#BookTour “Below Torrential Hill” by Jonathan Koven

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Welcome to the book tour for Jonathan Koven’s novel, Below Torrential Hill. Read on for more info!

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Below Torrential Hill

Publication Date: October 18th, 2021

Genre: Literary Fiction

Length: 190 Pages

Jonathan Koven, author of the beloved poetry collection Palm Lines, returns with a stunning fiction debut. Breathtaking in scope, intimate in its detail, Below Torrential Hill is a coming-of-age about family, memory, and reconciliation.

It’s Christmas, and strange occurrences are plaguing the small town of Torrential Hill: a supernatural comet, undead insects, exploding streetlights, and a presence luring people into the woods. But when the mother of Tristen—a wistful, fatherless sixteen-year-old boy—hears voices from the kitchen sink, all he can think of is running away.

A WINNER OF THE 2020 ELECTRIC ECLECTIC NOVELLA PRIZE
A FINALIST OF THE 2020 CLAY REYNOLDS NOVELLA PRIZE

“Remarkable in its empathy, successfully conveying the difficult realities of death, first love, single parenting, alcoholism . . . Both an ode to loss and to growth, a dialectic that produces a singular tone and a dynamic plot. Within these pages, Koven has constructed an entire universe, and we are left homesick by story’s end.”—Shannon Greenstein, author of Pray for Us Sinners

“Captivating, awash in poetry and sensual detail . . . beautiful, sad, and full of hope.”—Charlotte Dune, author of Mushroom Honeymoon

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Excerpt

With one’s mouth agape, there is always more to swallow. And Tristen always wished to be filtered, chewed, and spit out bodiless as a dream, to be the raindrop plunging into white sea, to not shatter and spread wide the body, to pour out like the hungriest wound and demand to be filled at once. Happiness is to be loved to death. No matter how strange, the leap into silence demanded a sacrifice of the highest order. He came to relinquish his life for a different one.

His muddied shoes stepped through the brightly lit division in the trees. A hillside not far ahead oversaw the great abyss which nurtured the lowest regions of the wood, where the city limits were eaten alive by pine and lichen, where the meteorite fell just days before.

Canine laughter sprawled out against the void, just near enough to hear. Then, spoken slowly and dully like a voice from the sink, in the middle of the raspy sunrise, his name seemed to hum within an acute ringing: “Trist-en.”

The ringing grew and took hold of his arms and pulled him to the ground. The sky pealed his name unto him as he bowed over the whitening earth. He coughed into his chest. Frostbite and blood covered his skin from wrists to elbows. Curling his fingers into the snow, his knuckles cut deep; using them, he lifted his body and swung forward. He moved with determination, each spring forward going farther than the last. Everything was a cry to continue moving. It even echoed from fractures in the bark. Eternity was waiting for Tristen. His ankles were set in a motion too hypnotic to break.

Torn trunks pointed their roots toward the hillside where old snow whistled with old wind. At the hillside’s ledge, deformed trees met the capsizing sky, longing back to the morning’s jaw. Mist peeled back to reveal the ledge.

Tristen walked to it slowly.

The sound bawled from everywhere, two drawn-out torrents of energy. They droned the essence of shared solitude, unmasked arousal of vulnerability and, at the center of the sound, consonants proudly shattered and burst. “Tri-sten.” A cry so lowly, lovingly, morbidly exasperated— stretched open, crackling. All around him coursed a magnitude of feeling. Catching a deformed tree’s lowered branch, he waited at the ridge. These—these long waves, this sheer density—this heavy slowness were the years of his life that hadn’t happened yet.

“Tri-st!-enn.”

Then, pushing down on the branch, it snapped halfway, and Tristen tumbled fast into a scar in the earth.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

About the Author

Delana + Jonathan

Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY. He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from American University, works as a technical writer, and reads chapbooks for Moonstone Arts. He lives in Philadelphia with his best friend and wife Delana, and their cats Peanut Butter and Keebler. Read Jonathan’s poetry debut Palm Lines (2020), available from Toho Publishing. His fiction debut Below Torrential Hill (2021) is also available, a winner of the Electric Eclectic Novella Prize.

