Monday, August 7, 2017

The Story Behind The Mentor by Lee Matthew Goldberg



The inspiration for my novel The Mentor began with my editor Brendan Deneen at Macmillan. He was looking for someone to write an idea he had that was pitched as Cape Fear set in the publishing
world. I wanted to add a literary bent to it as well so we conceived the plot of a professor who contacts a former student of his, who’s now a book editor at a prestigious house. The editor is glad to be in touch with his mentor, but when he reads the book it’s not only horribly written but depraved as well and reminds him of a cold case from when the two were at college together where a girl he dated went missing never to be find. So he starts thinking that his mentor might have had something to do with her disappearance.

While writing the book, I was influenced by the film Cape Fear and read a lot of current Stephen King novels like Mr. Mercedes, Revival and Finder’s Keepers. Also the novel The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney was a big influence. I watched a lot of the shows Hannibal and Dexter as well to get in the mindset of the villainous mentor character. What’s great about those shows is you start to sympathize with someone like Dexter, even when he’s doing such horrible things. That was crucial for the mentor character in my book too. His past is responsible for turning him into who he is now, and while he does awful things, it was important that readers get his side of the story too.

The film and novel Wonder Boys bled into The Mentor as well, since it’s also about a professor who’s been writing a one thousand page opus as well that’s he’s unable to get published. I know what it’s like to be frustrated by not being published, so I tapped into that feeling of rejection that Michael Douglas’ character goes through.

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg’s novel THE MENTOR is forthcoming from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press in June 2017 and has been acquired by Macmillan Entertainment. The French edition will be published by Editions Hugo. His debut novel SLOW DOWN is out now. His pilot JOIN US was a finalist in Script Pipeline’s TV Writing Competition. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his fiction has also appeared in The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, Verdad Magazine, BlazeVOX, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series. He lives in New York City.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Story Behind Rebel Song by Amanda J. Clay

One of the questions all writer’s undoubtedly receive is “where do you get your inspiration?” Sometimes there is a great lightbulb moment—a tragedy, a blessing, a unique childhood—that breathes life into an idea. For Rebel Song, I attribute it to a childhood obsession with tragic love stories, with fantasy tales of kings and queens, with gallant heroes sacrificing all.
When I describe the plot of Rebel Song to people, but tell them it’s contemporary, they often say, “Wait, it’s about a princess and a rebellion and star-crossed love? Sounds a little Medieval.” And it does sound like a plot of old. But it’s also a reality of today…Let me explain a bit of history about its inspiration.

The very first incarnation of Rebel Song came about 22 years ago—no joke! When I was 12—possibly suffering some unrequited love of my own—I actually wrote this short book about a princess who falls in love with a spy from another country and she betrays her kingdom for him. In the end she jumps off a cliff and kills herself so in retrospect it wasn’t a very uplifting story (I was a strange 12 year old, I admit). But I never forgot that tale and I’ve maintained this affinity for the star-crossed lovers since.

So fast forward a couple decades. I’m in Madrid, Spain, reading about the turmoil of Spain’s 20th century—from a monarchy to a dictator to back to a monarchy. And I realized that, while it’s strange to the Americans, royalty is alive and well in much of Europe. Additionally, many countries in Europe have undergone rebellions, dictators, civil war and more in the last fifty years alone. Sometimes there’s even a juicy love story thrown in there. I was fascinated by the history there and I suddenly knew I had to bring Rogan and Elyra’s story to life in a fresh new way.

And while the story is set in “modern-day,” I admit, the specific time period for the story is purposefully a little vague because I’m trying to avoid talking about real world events—it’s hard to talk about 20th century Europe and not discuss post WWII Communism, for example. I want the Rogan and Elyra’s story to just exist within itself and for the reader to not have to think about the outside world.

So once you have this great novel that you love more than your own mortal soul, what do you do with it?

