Spotlight & Giveaway: The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks by Alvita Mack

Book Title: The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks by Alvita Mack
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 26 pages
Genre: Children’s Books, Cars, Trains & Things That Go, Cars & Trucks
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: September 26, 2016
Tour dates: May 28 to June 22, 2018
Content Rating: G

 

Book Description:

This story is about a little boy who is fascinated by fire trucks. Throughout his early life, he has dreams about the adventures at the station and the exciting life of a firefighter. The little boy holds his dreams close until one day they become a reality.

To follow the tour please visit Alvita Mack’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

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Meet the Author:
Alvita is a lover of writing, a teacher, and most importantly, a mom. Writing has always provided a creative outlet for which she finds sensible solutions. Having a son with developmental delays was very challenging for her. However, she used books and original stories to help him overcome the obstacles he faced at an early age. Alvita believes that the imagination is truly a key that unlocks the doors to an endless journey.
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Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram
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Enter the Giveaway!
Ends June 30, 2018

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Spotlight: A New Bible in three testaments

This is the story of the Universe and Life… of origins and history… arranged in Three Testaments to honour the supreme achievements of the talented men and women who have been unravelling the mysteries of the cosmos and evolution.

The book has the essence of a new bible—not a Holy Bible, not a sacred text, but a scientific one presenting facts without fables, and history without distortion. These Testaments bear witness to truths gained by observation, instrumentation, insight, intelligence, reason, and the application of physical laws and the formulation of harmonious, logical models. In defining the latest wisdom, they spell out the fundamentals of the physics of the wonders of the Universe—all the while acquiring ever-better perfection in scientific detail. It is testimony and eulogy, in praise of high scholarship and logic—the ultimate Enlightenment.

The Third Testament is the story of humanity as it proceeds to the present-day—humans enriched with high intelligence and a genetically promising future. And yet, despite all the successes here narrated, the volume draws to a close by sadly asking (Epilogue page 305) “How did it come about that Homo sapiens in the course of its 160,000 years of progress got itself into the current mess”—referring to the amalgam of authoritarian religions, undemocratic governments, reckless overpopulation, and irresponsible worldwide waste on land and ocean?

 

Excerpt from the book:

  1. “Darwin’s work is one of the finest contributions demonstrative of human intelligence in the history of science.
  2. His book is one of the greatest scientific books ever written. Yet unlike most others it is easily understandable by educated non-specialist readers because there are no graphs, mathematics, or deeply specialized language and the subject matter is of the profoundest concern to everybody.
  3. On The Origin of Species was revolutionary because it properly explained what had previously been treated only by religious allegory.
  4. “Along with Newton and Shakespeare, Darwin is Britain’s greatest gift to the world. His guiding genius hovers over all of modern biology”, as expressed by Richard Dawkins, prior to the opening of the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, London, in 2002.
  5. Evolution explained the life sciences and human origins without recourse to divine intervention. With it, archaeology came of age. The Antiquity of Man by Charles Lyell was published in 1863 and Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex in 1871.
  6. The study of archaeology soared to a high profile.
  7. “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science”. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man. “
  8. “We must acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system – with all these exalted powers – Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” Charles Darwin, Descent of Man.
  9. Darwin famously wrote in a letter to botanist Joseph Hooker in February 1871 that life had perhaps begun in “some warm little pond” somewhere on Earth if it were full of “ammonia, phosphoric salts, light, heat and electricity.”
  10. The latest research into origins of life announced in 2017 may support the idea. Tara Djokic and colleagues reported in Nature Communications that new fossil finds of organic life in rocks containing geyserites in Western Australia were dateable to 3.48 billion years ago. This mineral could only have formed in hot springs on land. The organisms were hollowed-out tubular structures called stromatolites—and the site is in the Dresser Formation in Pilbara.”

 

“A New Bible in Three Testaments” is available in hardback and paperback from Amazon UK. It is also available from Amazon US.

 

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

 New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 711 956
E-mail:  info@newgeneration-publishing.com

New Release: Transformation: The Hidden Mystery by Ewanga Sakwe

An incredible and fascinating journey of young Kenzie who was indoctrinated to maintain his aristocratic childhood. He was brainwashed by his friends, and accordingly, he became an active gang member with extremist ideology.

He inherited much wealth from his parents and grandparents, and he happened to set up successful multimillion companies.  Family feuds ripped them apart when his only daughter, Anna defied his philosophies, failed to boss his companies and had a child out of wedlock.

Tormented by succession of calamities, he’s determined to keep up the dogma that had brought him too much pain. Thus, he made an advanced directive to his attorney, a true reflection of his disturbed conscience.

This novel is a fantastic and an inconceivable revolution.

