Shannon Muir's Infinite House of Books

Features with fellow authors of romance, women's fiction and more, as well as news on Shannon Muir's Spontaneous Choices books and other work outside of mystery/genre fiction and animation. Also the portal for her #infiniteserials web serials. Includes features #infiniterecipe on the 1st of each month, plus YouTube vlogs and Periscope live broadcasts. CELEBRATING 5 YEARS IN APRIL 2017!

Category: Book Excerpt

BLOG TOUR – Onyx Webb Book 3

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BLOG TOUR – My Grandfather’s Pants

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COVER REVEAL AND BLITZ – The Raveners

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About the Book:

ravenerscover

The Raveners

Book 1

LD Towers

 

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

 

Publisher: BadBird Publications

 

Date of Publication: September 20, 2016

 

Word Count: 100k

 

Cover Artist:  Pranav Lohani

Photo by Blackbird Photography

 

Book Description:

 

On 26 May 1897, Bram Stoker brought us the story of Dracula; an undead creature who terrorised the living by drinking their blood. He based his creature on the legends of Ireland and Eastern Europe, bringing it to life with all the pomp of Victorian literature. What if his concept was correct, but the execution was not? What if there was not one creature, but a band of twenty-four? Crusader knights who committed such a terrible act that the Pope of Rome and the Rabbis of Jerusalem joined together in petitioning God to bring a terrible curse upon them.Sentenced to eternal life as punishment for their crimes, yet hounded by both the clerical and the secular as they struggle to live them. The Jews called them Ga’ashekelah: the Raveners. To the Catholic Church, they are the Accursed Ones. Feasting on the bodies of the living to maintain their power.

 

What starts as a simple trip on the Eurostar to the buried trenches of World War One in Northern France is going to take Imperial War Museum expert Dr. Alexandra Horne on a journey she could never have conceived. From the bustling streets of Paris to the azure waters of Collioure and the very Vatican itself, Lexa will discover the Raveners and those who have sworn to hunt them down.

 

Grab Your Copy Here

 

Excerpt:

She found herself going from map to map. This was sometime around the second phase of the battle, before Beaumont-Hamel was finally taken. Thiepval as well. “This must be from the middle of September 1916. Maybe October. It’s obvious from this that he was trying to bring men around to penetrate the Allied lines from the areas they couldn’t budge.” She found herself gnawing on a thumbnail. “Dear God! With a counteroffensive like this, he might have shifted them. It’s a bold plan. Whether or not he could have managed it, with the Germans bleeding to death at Verdun, would have been the question. But damn! This might have changed the battle. Maybe even the war.”

“I wondered about that.” Another voice behind her.

Lexa turned and coloured, realising that in her wonder she had completely ignored the stranger in the room. “Oh! I am Sorry! Dr. Lexa Horne of the Imperial War Museum.” She held her hand out.

“Dr. Jack Bennett. Pleased to meet you.” Bennett was a large, fit man in his mid fifties with close-cropped, iron grey hair and a face lined from years digging in the sun. He had a bit of the George Clooney about him and Lexa was sure that all the archeology undergrads wanted him as a prof. He was a trifle swoon worthy. “Call me Jack. It was great that you could come out here at such short notice. We will be wrapping all this up in the next week or two.”

“The pleasure is entirely all mine,” Lexa told him in all earnestness. “This is simply unbelievable. This is like walking into heaven for me.” Ok. A small lie. Dead men and unexploded ordinance aside, it was heaven.

Bennett gestured back with his head and stepped aside. “I doubt the major there would agree.”

Lexa gasped as she saw the body at the desk. He was perfectly mummified, just as Darby had told her. He was hunched over, as if sleeping, and his golden hair gleamed in the light. His skin was the colour and texture of tanned leather, and his lips under a large moustache had pulled back to show his teeth. His head lay on on crossed arms, sunken eyes closed in eternal repose. The fingers were slightly curled; a large ring on one hand and a wedding ring on another. His light blue uniform hung on what was left of his frame, but was in decent condition through the shoulders. In fact, there were no real decomposition of the fabric. His side arm rested on the chair, the belt having slid down with time. The silver bullion on his uniform had a dull tarnish and the aiguillettes on his shoulder seemed suspended as if by magic. Beside him, his uniform cap was on the desk.

“Oh dear God!” Lexa exclaimed. “You’ve just left him there? How could you do that?”

“The question is how to get him out of the trapdoor without disturbing him. We have another specialist coming in from Germany. He is one of theirs, after all,” Bennett shrugged. “And you know the Germans. They are trying to find the right person. I would move him, but he is perfectly preserved. Outside of this environment, I expect he would not last long. It seems a shame to compromise his remains unnecessarily.”

The body rooted Lexa to the spot. She felt a terrible weight on her chest. “I’ve never seen a dead body before.”

Darby walked over and put a hand on her shoulder. “It’s ok. He can’t hurt you.”

“It also feels a bit indecent to be looking at him.” But she found she couldn’t tear her eyes away.

“We treat all remains with the greatest respect,” Bennett said quietly. “As you know, there is a lot we can learn from him. He is so perfectly preserved. When we have learned from him, we can return him to his family, if they still exist. He can be reburied with honour. He was lost and we found him. There is nothing indecent about that.”

“I just feel so strange with him there. I feel like a thief in his home.”

“The first time you see remains is always the hardest,” Darby told her. “Just remember that he is gone. What made him a person is gone. He is in a better place.”

Lexa nodded and walked closer to the desk. Her mouth was rather dry but now curiosity was getting the better of her. They were right. She was just being a ninny. Yes. This man was dead and he couldn’t hurt her. “Yes. I suppose you are right.”

Bennett quirked up a little smile. “Just don’t touch him.”

It was the moustache. The moustache was so familiar. Even in death, it had that upwards curl which was so familiar. A vain bushiness. When she had seen it in pictures, it always made her smile. “I think I know who this is!” Lexa exclaimed and reached into her bag for her iPad.

 Book Trailer:

Playlist:

These are the songs I wrote a lot of this book to. It’s an eclectic mix. 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7G7y7QdAb_vsF5jvBZ1upujxsNLHJUxy

About the Author:

ldtowers

LD Towers travels the world like a rootless vagabond! A military historian, she searches out places of conflict to find a deeper insight to the things she writes about. Presently enjoying the warm weather and azure seas of Central America, she has lived all over Western Europe, including 5.5 years in the incomparable Berlin.

 

Primarily working in Historical and Military Fiction, LD sometimes sneaks in the odd Dystopian or Modern Thriller piece. In fact, her new book is a complete redo on the vampire concept. Look for The Raveners; coming September 20, 2016.

https://ldtowers.net

 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4309377.L_D_Towers

 

https://www.facebook.com/LDTowerswalks

 

https://twitter.com/L_D_Towers

 

http://www.amazon.com/LD-Towers/e/B00ZMFTJTQ

 

Release Day Blitz Giveaway

 

1 $20 Amazon GC

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

COVER REVEAL – Shadow (Romany Outcasts #2)

DISCLAIMER: This content has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS by YAReads. No compensation was received. This information required by the Federal Trade Commission.

shadowShadow(The Romany Outcasts #2) by Christi J. Whitney

To be released June 2nd, 2016

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27226794-shadow

The second volume in this incredible YA trilogy.

When stone hearts break they shatter.

Sebastian Grey used to be a normal teenager. Now he’s a creature whose sole purpose is to be a guardian for secretive gypsy clans.

