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Innerspace Virtual Book Tour

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Literary, Psychedelic, New Adult, Friendship

Date Published: 08-02-2021

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Four close friends, a beach, a fire, a trip to remember

 

“We’re ready to take flight on our next big adventure, supplies
packed, minds clear…The air is charged with sherbet-zing
anticipation. We’re in formation. Ecstatic motion. Screaming down the
hill towards the beach.”

Everyone has secrets. Some are darker than others. Ethel, Isaac, Moana, and
Henry are about to embark on their last psychedelic adventure together
before Moana leaves for Australia

Each of the four has something soul-scarring to hide, something
they’ve vowed to take to their graves. But when the psilocybin kicks
in, psychological doors spring open and all past and present lives are laid
bare.

Will the experience bring them closer to each other and closer to
understanding themselves, or will it devastate them?

 

Content warning: contains strong language, use of psilocybin mushrooms and
other substances, trauma themes.

 

 

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EXCERPT

First chapter

 

Ethel

The library is busy for a Friday. The steady flow is punctuated by the tension-induced banter of tired week-day staff who just want the weekend to come. Celeste bustles over to me – I always think of her movements in this way, probably because of the high heels and tight skirts that inhibit her movement. I’m shelving romances. She brushes lint from my shoulder. I try to hold back the instinct to recoil. My smile is a grimace.

“What are you up to this weekend?” 

Usually I say something like “reading” or “cleaning the house” because that’s a usual weekend thing, and Celeste responds with “aw” or “sad” or “lame” and looks pityingly at me. Her idea of fun is going into town, barely clad, and drinking until she falls over. This time I try a different approach, just to see how she reacts: “I’m getting wasted with my friends at the beach.” 

“Wow, Ethel.” Celeste puts the back of her palm up to my forehead, a playful-mocking gesture. “You feeling okay? I’ve never heard you say such a thing!”  She heads towards a customer at the counter, but pauses, looks back and squints, “I thought you didn’t drink.”

I don’t. Hopefully she won’t start inviting me out clubbing under the impression that I do. Drinking and I don’t mix well. Alcohol makes me nauseous if I have any more than a drink or two. I continue returning the heavily thumbed romances to their shelves. These ones are getting old. They’ll be out on the $1 rack soon and we’ll replace them with newer pulp. Their yellowing pages and the smell of cardboard and vanilla give them away. These books with their formulaic plots and two-dimensional characters don’t mean anything to me, but I hold them up and inhale anyway. 

Real books have smells that eBooks can never replace. The process of the paper breaking down, slowly, releases a compound similar in structure to vanillin. So that is what I’m inhaling: the smell of books dying.

I push my empty trolley back towards the counter. A familiar foreboding figure awaits, her back straight as a ruler, grey hair pulled into a tight knot. Agatha Millen. I contemplate going into the back room where we catalogue books, just to escape her, but I see Celeste has gotten there before me. Agatha turns her head and I instinctively want to duck behind the biographies. It’s too late. She’s seen me. 

“Excuse me.” Her tone is overbearing, even when her words are polite. She beckons with her bony fingers.

“How may I help you?” I try to smile.

“Oh, it’s you, the clumsy one. Well, don’t dither about. I need to track down the first edition of my father’s History of Paraguay. Of course, the family has several copies, but I know there’s one in the library system and I want to ensure it is returned to us before you toss it out like those poor sods outside.”

This is a fairly common Agatha request. She comes in every week asking for obscure volumes written by her family and acquaintances. Her unpleasantness forms a kind of parody of herself, reminding me of the judgemental elderly neighbours in my childhood who asked invasive questions about my broken shoes, my messy hair, my mother. I flinch but try not to show it. I can’t find the book on the system, anyway. It must have been tossed already. “I’ll look into it for you.”

Agatha fixes me with one of her piercing stares, emitting a kind of psychic toxin from behind her spectacles. I feel my soul withering. Thank God it’s almost the weekend.

 

About the Author

JR Bryant

JR Bryant has spent many years researching psychedelic experiences and has
written multiple novels under different pen names. They live in New
Zealand

 

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Gavin Goode – Tour

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Contemporary/Literary
Date Published: 6.27.19
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
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“I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but I think I died today.” So begins the complex and mysterious journey of Gavin Goode and his family. What happened to Gavin and why? What secrets will emerge along the way? Frankie, his wife and a dress store owner, feels guilty, but why? His son, Ryan, who owns an ice cream parlor, and daughter-in-law, Jenna, who is a bank manager, are expecting their first baby. How will this trauma affect them? And what of Rosemary, Frankie’s best friend? Or Ben Hillman and eleven-year-old, Christopher? How are they implicated in the events that unfold around Gavin’s misfortune? This is a story of despair and hope, dreams and reality, uncertainty and faith, humor, secrecy, forgiveness and beginnings.

Excerpt 

Chapter 1  Gavin Goode Gavin awakens to an unexpected development.