‘Will Kenzie’s life experiences result to a transformation?’

 

 

Excerpt from the book:

“As we drove back home, I cuddled the teddy that was meant to be in my baby’s bed.  Every so often, I would shrink with anger and burst into tears.  What would I tell my boyfriend and Sophie?  I cried continuously every day, lost appetite and lost two stones in weight.  My parents could not take it anymore; they had to invite the psychologist to assess me and advise.  I was thinking of ending it all; why should I live when my baby was gone?  I’d lost all hope.  I had a month session with the psychologist which helped to boost my self-esteem.  Our home turned into a total mess, and my parents argued all the time.  There were no family meals; we ate at different intervals and I had minimal interaction or communication with them.

Even though my parents seemed to have grown apart, there was no sign that they were grieving for the loss of their only grandchild.  They seemed to have their own issues that bothered them more than the lost child.  I started having flashbacks of how they were not happy with my pregnancy and how they insisted that I should have an abortion.  Dad never wanted me to marry somebody out of the aristocratic society, not to even think of a biracial child?

Why did Dad disappear with the midwife for over two days and Mum did not make a fuss when he returned?  I also remembered that they gave me a lot of support after our family doctor advised that it was impossible to abort a baby.  Had they been acting?  I wondered.  Was there something they were hiding that I needed to know?  Or was I just being paranoid?

I spent most of my days in solace in my bedroom.  One day I heard my parents arguing in their room, so I crept and stood at the door to listen to what they were saying.

‘Why did you do it?’ Mum asked.

These words kept echoing in their arguments.  ‘If not of your decision…,’ Dad retorted.

I moved forward, I was going for the door handle to open it and confront them, but another force stopped me.

Grr!  They are all evil, I couldn’t understand what was going on.  What were they planning to do to me next?

I decided to disappear; I couldn’t bear the pain to live with them.”

 

Amazon review:

5.0 out of 5 stars  You will not be disappointed as Kenzie fines peace after confession

24 May 2018

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Transformation: The Hidden Mystery

Transformation: The Hidden Mystery depicts some disturbing experiences of brainwash extremism set in the 21st century.

A gripping thriller set in the dark heart of Kenzie and his wife with devastating consequences, as their family was ripped apart. Missing, suicide and hidden mystery captivated this novel.

Each chapter brings in a new headache that inspires one want to read through to the end. You will not be disappointed as Kenzie fines peace after confession, and yet there is a more shocking revelation beyond human imagination. It is a must read!

 

“Transformation:  The Hidden Mystery” is available in hardback, paperback, and e-book from Amazon UK. It is also available from Amazon US.

 

 

 

 Press/Media Contact Details:

 New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 711 956
E-mail:  info@newgeneration-publishing.com

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Resistance by A.S. McGowan

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Resistance
Cockiest Red Planet Trilogy Book 1
by A.S. McGowan
Genre: SciFi
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What would you do if the laws allowed anyone with money to Trademark an
everyday word? Or the copyrighting of a name, so no one could ever
use that name again?
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Over a hundred years ago, Earth was dying. A few rich men and women banned
together to create a kingdom on Mars. They hand picked the people who
would join them in this new kingdom. Then they brought their arrogant
beliefs and made them laws. The Trademark Commission was established
to allow anyone who could afford it, the ability to trademark any
common word. The laws stated that once a word was trademarked no one
could speak that word again. The Naming Commission ensures that all
names are copyrighted and no one uses another person’s copyrighted
name. Fines and even prison time are given to those who violate the
trademark and copyright laws.
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Kathryn 5.0 was pregnant with her first child when the word ‘baby’ is
trademarked. Forced to refer to her baby as “little human”
she is tired of the 100 year old laws. Reaching out to friends, she
works to create a resistance. Together they fight against the
trademark and copyright laws. Battle lines are drawn and it is family
against family. Those who resist the laws are branded “Bullies”
while those who support the ancient laws wave the “Victim” banner.
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**Only .99 cents!!**
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Kathryn 5.0 walked down the hard-packed, red dirt streets. The heat wave sucked the air from her lungs. With her hands under her swollen belly, she tried to elevate some of the strain on her back. Only three weeks to go and her baby would be born. She should be excited, but she was worried. The Naming Commission told her today that the name she wanted has already registered. Sadly, Luna was registered last month to someone else’s baby girl. The only option they offered her was to name her baby Luna 2.0. She did not want her child to be a point anything, she wanted her child to have a unique name. To be the first registered.