When the Romany gypsies claim him, Sebastian is given a second chance to protect Josephine Romany – the girl he loves. But some clan members would rather see a gargoyle in a cage than have one by their sides.

If Sebastian is to keep Josephine safe from the shadow creatures attacking her people, he might have to embrace his changes. Even if that means choosing between his humanity and becoming the monster everyone believes him to be.

 

About the Author:

christi j whitney

Christi J. Whitney is a former high school theatre director with a love for the dramatic. She lives just outside Atlanta with her husband and two sons. When not spending time with them or taking a ridiculous number of trips to Disney World, she can be found directing plays, making costumes for sci-fi/fantasy conventions, geeking out over Doctor Who, and watching superhero movies. Connect with her on Twitter @ChristiWhitney

SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET CONNECTIONS:

Author Website: www.christijwhitney.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/christiwhitney

Facebook Link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christi-J-Whitney/220577227350

Goodreads Links:

Book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22449800-grey

Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8299600.Christi_J_Whitney

 

Upcoming Releases by Christi J. Whitney

SHADOW (Book 2 in “The Romany Outcasts Series”) – 2 June, 2016.

MIDNIGHT (Book 3 in “The Romany Outcasts Series”) – 2017.

 

Read Below for an excerpt from SHADOW!

Chapter 2 “Fearful Hope”

Stephan slid his bow from his shoulder and fitted an arrow to the string. ‘Caliban and I will follow behind. Just as a precaution, of course – in case you start getting any ideas in that ugly gray head of yours.’

Quentin Marks’ welcoming committee was not something I’d anticipated. I gathered my bags, and Phillipe led our unpleasant little party across the Sutallee Bridge. I unconsciously slowed as we passed over the abandoned mine shaft where Josephine and I had taken refuge so long ago. There was a sharp poke in the middle of my back, right between my pent wings.

‘Move it,’ Stephan said, jabbing me again. ‘We’re already late for lunch.’

I fought the insanely strong desire to whirl around and shove the arrow down his throat. Instead, I bit my lip, tasting coppery blood, and picked up my pace. We reached the iron fence that surrounded the Fairgrounds. Phillipe pulled out a ring of keys and opened the gate.

I’d assumed everything would look as it had the last time I’d been within the walls of the Circe de Romany. But there were no tents or pavilions. No rides or decorations, either. Only trailers – along with several RVs, trucks, and buses – arranged in a tight circle right in the middle of the property.

Their configuration created a large open space in the center of the caravan. Tarps were arranged over tables and chairs. A fire pit had been built, and laundry hung from clotheslines spread between trailers. People bustled around the clearing, preparing for the approaching storm. Another peal of thunder echoed overhead. The clouds had thickened and the sky looked ready to split apart at any moment.

‘Hurry it up,’ said Stephan with another jab to my back. ‘I don’t intend to get wet.’

Lightning flashed. Women scurried to get the clothes off the lines while men anchored the tarps more securely in the ground. Phillipe led me to a small trailer and flung open the door.

‘Get inside.’

The howling wind was motivation enough – even without Stephan’s sharp arrow in my back – and I scampered up the steps. My nose instantly wrinkled at the unpleasant smell. Phillipe caught my look.

‘The dog trailer,’ he said.

‘Just be glad they’re out on patrol,’ said Stephan with a malicious laugh. ‘They’re quite territorial.’

The Marksmen backed me into the stinky enclosure, weapons drawn.

‘We’ll come for you when Nicolas returns,’ said Phillipe. ‘Until then, welcome home.’

With that, he slammed the door, locking me inside.

BLOG TOUR – The Wishing Stone

DISCLAIMER: This content has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS by Virtual AuthorvBook Tours. No compensation was received. This information required by the Federal Trade Commission.

Tegon MausWishing Stone by Tegon Maus

Publisher:  Tirgearr Publishing (August 10, 2014)
Category: Mystery, Soft Science Fiction, Technothriller, Humor, Quirky
ASIN:  B00MMQYLPU
Tour Date: Feb/Mar, 2016
Available in: ebook, 151 Pages

During that last summer, as if in punishment for being happy, Kate was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

The last time we used the wishing stone was at the hospital the morning she died.

On that day, all three of us made a silent wish, certain the others had wished the same. Kate died that afternoon and I never thought about it again. It was the last time I believed in magic, in love or in the existence of God.

Then, after three miserable lonely years, the unthinkable, a second chance . . . Warwick.

‘The Wishing Stone’ ebook price has been reduced to 99 cents for the duration of the tour on Kindle. 

Excerpt from The Wishing Stone by Tegon Maus

We walked in silence back to the front door and outside where the car waited.  The driver opened the door for her and Williams slid over out of the way;  the desire to get in with her pulled at me as she wrapped her arms around me.

“Be good,” I said as we kissed.  “If you can’t be good… be funny.”

“Three days, Ben… I’ll be back… and we’ll go home.  Three days,” she said, kissing me again.

“Three days,” I repeated and almost before I realized it she had slipped into the vehicle, the door had closed and she was gone.

I watched the car for as long as I could before it finally faded from view.

The others had returned inside, all except Director Meadows.

“Ready?” she asked, rubbing her arms, warming them in the cold air.

“So ready I’m first in line,” I joked.  The tug of Audrey and homesick hit me all at once.

She slipped a warm arm around my shoulder, guiding me back inside.

As we reentered Roger and the others had disappeared.  We were greeted by two people, a man and a woman, both in white coats.

“Mr. Harris, this is Doctor Richard Prout and his wife, Doctor Joan Prout.  They will be your -”

“Guides,” the woman interrupted, leaning forward a little.

“Yes, I like that… guides…  for the next few days,” she continued with an odd smile.  “They will help you get to the bottom of your… situation.”

“Nice to meet you,” I said, shaking each of their hands in turn.

Meadows went about her way leaving me with my two new companions.

Praise for Machines of the Little People (The Eve Project- Book 1)

“The plot is unique, I must say that I haven’t read a Sci Fi book so original in a long time. It has everything, mystery, suspense, romance, eccentric characters, conspiracy theories, and of course the little people with their machines!
Crazy, Wild, Excellent Written. Highly Recommended!!!”- Julia Damatto, Romorror Fan Girl

“the real joy of this book is not the plot itself. The real joy is the way in which Maus keeps his readers constantly off guard, stringing them along for pages before flipping the situation on its head and forcing readers to reevaluate whatever they thought they knew. Normally, that just pisses me off, but the way Maus manipulates his readers makes us squeal with delight at every turn. There is an energy to his novels, a sense of urgency tinged with wonder. We trust that wherever he takes us–and it won’t be somewhere we expect–it will be an adventure in the truest sense of the word.
And then we have the characters. At the end of the day, it’s the characters that make a Maus book what it is.
Definitely recommended for anyone who just wants a cracking good story. “-Jonathan Cook, Author ‘Youth and Other Fictions’

“Anyone who loves a good science fiction/fantasy story would have a hard time putting this one down.”- Lisa Binion, Author ‘Softly and Tenderley’

Praise for Wishing Stone (The Eve Project- Book 2)

“More great Sci-Fi adventure from Tegon Maus. He doesn’t just give us a good Sci-Fi story. He gives us a story with great characters and a unique story and is able to include many other genres in his Sci-Fi stories. Comedy, drama and action.  Let’s pray for a book three in the series.”-Erik Nelson, Author ‘Unlawful Protection’

“This is a great science fiction story, which follows on nicely from The Eve Project: Book 1, Machines of the Little People, however could easily be read as a stand-alone.
It has it all for science fiction fans, top secret scientific projects, a great storyline, twists and turns round every corner, yet, at its very core lies, dare I say it, a love story.
It has a great finish, however, at the end, all I wanted to know from the author – is there is another book in the series coming?  I hope so”-Susan Keefe, Author ‘Toby’s Tales’ Series

“I enjoyed The Wishing Stone even more than the first book, even though, again, it’s not my usual read. I really liked the eccentric scientist characters Ben meets at Warwick, and as with book one, Tegon Maus did a great job of keeping me guessing what was really going on right to the very end. I look forward to finding out what book 3 has in store!”-Nick Stead, Author ‘Hybrid’

About Tegon MausTegon Maus

Tegon Maus was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends he could conjure. Not that he wasn’t friendly, he just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe he lived in his head way more than he should have, maybe not. He liked machines more than people, at least he did until I met his wife.

