Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Inspiration Behind Love and the Mystery of Betrayal by Sandra Lee Dennis @sandraleedennis #guest

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The Inspiration Behind Love and the Mystery of Betrayal

By Sandra Lee Dennis

I have written two psychological/ spiritual books now, one published by a traditional publisher and one self-published with a small local press. When I began writing, I did not expect either of these writing projects to turn into books.

You might be surprised to learn, even after writing two books, that I have never considered myself a writer.  Rather, I have always had an avid interest in inner realities.  I have been a teacher, a researcher and explorer of the stuff of inner life— a “phenomenologist,” some people would say.

In fact, after my first book was published, I swore I would never write another.  Putting a nonfiction book together that arises from your own depths is a consuming and arduous labor. But, I was wrong!

My last book was born after my long-time partner abruptly left me without notice a few weeks before a big wedding we had planned.  The impact of this shock surprised me: it took me down into the worst suffering of my life.
The more the pain intensified (it worsened as time went on), the more I was compelled sit at my desk and write. There I would hear the voice of a wise, warrior woman translating the disbelief, outrage, hurt and grief into words. Her words poured out onto the page with insights and wisdom that soothed, comforted and guided me.  In this way, within a few months I had more than 200 pages. 
Reading over what had come through in this “flow” writing, a nagging sense of responsibility welled up to share what I had been given with others. But I immediately thought, “Oh, no, that means another book!?!”  Four years and six edits later, sure enough, I had Love and the Mystery of Betrayal in hand.
In this book, writing from the inside out, I dive into the existential shock and spiritual crisis of the little understood impact of deception and betrayal. Making this descent accessible to others —  the shame, the madness and the mystery of a heart and soul broken by betrayal — was a labor of love.

As Emily Dickinson said, “If I can save one heart from breaking… If I can ease one life the aching/ or cool one pain… I shall not live in vain.”  I wish for this book to find its way into the hands of those of you who are trying to come to terms with and to heal the shocking reality of betrayal in your world.  

When you are a writer, feedback and reviews offer a kind of lifeblood and encouragement after months and years spent alone writing. Since the original publication of the book, I have received so many gratifying notes and reviews, that I have released a second edition to help the book make it into the hands of more people. 

To help even one other person, this is why we write!  I can still remember after one of my first reviews, realizing — that is it: this is the reason I wrote this book! To touch even one person this way was worth all that time and effort. 

 I want to share it with you:   “This is the first time I have written a review, and from the bottom of my heart, Sandra, THANK YOU… Two years ago, my husband of 18 years abandoned me and my two children…I have read many, many books on infidelity, and your book stands out. I am buying copies for family and friends so they can finally understand what I am grappling with. For anyone who has been through betrayal…this would be the first book I recommend people read.”

About the Author

SANDRA LEE DENNIS, PhD, is an author, teacher and explorer of the interplay of depth psychology and spirituality. She holds an MA in Psychology and a PhD in Integral Studies/ Psychology and Religion. She has been on the faculty of several universities, as well as the San Francisco Jung Institute.

Sandra’s writings bridge the world of scholar and visionary. She loves to bring light to those subtle interior spheres that defy description, and can appear frightening or unreal to the logical mind.  Her deep-diving explorations have helped many to “translate their darkness” — to name and bring compassion to their grief, anger, confusion and pain.

She was a teacher in the Gurdjieff tradition for many years, an Ananda Yoga instructor, and a long-time student of Diamond Heart work.  Currently, she is enjoying life in the Bay Area.