When she reached her house, she darted inside. The cool air was a blessed relief from the outside heat. The sweat on her body practically froze on her skin. Plopping down on the bright teal wooden bench, she removed her shoes. She slid them under the bench then stood and shook the red dust from the bottom of her long blue skirt. It was a daily struggle to keep the dust out of the home, especially when it clung to everything. It seemed all the women in the kingdom sported the red stains upon the hem of their skirts. She hated it. Not long ago she had petitioned the Fashion Commission to allow shorter lengths to prevent this. They shot her down instantly. The women who sat on the Commission were the fashion superiors and their word was law.

Inside the living room, she sat on the bright yellow sofa. Her feet propped up on the white wooden coffee table. She put her earphones in and clicked the button on the sound system remote. She was that way when her husband came home. She noted that he had removed his shoes but still wore his cream-colored cotton pants and matching tunic work suit. He joined her on the sofa, placed his hand on her stomach, and smiled. She took the earphones out and turned off the sound system.

“How did it go at the Naming Commission?” His voice held a hint of anticipation. His smile lit his face up.

“Not good. The name we wanted was already registered. I want a unique name for our baby.” She looked at him, her eyes pleaded with him to offer up a unique name.

“Well you need to stop referring to the child as ‘baby.’ I heard on the city speakers that the word “baby” is now a registered trademark. We can’t afford to be sued for using the word.” He shook his head.

“Surely the use in our home if acceptable.” Turning she faced him, her eyebrow lifted.

“There are eyes and ears everywhere, Kathryn 5.0, we can’t risk it. Use the term little human from now on.” He lovingly patted her stomach again. “So, what’s for dinner?”

“I thought we would have cucumber soup. With this heat, a chilled dish would be most welcomed.” She hated the way he deflected from the subject at hand. She knew he was looking forward to the name Luna just as much as she was. Instead, he focused on a trademarked word and violations.

“Kathryn 5.0! You know that James 3.0 registered a trademark for the word soup a couple of months ago. Remember, it is liquid puree now.” He looked at her the way a parent would look at an errant child.

“I am sorry, Matthew 7.0, of course. Dinner is cucumber liquid puree.” She smiled at her husband. He was more concerned with the Trademark Commission and all the trademarked words than she was. Then again, in his line of work as a lawyer, she could see how such things would affect him more than her.

They ate their dinner in silence at the small table in the kitchen. Finishing his dinner, Matthew 7.0 disappeared into his private office. She remained in the kitchen to clean up. There were nights like this where she wished she was one of the Elite. The Elite were allowed various servants to take care of daily chores. Uppers such as herself were denied these luxuries.

She was placing the dishes into the dish cleaning machine when her husband came in. He had changed out of his work suit and now wore a sage green tunic with matching pants. He was smiling the smile that always meant he had big news to share. She couldn’t help but smile back at his infectious smile.

He grabbed her and spun her around. Laughing and squealing, she begged to be put down. When he put her down, he kissed her. Breathless, she smiled up at him. His sparkling blue eyes mesmerized her, pulling her in.

“I have the perfect name for our little human.” He was giddy. “Minka!”

“Minka?” She scrunched up her nose. What kind of name was that? Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy

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PRISONER OF THE CROWN
Chronicles of Dasnaria #1
by Jeffe Kennedy
Genre: Fantasy
Pub Date: 6/12/2018
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She was raised to be beautiful,
nothing more. And then the rules changed . . .
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In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role
is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot
to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter.
And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully
limited life . . .
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The Gilded Cage
Princess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance.
Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio,
she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers.
But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power.
When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the
machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament
to queen.
But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened
or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors
of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows.
If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born
to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous
path indeed…
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I grew up in paradise.

Tropically warm, lushly beautiful, replete with luxury, my childhood world was without flaw. My least whim was met with immediate indulgence, served instantly and with smiles of delight. I swam in crystal clear waters, then napped on silk. I chased gorgeously ornamental fish and birds, and enjoyed dozens of perfectly behaved pets of unusual coloring and pedigrees. My siblings and I spent our days in play, nothing ever asked or expected of us.

Until the day everything was demanded—and taken—from me.

Only then did I finally see our paradise for what it was, how deliberately designed to mold and shape us. A breeding ground for luxurious accessories. To create a work of art, you grow her in an environment of elegance and beauty. To make her soft and lusciously accommodating, you surround her with delicacies and everything delightful. And you don’t educate her in anything but being pleasing.

Education leads to critical thinking, not a desirable trait in a princess of Dasnaria, thus I was protected from anything that might taint the virginity of my mind, as well as my body.

Because I’d understood so little of the world outside, when my time came to be plucked from the garden, when the snip of the shears severed me from all I’d known, the injury came as a shock so devastating that I had no ability to even understand what it meant, much less summon the will to resist and overcome. Which, I’ve also come to realize over time, was also a part of the deliberate design.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back to the beginning.

I grew up in paradise.

