About the Author
Category Archives: BOOKS
Fiction / Humor
Date Published: August 27, 2019
Hope Allison McKinley died. Or, at least everyone thought she did. When she suddenly wakes up in the middle of her own funeral – to the shock of all her loved ones – that is just the beginning of her problems.
Reawakened, Hope now sees what everyone really thought of her. The casket is cheap, the flowers suck, and she’s wearing an outfit she wouldn’t be caught dead in! It’s her worst nightmare come true and all hell is about to break loose.
In Woke Up Dead, Hope is faced with the enormous task of putting her death behind her and rebuilding her life. Having to overcome being a YouTube sensation and being shunned by her family, she slowly comes to realize that this is going to be a long, difficult, frustrating road.
If you ever wondered what would happen if you Woke Up Dead, let Hope Allison McKinley walk you through the trials and tribulations in a story that will have you dying to read more.
I hate the idea of being kept in a box. I have always had a creative flair and delight in quilting, writing, and occasionally dusting off my flute. Over the past decade, I’ve served my clients and community as a family law attorney. I genuinely love serving, but being devoted to others can often leave one feeling drained and unfulfilled.
In 2019, a mind shift happened. I decided to unchain myself from my desk and nurture my need to create. I stopped living the life others expected of me and started chasing my dreams. In September of 2019, my first book, Woke Up Dead, will be available for purchase. It is an amusing, tongue-in-cheek novella about a young woman who wakes up at her own funeral, to the shock of those in attendance, and soon finds that getting back to life as normal is nearly impossible.
In my spare time, you can find me traveling, creating, attending concerts, and drinking my sorrows away after the latest Buffalo Bills loss. I also attend as many P!nk experiences as I possibly can. (She does not do concerts … she creates bucket list experiences …).
If you want to be the first to know what I’ll do next, please follow me on social media and sign up for my mailing list and nadiagilkes.com
Publisher: Black Quill Press
Skullduggery and scheming in Ancient Rome on the eve of Caesar’s assassination.
Historical thriller set in Ancient Rome. In 45 BC, Julius Caesar is at the height of his power. Lucius Scaurus, the young, good-looking fiancé of a high-society girl is poisoned at the couple’s own pre-wedding banquet. In the trial that follows, Roman society is shocked when the girl’s mother, Helvia, is accused of not only of murder, but of incest. Cicero comes to Helvia’s defence, but the killer’s identity remains a mystery until the final twist – or two.
Praise for A Roman Death:
‘Poison, poetry (both high-minded and salacious), marriage for money, marriage for love, gang-rape, cowardice in battle, scheming slaves, conniving aristocrats, malicious matrons casting magical curses, and (as if all this were not enough) a previously unknown oration by Cicero – there’s so much going on, so expertly conveyed …’ — Steven Saylor
‘An absorbing story, with fully drawn characters, a fascinating place and period, all given vibrant life in the author’s best work so far.’ — Kirkus Review
‘An original setting, carefully researched and vividly portrayed.’ — The Times Literary Supplement
‘Religious beliefs and superstition in the ancient world play a key part in Joan O’Hagan’s novel about mayhem in Rome … The identity of the killer, in this excellent classical puzzle that is also a classic whodunit, is revealed in a splendidly contrived shock ending.’ — Gerald Kaufman, The Listener
‘Who put the poison in Lucius’s wine, what truth in the scabrous accusations? Cicero for the defence; an unusual treat, don’t miss it.’ — Christopher Wordsworth, The Observer
‘The contexts are all smartly timed … beware of wicked terminal twists.’ — Stephen Walsh, The Oxford Times
‘In this novel, excellent as a mystery and as a reconstruction of the life of upper-class Rome in 45–44 BC, O’Hagan tells a story of murder, magic, love, greed and intrigue, the plot of which could have come right out of an oration of Cicero.’ — Fred Mench, Fictional Rome: Authors & Reviews.
A ROMAN DEATH – Excerpt: pp 184-7
‘Oh judges, I tell you that this woman — intelligent, wilful and passionate — is far from being the conventional and trustworthy Roman matron she appears to the world. I have already underlined her implacable opposition to her husband’s wishes. Not for her to conform, oh no! Nor in other ways does she conform. Not for Helvia the devotion to her household gods, not for her the religious observance that is the duty of women and the strength of our society. I regret to tell you, gentlemen, that Helvia is a devotee of that Egyptian goddess, that Isis, whose worship has so many times been banned from our city — was forbidden, indeed, as recently as four years ago.’