 

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Book Tour Schedule

July 11th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

@hodophile_z (Review) https://www.instagram.com/hodophile_z/

@brandidanielledavis (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brandidanielledavis/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

July 12th

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

@rissreviews_xx – https://www.instagram.com/rissreviews_xx/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

July 13th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@fariha_binte_islam (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fariha_binte_islam/

Timeless Romance Blog (Spotlight) https://aubreywynne.com/

July 14th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

@gryffindorbookishnerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@Fle_d (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/fle_d

July 15th

@thrillersandcoffee (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/thrillersandcoffee/

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#BookTour “Dreamland Court” by Dale Herd

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Welcome to the tour for Dreamland Court by Dale Herd. Read on for more details and an exclusive excerpt!

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Dreamland Court

Publication Date: February 22, 2022

Genre: Literary Fiction/ Romance

Set in the blighted industrial landscape of the Los Angeles basin, Dreamland Court is an underground love story.

Just out of prison, Johnny Dalton returns home to find his wife Jackie, the mother of his two small children, passionately involved with one of his good friends.

Doing everything in his power to win her back, Johnny blunders his way through one criminal enterprise after another. When the cops pick him up for being the only adult present at a wild teenage party, he’s sent back to jail.

The strange thing is, as far as Jackie is concerned, Johnny’s maneuvers actually work.

Reminiscent of the pathos in Hubert Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, and the comedy of John Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, Dale Herd focuses his astute gaze on lives that are ordinarily invisible, while turning the conventional love story on its head.

“Known for his brilliant short prose pieces as published in the books, Early Morning Wind, Wild Cherries, Diamonds, and Empty Pockets, Dale Herd is a meticulous recorder of the language we move around in, and he possesses the skill and guts to take it all the way. His underground novel Dreamland Court is simply a masterpiece.”
Kevin Opstedal, Blue Press Books

City Point Press

Excerpt

JACKIE

When I was a kid I felt the only behavior that was mine was bad behavior, my mother took credit for good behavior, but bad behavior was my behavior. Now I was usually good, but regarded my life as a sort of prison term and that when I got out of school or married or eighteen I would start my own life. I didn’t nurse Dawnie. I wanted to nurse. I really did. But sometimes you can’t, even if you want to, not if you’re nervous. There’s a reflex mechanism in your head that won’t release. I thought she was taking it. I would feel she was, but she wasn’t. I felt I was squirting it out but she wasn’t getting it, So I had to give her the bottle, which made Johnny mad. He said having a breast in your mouth was one of the best things in life and he wanted only the best things for his daughter and that ice cream was just a substitute for breast milk and that’s why vanilla ice cream was everybody’s favorite, people that had been breast-fed, that is, that people that hadn’t been breast-fed had to have all those fancy ones like Cherry Jubilee or Mint Chip or Rocky Road, which were never satisfactory.

IRENE

Well, let’s see. There’s Gun-Gun and Leo-Peo and Margarette an’ then there’s Pepsi n’ Lejo, Frosty n’ Pucksters, and Skip. How many is that? Eight? Nine? That should be nine. You know, it’s just awful when one of them goes. The only thought you have is go get another one, you know, one just like it, so’s the others don’t get lonely, but, well, there you are again. Did I say Skipper? I did, didn’t I? I said Skip. And Pansy June? So there’s her, n’ Rags, n’ Solly. The last two are both boy cats, they come from the same litter, real little wild cats, too. An’ John? ‘Well,’ I said to him, ‘I just called Bob Wheeler and asked if you’d really been released with no probation,’ and he said, ‘Not likely.’ So then John says, ‘Who’re you gonna believe, a goddamn P.O. or your own son? Would you just give me the gall-darn keys, please?’ And I said, ‘Honey, now I know you think your wife’s driving you crazy, but if you’re feeling crazy it’s because you’re doing things that are making you crazy.’ I told him, I said, ‘That’s just the way it is. That’s the way it was with your dad, n’ that’s the way it is for you, too. So if you really want to do something about it the first thing you need to do is to just stay away from her until you get yourself together.’ Now that’s exactly what I told him.

