Category Archives: Fiction

Interview with Author, M. J. Mallon

Welcome to my Wednesday Author Interview Series.

Today, I am interviewing Marjorie Mallon.

Welcome, Marjorie!

 

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

A:  I’m a late bloomer, with a young outlook on life. I adore all forms of creativity: art, photography, music, poetry, prose, drama, etc. I can’t draw or paint but I wish I could!  Instead, I enjoy taking photographs. I live in the UK in Cambridge with my husband and youngest daughter. My eldest daughter is abroad at the moment teaching English as a Foreign Language in South Korea and I miss her terribly. Family is very important to me and perhaps that is why I wrote a family-centered YA novel. But, please believe me when I say that my main protagonist Amelina’s dysfunctional, weird family is nothing like my own!

Q: When and what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

A: It wasn’t a conscious decision. I blame magic. One day I woke up and had this overwhelmingly strange desire to write. It coincided with a succession of visits from a stray feline who became Shadow, my black cat character in my book. I’ve never been the same since! I’m certain that beautiful, mysterious cat cast a spell on me.

Q: Can you tell us something about the genre of your books and why you write in that genre?

A: I write fantasy because life is too dull without magic. I’m drawn to horror, but I’m frightened to write it. The other genre that I long to explore in future writing is… crime writing — murder… but that scares the heck out of me too.

Q: Where do you get your ideas from?

A: A magical well at the bottom of my garden! I throw in a penny and out pops a fully formed idea! When the well is dry I go beyond the far reaches of my backyard and visit museums, art galleries, travel somewhere, or eavesdrop on trains. Also, I meet and greet a lot of visitors in my day job. One young man had an uncanny resemblance to a vampire! I’ve stored him in my memory bank for a future story idea! Recently I discovered a magical park which I’d never noticed before. It made me wonder could this be a prompt for a story?

Photograph of Garden is  Copyrighted by Marjorie Mallon.

Please do not use this Garden Photo without permission from the photographer.

 

 

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A History Book Disguised as a Debut Novel

Today, I am interviewing Sheena Macleod author of Reign of the Marionettes, a historical novel set in the Highlands in Scotland.

Welcome, Sheena!

Q: Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

A: I live in a small seaside town in Scotland with my family, and two dogs – Lola a Dalmatian and Missy a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  My working life was spent in mental health nursing, first as a practitioner and then as a specialist practitioner (Cognitive Behavioural Therapist). Around this time, I moved into nurse teaching, gaining an MSc in Advanced Mental Health Nursing and then a PhD.  After taking early retirement from the University of Dundee, I combined my love of history with my passion for research and set out to write a series of historical fiction novels. Reign of the Marionettes, a historical drama based in Restoration London, is the first of these books and my first published novel.

Q: When and what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

A: I love to read and have since childhood. I became interested in the Highland Clearances and started researching the life of the Duchess of Sutherland – Elizabeth Sutherland Leveson-Gower – who is regarded as one of the principal agents involved in clearing tenant farmers from the internal straths and glens of the Highlands in Scotland to make way for sheep.

I traced Elizabeth Sutherland’s family back through the generations, trying to understand her background and role in the Highland Clearances. The main character in Reign of the Marionettes, Elizabeth Herbert, is a distant relative of the Duchess of Sutherland.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your books?

A: From history. Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Q: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

A: I write historical drama and enjoy including small details of the time. Despite writing historical fiction, I try to keep a current feel as if events are happening now.

Q: How are your books published?

A: Reign of the Marionettes is published by Dark Ink Press.

A short story, “Ghosts of Culloden”, was published in a fiction anthology in March this year by the One Million Project. Over a hundred authors from around the world contributed short stories to form three anthologies- Fiction, Thriller, and Fantasy. All proceeds, less costs of publishing the anthologies, will go to help Cancer Research UK and homelessness.

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Filed under Authors, Books, Crime Fiction, e-books, Fiction, Genre, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

The Ghostwriter Book series

Welcome to the Author Interview Series.  Today I am interviewing Douglas Debelak, author of The Ghostwriter Book series.

“The Ghostwriter’s Series is an epic tale, which purports to be the autobiography of God, or, as He insists, not God, but the Creator of our universe, a universe which is only one of many. ”

Douglas lives in western Pennsylvania.

