Tag Archives: FICTION

El Gringo Tour

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Fiction
Date Published: January 2018
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Sonny Galas is an only child being raised by his mother-a widow—and the loving help of his grandfather, also widowed. Living in a Santa Monica apartment complex owned by ‘Grandpa’ all is well and average for this close-knit family until a certain French family come into the picture, in need of a place to rent. They soon show their colors in various ways, topping it off by slapping a suit on their patient, kind landlord. Sonny’s family sees no better option than selling their only asset-the apartments-and getting far away from their Lawyer-packing tenants. Far, as in ‘leaving the country’, and this is where their true adventure begins. South of the border becomes their new home. 

 

 

 

From their journey through third-world narrow roads, small towns where no English is spoken, to long, hot unending desert roads and through humid coastal towns they continue toward their big city destination, Guadalajara, where their life begins and they encounter everything and everyone from kind helpers to con-artists and crazies and from strangers to good friends, both Mexican and American. From young boy to teenager, as the years pass, Sonny sees it all: his family’s ups and downs, the country’s ups and downs with its own political third-world corruption, and his own transformation from a simple boy in a new country to a growing youth, fully fluent in Spanish; a devilish yet fun-loving teenager now with roots firmly planted and sprouting happily in his new home, his new country. From the adventures and joys of boyhood with his friends and pals to the wild days through grade school, junior high and high school with the opportunities given him as a bi-lingual kid to living through the set-backs that could trouble any family-Mexican or American-even scare of the faint of heart, he takes it all in; after all, now he’s Mexican. The fiestas, the friends, the awesome busy modern streets of Guadalajara in the early Seventies to the early Eighties, Guadalajara, the country’s capital of Mariachis.

 

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EXCERPT
“I sat in the backseat, staring behind at the apartments as we took off in that little lemon of a car we had–a 1970 Ford Pinto–that gave my mother trouble at least once every  other week, to the point that even the mechanics had given up on it. In any case, we puttered off southbound toward the international border…” (chapter 3)
Edmond Salus
 
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Jungle Beauty Goddesses: Dirty Ball Blitz

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Jungle Beauty Goddesses Book Series 3 of 7
Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Erotica
Date Published: November 9, 2019
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Dirty Ball by Cassandra George Sturges is the third book in the fantasy fiction mythological series Jungle Beauty Goddesses, preceded by book one, Pretty Blue Ball, and book two, Aquatic Ball. In this installment, the Jungle Beauty Goddess Afar is the star as her journey goes from youth through her evolution as an independent and dynamic deity—Goddess of Earth—and how she wields such an extraordinary responsibility and uninhibited power. As she sculpts and molds and creates, she finds that the one thing she cannot control is the free will of her creations…not their emotions, not their hearts. She also steps back and lets her children (the people of Earth) rule themselves, watching as they rise and fall by color and continent alongside her reluctant partner, Mada.
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About the Author

Cassandra George Sturges is the author of “A Woman’s Soul on Paper,” “Success & Beauty is an Attitude,” “The Illusion of Beauty: Why Women Hate Themselves & Envy Other Women,” and “Why Racism is a Mental Illness.” For many years, she was an advice columnist for Today’s Black Woman Magazine and is currently a full-time psychology and sociology professor at a college in the mid-west. She is a high school dropout who graduated with her General Education Diploma and eventually earned five college degrees including two masters and a doctorate degree. In her late forties, she began making life-size fabric sculpture, cloth dolls that turned out to be the main characters in her Jungle Beauty Goddesses coming of age, modern creation Nubian Mythology fantasy fiction, sensuous, romantic series. She is the mother of two adult children, a grandmother, and for over 20-years has shared her life with her twin flame.

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Jungle Beauty Goddesses: Dirty Ball Teaser

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Jungle Beauty Goddesses Book Series 3 of 7
Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Erotica
Date Published: November 9, 2019
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Dirty Ball by Cassandra George Sturges is the third book in the fantasy fiction mythological series Jungle Beauty Goddesses, preceded by book one, Pretty Blue Ball, and book two, Aquatic Ball. In this installment, the Jungle Beauty Goddess Afar is the star as her journey goes from youth through her evolution as an independent and dynamic deity—Goddess of Earth—and how she wields such an extraordinary responsibility and uninhibited power. As she sculpts and molds and creates, she finds that the one thing she cannot control is the free will of her creations…not their emotions, not their hearts. She also steps back and lets her children (the people of Earth) rule themselves, watching as they rise and fall by color and continent alongside her reluctant partner, Mada.
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About the Author