The advocate paused, glancing at the judges, singling out L. Aemilius Paullus in particular. ‘You will remember how one of your numbers, when Consul, once tore off his toga and drove an axe through the temple doors to set an example to the workmen who had been told to demolish the Iseum. Anyone will applaud such an example, who is a true Roman and faithful to the gods who protect our state.’
The speaker could ignore the waves of muted protest rising from angry spectators now, so many of whom were humble folk. None of the judges, all coming from that comfortably enshrined noble or knightly class, upheld such worship. All the same, he was on delicate ground. Caesar was in power and Caesar had reinstated Isis.
‘Imported worship which deals not in solemn rites owed to traditional gods, but in mysteries and frenzies and incited enthusiasms,’ rumbled the advocate ominously. ‘Why would a lady of Helvia’s class and background have recourse to such practices?
‘I do not ask you what can happen in the temple of linenclad Isis, gentlemen,’ he went on ironically. ‘I do not care to ask you — nor, judges, would you particularly wish to know. But we do know that in other towns the shrines of that goddess are generally not too far from the brothels, and we are content to remain in ignorance of those who give their devotion to bulls and monkeys and reptiles and birds of all sorts, and,’ Messalla paused delicately, his face a study in lofty distaste, ‘those who are said to indulge in practices erotic or magical …
‘Helvia’s resort to Isis worship, to magic, is alien to women of her status. Who can trust a woman who covertly enlists the forces of darkness and evil? She who does so is clearly capable of any deed. But this is not all …’
Messalla paused again.
‘As we all know, the great bulwark of our community, its whole strength, is the family, by reason of its natural and human ties. As we all know, the greatest merit of all from the family is this union of man and woman for the procreation of children.
‘I do not argue that Helvia was not a devoted mother.’ Another pause. Messalla looked round for absolute quiet now and waited until he got it. ‘I do not argue that, iudices. I argue only that Helvia was, as well, too devoted a sister. This woman, married to the honest Fufidius for almost twenty years now, since she was fifteen years old, has for long had a most delightful relationship with her brother. With her brother Cinna, the poet, who is now also Tribune. I regret, however, that it is a most unnatural relationship, as well. I speak, gentlemen, of an incestuous relationship.’
A long collective sigh rose from the audience. This was better than any theatre. Helvia sat as if turned to stone, her mature beauty etched in the band of light that fell on the bench. Aghast, Fufidius rose to his feet, but was motioned down by Cicero.
‘This relationship may have been suspected by a few, but it was well hidden by the incestuous pair. As you know, slaves cannot testify against their masters except in one instance — in a case of incest…
About the Author
Joan O’Hagan’s other books include Incline and Fall (Angus & Robertson), Death and a Madonna (Macmillan), Against the Grain (Macmillan) and Jerome & His Women (Black Quill Press).
Release Date eBook: August 22, 2019
Release Date eBook: August 22, 2019
Release Date Paperback: October 1, 2019
Hopey chronicles the story of a courageous girl in a ’70s Southern Indiana commune, complete with flowers for dinner, a ball of acid in the freezer, and orgies on the living room floor. The chaos of her formative years, which are littered with violent episodes, periods of hunger and assaults, leads Hope to set off on her own at the age of fifteen.
Written as intense past moments, reflective chapters, and flash-forwards, these three voices come together to transcend time and connect the past and the present. Honest and raw, with no request for empathy or complaint, the book is a celebration of the human spirit and an exhilarating read. Hopey is a reminder that we can love, we can believe, and we, too, can be successful beyond all expectations—if we only dare to hope.
About the Author
Hope Mueller is an author, inspirational speaker, executive, and active non-for-profit volunteer. A results-driven leader and change agent, Hope is passionate about career development and community service, among others. Her early years were marked by the experiences on a hippie commune. Hope’s unique childhood shaped her approach and interaction with the world, with a gift of creating order out of chaos and turning vision into reality. She lives with her husband in northern Illinois and actively parents her four daughters through the phases of their lives.
