Category Archives: BOOKS

A Kind of Hush Blitz

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Literary Fiction, Mystery

Publisher: Imagery Lit

 

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A Kind of Hush explores whether there is a gray area between right and
wrong. The Mackie family is enjoying a June outing at a rugged park near
their Buffalo, New York home when tragedy strikes. One parent survives along
with their teenage daughter and seven-year-old son found hiding in the
woods. Was this a horrendous accident or something more heinous, and if so,
whodunnit and whydunit? A mantle of ambiguity – a kind of hush –
hangs between the survivors like a live grenade without its pin as each one
deals with the circumstances and revelations surrounding the incident.

A Kind of Hush is one of five finalists in the 16th annual National Indie
Excellence Awards contest in the highly competitive mystery category.

Excerpt

 

Chapter 1

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room

BUFFALO, NEW YORK. Gabriel Mackie had just celebrated his fourth birthday
the first time
 he visited the whisper room, a windowless enclave with lavender walls
brimming with daydreams, 
obscured from reality. All he knew for certain was that his older brother,
Griff, nicknamed Boo, was 
gone. His bedroom at the end of the long hallway had been transformed into
a guest room with ecru 
lace duvets instead of the blue and white pinstriped spreads covering the
twin beds. Vanished were 
his toy box and New York Yankee American League pennants that had plastered
the walls, replaced 
by paintings of water lilies and wheat fields. A stray tear trickled down
Gabe’s cheek when he 
remembered Boo’s curly blonde hair and how he snorted when he
laughed. Silence is deafening and 
the Mackie household screamed heartbreak.

Tree branches dipped in the wind tossing shadows across the windows
heralding a tempest
 gathering force. Matt sipped his coffee and thumbed through last
night’s restaurant receipts. Summer, 
lost in her on own thoughts, mindlessly poured herself a refill with one
hand while twirling a strand 
of hair with the other. Gabe tiptoed to the kitchen doorway, jumping back
when he heard his mother 
slam her fist on the counter.

“It’s Willa’s fault Griff is gone,” her voice
stringent and tight. “Tickling him while he sucked on
 a gumball, for God’s sake. I trusted her to take care of him for
fifteen minutes—fifteen damn 
minutes—while I picked up Gabe from a birthday party. He
couldn’t find his shoes . . . I would have 
been home sooner and maybe . . . I love my daughter, but . . . She knew to
call 911 in an 
emergency . . . Why the hell didn’t she?”

Matt shook his head. “Summer come on . . . you’ve got to quit
blaming her,” his voice rising an 
octave in frustration. “You’re as responsible as
Willa.”

Summer turned her back to her husband shielding the wounds caused by his
words.

“I shouldn’t have said that,” regret echoed in his
apology. “I’m so sorry . . . Please, we don’t need 
to be playing this blame game. . . .”

“I guess it’s too much to ask for you to understand what
I’m going through, Matt. What part of 
my daughter killing our son don’t you get?”

“Honey, you’re overreacting. . . .”

They both turned as Gabe scampered into the room dragging a stuffed
elephant by its trunk.

“Mommy, did Willa find where Boo’s hiding? Quackers and me
wanna play next . . . you count to ten 
and say ready-or-not, here I come . . . okay?”

 

*****

 

 

About the Author

JoDee Neathery

JoDee Neathery is a firm believer that dreams do come true with the release
of her debut award winning novel, Life in a Box, in July 2017 asking the
question, how much would you sacrifice to hide a secret? A few colorful
characters were plucked off her family tree, encasing their world inside
fictional events to create her literary novel.

The idea for her latest novel, A Kind of Hush, appeared in the middle of
the night with the profile of the young boy and the first few sentences
scratched out on the every-present notepad on the nightstand beside her bed.
“I didn’t know the whole story, but I knew that whatever I wrote
next, this young lad had to play a major role in the narrative and Gabriel
Edward Mackie doesn’t disappoint.”

JoDee was born in Southern California moving to Midland, Texas at the age
of five. Her professional career began in the banking industry moving into
public relations executive recruiting until relocating to East Texas where
she experienced more opportunities to write and enjoys a byline, Back Porch
Musings, a lighthearted view of life in general, in an area newspaper. Her
dream “job” has been chairing and writing minutes and reviews
for the community book club, Bookers, for eighteen years and it was those
members that championed her novel writing journey. “They believed in
me before I did.”