Website Address: www.sandraleedennis.com 




About the Book:

Title: LOVE AND THE MYSTERY OF BETRAYAL
Author: Sandra Lee Dennis
Publisher: West County Press
Pages: 290
Genre: Relationships/Spiritual/Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:
Betrayal of love inflicts a unique, unprecedented pain you can only comprehend once you have experienced it. If you are suffering from an intimate betrayal, you know. Betrayal is stunning. It is mind-boggling. You feel paralyzed, mystified, enraged, panicked, bewildered; but, mostly, you hurt. Betrayal is a make-or-break event that marks a cataclysmic divide in your life. It changes you. When you believe in someone so completely and then realize they have been deceiving you about their love and loyalty, the worst thing happens: Your faith in yourself crumbles. The shock lifts a veil from your eyes, and you can never see yourself or the world in the same way again.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon




Thursday, March 21, 2019

20 Questions with M.D. Fryson, Author of 'Meridian Chronicles: Black Widow Curse & The Coven' @madelyn_fryson #20Questions #guestblogger

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I am a wife and mom to three boys. I am an animal lover especially horses that I used to ride, train and show. Someday will do once more!

Favorite books are anything astrology, self help, motivation, romance and humor.

I love chocolate, coffee, my family (not in that order), and the beach.

I like to garden, hike, jog, swim and travel. My oldest two boys tell me I am weird as they laugh and I’ll take that as a good thing. I am told I am witty and sarcastic and I believe that comes out in my writing.

The third installment to this series comes out September, 2019 and I am nearly finished with the last book to the series that comes out in 2020.

Website Link: www.mdfryson.com
Twitter Link: @madelyn_fryson




1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer? Mostly in the daytime, if I have a lot going on, I will write when everyone is asleep. 

 2. Do you outline or are you a pantster? Both.  I usually have some form of an outline, but I tend to wing it at different times. 

 3. Which comes first – plot or character? Depends on the book.  Usually a plot. 

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript? Noise, music. 

5. Favorite TV show? Friends, Last Man Standing

6. Favorite type of music? I am an ‘equal-genre-tune-ity’.  If I hear something I like, it doesn’t matter what type of music. 

7. Favorite craft besides writing?  Jewelry making and I do paint and draw.   

8. Do you play a musical instrument? I used to play the flute and some guitar. 

9. Single or married? Married

10. Children or no? 3 boys

11. Pets? 1 dog, however I used to have horses and birds.

12. Favorite place to write? My office.

13. Favorite restaurant? Hugos.  Small old restaurant that is underground, from the town square not too far where I grew up.

14. Do you work outside the home? I used to, with all the work in the house, I hardly can get out!

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw? Creed

16. Favorite outdoor activity? It used to be riding my horses.  Now it is gardening, jogging and hiking.

17. Pet peeve? Well what isn’t is probably a shorter list! Just kidding.  Pet peeves…2 major ones.  When people make presumptions about others, or when people not just interrupt a conversation, but clearly interject their selves into a conversation between two other people.  Surprising how much that happens.

18. Your goal in life? To survive it first but my goal is for my children to have every chance and opportunity in life to be who they want to be and see as much in the world that I can get them to see.  I want them to never feel as though they ‘can’t’ do something because they feel not good enough, or smart enough to achieve for their selves.

19. Your most exciting moment? The birth of my children.  I still look at them today with awe and say to myself, wow, I have 3 sons and they are the best three things I could have ever created (of course with help!)  But no words to describe seeing your newborn for the first time.  Suddenly the no sleep, heart burn and back ache complaints are forgotten and every bit of it was worth it.

20. The love of your life? My husband.  He has put up with me through it all and loved me in all my forms and trust me, they all aren’t the greatest!  He is a wonderful person.
About the Book:


Title: MERIDIAN CHRONICLES BLACK WIDOW CURSE & THE COVEN
Author: M.D. Fryson
Publisher: AMF Publishing
Pages: 408
Genre: Paranormal Romance

BOOK BLURB:

MERIDIAN’S curse has left her in a state all her own of amnesia. She is on Earth lost and afraid with only fragments to piece together her mysterious circumstance. The curse has taken the unimaginable from her, but that is just scratching the surface. The Black Widow curse will reveal itself through the demon’s riddle, the Coven and the Fairy Nymphs.

A trip back to Salem is just what the psychic ordered, but treachery lurks with an ex coven member who calls on demons. The demon realm offers more riddles than answers, but a stroke of luck from the high demon court, brings in a sophisticated demon, Lahash who has grown tired of the games.
The curse hides Meridian’s identity and her memory will unlock the Universal secret of her twin soul to find her way home. As Meridian finds Aiden so do the impacts of her curse and what it could do to their budding relationship.