Thank you for allowing me to interview you today, Douglas!

Q: Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

A: I’m currently writing fulltime, refusing to acknowledge the term ‘retired’, since I’m working as hard as I ever did, just doing something else – which is, unfortunately, to this point at least, far less lucrative than being a software engineer.

I have a degree in philosophy, but, prior to that, I had once intended to attend seminary and become a Presbyterian minister. But, I have always questioned everything and believed that nothing should be considered off limits. And, certainly, God, if He exists and is all powerful, has no business being threatened by a few questions. But, the more questions I asked, the more I found that enough of what I had been taught and believed was untrue that I felt the rest was ‘questionable.’ I didn’t know if any of it was true. I left the church. I’m now an agnostic – I don’t know. But, I still have questions.

I currently live in a beautiful old historic house, in a wonderful historic neighborhood, with my wife.

Q: When and what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

A: I decided to become a writer shortly after leaving a Ph. D. program in philosophy, when I realized I had no interest in a career in academia. Writing seemed the best choice for asking questions and discussing ideas. I spent several years, writing stories and working on a novel, but when I needed to find a job to support a family, I taught myself to write software. I promised myself, when I could, I would return to writing, and now I have.

Q: Which writers inspire you?

A: Many writers inspire me, but I generally consider Steinbeck my favorite author, and East of Eden and Of Mice and Men my favorite works. Although I love Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and have read it many times over the years. And, there are so many more.

Q: What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

A: I try to write every day in the morning. I pushed through the first three books, working eight or more hours a day. Now, I’m writing four to five hours, but spending additional hours trying to figure out how to promote my books and writing reviews for a group where there is a pool for other writers review mine. So, it is a full-time job.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your book(s)?

A: I feel more as if I discover my ideas rather than create them. Writing The Ghostwriter Series was often like watching a movie showing on the inside of my skull.

Q: What do your family and friends think of your writing?

A: Since my writing is personal, edgy, and often explicit, I think my family and friends are a bit taken aback. I tried to warn them.

Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book(s)?

A: That is was easier to write a book than to get the interest of readers.

Q: What do you hate most about the writing process?

A: Figuring out how to use social media to promote my books. I’d rather just write. There isn’t much about the writing process that I don’t like.

Q: What do you think makes a good story?

A: Something that speaks to me and provides insights from a different perspective. Things that catch me off guard and make me laugh. Suspense. Struggles against adversity.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Don’t be afraid to write what is meaningful to you.

Q: Who designed the cover art for your book(s)?  Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

A: Michelle Arzu who works through Fiverr has designed my covers, although for the second two I spent many hours looking through stock images and chose the artwork myself and in both instances, she turned them into something far better. I wanted covers that would catch someone’s eye walking past a bookstore window or scrolling through Amazon.

Q: What book are you reading at present?

A: I’m currently reading At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails. Every once in awhile I get an itch to read philosophy again. Then, with enough wine, that itch goes away again.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

A: I read, a lot and I hang out on my porch and drink wine with my friends. I keep telling myself I need to start playing my guitar again. I had a kitchen injury, which is no longer an excuse. It’s just inertia and procrastination.

Q: How do you select the names of your characters?  Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name?  Why?

A: Mostly I stick to simple names, except for those characters who I’ve decided not to give a name. I haven’t regretted any names. My characters quickly spit them back at me, if they don’t like them. If not, that’s on them.

Q: What is the hardest type of scene to write?

A: I’ve found most types of scenes easy enough to write, just not to get right. I re-write until I don’t feel the need to say anything differently.

Q: How did you come up with the title(s) of your book(s)?

A: The names of my books went through quite a process. The books spit their names back too and were more particular than my characters. When I finally came up with The Involuntary Ghostwriter for the first, the book was happy and so was I. The following two went through a process and the rejection of many titles as well, but everything fell into place once I decided to work with the ghostwriter theme.

Q: Give us a fun fact, or a few, about your book/series.

A: The central narrative thread of my series was in response to the song, One of Us, which was recorded by Joan Osborne in the 90s. “What if God was one of us?” So, I wrote an autobiography of God, as though He was one of us, i.e. “In the beginning… I was born.” But, as has been the case in the past, He used a ghostwriter and gave him no more of a choice than any who’d preceded him.

