Book Spotlight: HERE WE GO LOOP DE LOOP by William J. Sibley

Virtual Book Tour Banner features a night sky and cacti, HERE WE GO LOOP DE LOOP book cover has a green 1972 Mercury Montego on the top half of the cover, the bottom half features two cowboys in jeans, work shirts, and cowboy hats with one on a horse holding a rope, several fences including a barbed wire fence are seen in the foreground;  HERE WE GO LOOP DE LOOP by William Jack Sibley, "A cowboy, an heiress, her brother's husband...and a badass '72 Mercury Montego." Virtual Book Tour September 13-17

Here We Go Loop de Loop by William Jack Sibley
ISBN-10: 1637527756 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781637527757 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781639880027 (ebook)
ASIN: B09F279GG6 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Release Date: September 1, 2021
Genre: Fiction | LGBT Fiction | Humorous Fiction

HERE WE GO LOOP DE LOOP - WJSibley
 A cowboy, an heiress, her brother’s husband … and a badass 72 Mercury Montego.

This is the story of a her loving a him – who’s in love with another him – and that other him enduring an unrequited love for the original her. With a small-town Texas appreciation, this book is replete with humor, adversity, and the tenacity of survivors unwilling and unable to acknowledge defeat.

Here We Go Loop De Loop by William Jack Sibley has greed, lust, sexuality, spiritual enlightenment, more lust, xenophobia, and the meaning of a life worth living, all woven into a single, outrageous knot in the insulated town of Rita Blanca, Texas. The author, a fifth-generation Texan and a resolute seeker of wisdom, truth, and the occasional virtuosic lie, with humor and reflection, has wrought a story of humanity through characters doing the best they can – just not terribly well. 

Advance Praise:

“A wonderful example of generous escapism and a book to be recommended.”— Kirkus Reviews

“Larry McMurtry meets A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is Sibley’s best yet — a rollicking screwball comedy with a heart as big as Texas.” — Steven L. Davis, Author, Past President, Texas Institute of Letters

“Put me in a car with Bill Sibley on a road trip across the nation and everything will be just fine. His spectacular voice, his aptitude for creating instantly indelible characters in richly funny scenes, his perfect pacing and splendid particularity are dazzling and hypnotic. Storyteller supreme!” —Naomi Shihab Nye, Young People’s Poet Laureate, Poetry Foundation

“A satirical small-town Texas comedy with welcome, surprising heart. Sibley’s boisterous comic novel blends small-town satire and humanist warmth as it unspools its tales of isolated people learning to love. His prose is sharp and evocative. At its best, HERE WE GO … finds these snared coyotes daring to find new ways to love.” — BOOKLIFE Review

“No doubt a different kind of love story with hilarious characters. This is such an entertaining and beautifully written book. The author’s vivid description of what a ranch is and how it works, using the actions and dialogues of the characters, is a big plus to the book. I was enthralled at the effortless and consistent expression of the Texas lingo through the conversations. The biggest positive of this book is the rich dialogue.” – ONLINEBOOKCLUB.ORG

“Happy small towns are all alike; a great place to spend a lifetime but not a weekend. There is right and there is wrong and a million in-betweens. There is white and there is black and dozens of better beautiful shades. There is man and there is woman and God knows what else. Let love figure it out. Well done! Colorful characters, colorful dialogue, good suspense, good ending.” – Robert Flynn, Author, Professor Emeritus, Trinity University

Meet The Author

Author - William Jack Sibley

Award-winning William Jack Sibley is a fifth generation Texas rancher and a versatile writer whose work has spanned from the likes of writing dialogue for television’s Guiding Light to serving as a contributing editor at Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, to seeing his plays produced off-Broadway and regionally. Sibley is the author of a dozen screenplays, nine stage plays, and three novels (Any Kind of Luck, Sighs Too Deep For Words, and Here We Go Loop De Loop).

Sibley’s previous works have won the National Indie Excellence Book Award and USA Best Book Award while succeeding as a finalist in the Lambda Literary Award, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year, and more. Sibley currently is the Secretary of the Texas Institute of Letters, as well as a member of The Dramatist Guild and the Writers Guild of America. He lives in San Antonio. For more, visit www.williamjacksibley.com.

Connect with the Author:  Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Website 
This spotlight and blog tour brought to you by PR By The Book

Book Showcase: ABDI’S WORLD by Abdi Abdirahman

SOULstice Publishing Virtual Book Tour, ABDI'S WORLD: THE BLACK CACTUS ON LIFE, RUNNING, AND FUN by Abdi Abdirahman with Myles Schrag and foreword by Mo Farah, photo of Abdi Abdirahmah in white Nike track uniform, with Abdirahman name tag pinned to front of shirt, holding an American flag up in his arms behind him in victory.

Abdi’s World: The Black Cactus on Life, Running, and Fun by Abdi Abdirahman and Myles Schrag with a foreword by Mo Farah
ISBN-10: 1733188789 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781733188784 (paperback)
Release Date: August 16, 2021
Publisher: Soulstice Publishing, LLC
Genre: Nonfiction | Memoir | Sports Biographies | Running & Jogging

 
ABDI'S WORLD by Abdi Abdirahman

Abdi’s World is a quirky place where the only American distance athlete to qualify for five Olympics shares the stories that shaped his enduring love of running and his laid-back approach to life. Abdi Abdirahman arrived in Tucson, Arizona, as a teenager when his family escaped civil war in their home country of Somalia. How the “Black Cactus,” as he is affectionately known, stumbled upon a career as one of the world’s most durable and beloved track and road racers of the 21st century is a story of resilience, commitment, and respect for friends and competitors alike—told here in a guide that is part life lessons, part training tips, part autobiography, and all Abdi. He has traveled the globe and shared his joie de vivre at every stop, showing a magician’s ability to balance work and play that anyone young or old, in or out of running, could learn from to live a more meaningful life. Enter Abdi’s World to join him on his insightful journey—and see what happens when you meet his stride.

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: IndieBound.org | Amazon | BookDepository.com

 

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 3
Representing America . . . Second Time’s a Charm

 

Have you ever been to Seville, Spain?

Neither have I.

I had plans to be there in August 1999, but I didn’t get to go—and I had only myself to blame.

So much was happening to me so fast that year. I was finishing my second year of classes at the University of Arizona and my final year of collegiate eligibility on the track. On the heels of the NCAAs came the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. I was running the 10,000m there in my first post-collegiate race. Though my fitness was still good, I had no idea what to expect in terms of my performance or how a big meet like this would be conducted.

Among those who would be competing—the very best professional distance runners in the country—I recognized plenty of names from the Pac-10 Conference. The top three in each event would qualify for the IAAF World Track and Field Championships, which would be held in Seville. Representing the United States at the Worlds and the Olympics was the best opportunity for these guys to make their money. They weren’t going to show me any mercy.

I felt strong and played it smart in my event. From the start, I and the rest of the field deferred to Alan Culpepper, the favorite. He took charge and we let him. But I hung close and managed to take third place in 28:28.26, six seconds behind Culpepper and four seconds behind runner-up Brad Hauser, one of the Stanford twins I had run against many times over the past two years. In an instant I had achieved something I didn’t think possible—competing at a world-class competition as an American.

Soon, reality replaced my excitement. Paperwork, man. Take care of the details. That’s my hard-earned advice. When you make a national team, the USA Track & Field officials spring into action. Seville was less than two months away even as we crossed the finish line. USATF makes sure you have everything in order so you can make the international trip—passport, visa, fingerprints, shots, a lot of stuff I had never given any thought to. When they said to send them my passport so they could process my application for the trip, I sent them the only document I had: my green card. I didn’t think anything more about it until they called me a few days later and said, “Abdi, we need your passport.” A green card shows you’re in the United States legally, but it doesn’t make you a citizen.

