Monday, October 18, 2021

Salvation by Avery Caswell

 



Historical Fiction / Biographical Fiction

Date Published: September 15, 2021

Publisher: TouchPoint Press



No one ever talks about what happened …

Summer 1971, Del Munro, a single mother of four, is struggling to make ends meet when Mother Franklin, a traveling evangelist, offers to take her daughters to the beach in Savannah.

For nine-year-old Willie June and seven-year-old Glory, restless at the end of a long, hot summer in Charlotte, it's a dream come true. To their beleaguered mother, it's a much-needed reprieve.

But what seemed like a blessing soon turns into a nightmare when the girls are pressed into service by the morbidly obese Mother Franklin whose needs are as outsized as her ambitions.

When the girls fail to return, Del, evasive about the details of her arrangement with Mother Franklin, panics. People begin to wonder if instead of sending her daughters on vacation, she sold them to the evangelist.



About the Author

Avery Caswell is an award-winning writer whose debut novel, Salvation, will be published on September 15, 2021. Her previous work includes a collection of short stories, MOTHER LOAD, which Kirkus called “stunning” and LUCK: A COLLECTION OF FACTS, FICTION, POETRY & INCANTATIONS, which Lee Smith said was “a feast for the eyes, the intellect, and the imagination.” She studied at Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Duke Writers’ Workshop, and holds MFAs in Creative Writing and Design.


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Sunday, October 17, 2021

 



 Book 1 of The Tripitaka Chronicles

Fantasy, YA, Historical

Date Published: August 15, 2021

Publisher: NewLink Publishing (an imprint of Mystic Publishers)



The year is 1799, and a woodblock engraved with a mysterious message is unearthed near a Korean temple. A novice monk, Kyetsu, is sent north by the abbot on a mission to deliver it to the king. On the journey he meets a great warrior, the leader of a secret society called White Lotus. Kyetsu will need all the help he can get, as there are powerful forces working against him. He must learn the deadly martial arts style practiced by the White Lotus and must look for help in unlikely places. The fate of the kingdom is at stake.




About the Author

Seb Cielens is a South Australian writer who has immersed himself in Asian culture and history since he was a child. His stories recount the turmoil of life in late imperial Korea and China, weaving hundreds of hours of historical research into vivid and inspiring fictional tales. When he started training in Kung Fu at the age of thirteen, Seb had no idea that it would lead to a lifelong passion for this amazing place and time. After training in Chinese, Japanese and Korean martial arts for much of his life, he began putting it together with a lifelong passion for writing. Seb is a high school History teacher by day, and writer by night. He has managed these achievements despite being legally blind. White Lotus is the first novel in what promises to be a bountiful career as an author.


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Friday, October 8, 2021

David Thompson Talks About the Paranormal Within His Novel, His Father's Blood (#2 of Legends of Family Dyer)


 David Thompson is BACK!  He was kind enough to interview about his writing and new novel, His Father's Blood (#2 of Legends of Family Dyer)  Last month, I read and reviewed this 5-star paranormal tale!  

Q: In your novel, His Father's Blood, you write about shape-shifting.  Do you believe it's possible to shape shift?

 

A: I know I’m splitting hairs here, but in the novel, I describe John and Sally Ann’s adventures as Skinwalkers. I believe this is possible as it is transferring consciousness to an animal, or feeling such an intense degree of empathy that it appears so. I’m sure you’ve at some point had an intense desire to change someone’s mind about something or for them to do something you didn’t think they would? Hasn’t it often come to pass just as you desired? I think this is similar. We’re not far from transference with computers, but to modern minds, the technological is easier to accept than the spiritual.

By contrast, Shape shifters actually transform their physical aspect, like the werewolves of lore. (Although I suspect those legends had their base as skin walkers also.   

 

Q: Was there any symbolism in the animals the characters chose to shapeshift into?  What would you shapeshift into if it were possible?


A. Yes. To me, bears symbolize inner strength, courage, and family. The bear is thoughtful and independent, with little need for fellowship. The bear is strong-willed and loyal.

I consider cougars to be strong, unpredictable, and merciless. What I’ve read of Native tribes’ beliefs appears split between the animal being a noble hunter or an evil omen.

A bear would be my choice if I could skinwalk. I’ve been told it’s my spirit animal.

 

Q: Are there Native Americans who mix witchcraft into their culture?

 

A: To answer this, I think I’d need to define witchcraft and I’m reluctant to do so. As you know, many independent minded folks have died for being different, for not toeing the arbitrary line society scratched in the sand. They called them witches.