The first thing he can remember writing was for her. For the life of him he can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married him shortly after that. He spent a good number  of years chasing other dreams before he got back to writing.

It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. His wife and himself had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.

He was thrilled. If there is one thing he enjoys it’s making people believe him and he likes to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mind you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not.  When he writes, he always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, he guarantees you, nothing, makes him happier.

He has consistently placed in the top 3 in 189 writing contest in a variety of genres and has been featured in magazines a couple of times to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Tegon Maus Website: http://www.tegonmaus.com/
Author on Tirgearr Website: http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Maus_Tegon/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TegonMaus
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tegon-Maus/150255051766767
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tegon/tegon-maus/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/101974688416833509592/posts

Buy Wishing Stone by Tegon Maus

Amazon (Kindle on sale for only 99 cents through March) 
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords

Follow The Wishing Stone Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Feb 15 Review & Giveaway

Second Book to the Right Feb 16 Excerpt & Giveaway (Postponed)

Pomegranate Radio Feb 16 Podcast Review

Father, Writer, Logistical Wizard Feb 17 Review

Father, Writer, Logistical Wizard Feb 17 Excerpt

Bad Case of Libromaniac Feb 18 Interview

Inspire to Read Feb 22  Review

Books, Books, and More Books Feb 23 Review

Christy’s Cozy Corners Mar 1 Review & Giveaway

Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 3 Interview

INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS Mar 10 Excerpt

Dejann LaFleur Amazon Reviewer Mar 11

fuonlyknew Mar 14 Review & Giveaway

Lisa’s Writopia Mar 17 Review

Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 17 Interview

Wishing Stone

BLOG TOUR – DARK WINE WATERS

DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS  by Virtual Author Book Tours, including interview questions exclusive to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS.  No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

Fran SimonePublisher: Central Recovery Press (July 15, 2014)
Category: Non-fiction, Memoir, Substance Abuse, Codependency
ISBN: 978-1-937612-64-1
Tour Date: June/July, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 224 Pages

The dynamics of codependency are illuminated in this heartbreaking story of a marriage comprised by a husband’s addiction to alcohol.

Through the eyes of love clouded by denial, Fran saw the danger signs but ignored them. Her husband, Terry, was accomplished, romantic, and good-natured. A newly divorced single parent, Fran was ready for love. She recounts the joys and sorrows of their relationship, including Terry’s attempts to control his drinking, her attempts to control him, his death, and her subsequent recovery.

Interview with Fran Simone:

What initially got you interested in writing?

I read a lot when I was a child and dreamed of becoming a writer but that dream seemed unattainable coming from a working class family. Not that my parents weren’t loving and supportive, but they wanted me to have a secure and good paying job. Also I went to Catholic schools back in the day when  girls were encouraged to become teachers, nurses or nuns.

 

How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?

As I said I was always an avid reading so I majored in English in college and then went to graduate school where I obtained a doctorate. At the university I directed a statewide writing project and also taught writing classes. About  midway through my career I decided to have a go myself. 

 

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? 

People can overcome tragedy and move beyond it. .I want my readers to take away hope that one day they will lead happy and fulfilling lives despite what challenges they face.

 

What do you find most rewarding about writing? 

Filling a blank page with words even though you don’t know where you’re going and discovering things as you go along.  

 

What do you find most challenging about writing?  

Finding just the right words to convey my thoughts and ideas.

 

 

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field? 

Read widely as much as you can.

 

 

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? 

Last year, my eye doctor invited a group of us to accompany him on a mission trip to the Chiapas  region of Mexico. We spent a week examining eyes, writing prescriptions, fitting patients for eyeglasses and the docs did surgery mainly for cataracts.  Hundreds of people travelled to a small village in the mountains for treatment that they otherwise would have never received. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

 

 

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

Visit my website darkwinewaters@gmail.com or email darkwinewaters@gmail.com; ; I write a blog for the  loved ones of family members with substance abuse disorders for Psychology Today under the Addiction category.

Excerpt from ‘Dark Wine Waters’ by Fran Simone:

Several weeks after we returned to Charleston, I received a postcard in a familiar handwriting–Terry- from Bellagio, Italy. The inscription read: “This is paradise. Aren’t we having a good time?  Love, T.”

We almost didn’t end up at Bellagio. From Menton we drove along the coast to San Remo where terraced fields of roses, carnations, and camellias filled the hillsides. Our bliss, however, was temporarily punctured in Genoa. I don’t recall exactly what happened. Perhaps I made some remark about his drinking, but I do remember how we sat on opposite ends of an empty tour bus, pouting like three-year-olds.

Later that day, we declared a truce as we packed the Renault and headed toward Lake Como.

“Frannie, it’s been a long day. I’m tired. Why don’t we stop in the town of Como and spend the night?”

“I really want to get to Bellagio today. I read a description in the AAA guide: It’s a town on the peninsula that divides the two sides of Lake Como. Outstanding hotels and restaurants. Plenty to see. So what do you think?”

“The guidebook says about 27 kilometers. What’s that in miles? I always get confused.”

“It’s about fifteen. But no telling how long it’ll take on these roads. They’re like back home.  And you aren’t a very good navigator.”

“I’ll do the best I can. I promise. It’ll be worth it. You’ll see.” I hoped my enthusiasm for the town would rub off on Terry, and that the AAA guide wasn’t exaggerating.

As the Renault chugged up a narrow, winding road with hazardous switch backs, Terry looked straight ahead and gripped the steering wheel. We almost wrecked when an Italian driver in a red sports car blew his horn to signal a blind curve a second before the car shot through a hairpin turn.

“Basta. Italian drivers. Goddamn. Unbelievable.”

Late afternoon, our driving nerves were soothed, as we settled into an elegant room at the Hotel Florence where we were mesmerized by our view of the lakefront.  All reluctance and annoyance forgotten and swallowed up in the view from our windows.

Our guidebook recommended visits to The Basilica of San Giacomo, the gardens of the Serbelloni Villa, the chapel  at  Villa Melzi and other “must see” sites.  We wound up and down steep stone steps past iron balconies festooned with clay pots of red geraniums or laundry drying under hot sun. At the many shops tucked below apartments, we admired fine silks and Venetian glass jewelry. I purchased a tee shirt for Matt and silk scarves for Terry’s mother and aunt.

We drank wine at a café on the lake and sampled food cooked in heaven: lake trout, perch, fluffy risotto, and ripe white peaches. Our love making become another delish dish to savor, and savor we did.

Like the excursion boats slowly crisscrossing the surface of the lake, we floated in a perfect dream. In my journal I wrote:  “I’m totally happy.”

So was the composer Franz Liszt. In 1837, while cavorting with the Countess d’Agoult, he wrote, “When you write the story of two happy lovers, set them on the shores of Lake Como.   I know of no other spot more obviously blessed by heaven.”