I hadn’t been out of the United States since I arrived in 1993 through a program for Somali refugees. I’d been running and going to school for the past six years. My parents had always taken care of life’s details. They gained citizenship while I was in college, so I assumed that meant I was a U.S. citizen too. What I discovered was that my two brothers and four sisters, all under age 18, received automatic citizenship when my parents did. But I was an adult by then; I had to apply on my own. The clock to Seville was ticking down, and time wasn’t in my favor. I tried to fast-track citizenship, and there are mechanisms for doing that. But I couldn’t get it done soon enough.

When Culpepper and Hauser were running around the track at Seville’s Estadio Olímpico, I was watching it on TV in Tucson. While I was frustrated with myself and understood how I had made the mistake, I also felt like I had let down Meb Keflezighi, my UCLA friend who placed fourth at nationals and would have earned the third spot had I not been there. Meb didn’t have a qualifying time that met the standard required to go to Worlds. By the time I got this all sorted out, he didn’t have time to run a race that might have gotten him a qualifying mark. I’m a laid-back guy and don’t mind making fun of myself. I let things go pretty quickly . . . grudges, regrets, mistakes. But more than 20 years later, this is still a little embarrassing because it wasn’t fair to Meb.

Surely I’m the only athlete who has missed being on a national team because he didn’t know he wasn’t a citizen. Since then, I’ve been proud to represent the United States at the Olympics and the World Championships in track and cross country 13 times. But I can’t count this one.

If anything, this incident reminds me how naïve I was back then. I didn’t have big ambitions of being a runner; I had no big plans at all. Not getting the opportunity to be on the track in Seville in 1999 was an eye-opener. It made me realize I needed to take care of the details if I wanted to run at this level. The Olympic Trials were less than a year away, and I really wanted to wear a USA jersey. I barely remembered Somalia, but in America I had found a place where I could feel at home.

It was time to make it official.

***

As it turns out, if you allow enough time, the process of becoming an American isn’t so difficult. After passing the citizenship interview and exam, I was ready. I became a U.S. citizen on January 28, 2000, just under a month after I “officially” turned 23 years old. Like many refugees who arrive at a border without proof of birth, I was assigned a January 1 birthdate by immigration officials when I entered the United States. My actual birthdate is March 21, 1977, according to my mom, but you won’t see that anywhere else but here.

In just a few weeks, I would compete for a spot on the U.S. team that would go to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. My family had moved to Seattle, Washington, while I was in college, so Coach Murray joined me for a simple naturalization ceremony at the Pima County Courthouse in Tucson.

When you become naturalized as an American citizen, you stand in a strange sort of limbo. You are asked to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States against its enemies. You give up allegiance to any other nation. I had no problem committing to that and taking the oath of allegiance. Also on that day, the emcee names each of the former countries of the new citizens. When I heard “Somalia,” I stood up to acknowledge that was my old country. It’s a funny place to stand. I felt like I had been practicing becoming an American for the past six-plus years. Because of my incredibly rewarding college experience—which was still happening, since I would be taking a few more classes to complete my degree—I was comfortable saying I wanted to be a permanent part of American society. I felt American.

It was humbling and thrilling—I could feel a transition happening in real time. But as with my early days at U of A, where I felt increasingly accepted and open to all that was going on around me, it didn’t change how I saw others. I didn’t feel better than non–U.S. citizens I knew, just like I didn’t feel better than other students at Arizona. I didn’t feel like I was turning my back on Somalia, either. I was just stepping into who I wanted to be: an American. Likewise, I didn’t feel better about myself when I beat other guys in races during my college career, and I didn’t feel worse about myself when I lost to them. In all these situations, if you compare yourself to others and try to take on their journeys, you lose sight of where you want to go.

Excerpt from Abdi’s World by Abdi Abdirahman and Myles Schrag. Copyright 2021 © by Abdi Abdirahman and Myles Schrag. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Abdi is an American long-distance runner and a five-time Olympian competing for the United States in the marathon in the upcoming Summer Olympics (July).

Born in Hargeisa, Somalia, Abdirahman graduated from Tucson High School in 1995 and attended Pima Community College before transferring to the University of Arizona for his junior and senior years. At Arizona, Abdirahman was named the 1998 Pacific-10 Conference Cross Country Male
Athlete of the Year. He finished second at the 1998 NCAA Cross Country Championships.

He launched his Olympic career when he competed in the 10,000 meters at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Abdirahman has competed in three Summer Olympics since and is the first American distance runner ever to make five Olympic teams.

At the 2020 United States Olympic Trials in Atlanta, Abdi finished 3rd in the marathon with a time of 2:10:03, securing his place on a fifth Olympic team, and, at 43, becoming the oldest American runner ever to make the Olympic team.

Connect with the Abdi via: Instagram | Twitter

 

This excerpt and virtual book tour brought to you by PR By The Book

Book Showcase: PRODIGY QUEST by Verlin Darrow

Virtual Book Tour Banner PRODIGY QUEST - The YA Novel, YA Speculative 2021; tour dates: July 13-16th all on a starry greyish-purple background; Book cover features a boy standing on a road with his back to the camera, road has trees and shrubs along the sides, on the road at the boy's back is an illuminated book (book that is glowing from within), cloud filled sky above the road and boy features the words PRODIGY QUEST, below the boy and book on the road is the author's name, Verlin Darrow.

PRODIGY QUEST - VDarrowProdigy Quest by Verlin Darrow
ISBN: 9781509236909 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781509236916 (ebook)
ASIN: B093XTTWYC (Kindle edition)
Release Date: June 23, 2021
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Fiction | Young Adult | Speculative

 
 A flood of two-hundred-year-old memories from a past life knocks boy-genius Tris right off his stool at the TV quiz show he was winning. Then a letter arrives from a fifty-year-old time capsule that sends him on a quest to find a book of wisdom his karmic ancestors have been compiling for centuries.

Really? Sure, he’s smarter than all the adults around him, but how’s he supposed to navigate an interstate scavenger hunt and elude a group of fanatic lowlifes?

Tris has to grow into someone beyond his years to get the job done. He learns the hard way that the smartest boy in the world…isn’t..

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Indiebound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | BookDepository.com | Kobo eBook

 

Read an excerpt:

A minute later, I spied Chat and Marc sprinting toward me. Chet sported an oversized pistol in his hand, while Marc held a bundle of white fur—Mildred, I presumed. Just before they got to the car, a burly man in overalls emerged from the building behind them and fired a handgun into the air. Sitting up now, I jumped in my seat, adrenaline surging through me.

“Stop!” he shouted. “Stop in the name of the law!”

Chet and Marc piled in the car, and if it hadn’t been an elderly Prius, we would’ve screamed away from the curb, leaving rubber in our wake. As it was, we could only hope our head start would keep us safe.

My heart pounded the hardest it ever had, and energy shot down my limbs. It was hard to sit still, so I didn’t. I swiveled to watch the gunman sprint away from us toward a black van. Then I rocked back and forth, wishing there was something I could do to influence how the next few minutes would turn out.

“That was a police officer?” I asked after we turned the first corner.

“Hell, no,” Chet said. “That’s just what he wants us to believe. How’s Mildred doing?”

Marc replied, “Not great. I think her canine epilepsy kicked in.”

I turned around to face the front seat, where Marc cradled her gently in his arms as Chet built up a head of steam. Hot air rushed through the open windows, along with the tang of barbecue.

“Hell, she’s better off if she doesn’t have to be here for a car chase,” our driver replied. He veered onto a side street, almost going up on two wheels. We passed a sad-looking cemetery with no visible grass or landscaping, a strip mall with a gaudily decorated massage parlor and a chain convenience store, and then turned again down a long alley between a row of board and batten homes.

