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Friday, May 24, 2019

Authors To Watch: Steve Starger, Author of Misfits and Supermen #authorstowatch




Steve Starger is a journalist, author, and musician. His 2006 book, “Wally’s World: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Wally Wood, the World’s Second-Best Comic-Book Artist,” was short-listed for the Will Eisner Industry Award for Best Comics Related Book of 2006.







The bond of brotherhood is hard to break, but a lifetime of dealing with familial expectation, bitterness, and psychological disorders can bend and warp it into something nearly unrecognizable. This story tells the tale of two brothers: Melvyn, the elder, whose
amalgamation of disorders leave him completely unable to function within society; and Stephen, the younger, whose own emotional and psychological issues are overshadowed to the point where he becomes little more than a pale and twisted reflection of his brother.

On different ends of the same spectrum, Melvyn is blissfully unaware of their troubling connection (or so his brother can only assume), but for Stephen, it is undeniable. He lives with it every day, sensing his own otherness in every twitch, outburst, and inability of his brother to overcome his inner demons. Left largely on his own to deal with his peculiarities-while carrying the burden of being "the normal one," of whom much is expected- Stephen begins a complicated and unpredictable journey, one which will take him as far from his brother as he can manage to get, even as it brings them inexorably closer.

A portion of proceeds from this book will go toward the Camp Cuheca Scholarship - Melvyn D. Starger fund at Waterford Country School, Quaker Hill, CT., to help fund a two-week summer residency at the camp. For more information about Waterford Country School, please email development@waterforddcs.org.

“A finely crafted, affecting memoir of two brothers.”
-- Kirkus Reviews
If you want an honest book about life with mental illness in the family, this is it. Great writing. Brutally honest. Hard to put it down. Great stories about CT, NY and CA from the 1940s to 2000.”

--Amazon Reviewer

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Welcome to My Bookish Pleasures. We would love to get to know you and your book! When did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was about 7-8 years old. I would scribble little adventure tales on available paper.
Describe your writing process. When and where do you write?
These days, I write in my home office. I’ve written on trains, buses, planes, in motel and hotel rooms, anywhere I could to capture a thought or image that came into my head. My best writing time is before noon.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
The book is titled Misfits and Supermen: Two Brothers’ Journey along the Spectrum. It’s a memoir about the relationship between me and my older brother, who was burdened with multiple psychiatric disorders that led to his being institutionalized most of his life.
How did you get the idea for the book?
I started out wanting to write my brother’s life story, as a way of preventing his memory from disappearing, something that can and does happen to people in my brother’s situation. When he died, I felt the urgency more than ever. It took years for me to face the story head-on, and five years of writing it. Now, it exists, and so does he.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
Revisiting and reliving painful events in my and my family’s life generated by my brother’s conditions.
Do you find it easier to write nonfiction?
Being a professional journalist, I know the mechanics of research, interviewing, editing, etc. In that sense, writing nonfiction may be easier.

Do you have plans to write fiction?
I’ve written fiction and no doubt will again.
What projects are you currently working on?
My main activity right now is promoting Misfits and Supermen, but I have no doubt I’ll be back at writing new work again.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring nonfiction authors?
If you have what it takes to be a writer, don’t be discouraged by rejections from publishers. Take the criticism and advice of family members and friends with a grain of salt, unless they are professional writers. Write true and honestly, no matter how painful. Never give up!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Blast: The Prison Planet Handbook by Denis Goodwin - Win a $25 Gift Card






Title: The Prison Planet Handbook
Author: Denis Goodwin
Publisher: XLibris
Genre: Reference
Format: Ebook


Who are we, and where did we come from? When we turn to the information provided to us, we find a mud pool of possibilities. Is this intended to subvert our built-in guidance systems? We also discover that people who are adept at researching big-picture science are offered special jobs conditional on being sworn to secrecy. What is behind this strategy? Sometimes, the reality prescribed to us doesn’t fit with or explain what we experience. So if you too know something is not quite right, wonder what else is out there, what the bigger picture is, who benefits with us excluded from it, and are ready for changes on earth, the bottom line is here.

PURCHASE HERE


GIVEAWAY

DENIS IS GIVING AWAY A $25 GIFT CARD!

  
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 20 and ends on May 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone! 

ENTER TO WIN!

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Dreams That Never Were Pre-Release Book Blast





Title: DREAMS THAT NEVER WERE
Author: Greg Messel
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing
Pages: 296
Genre: Historical Fiction



On June 5, 1968 Senator Robert F. Kennedy, then a candidate for President, is mortally wounded by assassin Sirhan Sirhan in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Among the innocent bystanders who were also shot that night is a young idealistic reporter from San Francisco, Alex Hurley.

The tragic incident changes his life as he’s swept up in the turbulent events of 1968.  Alex is conflicted about the Vietnam War after spending several months there as a reporter. The war costs him his first marriage and threatens to tear his family apart. However, he meets a woman who’s love restores his hope and together they forge a new life set against the backdrop of the war, the civil rights struggle and political upheaval in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Alex Hurley’s story is part political thriller and partly a romance in “Dreams That Never Were,” the latest historical fiction novel by award winning author Greg Messel.