Bellagio soared to the top of my most favorite list. Numero uno to this day.

Years later, on my fiftieth birthday, Terry surprised me with a savings passbook marked “Italy”. He recorded the sum of $400.00 in the top column.  My birthday card read: “This is a down payment for a return trip to Bellagio. Love, Terry.”

“I figure if we put away a hundred or so each month, we can swing a return trip in about a year. That’s if you can control your spending. Can you manage to limit your shopping for clothes and household doodads?” Terry asked.

“Of course. For a return trip to paradise, I’ll try, really try.”

But I continued to spend.

He continued to drink.

Praise for Dark Wine Waters’ by Fran Simone:

“Dark Wine Waters goes way beyond the plethora of recovery books. It is a beautifully written memoir, with its charming water motif throughout, and it so clearly offers everyone a way to continue, to be happy, despite whatever happens. In this,  the author has handed all of us a true gift.”-Cat Pleska, president of Mountain State Press and author,  Riding on Comets (forthcoming, April, 2015) 

“Brutally frank and fearless in its honesty, Fran Simone’s book is a gift for those who love or have loved alcoholics or addicts. She tells the story of how she jumped into a relationship with a man she never imagined would have the disease of alcoholism. She simply had no reference for such an illness and missed all the clues. Once in love and married, she struggled to keep their life together, admitting she made every mistake possible.
This book boldly explains how alcoholism seduces and corrupts the most innocent of people, both the drinker and the ones who love them. Nicely written and well crafted, Simone’s memoir will appeal to those who enjoy a human interest and love story. But more importantly, it is for those caught in the darkness of loving someone with this disease and how they can find joy and hope and a better way to live through recovery.”- L. Farwell, Amazon Reviewer

“Fran Simone has written an intimate, deeply honest, and absorbing memoir that clearly shows the four stages of alcoholism through the years of her marriage to Terry. When she begins writing their story and the narrative starts to take shape, she finds “the courage to admit my faults, face my fears, and forgive my husband and myself.” Her honesty is compelling.
I particularly like the way the author organizes her story, dividing the book into four parts, each opening with an epigraph of the disease stage. Part 1, for example, opens with “The addict has a ‘wow’ experience and begins to form a relationship with the drug. Family members may observe subtle changes in personality, and a formidable barrier to communication appears: denial.” I leave the rest for you to read.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a very well told narrative that intimately shares the lives of two very human people ensnared in the full throes of the disease of alcoholism.”-Mary Jo Doig, Story Circle Book Reviews

“I was absorbed in this book from the very first page. The author takes us on her journey through life with an alcoholic from the moment she falls in love with him through the inevitable sad conclusion, yet gives those of us in this struggle hope for recovery.
This book is written with the honesty that can only come from the experience of living those highs and lows. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, whether you are just looking for an engagingly candid memoir or you are looking for clues to learn to cope when and if you’ve found yourself in a similar situation.”- Peggy E. Gunter, Amazom Reviewer

About Fran Simone:Fran Simone

Fran Simone, Ph.D. is a Professor Emeritus from Marshall University in West Virginia. She is the former director of  the WV Writing Project, a statewide affiliate of the National Writing Project, University of California at Berkeley. Her doctorate is from Duke University.

Her essays have appeared in The Voice and The Quarterly of  the National Writing Project,  the Charleston Gazette, Story Circle Network journal and anthology. Her blog posts have appeared online in Hazelden/Betty Ford.  She is a regular contributor to The Addiction Blog and to the Psychology Today blog. She is a member of Story Circle Network, the National Association of Memoir Writers and  West Virginia Writers, Inc. She conducts workshops on writing and speaks on addiction and recovery.

Honors: Featured author of the month, National Memoir Association, January, 2015.

Website: www.darkwinewaters.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darkwinewaters

Listen to the Interview with Fran Simone:

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Fran Simone

BLOG TOUR – Fevers

DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS  by Virtual Author Book Tours. No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer:

Joel HomerPublisher-ebook:  Zac Homer, (April 20, 2014)
Publisher-Print: Bantam
Category: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller, Some Romance
Tour Date: May/June, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 261 Pages

FEVERS is a novel unlike any you have ever read. Exotic adventure, white knuckled suspense, torrid romance, and a haunting portrait of three damaged individuals – one man who has turned beast, one who must confront the beast within himself, and the woman torn between them.

Rio de Janeiro. 1984.

There are rumors that somewhere deep in the steamy rainforest of the Amazon a man, once civilized, is hiding in green shadows. To the primitive Brazilian Indios, he is considered their long-awaited “pale-skinned messiah.” Others believe he is an evil god with powers to stir the native masses to a frenzied, killing pitch. And others suspect he might be Michael Fevers.

Into the lush tropics comes a troubled American, rebellious journalist, embittered Vietnam vet, desperate soldier of fortune. William Straw, who soon forms an uneasy alliance with a beautiful anthropologist, continues his tortured upriver journey-from jungle shantytown to opulent plantation, from explosive passion to brutal murder. Whether he is pursuing a story, an adventure, or a chance to finally exorcise his own inner demons, nothing will prepare William Straw for the sudden violence and bizarre cruelty of the one who is waiting ahead — Michael Fevers.

Praise for ‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer:

“Very engrossing novel. It felt a bit like reading a modern version of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The plot moves quickly and smoothly. The excitement never ends.”- Gerald Loev, Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt from the Book:

What manner of man was William Straw?

It was a question Maximilian Perreira asked himself often. As publisher-in-chief of the Rio Heraldo, he had good reason to be satisfied with his star reporter. In the six years since Straw first came to work for the newspaper, the circulation rate had greatly benefited from many a high-echelon scandal. Truly, William had earned his nickname. He was a gadfly, the best kind of gadfly, a gadfly with a penchant for rump of republic.

This gave Perreira pleasure. Loving his country, he hated his republic: the politicians and the military men and the bankers who had been so long the collective proprietor of an unhappy Brazil. He’d fought them all his professional life, first as a reporter himself, later as founder of the increasingly effective Heraldo, and could fully appreciate William Straw’s own battles against greed and hypocrisy and the philosophy of the fist.

Maximilian Perreira shook his head sadly. William took things so, so—personally. And responded with such indiscriminate fury. True, he’d been exposed to much excess in Vietnam, but he was a journalist now, by choice, and he lived in Brazil, also by choice, and no journalist in Brazil could afford to lose his objectivity.

This Indio business . . .

The government’s methods of dealing with the tribal peoples of the Amazon were shameful, and William had done well to reveal so many of the abuses. But the deeper he dug, the deeper he seemed to fall. It was almost as if the reporter were atoning for others’ sins. The drinking and brawling had become progressively worse. There’d been several unfortunate incidents. Nothing serious as yet. But the knives had long been out for the North American reporter. Powerful men, stung by O Tavão, were ready to retaliate in kind.

How long has it been now since he last called me? Two weeks? No. Closer to three.

He should never have allowed Straw to go off on his own. When the reporter had first come to him with the wild tale of an Indio insurrection in the upper reaches of the Amazon Basin, he should have flatly refused to authorize the investigation.

In which case, the publisher reflected ruefully, William would have investigated anyway.

Perreira pushed his chair away from the clutter of his desk and stared out the office window. On every side rose the spires of downtown Rio, opalescent in the bright morning sun. Here, atop his own hard-won tower, he was surrounded by the soaring headquarters of his old enemies. The oil cartels. The landowners’ combines. The banking houses. The bustling hives of the bureaucrats and soldiers and police.