I watched through the rear window again and didn’t see anyone following us, which made it easier to calm down, even as adrenaline continued to flood my system. “At least we’re likely to be getting better gas mileage than our pursuer,” I pointed out.

Chet laughed out loud. “You’ve got balls, Tris. You’re all right. You don’t see anyone chasing us, do you? I don’t.”

“No, I don’t either.”

Marc turned and glanced at me. “Humor in the midst of crisis, Tris. Good for you.”

We never saw whomever we’d escaped from. On the way back to Chet’s house, Mildred regained awareness, and Marc passed her back to me. Then he filled me in on what had happened back at the synagogue while I stroked her incredibly soft, white fur. I liked her right away, and I think she liked me too. My parents kept me away from animals. They said animals had diseases.

Excerpt from Prodigy Quest by Verlin Darrow. Copyright © by Verlin Darrow. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

Meet The Author

Author - Verlin DarrowVerlin Darrow is currently a psychotherapist who lives with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near the Monterey Bay in northern California. They diagnose each other as necessary. Verlin is a former professional volleyball player, country-western singer/songwriter, import store owner, and assistant guru in a small, benign cult, from which he graduated everyone when he left.

Before bowing to the need for higher education, a much younger Verlin ran a punch press in a sheet-metal factory, drove a taxi, worked as a night janitor, shoveled asphalt on a road crew, and installed wood floors. He barely missed being blown up by Mt. St. Helens, survived the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, and (so far) he’s successfully weathered his own internal disasters.

Verlin is the author of a psycho-spiritual mystery – Blood and Wisdom, as well as a fantasy thriller – Coattail Karma.

He encourages readers to visit his website or email him to find out more: verlindarrow.com or verlindarrow@gmail.com.

Connect with the Author:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

 

This excerpt and virtual book tour brought to you by PR By The Book

Book Showcase: PRIMORDIAL by David L. Sobel

PRIMORDIAL Virtual Book Tour Banner, Red background with white torn paper listing all of the virtual book tour stops between June 14 through June 18; book cover, white background, with blood droplets beside the tips of opened surgical forceps, PRIMORDIAL is in large red letters across the forceps, David L. Sobel, MD, JD is also in red below the forceps.

Primordial by David Sobel
ISBN: 9781736303504 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781736303511 (ebook)
ASIN: B08Q7Z9MZF (Kindle edition)
Release Date: December 7, 2020
Genre: Fiction | Thriller | Medical Thriller

Primordial by David Sobel, is a Crichton-like thriller that centers on the plights of two scientists separated by decades and borders but united in their obsessive quest for the physical location of the soul. Jonas, a hospital attorney, begins to suspect that someone is targeting patients in his NYC hospital. With the help of two residents, his search for answers will bring him face to face with a killer.

Thought-provoking, both scientifically and ethically, Primordial is a story that spans decades of medical and legal mystery, history and suspense. It will transport readers to a Nazi medical laboratory in World War II, then back to present day New York City where an unlikely trio, Jonas the experienced hospital lawyer, “Early” the quirky urology resident, and Rachel, the wickedly smart neurosurgery resident, struggle to piece together a series of unexplained killings. Debut author Dr. Sobel weaves his medical expertise and extensive historical research in a twisted tangle of secrets that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Read an excerpt:

Rudolph “Rudy” Walla was sweating.

He stood, perfectly still, within the one-meter square sentry post that was positioned just inside the back gate of the Seelentor concentration camp. The post was a tiny glass and wood structure with a small external cut-out that housed a potbelly stove. The stove, on this bitter February night, poured molten heat into the structure. Rudy’s breath, exhaled in the long drawl of the bored and tired, condensed on the front pane of glass, obscuring his view. He was just able to discern the shadowy outline of the SS-Schutze—the private—who had occupied the post before Rudy came looking for a reprieve from the cold. He smiled at the thought of a sentry post with a frosted view and of the private, hunched and angry, pacing in the cold. Not much to see anyway, he thought to himself, returning to his slow, metered breathing. Rudy was in a corner of Poland—forgotten, miserable, stoic, and sweating. God, was he sweating.

Rudy’s wool uniform, the severe black of the SS, was plastered to his body. Each movement was a sticky uncomfortableness. The commander of the camp had called the sentry post the Aufrechten Sarg—the “upright coffin.” And, as horrible as the coffin was, it beat the blistering cold that was just on the other side of the glass. It was early morning. Dawn was approaching and the sun was just tickling the sky, turning the black into a bruised dark blue. The earth felt as if every ounce of heat had been stolen away. A brittle and broken, icicle-white wasteland. His sanctuary was a stifling coffin. Rudy thought of Ishmael and the white whale. And, not uncommon on a lonely, sleepless night, he thought of the hand of fate that had steered him all the way from his childhood in Berlin to this tiny box in this foreign land.

Excerpt from Primordial by David Sobel. Copyright © by David Sobel. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

Meet The Author

Author - David Sobel MD JD

David Sobel, M.D./J.D. is a board-certified practicing urologist who specializes in sexual medicine and is a faculty member at the University of Colorado. He has over 21 years of experience and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Prior to becoming a physician, he was a corporate lawyer with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in NYC. Dr. Sobel is also a founder of Emmi Solutions, a company that creates education modules that assist patients with their medical care. He lives in Denver with his wife and two children.

Connect with the Author:

Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

 

This excerpt and virtual book tour brought to you by PR By The Book

Book Showcase: CATCH 42 by Felix Holzapfel

CATCH 42 Virtual Book Tour banner; May 17 through May 21; PR by the Book Virtual Book Tour

CATCH 42 - FHolzapfel

Catch-42 by Felix Holzapfel
ISBN: 9781736164112 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781736164105 (ebook)
ASIN: B08PD9KRBC (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Quovabiz Inc.
Release Date: May 13, 2021
Genre: Fiction | Tech Thriller

 A glimpse of a future that may be right around the corner.

Tech thriller Catch-42 offers a mind-blowing tour of potential uses for AI, biotech, quantum computing, and robotics, all within a suspense-filled story packed with unexpected twists.

Dan is an ordinary guy, scrambling to make a living, who has the most extraordinary dream. A mysterious voice from the future asks for his help. He finds himself transported to a technological wonderland where everyone’s dreams can come true. Could this be nirvana, a peaceful and clear state of mind, or is this life destroying the one thing that makes us human? Whose vision of the future should Dan believe: that of the New World Order of WeYou, or the revolution of an underground movement called Teccupy?

Before Dan can make his choice, he must learn how we got from here to there. We are with Dan at every moment as he is forced to choose sides and think the unthinkable, make the impossible possible, and turn a hopeless situation into a solvable problem in his search for the ultimate catch-42.

Brimming with current scientific findings, Catch-42 is a novel like no other that raises fundamental and philosophical questions whose answers depend on us all.

 
 Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Indiebound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes and Noble | BookDepository.com | Kobo eBook

 

 Read An Excerpt:

 

1) Daydream

The first contact

Damn! This dull light throbbing in my head is going to drive me insane—as if how completely drained I feel after my eight-hour shift at the construction site isn’t enough. I know, I know, I’m lucky and shouldn’t complain with jobs being so scarce. Still, I’m only thirty-five. Instead of a machine running at full speed, my body feels like its engine is about to explode. I have five minutes in this parking lot before I have to head to my second job. How can I extricate myself from this dark despair that threatens to smother my last spark of—

A deep voice sounds in my mind.