After I’d finished and perfected Rebel Song to the best of my ability, I had to learn how to publish it! Writers today are living in the best of times. There are more ways than ever to reach millions of hungry readers. But with more choices, it can be daunting to decide the best way to go. I opted to Independently publish and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. It’s a lot of work—no denying that. As an Indie author, you’re responsible for every aspect of the process—from finding the cover design, getting a professional editor, finding beta readers and then doing the marketing. It was a long process, I stumbled a lot, made some mistakes, learned a TON and was excited to do it all again.
The second installment, Rebel Rising, is due out this September and I’m so excited to continue the saga with my readers.

About the Author

Amanda J. Clay is a writing YA and Adult fiction from Dallas, TX. A Northern California native, she had a fantastic time studying English and Journalism at Chico State University and then a very serious time slaving away for a Master’s degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, she spends most of her spare time on some new fitness addiction and plotting world adventures.

Her latest book is the young adult novel, Rebel Song.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Story Behind Scribble & Author by Miri Leshem-Pelly

What would it be like if I, as an author, could talk with one of my characters? This was the thought that popped up in my head once. I started to think about it and realized an interesting conflict. Authors usually love their characters, right? They care about them and even identify with them in a way. But on the other hand, authors make their characters suffer… Authors know that if they want their story to be interesting and engaging, they need to make their protagonist face some problems and challenges, sometimes even real danger. Therefore it is very likely that characters would have a lot to say to their authors, who are responsible to all of their misery.

That thought sparked the idea for my new picture book for children. I decided to create a story which would be based on a dialogue between the author and his character. I’m also the illustrator, so I had an interesting visual concept to go along with such a story. I decided not to illustrate the author, even though he is a character in this book (I know, it’s a bit confusing…) but instead, to show the author’s tools, such as pencil, eraser etc., as if they are on the page.

The protagonist is a little Scribble, made of a watercolor spot with some pencil lines, and that’s her name – Scribble. Scribble and Author talk, while the author is creating the story. But Scribble doesn’t always like the story. Can she change the plot? Can the author make her do something she doesn’t want? Who really gets to tell the tale? If you ever wrote a fiction story, maybe you know the feeling yourself. You create the character, but once you did, it has a life of its own, and the story is not totally in your control anymore.

So if you’re curious to find out what happens when an author meets and interacts with his character – Scribble & Author is the book for you!

About the Author

Miri Leshem-Pelly is the author-illustrator of 14 children’s books. She’s also illustrated 14 books for other writers. When Miri isn’t writing she can be found speaking at schools, kindergartens and libraries. She is invited to do more than 200 presentations with her books per year. Miri is also a Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book writers & illustrators).
Miri is represented by Olswanger Literary Agency.
Miri’s works have won awards and her illustrations have been shown on several exhibitions.
Miri lives in Israel with her husband and two children, and loves reading books and going on nature hikes.
Her latest book is Scribble & Author.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Story Behind Human Origins And The Bible by Marvin Heavin




On Why I Wrote Human Origins and the Bible

When I heard my first sermon in 2nd grade; it seemed right, I could not imagine anyone not believing what seemed obvious, and I have walked with God ever since.  My grandparents gave me a King James Bible when I was in 3rd grade, and I started from Genesis 1:1.  While the creation days made perfect sense to a young future engineer, I had lots of questions about Adam and Eve.
High School, then Purdue University, and 50 years of sermons and Sunday school classes were very helpful in further understanding more about God, Scripture, and science. Typically, my earlier pastors questioned if engineering personalities made good Bible teachers or pastors. 
Later a new pastor asked me to start teaching classes in my local church and God blessed this with good attendance.   This included various trips to Palomar, to Griffith Observatory; Jet Propulsion Laboratory etc. to help them better integrate religion and science.
Later I felt a calling from God to attend Talbot Theological Seminary, where so many of my fellow Boeing engineers also had felt a calling later in life.  Talbot Seminary led to a more literal understanding and increased scholarship of Scripture.  Also one realizes different people understand scripture thru their worldviews shaped by their various talents and life experiences.  Doctors better understand the healing side of Jesus, teachers better see Jesus as the greatest teacher, more doctrinal people better understand the theological side, and caregivers better see His compassion for others.  But many of the finest pastors and Bible commentators lacked a scientific bent in an increasing technological culture.  Most of the greatest commentators/authors “could not see” chiastic structures or truly understand the scientific orientations God wrote into Scripture.
After retirement from Boeing after 50 years, I took a class in Human Origins from Biola as part of a MA level Christian Apologetics program.  None of the Human Origins textbooks written by religious leaders used scripture, except for the Theistic Evolution leaders who had a low opinion of Scripture.  I was very dissatisfied that no one had deeply understood Adam and Eve from both a Biblical and a scientific perspective. After the class, I spent a year poring over the scriptures, trying to first be true to both scripture and then science, and came to the following conclusion:
1.            The story of Adam and Eve was literally true and occurred perhaps 8000 years ago as the Bible describes,
2.            Modern humans migrated out of Africa about 50,000 years ago, just as archeologists say they did, and
3.             God formed Eve, the first woman, about 135,000 years ago, just as DNA findings conclude.