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About the Author

Dale Herd has published four books of short stories. His writing has been shaped by the many experiences he has had working as an itinerant laborer on construction sites, wrecking yards, in fast food kitchens, gas stations, Salvation Army yards, slaughterhouses, train yards, and in social work. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife. They have three sons.

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#BookBlitz “Her Jailer’s Secret” by Brian F. Smith

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A broken family’s fight against a brutal justice system

 

Historical Fiction, Australian History, Literary Fiction

Date Published: April 2022

Publisher: Tablo Publishing

 

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In 1786 Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a 26 year old woman, became involved in England’s brutal justice system and found herself exiled from her homeland to Botany Bay in the antipodes where she had to endure brutality, near starvation, love and a shipwreck off Norfolk Island with her friend Jane Fitzgerald. She bore twin girls to a marine William Mitchell while on the island and began her own family in this strange new land, as she never expected to ever see her family members, or friends, ever again.

On her return to Sydney she began a new life with another soldier, Thomas Wright, with whom she had another child but was imprisoned again for selling her children’s rations to purchase rum where she met a strange cockney woman named Margaret, who was in charge of the prison and who changed her life.

William Mitchell, who returned to England carried out an investigation into who Margaret really was as she had now died, and in doing so came up against Irish rebels who threatened his life but finally gave him a sealed letter as to her true identity, that could not be opened by anyone other than one of  the two Fitzgerald women.

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About the Author

Brian F. Smith has always had an interest in writing that became further enhanced with his early career moves which included his service with the
Australian Army before joining the Victoria Police Force. He later went on to become the Chief Security Officer at the Loloho Port Site on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea. On his return to Australia, he founded the ‘Jordan River Journal,’ a Hobart, Tasmania suburban newspaper before going to the island’s west coast where he founded the ‘ The Western Herald’ another local weekly newspaper. Since his retirement, he has written four
books: ‘Off The Record”, “Convict Connections’, ‘Witness to a Miracle’ and ‘Her Jailer’s Secrets’. In 2020 he obtained a Diploma in Family History from the University of Tasmania.

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#BookTour “Tunnel of Mirrors” by Ferne Arfin

We’re celebrating the release of Ferne Arfin’s novel, Tunnel of Mirrors. Read on for more details and a chance to win a hardcover edition of the book and a signed bookplate!

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Tunnel of Mirrors

Publication Date: February 1st, 2022

Genre: Literary Fiction/ Contemporary Literary Fiction/ Romantic Elements “Eternal Lovers”

Publisher: Green River Press

Rachel Isaacson, spirited, otherworldly and haunted, is born into a rigidly Old World family in New York’s Lower East Side. Hungry for independence, Rachel enters a marriage of convenience with violent consequences.

Across the Atlantic, storyteller, fiddler and cliff climber Ciaran McMurrough is raised in pastoral innocence on Rathlin off the coast of Ulster. His upbringing in a tight-knit, isolated community leaves him unprepared for the subtle political passions following the Irish Civil War.

Outcasts-one by choice, one by chance-Rachel and Ciaran meet on the docks of lower Manhattan in 1928. Drawn to each other in this lyrical story, must they repeat a doomed cycle as eternal lovers?

Tunnel of Mirrors fires the imagination and stirs the soul…a story to savour that remains long in the mind. I loved it.”

-Sunday Times Bestselling Author of Our Story, Miranda Dickinson

“Humour, emotion, and perfectly tuned dialogue, ensures her people are triumphantly alive.”

-Novelist Janette Jenkins, author of Firefly and Little Bones

Tunnel of Mirrors is a beautiful, lyrical recreation of the past. With warmth, wit and great heart, Ferne Arfin takes the reader back into the struggles and small victories of a lost world.”

-Toby Litt, English writer and academic, author of Patience

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Excerpt

Every morning, on the way to work, Rachel stopped at Bessie’s to change from the modest cotton dresses her father allowed into one of the swingy, short frocks that she and Bessie made during their lunch breaks. Then, their hemlines a daring nine inches above the ground, the two girls swanked uptown to their jobs at Mishkin’s, Theatrical Costumiers to the Trade.

Mishkin’s son, Arthur, managed the sewing rooms. He was sweet on Bessie and any friend of Bessie’s was a friend of his, so both girls could count on extra break time for their own sewing. They could count on remnants of fabric, from time to time, as well.

