Book Review: What if? by Fran Lewis

Genre: Time Travel/ Sci Fi
Published by: Fidelli
Publication Date: July 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 78
ISBN: B08CNKX3DT
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

With the pandemic that never seems to be leaving us anytime soon I’ve created worlds that might make you pause for thought. Dark stories told by the characters as they experienced their journeys into worlds that you might not want to live in a hopefully be happy in the one you’re in.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What If? has six dark stories and a poem that will make you think. I liked them, but I particularly two that rang true during the times that we are in:

  • “Confined!” is about Fern who self-isolates due to fear of the virus. See what can happen when someone isolates both their mind and body.
  • “One Race: On World – The Year 2050”: the government makes everyone multicolored, everyone works, everyone is paid the same amount no matter their job, and no one can have their own opinions (sounds a lot like 1984). Then, new neighbors move in…

“The Match” is a poem that’s disturbing. The other three stories are pretty good; they’re interesting and thought-provoking. What If? is a good book to read for when you don’t have much time (the stories are just 6 to 16 pages each) but want something that will make you think.

Read an Excerpt

One Race: One World: The Year 2050

It was now 2050 and the world had really changed. There were no more planes or trains. All you needed to do was think about being somewhere and you were there. The government, in order to save money on gas and fuel, had banned cars, buses, and any means of transportation, and implanted chips in everyone’s arms that helped transport them to wherever they wanted to go, including the past.

A huge explosion had occurred, and all that was left in the world were twenty countries, with only twelve hundred people in each country. Most people had not survived the explosion, which had caused most of the countries to just disappear into space forever. No one really knew if anyone was out there or if these people survived somewhere, and no one really cared enough to find out.

One man called The Ruler headed all the countries, and assigned one person as the Chief of Law and Enforcement in each country. Under this person, five people helped to enforce the rules and the laws.

Then, one miserable day, someone decided there were too many wars, too many hate crimes, too many people being killed on the streets, and too much traffic and congestion on the highways. The government hired several scientists to find a solution to the problem, and that was how everyone in the entire world wound up multicolored.

Because of all the wars and fighting and hate that took place in the past, the government created a way to eliminate the many different races in the world and opted for only one. Everyone looked the same. Our faces might have looked a little different, but our skin colors were the same—multicolored. They did this so that no one would insult, mock, or hurt anyone because of their skin color. They eliminated houses of worship so that everyone was nonsectarian, and no one would be discriminated against. However, what they could not eliminate were our thoughts and desires to make changes in our lives, even though they tried.

Everyone that lived here had a job that paid the same amount. No one, no matter what they did or what career they chose, was paid more than anyone else. We never had to worry about being laid off. Unless we decided to move somewhere else our job stayed the same, and there was no room for advancement—ever. Everyone did the same thing every day. Nothing changed. Life was supposed to be anger free, insult free, and most of all, calm and tranquil. HOW DULL AND BORING! (OH! I am not supposed to say that. Opinions are not allowed here.)

One morning I got up and got dressed to go to my boring job as an accountant with the only accounting firm in this city. I went over the books daily, entered my accounts in their daily ledgers, and did taxes for some of the companies in this city. It was grunt work, and nothing exciting ever happened at work or anywhere else.

Walking to work as usual, I began remembering how it was only twenty years ago when there were cars, trains, and people running and yelling for cabs and trains to wait for them at the station. I missed the newspaper people on the street and the vendors selling hot coffee and bagels from their pushcarts. Those were the days. I loved the way people had looked and the different races and nationalities that lived here. Learning from other people was what made life exciting.

Then the unexpected happened. A new family with two children moved in down the street from me. These two kids were not going to conform to our way of thinking, and decided it was time to shake things up—and they did. One morning when going to school they each wore something other than the school’s drab gray uniform. The girl wore a pink and green dress with flowers, and the boy wore something blue, and a shirt that said, “I hate being the same. Different Rules.”

This did not go over well, and they were taken into custody by the guards in their school and promptly suspended. This did not stop them. They started screaming and yelling all sorts of words we had not heard before. “One race is not what we are supposed to be. I hate this planet. I hate all of you.”

I could not believe my ears. This was grounds for banishment into the Devoid Zone. These two children had painted stars all over their faces. Their younger sister decided to paint her face one color. Who in today’s world had a face that was one color? Everyone here looked and dressed the same. It prevented jealousy, arguments, and fashion wars. How dare they go against the laws of this state?

***

Excerpt from What if? by Fran Lewis. Copyright 2020 by Fran Lewis. Reproduced with permission from Fran Lewis. All rights reserved.

