallucinations, he provides a lucid argument against God, definitely not the ravings of a madman. And yet mental illness is one of his problems, the most prominent one during the action of the novel. Following his thoughts through various mental states, the writing in Bebawi book is chaotic but not confounding; it is more disconcerting in that the reader witnesses the suffering of such a kind and intelligent man in the midst of mania and delusion. Bebawi skillfully leads the reader through the meanderings of his mind and leaves the indelible impression of a man who did not deserve his fate. Too, the writing is obviously sympathetic toward those with mental illness without being condescending or overly dramatic in its representation. By presenting the argument against God within the context of the thoughts of a mentally ill person, Bebawi may be providing a “safe” place for such discussion. Some may dismiss the case that the character is developing as that of delusion, and yet there are those in the novel who find it remarkable.

Following the main character as he gathers his information from the various religious texts, the reader may make a similar conclusion. Or, if religious, he or she might simply find a common ground with this man in his suffering and the rage caused by it. Bebawi leaves such a decision up to the reader and his or her conscience. This intricate story is so captivating with such vivid, detailed characters, that readers will fall in love with this book. Even within the space of a short novel, Sabri Bebawi is able to present difficult—and often private—questions of life, God, and reality in the harsh existence of a mentally ill man. Through smooth prose that expresses the man’s desires, Bebawi provides the reader with not necessarily the answer to whether or not God is guilty of crimes against humanity, but rather the context in which to begin answering those questions. The fictional space of the book provides only the beginning of this discussion, and yet it is a powerful beginning.

Genre: Short Story, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Tango Under The Same Moon: Sudden Fiction by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.

In writing these stories, the writer discovers the simple assumption that we are all the same inside. We share the same feelings, emotions, dilemmas, and tribulations regardless of where we come from or live; we are all under the same moon. While there are no super-humans, there are many questionable ones; nevertheless, our inner souls are connected and our daily lives are somewhat and somehow interwoven.

These short-shorts, from the author perspective, have a unique implication. The moral is that much of what happens in our lives depicts an elusive spiral of fatality that can touch the existence of many of us, though we are not necessarily physically connected. The author hopes that his readers will relate to some of the characters, who all tango under the same moon, and to the events as they develop and unfold.

Genre: Short Stories

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A Dream Is Just That: An Interminable Journey From Egypt To America by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

This is an objective endeavor to reveal how two worlds far apart: Egypt and the US are indeed parallel in various respects: Hypocrisy and duplicity, religious fervor and vehemence, corruption and depravity, moral deficiency and exploitation.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Consider The Following: Writing From A Non-Native Perspective by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

An Academic Writing Text designed to help learners with basic writing skills, enhance critical thinking skills and develop and refine communication skills. This edition includes extensive grammar review.

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Consider The Following: Writing Simplified With Grammar by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

A writing course for ESL/EFL and native speakers. The course includes an extensive grammar review.

Genre: Education & Teaching, Schools & Teaching, Certification & Development

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Sabri Bebawi, born in 1956 in Fayoum, Egypt. He attended law school at Cairo University. He left Egypt for the United Kingdom. Oxford University invited him during the fourth and last year of Law School. He never returned to Egypt. A few years later, after living and working as a journalist in England, Italy, France, and Cyprus, he took political refuge in the United States. He has been teaching ESL, English, Journalism, and graduate Educational Technology courses. He studied for more graduate work at UCLA and got a PhD degree in Philosophy, English Education and Distance Learning from Capella University.

Although English is his third language, Bebawi has published many articles, books, and essays on eclectic topics. It has always been his ambition to write novels. This is his second try; his first has been successful; God on Trial has won several awards including a British Literary Award in 2015. That English is a third language to Bebawi, writing a novel has always been preoccupying and challenging.

As a child, Sabri Bebawi struggled to make sense of the world and of human nature. He knew of the human condition. As he grew older, and studied law, and the “not so holy” books, he developed a more pragmatic and sensible stance; the world became just a mirage, an illusion and a mere phantasm. Bebawi waits for that to come day when religions, conformity, capitalism, republicanism, and corrupt governments are eradicated. He believes in John Lennon’s immortal lyrics, “Imagine.”

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from (Long Beach, California)? I have been an American citizen for forty years and I am not very proud of that. I am originally a lawyer and a journalist. When I came to this forsaken country, I worked as a journalist and media personnel for a while. Writing has always been with me since childhood. I am proud to be a writer because, like being a university professor, I can pass the candle light of knowledge from one person to another, for those who want to learn and know.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Becoming a writer, I believe, does not need someone to be an inspiration; it is an innate characteristics. I have been writing since childhood. I wrote memoirs every single night for as long as I can remember. But I must say my inspiration in all is my Supreme Court Justice father, with whom I practiced law and learned everything that I know.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, this is a very good question. My upbringing in a fascist dictatorship taught me what dictatorship is and that is why I detest Donald Trump because he is familiar to me. Also, because Egypt is a religiously fanatic country, I grew up detesting religion in general for seeing first-hand religions’ hypocrisy and evil. So, absolutely, I owe it all to Egypt, no country, except the United States, is as phony as Egypt.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Being published was never an aim at all. I only wrote; however, I have always hoped that my thoughts would become known and recognized. I started writing to publish when I became a University Professor and wrote textbooks.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Writing itself is very rewarding for it teaches the writer a lot about the writer’s self. I have always written that novels have a life of their own. One starts and does not know where it is going until it is finished. I always wonder, “have I written that, really?”

How many published books do you have? I think among the educational textbooks, I have about 17 books published.

Please introduce your main genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Besides educational books, I love to write novels that relate to reality. I do not like Science Fiction or unrealistic tales. My work, like Woody Allan’s, has to relate to the “Human Condition.”

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write without thinking of money or success. Write your true and real thoughts; if they make it, that is great. If they don’t, it is great for you and those who know you

Who is your favorite author and why? Certainly, I love many authors since I am an avid reader. I love Dostoevsky and his style of representation and settings. As an Egyptian, I also love the victim of the bloody Islamists, the Noble Price Winner for Literature, my friend Naguib Mahfouz for his honesty and bravery in a country that these two elements do not exist.

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Selections From Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

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