Mar 142014
 

WELCOME BACK PETER MURPHY


PETER MURPHY

Peter Murphy was born in Killarney where he spent his first three years before his family was deported to Dublin, the Strumpet City.

Growing up in the verdant braes of Templeogue, Peter was schooled by the De La Salle brothers in Churchtown where he played rugby for ‘The Wine and Gold’. He also played football (soccer) in secret!

After that, he graduated and studied the Humanities in Grogan’s under the guidance of Scot’s corner and the bar staff; Paddy, Tommy and Sean.

Murphy financed his education by working summers on the buildings sites of London in such places as Cricklewood, Camden Town and Kilburn.

Murphy also tramped the roads of Europe playing music and living without a care in the world.
But his move to Canada changed all of that. He only came over for a while – thirty years ago.
He took a day job and played music in the bars at night until the demands of family life intervened.
Having raised his children and packed them off to University, Murphy answered the long ignored internal voice and began to write.

He has no plans to make plans for the future and is happy to let things unfold as they do anyway.
Connect with Peter at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

ABOUT THE BOOK

BORN & BRED is the first novel in the Life & Times Trilogy, a cycle of three books that will chart the course of one star-crossed life. It is a work of vibrant imagination from a poetic novelist of the first order.

Danny Boyle was a born angel.

At least that’s what his granny used to say, and she should know – she raised him after his parents proved incapable. When she becomes ill, Danny is reunited with his parents but they do not get to live happily ever after, as the ghosts of the past haunt their days. And when the old woman dies, all of her secrets come to light and shatter everything Danny believes in.

In the turmoil of 1970’s Ireland, an alienated Danny gets into drugs and is involved in a gangland killing. Duped by the killers into leaving his prints on the gun, Danny needs all the help his friends and family can muster. Calling in favors from bishops and priests, police and paramilitaries, God and the devil, the living and the dead, they do all that they can. But even that might not be enough.

READ AN EXCERPT

On the night of Aug 10th, nineteen seventy-seven, Daniel Bartholomew Boyle made the biggest mistake of his young life, one that was to have far-reaching consequences for him and those around him. He might have argued that the course of his life had already been determined by happenings that occurred before he was born but, poor Catholic that he was, riddled with guilt and shame, he believed that he, and he alone, was responsible. He had been dodging the inevitable since Scully got lifted but he knew it was only a matter of time before it caught up with him. Perhaps that was why he paused in front of the old cinema in Terenure after weeks of skulking in the shadows. Perhaps that was why he waited in the drizzle as the passing car turned back and pulled up beside him.

“Get in the car, Boyle.”

Danny wanted to make an excuse – to say that he was waiting for someone – but he knew better.

And it wouldn’t do to keep them waiting. They weren’t the patient sort, twitchy and nervous, and single-minded without a shred of compassion. He looked around but the streets were empty. There was no one to help him now, standing like a target in front of the art deco facade of the Classic.

The cinema had been closed for over a year, its light and projectors darkened, and now lingered in hope of new purpose. He had spent hours in there with Deirdre, exploring each other in the dark while watching the midnight film, stoned out of their minds, back when they first started doing the stuff. He used to do a lot of his dealing there, too, around the back where no one ever looked.

“Come on, Boyle. We haven’t got all fuckin’ night.”

Danny’s bowels fluttered as he stooped to look inside the wet black car. Anthony Flanagan was sitting in the passenger’s seat, alongside a driver Danny had seen around. He was called “The Driller” and they said he was from Derry and was lying low in Dublin. They said he was an expert at knee-capping and had learned his trade from the best. Danny had no choice; things would only get worse if he didn’t go along with them.

“How are ya?” He tested the mood as he settled into the back seat beside a cowered and battered Scully. He had known Scully since he used to hang around the Dandelion Market. He was still at school then and spent his Saturday afternoons there, down the narrow covered lane that ran from Stephen’s Green into the Wonderland where the hip of Dublin could come together to imitate what was going on in the rest of the world – but in a particularly Dublin way.

Dave, the busker, always took the time to nod to him as he passed. Dave was black and played Dylan in a Hendrix way. He always wore an afghan coat and his guitar was covered with peace symbols. Danny would drop a few coins as he passed and moved on between the stalls as Dylan gave way to Horslips, Rory Gallagher, and Thin Lizzy.

The stalls were stacked with albums and tapes, josh sticks and tie-dyed t-shirts with messages like “Peace” and “Love,” pictures of green plants and yellow Happy Faces along with posters of Che, whose father’s people had come from Galway.

The stalls were run by Hippies from such far-out places as Blackrock and Sandyford, students from Belfield and Trinity, and a select few from Churchtown. They were all so aloof as they tried to mask their involvement in commercialism under a veneer of cool. Danny knew most of them by sight, and some by name. On occasion he’d watch over their stalls when they had to get lunch or relieve themselves. He was becoming a part of the scene.

***

“Hey Boyle!”