 

About the Author

Fran Lewis is a reviewer, talk show host, mj network, reading and writing staff developer. She was the administrative assistant to the Principal and created original programs for students after school. She was the music director and created musical festivals along with other staff members. She’s a member of Marquis Who’s Who, Continental Who’s who and who’s who of America’s professionals and educators.

Catch Up With Fran Lewis On:

WebsiteGoodreadsBookBubInstagramTwitter, & Facebook!

New Releases

What Else am I Feeling?

Third book in an award-winning series helping children to express their emotions

About the Book:

From the international award-winning author Katie Flanagan, ‘What else am I feeling?’ is the sequel to ‘What am I feeling?’

‘What else am I feeling?’ helps to introduce and extend further the vocabulary linked to the emotions children are likely to experience. It offers valuable insights for adults in helping to expand their child’s knowledge, understanding and vocabulary regarding a wide range of emotions. Its gentle approach and warm illustrations helps provide the opportunity to open up discussions with children about a wider variety of feelings in a non-intrusive way.

The forewords for children and adults provide a useful background to help develop understanding of the importance of learning about our emotions and growing in our skills to help children become more comfortable with everyday feelings they encounter.

Through useful questions and suggestions, it also offers ideas and guidance for how best to support children with their emotional experiences. It is a versatile resource; easy for carers, educators and family members to use.

Look out for the accompanying journal coming soon for children to use to personalise their own experience of the emotions covered in this picture discussion book.

About the Author:

Katie Flanagan has worked as a teacher for over a decade and currently works as the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.  She has always had a keen interest in helping children to develop emotional literacy skills. When she was teaching, she used to help the children expand their vocabulary around the emotions they experience by getting them to answer how they felt during register time.

She used the opportunity to help teach them new words for different feelings. During this time and in her parenting, she found herself trying to define emotions in a child-friendly way to help describe the emotion and when they might be feeling it. This inspired her to create pictures book with a wide range of emotions to help increase children’s understanding of the emotions and the words they could use. She also decided to create a journal so children had a place where they could explore their own experience of their emotions.

She published the first book, What am I feeling? Defining Emotions in 2017 and has had lots of positive feedback from Educational Psychologists and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. She won the American Bookfest International Book Award for children’s ‘mind body and spirit’ category 2018. She has had positive reviews from the SEN resources blog, top parenting blogger ‘What the Redhead Said’ and Melissa Hood, Co-Founder of the Parent Practice.

Katie has qualifications in Psychology, PGCE, National SENCo Award, Time out for Parents, and Group facilitator for charity Care for The Family.

 

What Else Am I Feeling?  Defining More Emotions by Katie Flanagan is available in paperback from Amazon at:

Katie’s first book and journal are also available from Amazon at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 0208 339 6060
E-mail: info@grosvenorhousepublishing.co.uk

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Tales from Tipperary

The first book in a series of fictional southern Irish tales

About the Book:

The book is set in Tipperary – in the unreal world of the hillslopes below Keeper Hill. Essentially, it is an unashamed homage to a typical past rural community, written in the colloquial and colourful language of the times. It opens with Dandy-the-Galwayman’s arrival in Tipperary shortly after the Famine. The generation that follows him lead a colourful life, weaving a rich tapestry.

Tales include:

  • The reliance of families on children’s rabbit-poaching with ferrets acts of adolescent rebelliousness like setting fire to a load of hay, or building a snowman as a surprise ‘gift’ in an enemy’s back room
  • The death of a young hurler in his very first match
  • The story of a child-saint and her ghostly return to see the new baby
  • The tale of a bonesetter, his place in the community
  • The days of a silenced priest, involving his heroism
  • The confession of an old lady
  • Children cattle-droving at dawn
  • Jealousy when a mountainy man wins the Show-Fair Cup

About the Author:

Edward Forde Hickey lives in Kent with his wife. They have three sons. During the years 1962 until 1998, he taught in inner city primary schools (laterally as a headteacher for 18 years). In early life, he was a pop star with Decca records (see ‘Eddie Hickey/Lady May’) and later sang with the Glenside Ceilidhe Band in The Galtymore Dancehall, Cricklewood (1965/1975).

Born of Irish parents during the Blitz of London, he spent his first five years of life nurtured and moulded by his grandmother in the foothills above Dolla, near Nenagh in County Tipperary. His grandmother is and always was his inspiration; she had a natural gift with words.

Edward has always been interested in folklore and the Irish past (its music, dance and literature). He was a champion Irish step-dancer. He taught and adjudicated it, even as far afield as in Australia, before dedicating himself to research into hillside communities in north Tipperary, from where he brought back tapes of original songs for The English Folk Dance and Song Society.