“I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but I think I died today.” Gavin is a perceptive guy. He looks at this problem from every angle. Where is his body, for instance? Why doesn’t he see anything or feel anything? Hear? Smell? Where has the world gone? He doesn’t have a clue what happened. He doesn’t remember anything. Surely there would have been a warning sign, something that cried out, “Mayday, mayday! Brace yourself!” But there was nothing… He traces his final hours as best he can… He thinks back a little further, searching for clues. Last Tuesday he saw Dr. Nguyen for his annual. Blood test, prostate exam (not a fan), ticker check, everything was normal. “You are in good shape for your age, Mr. Goode,” said the doctor. “What does that mean?” thought Gavin. “Someone my age? I’m fifty-two, which isn’t young, I’ll grant you that, but it’s not old, not these days. Maybe in my old man’s time, but not today. Fifty has to be ‘the new’…something younger…”

He’d been afraid of death for as long as he could remember. Every lump or bump was cancer. And every odd looking crap was also cancer. He always assumed the Big C was sneaking around his insides, like ISIS metastasizing, calling up reinforcements, slinking around in his cracks and crevices, waiting for the right time to attack. It happens. Let’s say you feel great but you’re due for your flu shot, so you go to the doctor’s and just as you are leaving, you say, “By the way, doc, before I go, could you take a look at this thing on my leg?” And your doctor’s eyes narrow as she studies the tiny black bruise. She excuses herself and returns with a senior colleague who takes his glasses off the top of his head so he can get a better look, only to remove them again and shake his head. Your doctor shakes her head, too, and says, “Should have come in months ago.” You know the rest…

Gavin has issues. It all started with his grandfather, his Papa, who lived with them when he was a boy. He was close to Papa, who played catch with him, explored the woods near their house with him, read books with him, made bird houses with him, did just about everything with the young Gavin. As Gavin grew up and Papa got older, things changed. They didn’t hang together as much. Papa stayed home watching TV most of the time. 

One day Gavin comes home from school and Papa is sitting in his recliner, Days of Our Lives blaring on the TV. Gavin calls to him, “Hey Papa, how’s it going?” When he doesn’t answer, Gavin figures he can’t hear, so he cranks it up, “PAPA, HOW’S IT GOING?” Nothing. So he walks over to Papa’s chair and taps him on the shoulder, at which point, Papa slumps over to one side. Totally scares the shit out of young Gavin. He thinks of doing CPR, but he can’t bring himself to get that involved with his grandfather’s mouth. The creepiness factor is too high. Anyway, as far as Gavin can tell Papa is long gone. 

So he calls his mother who totally freaks at the news. She drops the phone and dashes home as fast as she can. But no matter what she does, it still takes at least twenty minutes for her to get there. Twenty minutes alone with dead Papa. What to do, right? Watch the show with him? Talk to him? Close his mouth? Prop him up and comb his hair so he looks more like himself when Gavin’s mother gets home? In the end, Gavin can’t touch his grandfather. 

It had been a long day at school. Gavin missed lunch because of a meeting with his school counselor and he’s starving. So he goes to the kitchen to make himself a sandwich. He thinks of going back into the living room, but it seems disrespectful to eat in front of Papa, considering the condition he’s in, so Gavin stays in the kitchen. 

That’s where he is when his mother gets home. Let’s just say she isn’t pleased and she doesn’t understand Gavin’s reasoning. “He’s your last grandparent! At least sit with him! God knows he sat with you often enough!” Gavin wants to say, “Hey, I’m, like, I came home and there’s Papa sitting in front of the TV, all dead, and no one’s around and it totally scared the crap out of me. At least I stayed in the house. I didn’t run out into the street screaming like a crazy person, which is what I wanted to do. Shouldn’t I get points for that? It may not have been ‘A’ work on my part, but it wasn’t an ‘F’ either; it was at least a ‘C’ or ‘C-’.” But in a moment of rare wisdom he doesn’t say anything. He realizes that basically she is right, though he still feels that eating a peanut butter and sweet pickle sandwich in front of his dead grandfather would not have been in good taste.

About the Author

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David B. Seaburn’s first novel, Darkness is as Light, was published in 2005. He followed with Pumpkin Hill (2007), Charlie No Face (2011), a Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award in General Fiction, Chimney Bluffs (2012), More More Time (2015), and Parrot Talk (2017), which placed second in the TAZ Awards for Fiction (2017) and was short listed for the Somerset Award (2018). Seaburn’s upcoming novel, Gavin Goode, will be released in June 2019.
Seaburn is a retired marriage and family therapist, psychologist and Presbyterian minister who lives in Spencerport, NY with his wife, Bonnie. They have two daughters who are married and three wonderful grandchildren. After serving a rural parish for six years, Seaburn entered the mental health field. He was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center for nearly twenty years. There he was Director of the Family Therapy Training Program (Psychiatry) and Coordinator of the Psychosocial Medicine Rotation (Family Medicine). He also taught, practiced and conducted research. He published over sixty academic articles and two books. In 2005, Seaburn left the Medical Center to become Director of the Family Support Center in the Spencerport Central School District, a free counseling center for students and their families. Seaburn is currently a writing instructor at Writers and Books in Rochester, NY.
Visit his website at www.davidbseaburn.com.
Read his Psychology Today magazine blog at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/going-out-not-knowing.
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Well Below Heaven – Reveal

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Literary / YA (older teen)
Publisher: Cur Dog Press
Published Date: February 7, 2019
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Seventeen year old Kelly is in a spartan boarding school in northern Idaho, sent away for drugs—as planned. Her little brother Sammy is left home in Missouri, getting ready for high school. He is twitchy, quick, writes dark poetry and longs to play football. He’s also got a nose for trouble, and Kelly has left a sordid truckload. Her sadistic ex is involved, so is one twisted teacher, and so is the object of Sammy’s crush. He’s in deep, and Kelly’s warnings fall flat, and the consequences will be dire.

 

About the Author
After an adolescence survived in the Midwest and a few obligatory years at the university, Idyllwild Eliot embarked on a journey of internal and external exploration. With stints in Houston, Louisiana, and even Thailand, where she studied yoga, Ms. Eliot has become a semi-professional vagabond. Most recently (at the time of publication) she has been experiencing the North American west. If not sipping a cocktail on a deck in the northern Rockies, she might be found bodysurfing in Southern California, watching Bald Eagles in Montana, or in some other picturesque town hiking, meditating, or sitting with her laptop open and, at its side, a stout mug of black coffee. Well Below Heaven is her debut.
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