Meridian’s soul and fate are in the cross hairs, while the odds rise between the demons, witches and the fairies.

Finally having found Aiden, the Fairy Queen comes through to send aid to Meridian, but she still doubts herself and contemplates running away from it all. Who is Meridian’s twin soul? Will she go back to Etheria or will the curse reign down on Meridian?

Find out in this dark and twisted paranormal romance.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Monday, March 18, 2019

Walking the Walk by Annette Leeds @find1cure #guest #biography #memoir #cancer

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Walking the Walk
—Annette Leeds, author of
The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister and Founder of Find1Cure.com.

Cancer is not limited to those diagnosed. It affects family, friends, and even co-workers. I witnessed cancer up-close and personal. It is emotionless, unbiased, and destroys lives.  After a long year of living with my sister, Theresa, who succumbed to advanced stage pancreatic cancer in 2016, I sat down with the journal I’d kept to keep track of every single day of the last year of her life and wrote The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister.
In one year, Theresa had endured so much pain and sickness from cancer. Yet, she forged through with laughter, determined not to let it steal her joy.  Can you believe she planned her daughter’s wedding? As children, I looked up to her and as adults, I envied her. She made amends with people. Our one-hundred-pounds Boxer, Riley, became Theresa’s guard dog, remaining close by her side. I sensed he took his job very seriously, keeping an eye out for anyone trying to take her from us. When her bedroom door was ajar, I listened to her talking to him in a quiet voice, and I could hear his dog tags jingle when she rubbed the back of his neck. “Keep me safe, Riley,” she said. “Don’t leave me.”  About Riley, she often said, “He’s coming with me.” She was right. Months after Theresa passed, Riley passed, too. He waited for her to go first.
When I reflect, I think about Dolly Parton’s song, “I Hope You Dance.” Theresa did just that, she danced to her own beat.  To celebrate my sister’s life, I founded Find1Cure.com. My dream is to start a “comfort” home for people who have elevated to hospice care. I want to bring awareness and reassurance to those suffering from this callous disease and the loved ones who help fight the fight. I want to do whatever I can, not only in the name of my big sister, Theresa, but for the many men and women who valiantly and courageously fight the fight.

About the Author


Annette Leeds is a literary journalist. Born Annette Marie Guardino to her mother who is Belgian and father who is Sicilian, she is a native Californian and the youngest of six children. Being quite creative, Annette’s strong desire to write led her to her first book, a psychological drama, followed by two television comedy scripts. She has had other entrepreneurial ventures, including a logo sportswear clothing line.

Her latest book is her biography/memoir, The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister.



About the Book:

Title: THE OTHER SIDE OF CANCER: LIVING LIFE WITH MY DYING SISTER
Author: Annette Leads
Publisher: Find1Cure
Pages: 194
Genre: Biography/Memoir

BOOK BLURB:
The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister is a passionate story of two sisters and their extraordinary bond and friendship reignited in the face of cancer. 

 Theresa conquered many hurdles in her lifetime, with victorious highs and shattering lows, but at fifty-four years old, she took on the biggest challenge of her life: advanced stage pancreatic cancer. Like most families, there are those times when moments in life tend to strain or burden relationships. Theresa chose humor in the face of death. Confronting her fate with grace, she taught everyone the true meaning of living life without regret. To those who loved her, she gave an amazing gift—showing them how to move past the sadness and truly enjoy the precious time she had left. 

Annette, her baby sister, didn’t realize her strength until she held her sister’s life in her hands. As a writer, she did the one thing she thought would have the most impact. She picked up a notebook and chronicled the journey with Theresa, revealing the strength and inspiration of an amazing woman. 

The two siblings shared a room as kids, and in the end, it was the same. A week or so before Theresa died, she told Annette, “This has been the best year of my life.” Most people would have thought she was crazy, but her little sister knew exactly what she meant.