He keeps a small farm in the foothills of north Tipperary and visits it often.

Review of the Book:

“A wonderful collection of tales delivered by a natural storyteller completely beguiling an effortless evocation of an almost forgotten world a wonderfully personable narration endlessly charming characterisation

Life and death are treated with simplicity, profundity and a lightness of touch. Every individual tale is undoubtedly very strong.”

Jakob von Beyer, Director of Addison and Cole

 

Tales from Tipperary by Edward Forde Hickey is available in paperback from Amazon at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 0208 339 6060
E-mail: info@grosvenorhousepublishing.co.uk

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Butcher Boy

A nostalgic story about a young Mancunian lad with a love for loud music and misadventure

About the Book:

There was nothing extraordinary about Pugnatious Smelt. He was just an ordinary boy, born to an ordinary family in a small South Manchester suburb in the 1960s.

This book documents his growing pains as he learns what life is about and how easy it is to make the wrong decisions and yet end with the right result, sometimes.

Excerpt from the book:

“Pugnatious would look at the adverts each week to see if any of the album bands were on live that Saturday and if they were off he would go with a select bunch of friends to experience them first-hand. He was still nowhere near driving age and so it was a bus into the centre and then a walk, a walk he had done all those years before with his father to see the Spinners, this was very different, it seemed that this new generation of musicians felt the need to play loud. Now there is a difference between loud, as measured by Mrs Smelt when he played his records at home, loud as in the volume he played them at when his mother was out and loud at the Free Trade Hall, this was proper loud. So loud he could feel the bass drum in his chest, his teeth would hurt when the guitars hit high notes in the middle of solos and his ears hurt from the overall cacophony of sound. A good night at the Hall would be measured by the ringing and hissing in his ears once he left the building.

Pugnatious like his peers wanted the volume, the louder the better, the greater the ringing in the ears the better the night had been, the more his parents advised against it the more he wanted it, Van Der Graaf Generator gave it to him, Cream gave it to him, Yes gave it to him, Mr and Mrs Smelt gave it to him warning of the dangers of deafness in later life.”

“Butcher Boy:  Pugnatious Smelt – an ordinary boy” by Dik Cavanagh is available to purchase in paperback from Amazon.co.uk at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 712 064
E-mail: info@newgeneration-publishing.com

New Releases

Dragon Diplomacy

Timely book about China’s rise to power and the reality behind its perceived threat to neighboring states and Western democracy

About the Book: 

Ever since China’s rise to global power status, a strong narrative has emerged to explain and assess the impact of the return of this once Middle Kingdom. Unlike other great civilisations, the Chinese have made a comeback and are, today, exerting their presence, in economic, political and military spheres. China is touted to not only challenge the might of the United States, but may even, surpass it. Following from this, a mainstream view point prescribes a much more hostile approach in dealing with China. China has to be contained, if not prevented from becoming the preeminent power in the future – replacing western dominance in world affairs.

This book tries to posit an alternative assessment of China’s rise. Due to the far-reaching impact of China’s economic and commercial arms, states have come to adopt a much more pragmatic approach, one that refuses to view this power in terms of a ‘threat’ perspective. A recognition of China’s greatness does not necessarily place countries into a straightjacket of being subservient or playing second fiddle to Beijing. In a globalised world, to avoid being caught in the middle of a clash between these two titans, the United States and China, seems the most prudent stance, while at the same time deriving benefits from both sides.

About the Author:

Abdul Razak Baginda was a senior associate member of St Antony’s College, Oxford as well as visiting fellow at Reikaku University, Japan.  He received his doctorate in International Relations from the University of Oxford.  He currently lives between London and Kaula Lumpur.  He has published extensively, his latest being “China-Malaysia Relations and Foreign Policy”, published by Routledge (2015).

Excerpt from the book:

       “It would appear that much of the threat perception debate over China centres on two inter-related factors – the position of states regarding the Western world, in particular the United States, and their belief that China will become the dominant global power and will subjugate them.  While the first of these is based on reality, the second is more uncertain, built on fear of the unknown and based on assumption and conjecture.  To some extent there is an element of the race factor here, which is perhaps the result of decades, if not centuries, of Western domination over others, notwithstanding the fact that most of these countries achieved independence over half a century ago.  Despite China being in the East, there is still much negativity towards China, in favour of the West.