Native American religious beliefs and ceremonies were certainly different from Judeo-Christian ones. It’s my personal belief that most ancient societies practiced a paganism that many would consider witchcraft today. I find the world-wide parallels between these stone age belief systems astounding.

 

Q: What inspired you to write a novel with Moll Dyer?  Are you from Maryland?  What exactly is the legend of Moll Dyer about?

 

A: I am from Southern Maryland, raised very near the spot where Moll met her demise at the hands of a vigilante mob. I heard her tale told around most of the campfires of my youth.

 I’ve actively researched her life since I first heard her tale—sometime around 1967. This was difficult given there was little historical proof of her existence. True, there’s a road named after her, and likewise a small stream. There’s the rock purported to be where she breathed her last. Most researchers miss the colonial letter describing her “countenance” in an unfavorable manner. Still, we’re mostly left with legends—oral tradition—once the only historical record, and still a valuable resource for historians. There’s a basis to the old truism “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” How apt is that for Moll’s tale?

I interviewed dozens of local families- families resident in the area since Moll’s time. Each had their own version of Moll’s life, with minimal variations (although some contradictory). As there is a dearth of historical records, it is to this oral history I focused my efforts. (According to the Archives of Maryland, the 1st loss of county records was in 1768 when records kept at the home of Owen Alien (Allen?) were burned. The Archive notes this only as an FYI as “every surviving court record of the period (colonial) was destroyed in the fire of March 8, 1831”). To add to the confusion and speculative nature of the search, Ancestry.com lists five pages of Dyers on passenger lists arriving in the United States during the period. Even these records are incomplete as “lists were not kept for every ship and many have been lost.” A minimum of six known Mary or Margaret Dyers were possible candidates for “our” Moll. (The endearment “Moll,” by the way, was a common nickname for Mary, as well as for any “M” feminine name including Margaret, Martha, Martina and Melinda, etc.). None meet all of the oral history criteria.

What can be derived from the legends associated with Moll Dyer? Although there are some small deviations to the legend, the majority of local families’ oral traditions agree: she was an herbal healer and hermit. Most state her origin was Ireland, although she likely arrived on a passenger ship from England. She arrived on our shores single and unaccompanied and never married. She preferred the company of the Native Americans to her European neighbors. She dressed in a manner of lost affluence (threadbare clothes originally made from the finest materials). She froze to death on the coldest night of 1697 after a citizen’s mob burned her small cabin to the ground. (FYI, with this information, “Sister Witch, The Life of Moll Dyer,” includes all variations of the story using historical events and a bit of inventiveness to explain any disparities in the oral history. I didn’t feel it would be faithful to her legend and her life to have done otherwise. (I added fictional paranormal elements for the same reason.))

I didn’t fabricate a correlation between any segment of the legend and other past lives lived. It’s unnecessary to make her story more real. Her tragedy speaks to its own truth and …perhaps that’s enough. My thought is that Moll Dyer is everyone who’s faced injustice or been mocked for being different; those scorned for their beliefs and tormented for living a life true to themselves. She is anyone condemned at the court of public opinion and castigated for their lack of popularity or political correctness. She’s the embodiment of Sarah Goode of Salem fame, Anne Frank, John the Baptist, Joan of Arc, Anne Boleyn, Rosa Parks and…the list goes on and on! Moll could be the patron saint of them all.

I believe Moll Dyer would be proud of her legacy—that she’d feel some measure of peace and exoneration from the tales told of her today. She was once used as a cautionary tale- a warning to little children to behave, but no longer. Now we remember Moll whenever we’re bullied, accused without cause or feeling friendless. Perhaps she gives us a twinge of conscience when we are the ones doing the bullying? It warms my heart to think so—that some good is our final inheritance from the tragedy of Moll Dyer.

 

Q: What tribe of Native Americans are from the Maryland area?  Are there legends associated with them as well?

 

A: The Piscataway, Patuxent, Conoy, and Chaptico were local Algonquin speaking tribes. I’m sure I’ve missed some also. The Susquehannocks often travelled through the area- to raid the above tribes’ villages. The Susquehannocks were part of the Iroquois Confederacy. The local natives saw the interloping Europeans as allies against this common war-like enemy.

 

Q: What are you working on now?  Please share your links.

 

A.      I’ve begun a second installment in the Falconer series, a prequel to “Sister Witch, The Life of Moll Dyer,” and made small inroads into a mystery/thriller. As my mom would’ve said- I have too many irons in the fire!