Read more and order your copy:  http://annetteleeds.com/books
  
Available in hardcover and eBook on  Amazon.com  and  BarnesandNoble.com

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

#Interview with A.L. Bryant, Author of Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter @albryanthsw #supernatural #Christian #Thriller #Horror

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“Glory sat up sharply. A full minute passed before she stopped gasping and coughing. She had made some progress in controlling the duration of her illusions. Standing, she dusted herself off and picked up her cellphone. From what she could tell, she was underground in a place that resembled a dungeon carved from the rock that the mansion had been built on. It was large and dark. There was no place for light to shine through, so even during the daytime, the room would still be pitch black.”

--From Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter by A.L. Bryant

A.L. Bryant was born and raised in St. Petersburg FL. She became interested in writing at an early age; an interest that depending on the circumstance brought punishment (detention for passing out the latest installment of her novella during class) and praise (being chosen for a youth writers conference at the Poynter Institute.)  A.L. Bryant gets her inspiration from both her mother and her Great Grandmother. Her mother recently published an inspirational children’s book under a pseudonym and her great grandmother is South Carolina’s first published African-American female author and playwright.

Until recently writing had simply been a pastime for A.L. Bryant who although she attended several writing courses, graduated with a B.A. in International Business. It was shortly after her second job as a Financial Office Manager at a Goodwill correctional facility that she realized she loved writing more than anything else. It would still be some years before she would convert the short story she wrote in college into a novel.

Besides writing, A.L. Bryant loves traveling the world. God has blessed her with the opportunity to visit a total of seven countries. She has studied abroad in Seoul and has traveled throughout Kenya; two locations she researched for her Blessed series. Her dream is to visit every country in the world.

Her latest book is the supernatural Christian thriller horror novel, Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter.

Book Description:

On New Year’s Eve 2021 the staff at St. Ann’s Hospital witness a medical miracle when a semi-conscious woman walks into the emergency room. The Jane Doe has been stabbed multiple times and as the staff struggle to keep the woman alive in the end all they can do is stand back and watch as their mysterious patient revives herself.

Glory wakes up in St. Ann’s Hospital gravely injured from an attack she cannot remember. However, her memory loss is no ordinary amnesia and she is no ordinary patient. Much to the shock of the hospital staff Glory heals at three times the rate of an average person. Soon the administration hears of her unique case and waste no time convincing the recovering Glory to be a part of an experiment to discover the origins of her power.

Once outside the comforting walls of the hospital it becomes apparent that healing is just a small portion of Glory’s capabilities. Abilities that to Glory’s distress are becoming increasingly unstable. Deciding that the hospital’s experiments are in vain, Glory embarks on her own Journey to discover the source of her power, unaware that she is a major pawn in a war between two secret organizations.

The two syndicates continue to clash in their fight for control and their battles result in several casualties. The crimes of their warfare surface and draw the attention of Dennis Wilson, a NYPD Detective known for solving his cases in the first forty-eight hours. Dennis follows the trail of bodies out of curiosity. But when his curiosity causes the deaths of his loved ones Detective Dennis becomes obsessed with the case.

In his overzealous attempts to find the murderer Dennis becomes the syndicates’ next target. Now the Detective must run for his life and the only person capable of saving him is the very person he suspects.

Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is a hybrid of government espionage and supernatural Thriller. This novel is intended for audiences 18+ that seek an edgier outlook on Christian fiction. Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is the first installment of the Blessed trilogy.

Interview:

Welcome, A.L.!  Your first installment of the Blessed series sounds exciting! Can you tell us how you came up with the idea?
               
A.L.: Thank you! I wanted to play around with the notion of a spiritual being (or someone more in tune with spirituality) living in a natural world. A world that only acknowledges the natural. What struggles would someone like that face? How would they cope? COULD they cope when, according to the world they live in, their very existence is a lie?
  
Can you tell us a little about the main characters in Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter?