Q: What can readers who enjoy your book(s) do to help make it/them successful?

A: Buy them, obviously, then write reviews. Honest reviews. And, tell friends.

Q: How can readers learn more about you and connect with you (twitter, facebook, website, etc.)?  Where can your book(s) be purchased?

A:  I have a website: www.douglasdebelak.com

And, I have all the social media accounts, but I’m only active on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGhostwriterSeries/

The books can be purchased on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle editions, and are also available through Kindle Unlimited. They are also available through a local bookstore, City Books on the Northside of Pittsburgh.

****

Be sure to follow Douglas on Facebook and check out his books, The Ghostwriter Book series.

Sign up for my newsletter on the right hand side of this pa

 

 

The Involuntary Ghostwriter, Book One  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ghostwriter’s Wife, Book Two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ghostwriter’s Legacy, Book Three

 

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The Writing Lesson – a guest post by C. Hope Clark

The Writing Lesson

By C. Hope Clark

 

“Use the senses in every single scene,” I emphasized to the adult writing class, only for a rebound of clueless stares to bounce back at me.

A middle-aged, bottled-brunette lady who I’d heard had two self-published books to her name already, asked, “In every scene?”

I smiled and nodded. “In every scene. You understand show don’t tell, right?”

In rote union, the class nodded, but I could almost smell the insecurity.

“Get rid of passive voice and you’ve halfway mastered show don’t tell, right?” Don’t plead, I reminded myself. They’re trying to learn.

Half the people in the class had self-published books yet didn’t understand what I was trying to instill into their eager, storytelling brains. They looked to their left and right, seeking validation from seat mates, confirmation that others weren’t understanding either.

We sat in a library meeting room, the accordion doors opened to accommodate tables for 35 students. Nobody chatted amongst themselves, meaning I had their attention, unfortunately accompanied by their confusion.

No point in advancing to the next topic if this one hadn’t sunk in. Not a person to enjoy presentations, much less adlibbing on the fly, my pulse quickened. I scrambled for an alternative, a new angle, anything that could give these students an AHA moment.

A deep breath, or was it a sigh? I should’ve brought more examples. Maybe vetted the students somehow.

Feet moved. One chair scratched the floor as someone shifted. The librarian sat in the back, scrutinizing, sending another jolt of adrenaline into my system as our eyes met, hers querying, They’re waiting, before shifting uncomfortably off me.

A seed of a half-thought took root. “Everyone pick up your pen.”

They did, anxious to be proactive and not so lost. The librarian didn’t, but she watched with interest.

Impromptu on anyone’s part snares interest. Most of us can’t do it. I wasn’t so sure I had it in me, either, but what did I have to lose other than my credibility? I reminded myself what I always did when speaking to groups, a mantra that I didn’t readily tell other about. If this doesn’t go well, remember you’ll never see these people again.

“Write down five things you see,” I said. “Remember, you’re a creative person so don’t just say tables, chairs, walls, and people.”

To show how united I was with their effort, I grabbed a pad and wrote as well. Once done, I waited until half had returned their attention back to me.

“Now, list five things you can touch and how they feel.”

Eyebrows raised on that one, and they began stroking anything within reach. They saw where I was going, and the body language told me some clearly accepted the challenge.

Heads up again.

“List five things you hear.”

The room went silent. I had to laugh. Pens went to paper when I did.

“List five things you smell.”

Frowns all around. I closed my eyes and inhaled. Coffee, cologne, body odor. Was that paper? I recalled the air freshener in the bathroom next door and cheated, listing it. When I peeked out from my own reverie, others still had their eyes closed, sensing, too.

“Finally,” I said, “let’s do taste.”

Lips smacked, and I had to chuckle again. A laugh rippled across the tables. “List five tastes you had today.”

“Ahhh,” came the relief as pens met paper.

As people came back to life, I realized how much more relaxed I was. “Do y’all feel better?”

Nods and yeahs from around the room.

Shrugging shoulders for show, I sucked in a deep breath. “Wow, that was rather soothing.”

More nods. The librarian was practically tranquil.

And in that moment, I had a revelation.