And it was all you’d imagine paradise to be. A soft palace of lagoons and lush gardens, of silk bowers and laughter. With little else to do, our mothers and the other ladies played with us, games both simple and extravagantly layered. When we tired, we napped on the velvet soft grass of the banks of the pools, or on the silk pillows scattered everywhere. We’d sleep until we awoke, eat the tidbits served us by watchful servant girls, then play more.

Hestar and I had our own secret games and language. All the ladies called us the royal pair, as we were the emperor’s firstborns and we’d been born less than a month apart.

My mother, first wife, the Empress Hulda, and the most highly ranked woman in the empire, spent much of her day at court. When she was home in the seraglio, she preferred to relax without noisy children to bother her. Hestar’s mother, Jilliya, was second wife and kept getting pregnant, forever having and sometimes losing the babies. So, by unspoken agreement, we kept clear of her apartments, too. Something else I understood much later, that the miasma of misery has its own brand of contagion—and that those who fear contracting the deadly disease stay far away.

Saira, on the other hand, third wife and mother of our half-sister Inga, had a kindness and sweetness to her, so we kids often played in her apartments when we grew bored of games like climbing the palm trees to see who could pluck the most dates while a servant counted the time. Inga, along with my full brother, Kral, were the second oldest pair—the second-borns, also arriving in the same month, to my mother and Saira. Less than a year younger than Hestar and me, they completed our set of four. Our six other brothers and sisters played with us, too, but they were babies still, needing to be watched all the time. Whenever we could, the four of us ditched the babies, exploring the far corners of our world, then making hideouts where no one could find us.

Though, of course, when the least desire took our fancy, someone always appeared instantaneously to satisfy us. Another of the many illusions of my childhood.

Hestar and I, we had a cave we’d made under a clump of ferns. He’d stocked it with a box of sweetmeats and I’d stolen one of my mother’s silk throws for a carpet. Embroidered with fabulous animals, it told tales of a world beyond our corner of paradise. We loved it best of all our purloined treasures, and made up stories about the scenes and creatures, giving them names and convoluted histories.

One day—the kind that stands out with crystalline clarity, each detail incised in my memory—we played as usual. Hestar had been mysteriously gone for a while the day before, or perhaps several days before or for several days in a row. That part fogs in with the timelessness of those days that never ended, but blended one into the next. What I remember is the elephant.

“And the miskagiggle flapped its face tail, saying nooo—”

“It’s called an elephant,” Hestar interrupted me.

“What is?”

“It’s not a miskagiggle. It’s an elephant, and the face tail is a trunk.”

Hestar beamed with pride at knowing something I didn’t.

“You’re making that up.”

“No, I’m not! My tutor told me.”

“What’s that?”

“A teacher. My tutor is named Ser Llornsby.”

“Is that where you went?” Hestar and Kral had been whisked off by servants, and no one would tell me or Inga where they were, just that we’d see them again soon.

Hestar’s blue eyes went wide and he looked around to see if anyone was listening. “Want to know a secret?”

Oh, did I. Even then I understood that secrets were the carefully hoarded and counted currency of the seraglio. “Yes!”

We pulled the silk throw over our heads to make a tent. It was the usual grass beneath, so we didn’t really need the carpet. Having it just made our hideaway more special—and the throw became a blanket, excellent for exchanging secrets.

“We went through the doors!” Hestar told me, whispering but much too loudly.

I hushed him. I didn’t question how I knew, but this secret held power. Most of our secrets had been silly, frivolous things, like how Inga kept candied dates under her pillow. Or ones everyone already knew, like that Jilliya was pregnant again. With the unabashed enthusiasm of children, we absorbed all the murmured gossip and repeated it with equal relish. This, though—I recognized immediately how important it was.

No wonder no one would tell us where they’d gone. Children didn’t go through the doors. Only my mother and some of the women. The rekjabrel and other servants, they went in and out all the time. But a lot of times they came back crying or hurt, so we understood the doors led to a terrible place. And yet Hestar had gone and returned, beaming.

“Was it terrible? Were you scared? Did Kral go, too?”

Hestar nodded, solemnly. “We were brave boys though. And it’s not like here. There aren’t the lagoons and it’s not as warm. They took us to a library and we met Ser Llornsby. We looked at pictures and learned animal names.”

I couldn’t bring myself to ask what a library might be. I wanted to look at pictures and learn animal names. Though I didn’t know the emotion to name it at the time, a jab of envy lanced through my heart. Hestar and I always had everything the same, only I had the better mother, because she was first wife. It wasn’t fair that Hestar got to go through the doors and learn things without me. An elephant. I whispered the exotic word to myself.