A.L.: This is the first installment of a trilogy so it introduces a lot of Characters, but the main characters would have to be Glory and Detective Wilson. Glory is a Stoic character with a lot of layers beneath her deliberate nature. Her character starts out a bit dry. As the reader you get to see her slowly unravel as things happen to and around her that she doesn't fully understand.
Detective Wilson is a cynical NYPD cop that's very good at his job but by his own admittance his proficiency has more to do with his obsessive nature than anything else. He can be a little rough around the edges but he actually has a good heart.
  
They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

A.L.: Well If I am to be honest, I would love it if readers of Blessed would not want to put the book down from the beginning. But for me the pivotal moment is when Glory decides to go out on her own. This is when tensions are building in every story arch and there is a noticeable change in tone.
  
Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

A.L.: Unless you are an editor yourself it is imperative that you hire someone. I've had three editors, and their catches and suggestions have been invaluable. It can get expensive, but typically it takes at least a year to write a full-on novel and usually more than that for your first novel, so... save your Pennies!

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

A.L.: As much as I love the sentiment and the good advice of "Never judge a book by its cover," I am realistic and believe we as consumers do just that. Let's be honest in this day and age we're all very busy; the world moves at an accelerated pace. Because time is limited and more importantly choices are vast, people are looking for a quick way to determine if something is worth their time and money.
  
What did you want to become when you were a kid?

A.L.:
-A neurosurgeon - don't ask me why.
-A secretary – when I was younger I began reading my grandmother’s Harlequin Presents novels (which I still love to this day) dated in the 70s and the 80s and all the secretaries in those books got the dashing men.
-A business mogul - because someone told me they spend most of their lives travelling. For as long as I can remember my goal has been to visit every country in the world.

 Do your novels carry a message?

A.L.: Yes. I believe most stories do, intentionally or unintentionally. It's very hard to write something and completely withhold yourself from the story; and every person is made up of opinions, alternative points of view, and life lessons.  Some of that essence will make its way into your writing. I think it is more important to have that message, but allow every reader to take from your novel whatever speaks to them.

 Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?

A.L.: Writing is truly a labor of love. I will never feel as though Blessed is done or can't be improved in some small way. For those who have taken the time to share in this Journey with me, I hope I entertained you and I appreciate each and every one of you!


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life

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The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life


A new day is dawning. As the sun rises, so do new opportunities to grow, develop, and improve. Are you raring to go in the morning, eager to jump out of bed and welcome a new day? Or are you hitting the snooze button, resentful of getting up to another day of tedium? Either way, how you start your morning is a decision you make every single day. What if you could become the master of your mornings and establish a routine that supports you not just in waking up but also in defining and creating the life you want? This book was written to help you make better choices about your mornings, wake up early and happy, and create the most fulfilling and empowering start to your day. 

Building a solid foundation for beginning your day will help you achieve success in every area of your life. The hours of the morning are the most critical time of the day, and to optimize them we first must be aware of our internal 24-hour clock (circadian rhythm) and its role in our brain function. In fact, there is an ongoing biological battle between regions of our brain, senses, and nervous system that plays a vital role in determining whether we can successfully establish new and empowering morning routines. Our objective is to learn to master our morning and the rest of the day efficiently. Each brain region is vital to overall performance in life, and they are all interconnected and so are dependent on one another. Much of humanity is entirely unaware of the shortcomings of the structure and function of this most vital organ. Learning to master your psychology through a better understanding of neuroscience will empower you in more ways than you could ever imagine. To begin, you must become aware of the conflict between two internal forces in your brain. These two forces are the Lizard and the Wizard, and both of them live inside your head.

About the Authors

Dr. Rob Carter III, PhD, MPH, is a native of Lake Charles, LA, an US Army officer, an adjunct professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, and an expert on human physiology and performance. Dr. Carter has a doctorate in biomedical sciences and medical physiology, and a master of public health in chronic disease epidemiology. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, abstracts, and technical reports, and his research has been covered in news outlets such as The Washington Post, Fox News and USA Today.