The “Human Origins and the Bible” book provides a rational explanation for this, based on being totally true to scripture, and thus provides a theology of sorts for the modern age.   This book speaks to our youth and younger generation, who want to see both God’s Word and His creation as consistent, for He wrote the Bible and He spoke creation into being.  Rejection of God’s Word as literally true and rejection of God’s creation go hand in hand, for both are rejections of God.
The first half is Bible Study on relevant scriptures, while the second half describes the latest advances in both archeology and DNA research to help us better interpret scripture.  This approach is totally unique in this field.  It has shorter chapters ideal for small groups or individual study with questions at the end of each chapter.

Myron Heavin

Ps.  More detailed Power Point slides are available for teachers / students by requesting them from mgheavin@mac.com.

About The Book


For More Information:

Human Origins And The Bible is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreadsRedemption Press

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads


About the Author




Myron G. Heavin graduated from Purdue University with a BS in aeronautical engineering, and has a BA in biblical and theological studies from Talbot Theological Seminary, and is currently enrolled in Christian Apologetics MA studies at Biola University. After fifty years as an engineer for the Boeing Company, Heavin retired and continues teaching and leading seven different Bible studies. Heavin and his wife Sharyl, who have been married over fifty years, have three grown children, and make their home in Lompoc, CA.


For More Information:





Virtual Book Tour







Friday, June 3, 2016

The Story Behind The Day Of The Dragonking by Edward B. Irivng

The strange truth—which I wouldn’t believe if I read it in a blog—was that it came to me in a dream. Sadly, that is the truth.

I knew I wanted to write an urban fantasy series that would center on Washington DC and have some of the flavor of a Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, of Ilona Andrews thriller. I was working on cleaning up another book at the time so it was just kicking around in my head. I used to do this while I went running but since I got enormously fat and my knees no longer work, I have to do this sort of thing in the mornings before I get interested in anything else. To add to this problem, I’m a depressive so most mornings are spent convincing myself that I haven’t murdered anyone, slept with my brother-in-law, gone and pushed an old lady under a subway train or any of the other things that generally come to mind before I take my meds. (The problem is when you feel that bad, your rational mind looks for a reason—you must have done something horrible, but what?)

On this particular morning, I actually woke up with the framework of a book in my mind: a 9/11 type terrorist attack but by mystic fanatics instead of religious fanatics, a woman who is assigned to discover the new spells and magical creatures in her phone (which effectively becomes a grimoire,) but the phone comes to life in the wave of magic and begins to get snotty about lesser phones. OK, where does she live? Out in the Maryland suburbs in a house remarkably like mine. Who protects her? A Navy SEAL.

So, what I ended up with was the mystical attack, a woman who USED to be a Navy SEAL, a man who doesn’t believe in magic as the lead character, and a cellphone haunted by the ghost of a Chinese factory worker who died exactly when it was completed. No grimoire, no spells, and the guy lives in Bowie.