Mishkin allowed his trimmers to keep the beads and feathers swept up at the end of the day. Lately, Arthur, who Bessie kept on a very long leash, had begun passing on the full boxes of beads that were often left over when a show was dressed. These were supposed to go back into stock but Arthur said, “What the heck. They’re paid for. If my old man asks, you got them from the sweepings.”

“You’re a real prince, Arty,” Bessie would say and he would glow for a week. Sometimes she even gave him a peck on the cheek. It was a small price to pay for the very same sequins and beads the showgirls wore when they danced for Ziegfeld and Minsky.

Rachel and Bessie were making special dresses. They had big plans. It was no use knowing all the latest steps, if you couldn’t show them off at the landsmannschaft socials, where bearded old men and everybody’s mother prowled the dance floor. And most of the boys at Corkery’s Shamrock Dancehall thought a good time was slipping a double bathtub gin into a girl’s Moxie and seeing how far you could get her to go. If you went to Corkery’s too often, the regulars started thinking you were a charity girl who would do just about anything for the price of a bottle of pop. Drunken boys were always staggering out of there whistling the tune to I’ll Say She Does. Even though Corkery made his payments, the place got raided at least once a month. Duvi said it was part of Corkery’s arrangement with Tierney, who was the local boss, because it kept the neighbours off the councilman’s back. Duvi always knew about the raids in advance, so the girls never got into trouble.

But now Rachel and Bessie were ready for better things. In the right place, a girl could meet big spenders who were hot steppers and who carried real Canadian whiskey in silver hip flasks. But for high-class dancehalls like Roseland or Dreamworld or Feldman’s Coney Island Palace, they needed real dance dresses.

Bessie thought Rachel should bob her hair. But some things couldn’t be left behind in Bessie’s rooms and Rachel was careful to protect her new double life. “You said you wasn’t afraid of your old man,” Bessie insisted. Rachel couldn’t make Bessie, who never did anything by half, understand that some arguments were not worth the trouble. Or that most of the trouble would land on her mother. Bessie hadn’t had a mother in such a long time.

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Rachel weighed a heavy hank of glass beads across the palm of her hand. Bugles. The most delicate cylinders of crystal blue and green, threaded on lengths of fine silk. They sparked like a shoal of moon-chased minnows. There were enough to finish.

“And about time too,” Bessie said. Bessie had grown impatient with Rachel’s fussy particularity. Anything that glittered made Bessie happy. While Rachel waited for just the right colours, Bessie had finished her dress and was stringing a boa of pink dyed marabou feathers. She waved it under Rachel’s nose. “Ain’t these just dee-vine?” she said. “Ain’t they just the cat’s pyjamas?”

Rachel didn’t have the heart to tell her she looked like an explosion at bead factory; Bessie was so eager to make what she imagined would be a very grand entrance at Roseland. “Look out fellas, here I come.”

Rachel had planned more carefully, making sure Arty found just what she needed. If Arty ever wondered why he took so much trouble for a skinny Jewish girl, when he was already married to one and when it was her Irish shiksa friend he was after, Rachel did not let him wonder for long. Still the dress had taken months to finish. It was covered with beaded fringe and scattered with iridescent sequins, flashes of silver and the smallest seed pearls that Arty could finagle. From its pure white hemline, it rose in a narrow column through all the greens and blues to a deep cobalt at the shoulders. When Rachel put it on, she looked like a creature risen from the bottom of the ocean, seafoam still clinging about her knees.

“Geez, you look like a million, kiddo.” Bessie said. “Who’d ever guess you was jail-bait.”

Available on Amazon and at B&N

About the Author

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London-based American writer Ferne Arfin has worked as a journalist, copywriter, actress and travel writer. Her short stories have been anthologised by Virago and Travellers’ Tales. Tunnel of Mirrors is her first published novel.