Kirti Salwe Carter, MBBS, MPH, received her medical education in India, where she practiced as an intensive-care physician before moving to Texas to complete postgraduate training in public health. In 2010, she received her master of public health in occupational health from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She also has done graduate studies in integrative physiology. Dr. Carter has more than 18 years of experience in meditation and breathing techniques and leads popular wellness seminars.

Dr. Robert Carter III, FACSM, FAIS was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is a US Army officer, an expert in integrative human physiology and performance and has academic appointments in emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in public health and health sciences at Los Angeles Pacific University, and in nutrition at the University of Maryland, University College. Dr. Carter completed military assignments in Germany, France, Afghanistan, Washington, DC, and the White House as a military social aide for the Obama administration.
He holds a doctorate in biomedical sciences and medical physiology, and a master of public health in chronic disease epidemiology. Selected as a Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr. Carter received his postgraduate training in environmental epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. He serves on several scientific editorial boards, is a reviewer for 14 scientific and medical journals, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) and the American Institute of Stress (FAIS). Carter is also Thermal Councilor for the Exercise and Environmental Committee of the American Physiological Society.
He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, abstracts and technical reports on human performance, breath-based meditation, nutrition, human water needs, trauma, and environmental medicine in noted publications such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Nutrition Reviews and the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter, FAIS, was born in Pune, India, and received her medical education in India, where she practiced as an intensive-care physician before moving to Texas to complete postgraduate training in public health. In 2010, she received her master of public health in occupational health from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She also has done graduate studies in integrative physiology.
Carter is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress (FAIS). She has more than 18 years of experience in meditation and breathing techniques, and has been facilitating wellness seminars for the past decade. Her work has been instrumental in bringing stress-management and resilience programs not only to the general population but also to corporate employees, educators, middle school and university students, and to special populations such as refugees in violence-prone areas and victims of military sexual trauma.
She is passionate about researching the effectiveness of breathing and meditation techniques to improve human performance. Dr. Carter has published her research on human performance, ergonomics, and breath-based meditation in periodicals such as the World Journal of Clinical Cases, the Journal of Visual Experiments and the Journal of Environmental and Public Health.
Website Address: http://www.themorningmind.com 




About the Book:

Title: THE MORNING MIND: USE YOUR BRAIN TO MASTER YOUR DAY AND SUPERCHARGE YOUR LIFE
Authors: Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter and Dr. Robert Carter III
Publisher: Harper Collins Leadership
Pages: 197
Genre: Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:
Unleash positive thinking and productive imagination, and flip negative thoughts and behaviors into a lifetime to improve every aspect of your life—each morning, one day at a time.
Bad habits. Bad feelings. Bad mornings that turn into regrettable days.
Banish them all with simple brain hacks that flip negative thoughts and behaviors into positive, productive ones. Instead of dragging through your day, learn to wake up refreshed, recharge regularly, and live better than ever.
The Morning Mind makes it easy. Based on findings from neuroscience and medicine, the book helps you tamp down on the fear-driven reptile brain and tap into the part linked to thinking and imagination.
With topics ranging from diet and hydration to exercise and meditation, you’ll find ideas for activating your brain—and improving every aspect of your life:
  • Restore healthy cycles of waking and sleeping
  • Block harmful cortisol hormones
  • Boost mental performance
  • Create calmer mornings
  • Develop self-discipline
  • Stimulate creativity
  • Improve your leadership skills
  • And more.
From the moment the alarm clock rings, The Morning Mind helps you greet each day with gusto.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Link to book on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Morning-Mind-Brain-Master-Supercharge-ebook/dp/B07CCFV8BW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1549638694&sr=8-1&keywords=morning+mind
Link to book on B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-morning-mind-dr-rob-carter-iii/1129374055?ean=9780814439852#/

The Inspiration Behind Material Things by Larry Spencer #guest #write #materialthings

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The Inspiration Behind Material Things

By Larry Spencer

I believe the term goes something like this— “Truth is stranger than fiction.” Real life can be more remarkable than invented tales. Research tells me this old expression was invented by Byron, who used it in Don Juan (1833). I know, a useless fact. Anyway—it certainly relates to me living on the edge in Los Angeles in the nineteen sixties and seventies and being able to witness and tell this story firsthand.