Does he know? Does William know how truly dangerous they are?

The intercom buzzed.

“Yes, Vivi?”

“William Straw,” his secretary announced. “On line one.”

Perreira snatched up the phone and punched the appropriate button.

“William!”

“‘Lo, Max.”

“Are you all right? Where are you? It’s been weeks, you damn madman!”

“I was just waiting till I had something worth calling about. Turn on your machine, Max.”

Perreira pressed another button.

“Go ahead, William.”

“Okay. First thing, there’s lots of static on the basin about some upriver tribe called the Capo. Seems these Capo have been kicking much ass lately. It’s not a blood feud, Max, and it’s not territorial, either. Word is the beaten tribes are being absorbed into the Capo ranks. Oh, and you’re going to love this: the whole kit and caboddle’s being run by a white man. A norte-americano. Bearded like a jaguar, and impervious to darts, spears, axes, and bullets.”

“Nonsense.”

“So how come the F.S.U.’s snapping at my heels?”

“The F.S.U.?”

“In the evil flesh. I had a confab with one of them yesterday on the boat.”

“What boat? Where are you, William?”

“Xueloc, the skunk cabbage of the Amazon.”

“And what are you doing there?”

“Following tracks. I’m trying to find this old professor who knows our man in the jungle. His name’s . . . Roberto Aguzar. What’s wrong, Max?”

“One minute, William. There was a noise on the line. Are you using a safe phone?”

“Who the hell knows, Max. There are only two phones in the whole damn village. One’s in the custody of the Comandante de Polícia. I decided to pass it by, knowing how you tend to fret. This one’s at my hotel.”

“There! I heard it again.”

“So the phone’s tapped. So what? This is the F.S.U., Max. They’re not going to hear anything they don’t already know.”

“William? I want you back here.”

“You’re getting old, Max.”

“I am old, William. And it took some skill to reach my present age. If you don’t respect me, then respect at least my instincts for self-preservation. Don’t interfere with the F.S.U., William.”

“I honor every gray hair on top your old bowed head, Max. But we’re talking story. A big fat story.”

“Then report it when it’s done. This isn’t a request, William. I’m ordering you back.”

“Sorry, Max.”

“It isn’t the story, damn it! You were never that interested in stories.”

“I’m a good reporter.”

“You’re a terrible reporter. You do everything wrong. You get involved. You interfere. You get your story, yes, and the story’s always fine, but that’s just incidental to your real purpose.”

“And that is?”

“I don’t know, William. At first, I thought you were trying to kill yourself. Later, I thought you simply had a taste for the edge. Now? I don’t know. I do know I’d prefer you to remain alive, though.”

“Trust me, Max. Everything’ll be fine. I’m going to save the world and get the girl and ride off into the sunset.”

“William, enough of this, I want you to come—”

There was a click as the reporter hung up.

The publisher kept his ear pressed to the receiver. After a moment, there was a second click. Maximilian Perreira nodded his head slowly, sadly, and cradled the phone.

About Joel Homer:Joel Homer

Joel Homer was raised in Greenwich Village, attended New York University and was a medal-winning veteran from the Vietnam war. Upon returning to the states, he began his writing career as a senior editor at Saturday Review.

His books include “Marathons” and “Jargon.” His produced plays include “Scenes Dedicated to My Brother,” “What People Do When They’re All Alone,” and “The Lieutenant Snuffs the Light.” In 1984 he was the first recipient of the prestigious Glickman Award for playwriting. His last play ‘Private Scenes” was a huge hit in San Francisco. While working in Los Angeles, he co-wrote the original script for “Beauty and the Beast” for EuroDisney….to date the most popular stage play in Disney’s history.

Joel Homer passed away in 2003 at the age of 58.

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Books, Books & More Books Jun 8 Review & Ecerpt

Cyn Harris Jun 15 Excerpt

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Infinite House of Books June  21 Excerpt

fEVERS

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR – Service Before Self

DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS  by Virtual Author Book Tours. No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

Tegon MausPublisher:  Tirgearr Publishing (February 24, 2015)
Category: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Tour Date: May/June, 2015
Available in: ebook, 154 Pages

A recent transplant to Southern California, Toby Grant has landed his dream job. He’s a service tech for Handy Dandy Services—the premier handyman service in the southland.

Things don’t go well for Toby on the first day when he is teamed up with Ryan Burnell, a twenty year veteran of Handy Dandy. Toby quickly learns the hardships of being Ryan’s partner, and finds himself in one uncomfortable situation after another.

In an effort to understand his new partner, Toby accidentally uncovers Ryan’s unsavory past involvement with drugs, burglary and other things he shouldn’t know about. He also learns that Ryan’s last partner of five years—Delsin Honaw— had been murdered…stabbed twenty-seven times.

Haunted by one misunderstanding after another, Toby learns the true meaning of the company’s motto—“Service before Self.”

 

Excerpt from ‘Service Before Self’ by Tegon Maus:

“Not now, Auggie working.  Later for you,” he said lightly turning his head.  As if the bird understood him, it gave him a peck on the lips and flew away.  “Tank is here,” he said pointing at the pool.

All three of us grabbed an edge dragging it to one side; hidden under it, a rusty metal plate a little more than two feet in diameter.

I stood amazed at the paradise that surrounded me and didn’t see how they managed to remove the top, flipping it to one side.

“Alright newbie, it’s all you,” Ryan said pointing at the hole that lay in front of us.

“Me?  Why me?” I asked.

“I get it.  We’ll flip for it,” Ryan said, reaching for a coin from his pocket.  Placing it on his thump he flipped it high in the air.

“Tails,” I called as it spun brightly in the dappled sun.

He caught it, slapping it on the back of his left hand before peeking at it.

“Nope,” he said without showing it to me, slipping the coin back into his pocket.  “Get into the hole.”

All I could do was shake my head and look into the opening.  It was dark, foreboding and smelled almost as bad as the house.  The ominous sound of dripping water overshadowed that of the waterfall.

“Got that flashlight?” Ryan asked with a smile.

I pulled it from my back pocket, turning it on.

“There should be an iron ladder bolted to the north wall,” Ryan instructed as I peered inside.

“How deep is this thing?” I said half heartedly.

“Is thirty feet when new,” Auggie inserted.

“Jesus,” I breathed.

“What you’re looking for is a pipe about ten feet down.  Sometimes it clogs up… sometimes on its own, sometimes because of rats making nest.  You let me know which and then I’ll tell you how to handle it,” Ryan offered, grabbing me by the back of the neck squeezing lightly.

“I’ll bet you will,” I returned, searching for a hand hold and the ladder he said should be there.

It took a few moments for me to locate the ladder and my courage.

“Here, take my hand,” Ryan suggested, bracing himself against the iron lip of the hole.

I did as he instructed, finding myself slowly being devoured by the gaping mouth of the opening.

It was surprisingly hot inside.  The walls had been made of eight inch common concrete brick.  An open portion, no more than two inches wide had been deliberately left between them for seepage into the ground beyond.  Brightly colored mold or fungus grew on the walls, covering the interior with its countenance, giving the huge spiders and roaches a place to hide as well as feed.

Slowly I made my way down the ladder, each rung wet with a gravely defoliated surface.  Some slimy with mold, others incrusted with God only knew what but all held the potential of years of rust and the ability to send me crashing to the bottom and to whatever waited for me there.

“Alright I see it.  I found the pipe,” I yelled.

“Good,” Ryan shouted down to me, blocking the light from above.