       The question, therefore of who is afraid of China is a combination of reality and perception.  While he prevalent reality is that most countries maintain reasonable ties with Beijing predicated mainly on economic and trading interests, underneath this veneer of cordiality lies some lingering suspicion.  This is mainly based on the influence of the strong narrative that, in the future, China will be a powerful hegemon that may end up influencing, if not controlling, smaller, weaker states.”

 “Dragon Diplomacy” by Abdul Razak Baginda is currently available in hardback from Amazon at:

This excellent, informative book is also available in paperback at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 020 8339 6060
E-mail: info@grosvenorhousepublishing.co.uk

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Citizen Alien

An inspirational collection of short stories based the author’s journeys through life

About the Book: 

This book is a collection of short stories, based on the author’s own life experiences, taking us on a far-reaching journey across continents and cultures.  It introduces us to people who have hugely varied lives but that have more in common than first impressions might create.  We meet people who are united by love, compassion, empathy, understanding and hope.
 
The author uses her creative skills to share these people and their stories with us, with the intent of encouraging the idea that, regardless of circumstances, holding onto hope will propel us forward and open us up to being able to celebrate the wonderful gift of life and that the hand we are dealt with can be played with passion and optimism.

About the Author:

Heather Whittaker was born in New Westminster, British Columbia in Canada, to American parents.  At the time, New Westminster resembled a lovely small very British city that wound around the banks of the Fraser River…. far more than it resembled the North American mini-metropolis it became in later years.

Her hometown was resplendent with small shops, friendly diners and family-owned and operated restaurants and boutiques.  Main Street, or the High Street, was lined with hanging potted plants, large potted flowers, and well-kept trees from Spring through Autumn.

While it was a beautiful place to grow up, Heather’s dual citizenship offered her the advantage of being able to study and work in both Canada and the United States. Her hometown, being cosmopolitan, offered her the opportunity to learn through her association with schoolmates and neighbors, and to appreciate the diversity and richness of the larger global community and what it had to offer in experience, beauty and history.

She feels blessed to have traveled our precious planet, and learned from the wonderful people she’s met along the way, as she has fortunately been befriended by many lovely people.

In her writing, Heather has attempted to share the insights and skills she has gathered throughout her life’s journey.  Her mission is to help others navigate the adversities and pain that life can steer our way sometimes too often.

Heather married very young.  She was just seventeen years old, and a mother before her eighteenth birthday. Thankfully, her son grew to become a successful and happily married man with a beautiful family of his own.

So you see, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is hope when you believe, and hope when you follow through, and never stop believing.

 “Citizen/Alien” by Heather Whittaker is available in hardback from Amazon at:

This remarkable collection of short-stories is also available to download in e-book format at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 020 8339 6060
E-mail: info@grosvenorhousepublishing.co.uk

Short Story Review: Tagged by Henry Bassett

There are many forgotten games we played as children, one of which was tag. You would call “Tag, you’re it!” just before making physical contact with another and something would pass from you to them, but what if that thing left something behind in you too?

An unknown entity has infiltrated an office, whilst the staff go about their daily routines unaware of its presence. As it systematically picks its victims, will those who remain suspect anything or will it succeed in consuming them all?

My Review

I chose to read this short story after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read Recently Deceased by the author a couple of days ago, and I found it thought-provoking, so I wanted to see what Tagged had to offer.

I have found that I like the author’s writing style, even when I come across a story like this that almost seems unfinished. It’s set in an office where something is happening to the workers, one by one as they touch each other. It affects each worker in a different way.

But what is it? Where did it come from? What happens when the day ends? There’s so much more I want to know. I felt a little robbed when the story ended.

About the Author

Henry Bassett is an ebook writer first published in early 2019 with The Dead Chronicles of Martha Railer series; a supernatural urban dark fantasy which comprises of six instalments. He went on to write dark fantasy one-offs and, at this time, is working on a new dark fantasy series The Black Bear Brotherhood.

Short Story Review: Recently Deceased by Henry Bassett

Death is an instantaneous event. What follows is confusion and uncertainty. Join one individual at the moment in which their body and soul separate, yet are trapped together as they journey with the living to their final resting place.

My Review

I chose to read this short story after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This story is very short but it’s thought-provoking. What happens after we die? It definitely elicits a response to contemplate the after-life. Death is such an unknown, even for people of faith. You can absolutely believe that you’re going to Heaven or Hell, but how do you get there?

I think Recently Deceased being so short certainly brings the subject to the forefront of the reader’s mind long after the story has been read. It did mine.

About the Author

Henry Bassett is an ebook writer first published in early 2019 with The Dead Chronicles of Martha Railer series; a supernatural urban dark fantasy which comprises of six instalments. He went on to write dark fantasy one-offs and, at this time, is working on a new dark fantasy series The Black Bear Brotherhood.