The fact is that I am the ultimate “pantser” and most of the ideas about this book came from a map. As the characters would have to get out of someplace because, oh say they’d murdered a lieutenant colonel who had become a rakasha demo, I’d see where they would go next and look around to see what was around.

Do you realize that you can find Google Maps that have the locations and identities of drug gangs listed on them? Blew me away but that’s where the MS 13 gang with the enormous hoofed dog came from.

Then it was time for lunch and there is this great place in Greenbelt; Ace got injured so they had to get her to a magical creature who would cure her and there is Grief (which was actually designed after a Hindu goddess of healing.) And so it goes. The Hanged Man shows up at the best time to make my hero smack his head on the doorframe, I wondered where X Street went and off we go to Meridian Hill Park, I need a satisfactory eidelon to threaten the city and… no, I’m going to let you discover that one.

Some things in the book actually happened to me. I did have an interview with Frank Joyce who reported on the UP wire that aliens had crashed in Roswell. This was well before everyone went crazy about it and he showed me the original wire copy and talked about how people from the government would show up once in a while for 40 years and make sure he was keeping his mouth shut.  I might not buy a story on aliens but I’m totally prepared to run a story about a government cover-up. In Washington, those are as common as leaves in the fall.

Other things just happened as I went along. I was completely blown away when I looked at a photo of the Tune Inn and saw the “Not on the Corner but on the Square” neon sign which is totally a Masonic phrase.  I used to live up on Capitol Hill and probably walked past the Tune a thousand times. Never noticed it.

Actually, the thing that surprised me the most wasn’t that there were so many Masonic images, it was that there were so few Masons. What happened in 1946 that made everyone stop being a Mason, Red Man, Elk, Shriner, whatever? If you go back, they are all over the place in American history—they run the damn place. Why did they quit?

So, one thing led to another and, in many ways, characters simply did what they were inevitably going to do and I went from there. I had NO idea that Send Money was going to be so important—I just wanted to give Ace a reason to pull a gun on Steve.

See how it works?

As for finding a publisher, it was easy. I said to myself, “Self, would you like to publish this book?”

Sigh.

After I got the Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly, I thought that agents would flock to my door. Or at least my email.

Wrong.

I used QueryTracker.com and wrote an email sucking up to some agent every morning for four months.

 In an incredibly clever move, I even changed the name of the author in case the word “Terry” just didn’t sound like a guy who writes funny books. (Tell that to Sir Terry Pratchett.)

So, in the end, I published it under my Ronin Robot Press imprint and kicked it out the door.

I had a publisher once. It was a little one and I cherished it but a big, mean publisher named Osprey Books came in and stomped it to death in a death race to become part of Random House (like Random House needs to get any bigger.) I hope that their “Polish Aces of World War 2” and “Uniforms of the Boer War” books do horribly.

So There!

However, Ronin Robot Press goes on and might actually go into the black this year if I can write some more books. I know I can write the books so it’s just a question of putting my head down, getting serious, and making stuff up.



Inside the Book:


The Day of the Dragonking


Inside The Book
Title: The Day of the Dragonking
Book 1: The Last American Wizard Series
Author: Edward B. Irving
Publisher: Ronin Robot Press
Publication Date: Paperback - February 2, 2106 / eBook - May 17, 2016
Pages: 316 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Satire

Book Description:

A “mystical terrorist group” sacrifices an airplane full of innocents to a dragon and uses the deaths to power an event that wreaks magical havoc on Washington, D.C. All the wizards in the U.S. government’s employ abruptly lose access to magic, and the world’s computers and gadgets become sentient.

Second-string journalist Steven Rowan embodies the tarot's Fool and is forced to figure out the card's magic on the fly. Bombshell soldier Ace Morningstar, who used her magic to disguise herself as a man so she could become a SEAL, drafts Steve and his cell phone, which contains the ghost of a Chinese factory worker who now communicates through screen animations and bad autotranslations, to help fix the mess. Gathering allies, including NSA supercomputer Barnaby and Ace's BMW, Hans, the team fights off newly transformed demons, dog monsters, and ogres while trying to find out who is controlling the Illuminati before the villains embark on the next step of their world-domination strategy.