As a nature aficionado, how many times had I sat at the lake and just chilled? Closed my eyes and attempted to count the types of bird calls? Told my four-year-old grandson to take in the smells, sounds, and feel of nature? Weeded my garden and taken the time to smell the dirt, the rotted leaves, the honeysuckle on the fence.

“What we just did,” I soothingly said to myself as much as them, “is a writer’s version of meditating. Take a moment to settle into a sense of nothingness when you’re writing, then fill it in with the senses, taking note of each one.”

They listened.

“This is also how you can overcome the pressure of deadlines, writer’s block, and the discomfort of whatever scene you’re writing that won’t unfold to your liking. It’s also how you can challenge your sensory perception. Wherever you are, the mall, the kitchen, the job. . . take five minutes and meditate, for no reason other than to define your senses. All five of them.”

Palms out, I lowered them gently. “In each scene, step back and insert yourself into the setting. Do the exercise we just did. Because by you becoming the character in all this sensory detail, you write such that the reader can become the character. The reader smells, sees, hears, touches, and tastes. And with the least little attention also to passive voice, you–” and I paused.

“Show don’t tell,” whispered several people.

“Some kid would call that virtual reality,” said a man in the front.

What a keen observation. And I thought he hadn’t been listening. “And why can’t we do that as people, too? When we aren’t writing. When we need to settle into a scene and out of whatever road block or irritation it is we need to depart from as people?”

The class went on, and I wrapped up the lesson on constructing a scene. Time quickly expired, and before long I was shaking hands from thankful students.

“Best writing class ever.”

“I get showing now.”

“I’m going home and telling my teenager about this.”

Once everyone left, the librarian commended me, saying she’d be inviting me back.

I almost cried.

Then alone, the lights flipping off around the library, I exited to my car parked in the corner of the lot under a streetlight, stepping gently, not wanting to break the specialness of the evening.

Rather than telling the reader what’s going on, my students could now make the reader experience what the character does, when the character does it, tallying the stimuli in an attempt to reach some sort of summation about that point in the story.

But in delivering that lesson, I’d realized I could choose to fall out of any negative in any part of my world, and step into the scene of my choosing via the practice of a writing exercise. Not only could I write like this, but I could live like this.

And I’d just helped 35 other people learn to love life more, too.

And a librarian.

 

BIO: C. Hope Clark’s newest release is Newberry Sin, set in an idyllic small Southern town where blackmail and sex are hush-hush until they become murder. The fourth in the Carolina Slade Mysteries. Hope speaks to conferences, libraries, and book clubs across the country, is a regular podcaster for Writer’s Digest, and adores connecting with others. She is also founder of FundsforWriters.com, an award-winning site and newsletter service for writers.  She lives on the banks of Lake Murray in central South Carolina with her federal agent husband where they never tire of spinning mysteries. www.chopeclark.com

 

 

 

 

Book Blurb:

Beneath an idyllic veneer of Southern country charm, the town of Newberry hides secrets that may have led to murder.

When a local landowner’s body, with pants down, is found near Tarleton’s Tea Table Rock – a notorious rendezvous spot, federal investigator Carolina Slade senses a chance to get back into the field again.  Just as she discovers what might be a nasty pattern of fraud and blackmail, her petty boss reassigns her fledgling case to her close friend and least qualified person in their office.

Forces to coach an investigation from the sidelines, Slade struggles with the twin demons of professional jealousy and unplanned pregnancy.  Something is rotten in Newberry.  Her personal life is spiraling out of control.  She can’t protect her co-worker.  And Wayne Largo complicates everything when the feds step in after it become clear that Slade is right.

One wrong move, and Slade may lose everything.  Yet it’s practically out of her hands…unless she finds a way to take this case back without getting killed

 

Be sure to check out all of C. Hope Clark’s book on her website www.chopeclark.com

Sign up for C. Hope Clark’s FREE newsletter FundsforWriters and get writing tips, lists of contests, and so much more!

 

Purchase Books Here:

Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BYD5T4P/

Kobo link https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/newberry-sin

B&N link https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/newberry-sin-c-hope-clark/1128369562

Google link https://play.google.com/store/books/details/C_Hope_Clark_Newberry_Sin

Apple link https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/newberry-sin/

Review Link (Amazon) https://www.amazon.com/review/create-review/ref=?ie=UTF8&asin=B07BYD5T4P#

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Looking for Authors to Interview

I hope those who read this blog post today will share with all your author friends.