The View from Chelsea | Ferne Arfin | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok

 

Giveaway: Tunnel of Mirrors (Hardcover Edition) & Signed Bookplate (UK & North America Only)

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Book Tour Schedule

March 28th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Books + Coffee = Happiness (Interview) https://bookscoffeehappiness.com/

Timeless Romance Blog (Spotlight) https://aubreywynne.com/

Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Spotlight) https://latishaslowkeylife.com/

Bunny’s Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

 March 29th

Raven’z Reviews (Interview & Review) http://ravenzreviews.blogspot.com/

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

March 30th

@what.kerry.reads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/what.kerry.reads/

  @gryffindorbookishnerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

March 31st

Riss Reviews (Spotlight) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

 @infinite.readlist (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/infinite.readlist/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

April 1st

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

Not a Bunny (Review) https://notanybunny.wordpress.com/blog

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

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#PreOrder “Through the Eyes of Others” by Roxanne Rhaman

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Nellie Shelton has a lot going for her. She’s seventeen, mixed-raced in a small town, and she’s just left her private high school to transfer and be the new kid…for her senior year. She has three siblings that treat her like the baby sister they’ve always known, and two parents who haven’t been in a room together since their divorce.

When she accidentally gets pregnant her sophomore year of college, she knows she’s made a horrible mistake. That’s when she realizes two important things: traveling down the wrong path is easy. Admitting it is the challenge.

As she struggles with deciding whether to keep her secret from an overprotective family, or admit she’s not as perfect as they would like, Nellie will learn that occasionally your life veers off into unexpected places. Where one decision can lead somewhere you’d never imagine. Through the Eyes of Others is the story of a girl hoping to make her family proud, while also striving to believe in true love.

Releases March 29th!

Available at all online digital retailers

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#Featured “The Miseducation of Obi Ofeanyi” by Chinedu Achebe

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Obi Ifeanyi’s life is moving at a fast pace. He is now a husband and father. So while President Obama is contending with a tough reelection campaign, Obi Ifeanyi is dealing with the day to day pressures of married life and raising a son. When his former love interest, Sade Olufemi, comes back into his life and decides to run her political campaign with the help of his wife, Nkechi, Obi’s problems are compounded because Sade is a secret Nkechi is better not knowing about. While he struggles with the torment of Sade’s return, the upcoming wedding of his best friend from law school, will lead to the unveiling of a secret that will change the dynamics of the Ifeanyi family forever.

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#BookTour “The Lion Trees” by Owen Thomas

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Literary Fiction

 

Date Published: August 25, 2014

Publisher: OTF Literary, LLC

“THE LION TREES” — WINNER OF THE KINDLE BOOK AWARD!

 

What if survival required you to unlearn who you are? How far would you fall to save yourself? Sometimes happiness is a long way down.

The Johns family is unraveling. Hollis, a retired Ohio banker, isolates himself in esoteric hobbies and a dangerous flirtation with a colleague’s daughter. Susan, his wife of forty years, risks everything for a second chance at who she might have been. David, their eldest, thrashes to stay afloat as his teaching career capsizes in a storm of accusations over a missing student and the legacy of Christopher Columbus. While Tilly, the black sheep, trades her literary promise for an improbable career as a starlet, and then struggles to define herself amidst a humiliating scandal and the judgment of an uncompromising writer.

By turns comical, suspenseful and poignant, the Johns family is tumbling toward the discovery that sometimes you have to let go of your identity to find out who you are.

 

Owen Thomas’ rollicking debut novel is the winner of 16 international book awards, including: the 2015 Amazon Kindle Book Award for Literary Fiction, the 2015 Global eBook Award for New Adult Fiction, a 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Award, the 2015 ‘Book of The Year’ for BooksAndAuthor.com, Finalist for the 2015 First Horizon Book Award, and placements at the London Book Festival, the New York Book Festival, the Amsterdam Book Festival, and the Beverly Hills International Book Awards.

Highly addictive, spectacular, and mind blowing… Thomas is a wizard of fiction. — U.S. Review of Books

 

A sweeping literary saga in the traditional ‘Dr. Zhivago’, ‘Gone with the Wind’, and ‘The Thorn Birds’, this book has it all… original and stirring… –The Eric Hoffer Book Award

 

[A] cerebral page turner…a powerful and promising debut.–Kirkus Reviews

 

Winner of 16 International Book Awards, including the Kindle Book Award, the Global eBook Award, The Eric Hoffer Book Award, the London Book Festival, the New York Book Festival, the Amsterdam Book Festival, and the Beverly Hills International Book Awards.