A little panic filled me and I yelled.

“Can’t see if you block the light,” I admonished.

“Try using the flashlight Newbie,” he returned.

I had been holding onto it as if my life depended on it and forgot all about it as I gripped the iron treads for all I was worth.  I shined the light toward the bottom but saw nothing.  Whatever lay beyond the reach of my light held no interest for me,  I just wanted to do this and get out.

The air became hotter the deeper I traveled and more difficult to breathe.

A thin trickle of water oozed from the 3″ pipe through a mass of cobwebs.

“It was full of sticks and empty snail shells,” I shouted to the top.

“Rats, they love snails.  How thick are the sticks?  A hand full or does it go back away?” Ryan questioned.

“I can’t tell… back a way I think,” I said peering into the pipe with the light.

“Okay.  Hang on.  I’ll be right back.  Auggie,” he shouted and then disappeared into the light.  It was eerie, standing on the ladder without his voice for reassurance.  Although it was nice to have a little more daylight, it came and went with the swaying of the foliage above, flickering between bright and dark.

After what seemed like forever I checked my watch, kicking myself for not having done so when he said he would be right back.  As it stood now, I didn’t know if he had been gone five minutes or an hour.  Finally, I decided if he didn’t come back shortly I would climb out.

I have no idea why, but in my impatience for his return, I poked at the sticks that were stuck in the end of the pipe,  at first for no other reason than an increased level of curiosity.

“How the hell did a rat get all this stuff in here?  It must be part beaver,” I said to myself absentmindedly, picking at the tangle of twigs.  Each new movement released a fractional increase in the

water.  I pulled a little more, a stick at a time, then a fist full, reaching ever deeper into the length of the pipe to clear the clog.  Before I realized it, I had my arm all the way up to my shoulder.  Something was wedged, caught.  It felt like cloth but I couldn’t be certain.  I tugged on it.  For a moment, I thought it shifted for me.  I repositioned myself, yanking as hard as I could, freeing it at last.

At the same instant it became unobstructed; it occurred to me what I had done.  I yanked my arm out as fast as humanly possible, clutching the rails of the ladder for dear life.

The sound from inside the pipe shook me to the core.  It rumbled with a deep, menacing sound, like the growl of some wild animal and then puked forth.

Gallons of rancid liquid rushed by me as I pressed myself tightly to the ladder, splashing against the opposite wall and onto me;  noxious fumes rose from the bottom, racing me back to the top.

“Get me out,” I shouted, thrusting a hand wildly above me.

Ryan grabbed me with both hands, pulling me to the surface.  I lay in the sand for a moment, staring up at the sky.

“Awh fuck man, you got it on me,” Ryan said, stepping back.  He held his right arm up and away from his body as if it were on fire.

“My sand.  Is on my sand,” Auggie shouted, standing over me, waving his arms.

“Come on, newbie.  Get off the man’s sand,” Ryan chided.

“I’m covered in shit, cut me a little slack,” I groused, getting to my feet.

To my disgust the cloth that had been the core of the problem was still in my hand.  It appeared to be a colorful dish towel… at least the top half… the bottom had been burnt away.

“Ahh, is Christmas towel.  Auggie set fire making steak for friends.  Put flaming towel in toilet.  Save dinner party.  Auggie hero,” he said with pride taking the towel from my hand.

I was wet from the waist down, uncertain as to how much was from the pipe and how much was from me.  I had no desire to know for sure, refusing to let myself look.  My boots were filled with the unthinkable and the only thing that filled my head…  the only thing that occupied my mind… I wondered what the hell Johnson was doing right now.

Praise for ‘Service Before Self’ by Tegon Maus:

“From eccentric waste billionaires and very flirtatious women, to unbelievable roach problems and ghosts in the attic, Toby’s numerous adventures in this book will make you laugh repeatedly, however, be aware some will also make your skin crawl. And, all the while poor Toby has to follow the deadpan instructions both gestures and verbal of the reluctant Ryan and do his bidding at a flick of a coin.

This story is not only a very funny, if cringe worthy insight into the working day of company representatives, and what sometimes they see when entering other people’s homes; but also an extremely gripping thriller in parts as Ryan is pulled back, yet again, into the world of drugs he left behind five years previously.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page of this story and would happily recommend it as a brilliantly entertaining book.”-Susan Keefe, Book Reviews by Susan Keefe

Praise for Tegon Maus’s ‘Bob’:

Whether or not you believe the outcome, there is no denying that you will have great fun reading this very enjoyable science fiction story. It has all the essential components, good characters, a great plot and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, right up until the end.”- Susan Keefe, Book Reviews by Susan Keefe

“I love Bob! And I love Bob. Both the character and the book left me wishing for more. Bob, the character is great. His character had me cracking up for most of the book. Not that Bob is trying to be funny. It’s just that he is. And Bob the book is better because of Bob the character.

Whenever a problem arises, Bob tells Pete not to worry….he’s “got cousin.”

This book is great. You will be both laughing during and enthralled by the story. The characters are perfectly written and the dialog is wonderful. The way the story flows keeps you reading quickly and you’ll find yourself at the end of Bob way too soon. The story is a must read for any sci-fi lovers, but even if you aren’t a sci-fi person, you’ll enjoy the story….mostly because of Bob.”- Christy M., Christy’s Cozy Corners

“Bob is science fiction but it is also suspenseful and funny. The characters are delightful. Bob, the man helping Peter (for a cost), is one of a kind. He’s not only funny and overbearing but he always comes through. He always has a “cousin” who can help them out. Emma is also unique as well as mysterious and Peter and Bob feel they need to help her.

I was actually surprised at the end which is always good. I definitely recommend BobIt has a little bit of everything: science fiction, humor, adventure, and suspense.”- Dawn, Bound For Escape

“There’s lots of action in Bob and the story will hold your interest from beginning to end. It’s an easy book to sit down with and read late into the night with.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bob’s cousins, from the black-skinned cousin to the Italian cousin that spoke only Italian yet seemed to answer Peter in English every question. I thought that the plot was plausible and the characters were realistic.”-Kathryn Svendsen, Shelf Full of Books

About Tegon Maus:Tegon Maus

Tegon Maus was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends he could conjure. Not that he wasn’t friendly, he just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe he lived in his head way more than he should have, maybe not. He liked machines more than people, at least he did until I met his wife.

The first thing he can remember writing was for her. For the life of him he can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married him shortly after that. He spent a good number  of years chasing other dreams before he got back to writing.

It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. His wife and himself had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.

He was thrilled. If there is one thing he enjoys it’s making people believe him and he likes to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mind you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not.  When he writes, he always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, he guarantees you, nothing, makes him happier.

He has consistently placed in the top 3 in 189 writing contest in a variety of genres and has been featured in magazines a couple of times to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Tegon Maus Website: http://www.tegonmaus.com/#!
Author on Tirgearr Website: http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Maus_Tegon/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TegonMaus
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tegon-Maus/150255051766767
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tegon/tegon-maus/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/101974688416833509592/posts

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What U Talking Bout Willis? May 26 Excerpt

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Num Reviews June 8 Review

Jen Writes (Pricilla) June 9 Review

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INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS June 12 Excerpt

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Deal Sharing Aunt Jun 18 Interview & Giveaway

Service Before Self

BLOG TOUR – The Prison Trilogy, Book 1

 

 

DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS  by Virtual Book Tour Cafe. No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

Observer-Book-1

ABOUT THE BOOK

Observer: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation—even crime (The Observer Book 1)

Book genre: Biography of Wall Street Journal heiress; nonfiction intrigue and crime

Publisher: Glen Aaron using Create Space

Release date: April 1

Buy link: Amazon.com

Book description: When Jackie Bancroft’s husband died in 1952, he left her an heiress to the income and value of The Wall Street Journal and one of the wealthier women in America. Almost 50 years later, Jackie would mary Ronnie Lee Morgan, a 50 – year old gay interior decorator. Morgan was one of many clients in the active law practice of author Glen Aaron. This unusual marriage lasted until Jackie’s mysterious death five years later. Throughout that period, Aaron became entwined in the personal lives and demands of the couple, along with handling many of their legal affairs. The huge money and property distributions made by Jackie to her husband, designed and handled by Aaron, resulted in a two – year federal prison sentence for Aaron. The first book in the Prison Trilogy is this story.