Danny had seen Scully around before but they had never spoken. Scully, everyone said, was the guy to see about hash and acid, and, on occasion, some opium.

“You go to school in Churchtown?”

Danny just nodded, not wanting to seem over-awed.

“Wanna make some bread?”

“Sure. What do I have to do?”

“Just deliver some stuff to a friend. He’ll meet up with you around the school and no one will know – if you’re cool.”

Danny thought about it for a moment but he couldn’t say no. He had been at the edge of everything that happened for so long. Now he was getting a chance to be connected – to be one of those guys that everybody spoke about in whispers. Sure it was a bit risky but he could use the money and, besides, no one would ever suspect him. Most people felt sorry for him and the rest thought he was a bit of a spaz.

“Could be a regular gig – if you don’t fuck it up,” Scully smiled a shifty smile and melted back into the crowd, checking over each shoulder as he went.

***

As they drove off, Scully didn’t answer and just looked down at his hands. His fingers were bloody and distorted like they had been torn away from whatever he had been clinging onto.

Anto turned around and smiled as the street lights caught in the diamond beads on the windshield behind him. “We’re just fuckin’ fine, Boyle. We’re taking Scully out for a little spin in the mountains.”

His cigarette dangled from his thin lips and the smoke wisped away ambiguously. He reached back and grabbed a handful of Scully’s hair, lifting his bruised and bloodied face. “Scully hasn’t been feeling too good lately and we thought that a bit of fresh air might sort him out, ya know?”

“Cool,” Danny agreed, trying to stay calm, trying not to let his fear show – Anto fed off it. He briefly considered asking them to drop him off when they got to Rathfarnham but there was no point. He knew what was about to go down. Scully had been busted a few weeks before and, after a few days in custody, had been released.

It was how the cops set them up. They lifted them and held them until they broke and spilled all that they knew. Then they let them back out while they waited for their court date. If they survived until then – well and good. And if they didn’t – it saved everybody a lot of time and bother.

Danny sat back and watched Rathfarnham Road glide by in the night. They crossed the Dodder and headed up the hill towards the quiet, tree-lined streets that he had grown up in. As they passed near his house he thought about it: if the car slowed enough he could risk it – just like they did in the pictures. He could jump out and roll away. He could be up and running before they got the car turned around and by then he would be cutting through the back gardens and could easily lose them.

“You live around here, don’t ya, Boyle?” Anto spoke to the windshield but Danny got the message. “And your girlfriend – she lives down that way?”

Danny thought about correcting him. He hadn’t seen Deirdre since the incident in the church but there was no point. They’d use anybody and anything to get to him. He was better off just going along with them for now.

He briefly thought about asking God to save him but there was no point in that, either. They had given up on each other a long time ago. He turned his head away as they approached the church where he had been confirmed into the Faith, so long ago and far away now.

BOOK DETAILS:

Number of Pages: 395 pages
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
ISBN-10: 1611881161
ISBN-13: 978-1611881165

PURCHASE LINKS:

           

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Feb 252014
 

WELCOME DAVID MARLETT


DAVID MARLETT

David Marlett is an attorney, artist, and self-trained historian who grew up in a storytelling Texas family. He attended Texas Tech University where he earned multiple degrees in finance, economics and accounting. Subsequently, he earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

David has created and written stories and screenplays since childhood, and is particularly interested in richly textured history and the drama behind major courtroom battles, such as in his first novel, FORTUNATE SON. His second novel, AMERICAN RED, another historical courtroom drama, is due to be published in late 2014.

He is a serial entrepreneur focused primarily on the arts. (He once owned eight bookstores across the United States.) David currently speaks and lectures at conferences and universities on transmedia, storytelling, entrepreneurship in the arts, and crowdfunding. He has been a featured contributor to MovieMaker magazine, Digital Book World, and many other publications.

He has developed and sold a number of film scripts and has directed/ acted in many regional theatrical performances. David is also a photo artist whose work has appeared in several galleries across the United States, and can be also seen at www.MarlettPhotoArt.com. He lives outside Dallas, Texas, and has four children.
Connect with David at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

ABOUT THE BOOK

Combining elements of a historical odyssey, a courtroom drama, and an epic adventure, FORTUNATE SON is based on the true story of the greatest trial in British history.

-A tale that spans Ireland, England, Scotland, and the American Colonies in the early 1700s
-The story which loosely inspired Robert Louis Stevenson in writing his novel, Kidnapped
-A narrative that involves the iconic Kennedy family, generations before they emigrated from Ireland

Meet James Annesley, son of 18th Century Ireland. Though you may have never heard his name before, his story has already touched you in profound ways. Now, for the first time, novelist David Marlett brings that incredible story to life.

Stretching from the dirty streets of Ireland to the endless possibilities of Colonial America, from drama on the high seas with the Royal Navy to a life-and-death race across England and up the Scottish Highlands, from the prospect of a hangman’s noose to a fate decided in the halls of justice, FORTUNATE SON is a powerful, relentless epic. Here nobility, duels, love, courage, revenge, honor, and treachery among family, friends and ancient enemies abound. And at its center is the most momentous trial in Irish history – the trial of Annesley v. Anglesea from which our modern “attorney/client privilege” was forged, and our concept of a “jury of one`s peers” was put to the test.