I am looking for authors to interview in order to help them promote their books.

If you are interested, please contact me at cyannris at gmail dot com.

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2 New Books

Here are two new books I think you will enjoy.

Newberry Sin by C. Hope Clark, available now.

 

The third book in the Battle Scars series by Charlene Newcomb, that will be available tomorrow, May 1, 2018.

Follow Charlene Newcomb.

 

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Filed under Authors, Books, e-books, Fiction, Historical Fiction

I Am Magical

Title: I Am Magical: magnifiqueNOIR, Book One

By: Briana Lawrence

Publisher: Sewn Together Reflections

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

 

About the Book:

“The revolution will be magical”

There’s a city. It’s like most other cities. Buildings. People. Monsters who can destroy sidewalks by vomiting acid onto the ground, and an elite group of black, queer, magical girls who work to put those monsters in their place.

See? Just like most other cities.

Bree Danvers would’ve compared it to a video game, maybe a cartoon or comic book, except black girls are rarely the heroines of the story. But there her heroine stood, plus size and wonderful, rocking a dazzling amount of purple and defeating monsters with galactic sparkles. Galactic Purple, that was her name, and soon, Bree was joining her on a magical adventure full of transformations and after school battles to defend a city like most other cities.

And soon, others would join them, and each one would be magical in their own way… give or take a few bumps on the acid covered ground.

About the Author:

At the age of nine, like most kids, Briana Lawrence had a dream. She wanted to be the best “WRITER” in the whole wide world. Her fourth-grade class laughed and wondered how one hoped to become a “writer” if they couldn’t even spell the word. Back then her stories were created with crayons and construction paper. As she grew older they progressed into notebooks and colored ink pens of pink, blue, and purple. When she lost her older brother, Glenn Berry, in a car accident, she stopped writing.

Dreams, however, have a funny way of coming back.

Before she realized it she was grabbing her notebook and pens again. She would write stories that ranged from high school romance to her imagination running wild with the likes of Goku, Vegeta, and the other characters of Dragonball Z. This continued throughout college where she would always end up writing about the space exploits of the pilots of Gundam Wing and other works of fan fiction. Soon she realized that she wanted to do more than that. Her head was full of ideas, full of original characters and worlds that she wanted to share with others.

Thus, she stepped into an English Major with some Women’s Studies on the side.

She graduated from Iowa State University in 2006 and moved to Minneapolis with her partner. Here, she tried to get into graduate school, but things didn’t pan out the way she wanted. She ended up working retail, her dream becoming buried by Black Fridays and other busy times of the year. Once again, however, that dream returned. She went from immersing herself in geeky fan fiction to actually writing about the geeky things she loved such as  anime and video game review sites. However, it was her discovery of National Novel Writing Month that made her go back to creating her own characters and plots.

Now, here she is, an author in the writing world.

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Ancestors

Recently, someone asked if I would ever write a historical novel using one of my ancestors.  I answered, yes, if I had any that were colorful.

If any of you do genealogy, then you know how frustrating it can be to do research on your ancestors.  If you are lucky enough to have had someone do the research for you, thank your lucky stars!

One of my great-grandfathers seems to have been born under that cabbage leaf you hear so much about.  Where I grew up when children asked where did babies come from they were told that babies were found under a cabbage leaf.

Yep, Jacob was born under a cabbage leaf.

There is no other explanation for it!

Ancestory.com has no birth record for Jacob.  None of the Census records show his parents’ name.  Nowhere have I found where he was born.

Here is what I know about my ancestor, Jacob.

  • He fought in the American Revolutionary War.
  • He deserted while a soldier in the American Revolutionary War for a Pennsylvania Regiment.  This was not uncommon, as many soldiers did.
  • When he deserted he was headed for Hagerstown, Maryland.
  • Her married, Jane, however, I cannot find a marriage record and have only been able to guess her last name, which is not a “fact.”
  • Jacob and Jane moved to Tennessee.
  • I have found their children’s names.
  • I found Jacob’s and Jane’s death dates.