Facebook: Hope Mueller Author
Publisher: Simple Story
Date Published: January 14, 2019
Never in history have we known more than we know today. In the age of knowledge, science has enveloped our lives and influences humanity in almost every aspect. At any given moment, dozens of studies are published in countless areas of knowledge – studies that bring us closer to understanding the laws of nature, as well as advance human thinking towards the future. Nevertheless, faith, religion, spirituality and divinity still play a central role in the lives of many people. With the gap between what we know and what we believe is constantly growing, the authors of this book has found it necessary to offer tools for critical thinking about the relationship between science and faith.
Ph.D. in Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, specializing in structural biology, cancer research, gene therapy and pharmacology.
Ph.D. in Geography, with specialization in Environment and public health from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. M.a. in Geopolitics and B.A in Political Science. A Society and Environment lecturer.
A Wilder Novella
Date Published: August 6, 2019
I am Shala Wilder. It is time for my coming-of-age celebration. Eligible males from every wolf pack have come to compete in the brutal trials of the Assertion.
When all is over, the victor will claim me as his companion. The problem? My heart isn’t set on a competitor, but on an off-limits guard who has no interest in me.
What fate awaits me at the end of the trials? Will I fulfill my duty as obedient pack member, or will I forge my own path?
“Shala Wilder, get your skinny ass down here right now!”
My heart sank at the sound of Nettie’s frustrated tone. I knew she’d come looking for me when she realized I wasn’t in bed, but I didn’t think it would be so soon. I barely had time to get comfortable on my little perch, no chance to calm my frazzled nerves. My anxiety over the coming events was still too raw. I needed more time alone, but I wouldn’t get it.
“I mean it, girl. I know you’re up there. Don’t make me come get you.”
We both knew she couldn’t climb the thirty feet up to my little ledge. Still, I was in big trouble if I didn’t at least answer her.
Shifting onto my belly, I peered nervously over the edge to find her standing with her hands on her hips, her foot tapping out an impatient rhythm. That was just like her, always looking so stern and serious. She didn’t have a fun bone in her body. At least, not since I’d known her. She was a no-nonsense kind of woman. She didn’t have time for games, but no matter how harsh she could be, the woman loved us all fiercely.
“I’m just staring at the stars, Nettie,” I called down to her. “Don’t have a pup.”
Her wrinkled face pulled into a tight scowl. “I am well beyond my birthing years, girl. There’ll be no more heathen pups for me.”
I rolled my eyes. She’d missed the point. Again. Sometimes, I couldn’t help thinking she did it on purpose.
From behind Nettie, Rendall stepped into the open, her short cap of pale hair gleaming silver in the moonlight. “You should be sleeping, Shala. You’ll need the rest for your big day tomorrow.”
I flopped onto my back again, letting out a short puff of air. “I can’t sleep. I’m too nervous.”
My twentieth birthday—the beginning of my adult life—was only a few hours away and sleep refused to come to me. Anxiety and worry made it impossible. Not only had ten years passed since I last saw my parents, but the next few days held unknown things for me.
Over the course of my stay in the mountain stronghold, I endured the emergence of my wolf, struggled to get control of her, and mastered the art of shifting with ease and deftness. Still, I had my misgivings about the changes I faced in the coming days.
“Come down and I’ll make you some tea,” Rendall offered.
“I don’t want tea,” I grumbled. “I want to stare at the stars until my eyes cross and I fall asleep from sheer exhaustion.”
A small silence followed my confession before Rendall pressed. “Come now, Shala. Nettie may not come get you, but I will.”
The stiff tone in Rendall’s voice told me all I needed to know. She was usually one of the gentler elderwomen, but she was a good climber. If she came after me, I’d likely be thrown from the low cliff.
With great reluctance, I joined the two women and walked silently between them all the way back to the village. Nettie said goodnight once we reached the main hall, leaving me to follow Rendall to the kitchen.
About the Author
Melaina Rayne is author of The Jagara Series, Warriors of Lykarthia series, and Assertion Trials: a Wilder novella. She’s a sucker for a down-and-dirty romance whether it’s paranormal, fantasy, or contemporary. She wholeheartedly believes a great love story transcends the boundaries of genre. But, as much as she loves reading, she especially loves to write stories of beastly men, headstrong women, and the untamable passion that always draws them together.