Book Review & Giveaway: The Benefits of Breathing by Christopher Meeks

Publisher: White Whisker Books (May, 2020)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Relationships
ISBN: Coming Soon
Available in: Print & ebook, 238 Pages

The Benefits of Breathing

In The Benefits of Breathing, his third collection of short stories, Christopher Meeks dives again into the human condition, particularly within relationships.  As one reader wrote on Amazon, “Some authors need a lot of words to describe their worlds and their people. Christopher Meeks says a lot with a little.” The Los Angeles Times has called his stories “poignant and wise.”

In this volume, “A Dog Story” captures a crumbled marriage and the love of a dog named Scrappy. “Joni Paredes” shows the birth of a new relationship that starts at a daughter’s wedding. “Nestor by the Numbers” follows one man’s often hilarious online dating experiences after he finally accepts his wife is gone. “Jerry with a Twist” shows an actor on an audition while his pregnant girlfriend helps him through a crisis. These and seven other stories will bring you into the special world of Meeks.

As reviewer Grady Harp notes, if you’ve previously “discovered the idiosyncrasies of Meeks’ writing style and content, rest assured that this new collection not only will not disappoint, but also it will provide further proof that we have a superior writer of the genre in our presence.” Try this book. You’ll have a lot to think about.

Amazon 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read A Death in Las Vegas and gave it 5 stars, so I was looking forward to reading something else by Christopher Meeks.

The Benefits of Breathing is a collection of short stories about relationships, lost love, divorce, and finding new love. Some of the stories are longer than others, some of them I didn’t care much for (but I’m a romantic at heart), and some I enjoyed and connected to. I like Christopher Meeks’ writing style so, even if I didn’t like how a story ended, it still flowed with the rest of the stories.

We, as human beings, are pretty messed up. That shows clearly in these stories. I want happy endings, but we don’t always get those. I don’t want to go into specifics and ruin anything, but some of the stories have sad endings but some are happy. One even tickled me in a macabre sort of way.

If you’re a fan of short stories, I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Benefits of Breathing. The people and situations in it are so realistic, that even those who aren’t big fans of short stories may find these interesting and thought-provoking.

Praise for Benefits of Breathing

“Chris Meeks is a descriptive writer whose style paints a clear picture of everyday real life traumas. This story is about ordinary people and common problems; including how effective communication is so difficult to cultivate, especially when working through an emotional situation like a divorce. The reader can easily sense the strain of the failing relationship.”-T.M.S., Amazon

“Thoroughly enjoyed this short but bittersweet divorce story. It’s impossible to read anything Chris writes and fail to see pieces of yourself in the lines. Hope you keep them coming, Chris!”- Ksinteriors, Amazon

“I’ve read much of Meeks’ work. His attention to detail and ability to show rather than tell is unique and engaging.”-Kevin Gerard, Amazon

“While James Joyce was a trailblazer in the genre of literary fiction, Meeks surpasses him with crisp plainspoken prose abundant with brilliant humor and wit. Chris Meeks is one of those rare prolific and masterful writers whose stories and novels leave his audiences with a sense of satisfaction and enriching views of the human condition and humanity.”- James V Jordan, Amazon

Awards and Recognition

Book of the Year Bronze Award from ForeWord Reviews (2017): ‘The Chords of War’

ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist award (2011)- ‘Love At Absolute Zero’

Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2011-‘Love At Absolute Zero’

Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2009- ‘The Brightest Moon of the Century’

About the Author

Award winning author, Christopher Meeks has five novels and two collections of short fiction published. The Benefits of Breathing’ is his third collection of short stories.

He has had stories published in several literary journals, and they have been included in the collections “Months and Seasons” and “The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea.” Mr. Meeks has had three full-length plays mounted in Los Angeles, and one, “Who Lives?” had been nominated for five Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theatre prize.

Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design. He lives in Pasadena, CA.