Book Excerpt:

The airplane crash woke Steven Rowan. To be entirely accurate, it wasn’t a crash.
It was the insane screaming of four of the world’s largest jet engines being pushed twenty percent past their factory- recommended maximum thrust only thirty feet over his head.
 In addition, awake wasn’t really the correct term for his state of consciousness at that point.
 Steve was standing stark naked in the center of the room, jerking back and forth in the classic fight-or-flight reflex–his mind frantically spinning between possibilities, developing and rejecting dozens of possible threats every second, and running throughas many options for escape. A small part of his mind was simultaneously working on the less-important questions of who he was, where he was, and what he’d done to himself the night before.
 The pulsating howl of the jet began to diminish, but the screaming only grew louder and more intense. Suddenly, Steve fell to his knees, slamming clenched fists into his temples over and over, and screaming at the top of his lungs.
 Tears flew from his eyes as he crawled forward and began to pound his head against the glass door to the balcony. A small rational part of his mind wondered that he could be driven to such desperation that he would fill his mind with self-inflicted pain in the vain hope that it would expel the shocking sound, the sheer terror, and the infinite grief.
He felt a sharp spark of agony as the glass cracked.
 Suddenly, as blood began to stream down his face, the terrible pain diminished. The confusion and terror, the immense waves of emotions, all of that continued to pour through him, but the anguish had ceased. The massive assault of sound began to break down into hundreds of what he could only think of as voices.
Men and women were screaming, a mother was kissing the top of a tiny head and whispering soothing sounds, a man on a cell phone was frantically dialing and redialing–desperate to leave a message. In contrast, two men were running through a checklist with professional calm, but curses tickled at their throats, fighting to get out.
In the center, he heard a steady sound. A quiet chanting– young voices tinged with success and anticipation.
 The glass door exploded.
****
It was going to be a lousy morning, his head hurt even worse than usual, and his head usually hurt like someone dying from alcoholpoisoning.
 Steve opened his eyes at the sound of someone singing about hiding in Honduras and needing “lawyers, guns, and money.”
 OK, that was Warren Zevon, so it was probably his phone ringing. On Mondays, he set it to Afroman’s Because I Got High just to irritate any senior editorial staff he might run into, but this song pretty well summed up his mood every other day.
 He waited patiently until the late Mr. Zevon finished singing about how “the shit has hit the fan” and then listened for the Asian gong that would indicate a phone message.
 Instead, Max Weinberg’s driving drumbeat pounded out the syncopated SOS that began Bruce Springsteen’s We Take Care of Our Own. Since every journalist knew (but would never report) that this song raised the dead whenever the Boss played within a mile of a graveyard, Steve figured someone was truly serious about talking to him.
 In addition, he was curious because he’d deleted it from his phone over a month ago, exhausted by its contrast between the American ideal of “help your neighbor” and the reality of greed and selfishness that was currently sweeping the nation.
 “Hello?"
There was a series of clicks and several of those odd changes in the quality of silence that indicate a call is being bounced from machine to machine or area code to area code. Of course, these were also the sounds that you heard when a telemarketer’s robot war dialer realized it had a fish on the line and switched in the human voice to make the sale.
 “Is this a freaking robot?” he said, sharply.
 There was a short pause without any clicks. For some reason, Steve thought the caller was thinking.
“Mr. Rowan?” It was a man–the deep and authoritative voice of someone used to giving commands.
“Who the hell wants to know?” Steve hated people with that kind of voice.
Another pause.
“Mr. Stephen Rowan of 14500 Windermere Drive, Apartment D2?” The voice had changed, just slightly. It wasn’t quite as abrasive and superior. Steve thought he could have a conversation with this guy.
“Yes.” Steve’s state of awareness was beginning to recover sufficiently so that it wasn’t taking all of his concentration to talk on the phone. Unfortunately, that allowed him to begin to look around the room. If he hadn’t just received his ten-year chip from Narcotics Anonymous, he would have instantly identified this as a drug dream—and not a pleasant one.