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Leadership Virtual Book Tour

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Reaching Out, Pulling Up, Holding On, to Stand Strong Together

 

Nonfiction / Leadership

Date Published: March 24, 2022

Publisher: Mindstir Media

 

What is a ‘Shipmate’?

FORCM (SW) Thomas J. Snee, USN, (Ret)

 

This question has often been expressed and shared with me. The ‘white hat’,
as we were so often called, ‘halfcocked’ on the back of our heads, defined
us as persons, who were alwayssearching and looking out to sea for a new
life. The right foot on the lines, not to jump or surrender, but a ‘leg up’
on life’s challenges in thought and ideas by persons we call,
SHIPMATES

You see, most of us ‘signed on as young men’, for the seas and a new
adventure. We left our hometowns to create, make, and hopefully aim our
‘shot line’, into new friendships and ports of call. No, we did not forget
our hometown friends, but rather, rediscovered a whole new world. Some may
think, that when our ‘brows’ were pulled up, we departed, but to move on,
from those anchored pasts. These valued bonds were left for other gangplanks
in another life. We moved on to make new and bigger bow waves for smoother
wakes, in life’s high seas. We did not sign on to organizations or
associations to be forgotten, with titles or positions, but as persons of
dignity, value, and self-worth, or simply, as SHIPMATES.

So, when you meet that casual friend, remember, they too are persons on a
sea detail away from home. They were searching for a bonding as SHIPMATES
for a new life. Sometimes lonely, but always, just a bonding in friendship,
from the many sea tales of the past, as a SHIPMATE. We are not just another
name on the rolls, but real persons, who have feelings, emotions, and needs
to reconnect those shot line crossings to each other’s bows. We are, after
all, and always will be, SHIPMATES, in LEADERSHIP!

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Blood On Their Hands Blitz

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Legal Thriller

Published: February 9, 2022

Publisher: Precipice Press

 

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A lawyer defends a young Black man who was brutally assaulted by two
bigoted police officers and discovers a deeper conspiracy that endangers his
life.

Hiram Garbuncle is a veteran criminal defense attorney—as well as a
racist, miserly alcoholic. His life revolves around hoarding money,
following sports, pursuing sex, drinking—and the prideful practice of
law.

Alec Monceau is a Black man working to support his daughter’s family
in Trinidad. It is 2008, and his car carries an Obama bumper sticker. This
political advertisement leads to a superfluous traffic stop and a brutal
beating by police.

It goes against Garbuncle’s grain to defend a Black man from a charge
of violently resisting arrest, but he is so confident of winning that he is
negligent in the jury selection, and a mistrial occurs. He then discovers
incriminating evidence on the two cops, and his new challenge becomes how to
keep himself and his client alive pending a new trial.

BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS words) is a legal thriller that borrows themes from
the movies Gran Torino and My Cousin Vinnie. It relies on the author’s
experience as a newspaper reporter who once covered a Ku Klux Klan
meeting.

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Excerpt

The overhead lighting bounced off Garbuncle’s face, which glowed with
after-shave lotion. His straight, graying hair was slicked back from a
receding hairline. He wore a bright yellow leisure suit a la the
nineteen-seventies, pressed and neat except for a small red wine stain on a
lapel. A fire-engine-red shirt and royal-blue tied completed his ensemble.
Glistening black patent leather shoes competed with his face for reflection
of the ceiling lighting.

Garbuncle motioned for Alec to rise, and pointed to the witness stand. Alec
walked with a hesitant gait, glancing to his right at the six-member
jury.

“Now, Alec, I want you to tell the court what happened on the evening
of April eighteen that led to your arrest.” Alec wore an anxious look,
and Garbuncle said, “Go ahead, Alec. You may speak.”


“I drive west on Lake Worth
Road, go home from Computer Freak. I work dere.”


“Excuse me, Alec. What time
of day was it?”


“About forty-five minutes
after 7 o’clock.”


“Was it beginning to
get dark?”


“Yes, but not all da
way.”