Carefully researched, vividly evoked, and lovingly brought to the page, FORTUNATE SON is an unforgettable work of fiction based on fact, one that will resonate deep within you long after you finish it.

Read an excerpt

Lord Arthur Annesley, the Sixth Earl of Anglesea, was slopped. He had been sitting alone at his oak table in the dark back corner of the Brazen Head Tavern since half-past ten that morning. Now, nearly five in the evening, he could hear fresh rain blowing across Dublin’s Merchant’s Quay, tapping the tavern’s windows, dripping heavy in pools along Bridge Street. He was floating, his white wig askew, his fat fingers tracing the blood groove of his gold-hilted rapier lying on the table. “He’s mine, he is,” he muttered to no one. “B’god, James is mine! So he is. She’ll never take him to England.” He glanced up with his one eye, the other having been long ago shot out by his wife’s cuckolding suitor. “My son’s mine,” he boomed. “Damn you all!” A violent cough overtook him until finally he lowered his chin, rivulets of perspiration trickling down his brow.

“‘Tis well known, me lord, James is yer son,” the tavern keeper offered. “Would ye like another?”

“Ney!” Arthur shook his head, muttering, “No more boys.”

“Ach nay, me lord—would ye like another pint?”

“Ha! Ney, Keane. Best be on m’way.” He stood shakily, steadying himself on the dark wall, sheathing his rapier.

“Well den, g’night sire,” the keeper said, gesturing with his bar towel.

Arthur tapped the wrinkles from his blue, Italian cocked hat. “Keane?”

“Aye, m’lord?”

“What be the cure….” He stumbled sideways, trying to buckle his sword sash. “What be the cure for a hangover? I’ll wager you don’t know.”

“Sleep, most likely,” Keane answered, moving across the small room, delivering a dram to a large man sitting alone. “What do ye think, sir?” he asked the man.

“I have no reckon,” the man muttered, his Scottish brogue rumbling low. “Leave me be.”

“I suppose a pinch o’ snuff might do ye, Lord Anglesea,” Keane guessed, wiping his hands on his apron.

“Ney, goddamn you, Keane!” His words a lather of grumbled mush, his arm a terrier in a fox hole, fumbling through the twisted coat sleeve. He spun, shoving his hand through. “I knew you didn’t know, you damn thievin’ Irishman. ‘Tis t’ drink again!” He staggered backward to the door. “That be the cure, b’god!”

“Aye, me lord,” said Keane. “So I’ve heard.” Now the Scotsman was standing too.

“T’ drink again!” Arthur bellowed, throwing his arms up. “T’ drink again, ‘tis all you need!” Turning, he careened through the doorway, along the rickety boardwalks, lurching into the muck of Bridge Street. “‘Tis all I need!”

A large hackney coach pulled by six horses was crossing the Father Matthew Bridge, gaining speed in the pelting rain. The horses snorted against the driver’s whip as he yelled from the box, his cloak flailing in the wet wind. “Up with ye curs! Now! Up! Up!” Again and again he cracked the long leather across their backs. The loud roar and stirring commotion of the coach and six easily cleared traffic from the bridge, opening a wide swath up Bridge Street beyond, like a plow cleaving mud. When the horses reached the quay on the far side of the River Liffey they were pulling so hard and running at such a blaze that all four wheels left the ground before crashing back to earth to spin in the slurry sludge. Galloping past the Brazen Head Tavern, with nostrils flared and eyes mad wide, they would not and could not stop for anything in their path.

Against the whir of voices the ale had loosed in his head, Arthur heard charging hooves, people shouting, and through the stinging rain, he saw a maniacal blur rushing him. But he couldn’t move. A black surging wall, yet he stood, stammering something about God. Finally one step toward the side, but it wasn’t enough—the violent impact threw him back and down. Twenty-four hooves thundered over him, snapping his right leg like straw, driving it into the thick mud. Another hoof trampled his gut, his ribs shattering. Instant fire. Then the coach hit him, the splinter bar catching his chin, the front axle crushing his larynx, cracking spine, whipping his head into the path of the rear wheels which slammed over him, mashing his face into the filth and black ooze.

His one eye fluttered open, stinging, but he couldn’t breathe. To one side he saw muddy boots and spurs—some standing, others moving away. His bloody mouth sagged, convulsing for air. He felt warmth trickle from his ears. Life abandoning him. Then, between the clamoring shouts and splashes, he heard the massive bells of Christ Church Cathedral begin their solemn peel, announcing the time. He stopped moving, and there in the shadows of his mind he saw James, no more than five, standing on a rocky hill, laughing, the sea air tousling his auburn hair. Suddenly James sprinted off, through an emerald field, clambered over a low stone fence, then raced on, away, toward a man who was waiting, watching—a man Lord Arthur Annesley, the Earl of Anglesea had never been.