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About the Author

Owen Thomas is a life-long Alaskan and avid reader. He has written five books: “The Lion Trees” (which has garnered over sixteen international book awards, including the Amazon Kindle Book Award, the Eric Hoffer Book Award, the Book and Author Book of the Year, the Beverly Hills International Book Award and, most recently, a finalist in the 2020 Book Excellence Awards); “Mother Blues,” (a novel of music and mystery set in post-Hurricane Harvey Texas); “Message in a Bullet: A Raymond Mackey Mystery,” (the first in a series of detective novels); “Signs of Passing” (a book of interconnected short stories, and winner of fourteen book awards, including the 2014 Pacific Book Awards for Short Fiction, also named one of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2015 by Shelf Unbound Magazine); and “This is the Dream,” (a collection of stories and novellas that explore that perplexing liminal distance between who we are and what we want). Owen maintains an active fiction and photography blog on Facebook, Tumblr and on his author website at http://www.owenthomasliterary.com. 

 For the ninth consecutive year since he has been measuring his commercial success as an author, Owen has not won the Orange Prize for Fiction. Also, to great acclaim, he has not won the Man Booker Prize. Most recently, in April of 2020, Owen was not nominated for a Pulitzer. 

 Owen makes his home in Alaska, Arizona and Hawaii. When he is not writing, Owen can be found recreating and taking photographs in the grandeur of these wonderfully picturesque locations. Some of these photos are posted on Owen’s photo blog, 1000 Words per Frame.

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#BookSale “Stand Your Ground: A Novel” by Victoria Christopher Murray

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From the #1 Essence bestselling and award-winning author of The Personal Librarian comes Stand Your Ground, a novel about two mothers who must grapple with their faith and belief in justice in the midst of a highly charged murder trial involving the death of an African-American teenage boy.

A black teenage boy is dead. A white man shot him. Was he standing his ground or was it murder?

Janice Johnson is living every black mother’s nightmare. Her seventeen-year-old son was murdered and the shooter has not been arrested. Can the D.A. and the police be trusted to investigate and do the right thing? Should Janice take advantage of the public outcry and join her husband alongside the angry protestors who are out for revenge?

Meredith Spencer is married to the man accused of the killing and she sees her husband and the situation with far more clarity than anyone realizes. What she knows could blow the case wide open, but what will that mean for her life and that of her son? Will she have the courage to come forward in time so that justice can be done?

#1 national bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray’s Stand Your Ground is a pulse-pounding meditation on race, motherhood, marriage, and vigilante justice that will have readers spellbound until its shocking end.

1.99 at all online digital retailers for a limited time!

Amazon

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#BookSale “Harry Harambee’s Kenyan Sundowner” by Gerald Everett Jones

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Intrigue on the white sands of the Indian Ocean. From the award-winning author of Clifford’s Spiral.

A lonely widower from Los Angeles buys a tour package to East Africa on the promise of hookups and parties. What he finds instead are new reasons to live. Aldo Barbieri, a slick Italian tour operator, convinces Harry to join a group of adventuresome “voluntourists.” In a resort town on the Indian Ocean, Harry doesn’t find the promised excitement with local ladies. But in the supermarket he meets Esther Mwemba, a demure widow who works as a bookkeeper. The attraction is strong and mutual, but Harry gets worried when he finds out that Esther and Aldo have a history. They introduce him to Victor Skebelsky, rumored to be the meanest man in town. Skebelsky has a plan to convert his grand colonial home and residential compound into a rehab center – as a tax dodge. The scheme calls for Harry to head up the charity. He could live like a wealthy diplomat and it won’t cost him a shilling! Harry has to come to terms with questions at the heart of his character: Is corruption a fact of life everywhere? Is all love transactional? Harry Harambee’s Kenyan Sundowner is an emotional story of expat intrigue in Africa, reminiscent of The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene and The Constant Gardener by John le Carré.