The smashed sliding door. Glass shards covering the carpet. The dozens of framed photographs he’d hung to remind himself of the good times when he’d worked in cool places were gone. They were in a heap of wood, glass, and photo paper on the other side of his bed. Only one remained. A picture of a Lebanese militiaman with an AK-47 wearing a T-shirt decorated with a picture of an AK-47 and the words “Lebanon War.” He reached over and straightened it.
 “Mr. Rowan.” The voice on the phone had changed again. Now it sounded like a person cowering with fear. Hell, this guy was afraid to speak to him. “Umm. Are you busy at the moment?”
 Steve looked around the wreckage of his apartment. His cheek tickled and he touched it with a finger. He stared at the blood on his fingertip. “Busy? No, not really.”
 “Would you be so kind as to consider possibly doing me a favor?”
 Now the voice had gone all the way to obsequious.
 “Not until you tell me who the hell you are and what the hell you want.” Steve licked his finger, tasting the blood as if it might tell him something about what had just happened. “And stop sucking up.”
 “‘Sucking up’?” There was another series of clicks and silences, and the caller continued in its previous, more confident tone. “Mr. Rowan. Let me ask you a question. Could you use a job?”
 Steve reached into his back pocket to check his wallet for his current financial position. Suddenly, he felt a hand stroke his butt. He jumped. When he looked down, he realized it was his own hand because he was still naked. Then, a sudden stab of pain proved that the silvery dust all over him was tiny bits of glass from his broken door and he’d just shoved a shard into his ass. He pulled his hand away sharply and held it out in front of him–carefully examining both sides.
 “Mr. Rowan?”]
 “Oh. Sorry, I was distracted for a second. What...Oh, yeah. I have plenty of money.”
“From your increasingly occasional work as a freelance reporter?”
Steve didn’t say anything. The caller continued. “How’s that working out for you?”
Steve surveyed his ruined stereo and television and stopped as he saw his metal-cased laptop. It was rolled into a cylinder. He wonderedwhat in hell could do that to an expensive computer. Or at least one that had been expensive when he’d bought it.
 “Don’t worry about the laptop. I think you’ll find your telephone will be sufficient."
Steve’s eyes widened and he slowly pulled the cell phone away from his ear and regarded it carefully–again, front and back. When he turned back to the main screen, a cartoon of a hand making a “thumbs up” sign had replaced his usual home screen picture of the Lebanese militiaman.
Steve just stood there and looked at the hand. He knew it was a cartoon because it only had three fingers and a thumb. Somehow, the artist had made it look happy and confident. That worried Steve.
He heard a faint squawking from the phone. He held the phone with only two fingers and raised it gingerly until it was an inch from his ear.
“Mr. Rowan? Can you hear me?”
 Steve cleared his throat and answered carefully. “Yes.” “Good, we can continue.”
 “Not until you tell me how you knew about my computer, we can’t.”
 “Your computer? Oh, you mean that you were looking at it?” “Yes. How did you know that I was looking at it?”
The voice sounded more confident, almost comradely. “That’s easy. Look straight out your window. See the apartment building with the exterior stairs?”
 “They all have exterior stairs.”
 “Well, the one with stairs and exceptionally ugly pink paint.” “Got it.”
“OK. Look at the left edge of the building and then run your eye straight up.”
 Steve saw the gleaming black cube of a building on the other side of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. There were dozens of round white satellite dishes on the roof.
 “OK, I see the building across the highway. The NSA or Fort Meade or whatever.”
 “Just keep watching.”
 Slowly, almost ceremonially, all the dishes on the roof turned, swiveled, swung, or tipped so that they were all pointed straight at him. Without thinking, Steve’s left hand moved to cover his crotch.
 He made a noise, but it wasn’t a word. Something between a cough and the beginning of a scream, but definitely not a word. On the top of the black building, all the dishes nodded up and down in what he could only describe as a friendly fashion, and then moved back to their original positions.
  “Mr. Rowan?”
 Steve cleared his throat again. “I guess you just made that happen.”
"Yes.”
 “That was better than anything I ever saw in college, even on mushrooms, but it still doesn’t tell me who you are.”
“No.”
 “But it does answer the question of how you could see me.” “Yes.”\\
“And demonstrates a certain amount of power over things.” “Things and quite a few people as well.”