“Hi, Dan. A lot has changed recently, hasn’t it? And not for the better, right? You think your life sucks? Frankly, this is nothing compared to the future challenges in the world from which I’m speaking to you—the world of WeYou. Despite an explosion of innovation and some unbelievable breakthroughs, we’re stuck—trapped in a dead end. We believe we’ve found everything we need to achieve humanity’s ultimate target: immortality. Yet something mysterious we can’t explain and don’t understand prevents us from using that knowledge. We feel like the final breakthrough for humanity is hidden behind a door that we can’t open no matter how hard we try—and the longer we take to open that door, the more people become victims of a strange phenomenon that destroys their brains. We urgently need to open this door and reveal the secrets behind it to rescue humanity and move to the next level, or we will soon become extinct. We believe we lost the key to this door somewhere between your time and ours, and we need your help to find it.”

What a weird daydream! I want to open my eyes, but for some reason I can’t. The mysterious voice continues:

“Look. You have a major problem with reuniting your family. Well, we have a major problem, too—tick-tock, tick-tock—and you may be the only one who can solve it. Here’s the deal: help us find the, and we’ll see that you get your family back, save your family business, and we’ll throw in a bonus. You scratch our back, and we’ll scratch yours. That simple. What do you say?”

My brain feels like it’s functioning at snail pace. How the heck can I be any help to anyone in this condition?

“Don’t worry. You may have heard that humans use only ten percent of their brain’s capacity. That’s a myth. The majority of your brain is active—even when you rest, sleep, or perform simple actions. But only a minority of your brain is more active, while the majority is less active. If you come to our world, you’ll be able to use all your brain capacity at full speed at the same time, one hundred percent—or more. No more snail pace but thinking with the speed of light, baby. Your world won’t even notice you’re gone! You can continue living in your own world using the more active part of your brain; we just need to transfer parts of your less-active brain capacity to our world. Using your brainpower for only a couple of hours should do the job. What we actually need isn’t your brain capacity so much as your way of thinking. Your brain’s navigation system works differently from the way ours works today. We believe this minor difference in brain function is critical to our finding the lost key and discovering the secrets for which we’re searching. If you help us to solve this ultimate challenge, we’ll be able to help you, too.”

“Once we find the lost key, you can return to your world with the ability to use the full capacity of your brain. Think about what you would be able to achieve! You could invent almost anything you can imagine and pave the way to immortality in your world, too. In addition, you could solve all your problems: fix your relationship with your wife, see your kids again, save your family business, get rich, help others. You could do whatever you want. How does that sound?”

Crazy—that’s how it sounds! I’m no Newton, Einstein, or Hawking. I’m an ordinary guy whose life has become a nightmare. How am I supposed to discover the ultimate secret of humanity? It doesn’t make any sense.

“Did you know, Dan, that Albert Einstein was an ordinary civil servant at a patent office in Switzerland before he became one of the most famous scientists ever? He seemed to be nobody special, but extraordinary skills are hidden in all of us. You need to find them and push the right buttons to activate them. In the world of WeYou, you’ll be able to do exactly that. You can be and do whatever you want without limitations. We scanned all humans in your time. Based on the structure of your brain and your way of thinking, and because of your current circumstances and the prospect of improving them, our analysis predicts that you are the most likely candidate to help us accomplish our mission. Think about it . . . Will you help us?”

What do I have to lose? Right now, nothing. But only if I can wake up. Then they can do whatever they want with the capacities of my brain, especially if nobody will notice anyway. All I wanted was a little break. Now I really must get going to my next job.

Just as I’m about to open my eyes, a massive flash hits me, sharpening all my senses. Another voice—a soft voice—whispers from somewhere far down in my subconscious:

“Don’t trust them; they’re evil! WeYou is based on a huge lie! Be careful. Things are not what they seem. After you enter the world of WeYou and the time is right to introduce you to the Teccupy rebellion, we’ll be in touch. Together we’ll rouse humanity and end the WeYou nightmare. Together we’ll bring real enlightenment and freedom to everyone.”

I start, fully awake, as if nothing has happened. All that remains is a strange feeling somewhere deep inside, but I don’t have time to think about any of this. I need to hurry up.

Excerpt from Catch-42 by Felix Holzapfel.

Copyright © 2021 by Felix Holzapfel. Published by Quovabiz Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Used With Permission.

 

Meet The Author

Steven Zeh Photography // http://www.stevenzeh.de

Thinkers360 recognized Felix Holzapfel as a Top10 Global Thought Leader in Digital Transformation. During the last two decades, Holzapfel has been privileged to support many global players on their way to the digital age. While he has published several books about technology, trends, and the shift in our media landscape, Catch-42 is his first novel and a book he has wanted to write for a long time. Having sold his digital marketing agency to one of the world’s leading IT services providers, he now has time for this passion project.

Connect with the Author:

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Book Showcase: PROSPECTS OF A WOMAN by Wendy Voorsanger

 



PROSPECTS OF A WOMAN by Wendy Voorsanger

Prospects of a Woman by Wendy Voorsanger
ISBN: 9781631527814 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781631527821 (ebook)
ASIN: B083W7MJTW   (Kindle edition)
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication Date: October 20, 2020

The story of one woman’s passionate quest to carve out a place for herself in the liberal and bewildering society that emerged during the California gold rush frenzy

Elisabeth Parker comes to California from Massachusetts in 1849 with her new husband, Nate, to reunite with her father, who’s struck gold on the American River. She soon realizes her husband is not the man she thought—and neither is her father, who abandons them shortly after they arrive. As Nate struggles with his sexuality, Elisabeth is forced to confront her preconceived notions of family, love, and opportunity. 


She finds comfort in corresponding with her childhood friend back home, writer Louisa May Alcott, and spending time in the company of a mysterious Californio Don. Armed with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance, she sets out to determine her role in building the West, even as she comes to terms with the sacrifices she must make to achieve independence and happiness.


Prospects of a Woman is a fresh, authentic retelling of the West that explores women’s contributions in California and shatters the stereotypes of the typical hard-boiled novel of the West that has captured the American imagination for over a century.

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned:   IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  BookDepository  |  !ndigo  |  Kobo eBook



Praise for the Book

Prospects of a Woman is a fascinating, complex, dark, and beautiful novel of women and sexuality on the frontier of the California gold strike days.” 

— Douglas Glover, two-time Governor General’s award-winning author of Elle

“I loved this surprisingly feminist story of Gold Rush-era California! Elizabeth Parker is a heroine to fall in love with–plucky, sensuous, courageous and clear-eyed. It is a rare and unusual pleasure to—finally—have a narrative of the Gold Rush told from a woman’s point of view.”

—Janis Cooke Newman, author of Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln

Prospects of a Woman is thoughtful and thrilling. The landscape of California – the rough-scrabble mining towns, the wildness of the river and woods — sings on every page.”

—Alex Myers, author of the novels Revolutionary and Divide

Prospects of a Woman is a riveting read about a woman who comes to California during the Gold Rush determined to escape societal constraints, find love and strike it rich. As a woman in a man’s world, she faces innumerable challenges but manages to rise above them. This is a bold, rollicking and satisfying tale, one that is hard to put down.”

—Frances Dinkelspiel, award-winning journalist and author of the best-selling books, Tangled Vines and Towers of Gold



Watch the Video:



Read an Excerpt


PART 1

Upon hearing a circus had come to town, an excited farmer set out in his wagon. Along the way he met up with the circus parade, led by an elephant, which so terrified his horses that they bolted and pitched the wagon over on its side, scattering his vegetables and eggs across the roadway. “I don’t give a hang,” exulted the jubilant farmer as he picked himself up. “I have seen the elephant.”

— NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICAN FOLKTALE


1

“The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”

— RALPH WALDO EMERSON, “SELF-RELIANCE”

Elisabeth counted the stitches holding together their dingy canvas tent. Twice. She got 946 both times. Cooped up in the midday heat, she seethed at Nate for leaving her alone. They’d lost too much time already. Refusing to wait another goddamn minute on his frittering and scheming, she untied the tent flaps and crawled out, stretching her arms long overhead. A soft air of relief touched her cheeks. Aching with hunger, she stumbled downriver, in the direction of Culoma Town. She hadn’t eaten since a bite of beans for breakfast the day before.
Nate had left early that morning, again. Gone digging for gold in the river, refusing to let her join. Telling her to stay put. Warning about unsavory men roaming around, men with a mind to take what they will. Elisabeth was done waiting on him to bring her something decent to eat. She grabbed her satchel and headed for the river trail, thinking on how she’d get food in her belly with no money left.
She wasn’t thinking about the roaming men but about the blisters on her feet still burning something awful from that long journey getting to the river. Elisabeth walked all afternoon alongside the American River roiling loud, cutting through the valley, tempting her. Tempting Nate. Her eyes burned with the honest light shining lush and vibrant through the narrow valley. The grass glowed golden along the river trail, and the rich green pines marched up the steep sides of the canyon, swaying alive and standing taller and fuller than the scraggly pitch pines at home in Concord. Warm air whooshed through the branches, spreading a sweet smell around.
Arriving in Culoma Town, Elisabeth picked her way through a mess of empty tents strewn haphazard. Plopping down on a log in the center of town, she unlaced her boots to let her stockinged feet breathe and witnessed new beginnings. Industrious fellas buzzed around, hammering up buildings with fresh-hewn boards and siding and plank floors and shingle roofs. Jabbering and rushing. Heaving pails and shovels and pans and timber. Haggling for food and supplies. No women milled about, and she wondered if they were all hiding away too.
Some of the fellas in town noticed her sitting alone on the log. One man dropped his hammer and walked over, stammering and stuttering as if he hadn’t seen a woman in years. She smiled polite, introducing herself as Mrs. Nathaniel Parker. More men came. And more. Until over a dozen stood around gawking at the only woman in Culoma Town. She pulled at her dress collar. Shifted her bottom on the log. Cleared her throat. When a few of the men sat down in the crisped-up grass like they had all the time to waste, she wondered why but didn’t dare ask. A fella with a long curly beard dripping down his chin offered her a cup of cool river water. She took it, gulping. Wiping her cheek with the back of her hand, she reddened with shame. When one man tossed two bits into her empty cup she looked at him coolly, thinking him daft. When another coin clinked into the cup, then another, she didn’t give them back. Didn’t look at the coins either. She simply stared up at the clear sky, fanning herself with her shabby straw hat, acting like she couldn’t care less if those foolish men wanted to waste good money just to sit near a woman looking not exactly pretty.
“I’m not out here to beg,” she said. “Of course not,” said the long-beard fella. She shuffled her unlaced boots, tamping down the dry grass. “I’m simply out getting some air,” she said. “We all see that,” he said. An older man, wrinkled up like a prune, scooted up to her left knee. She caught him looking her up and down, leering, and she wanted to slap him for the lack of manners but held back. Letting men stare for money was unseemly, no matter the circumstances, but she knew each clink of a coin meant she and Nate would eat tonight. Oh, he’d be furious, of course. He’d probably even accuse her of flirting. Maybe she was. Flirting. Encouraging. She didn’t care. She needed a proper supper and a hot bath. Besides, the men seemed harmless.
She considered how many coins those fools had given her, but was too afraid to count for fear they’d wise up to this absurd payment-for-gawking scheme and demand all those coins back. The men stared at her wide-eyed while a pecker pounded on a nearby trunk, knocking and knocking for grubs, matching the thud in her head.
“Any of you know a Henry Goodwin?” Elisabeth asked. “That your husband?” “My father. He settled a claim up the North Fork,” she said. It’d been nearly a month since he’d run off with that Indian girl, and she still stung sore and angry at his leaving. She convinced herself he’d change his mind. Convinced
he’d return to the claim eventually.
“Sing us a song?” A prune-face fella asked. “Not hardly,” she said. “Can’t? Or won’t?” Not exactly delicate, Elisabeth lacked the finer qualities admired in most ladies. Her singing sounded more feeble frog than melodious finch, and she had no patience for sitting still for parlor conversations, finding the feminine topics of curtain colors and canning peaches dreadfully dull. Nate said she walked too heavy, but she knew he’d appreciated her strong back when they’d taken turns pushing their cart loaded down with his case of books through the foothills and into the river basin.

Excerpt from Prospects of a Woman by Wendy Voorsanger.  
Copyright © 2020 by Wendy Voorsanger. 
Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.




Meet The Author

Wendy Voorsanger

Born and raised on the American River in Sacramento, Wendy Voorsanger has long held an intense interest in the historical women of California. She started her career in Silicon Valley, writing about technology trends and innovations for newspapers, magazines, and Fortune 100 companies. 


She currently manages SheIsCalifornia.net, a blog dedicated to chronicling the accomplishments of California women through history. Her debut historical novel, Prospects of a Woman will be published in October 2020 (She Writes Press); an excerpt entitled “Shifting in California” won 1st place in the California Writers Club short story contest and is published in the Fault Zone: Shift: An Anthology of Stories


She earned a B.A. in Journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a member of the Castro Writers’ Cooperative, the Lit Camp Advisory Board, and the San Mateo Public Library Literary Society. 


In addition to being an author, Wendy has worked as a lifeguard, ski instructor, and radio disc jockey. Wendy lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. 


Connect to the author via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and blog.


This showcase, excerpt, and blog tour brought to you by PR by the Book

Book Showcase: DON’T F*** THIS UP! by Fred Stuvek Jr.



Don’t F*** This Up!: A Guide for Students and Graduates or Anyone Making A Fresh Start by Fred Stuvek Jr.
ISBN: 9781732306042 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781732306059 (ebook)
ASIN: B08C5MQVSV   (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Triumvirate Press
Publication Date: July 7, 2020



The margin of error is shrinking…



Has the new normal just f***ed up the future for young adults? 

Thanks to a global pandemic, they’re entering adulthood, their college career, or the workforce during record unemployment, a terrifying economy, and social guidelines that have all but eliminated life as we knew it. 

And what about the millions of newly unemployed workers in America? As they look for a fresh start, how will they overcome the challenges of an economy decimated by COVID-19?

If having a strategy for the future was important before, now it’s critical. The choices new grads, young adults, or the newly unemployed make and the practices they adopt right now are going to shape not only their career but every other aspect of their life as well. 

Fred Stuvek, Jr. has some hard-earned life lessons to share with them. As a former athlete who served in the military and successfully started his own business, he has advice for those looking to thrive in this battered economy. 

In Don’t F*** This Up!, he explains how harnessing certain proven success principles will help guide those looking for a new start in a world where the margin of error is narrower than ever. He can explain the following in more detail:


  • Adopt high standards and become disciplined
  • Learn how to focus on goal setting from a Hall of Fame athlete turned soldier
  • Develop and improve essential relationships from someone who has built successful businesses
  • Establish a high level of personal integrity through the right actions and attitude 
  • Develop the resilience and grit to overcome adversity







Purchase Links: #CommissionEarned   IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes & Noble  |  <Nook Book  |  BookDepository  |  Kobo eBook





Author Q&A



Don’t F*** This Up!: A Guide for Students and Graduates
or Anyone Making a Fresh Start



1.  Your book is titled, Don’t F*** This Up!. That is pretty direct. What exactly do you mean by it and how did you decide on it?

Due to this pandemic students and graduates will be facing one of the bleakest employment environments in generations. Opportunities will be limited, and the margin of error is much less than in former times. While the title is visceral, I wanted to emphasize the importance to my target audience that now, more than ever, it is critical to be prepared and get it right the first time.