 

Thank you for doing the interview, Dina! It’s much appreciated! My links below:


https://www.dthompsonwrites.com/

https://twitter.com/Thompson_DavidW

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorOfParanormal/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15425511.David_W_Thompson

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076KR626G



David W. Thompson
Author of:
Legends of the Family Dyer:                               
I) Sister Witch: The Life of Moll Dyer                 
II) His Father's Blood                                             
III) Sons and Brothers   
 ***                                     
Call of the Falconer (dystopian novella)
Haunted Southern Maryland 
'Possum Stew (Short Story Collection)
Haunted Potomac River Valley

Thanks so much, David!  Great interview!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Hysterical Memories

 



Memoir

Date Published: May 2021



Here is the story of a man’s life that has been riddled and ruffled with emotionally unstable personality disorder, a known mental illness. Despite spending a considerable part of his life at various rehabilitation facilities, Eugene’s life was largely marred with crazy-bound incidences. He was a convicted drug dealer with a history of violence. His case was so bad that he even attacked his dad with a claw hammer. He was everything you could think of when it came to drugs and crime. However, from the lowest depths of a mentally unstable man, Eugene rose to become one of UK’s finest chefs of all time.


About the Author


Eugene Wallace is a convicted drug dealer and a prize-winning chef with a mental illness and a crazy life full of incidents.


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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Homeschooling AND Working

 



Non-Fiction

Date Published: 07-20-2019

Publisher: Phenomenal One Press



Homeschooling and Working While Shaping Amazing Learners is a nuts to bolts guide for working parents who want to groom exceptional learners through the flexibility of homeschooling. Learn to juggle working and homeschooling your kids while maintaining your sanity. Also, use aspects of homeschooling for after schooling when traditional school isn’t working. Single parents are given options for executing homeschooling or after schooling methods that work in practical bits for the busy parent. Learn how to take your child from an average student to an exceptional student by exploring the possibilities shown in the section on acceleration of learning. From pre-K to homeschooling college, open your eyes to the many options in flexibility this approach to learning can give. You can homeschool and work to shape amazing learners by exploring the possibilities.



FREE companion course



About The Author

LM Preston is an author, engineer, former college professor, and working mother who's been married for over twenty-five years. She homeschooled 3 of her 4 children from elementary school and beyond while she and her husband worked outside their home. Three of her kids graduated with degrees by the age of 17 years old. Her blog: http://homeschoolandwork.blogspot.com/ details her homeschooling while working journey.


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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore

 



Historical Fiction

Date Published: 7 September 2021

Publisher: Alcove Press



England, 1931

Astra Davies finds herself in rather a tight spot when her parents die suddenly, leaving her with a heap of debts and damaging family secrets to sort out. Unwilling to enter a loveless marriage with a wealthy suitor, she instead makes the audacious decision to make her own way in the world.

But the road to financial independence is a rocky one, fraught with hazards and heartbreaking choices. A brainless business partner threatens to ruin both her reputation and their company. Family mysteries and startling discoveries make her question her parents’ motives and her relationship with them. And when she catches the eye of the extremely eligible (and rather poor) Earl of Dunreaven, Astra winds up directly in the crosshairs of her longtime nemesis: the wealthy, influential Lady Millicent, who’s now hell bent on bringing her down for good.

Astra will have to dig deep and call on strength and skills she never knew she had if she’s going to prove to herself and the world that she is more than just a pretty Bright Young Thing.



About the Author

Brianne Moore is a writer, editor, baker, knitter, and lifelong history lover. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she spent her childhood spinning tales of bold princesses and brilliant ladies and developing a deep love for British history.

She moved to the glorious, history-soaked city of Edinburgh nearly 10 years ago and felt like she'd finally come home. She now lives by the sea in an East Lothian town with its very own castle with her husband, sons, and bulldog, Isla.

Her debut novel, All Stirred Up, was published by Alcove Press in 2020.


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Like No Other Boy by Larry E. Center

 


Commercial Fiction, Adult

Date Published: June 20th, 2020

Publisher: Splitrail Publishing     


photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

Tommy Crutcher is 8 years old and has autism. Although he can’t speak to humans, he appears to have an uncanny ability to communicate with chimpanzees. How Tommy, his father, and a biomedically abused chimp named Albert come together in life-altering ways is the story of LIKE NO OTHER BOY.

 

 

 

 About the Author

Larry Center has a degree in philosophy and has written four novels. He is especially interested in the relationship between animals and humans in terms of communication overlaps. He lives in Nashville, TN and writes constantly.

 

 

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Salvation by Avery Caswell

  Historical Fiction / Biographical Fiction Date Published: September 15, 2021 Publisher: TouchPoint Press No one ever t...