Praise for Clifford’s Spiral (Independent Press Awards 2020 Distinguished Favorite in Literary Fiction) We’ve seen and noted the comparison of this author by other reviewers to literary giants like Roth and Vonnegut. And we can’t disagree. Yet we feel there may be yet another strata for Gerald Everett Jones, who arguably is doing the best work of his career. We predict that he lacks only a mention in the The New York Review of Books or, better yet, Oprah, to become a nationwide best-selling author. Five-plus stars to Clifford’s Spiral, a true literary novel if ever there was one. We say in all seriousness that if you only read one novel this year, this should be it. – Don Sloan, Publishers Daily Reviews

Preacher Finds a Corpse (NYC Big Book Awards 2020 Winner in Mystery, IPA 2020 Distinguished Favorite in Mystery, Eric Hoffer 2020 Finalist in Mystery) This is literature masquerading as a mystery. Carefully yet powerfully, Gerald Jones creates a small, stunning world in a tiny midwestern town, infusing each character with not just life but wit, charm, and occasionally menace. This is the kind of writing one expects from John Irving or Jane Smiley. – Marvin J. Wolf, author of the Rabbi Ben Mysteries, including A Scribe Dies in Brooklyn

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#BookBlitz “Shifting to Freedom” by Marlene F. Cheng

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Literary Fiction, Autofiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction

 

 

Published: July 2021

In the literary, auto fiction about contemporary women, Shifting to Freedom, Tess, a medical doctor, to escape from fear, pain, horrendous manic depressive mood swings, and hallucinations, dissociates, crossing invisible barriers to become ‘alter’nate personalities.

Her life, heartrending in sadness, constantly threatens to become unraveled.

Her tenuous hope for recovery is as fragile as her emotions.

Shattering” is her constant fear.

We hear her cry from the darkness, tears we cannot stop, but we hold on to what we can—hope.

 

What people are saying about Shifting to Freedom:

Marlene writes with great facility. Her writing is intelligent; her prose is poetic. In my practice, I’ve treated patients with Multiple-Personality Disorder. It would be unprofessional of me to give a definitive diagnosis without interviewing Tess and the “alters.” However, there is no doubt that Tess has dissociative episodes. To survive the horrific traumas of childhood, she would have had to develop an escape mechanism, and dissociating was probably, the only way.”— Dr. David Yeung MBBS, FRCPC.

I can’t help but think, because of the explicit detail, that this story is, at least in part, autofiction. Or else, the author must have known Tess, intimately. Her story is painfully acute, deeply sad, riveting, and all engrossing. It brings awareness to Multiple-Personality Disorder that I could never have imagined. To help rid the stigma that surrounds mental illness, Tess’s story needs to reach a broad audience.”—ML from Vancouver, BC., a beta reader and severe critic during the early throes of Tess’s story becoming a book.

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About the Author

I ran barefoot on the Canadian prairies in the dust that settled after the 2nd World War. That makes me an octogenarian, an oldie.

Thrust from the infinity of wheat fields into the warp of the Rockies, Selkirk and Purcell mountains, the light that defined a frightful, but interesting, high school life challenged me.

Our neighbours were all Italian—migrants to Canadian mining towns. With his Welsh-born farmers’ busyness, my father found strange their art of dolce far niente—that is, the sweetness of doing nothing. They practised it, “Come in. Come in. Sit down. Taste my homemade vino.” My father adapted. The family adapted.

And the flames of railway trestles burning and women parading nude colored life. Doukhobors (a sect that had fled persecution in Russia) settled in the Kootenays. They protested having to send their children to public schools.

Wearing a babushka and twirling spaghetti, not only did I survive those years, but I thrived.

Vancouver, the big city, where I discovered traffic lights and city buses, claimed me for medical lab training, and I worked the night shift in the blood bank to put myself through university.

I’ve worked in cancer research, taught at tech schools, become a registered massage therapist, taken up energy schooling in NY., married and raised two kids, and, at 73, published A Many Layered Skirt, a biography about a young Chinese girl trying to keep one frightening step ahead of the soldiers, during the Japanese occupation.

My husband, of 56 years, was Chinese. Our mixed marriage was intriguing, and happiness was ours. Interests in people, cultures and places took us around the world. Many of those adventures find their way into my writing. He passed away, throwing my life into chaos. Now, I’ve picked up the pen, again. I wonder what it will write.

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