Cassandra George Sturges is the author of “A Woman’s Soul on Paper,” “Success & Beauty is an Attitude,” “The Illusion of Beauty: Why Women Hate Themselves & Envy Other Women,” and “Why Racism is a Mental Illness.” For many years, she was an advice columnist for Today’s Black Woman Magazine and is currently a full-time psychology and sociology professor at a college in the mid-west. She is a high school dropout who graduated with her General Education Diploma and eventually earned five college degrees including two masters and a doctorate degree. In her late forties, she began making life-size fabric sculpture, cloth dolls that turned out to be the main characters in her Jungle Beauty Goddesses coming of age, modern creation Nubian Mythology fantasy fiction, sensuous, romantic series. She is the mother of two adult children, a grandmother, and for over 20-years has shared her life with her twin flame.

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Hap the Prize Winning Horse Blitz

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Christian Literature & Fiction
Date Published: November 2019
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Hap, the Prize-Winning Horse is such a positive, charming tale of triumphing over obstacles. There is so much heart and dedication in this novella, and you will feel invested in Hap’s journey and Kemper County.
There was once a horse named, Hap. He was purchased along with several other horses by Bennett Wingate and he grew up on a farm in Kemper County, Mississippi. When Hap was young, he had aspirations of being great and becoming a great race horse. However, his owners, the Windgates, did not have much money to put him in the best races nor train him to compete for the big prize (s). These setbacks did not stop Hap from dreaming. He knew that if he kept the faith and maintained his determination that one day his dreams would be accomplished. This is a story of triumph over many obstacles and tragedies. But, the central theme throughout the story is that if you maintain a positive attitude, determination, hope, and perseverance you can dream big and those dreams can become a reality.
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 Excerpt
Chapter 3: Setbacks to make the dream a reality
Even though, Hap had many setbacks early on it was the dream that kept him going. While sitting in Bennett Wingate’s barn each and every day, he would sit in his stall and constantly reflect on what it would be like to win a great race, perhaps the Kentucky Derby. But, the true reality was that his owner did not have much money and Hap realized this. The only true enjoyment that this horse would experience would be riding with his owner after he got home from work each day. However, Bennett had to share his responsibilities and love with horses, the young Hap and the older horse, Jackal. The older horse was quite stubborn and obstinate and at times posed several behavioral problems. But, Bennett and Delores adored this horse even more than Hap it appears. This made Hap especially uneasy because he knew that Jackal had a terrible attitude. He knew this because he was around this horse each and every day.
Matter of fact, Jackal harassed Hap, ate his food, and at times would use the bathroom in his stall. He knew that Hap was young and he took advantage of him on numerous occasions. Jackal told Hap one day that he was going to “kick him out to the wild” and off of the Wingate Farm if he did not obey him and follow his lead. Unfortunately, Bennett Wingate would not see this side of Jackal until the end, a tragic end at that.
Bennett Wingate was a simple man who believed in the simple things in life. He went to church on Sunday’s as a Deacon at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, then went home to sit down, drink a beer, and spit tobacco in the empty can. Pleasant Hill Baptist was a church that Bennett was born and raised, literally.  Most folks in the community knew him by Junior because he was actually born Bennett Wingate, Jr. He was name after his father. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and an all around outdoorsman kind of guy. But, believed in hunting deer in the Winter and turkey in the Spring time.
Yes, Bennett was a simple man living a simple life. But lately his fascination outside of his hunting and fishing was his adoration for his grandkids and horses. Every day after working long hours at the reservoir, he went straight home, fed his cows, and got on his horse. The majority of the time he rode the older horse, Jackal, and let his grandkids ride, Hap.
“Junior, you are always riding that horse” Delores exclaimed. “Do you ever think about others but those horses?” Bennett would state emphatically, “Now, Delores, honey you know that you are my first love”. “Besides after a long day riding around the reservoir, I need a little down time and this relaxes me.” He would say with a huge grin on his face. So, it was his passion and it was not lost on anyone who visited their home. But what Delores did not realize is that he would take his grandson, Curtis with him while he tended the fields and cows. This would have a profound affect on young Curtis because he loved his “ Pa Pa” dearly, and clinged to his every word.  How great it was to visit the Wingates, though because while Bennett was passionate about outdoors, animals, and wildlife his wife, Delores, was passionate about cooking. She worked all her years as a cook at several cafés and restaurants around East Mississippi. Her pound cakes would simply “melt in your mouth” They were just that good!
About the Author