2.  You have excelled in sports, the military, and in business. What is the key piece of advice you have gained from this trifecta of experience that you want to give to those making a fresh start in this bad economy?

Nothing gets accomplished without discipline, commitment, and a team working together. Your discipline will ensure you follow through on your plan; that firm commitment in your mission will ensure you have the resiliency to stay the course when adversity strikes; and everyone has each other’s back.  


3.  How is your book unique from other self-help books out there?

Success is not one dimensional, it entails a number of issues that must converge. The absence or weakness in one area of more will impact your ability to reach your full potential. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a book out there that comprehensively and specifically addresses the entire range of issues for someone to be successful by telling them WHAT is important, WHY it is important, and HOW you do something about it. 


4.  You say that your advice may be hard for people to hear. Why is that?

You are responsible for you and accountable for yourself. You are not a victim of circumstances. The life you are living is based on the habits you have formed, the decisions you made, and the people you associate with. If you want a better life, develop better habits, make better decisions, and re-evaluate who you are hanging out with.


5.  Can you go over a couple of the core ideas for success that you outline in the book?

In order to be motivated and fulfilled there are two issues that are important – alignment and filling in the gaps. When I say alignment you have to understand what motivates you and match those beliefs with your personality, skillset, interests, and values. The other issue is the gaps – you need to understand what areas you fall short in and work on improving your skills in those areas. You also have to be honest with yourself and don’t try to be something you are not. Otherwise, you have a mismatch which ultimately will result in dissatisfaction, stress, burn-out, and spill over into your personal life.  


6.  You say that the margin for error is narrowing for people starting out in the workforce. What do you mean by that?

Many companies are streamlining, cutting costs, or putting plans on hold until they are better able to gauge the impact COVID19 will have on the economy and their business. As a result, there will be fewer jobs available which will translate into fewer opportunities for them. This may also translate to new business models where companies revert to a hybrid version of their former self from both an expense and staffing standpoint. They say “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” The same holds true here.  


7.  COVID-19 has decimated the economy. For those who have been laid off, what is your biggest piece of advice as they look for a fresh start?

Your mindset, preparation, and commitment will carry you through. Be prepared, be positive, and persevere. Understand there will be rejection and frustration, don’t take it personally, it is part of the process, so put it behind you. Learn from it and move on. Your determination and zeal will ultimately resonate with someone, so never give up, never surrender, and always move forward, even if it is one small step at a time. 


8.  Ultimately, what do you hope readers take away from your book?

Your achievement in life will be determined by the belief and confidence you have in yourself and what you do. You need to develop the right mindset, develop good habits, and make good decisions. To make those decisions you need to know what questions to ask, how to get the answers, and a process to follow. This book is a roadmap to do exactly that and will be a valuable ongoing reference. 


9.  How/where can readers purchase Don’t F*** This Up!?#

It is available in hard copy and eBook through a number of sources such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. You can also go to my website https://fredstuvek.com, where the purchase tab on my home page will direct you to a number of sources where you can purchase either version. 
(#NOTE: Purchase Links are also provided at the top of this post.)

10.  Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the book?

What is laid out in my book is not based on theory. What I recommend is proven, it works. 




Meet The Author


FRED STUVEK JR. has achieved extraordinary success in diverse realms. He has been inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for achievements in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy, after lettering three years as quarterback for the Midshipmen. After serving as a Naval Officer, he transitioned to the business world where he has held senior leadership positions in private and public companies, both domestically and internationally. Key successes include an international medical imaging start-up that led to a successful IPO and forming a private medical services company, which he subsequently sold. From the playing field to the war room, to the board room, his leadership and accomplishments have given him a distinct perspective and a results-oriented mindset.



Connect to the author via his Website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, or YouTube.




Giveaway

Enter to win a print copy of Don’t F*** This Up! by Fred Stuvek Jr. This giveaway is limited to US residents only; non-US residents will be disqualified. Giveaway begins at 12:01 AM ET on 08/25/2020 and runs through 11:59 PM ET on 09/01/2020. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 09/02/2020. Book will be provided by PR by the Book at the conclusion of the tour. Void where prohibited by law.


To enter use the Rafflecopter form below.

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This Q&A, giveaway, and tour brought to you by PR By The Book

Guest Post: Vee Kumari – DHARMA



Happy Monday, my bookish peeps. Just last week I told you that I’m all about learning about new-to-me authors and books, as well as growing my TBR list. Well, that list has one more addition after today and it’s in one of my favorite genres, mystery. Let me introduce you to Vee Kumari, author of the debut Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery. Learn more about this author, her character Rekha, and the book below.




The Importance and Significance of Character Naming
by Vee Kumari



Rekha is an Indian film actress, noted for her versatility and acknowledged as one of the finest artists in Indian cinema, who has acted in more than 190 Bollywood films in her career spanning over 50 years. She has often played strong female characters, often “the other woman.” I chose the name because I wanted something exceptional, not commonly used for Indian protagonists. 

The meaning of the name, as Rekha explains to Al toward the end of the novel, is: “a straight line.” It implies honesty, lack of filters, perhaps stubborn and inflexible.

The pronunciation of the name is a little tricky. The ‘R’ is not a harsh trilled sound, rather a softer sound best produced by having the tip of the tongue tap once against the front half of the palate, but not touching the teeth. But I’d be happy whichever way the readers choose to say it!



**********





Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery by Vee Kumari
ISBN:  9781938394423 (paperback)
ASIN:  B0868TRY2C (Kindle version)
Publisher: Great Life Press
Publication Date: March 22, 2020


Rekha Rao, a thirty-something Indian American professor of art history, is disillusioned by academia and haunted by the murder of her father, for which she believes police convicted the wrong person.

She moves away from her nosy Indian family to live an independent life. As luck would have it, she gets entangled in a second murder, that of her mentor and father figure, Professor Joseph Faust. An idol of the Hindu Goddess Durga was used as the murder weapon and left on the body. Rekha is asked to help Detective Al Newton understand the relationship, if any, between the meaning of the statue and the motive for murder.

Rekha is attracted to Al but steers clear of him because of her distaste for cops and prior abusive experience with a boyfriend, sticking to only what she was asked to do. Al and Rekha constantly clash, igniting a love-hate relationship. When police arrest one of her favorite students and accuse Faust of idol theft, Rekha’s ‘dharma,’ her sense of duty, rears its head and propels her into looking for the killer on her own. Walking a thin line between Al’s warnings about the dangers of amateur sleuthing, and the match-making efforts of her family, Rekha finds the killer, and in the process, discovers her inner strength, and tastes the prospect of an unexpected romance.






Purchase Links #CommissionEarned:   IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  




Meet the author:

Vee Kumari grew up in India. She loved to read, and often used it to avoid her mother, who might want her to do a chore or two. It was her mother who directed her to use the dictionary to learn the meanings of new words and construct sentences with them. Vee wanted to become an English professor but went to medical school instead.

Upon coming to the US, Vee obtained a doctorate in anatomy. She became a faculty member at the UC Davis Medical Center, where she worked for over 35 years, and later worked for the Keck School of Medicine for five years. Teaching neuroanatomy to medical students became her passion. She published many scientific papers and won several teaching awards. 

When she retired in 2012, she took classes from The Gotham Writers’ Workshop and UCLA Writers Program. Dharma, A Rekha Rao Mystery is her debut fiction that incorporates her observations on the lives of Indian immigrants and Indian Americans in the US.

Vee lives in Burbank and is also an actor who has appeared in TV shows, including Criminal Minds and Glow, and produced and was the lead in a short film, Halwa, which garnered the first prize in HBO’s 2019 Asian Pacific American Visionaries (APAV) contest.

She is at work on her next novel about an Indian immigrant family whose American dream shatters when one of their twin daughters goes missing.