BOOK DETAILS:

Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Number of Pages: 350 pages
ISBN: 1611881595
ASIN: B00GQFBO26

PURCHASE LINKS:

         

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Nov 192013
 

Partners in Crime is pleased to present:

Differential Equations

by Julian Iragorri & Lou Aronica

on Tour Nov 1, 2013 – Jan 31, 2014

WELCOME LOU ARONICA AND JULIAN IRAGORRI


 

Julian Iragorri

Julian Iragorri lives in Manhattan. He has worked on Wall Street since the early nineties.
Connect with Julian at these sites:

Lou Aronica

Lou Aronica is the author of the USA Today bestseller THE FOREVER YEAR and the national bestseller BLUE. He also collaborated on the New York Times nonfiction bestsellers THE ELEMENT and FINDING YOUR ELEMENT (with Ken Robinson) and the national bestseller THE CULTURE CODE (with Clotaire Rapaille). Aronica is a long-term book publishing veteran. He is President and Publisher of the independent publishing house The Story Plant.
Connect with Lou at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

ABOUT THE BOOK

This evocative, moving, and gorgeously detailed novel is the story of Alex Soberano, a contemporary man in crisis. A tremendously successful New York businessman, Alex finds it difficult to embrace joy and accept love. When his life threatens to boil over, he escapes for a brief respite on the West Coast. What waits for him there is something he never could have imagined.

Intertwined with Alex’s story are the stories of three people from different times and places whose lives affect him in surprising ways:

  • A woman from the South American city of Anhelo in 1928 that everyone knows as “Vidente.” For decades, Vidente, has been one of Anhelo’s most celebrated citizens because she has the ability to read colors that speak of a person’s fate. However, during one such reading, she sees her own future – a future that includes her imminent death.
  • A man named Khaled who left his home in Bethlehem in 1920 to seek fortune in the South American town of Joya de la Costa. He has barely begun to gain a foothold when he learns that the wife and three children he left behind have been murdered. When a magical woman enters his life, he believes that destiny has smiled on him. However, destiny has only just begun to deal with Khaled.
  • A nineteen-year-old student named Dro who flies from the South American country of Legado to Boston in 1985 and immediately walks onto the campus of MIT expecting instant admission. Dro’s skills at mastering complex, ever-changing differential equations intrigues the associate admissions director. However, the person he intrigues the most is the celebrated US ambassador from his country, and his relationship with her will define his life.

How the stories of these four people merge is the central mystery of this arresting work of imagination. DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS is a story that will sweep you up in its magic, enrich you with its wisdom, and compel you with its deep humanity.

READ AN EXCERPT

Anhelo, Legado, South America, 1928

With her eyes closed, all she could see were waves of brown. The woman sitting across the table from her wasn’t troubled or damaged in any particular way, as that color sometimes indicated; her spirit and her future simply seemed featureless.

“Vidente, you have been quiet for a long time,” the woman said tentatively. “If you see bad things, you must tell me. I must prepare.”

People had been calling her “Vidente” for so long that she couldn’t recall the last time she heard her real name spoken aloud. Some in the community preferred to call her “Tia Vidente” as a form of endearment. Even her sons called her “Madre Vidente” now, having long ago accepted their mother’s place in the lives of the townspeople. After these many years, she had even come to think of herself by that name.

She opened her eyes slowly and her vision began to fill again with color. The violet and red of the tapestry that hung on the far wall. The ochre and bronze of the pottery on the shelf. The cobalt and white of the figurines on the cupboard. The terra cotta of the antique cazuela and the copper of the chafing dish, both presents from a grateful recipient of her services, neither of which had felt fire in Vidente’s home. The saffron of the sash that billowed over the window. The crystals and pewters and golds and greens; the room was a rainbow visible nowhere else in the world – a Vidente rainbow. A rainbow for a woman who sensed color beyond her eyes and who liked those colors expressed in the finest things available. Vidente’s home was her palace, a testament to her station as one of Anhelo’s most prominent and prosperous citizens.

Finally, Vidente focused on Ana, the woman seeking her help who, in contrast to the brown that Vidente saw with eyes closed, wore a bright orange frock with lemon embroidery. Ana had called on Vidente several times in the past year and she’d encountered her at church and in the shops. At all times, Ana wore brilliant clothing. She wants color in her life, Vidente thought. How sad that she doesn’t seem able to hold any in her soul.

“I am not seeing bad things, Ana,” Vidente said, tipping her head toward the woman.

“But you have been so quiet.”

Vidente patted the woman’s hand. “Sometimes the images come very slowly. That doesn’t mean you have anything to fear.”