“Elephants are huge and people ride on their backs, and the elephants carry things for them in their trunks.” Hestar continued, full of smug pride. “Ser Llornsby is going to teach me everything I need to know to be emperor someday.”

“Why do you get to be emperor? My mother is first wife. Yours is only second wife. Besides, I’m older.”

Hestar wrinkled his nose at me. “Because you’re a girl. Girls can’t be emperor. Only empress.”

That was true. It was the way of things. “Well then you can be emperor and I can be empress like Mother.”

“All right!” Hestar grinned. “We’ll rule the whole empire and have lots of elephants. Kral and Inga can be our servants.”

For the rest of the day we played emperor and empress. Kral and Inga got mad and decided they would be emperor and empress, too, not listening when we said there could only be one of each and we were firstborn so they had to be our servants. They went off to play their own game, but we got Helva to be in our court, and also her little brothers, Leo and Loke. The boys were identical twins and liked any game they could play together. Baby Harlan could barely toddle, so he stayed with his nurse. Ban went off with Inga, of course, as he followed her everywhere, but her full brother, Mykal came to our side.

We didn’t care, because our court was the biggest. Besides, everyone knew the emperor gets to pick his own empress, and Hestar already promised me I’d be first wife and I could pick his other wives, just like Mother did. Which meant Inga wouldn’t get to be one. Maybe not Helva, either, though I told her she would be.

Mother didn’t much care for Saira and Jilliya, so maybe I wouldn’t have other wives at all. I didn’t need them to be empress.
Continue reading

Book Blitz: Tilting by Nicole Harkin

 

We only learned about our father’s girlfriend after he became deathly ill and lay in a coma 120 miles from our home.

Overhearing the nurse tell Linda–since I was nine I had called my mom by her first name–about the girlfriend who came in almost every day to visit him when we weren’t there confirmed that the last moment of normal had passed us by without our realizing it. Up to then our family had unhappily coexisted with Dad flying jumbo jets to Asia while we lived in Montana. We finally came together to see Dad through his illness, but he was once again absent from a major family event–unable to join us from his comatose state. This is the moment when our normal existence tilted.

Dad recovered, but the marriage ailed, as did Linda, with cancer. Our family began to move down an entirely different path with silver linings we wouldn’t see for many years.

In this candid and compassionate memoir which recently won a Gold Award in The Wishing Shelf Book Award, Nicole Harkin describes with an Impressionist’s fine eye the evolution of a family that is quirky, independent, uniquely supportive, peculiarly loving and, most of all, marvelously human.

Purchase Links

Amazon   *   Barnes & Noble

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO1niSUWsuA

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Excerpt

2003, Montana

AS time moved on, we were together at irregular intervals. We spoke on the phone often, which was easy, but being in the same house together generated friction between us. We reverted to our immature selves with all of us acting like our inner twelve-year-olds.

The phone rang when I was home visiting Erica.

“Who is it?” I mouthed to Erica.

She scowled back at me, putting her hand over the receiver, “None of your business.”

“No seriously, Erica, who is it?”

“You don’t pay the bill. It’s none of your business.”

So I said, “Me, me,” sounding like Beaker from the Muppets and left the room.

Each time she started with this selfishness, I said “Me, me” and left. I didn’t want to fight, but I did want to convey to Erica that she was being a brat.

Erica’s next call was to Dr. T, and we were off to see him.

We sat in his office on the first floor of a building built in the 1960’s or 1970’s. He sat in his Eames leather recliner. We were on his leather love seat, not wanting to love one another.

Erica told him that I kept saying “Me, me” when I was upset with her.

He nodded his head and said nothing. He had a habit of that, and it could be rather unnerving. I couldn’t tell if he approved or disapproved of what was said, which was the point, I suppose.

Then Erica launched into another story about something that I had done in the week or so that I had been home. How could her laundry list of my abhorrent behaviors have gotten so long so fast?

More nodding from Dr. T.

Finally, she told him I had asked her who was on the phone. At the end of her tale of woe, she asked him what he thought.

He paused and then said, “Me, me.”

For two milliseconds Erica looked as though she was going to kill the man, and then we laughed. I later learned that in Chinese, meimei means little sister. Perfect.

After Linda died, Dr. T became a mediator for us. He gave us tools that helped us function together and taught us to like each other. He listened to the stories of our fights and offered up some nuggets of insight. He never sent us a bill.

He taught us about the “the apology eraser.” We would have a huge fight. Then we separated from each other to cool down. When we came back together, I might say something like, “John, I’m sorry I screamed at you, but you were being such an ass.”

Everything from the “but” on erased my apology. Either I was sorry or I wasn’t. If I wanted to keep fighting, I could do that too, but I shouldn’t mix up the two. In order to apologize, I had to stop at “I’m sorry.” Sometimes we needed to realize that the fight needed more time to resolve.