“So it was about as dark as
you? Never mind, that was a joke.” A broad smirk.


Judge Crabtree jerked his head
back, staring with eyes wide. Alec had a blank look.


“Tell us what happened
next,” said Garbuncle.


“I see red light in back
mirror, den I hear police car.”


“You mean you heard a
siren?”


“Yes, dat it. I forgot what
it called. I know should drive right side of road, but no can move. Cars in
dat lane. I go slow, and when cars past, drive to right lane. Police car
come behind me. I turn onto road at corner, go past water on side, den park.
I get out. Police park car behind. One walk to me. He ask me why I no move
over quick. I say no can, cars dere. He hit me on head wid
stick.”


“Do you mean his billy
club?”


“Dat what it called? Yes,
club—long, narrow.”


“Tell me which of those two
men sitting at that table”—Garbuncle turned back toward the
defense table and pointed—“which one struck you.”


Alec pulled his shoulders in and
hesitated. Garbuncle could see the fear in his client’s face.


“It’s all right. He
can’t hurt you now. You need to tell us which one struck
you.”


“Dat strong man, tall.
Young.”


Garbuncle pointed to him.
“You mean that one? Larry Pickens?”


“Yes.”


The cop’s face
was impassive.


“Did Officer Pickens say
anything to you?


“Yes. He yell at me I
resis’ arres’, and he teach me lesson.”


“What happened
next?”


“Den oder policeman come
from police car, say I need fix back light, no put Obama sticker on bumper.
I try tell him get light fixed tomorrow. He hit me in stomach wid club. I no
can breat’. Oder policeman hit me wid club back of neck.” He
placed his hand just above his shirt collar.


“I fall on ground. Dey put
handcuffs on me, pull me up. Hurt very bad. Dey injure my shoulder. I wear
ting for arm two weeks.”


“Do you mean a
sling?”


“Yes, yes. Doctor call it
sling.”


“Then what
happened?”


“Strong policeman ask where
I from. I say Trinidad. He hit me wid club low on legs. He say I look like
Obama. He say monkeys take over country. I tink he mean Obama and me
monkeys.”


The judge, his dome shiny through
strands of white hair, noticed Garbuncle trying to squelch a laugh, but
allowing a smile to open. “Counselor, do you think that’s
funny?”


Garbuncle saw, peering over the
top of wire-rimmed glasses, a stern face. His grin vanished like a rabbit
disappearing at a magician’s snap of the fingers. “Oh, no, Your
Honor. A joke I heard last night popped into my head for some reason. I
apologize.”

 

About the Author

Bob Brink

Bob Brink is a journalist who worked with several large newspaper
organizations and a group of magazines. His byline has been on thousands of
news stories, features, and entertainment reviews.

He now is embarked on authoring books. His newest book, the legal thriller
Blood on Their Hands, follows Murder in Palm Beach: The Homicide That Never
Died, a roman à clef about a real, sensational 1976 murder that made
headlines for 15 years, and made news again a few years ago with a new
development in the case. The book became an Amazon best seller.

His other books are: Breaking Out, a coming-of-age novel; The Way We Were:
Short Stories and Tall Tales; and A Tale of Two Continents, a ghost-written
memoir. He has completed a work of creative nonfiction about a woman who led
an audacious life of crime and married a death row inmate who later was
beaten to death by guards; a search for a publisher is underway.

Brink has won numerous writing accolades and several awards, including
three for Palm Beach Illustrated, which won the Best Written Magazine award
from the Florida Magazine Association after he became copy chief and
writer.

Besides dabbling in short-story writing over the years, Brink immersed
himself in learning to play the clarinet and tenor saxophone. He performed
many years with an estimable, 65-piece community symphonic band, and played
a few professional big band gigs.

A product of Michigan and Iowa, Brink has a bachelor’s degree in
English and German from Drake University in Des Moines and completed
graduate journalism studies at the University of Iowa.

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Circle of Roses Week Blitz

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The Mystery of Frankenstein’s Bride Series

Horror

Date Published: 06-24-2022

Stopping the unstoppable is what Rose Cortez does best.