Vidente truly believed that Ana had nothing to worry about regarding her future – except that it was likely to be a life without incident. The brown was everywhere. Sometimes darker, sometimes lighter, but always brown. The color of inconsequentiality and an abundance of self-doubt. For reasons Vidente couldn’t discern, Ana wouldn’t absorb the colors she wore so boldly in her clothing, though she seemed entirely capable of doing so. There were places Vidente didn’t plumb, for the sake of Ana’s privacy, but she guessed that if she looked there she might find why the woman avoided what she so wanted.

Ana’s brow furrowed and she looked down at her hands. Vidente wanted to offer her something, some suggestion that days more vibrant lay ahead. Vidente never lied to anyone during a reading, even when she believed the person wanted to hear a lie. However, she had many times kept searching and searching until she found a way to offer something promising.

“I am not finished, Ana,” she said as the woman looked up at her. “I will use another technique with you today. I need to look farther with this technique. I may not open my eyes or speak with you for several minutes.”

“I will be patient, Vidente.”

Vidente closed her eyes again. Usually, what she saw in colors was enough to give her useful messages for those who requested readings from her. The colors had always been reliable to her. Sometimes, though, she needed to extend her vision. If she sent herself deeply enough into the space outside of herself, she could see actual images. Occasionally, entire scenes played out in front of her. Vidente had come to learn that these visions weren’t nearly as reliable as the colors; unlike the colors, they were mutable. Still, they sometimes offered direction when none other was available.

The waves of brown appeared again. Like molten chocolate wending its way through a sea of caramel. It was necessary for Vidente to look past the color. She focused intently on the darkest of the brown and in doing so made the message of the brown drop away. It was like stepping through the fog and coming to a clear space. Here, though, the space offered only shadow. She could see the faintest movement. Was that a man? Ana wanted a man so badly; one who would finally erase Oscar’s humiliation of her. The image Vidente saw here was so indistinct, though, that it could as easily be a deer, a sloth, or even a vegetable cart.

Vidente concentrated further, pushing her soul toward the shadow, encouraging her will to be in the same place as the shadow. Something was definitely moving around and she could now see that the shape was human. Male? Female? Young? Old? None of that was clear. Nor was it clear why there was such a veil over Ana’s future. This had nothing to do with the woman’s health. Vidente would have seen that in the colors. For some reason, the spirits did not want to offer the images they usually gave so generously.

She so didn’t want to disappoint Ana. Once a month Ana came to her, gaily dressed and bearing a tray of the delicious pastries she made, eyes gleaming with hope but shaded by desperation. Vidente always found a vision to encourage her; the visit of a favorite nephew, a celebration Ana would attend, the birth of a neighbor’s child. These visions were never what Ana truly wanted, but she always left Vidente’s house viewing the world with a little less desperation. And she always came back.

Several minutes passed, but the images remained indistinct. I must go beyond sight, Vidente thought. She rarely used the process she was considering, and she was not entirely comfortable with it, but she knew it was possible to close her eyes completely. To allow her other senses to tell her what her vision did not.

Vidente tipped her head slightly and felt herself falling backward. With this sensation of falling came absolute blackness. There were no colors here, no shadows, nothing nearly so brilliant as brown. It was as though she had never seen anything at all, ever in her life. The feeling of unease that always accompanied this technique rippled her skin. Vidente had never stayed long in this place and she knew she could not linger here now. However, there had to be a reason why the other techniques eluded her, and she would spend a few sightless moments here for Ana’s sake. She liked the woman too much to let her go away with nothing.

She felt cooler suddenly, as though someone had opened all the doors and windows of her home at once. The air was different. It was crisper and thinner. It smelled of loam and oak. Vidente knew, though she wasn’t sure how she knew, that she was somewhere very far away. Was Ana going on a trip?

Maybe to some distant mountains in Europe or even America? The only thing Vidente knew for sure was that no place in Anhelo or anywhere near it had air that felt this way.

Just on the edges of her hearing, Vidente found the sound of moaning. These were not moans of pleasure. Nor were they moans of pain or suffering. The moans held a sense of sadness and loss, but not the dissonance of true grief. As she extended herself to try to make more of this sound, Vidente felt a moist softness on her forehead followed by a silken brush across her face and then warm pressure. Moments passed and she felt the same series of sensations again. More moments passed and the experience repeated itself. Each iteration felt slightly different but materially the same.

As this happened for the fifth time, Vidente caught the scent of perfume. A floral and consciously unrefined smell, one that announced itself as its bearer entered a room and lingered for many minutes after the visit was over. It was unmistakably Ana’s latest perfume. No one else in Anhelo wore it. But the scent was not coming from the Ana who sat across the table from Vidente. It came instead from the scene Vidente sensed in her temporary blackness and it grew stronger as Vidente again felt the pressure on her body. Vidente heard a sob and then the pressure lessened. Soon the smell of Ana’s perfume diminished. It was then that Vidente realized that Ana was a part of this scene, but she was not the focus of it.

Vidente was.

Kisses on the forehead. Unreturned embraces. Repeated multiple times.

Vidente’s eyes opened involuntarily, causing the colors in the room to close on her vertiginously.

“Vidente, your expression; it frightens me.”