The title comes from a famous quote of Robert F. Kennedy’s “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’”
______________________







I heard unfamiliar voices talking.
“He’s starting to open his eyes,” someone said.
“That’s a great sign,” commented another.
I detected a pain in my side, just below my rib cage. I tried to open my eyes, but they seemed to be glued shut. The voices resumed—talking about me as if I wasn’t there. Finally, I blinked my eyes, trying to focus, and soon realized  I was in a hospital bed. Standing by me, with concerned looks etched on their faces, was an odd collection of people from my life. 
Through my bleary eyes, I saw my ex-wife Brenda; John Greer, my photographer pal from San Francisco; and Darlene Harvey, the reporter from the Los Angeles Times, I’d been admiring from afar since I had arrived in Southern California. 
Brenda moved forward and tenderly gripped my hand in a way that she had not done for a long time. 
“How are you, Alex?” she asked softly. 
I gave a weak shake of my head. “I dunno. What happened?” 
“Don’t you remember, mate?” John jumped in. 
“Remember what?” I mumbled blankly, as my weak voice tailed off into nothing.
“He’s still coming out of the drugs. Give him a minute,” Brenda pleaded. “They’ve been keeping him kind of doped up since the surgery. This is the first time I’ve been able to talk to him.”
“Surgery?” I asked. 
Brenda shushed me and gently ran her long, slender fingers through my hair. “Take it easy. Don't try to talk right now. Take your time. Then we’ll help you understand what happened.”
I groggily attempted to get my bearings. “We were at the hotel. Everyone was celebrating Bobby’s victory. I was following him out of the ballroom, and there was like a riot. I was suddenly on the floor and couldn’t get up. It was strange. All of these people kept stepping on me—on my arm and on my legs.” 
I glanced at my right hand which was heavily bandaged. “I got knocked down. I’m sorry. Everything is a little hazy. I’m having trouble getting my brain to work.”
The three people hovering over me could not have been more different—two beautiful women and John, with his long black hair pulled back in a ponytail and a scruffy beard covering his face. The trio exchanged concerned glances, whispered, and nodded at one another. I started to shift in my bed and was met with a jolts of pain in my side and my leg. 
Brenda attempted to lighten the mood. “I was afraid you’d wake up in your hospital bed, see your ex-wife standing over you, and think you’d died and gone to hell.”
I gave her a weak smile, while the others chuckled to break the tension. 
Brenda was trying to make sure my re-entry was a slow descent, but that strategy was quickly dashed when John started blurting out all the details of the last 14 hours. “Take it easy, Alexander. You’ve had surgery. You were shot, man. They removed the bullet. The doc says you’re going to be fine. Some people from San Francisco are on their way down here, including our boss. Everyone’s been worried about you after they saw the news.”
“The news? I was shot?”
Brenda glared at John. “Way to go slow, John. Senator Kennedy was shot. You and some other people were also wounded by the assassin.”
“No, no, no!” I yelled. “Bobby was shot? No, not this time! This wasn’t supposed to happen! Assassin? Is Senator Kennedy going to be all right?” 
John moved closer. “Bobby’s just down the hall. He’s still alive, but he’s not doing very well.”
“Not doing very well?” I snapped with rapidly accelerating alarm.
John blundered ahead. “This place is like a fortress. It was hard to get in here especially onto this floor. Cops are everywhere.”
“Maybe we should go,” Darlene said shooting a glance at John. “We’ll come back later, Alex. We just had to see you. We were so worried.” 
“No, no, don’t leave right now,” I pleaded. I repeated what I had been told to try to take in the enormity of the news. “Senator Kennedy was shot. How could… how did it happen?”
Brenda nodded to John and Darlene. “I’ll stay with him. I know you must be very busy.”
Darlene leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. She was dabbing tears from her eyes. “It’s been a long night. We’re all living in a nightmare. I’m so sorry, Alexander. It’s good to see you awake.”
Darlene grabbed John by the elbow and pushed him towards the door. John flashed a peace sign. “Peace, my brother. I’ll see you a little later. Take it easy and get better. I’ve got to call San Francisco. Everyone’s anxious to hear about you.”
After they departed, I tried to shift to get a better look at Brenda. She looked great. Her long black hair cascaded onto her shoulders. It was longer than I had ever seen her wear it. She wore a lime green mini dress with white trim and white boots. 
“Where am I, and what time is it?” I quizzed Brenda. “Actually… what day is it?”
“It’s Wednesday,” she checked her wrist watch. “It’s about a quarter to two.”
“At night? What happened to Tuesday?!”
“You had surgery earlier today, and I just got to town. I came straight to the hospital. I flew down as soon as I heard about the assassination attempt. Your name was on the television as one of those wounded with Bobby. I caught the next plane to LA to see you.”
“Uh… wow… that’s… I mean, I’m overwhelmed. That’s a lot of money. Is that all right with Tom?”
“I was very upset, and Tom immediately offered to fly me down here to see you.”
“That’s very nice… of you… and your husband.”
“Alex, I don’t think you’ve grasped what’s going on outside this room. It’s a national crisis. I wish you could look out the window at the street below. There are barriers up, and hundreds, if not thousands, of people are lining the street in the front of this hospital. News about the shooting is on TV constantly.”
“Where’s Senator Kennedy now?” I groggily asked.
“Here. Eric Sevareid and Walter Cronkite have been on CBS saying something has happened to the fabric of our nation. There are signs everywhere that say ‘Pray for Bobby.’ The raw footage of the shooting has been shown over and over again on NBC. You’re right. After the shots were fired, it was like a riot. When I turned on my television, not only did I see Bobby bleeding on the floor in the pantry, but I saw you on the ground with a pool of blood under you. You were wearing a blue blazer, lying on the floor on your side against the wall.”