As advertised, this book was conceived and raised from true-life events. This was, I thought, a story I always wanted to tell and a story I thought should be told. It had rattled around in my subconscious for years but I never could gather enough time or courage to tell it without being bias or seemingly outlandish.

See I virtually lived this story.  I am a product of the 60s and 70s. And since we’re confessing inspiration—I just happen to be one of the characters who played an integral part as one of the owners in the Jon’s Drawer clothing store— A venue that is also a central character in the theme and prides itself as being the first to sell bellbottom jeans to the masses in Southern California. Maybe I’m cheating because I didn’t have to go far to come up with exciting, quirky, loveable, despicable people to portray in this cast of head shaking characters. I didn’t have to conjure up love interests because I knew them on a personal level. I didn’t have to make up the intrusion of the FBI and the Mafia because I was met and threatened by them face-to-face, while I nearly peed my pants.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to pass this slice of life on and let people hear for themselves what went on in that pop-culture era in Southern California.  It was fascinating, and when I looked back and while I was jotting down recollections, it was hard to believe I lived it. It was surreal how three semi-normal guys who just wanted to sell jeans were swallowed up in a fervor of sex, drugs and murder.

So I took a break from my twenty-year career as a TV comedy and feature film writer and tried my hand at writing novels. My first was The Tipping Point of Oliver Bass. I was told by reviewers that as a character, Oliver toed a curious line between Holden Caulfield and Philip Marlowe. I must’ve been doing something right, so I decided to dust off the cobwebs in my subconscious and take a crack at Material Things. To use an overworked cliché—the rest is history.

I self-published my first book and swore I’d never do that again because the result was less than an overwhelming success. It sucked actually. But failing to sign with a major publisher, I once again hit the self-publishing trail —but I think I’m taking more of a serious route this time and utilizing, sights, sounds and literary avenues that are offered to me that I didn’t take advantage of the first time.  Fingers crossed. Right?

About the Author

LARRY SPENCER published his first novel, The Tipping Point Of Oliver Bass in the summer of 2017. A story that covered the life of a pathologically arrogant, wealthy young man who sets off on a journey of self-discovery, family tragedy, and sexual conquest in a modern California noir backdrop.   Spencer has been a Writer’s Guild of America member since the late 70s, having written and produced a multitude of highly successful TV shows, which culminated into writing several feature films. He was then encouraged to pen his second book, Material Things, a story based on true events that takes place in the 60s &70s and tackles organized crime, drugs and embezzlement during a time when bellbottom pants ruled the fashion scene.  He lives in Valley Village, California.

Visit his website at www.larryspencerauthor.com.

About the Book:

Title: MATERIAL THINGS
Author: Larry Spencer
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 367
Genre: Fiction

BOOK BLURB:
Larry Spencer’s riveting, interlocking narratives circle the lives of Matthew Street, Jon Lewis and Christopher Styles, in a 1970s California backdrop that takes them from owning and operating a fashionable clothing boutique into the gripping world of an FBI under cover operation, drug trafficking, prostitution and a nefarious criminal element, that brings to light a Mafia contract killer, who’s out to bump off a stoolie in their midst. 
    
Material Things is based on true events surrounding the store that introduced bellbottom jeans to a hip Southern California crowd and how it became, not only a cottage industry but also an arena fraught with danger and moral strife that put the store and it’s owners under close scrutiny after an alarming number of felonious activities surface.

The climax is anything but conventional as Matthew, Jon and Christopher are confronted with a life threatening reality that they never imagined could happen just by selling bellbottom pants.