YouTube Book Trailer Book 1 – https://youtu.be/uhoZd3cJG7g

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

Ron Morgan always knew what he wanted – – to be rich and beautiful, to live in the places you see in Architectural Digest. He knew certain things about the rich: that they were different, that they liked beautiful things, power, and influence, that, if they saw that another had something more beautiful or impressive, they had to have it, too. He also knew that every rich person would take advantage of him if given the chance. So he devised ways to reverse this probability. While making it appear that they were getting a good deal, a special deal, he always made money. Ron had developed his expertise in interior decorating over the course of many years. It took him even longer to perfect the personality that attracted and pleased wealthy clients. His involvement as an interior decorator for the wealthy, his intuitive knowledge of how to deal with them, was an evolution of fits and starts. Although it didn’t hurt that Ron was gay, in his early life he had had difficulty figuring that out. He tried a heterosexual marriage. It didn’t work.

Then, in his 50th year, in the New Mexico mountain village of Ruidoso, Ron met Jackie Bancroft Spencer (“Jackie”), a wealthy Wall Street Journal heiress possessed of a unique personality. Jackie was building a stunning theater for the performing arts in Ruidoso, for which she would pay $23 million cash. At the same time, she was caring for her terminally – ill second husband, Dr. A.N (“A. N.”) Spencer. Ron Morgan came to know Jackie by creating interior decor for her home, making suggestions regarding the theater, and in assisting with A. N.’s care during his final illness. I was Ron Morgan’s lawyer for many years. On numerous occasions, I defended lawsuits and negotiated a way out of touchy problems. Ultimately, I placed Ron in bankruptcy protection in El Paso, Texas. Not long after, he introduced me to Jackie. Through numerous golf games and dinners, I became fascinated with this lady, her history and that of the Bancroft’s and their ownership of The Wall Street Journal. Two years later, Ron, a 52 – year old gay man, and Jackie, a 72 – year old heterosexual heiress, decided to marry. At the time she met Ron, Jackie, was married to Dr. A.N. Spencer; it was her second marriage. She wanted to travel the world after AN’s death, and she wanted Ron to travel with her. For his part, Ron had his own designs on what this should cost Jackie. Whether pressing for marriage was a manifestation of Ron’s ulterior financial desires, or whether it was at Jackie’s urging is unknown. What is known is that Jackie accepted, indeed, relished, the arrangement. While the relationship was filled with intrigue, greed and Machiavellian manipulation from within and without, the ultimate mystery for me was the nature of Jackie’s illness – – the illness that led to her death – – while she and Ron were on a world cruise. It was my task to get her off the ship in the middle of the Atlantic and arrange for medical care in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That would be my last service on her behalf. I have always been an observer of people: what motivates them to do what they do, how they view their quality of life, why and how this plays out in relationships. This book has a dual purpose: to share my observations of Jackie and Ron’s unusual relationship, and to share my experiences as Jackie’s some time – confidante and as Ron’s lawyer until Jackie’s death. Ultimately, these experiences with my last client would change my life. Excerpt 2: Through the course of four years, Ron bought several million – dollar Puerto Vallarta properties, some for rental, some with an eye toward resale; all in the name of the trust I had set up for him. This was causing a problem. When Ron initially explained how he wanted the trust to work, or, at least, how he envisioned the goal, it was to be an income – generating entity protected from domestic creditors, the IRS, and Jackie’s children. Therefore, I envisioned never conducting business in the United States. I had never filed for a tax identification number, nor had the trust filed an income tax return. However, throughout the first few years of the trust, Ron imported large amounts of artworks and furnishings from other countries and warehoused them in El Paso. He also took unreported, large cash distributions into the United States. This was not how to protect oneself within a trust. No matter how I might admonish him, I would find, after the fact, Ron paid no attention and threw caution to the winds. I could never tell, through many aspects of Ron’s life, whether he felt invincible or whether he just couldn’t perceive risk/reward exposure.

In following the goal of creating an offshore cash-cow for Ron’s future, I had established a corporation and office in Belize that headquartered an online casino. Acquiring the software through professional contacts in Vegas and setting up accounting and payment controls took about a year. Belize was ideal for an online casino because broadband T-1 connections were plentiful and the domain name address would be Belize. Additionally, the major Caribbean undersea fiber line connecting instantaneously to the entire world was within stone’s throw of where I had set up the online casino. In the second year, the casino was cash-flowing twenty – five – thousand dollars per month with hardly any overhead. To diversify the activities and income of the trust, I retained a CPA and Hong Kong attorneys to establish a Hong Kong trade Corporation with an office in Shenzhen, China. The trade companies served multiple full purposes because of the myriad opportunities in China. Its primary purpose was to protect importations of artworks, sculptures, and furnishings from all the countries Ron had haphazardly imported into the United States.… Although Ron was as tight – lip about those details as he was about most other details, it was pretty clear he was stockpiling a high-end inventory for his post – Jackie future.

 

Glen-Aaron-Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Glen writes both fiction and nonfiction from his forty-year career and experience as a trial lawyer and consultant in international business and banking. His nonfiction work as the observer in The Prison Trilogy tells the tales in chronological order of how he came to be a lawyer for a Wall Street Journal heiress and her gay husband and how that representation landed him in federal prison. That is the first in The Trilogy. The second book tells the story of his cell mate, Colonel George Trofimoff, serving life for spying for the KGB, and the final book of The Trilogy describes the prisoners, Glen’s experiences and takes a hard look at the American criminal justice system. Author Links: http://www.glenaaron.com/ http://www.prisonobserver.com/

 

BLOG TOUR – The Gospel of Wolves

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ABOUT THE BOOK

gospelofwolves

Everyone is a wolf.

 

But putting the pack first can have different ramifications if you don’t really belong with the pack you’re hunting with in the first place.

 

In The Gospel of Wolves, you delve deep into the heads and hearts of four people who will take risks as they search for where they belong that will force them to make serious choices about the person they are willing to become as they cross paths with some of the cruelest sociopaths the world has to offer to ultimately find out if they are part of the pack or one of the prey.

GUEST POST WITH THE AUTHOR

The Power of Words

20 minutes. That’s all it took, before the itching and tautness of swollen
skin clued me in that I must have been the only supply of blood available to the mosquitos in that wretched forest.

Rivulets of sweat uncomfortably streamed down every crease of skin I owned and even the fragrance of flowers bore a taint. The rot of vegetation couldn’t be completely overpowered.

The lizard part of my brain took this all in and a brief fantasy
materialized where the human quarry I was chasing was hiding in the
refrigerated room of an ice cream shop tucked in a nice suburban strip
mall.