 







Greg Messel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and lives on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, with his wife, Jean DeFond. Dreams That Never Were is his 11th novel and is a historical fiction account of a young reporter caught up in the events surrounding the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Greg has also written a series of mystery novels set in San Francisco in the 1950s. He has lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Utah and has always loved writing, including stints as a reporter, columnist and news editor for a daily newspaper. Greg won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a colunist and has contributed articles to various magazines.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Authors to Watch: Kevin C. Alston, Author of The 'Real' American Diet




Born & raised in the small town of Mullins, SC, by God-fearing parents who instilled religion into his life at an early age, he's had an insatiable appetite for knowledge since birth. God blessed him with a keen, analytical mind, & an almost feverish desire to help others. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran, married to the love of his life, with five wonderful kids, & a deep passion that still burns within him to help the less fortunate, through whatever means necessary.  The correlation between what we eat & the epidemic-like rise in diseases of today has the author on an impassioned mission to get to the bottom of what he thinks is a big conspiracy by our government & Big Business.

His latest book is The ‘Real’ American Diet.




Welcome to My Bookish Pleasures. We would love to get to know you and your book! When did you begin writing? 

I actually began writing around 2003, if my memory serves me correctly. I wrote poems, mainly. I've actually written approximately 100 of them. My friends & coworkers actually tried to convince me to compile a book of poetry, but because quite a few of my poems were of a personal nature, I decided against it. 

Describe your writing process. When and where do you write? 

I make it a habit of keeping a pen & pieces of paper in my pocket, just in case I had an idea. Quite a few of my writings occurred at work. I'd have a lull in actually physically working, & I'd stop whatever I was doing to jot my thoughts down. If I was driving down the highway & came up with something, I'd do my best to jot it down once I was able to do so. I actually bought a voice recorder, but I lost it & have yet to replace it.

Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

The 'Real' American Diet is my most recent, & currently, only release, although I do have another book 'in the works', which means I've already thought of a title for my upcoming piece, but it's on the back burner until I get my first book out into the mainstream.

How did you get the idea for the book? 

I've always been a health-conscious person. Seeing so many friends, family, & coworkers suffering with the ailments of today, mainly cancer, my analytical side began digging even deeper into what I had already suspected was the true culprit behind most of our issues, our diets. My book is the culmination of my analytics, per se. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? 

The most challenging aspect of writing the book, for me, was trying to convince myself that I had enough to write about. When I initially started, I figured I'd have about 10-12 pages worth, maybe. But, I ended up being pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be quite a bit more.

Do you find it easier to write nonfiction?

 I just write about whatever I have a passion for. The category never crosses my mind.

Do you have plans to write fiction? 

You never know. If I happen to have a passion for it at the time, that's what I will end up doing.

What projects are you currently working on? 

I'm currently taking a break from writing, but ideas are constantly popping up. I really would like to write a piece for a television show or movie.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring nonfiction authors?

My advice for new or aspiring authors, write about what inspires you. It's much easier to come up with material if you have a passion for it.




This book is a culmination of the author's life, but mainly the past 10 years, where personal tragedies have led him to discover more about the correlation with food, nutrition & the diseases of today, & how it affects us all. 

This program is an experiment of sorts, with the author using himself as the guinea pig, with positive results having been discovered, & hopefully, in time, even bigger positive results yet to come. 

Between our government & Big Business, we, the people, are already involved in an experiment.  It's like a big laboratory.  With all of the harmful toxins that are allowed in our air, food, &  water, diseases are at epidemic-like levels, & the author, for one, would like to know if there is more to this than is being told to us. It speaks volumes when other nations refuse to accept grains & meats from us, or at least it does to the author. 

Most of the ailments we suffer from today emanate from our guts, & our poor diets keep the sickness-wheels turning, costing each of us millions of dollars, a whole lot of heartache, pain, & suffering.  It's time to make a change, & that change started with the author's experiment on himself.

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