Website at: www.chrismeeks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Christopher-Meeks-212382392140974/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.meeks1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeeksChris

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends June 27, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 4 Guest Post

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books May 5 Review & Excerpt

Angel Goodreads May 6 Review

Infantina The Periodical Gazette May 7 Review & Excerpt

David Goodreads May 8 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 13 Review

Cremona Mythical Books May 14 Review (postponed)

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews May 15 Guest Post

From Isi May 18 Review

Gud Reader Goodreads May 19 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews May 20 Review

Dawn Bound4Escape May 21 Review

Bookgirl Goodreads May 22 Review

Jas International Book Promotion May 26 Review

Lisa’s Writopia May 27 Review

Lisa’s Writopia May 27 Guest Post

Penny Amazon May 29 Review

Kathleen Celticlady’s Reviews June 1 Guest Review  & Excerpt

Linda Lu Goodreads June 5 Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews June 8 Review & Interview

Dee Donadees Corner June 12  Review

Lisa Goodreads June 19 Review

Lillie Amazon June 22 Review

Mindy Room Without Books is Empty June 26 Review

Short Story Review: The Town that Feared Dusk by Calvin Demmer

Sylvia Bernstein doesn’t want to end up on a dead-end path like a former journalism colleague. She begins searching the tabloid’s archives for a story that can get her career back on track. A strange bridge, with an abnormally high rate of suicides, seems like the perfect place to start. She journeys to the little town, eager to investigate, but encounters a tale far more sinister than she ever expected…

My Review

I chose to read this story after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

After Sylvia’s mentor commits suicide, she looks through his files to see if there’s anything she can work on that he left undone. What she finds is an interesting story about Suicide Bridge. She doesn’t understand why no one has followed through on this story when so many people have committed suicide by jumping from the bridge in the past few years.

When Sylvia goes to the small town to investigate, she finds a story but she finds so much more. Will she even be able to escape the town to write her story?

I like Calvin Demmer’s writing style. The Town That Feared Dusk is short and can be read in one sitting, but it still powerful, definitely worth your time.

About the Author

Calvin Demmer is the author of The Sea Was a Fair Master and Dark Celebrations. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe.

Website: http://www.calvindemmer.com
Twitter: CalvinDemmer

New Releases

Jack and Dudley go on an epic journey where they encounter many adventures and meet new friends.

“To the Rescue!” is the first in a series of Lumberjack and friends books set for release and sees the two best friends go on a huge journey to assist their Aunt Betty in a new country.

The book is suitable for children aged 2 - 9 years and teaches them about friendship, caring for others and caring for animals, which is brought to life in the colouring book so children can engage more.

The next book in this series entitled “A New Day” will be published later this year.

Excerpt from the book: 

“George, his workmate, came running up and said, “Jack, you have a message from your Aunt Betty in Scotland. You must come and read it at once.”

Jack and George walked back across the yard as quickly as possible. As they reached the office, they went inside and into the warm. Waiting for them was Mr Stevenson, the boss and owner of the timber yard.

Mr Stevenson handed Jack a mug of tea and the telegram. They all sat down while Jack opened the message.

It read: ‘Hello Jack, I hope you’re well. I’m sorry to worry you, but I need help. The roof of my house has been badly damaged in a great storm. It has caused many problems here in Glenlockie. I know you are a very long way away but please help if you can. Love, Aunt Betty.”

“Lumberjack and Friends to the Rescue” is available to purchase in paperback (RRP £7.99) from Amazon UK at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lumberjack-Friends-Rescue-Nick-Carter/dp/1789557887

This story is also available as a colouring book (RRP £6.99) from Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lumberjack-Friends-Rescue-Colouring-Book/dp/1789559278

Press/Media Contact Details:

New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 712 064
E-mail: info@newgeneration-publishing.com

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The current homeless crisis in the UK has become a major concern across a broad spectrum of society. In particular, homelessness is a tragedy for vulnerable young people, many of whom do not want a hand-out but rather an opportunity to lead a normal life. The issues raised in the book are supported by many real life experiences from young people in crisis. 

The book:
•    examines the current, false perception of youth homelessness;
•    provides a better understanding of the required support needs;
•    identifies deficiencies in the current provisions of housing and support;
•    explores ways in which housing and support can be improved;
•    considers the roles of the state, charity sector, private sector and the public;
•    examines how to create a caring home to effect a transition to an independent life;
•    considers the funding and resourcing to significantly reduce youth homelessness;
•    considers what individuals can do to assist in the process. 

The book examines initiatives that have proven to be successful in other countries and those that have succeeded in the UK. It moves past the current broad intentions of homeless reduction and considers the basis of a fully costed national plan that is monitored against performance, which if publicised should give rise to a greater trust in the process.

All royalties received from this book will be donated to youth homeless charities.

About the Author: 

Barry Stillerman was born in London in 1953. Over the past decade, he has been working with charities in the UK and overseas to reduce youth homelessness. He sees the opportunity for more people to assist in taking action that can permanently reduce youth homelessness and has written “Young, Homeless and Forgotten” with this in mind. In the past, Barry has written financial self-help books including The Stoy Hayward Guide to Personal Financial Planning, Inheritance Tax – A Practical Guide and The Daily Telegraph Pensions Guide

Extract from the Book: 

“It is estimated that there are thirteen times more hidden homeless people in London than those who are sleeping rough and that 225,000 young people have stayed in an unsafe place because they have nowhere safe to call home.  An added problem with this group is that some people may feel that if they have a roof over their head and there are support services available, they are a less urgent problem that other causes. 