He also told us, as we came in with jumbled up messes of stories about fights, to make sure that we knew what it was we were fighting about and to fight about one thing at a time.

“Nicole hogs the washer and dryer when she is home, she owes me thirty-dollars for all the food she eats when she’s here, and she always wants to know what I’m doing.”

Nothing would be resolved in that fight. There was just too much to rationally unpack it when we were upset.

Another tool was “Don’t give your opinion or advice unless your family member asks for your advice or opinion.” As the oldest, I was guilty of this one. For example, Erica called me, all upset about her boyfriend breaking up with her. I listened and then offered that she was better off without that loser. I never liked him anyway. I went on to mention that she should change her passwords and get new keys to the house.

That’s when the fighting erupted. Erica didn’t want advice, she wanted a sympathetic ear. And, she and he might not be finished. So unless Erica asked me what to do—asked for my advice—then I should keep my mouth shut. But once Erica asked, it was game on. I was free to tell her what I thought, but if I wanted to remain on good terms with my family, I shouldn’t tell unless asked. And conversely, she couldn’t be angry with me for giving her my honest opinion once she asked.

Anytime we were together, we kept calling Dr. T in desperation, crying to his secretary and asking for an appointment. We were happy to see each other but then we’d start fighting. We needed him to help us, and he did.

With Linda dead and Dad out of the picture, without these tools, we had almost no chance of remaining close. Dr. T helped us to figure out what we were fighting about: our sadness at our losses, our loss of Linda, our loss of our family, and our loss of stability. In helping us recognize that we were processing our sadness when we were fighting, he helped us heal. He could have seen our bickering as entitled little brats unable to get along, but it was more than that. Our fighting came from years of patterned behavior in which we learned from Dad and Linda to scream and yell at each other rather than talk about what was happening. Our family had been slowly tilting ever on a course to capsize. He gave us the chance to right the ship, as it were. Even without Linda and Dad, we could choose to be a functioning family.

 

Author Bio 

Nicole Harkin currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband and two small children. She works as a writer and family photographer. As a Fulbright Scholar during law school, Nicole lived in Berlin, Germany where she studied German environmentalism. Her work can be found in Thought Collection and you are here: The Journal of Creative Geography. She is currently working on mystery set in Berlin. Her photography can be seen at www.nicoleharkin.com.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/tiltingamemoir/

https://www.instagram.com/tiltingamemoir/

https://twitter.com/harkinna?lang=en

 

Book Blitz: The House of Baric series by Jillian Bald

 

Historical Fiction/Saga

Date Published: May 2018

 Publisher: Hillwalker Publishing

 

The House of Baric is a story about . . .

~ soldiers in and out of war, their friendships and their struggles to come to terms with their dutiful roles in life.

~ a mismatched young Ottoman woman sent into this Venetian world in 1648 to marry a stranger.

~ a clash of cultures; a clash of sexes. 

~  everyday, and not so everyday, happenings in the lives behind the walls of The House of Baric. 

Most of all, it is a love story–Mauro and Resi’s.

 

Set in the Venetian Empire’s colony of Croatia in the decadent baroque era, this first novel in the trilogy is a fast-paced read with many colorful characters and promising romances. Open the pages of “Shields Down” and enter the House of Baric. 

“Part One: Shields Down” introduces you to the young nobleman, Mauritius “Mauro” Baric. Mauro was the last of his family bloodline. With the sudden death of his father, Mauro unhappily took his title as Baron Baric. His first duty in this new role was to marry and make an heir.

Resi Kokkinos was not interested in marrying an aristocrat any more than Mauro wanted a common, Ottoman Greek girl as his bride. Betrothed as children to settle Resi’s father’s debt to the Barics, the two had no choice in their paired future together.

After the long war brought Mauro and his soldiers home for good, the mismatched lovers could no longer deny their arrangement was more than tolerable.

The Baric’s story takes flight after the couple’s first wedding anniversary. Unexpected visitors arrive at the castle and add a new dimension to their predictable lives in Solgrad. Cultures will clash, and sexes will too. Mishaps and adventures are a certainty for Mauro and Resi as their saga unfolds over the three parts of the trilogy.

Journey along with the Barics, their soldiers, servants and friends during one pivotal summer in 1649. Can they avoid their allotted fates hiding behind the high Baric walls? In part one of this engaging trilogy, you will discover, as they do, that it is not so easy.