Vidente tried to stop the swirling of colors, tried to fix her eyes on Ana without scaring her further. “You have no reason to be frightened,” she said.

As her vision corrected, Vidente saw Ana’s hand go to the cross at her neck. “How can I believe that when you go into your trance for a long time and then come back looking like the devil was chasing you?”

Vidente took Ana’s free hand and clasped it with both of hers. “Believe me when I say that I didn’t see anything that should cause you fear. I just couldn’t get a clear image for you and this frustrated me.” Vidente stood abruptly, holding the side of the table to guarantee that she wouldn’t stumble. “I am sorry, Ana, that I could not do better. Maybe next month.”

Ana rose slowly, thanked Vidente, and left, her eyes more clouded and confused than when she entered. As soon as the woman was gone, Vidente sat down again, feeling the need to close her own eyes once more, but worried about what she would experience if she did so. If what she’d already felt was true – and it was important for her to remember that only the colors were always true – she would soon take a journey that would send her to a place of crisp, oaken air.

And then, before Ana changed her perfume again, Vidente would die.

BOOK DETAILS:

Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: 4/24/12
Number of Pages: 356
ISBN: Print: 978-1-61188-102-8
E-book: 978-1-61188-103-5
NOTE: Explicit sexual scenes

PURCHASE LINKS:

           

 

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DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Jul 012013
 

 

A BIG treat today!!   I became a huge fan of today’s guest, Mr. Steven Manchester, when I read his debut novel TWELVE MONTHS and his subsequent book, GOODNIGHT, BRIAN.  And today, he kicks off his virtual tour with Providence Book Promotions for his newest title, THE ROCKIN’ CHAIR.  If you haven’t picked up one of his books, trust me, you are missing out!!!

WELCOME BACK!!!!
STEVEN MANCHESTER


STEVEN MANCHESTER

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestseller Twelve Months, Goodnight, Brian, and several other books. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Connect with Steve at these sites:

http://stevenmanchester.com/12months/      https://www.facebook.com/AuthorStevenManchester

ABOUT THE BOOK

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, The Rockin’ Chair is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

Read my review of THE ROCKIN’ CHAIR here.

READ AN EXCERPT

Elle picked up Evan, Tara and Lila at the airport. As she approached the threesome, she gasped at the sight of her emaciated daughter. For a few moments, Tara’s eyes scanned every inch of her mother’s face before she spread her twig-like arms. Elle hugged her, then pulled away and peered into her sunken eyes. “Are you sick?” she asked.

While Tara shrugged, Elle grabbed Evan for a hug. “I’ll explain it on the way,” he whispered in her ear.

Lila stood there, looking up at her grandmother—curiously.

Elle bent down and smiled at the baby. “Hello, my love,” she whispered, “Grandma’s waited much too long to meet you.” The little girl was a living doll. She had Tara’s strawberry blond curls and the same dark eyes as Alice.

Lila grinned. “Hi, Gramma,” she said, and never flinched when Elle scooped her up and kissed her cheek.

Elle looked back at Tara and could feel her eyes swell with tears.

“Grandma?” Evan asked, grabbing her attention.

Elle shook her head, the tears beginning to cascade down her tired face.

“When?” he asked.

Elle reached for his hand. “Last night…right in Grampa’s lap.”

“In the rockin’ chair?” he asked, his voice cracking.

Elle nodded again.

Evan’s eyes filled. “Where else?” he said.

Elle noticed the confusion in her daughter’s eyes and thought, She’s so out of it.

Before Elle could explain, Evan leaned into Tara’s ear and filled it with the bad news. “We’re one day too late. Grandma passed away last night.”

Though delayed, Tara burst into tears.

As they left the airport terminal, Elle walked alongside Evan. “How did you find her in New York?” she asked in a whisper. “Her cell phone’s been turned off for weeks.” She looked back at her daughter, who was already lagging behind.

“It wasn’t easy,” he said, and shook his head. “Let’s just say…thank God I did.”

BOOK DETAILS:

Genre: Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
ISBN: Print: 978-1-61188-067-0 / E-book: 978-1-61188-068-7
Number of Pages: 242
Publish Date: June 18, 2013

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DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Feb 212013
 

I have waited a long time for today.  But it has finally arrived!!  If you are a frequent visitor, then you know that I am a big fan of  The Story Plant’s imprint.  Every author that I have read has gone on my “authors to read” list.  And today’s guest is on that list.  He is visiting today, with his sequel of Voices Of The Deadas a stop on his virtual tour with Partners In Crime Tours.  Buckle up.  His newest novel is quite a ride!!  Please help me welcome back, Mr. Peter Leonard!!!!

PETER LEONARD

Peter Leonard’s debut novel, QUIVER, was published to inter- national acclaim in 2008, and was followed by TRUST ME in 2009, and VOICES OF THE DEAD and ALL HE SAW WAS THE GIRL in 2012. BACK FROM THE DEAD is his fifth novel.
Connect with Peter at his website here or on facebook .