None of what I was experiencing was real, but the scenes painted by the
story I was reading had transported me to the other side of the equator
and dumped me in a place most people would never choose to go, unless
their life depended on it.

I shifted on the couch I was laying on while reading, but as I navigated
through the vines and mud, there was a part of me that couldn’t get
comfortable until the author allowed me to.

This is a big part of what made me fall in love with reading.

The ability to live different lives on a whim.

To travel to exotic places and not worry over baggage fees or stolen
passports.

Then there is that other thing.

The way well written characters can teach us about ourselves.

To make us feel not so alone in the world, because surely if the author
could write a character that we relate to on a deep level, then they must
know something of the personal way we have experienced the world thus far.

In that connection, sometimes I find moments where the world becomes still and silent as I pause in the book and reflect on something I could never quite wrap my mind around, but now with the author’s help, I gained a new understanding about.

It doesn’t matter whether I’m the one writing, or the one reading.

It’s a magic thing to be a part of.

 

EXCERPTS

Excerpt One (300-500 or so Words):

 

“Mommy. I don’t think daddy’s gonna make it.”

It wasn’t just what little Melanie said, it was how she said it that caused Lindsey to duck down to eye level with her daughter before reassuring her. “Don’t be silly, dear. Your father will be here any moment to get us and we’ll be on our way home.”

Melanie didn’t seem convinced. She appeared as if she was listening to someone who was telling her something she didn’t want to hear. Whomever that someone was, it wasn’t her mother. She stayed down at eye level with Melanie a little while longer, brushed some of Melanie’s bangs back under the hood of her coat, then stood upright and looked around the airport receiving area for her husband’s car. They had been waiting for half and hour, but the airport was busy, and with the rain, there were surely traffic. She resisted the urge to pull out her cell phone and call him. After what Melanie said, Lindsey was afraid of doing anything that might encourage her to think that something really was wrong.

It seemed like half of the people driving had bought the exact same make, model, color and year of the car her husband owned. With the sky’s reflection bouncing off of the windshields, the identities of the drivers remained concealed until they drove past her and Melanie. She held her frustration and impatience behind a veneer of calm that was becoming harder and harder to maintain each time she mistakenly thought she had spotted him.

If he doesn’t come in the next five minutes, I’m calling him, Lindsey thought to herself. Knowing that this might upset Melanie further, Lindsey looked down to see how Melanie was fairing to gauge if she needed to provide any additional consoling before the call, but Melanie wasn’t there. Lindsey glanced all around her immediate area, but her daughter was gone.

“Melanie!”

Looking to the parents of a family that had been standing next to them, she asked, “Did you see which way my daughter went? She’s wearing a pink overcoat with the hood up and black stockings?”

Both of the parents gave a quick glance around, then offered sympathetic shrugs.

Lindsey forgot about her luggage and began pushing through the crowd of people yelling her daughter’s name. The amount of people seemed to increase with Lindsey’s anxiety and somehow, they seemed to always manage to be where she was trying to get to and move into the cracks and seams right as Lindsey attempted to peer through to catch a glimpse of where her daughter might be. Irritated by the mass of bodies, she tried stooping down to knee level thinking that looking between legs rather than around torsos might provide more gaps to peer through, but it was a moving forest of limbs that again seemed to move directly into her line of sight as quickly as she could look in a direction.

 

 

 

Excerpt Two (500-800 or so Words):

 

He allowed her to wrap her arms around him and squeeze, before pushing her back to arm’s length. “It’s been what? Eight years? What are you doing now? Are you still painting?” he asked. He injected as much interest as he could into his voice to make up for his lousy greeting.

“I’m a senior account manager with Razor[Gun]. We’re an advertising and branding agency. Not much time for painting anymore, but every now and then I’ll wet a canvas. More importantly, why are you out here rather than in there?” She pointed at the gallery’s open doors.

Some of the pain and embarrassment Lucien was suffering showed on his face. “Senior Account Manager, huh? So you’ve risen to the high ranks.”

A trace of something flashed across her face, but disappeared before Lucien could interpret what it meant, then Lindsey replied while doing a little dance, “Your girl’s got skills, and so do you, so…again, why are we out here,” (Lindsey’s dance ended with both hands pointing at the gallery door) “and not in there?”

Lucien looked around and mentally measured the distance to the nearest group of conversationalists. He leaned in so only she could hear, “I’ve only sold one of my paintings.”

She gave him a look that wasn’t entirely sympathetic. “Toughen up,” she advised and planted a playful fist into his chest. “You have your own solo exhibit. Excuse my insistence that you not wear a skirt and sensible shoes in my presence. Now, enjoy your success and let’s see what you’ve got cookin’ in here.”

As she moved towards the gallery entrance, he stayed where he was. “I’ll be in. Go ahead and browse. Maksym and Oksana are in there. They’ll both be glad to see you.”

He watched her enter the gallery and was pleased that she made her way over to a painting and not to where the food was. Needing to know if she was just trying to be polite, he waited until she approached a second and then a third painting of his before accepting that she was there in genuine support of his work. It was in that moment that Lucien knew that their relationship was real and not just imagined in his head.

He turned away from the gallery and looked up and down the street. There were still a couple clusters of people on the sidewalk outside the gallery, but the Indian girl and her friends had disappeared. He was relieved. It was bad enough not selling many paintings, but it would’ve been worse if he had been beaten up in front of his own opening as well. Lindsey had inadvertently saved him.

He turned to see what painting she was looking at but she wasn’t in the front room anymore. She had gone deeper into the exhibit space. There were three rooms total, showing off the last six months of his work, he wished that he had learned how to enjoy these moments better.

Looking through the floor to ceiling windows separating the gallery from the sidewalk, he counted two people looking at his art. The other 14 he counted in the room were clustered in groups and conversation. He felt he might as well have not created anything at all.

He heard knocking on the window and turned to see a guy in his early 20’s wearing a striped collared shirt, vest and jeans with a pageboy hat waving a ‘come here’ to someone in the gallery. There was another guy standing next to him looking out at the passing traffic. A few seconds later, a couple of pretty girls of the same age came out of the gallery. One of the girls (a red head) asked Pageboy if he got in touch with Peter yet as she crossed the gallery’s threshold.

“Yeah,” Pageboy answered. “He texted me his address. It’s like five minutes from here, so come on.” Pageboy started to walk down the street, confident that they’d follow.

The red head ran awkwardly in her heels to catch up to Pageboy and put her arm around his waist. He leaned down and kissed her. The other guy reminded Pageboy that the car was in the other direction, but Pageboy complained that he wasn’t moving after already paying for parking. Realizing that Pageboy wasn’t going to wait up for them, the guy and his girl hurried from behind to catch up. When they caught up, the guy put his hand in the girl’s back pocket.

Lucien waited until they were two storefronts away before falling in behind them.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

chriswesley

Chris Wesley is the award-winning author of the fiction book The Gospel of Wolves, the short fiction story Regret in Triptych and the poetry book Pack Animals. He uses his fine art photography as prompts for character sketches and settings in his fiction along with gallery shows. He has written for the music magazine Night Moves Magazine, acted in independent movies and plays; wrote, cast, directed, shot and edited an independent short movie, started bands and gone solo. He plays a few instruments and is generally considered a smart ass. He also has a thing for how we connect with each other and with ourselves.

 

Author Links – The link for any or all of the following…

Website: https://www.chriswesley.com

Blog: https://www.chriswesley.com/engage

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.wesley.live

Twitter: www.twitter.com/chriswesleylive

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/chriswesleylive/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chriswesleycreates/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Chriswesley

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/chriswesley

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