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Monday, March 4, 2019

A Bookish Conversation with 'Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series' Author Mike Martin @mike54martin #interview

12:00 AM 0 Comments



““He started to stroke her when his cell phone rang. “Boss, it’s Jones. We’ve got a situation. We got a call about a shooting up near the seniors’ club.”
“Injuries?” asked Windflower.
“A teenager,” said Jones. “I’m on my way.”
“I’ll be over in a sec,” said Windflower.
“Bad news?” asked Sheila.
“I’ll call you,” was all he said back.
Sheila didn’t ask any more questions. They liked a layer of insulation between his police work and their personal lives. He gave her a peck on the cheek and patted Lady as he left to drive to the seniors’ club, hoping for the best and fearing the worst.
The reality was somewhere in between.”


–From Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series is Darkest Before the Dawn.

Darkest Before the Dawn
Book Description:
Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There are signs of trouble that may disturb his pleasant life, including a series of unsolved break-ins and the lack of supports for young people in the most trying time of their lives. But there are always good friends, good food and the sense that if we all pull together, we can find a way to get through even the darkest days.

Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new character enliven the pages as Windflower and Tizzard and the other police officers awaken the secrets that have been lying dormant in this sleepy little town. The deeper they dig the more they find as the criminals they seek dive deeper behind the curtains of anonymity and technology. But more than anything, this is a story of love and loss, of growing up and learning how to grow old gracefully. It is also about family and community and looking after each other. Of not giving up hope just before the dawn.

Interview:

Welcome Mike! It’s interesting to find out how versatile a writer you are – can you tell us a little bit about your Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series and why you wrote it?
Mike: The Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series is truly a labour of love. It is set in my home province of Newfoundland, on the eastern most tip of Canada. It has allowed me to write about that part fo the world and to populate it with wonderful stories and characters from that part of the world. Sgt. Windflower came out of the fog in Grand Bank one night and started telling me his story. I was happy to write it down and share with others.
I am so excited about your latest in the series, Darkest Before the Dawn. Can you re-acquaint us with the characters for those who haven’t read your series before?
Mike: Sgt. Winston Windflower is a Mountie who is originally from northern Alberta who finds himself stationed in tiny Grand Bank. He finds the woman of his dreams, Sheila Hillier, who is the Mayor of Grand Bank, and a cadre of friends and co-workers that share his love of good food and good times. And then they have to deal with the crime and a few dead bodies along the way.
Are you a detail freak when it comes to writing your novels?
Mike: No. I am probably the exact opposite. I do some research to get the facts right and I have beta readers to guide me back to the path when I stray. But I write from the creative flow and let the words stream out. Then, of course, I have to go back and straighten out the mess.
How hard for you was it to sit down and start writing your novel? Did you have all these ideas swirling around your head or did it take some time before you were actually ready to sit down and begin?
Mike: Starting a book is easy. Finishing it takes time and determination and discipline. There are always a million ideas but getting them out of your head and onto the page is difficult. But once I have the beginning of the story, the rest seems to follow. As long as I stay with and write 1,500 to 2,000 words a day for a couple of months.
Writers are often associated with loner tendencies. Is there any truth to that? And do you need background sounds or silence when writing your books?
Mike: I need almost silence, but not a vacuum seal. I write my best first thing in the morning, before the distractions of the day take me away. I have a routine and a schedule, and I try and stick with it. If I don’t meet my word count in the morning, I have to pick it up later in the day. And I could never write at Starbucks!! That is way too much stimuli for me.
What makes writing mysteries so special to you? Is there another genre you’ve toyed around with writing?
Mike: I have written non-fiction as a freelance writer and some short personal experience stories. But I love the gentle confines of the mystery genre. There is enough room in there for just about anybody and I like the pattern and flow of identifying a problem or a crime and then proceeding to solve it over the next 300 pages.
They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in Darkest Before the Dawn?
Mike: There are a couple. But I would say that the Jerimiah Parsons accident is one place where the story starts to grab hold and you have to keep reading until you know what will happen. What does happen is a little mystical and certainly mysterious.
What’s next for you?
Mike: Enjoy the book launch of Darkest Before the Dawn. Every book is like a child to an author. We send it out into the world with good intentions and then we watch its progress. Once this book is safely on its journey, it will be time to start thinking about the next Sgt. Windflower Mystery.

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