ABOUT THE BOOK

Peter Leonard’s jaw-dropping VOICES OF THE DEAD introduced us to two mortal enemies: Holocaust survivor Harry Levin and Nazi death angel Ernst Hess. Now, their struggle reaches its dramatic conclusion in BACK FROM THE DEAD.

Bahamas, 1971. Ernst Hess, missing and presumed dead, regains consciousness to find himself stuck in a hospital bed on a strange ward in a foreign country. He must do what he needs to do to get his life back and to finish the job he has been doing for decades.

Harry believes he has already stopped Hess. When he finds out that the war criminal has somehow survived, Harry must do the only thing he can do – kill Hess again – even if it means crossing continents and putting his life and the lives of those that matter to him on the line.

Action-packed and darkly humorous, BACK FROM THE DEAD is the unforgettable conclusion to a story that launches Peter Leonard into the pantheon of great suspense novelists.
Read my review here.

Read an excerpt:

Harry pulled in the driveway, parked and went in the side door. He expected to see Colette in the kitchen, starting dinner. She was going to make sauerbraten, potato dumplings and red cabbage, an authentic German meal. He’d been thinking about it all day and he was hungry. Colette was a terrific cook, and that was another benefit of living with her. He threw his keys on the counter, hit the message button on the answering machine. Another one from Galina.“Harry, you going to call me one of these days?”

No, he said to himself. Walked into the foyer, glanced in the den and moved into the living room. Someone was sitting in his leather chair, legs crossed on the ottoman. The man had dark shoulder-length hair and wore black jeans, a white shirt and a black leather jacket.

“I don’t think you’re a burglar,” Harry said, “or you’d be looking for the silver, so tell me what you’re doing in my house?”

“I stopped by your office. We could have handled it there, but you were too busy to see me,” he said with an accent that sounded like he was from Berlin.

“You buying or selling?”

“I am trading.”

“For what?” Although Harry had a pretty good idea.

“Where is Ernst Hess?”

“I’d try his estate in Schleissheim or his apartment in Munich. Maybe start by talking to his family and business associates?”

“I know he came here to see you.”

“Where’s Colette?”

“Safe for now. Tell me about Herr Hess.”

Harry pulled the Colt from under his shirt and aimed it at him. “I’ll tell you what. You want to trade, I’ll trade Colette for you. We can start there, see how it goes.”

“Put the gun away. You are not going to shoot me or you will never find her.”

The guy got up and came toward him. He was tall, six two, six three, and looked like he was in shape. Harry pulled the hammer back with his thumb. “First one’s going to blow out your knee cap. You better hope there isn’t a second one.” That seemed to persuade him. The German froze.

“I’m going to give you another chance. Where’s Colette?”

“Not far from here.”

“Let’s go see how she’s doing.”

“I have to call, tell them we are coming.”

“How many are there?”

“Two.”

“We’re going to surprise them,” Harry said. “And if they’ve done anything to Colette, you’re the first one I’m going to shoot. Believe that if you believe anything. Take off your coat, throw it over here and turn around.” He did and Harry checked the two outside pockets of the jacket, found a parking receipt, and a pair of handcuffs. There was also a piece of notepaper that had an address on Crooks Road in Troy and a phone number. “This where they have Colette?”

In the other pocket he found car keys and a small semi-automatic. He ejected the magazine and put it in his pocket. The German had his back to Harry, looking over his shoulder.

“Take off your clothes. I want to see what else you’ve got.”

The German stripped down to his briefs and tossed everything on the floor at Harry’s feet. Harry picked up the man’s pants and checked the pockets, found the key to the handcuffs and his wallet. Opened it, name Albin Zeller from Munich on the driver’s license.

“You a Nazi, too, Albin?” Harry said.

Zeller, with his back to him, didn’t say anything. He was less threatening now in his underwear, thin legs, pale skin that had never been in the sun.

“Why are you looking for Hess?” He didn’t respond.

“You break in, say you want to talk, but you don’t say anything.” Hess was a wealthy man and a member of the Christian Social Union, an important political figure in Germany. Harry could understand why there were people who wanted him found. Hess must have told someone his plans. Otherwise how would Zeller have been able to follow his trail to Detroit? Harry threw him the handcuffs. “Put them on.”

Zeller turned, caught them, clamped them on his wrists. “Where’s your car?”

“On the street.”

That wasn’t going to work, walking a handcuffed Nazi in his undies out to the car at gunpoint. “All right, let’s go. We’ll take mine.”

“They are expecting a phone call.”

“Well they’re going to be surprised then, aren’t they?”

“What about my clothes?”

“You’re not going to need them.”

“You drive up to the house they will kill her,” Zeller said.

“Then we won’t drive up to the house.”

Harry was parked in the driveway by the side door. It was 5:30 and almost dark. He led Zeller out, popped the trunk, took his eye off the German for a second and Zeller took off, hurdled the neighbor’s fence like a track star and disappeared. Harry started after him and stopped. Went back to the car, closed the trunk and drove to Troy to find Colette.