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Author, Christian, avid sports enthusiast, Tuskegee Univ., Webster Univ and The GWU alum.
Horace Crenshaw is an accomplished author, business consultant, and motivational speaker. He infuses core concepts such as focus, discipline, leadership and drive into every aspect of his life. He uses these same core concepts to help his clients excel at the highest level, and achieve excellence. Horace loves seeing other people thrive, and he enjoys being an active member of the community.
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Needs Work Blitz

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Fiction
Published: October 2019
Publisher: Paragraph Line Books
Once upon a time in Cleveland… Phil Derleth, a former Army “combat cartoonist,” comes home to Cleveland, Ohio after a messy divorce. Phil is brain-damaged from a war wound and there are holes in his memory. His father Larry, a stone mason living on disability, takes him in. Soon enough, Phil finds himself embroiled in all sorts of trouble, including dodging the Ohio Department of Transportation, blood-stealing tramps, the ghost of his dead mother and stray dogs who are more than they appear to be. One stray in particular will show Phil the way back to a life that he may have forgotten.
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 Excerpt

 

I was let go.
That was months after my wife threw me out, taking our daughter with her. I was twenty-seven and starting all over again with life. I moved in with my father. Moved back to Ohio, a place that I thought I’d left in the rearview mirror. Instead, it was in my cracked and hazy windshield.
My car, a ten-year-old Ford Mustang, broke down in my father’s driveway never to recover. It had thrown a rod.
I got out of the car. The parking brake popped. The car slowly rolled into the street. A small fire crackled under the hood. In few minutes, dark black smoke poured out from the undercarriage and a red glow simmered within the passenger compartment. For a moment, I saw a shadow behind the wheel, a remnant of my former self, the one who was so confident that he would never again grace the state of Ohio. A small explosion. Another small explosion. They sounded less like explosions than someone manually popping a paper lunch sack. The driver’s side front wheel fell off and the car tilted over. The Mustang emblem clinked onto the pavement. A car, and then another car, drove past as if this sort of thing happened all the time. Nothing to get excited about.
“My clothes are in there,” I said aloud. “My employee of the month certificate. My Army uniforms. My crazy pills.”
My father emerged from the tiny house I’d grown up in, leaning forward on an aluminum walker, a wry grin on his mossy face. There was a reason why he’d never grown a beard while my mother was alive. The beard was patchy in so many ways. The coloration was wrong. The growth was uneven. There were too many things wrong with his beard to list.
The look he sent my way told me that he hadn’t yet forgiven me for not coming around while my mother was dying. I came to the funeral. Wasn’t that enough?
The police arrived. They pulled their cruiser up to the curb. A decal on the side of the car read, POLICE INTERCEPTOR. An older fat patrolman strolled up to me. He stood alongside me in silence and we watched my car burn for a while. Finally, he said, “That yours?” His name tag said, SMITH.
“Yes,” I said. “I have no money.”
“Who does?” He patted me on the shoulder solicitously.
The flames licked the air. It was sensuous.
“This is my son.” My father was beside us, opposite the cop.
“Total loss,” the friendly, gray-haired patrolman said. He rubbed his belly like there was a cat underneath his shirt.
His partner, a youngish woman, her hair pinched into a severe bun at the nape of her neck, stood near the car in the street, waving other cars past. When the street was clear, she pulled out her ticket pad and wrote me up.
My state of Illinois vanity plate fell off the back. It read, “E4MAFIA.” It was a joke that wasn’t funny now that I was out of the Army. I’d been out of the Army for years. I was in the Army for four years, most of it spent in a Navy hospital in Illinois, recovering from my war wounds. The Navy corpsmen would wheel us all up to the roof of the hospital at times, I remembered. We’d sit up there, high above the base, staring at Lake Michigan. It was calming. The hospital specialized in traumatic brain injuries. It was why we were all there. We were learning to speak again. To feed ourselves. To walk. To read and write. The Navy’s corpsmen school was there, so the student corpsmen would come by to gawk at us, or help us out with basic things. Eating. Finding our way back to our ward.
About the Author

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John L. Sheppard, a graduate of the MFA@FLA creative writing program at the University of Florida, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He lives in Illinois.
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