Connect with the author via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.



This guest post and blog tour brought to you by PR by the Book

Guest Post: Gen LaGreca – JUST THE TRUTH



Good day, book people. I don’t know about you, but I’m always excited to learn about new authors and books. Yes, I know that my TBR list already has thousands of books on it, but what’s one or two more?! Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Gen LaGreca, an award-winning author, and the author of the newly released Just The Truth. Ms. LaGreca will be talking to us today about fiction and the impact it has on our lives. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting her, read what she has to say, and add Just The Truth to your mounting TBR list! Thank you, Ms. LaGreca for joining us today. I turn the blog over to you.



Why We Love Fiction, and How it Touches our Lives
By Gen LaGreca


Are there great novels, short stories, plays, and feature films that thrilled you, shocked you, gave you moments of nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat suspense, or steamy, passionate love scenes? Are there works of fiction that got you thinking about important issues? Did you ever wonder about the power of fiction to inform and inspire us?

News stories, textbooks, essays, articles, white papers, and nonfiction books give us a straight-forward account of factual issues, whereas works of fiction tell us a story. Fiction comes from the imagination filled with adventure, excitement, romance, intrigue, suspense, and the full gamut of emotions.


Nonfiction or Fiction? Which do you remember more?

The difference between nonfiction and fiction is like the difference between reading a flight manual and actually being in the cockpit and going for a ride.

For example, let’s take a historical event: Sherman’s March and the burning of Atlanta during the Civil War. How do we remember it? Through a textbook account of military strategies, generals, battles, and timelines? Or do we remember Sherman’s March far more vividly from a scene in the novel and film Gone With the Wind? We’re in the middle of Sherman’s siege. Atlanta is wildly ablaze and in utter chaos. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler are in a teetering wagon with a half-dead horse driving it. A mother and her just-born child are in the back of the wagon, with the mother trying to shield the infant from falling debris from the fires all around them. The characters are desperately trying to escape Atlanta, but the Confederate army is in full retreat coming at them, slowing them down—and an ammunition depot is about to explode.

You can see how fiction makes that historical event come to life in a haunting, shocking way.


Fiction depicts great struggles for freedom and independence.

The ancient myth of Prometheus relates how he stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. This empowered humans so that they were no longer subservient to the deities who ruled them. The gods were so infuriated by losing their power over mankind that they chained Prometheus to a rock and cruelly punished him for eternity. The quest of humans to break free from a ruling class echoes through time and is a great theme for works of fiction.

Did you know that storytelling played a role in the American Revolution? The popular 18th-century play “Cato: A Tragedy” dramatized the struggle of a political leader of Ancient Rome, Cato, who fought for republicanism against Julius Caesar’s tyranny. This play was so important to George Washington that he defied a Congressional order banning the performance of plays during wartime and had the work performed to inspire his troops after their harsh winter at Valley Forge. Washington didn’t give his troops a lecture or a pep talk to boost their spirits. Instead, he used the sweeping drama of a play.

In the prelude to the American Civil War, the most influential abolitionist writing was a novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was this book—a work of fiction—that became an international bestseller and galvanized the North against the evils of slavery.

Fiction has also shown us the face of evil in grim detail. The term Big Brother, which originated from George Orwell’s novel 1984, has become the enduring worldwide symbol of tyranny. We still use this term today, over 70 years since the novel’s original publication in 1949.

Novels have contained moving messages about freedom. Ayn Rand’s epic philosophical novel, Atlas Shrugged, shows us the role of the individual’s free, creative mind and productive activities as the generator of human progress. This novel has inspired millions to embrace the glory of freedom.


Stories that dramatize important ideas have always inspired me in my writing.

With no pretensions to the above works intended, I strive in my novels to create riveting plots interwoven with thought-provoking themes. My new novel, Just the Truth, is a political thriller that portrays the threats to a free press in an era of growing government power and the fearless spirit of one journalist who risks her career, her reputation—and ultimately her life— to uncover a plot to subvert free elections in America. This courageous newswoman battles a powerful bureaucracy to keep journalism, a free press—and truth—alive. It’s an entertaining novel that brings to life the importance of a responsible and independent press, an accountable government, and the rule of law. It’s not only for those who care about modern threats to our country’s founding principles but for anyone looking for an absorbing political thriller and murder mystery.

I love to write fiction that offers a full plate of plot action served with a generous pour of intoxicating ideas. Are you ready for a sizzling read? I’m inviting you to my table.


*********



Just the Truth by Gen LeGreca
ISBN:  9780974457956 (paperback)
ASIN:  B084M65GZ3 (Kindle version)
Publisher: Winged Victory Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2020


A newswoman battles a powerful bureaucracy to keep journalism, a free press—and truth—alive.

Set in Washington, DC, in the near future, Just the Truth portrays the threats to a free press in the era of growing, unchecked government and the courageous spirit of one journalist who risks her career, her reputation—and even her life—to uncover a plot to subvert free elections in America.

Find the truth, wherever it hides was the slogan of firebrand newspaper mogul Julius Taninger (JT) in the mid-20th century. Then, politicians feared his scathing editorials. Now, 70 years later, with JT deceased and his son Clark and grandchildren Irene, Billie, and Laura Taninger running the company, have the tables turned? In modern-day America, does the press—and the broader business community—still have the freedom to criticize public officials, or do those officials have the power to silence their opponents? Laura Taninger is about to find out.

Fox… James Spenser whispers as he lay dying in Laura’s arms.

She cannot let Spenser die in vain.

Having become the president of Taninger News and host of its prime time television show after the death of her intrepid grandfather, Laura becomes the sole journalist to hold President Kenneth Martin’s administration accountable. The signature program of his administration, SafeVote, puts control of national elections in the hands of the federal government, rather than letting the states manage the voting in their own jurisdictions. SafeVote is scheduled to launch with the upcoming presidential election in which Martin hopes to win a second term. Laura suspects foul play when she discovers a $400 million line item in the SafeVote budget allocated to pay an elusive company for performing undisclosed services.

James Spenser, who was Laura’s source within the administration, had vital information for her but was gunned down before he could reveal it. Facing the crushing retaliation of her political enemies against her family’s businesses, a smear campaign to destroy her career and reputation, and the intense pressure of her family to give up her investigation, Laura persists in her quest to learn the meaning of Spenser’s dying word and the secrecy surrounding SafeVote. As she gets closer to unraveling the mystery, she realizes that the facts point to shocking revelations about the man whose memory haunts her, the man who was her greatest business competitor and her most passionate lover—until he betrayed her and the ideals they shared. With Election Day looming and the country at a perilous crossroads, Laura is determined to pursue the truth wherever it leads.






Purchase Links #CommissionEarned:   IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  



Meet the author:


Genevieve (Gen) LaGreca writes novels with innovative plots, strong romance, and themes that glorify individual freedom and independence. She has written novels of all different genres including historical, mystery, and romance fiction as well as short stories. She is one of the successful new indie authors whose novels have topped the charts in the popular ebook format. Her three previously published novels, Noble Vision, A Dream of Daring, and Fugitive From Asteron have been Amazon Kindle Best Sellers and won 11 book awards.




Connect with the author via her website, blog, Facebook, and LinkedIn.



This guest post and blog tour brought to you by PR by the Book

Bookish Spotlight: Thérèse Plummer – Audiobook Narrator



June is Audiobook Month and what better way to celebrate than to spotlight an audiobook narrator. I’m pleased to present to you the actress and award-winner audiobook narrator, Thérèse Plummer. Ms. Plummer will be providing us with some invaluable information regarding her audiobook narration style. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.