The inability for homeless young people to move forward due to the chaotic situation that they find themselves in is not well understood.  Stories about how people lapse into homelessness (for example through drug and alcohol addiction) raise unproductive questions about whether this person (or any homeless person) is worthy of help from society.  While substance abuse is not uncommon, the main reason among youth homelessness is relationship breakdown.

There are various support needs required by homeless young people covering issues such as mental health, substance abuse, poverty and criminality – in some cases a resort to petty crime has been a reflection of the need for food or a room at a hostel to get off the streets rather than a disrespect for property.”

Young, Homeless and Forgotten is available in paperback from Amazon at:

This book can also be downloaded in e-book format from Amazon at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 020 8339 6060
E-mail: info@grosvenorhousepublishing.co.uk

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Travelling through the Welsh Marches of yesteryear and today

When Richard Dobson toured the border county of Herefordshire in 2005, following in the footsteps of Victorian artist Henry Thornhill Timmins, he recorded the experience in his subsequent book In My Own Time.

Join him in his latest tour as he describes, in their words, what earlier writers discovered as they travelled through the Welsh Marches, even before the word ‘tourism’ was first used.

About the Author:

Richard Dobson was born 1943 in West Didsbury, a district of Manchester, England.  He spent his early years exploring the English countryside and never regretted missing out on University.  Richard retired in November 2008 after running his own sales and marketing business for 30 years.

His first book ‘In My Own Time’ tells of a journey made on foot through the English midland county of Herefordshire and enjoyed every minute writing it.  His second book ‘Border Crossings – Then and Now in the Welsh Marches’ was even more enjoyable and increased his knowledge and gained him many friends.

Excerpt from the Book:

The custom of touring in England and Wales began in the sixteenth century and gained momentum when turmoil in Europe during the 18th century interrupted the traditions of the Grand Tours. Gentlemen of leisure took to travelling the highways and byways for weeks or even months to discover hitherto undiscovered home territory. Professional travel guides were made available at Post-houses but travellers were often dependent on local men, who might have been expected to recognize any diversions or danger points en route. The terrible conditions of the roads up to the nineteenth century were a constant theme of the writings of Sir Richard Colt Hoare and his erstwhile travelling companion Archdeacon William Coxe. Another, Arthur Young, was so appalled at the state of the roads in Wales during his tour in 1768, he wrote accusingly about turnpikes being of little use.

‘What am I to say of the roads in this country! From Chepstow to the half-way house between Newport and Cardiff, they continue mere rocky lanes, full of hugeous stones as big as one’s horse, and abominable holes. The first six miles from Newport were so detestable, and without either direction posts or milestones so that I could not persuade myself I was on the turnpike.’

“Border Crossings:  Then and Now in the Welsh Marches” is available in hardback from numerous retail sites including:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Border-Crossings-Then-Welsh-Marches/dp/1786235420

https://www.waterstones.com/book/border-crossings/richard-dobson/9781786235428
https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Richard-Dobson/Border-Crossings--Then-and-Now-in-the-Welsh-Marches/24744652
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/border-crossings-richard-dobson/1136145733
https://wordery.com/border-crossings-richard-dobson-9781786235428
https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/history-politics/border-crossings-then-and-now-in-the,richard-dobson-9781786235428
https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Border-Crossings-by-Richard-Dobson-author/9781786235428


Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 020 8339 6060
E-mail: info@grosvenorhousepublishing.co.uk

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An excellent collection of 14 gripping short stories

A ‘Gambling Man’ tries to win the money but will he win the girl? What kind of man kidnaps a child and leaves him alone in a cold dark place? In a relationship, can ‘A Worm Really Turn’? In the future, men live alone in capsules depending on the mainframe computer to take care of everything. An R.A.F. officer seeks ‘Cold Revenge’ when he discovers the real truth behind his parents’ accident. How do you gain revenge on a wife who no longer has any interest in your marriage? A top radio disc jockey is supposed to entertain his public, not murder them!

See what you think after reading ‘Cold Revenge’.

About the Author:

Bip Wetherell is a retired musician and businessman still doing occasional Gigs with sixties pop group ‘The Tornados’.  He also raises money for ‘ProsTaid’, a local Prostate Cancer Charity, putting on theatre shows and live music, concerts and festivals.  Bip’s first novel was entitled “Chopped” and he is currently working on his second novel “The Reluctant Assassin”.  He lives in Corby, England and is married to Elaine and has four children.