Terra, Frankenstein’s ex, is using the old electric machine to bring the
dead back for fun now. After running into zombies her old psychic Rose must
do something about the machine Frankenstein’s Bride can’t give up. Is there
a way to get the machine away from her and her terror of lurking zombies?
Rose and her band of psychics find out when one of them is found dead.

Rose is a powerful psychic detective and ghost hunter. Revenge is what she
wants after the death one year ago of her husband. Now her psychic comrade
is dead too and she’s had enough. Terra’s second life can’t last forever.
The way to stop her is not so easy!

 

EXCERPT

  Fern was excited as she wanted to start immediately.  “I’ll be there first thing in the morning!”

***

     As soon as Rose opened the doors to the shop the next morning, Fern arrived with boxes of things she needed for readings. She started calling herself a psychic reader and ghost buster and had cards made up. Within a few days, her business was booming, and the other two psychics joined the team.  Rose kept her eyes open for Terra and her zombies but didn’t see any until one evening when she and Fern were alone in the shop and they heard a moan and then a dog barking. “I’m sure I heard a zombie,” Rose said. “What has Terra been up to?”

     They ran to the window and looked out.  There were three long-dead zombies walking down the street to Terra’s house.  The two of them looked at each other, then ran into the bathroom and locked the door.  “I’m gonna get to the bottom of this,” Rose whispered.

     “How can I help?” Fern asked.

     “This will be more difficult than a reading.  They must be destroyed.  Do you know how to kill zombies?” she asked.

     “Yes, just shoot them in the head,” Fern answered.

     Rose nodded.  “Terra won’t go easy.  I want to get that galvanism machine from her.  It’s in her shed right now, but this will take more than one person.  Maybe Lily and Violet will help.”

     “And you can’t just call the police.  They won’t believe you.”

     “When I looked at her through the window the other day, she was different.  Old and deader looking.  Who knows how long she will last undead?”

     “She can’t be that hard to destroy, then,” Fern said.

     “I’ll see what my crystals can do. If anything.”

***

     The three zombies sat in Terra’s backyard.  Her galvanism machine was plugged into her backyard outlet as her creepy old mansion did not have a garage.  The zombies then approached the machine and one of them bent the wire back that conducts electricity.  Terra did a back-bend and her face wrinkled.  “You stupid heap!”  She stood up and straightened the wire.  Looking a little younger, she brushed the zombies away from the machine as her long gray hair blew in the wind.  The neighborhood dogs were barking now and she rolled her eyes.  

     “Maybe I should lock this thing away,”she said to herself.  Then to the zombies, “Curiosity killed the cat!  No, I think I’ll lock you away.”  She grabbed a pole and started pushing them toward the shed but the zombies managed to grab it out of her hands.  They began to hit her with it until she backed into the shed and then they locked her in!

     Terra flipped on the shed light, trying to think happy thoughts.  She sat down and remembered things about her childhood.  Like her father cutting down the Christmas tree and ice skating with her cousins while her mom watched.  Thoughts of fireplaces and hot chocolate always warmed her.  Zombies were afraid of fire, not her.  The fear made her realize the zombies obviously knew her weakness.  They could kill her with the machine or by leaving her in the shed.

     She created them hoping they would be like Frankenstein, but they never were.  Frankenstein was evil at the start.  There would never be another.  She heard the zombies shuffle away and wondered, How long will I last?

 

About the Author

Martha Wickham

Martha has studied writing with Writer’s Digest.  She is the author of
many short stories and books and still likes getting writing prompts.

Contact Link

Twitter @MarthaWickham

 

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Becoming a Bedside Advocate Virtual Book Tour

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Nonfiction / Nursing Homes

Date Published: January 3, 2022

Publisher: MindStir Media

 

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At some point in our lives, we are all likely to serve as bedside advocate
for a hospitalized loved one. And, just as likely to be woefully unprepared
when that happens.

The ordinary person has no idea how to navigate hospital chaos and engage
with medical professionals on behalf of their family member or friend.

There is very often no support system, guidebook or coaching available to
us. Yet the better prepared we are to work harmoniously with medical care
teams, the more everyone involved will benefit.

This book aims to humanize the role of bedside advocate by sharing the
author’s lessons learned along with valuable information and insight
provided by medical care professionals.

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