As with any family, there are stories – which most I have found not to be true.

So, to go back to the beginning – would I write a novel about one of my ancestor…I guess if I ever did, I could always write a historical novel involving Jacob’s parents since I know absolutely nothing about them.  That way, I could really write a historical fiction novel and know for a solid fact that is was pure fiction.

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Parisa by Conrad Trump, a Virtual Book Tour

Parisa by Conrad Trump

Parisa by Conrad Trump

Publisher:  High Peaks Publishing (September 7, 2015)
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Tour dates: Mar/Apr, 2018
ISBN: 978-0976159766
Available in Print and ebook,292 pages
Parisa

 

Guest Post Review by Laura R: 5 Stars

If you love to get lost in a book, you need to read Parisa by Conrad Trump!  The lead character, Scott is in a horrible snowboarding accident.  He then unknowingly releases a century-old spirit.  Her name is Parisa.  Sure, she can grant wishes so it may remind you of the old television show, I Dream Of Genie’ but this has so much more depth to it.  Scott is left with the responsibility of helping Parisa fit into today’s society which is no easy task.  To top that off, he starts to have romantic feelings for her.

This book is well written and full of both drama and humor.  Even though it is fairly short, the characters are well drawn out.  As I was reading it, I felt like I was there in a real place with real people.  I think it would make a great movie! This is book one in a series and I can hardly wait to read book two!  I recommend Parisa for fantasy and adventure readers.  I give it 5 stars!

Book Excerpt:

“What are the X Games?” Parisa asked.

“The X Games are the pinnacle of extreme sports. Athletes from all over the world meet every year and test their skill against one another. I snowboard on the half-pipe.”

“I don’t understand,” Parisa confessed.

“Do you see these boards?” Scott asked, leading her to the wall opposite the front bay window. A pair of silver medals was mounted under the neon-green Burton snowboard splashed with blue paint. Beside the board was a matted picture of Scott rising out of the pipe. His board was pointing upward, and he was holding the tip of it with one hand. His matching green parka looked as if it was speckled with the falling snow. In the pictures, he wore dark goggles and a neon-green helmet. “That’s me,” Scott said, pointing to the picture. “I came in second that day.”

“I have only just seen snow for the first time,” Parisa told him, looking fondly at the photograph.

“The day I released you. I saw you near the ribbon cutting at the bottom of the slope.”

“I wasn’t strong enough yet to stay separated from my vessel for more than a few seconds, but it was long enough to see you and snow for the first time.”

“You had never seen snow before?”

“No, my Scott. I had always wanted to, but I was forbidden to leave the palace.”

“Well, honey, you are looking at the King of the Snow,” Scott said, puffing up his chest. “It’s a shame that we’re in San Diego. There’s no snow here, but when I go back to Lake Placid next week, you’ll see lots of snow—if you want to come with me, that is.”

“Of course I will come with you. You are my Scott.”

“I’ll teach you to snowboard. I would take you today, but”—Scott shrugged his shoulders— “no snow.”

“Would my Scott like it to snow?” Parisa asked, raising her arms above her head. Suddenly the lights in the house dimmed as a heavy cloud cover rolled in from the ocean, west of Coronado. There was a rumbling of thunder, and the windows shook. Scott could feel the barometric pressure sinking around him as he stood there in wonder.

Scott grabbed her arms and gently lowered them to her sides. “It can’t snow here, Parisa. This is San Diego.”

As soon as he said it, the world became a little lighter. The clouds just beginning to form over the city dissipated.

“Could you really have made it snow?” Scott asked.

Parisa smiled knowingly. “If my Scott had wished it,” she answered.

Scott laughed, but the display of power frightened him. It was one thing to float a box of roses. It was another to change the West Coast’s weather pattern. He was humbled by the scope of her magic. It was truly unsettling, but the Locke smile never faltered. He continued to chuckle and shake his head.

“I could take us someplace where there is snow,” Parisa suggested. “Would that be better?”

“What do you mean, ‘take us’?” Scott asked, uncertain that he was ready for the answer.

“Give me your hand, my Scott, think of where you would like to be—someplace snowy, someplace tropical, someplace on a beach—and we will go.”

“You can do that?” Scott asked. “Anyplace?”