Excerpt from the Book:

“Alan was captivated by the carousel and stood watching it. Billy just sat down on the grass bored.

“I want an ice cream,” said Billy.

“Wait until Lynda has finished. I cannot get you an ice cream as she has the money.”

‘Do you want to go on the carousel, son?” A strange man with a squinty eye had bent down to talk to Alan.

“I can’t, I’ve got no money, and I have to watch my little brother.”

“No problem,” said Squinty. “The first ride is free and I’ll look after your little brother for you.”

‘Would you?” Alan’s reply excitedly.

“Of course I will, son.” Squinty lifted Alan onto the carousel, waited for it to start moving and, looking down at Billy said, “Do you want an ice cream, son?”

Young Billy enthusiastically nodded his head and held the man’s hand whilst they walked away to find the ice cream stall.

Lynda was on the waltzer, Alan was on the carousel.

Lynda, Alan, their mum and Dad never saw Billy again.”

“Cold Revenge” by Bip Wetherell is available in paperback from Amazon UK at:

This book can also be downloaded in e-book format from Amazon UK at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Bip Wetherell’s literary agent)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
darin@theinspiragroup.com
tel. UK +208 292 5163

Book Review: Miscreants, Murderers, & Thieves edited by Samuel W. Reed

Miscreants, Murderers, & Thieves is a unique collection of short stories celebrating the distinctive styles of thirteen emergent independent authors from across the United States, as they reinterpret and reimagine the concept of crime using their personal artistic voice. From doctors with a taste for the macabre to cat burglars who would rather give than take, this collection offers something tasty for everyone.

Featuring contributions by award-winning writers Dori Ann Dupre, David Beeler, Will Wallace, Suzanne Crain Miller, and Shawn D. Brink, among others, and edited by author/filmmaker Samuel W. Reed.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Miscreants, Murderers, & Thieves is a collection of stories that are each unique and a bit off the wall. I liked most of them, but my favorites were Beneath the Veils, Equity, and The Scoop.

I could tell these stories were written by different authors because the writing style was a little different each time. There was one story, The Win, that although I liked the story overall, it was not my favorite style of writing.

Many of the stories had some kind of twist at the end. Sky Riders ending was a big surprise. Equity made my skin crawl!

If you’d like a break from reading a full-length novel, this would be a good book to read.

About the Editor/Author

Samuel W. Reed is a novelist, screenwriter, director, and film producer with a keen insight for emotionally impactful, character-driven stories. He was instrumental in the decade-long production of the groundbreaking disability-rights documentary “CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion” starring Jamie Foxx, Ben Affleck, Marlee Matlin, and others. He contributed narration to the SXSW award-winning documentary “Take Me To the River,” starring Terrance Howard, Snoop Dogg, and Mavis Staples, and he served as ghostwriter on the Sony Pictures International film “Beyond Valkyrie: Dawn of the Fourth Reich.” A frequent collaborator with notable producers, directors, actors, and writers, Sam is always on the lookout for a great new story, and the perfect cup of coffee.

Website https://www.samuelwreed.com
Twitter samuelwreed

Book Review: The Fall of Icarus by N.R. Bates

Three interconnected short-stories set in Paris explore the issue of choice, survival and transformation. In the first story, a young man on his first business trip is waylaid by an aberrant elevator. In the pivotal tale, a young scientist re-imagines the Greek myth of Icarus and his fall to earth. In the final story, a young woman who cannot recall her own name relates the fantastical tale of a girl who can fly.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Fall of Icarus is 3 short stories. These stories are so short that I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters, but it was fast reading and I didn’t get bored.

In the first story, The Elevator, I kept waiting for more to happen but it never did. The last sentence almost made up for waiting though.

The second story, The Fall of Icarus, was the shortest and I didn’t care much for it. There just wasn’t a lot to it.

The last story, The Girl, was my favorite of the three. It’s about a girl who tells a couple she meets the story of a girl who can fly. The story she tells kept my interest and there was a surprise at the end.

If you’re looking for a good quick read, I recommend The Fall of Icarus. Even though I didn’t care for one of the stories, it was only 6 pages long.

About the Author

NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife and his house with seven cats, one dog and the subtropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors. He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and thirty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. He has also recently published a small book of short-stories set in Paris, entitled “The Fall of Icarus (The Elevator, The Fall of Icarus, and The Girl)”.

Website http://www.nrbates.com