Purchase Links: Amazon, B&N, IndieBound

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Praise for The House of Baric Part One: Shields Down:

“Overall I highly recommend “The House of Baric Part One: Shields Down” by Jillian Bald. The book has something for everyone: romance, drama, history, action and adventure, and the brilliant engaging storytelling ability of the author will have you soon craving the next installment in the series. Excellent read.” – Reader View 

“An engrossing, research-heavy tale of Croatia in the early modern period.” – Kirkus Review

“The series starts off in the summer of 1649 and pulls the reader immediately into the complex and colorful world of Venice at the zenith of its power. Bald’s period research is everywhere evident … This is a delightful series.” – Historical Novel Society Book Review

“The House of Baric has all the makings of a great read; romance, action, mystery, and even a little comedy.” – Boundless Book Review

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Excerpt

The change of pace woke the sleeping women, and Jero and Ruby caught up to the wagon. Most of the two-lane road until now had been densely lined with hardy pines, low scrubby oak, and wild olive trees. Ahead of them was a full view of the Adriatic Sea. Its azure expanses sparkled with the late-morning light streaming down. The gentle tide was a lighter blue, almost green, against the pebbly sand shore of the sheltered lagoon. It was a calm day with only a light wind, and they could hear the hungry cries of seabirds still fishing for their morning meals. Resi sat up and broke the silence of the group. “That was not so far, Mauro. Have I been sleeping long?”

“I would say you were sleeping almost two hours. My arm is about numb from you leaning on it.” She sat up completely, now self-conscious. He reassured her, “I will be your pillow any day, Resi. You were tired and needed the nap, so I dared not move you.”

He maneuvered the wagon through the narrow path between the overgrown tree bows. He stopped at the end of the track just moments later and hopped down, holding the reins to tie to one of the long overhangs.

The women sat up in the back of the wagon and looked out at the view onto the sea. Fabian pulled alongside them and dismounted, loosely tying his horse to a narrow tree trunk. “Oh, Mauro, this is a beautiful spot. Where are we?” Resi asked.

“This is Neven Leopold’s beach. He does not have the fields for crops on his land that I do, but he has a very accessible coastline. This is where his family spends their leisure time; at least they did when I was younger,” Mauro explained.

He took his wife by the waist and lifted her down from her seat. She walked in front of the two horses, admiring the view. She saw the path leading down to the beach and small dock, and without a word, she disappeared over the low hill to the water like a happy child. From the beach she shouted back, “There is a small sailboat, Mauro. This will be a perfect outing.” He did not feel the same joy for sailing that she did, but he smiled at her genuine delight.

Fabian took charge of unloading the quiet cargo from the back of the wagon. The women were stiff from their uncomfortable sleeping positions. They crouched awkwardly now while they waited to be lowered onto the soft, sandy ground.

“Are you pleased with yourself?” Isabella asked Fabian after he set her down. She had allowed him to lift her this time, since her long skirts made it too hard to find her footing.

Fabian still held her by the waist, but was not smiling this time. He told her in a quiet voice, “You should try to enjoy the excursion offered you, Isabella. The sun is shining, there is good food packed for our lunch, and you will have shelter to sleep under. It is not the opera, but Lady Terese finds this outing to be a luxury. Do not insult her with your negative opinions today.” Then he released her and turned to help his sister down. Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Mary Rosie’s War by Catherine M. Byrne

 

WW2 has been declared. A strange find on the beach gives Mary Rosie the chance to fulfil her dreams and contribute to her country, but all is not what she imagined.

After witnessing the first bomb to be dropped on mainland Britain, Mary watches her friends leave to join the forces and longs to be with them, but is held back by loyalty to her widowed mother.

France has capitulated. Johnny Allan’s regiment has been annihilated by German troops north of Paris. Johnny has to find a way to get home and to the girl who no longer waits for him.

Leisel is a German Jew who lost her family to the Nazis and has to make her way in Britain, a strange new country, while harbouring a desire for revenge.

Their lives become entangled in a way that no one could have envisaged.

A story about war, family ties, love, loyalty and loss.

Purchase from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

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Excerpt

Living in an isolated Highland community, Mary is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart. But when war is on the horizon, and the county is flooded with young men from the forces, she meets a handsome pilot, who makes her feel things Johnny Allan never did.

Saturday night came round at last and Mary took extra care with her looks. She dressed in her best frock and curled her hair, taking care not to overheat the tongs. She even borrowed a bit of make up from Rita. Deep down she wondered who she was really doing this for. Johnny wouldn’t care if she came in a sack. She thought about the airman’s striking eyes and laughed at herself. He must be somewhere in his twenties and he’d sounded posh, not someone who would ever be interested in her with her broad, flat accent and country ways. Anyway, if she did marry Johnny, years down the line when they were old and settled with several children, it might be good to sometimes remember a handsome pilot who had once held her hand too long. That’s if she married Johnny.