“I would have to say that that remains to be proven, but I can agree that you’ve gone a long way in that direction.”
“Why don’t we leave the rest of your questions for a later time and let me ask you one?”\
Steve’s eyes wandered from the roof of the building across the highway. “What am I looking for?” he wondered.
Then he remembered.
 “Give me just one more question first.” Steve walked out on the balcony and scanned the horizon as far as he could. “Where is thesmoke?”
“Smoke?”
“Smoke. From the crash of the plane that just flew over me.”
“Mr. Rowan. Can I suggest you step back inside? Good. You were frightening several of your neighbors. No, there is no smoke and, as a matter of fact, no airplane. Since there is no airplane, there wasn’t a crash and, ergo, no smoke. That’s one of the things I’d like to hire you to investigate.”
 Steve thought for a second. “I don’t like it when people say ergo. But we can deal with that later. Right now, I’d like to know why–no wait, let’s begin with how I would investigate the nonexistent crash of an airplane that wasn’t there.”
 “You’re getting a bit redundant.”
“You’ll have to live with it. It’s a side effect of the unease I’m feeling due to the stress of this uncommon and aberrant situation.” Steve’s voice rose to a shout. “Stop fucking around and tell me what the hell is going on!”
 “Well.” The voice on the phone paused as if choosing the next words carefully. “The jetliner did crash. At the same time, it did notcrash.”
 “OK, I’m relieved that you made that clear. Now that I understand, I’m hanging up.”
“Mr. Rowan! Wait! Just one more minute.”
Steve didn’t say anything, but he didn’t punch the END symbol, either. He really wasn’t sure why.
“There has been a Change.”
Steve blinked and looked at the phone. He put it back to his ear. “Did you just capitalize the word change?”
“Hmm? Oh, yes, I suppose I did. This particular change is a pretty big deal and certainly deserves to be capitalized.”
“I’ll be the judge of that. What do you want me to do about this capitalized concept?”
 “Would you work for me? Investigate this Change?”
 Steve’s answer was quick and automatic. “I’m an experienced freelancer. I don’t work for just anyone.”
 “Really? Not even if it was for the Good of the Nation?”
“Stop talking in capitals and, if you mean working for the government, the answer isn’t ‘no.’ The answer is ‘Hell, No.’”
"I believe those last two words were capitalized.” Steve’s head felt like it was about to explode. 
“Possibly.”
“Would it make you feel better if I hired you on a temporary freelance basis?”
Once again, the answer was swift and automatic. “What are you paying?”
 “Well, I think I have unlimited funds...”
 “Then you’re full of crap. I’m hanging up now.”
The phone began to vibrate in his hand and the voice became agitated. “Mr. Rowan. Don’t do that! It has to be you. No one else observed the airplane!”
 Steve’s eyes closed and whatever it was that had woken him up came back with the feeling of a knockout punch. His face twisted up in anguish at the memory of all the people...their terror...their helpless panic. He groaned.
 “Mr. Rowan! Are you all right?”
“Not one of my better mornings.”
 “I am actually glad to hear that.” 
“Why?”
Because I’d hate to think of what it might take to cause a worse morning. What’s your daily rate?”
 “Five hundred dollars. Double over ten hours.” Steve always held out hope even though he hadn’t made over $350 a day for the pastdecade.
 “You’ve got it.”
 Steve opened his eyes. “Plus expenses?” “Expenses and the use of a car and driver."
“A car?” Steve walked over and looked out to the space in the parking lot where he’d parked his light-blue Prius. He thought it was still there, but it was difficult to tell because an enormous jet engine was smoking sullenly on top of the entire row of parked cars.
 He could make out some twisted pieces of light-blue plastic in his usual parking space.
 “I guess I will need a car.”
 “Good. Then we are in business, right?” “I guess so."
“Good. I’ve got some things to do right now, but I’d appreciate it if you could begin immediately.”
Steve slowly turned around and looked at his apartment. His clothes looked as though a knife-wielding fashion critic had attacked them. He touched his laptop and it rolled away, revealing fluttering bits of paper that he deduced must be his stack of notebooks. One of his shoes was lying by his right foot. He picked it up and slowly poured broken glass out onto the floor. “I’m going to need to be paid up front, I think.”
 “Not a problem. Just answer the door.” 
There was the synthetic clicking sound that cell phones made to indicate the end of a call.
 “Answer the–”
 There was a firm knock on his door.