1. What’s a day in the studio like for you?

I get to the studio to start my session at 10:00 am. I will yuck it up with the engineers and whoever else is around and then get into my studio for a full day of performing. I love the Pomodoro technique* lately as it is fantastic for productivity and keeps my energy levels at a sustainable level.  My typical recording day is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2. Tell me a bit about transforming books into audiobooks. How do you prepare, and what do you most enjoy about the preparation? From one project to the next, how much do you change your approach to each audiobook?

I love this question! Each book is a new friend I have just met and in order to get to know her, I need to really listen. The book tells me everything I need to know because the author has taken the time to create this world and the characters whose journeys I am lucky to go on and bring to life. Every story has its own personality and vibe. If I have questions regarding pronunciations I will submit a word list to my producers and also will collaborate with the authors if I am able to ask specific questions about how they ‘hear’ certain characters. My prepping means I read the entire book and will highlight ‘directions,’ I see (e.g. he whispered, she muttered, he said in a flat voice, she roared). I will have made a new friend so when I go into the studio to give the book a voice it is now a dialogue with my new friend.

3. Does your work impact how you read outside of work?

When I am in the studio I record off of an iPad and will scroll to the next page. The other day I had a book on my lap and saw my finger go to the page to scroll it and I started laughing. Old habits!! My husband is very amused as I am always giving things a voice and a character. It’s kind of a habit now. I am definitely a faster reader.

4. What do audiobooks offer that a book can’t? And considering how much audiobooks are booming, why do you think we’re being drawn to this medium more and more?

So when I was twelve years old I remember reading a book called Tully by Paullina Simons** and being absolutely mesmerized. I couldn’t focus in school as I kept thinking about Tully and the next chapter I would get to after school. I was fully invested in this story and these characters. It was so real for me. That’s what a good story does. If I were to guess, I think when a listener finds a voice that works for them telling them the story and bringing it to life, it is the ultimate escape and experience. I have had listeners tell me they won’t leave their car until the chapter ends. Storytelling is the oldest form of entertainment and connection and to have a voice perform a story to you is such an intimate and beautiful experience. It is a human connection and it is highly entertaining. It is a healthy way to detach from the noise of your commute and escape into a wonderful story. I have had other listeners tell me listening to an audiobook is equivalent to watching a movie in their head. 

5. What do you believe are your greatest strengths as a narrator of books? What is the most rewarding or coolest thing you get to bring to this experience through your reading?

I believe my greatest strength as a storyteller is the ability to immerse my whole self into all of the characters and trust myself to then translate that vocally. I lose myself in the story and the characters and I think you have to do that to bring the authors world alive vocally. It is so fun to play crazy characters (lycans, vampires, gargoyles, etc) or little kids talking to their parents and to hear my voice just become what is in my head. I am one of eight kids in my family and I have 15 nephews and nieces to date so I have lots of inspiration. 😊

6.  What’s one thing people might not expect about your role as a narrator?

It is exhausting! The Pomodoro technique helps me with energy but at the end of a six or eight hour day, I usually come home and crash. I am used to playing one character on stage and film but in the studio, it is a one-woman show and sometimes up to 40 characters a book. I have so much respect for my community of storytellers!

7.  How do you take care of your voice?

Sleep is my number one voice-care. The others are vocal/diaphragm warm-ups before my session. Stretching my tongue, jaw, throat, and face. Also lots of water, espresso (not sure that’s a good one but is my vice) and tea. I love soups. And Airborne in the beginning and end of a session.

8. Tell us a bit about being a woman in the audiobook industry. Do you face any particular challenges? How have things changed over time?

The biggest change has been our Union (Sag-Aftra) negotiating contracts with the publishers on our behalf to solidify our rates in the last 10 years or so. I think the biggest challenge as a woman is speaking up for a higher rate as time goes on. I know if I were a man it would be less intimidating but the good news is that my community of storytellers are filled with like-minded strong beautiful talented and fierce queens who band together in support and encouragement of each other. We know our worth and ask for what we want and need. The worst thing that can happen is they say no but it is worth the discomfort. As freelance artists, it is really scary because if we ask and they say no we don’t want to lose work or be seen as greedy or annoying to work with so a lot of us stay quiet. The few times I advocated for myself and asked it was greeted with approval but my god, it was terrifying. I try to channel my inner vampire or werewolf strength at times. LOL. 

  
9.  Who in your life has had the biggest impact on your work as a narrator? 

My father. He was a professional actor in his younger days and growing up in my house he was always singing and bringing characters in his head to life. We never knew who would be serving us our French Toast. Was it a French man or an Italian man? Accents and characters galore. It was a one-man show and incredibly entertaining. He performed a one-man show of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and every year I sat in the audience and was mesmerized by how he brought every character in that story to life! I was in awe. When he retired my brother and I took over the tradition and perform A Christmas Carol at Grey Towers in Milford Pa. the first weekend in December every year. What a gift.

10.  I’d love to know more about reading Robyn Carr’s work! How do you approach romance in particular as a narrator? (Especially kissing/love scenes!)

I was asked to audition to narrate Virgin River in 2009 at Recorded Books in NYC. They chose my voice and none of us knew the journey we would all go on! The romance books are the same as any other story as it is a friend I have yet to meet. The thing I love about these stories though is that each book has so many mini stories going on that it felt like a soap opera or television show while I narrated. The love scenes are intimate, personal, passionate, and sometimes funny so as the voice of the man and the woman and the narrator I have my work cut out for me. There is a way to soften my voice but get closer to the microphone so I am not too soft and bring the scene to life. I have cracked myself up when the groan I emit as the man comes out more like a croak and my engineer and I will have a good chuckle before going back and getting it right. Again I am bringing a story alive to your ears so the more natural and realistic I can get it the better for you. That is my goal.

I am blessed to call Robyn a friend and she is one of the funniest, most real, bad-ass queens I know. I was able to narrate all of her Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan’s Crossing series as well as her stand-alone novels. I adore these stories and characters. I was able to audition and landed a role on season one of Virgin River for Netflix. To walk on set and be in Jack’s bar after bringing it to life for so many years through audio was surreal and amazing. I think they did an amazing job with the series! The best part of Robyn’s books is that she writes about people all of us know.  Everyone can relate and escape into a really good story for a while. Healthy escapism.

*The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have—rather than against it. Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros. After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes.
**Tully Makker is a tough young woman from the wrong side of the tracks and she is not always easy to like. But if Tully gives friendship and loyalty, she gives them for good, and she forms an enduring bond with Jennifer and Julie, school friends from very different backgrounds. As they grow into the world of the seventies and eighties, the lives of the three best friends are changed forever by two young men, Robin and Jack, and a tragedy which engulfs them all. Against the odds, Tully emerges into young womanhood, marriage, and a career. At last Tully Makker has life under control. And then life strikes back in the most unexpected way of all…(GoodReads)





Watch Thérèse in action in this video:




 
Meet the Narrator

Photo by Jody Christopherson

Thérèse Plummer is an actor and award-winning audiobook narrator working in New York City. She has recorded over 350 audiobooks for various publishers. She won the 2019 Audie Award for her work on the multicast, Sadie by Courtney Summers for Macmillan Audio, was nominated for the Multicast Any Man by Amber Tamblyn for Harper Audio and her solo narration for The Rogue Planets Shaken by Lee W. Brainard for Podium Publishing. The American Library Association (ALA) awarded her work on Sourdough by Robin Sloan as part of the 2018 Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration for Adult Listeners.  


Thérèse is the voice of Maya Hansen in the Marvel Graphic Motion Comic Ironman Extremis, Dr. Fennel in Pokemon, and for various Yu-Gi-Oh characters. Television Guest Star Roles on The Good Wife, Law and Order SVU, and the upcoming series Virgin River for Netflix. 

Connect with the Thérèse via her website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.



This Q&A and blog tour brought to you by PR by the Book