Dominic stared at the baby as Zeppe drove, letting his finger trace along her forehead. “She’s quiet for one so young,” he said, no trace of the vehemence that tainted his voice earlier.

“Yeah, I guess she likes you.”

“And look at those eyes. Such big brown eyes.”

“Beautiful,” Zeppe said, but he never took his eyes from the road.

When the little girl smiled, Dominic smiled with her, but soon afterward turned somber. He thought of the fate Maria suffered because of him. If anyone should have had children it was her, but she refused to marry Dominic because of what he was, and she refused to marry anyone else. He saw the pain when she sat at the playground and watched the children play. Pain she didn’t deserve. Perhaps this was God’s answer to his prayers.

There would be birth certificate issues and people to pay off…but that could be arranged. The bigger problem was getting Maria to accept the baby and then making sure no one ever told the truth. That was the difficult one. Truth had a way of creeping through cracks and oozing to the top, no matter how deep it was buried. He knew he could trust Zeppe, and he could trust Maria…but something in his gut ate at him. This would take careful planning.

Zeppe pulled up to a warehouse. Dominic got rid of the gun and changed clothes. Half an hour later he turned down the street to Maria’s house.

“Turn the corner and park on the street after hers,” Dominic said. “We’ll walk.”

“Dom, it’s cold, and that baby—”

“The baby will be fine in the blanket. I’d rather not be seen on Maria’s street.”

After Zeppe parked, Dominic checked to make sure no one was watching then signaled Zeppe to bring the baby. They walked around the corner and up to Maria’s house.

A few knocks brought Maria to the door, surprise registering on her face when she saw them. “What are you doing here?” Her voice not much above a whisper.

Maria was the same as always—as plain as her tawny hair and as quiet as a church at night. “Came to see my beautiful friend,” Dominic said, and removed his cap.

She brushed her fingers through the sides of her hair. “Beautiful? I’m already graying.”

Dominic hugged her and kissed her forehead. “I love that gray,” he said, then nodded to Zeppe, who handed the baby to Maria.

She went wide-eyed. “Whose baby is this?” She held the girl against her and peeled the blanket back one layer at a time. “She’s so small. Where’s the mother?”

Dominic brushed the baby’s red cheeks with his finger, and nudged her head with his nose, sniffing in her scent. For the second time tonight a smile lit his face. “Babies are so innocent. You can even smell it on them.”

Maria walked through the house, humming a tune while she rocked the baby in her arms. “You didn’t answer me, Dominic. Who does she belong to? Some woman friend of yours?”

“I’m surprised at you for saying such a thing, Maria.” Westminster chimes were signaling the half-hour. Dominic waited for them to stop; they were Maria’s favorite. “We found her on the street corner. She was in a stroller, freezing.”

Maria looked at him, perhaps trying to judge the truth. “I’m sorry, Dominic, it’s just…I thought…” She shook her head and continued walking. “Who would do that to a baby?” She kissed the girl’s head several times. “Poor baby,” she said, then turned to Dominic. “What can we do with her? Did you call those…services people?”

“You know I would never do that; besides, you always wanted a child. Now God has sent you one.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. I can’t keep her.” Maria made the statement, blessed herself when she said it, but a plea rode on her words.

“You must keep her. God has given you a gift. Someone who didn’t care abandoned her, now someone who does care will raise her.”

Maria stared at Dominic for a long time, then she hugged the baby as tears formed in her eyes. “There is no way I can keep her, but I will watch her for a while.” She walked with her for a few moments, then said, “In the meantime, I’ll call her Concetta.”

Dominic nodded, a smile on his face. Maria would never let go of that baby. “Concetta Gianelli. A good name.”

“I told you, Dominic, I can’t keep her. What would the neighbors say? They will—”

Zeppe shook his head. “Tell them a relative died. Trust me, they won’t say anything.” He leaned over and kissed Maria on the cheek, then kissed the baby. “I promise you.”

Dominic looked at Maria, then Zeppe. “If Maria keeps Concetta, no one is to know where she came from. Understand? No one.”

“Don’t worry,” Zeppe said. “Just the three of us.”

Maria nodded, clutching the girl as if someone might take her. “Yes, just the three of us.”

Zeppe turned and headed for the door. “I’ll wait outside.”

“Good night, Giuseppe.”

“Yeah, good night, Maria.”

As the door closed behind Zeppe, and Maria walked to the kitchen, Dominic made the sign of the cross, asking God for forgiveness. It was one thing to kill a man—but to take his baby and claim it as a gift from God might be pushing things too far. That was the kind of thing that could haunt a person in both lives. And what will Maria do if she finds out the truth? Even worse, what will this little girl do if she finds out?

Book Details:
Pages: 282
Genre: Suspense
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
ISBN: (P) 978-1-61188-063-2 (E) 978-1-61188-064-9

Purchase Links:  

    

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DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or
Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate.
I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.