For More Information:
The Day of the Dragonking is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreadsNetGalley
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Meet the Author


Terry - Edward Irving


Edward Irving was a respectable television journalist for 40 years in Washington D.C. Any shred of respectability has been destroyed by "The Day of the Dragonking." He is waiting for the committee to call and demand his 4 Emmys back at any time.

He has worked for just about every TV channel: Nightline, Wolf Blitzer, Don Imus, and Fox News Sunday - talk about culture clash! He has written 4 documentaries - mostly on Moral Courage - and the last one was particularly fun since it was about rescuing Jews to the Philippines, a decision made over poker and cigars by Manuel Quezon, Dwight Eisenhower, a private detective named Angel Zervoulakos, and brothers from a family that was the biggest importer of cigars to the USA.

Mr. Irving enjoys many things he can't do anymore: motorcycles, racing cars, hang-gliding, scuba-diving, and long vacations. The good thing is that he can put them into books. He has a very forgiving wife, two kids, two grandkids, and a LOT of old books.

For More Information: Author Website  Facebook Twitter Goodreads Goodreads - 2


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Monday, April 18, 2016

The Story Behind Journey To The Cross by Shane Cloonan

I am 14 years old. I am currently a freshman at Saint Viator High School.  I have always loved writing.  I was in the 6th grade and our assignment was to tell the story of the birth of Christ through another perspective.  I chose to write the story through the eyes of a donkey, because that was what carried Mary to Bethlehem.  After the paper was turned in, my parents encouraged me to take the story all the way to crucifixion because everyone loved it.  At the time we had 2 Sicilian donkeys, also known as the Jesus donkeys.  They had a distinctive cross on their backs that went from shoulder to shoulder and all the way down their spine. The legend of the donkey is that after Calgary the shadow of the cross shone on the donkey’s back and forever left its mark. A lot of people I know didn’t realize there is a cross on the donkeys back, so while telling my story of birth through crucifixion I incorporated the legend of the “Jesus donkey”.


Inside the Book:





Title: Journey to the Cross
Author: Shane Cloonan
Publisher: State Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Pages: 35
Genre: Children's Christian Fiction


Book Description: 

This is the story of the Jesus donkey, a fictional tale that takes readers on a journey from our Lord's birth to his ultimate crucifixion. Though written and illustrated for young readers, this book is perfect for people of all ages who want a fresh, youthful perspective on the life of Jesus. The book's message is imbued in the strength and simplicity of hearts that are linked to other hearts by Jesus. Journey to the Cross follows the light of hope that first appeared on that special night in Bethlehem.


For More Information:
Journey to the Cross is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble


Meet the Author




Shane Cloonan is a resident of Elgin, Illinois and a high school freshman. This book, his first, started out as a grade school writing project. Shane is an avid outdoorsman. He also is an accomplished woodcarver. Shane took third place in his age group and category two years ago at the Ward World Championships Wildfowl Carving Competition in Maryland, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the International Woodcarvers Congress competition in Iowa.

You can visit Shane’s website at www.shanecloonan.com