“Anyplace,” Parisa assured him.

Scott thought about it for just a second. He smiled and whispered, “I know just the spot.” He took Parisa by the hands. The world jumped sideways. He fell forward without ever leaving his feet. For a moment they were one, traveling not hand in hand but spirit in spirit, moving through the ether at the top of the world. He felt neither warmth nor coolness, and there was no pain. They were slipping through the coil of known science, pushing back against the realities of time and matter. He was free in a way that his greatest, highest jumps had never come close to reaching.

He barely remembered the lingering morphine-induced dreams of floating on his snowboard after surgery. Traveling through space and time now was just like those dreams. He was floating, and he was free—only this time, he was not alone. His essence was entwined with Parisa’s, and together they soared untethered like snowflakes in a blizzard.

Praise for Parisa:

“Parisa held my interest and was hard to put down. I enjoyed it and can’t wait for Conrad to write another story. I believe Parisa would make a good movie!”- Debbie Moore, Reviewer

“I read Conrad’s book in less than three days. Not only is it a good story, but anyone from West Virginia will love the way Conrad blended our home state into the story about a West Virginia native who becomes a world-class snowboarder. This gave us native mountaineers a great deal to be proud of not only with the West Virginia setting, but knowing our native son has developed into a great writer.
I look forward to reading more stories written by Conrad in the future. I loved the book.”-KC Bohrer, Reviewer

“What an excellent book! This book keeps you hanging until you get to the next page. An excellent read by an excellent author! I am looking forward to reading future books by this author! Excellent word choice provides vivid pictures throughout the story. Excellent storyline.”- Meredith L. Zirkleml, Reviewer

About Conrad Trump:Parisa by Conrad Trump

Conrad Trump was raised in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, where he still resides.  He received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University.

Conrad has worked with youth, guiding troubled teens for the past quarter of a century at a residential school outside of Winchester, Virginia.

Prior to the publication of Parisa, Conrad had dozens of shorter pieces of fiction published in magazines and anthologies.  In addition to writing, he is an award-winning and published artist with his paintings featured in national juried exhibitions.  Conrad is also an accomplished and published photographer.  He is an outdoor enthusiast and an avid supporter of all things West Virginia.  He and his wife, Kim, have been married for twenty-five years.  Together they have two children, Hilary and Shaun.

Website: http://conradtrump.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/conrad.trump

*****

Where to Purchase the Book:

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
BookDepository

Giveaway Parisa by Conrad Trump

This giveaway is for one print copy or ebook copy of the book.  Print is available to the U.S. only but ebook is available worldwide.  This giveaway ends on April 30, 2018.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Parisa by Conrad Trump

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The Lottery

No, I am not talking about the lottery where you buy a PowerBall ticket every couple of days or so.  And no, I am not talking about the state lottery you might play, nor am I talking about those scratch tickets you buy at the Mini-Marts.  I am talking about Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” that was published in The New Yorker magazine on June 26, 1948.

If I am not talking about lottery tickets as we know them today, then what is “The Lottery?”

The story described a fictional town where an annual lottery takes place to ensure a good harvest.  HUH!

How can a lottery ensure a good harvest?

On June 27, every year, children gather stones while the townspeople gather for the event.  Slips of paper are placed in a box for a drawing.  One slip of paper has a black mark.

 

Doesn’t this remind you of The Hunger Games

Anyway, once a family draws the slip of paper with the black mark, the members of the family must draw to see which one of them gets a slip of paper with a black mark.

Once a family member draws a slip of paper with the black mark, they become the scapegoat or the sacrificial lamb that will cleanse the town of its bad doings.  The townspeople gather around the unlucky person and stone them to death.

Not quite like The Hunger Games, but similar.  In The Hunger Games, teenagers are selected from a district to compete with other districts in a game of “to-the-death.”

If you travel to one of the districts from The Hunger Games, the dates on the tombstones might be close, but probably not exactly the same day.

How would you like to browse a cemetery and realize that someone died on the same day every year for many decades?  What would you think about that?

Well, I don’t know about you, but that would be one lottery I would not want to participate in.

 

*** Note, both Shirley Jackson and The New Yorker received hate mail over this story.***

***This short story was made into a movie.***

 

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