Mary was disappointed that the promised band failed to turn up. Instead the music was provided by a gramophone, but she was in such high spirits just to be there, that the scratchy records could not dampen her mood. She turned to Rita to say just that, then stopped, the words instantly frozen inside her.

The two young pilots, looking smart and polished in their uniforms, walked through the door. Mary was surprised at her own reaction. There was something about this man that gave her a squeamish sensation in her belly, made her heart beat high in her chest and dried her mouth, all of which were new, embarrassing, but exciting sensations, sensations that Johnny never raised in her. Aware that she was staring, she snatched her gaze away, then sneaked a sideways glance at Greg. He was watching her, a slightly amused look on his face.

Was he laughing at her — pleased that yet another silly young lassie had fallen for his smooth good looks and wonderful eyes? Well, she would show him how disinterested she was. Pulling her shoulders back and tilting her head, she looked around for Johnny who was in the far corner, seemingly not noticing her at all.

‘Let’s go get some lemonade,’ she said to Rita, who stood next to her, swaying to the beat of Glenn Miller.

Rita shrugged. ‘That’s if Lily’s made any.’ Lily was the caretaker of the hall and usually laced beakers of water with whatever berries she could get her hands on, berries and her home-made wine. The word ‘lemonade’ covered a variety of flavours.

They were about to go when she heard the voice at her shoulder. ‘May I have this dance?’

Even before she turned, she knew it was him. She tried, unsuccessfully, to look nonchalant when she nodded. He slipped an arm around her waist and clasped her hand in his. Greg was taller than she thought and he led her effortlessly onto the floor.

‘Penny for them,’ he said.

‘I thought it was a band tonight. I’m a bit disappointed.’ She spoke in a little rush through dry lips.

He smiled. ‘Not too disappointed, I hope.’

Not now, she thought, aware of the pressure of his arm and the minty smell of his breath. She laughed, a silly giggly little sound.

‘We’d best introduce ourselves properly if we’re to dance all night. I’m Greg Cunningham.’ Continue reading

New Release: Living Out Loud Box Set by Denise Jaden

Title: Living Out Loud Box Set
Author: Denise Jaden
Genre: YA Contemporary (with romantic suspense elements)
Publication Date: June 22nd, 2018
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Blurb:
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RUNAWAYS. ROMANCE. ROAD TRIPS.
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She’s guarded and angry at humanity. He’s a sensitive guitar player who is trying to escape his family drama. They don’t seem like they’d be suited for one another, but it turns out they may be the perfect match to get each other through their complicated obstacles, finding missing family members, and coming to self-acceptance. Opposites have never attracted this much.
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Gritty, vulnerable, and rife with secrecy, The Living Out Loud Series is a new upper YA series for fans of Gayle Forman and Rainbow Rowell. If you enjoyed the misfit attraction of Eleanor & Park, you’ll fall in love with Kass and Eli.
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Grab the box set now to get the first four books in the series as well as two “Bonus Tracks.”
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Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith, was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process.
Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough, Foreign Exchange, A Christmas Kerril,  and Avalanche. Her non-fiction books for writers include, Writing with a Heavy Heart, Fast Fiction, and Story Sparks.
In her spare time, she homeschools her son, acts with the Vancouver film industry, and dances with a Polynesian dance troupe. Find out more at denisejaden.com.

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Author Links:
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Buy Links:
Living Out Loud: https://amzn.to/2tgWOpo
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Book Blitz: The Tory by T.J. London

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Title: The Tory
Author: T.J. London
Genre: Historical Fiction with Romantic Elements
Cover Designer: Steve Miller
Concept Editor: Kathe Robin
Copy Editor and Proofreader: Jo Michaels
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Blurb:

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It is the winter of 1776, and Captain John Carlisle, one of His Majesty’s not-so-finest, is on a secret mission from General Howe. In an effort to win back his commission, he must discover the true nature of the relationship between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Colonial Army. Undercover as a war profiteer, John travels to the treacherous Mohawk River Valley and infiltrates local society, making friends with those he was sent to betray.
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But a chance meeting with a beautiful half Oneida innkeeper, whose tragic history is integrally linked to his own, will provide him with the intelligence he needs to successfully complete his mission—and devastate her people. When a band of thieves thwart his plans and a mysterious adversary from his past resurfaces, hell bent on revenge, he is forced to come face to face with his demons or fail in his mission.
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Now as the flames of war threaten to consume the Mohawk Valley, John has the chance to not only serve King and country, but to clear his name as well. When the truth he uncovers ties his own secrets to those in the highest positions of the British military and noble society, and threatens the very life of the woman he’s come to love, will he be forced make a choice?
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T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and Mohawk rockin pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet often forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era.  Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life.  She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat Mickey.
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Author Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2tmUqfL
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Buy Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2txrORk
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