Category Archives: Books

Day 4 of the Concordant Vibrancy 4 Book Tour: Beem Weeks!

Today is Day 5 of the Concordant Vibrancy 5 book tour. I am hosting me, myself, and I today. . . It’s always a party when those three show up! 

(1) What prompted you to be a part of the Concordant Vibrancy concept?

The thing that prompted me to participate in the Concordant Vibrancy concept was an invitation to do so. That’s the sort of proposal one just doesn’t turn down. To be asked to contribute to such a wonderful project is a high honor. Having my name and my work published alongside this group of skilled writers is an incredibly humbling experience. There’s also a challenge involved: Here’s a theme, now write a short story that encompasses this theme and brings it to life. Challenge accepted!

 

(2) Which Concordant Vibrancy books are you featured in?

I have been blessed to be part of four of the five anthologies. These include CV 2: Vitality, CV 3: Lustrate, CV 4: Inferno, and this latest edition, CV 5: Extancy. Each volume poses a theme and a question for the author to ponder while crafting a story around that theme.

(3) Why did you choose a certain attribute as your answer to CV5’s theme question?

I chose the attribute of adaptation to answer the theme question—What intangible elixir is paramount to one’s survival?—because those who learn to adapt will be those who survive. And survival doesn’t always equal success or a happy ending. Life isn’t outlined for us. It doesn’t fit into the pages of a well-crafted novel. Humans are often presented with unforeseen events that change our world, ruin our plans, and re-write the roadmap we’ve plotted for ourselves. These various themes postured in each of the Concordant Vibrancy editions speak to the human soul and to the human struggle for life. To adapt is to survive.

About the Author

Beem Weeks is an author, editor, blogger, podcast host, and audio/video producer. He has written many short stories, essays, poems, and the historical fiction/coming of age novel entitled Jazz Baby. Beem has also released Slivers of Life: A Collection of Short Stories and Strange Hwy: Short Stories, as well as the novella The Thing About Kevin. He is a lifelong native of Michigan, USA. Beem is currently working on two novels and several short stories.

Social Media

TWITTER

WEBSITE

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Day 1 of the Concordant Vibrancy 5 Book Tour.

Greetings everyone! Welcome to the Concordant Vibrancy book tour. Before we dive into the wonderful answers and writings from our participants with the final installment Extancy, it is important that the origins of this collection are discussed.

 

The birth of Concordant Vibrancy took place many years ago.
During that time, All Authors was focused on the advocacy of all authors with the purpose of reaching all readers. We had expanded into many subsidiaries, two of which were All Authors Magazine and All Authors Publishing House. We had a handful of writers under our belt. Also, there were people who took part in the magazine, providing information, entertainment, and support.
Yes, the aspirations of All Authors were expansive and innovative. However, the funding we possessed was minimal.
With that said, we wanted to find a way to reward the participants of the Magazine and the Publishing House in lieu of monetary compensation.
After much thought, it was decided that those individuals would have the opportunity to be featured in a yearly publication, hosted by All Authors.
The 1st book of the Concordant Vibrancy collection Unity was released in January 2015. The 2nd and 3rd books, Vitality and Lustrate, were released in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
In late 2017, All Authors opted to go on hiatus for the purpose of relaxation, rejuvenation, and re-imagination.
What resulted from these three “R” was the redefinition of our organization’s existentialism, the luminosity of our expansiveness, and the degrees of transcendence that no longer was in alignment with the original credo of everyday inclusiveness.
Although smaller in design, yet more proficient, All Authors still believed that Concordant Vibrancy was adaptable to both our origins and our rebirth. It was only fitting that the 4th book Inferno hit shelves in January 2020.
It is with joy and a heavy heart that Concordant Vibrancy has reached completion with this upcoming release. However, please check out our brand new website with all the details of this fantastic work.

Layers: A Collection of Short Stories by Zuzanne Belec! Something for Every Reader!

Blurb: 

Layers is a debut collection of imaginative short stories celebrating life and the human spirit despite the ever-present spectre of melancholy in our lives today. With their distinctive blend of wit and humour, they light up any underlying darkness.

From the Americas to India, from Africa to Europe, and through a range of genres, voices and styles, layers are unraveled, revealing the textures and contrasts of old and new in the environments and cultures of today’s fast-paced world. With vivid descriptions, we are drawn into enchanting worlds with characters that leap off the page, leaving the reader lingering long after the pages have been read.

  • In The Christmas Charge: Instead of enjoying their Christmas preparing eggnog cream pie and sipping sherry by the fireside, three batty grannies go on an African safari. At this stage of wisdom in their lives, nothing can go wrong. Right?

 

  • In Paths Taken: When her grandmother ‘kills’ a man on a busy town square, Hecate is forced to face her worst fears and use her own unsettling powers to help her. But where will these new paths take her?

 

  • In White Noise: All Earl needs to do is hand his work over to his successor. But is it that easy to let go? And where does one hide from one’s inner noise when things go wrong?

 

  • In The Old Man and the Donkey: Deep in northern Portugal, an old man and his donkey go about their lonely routine. When an unexpected visitor shows up, everyone is given a new chance of happiness. But have they all been stubbornly avoiding it for too long?

 

  • In The Arctic Haze: Since he was little, bad luck has stuck to George’s soles like clingy dog mess. Some of us are luckier. Or are we really?

 

  • In Penny’s Purple Robot: A loving father exceeds himself to make his daughter happy after her mother passes away. But can he force himself to face a brutal truth?

 

  • In Mothers: Deep in Africa, a desperate mother accepts her own fate, but refuses to face an even harsher reality. Mothers will do anything for their young. And things may not be as they seem.

 

  • In Yeehaw: Running from their regular lives, Sam and Patsy end up in an artificial town – Yeehaw Theme Park. Will they find their true selves in this synthetic world?

If you like a minimalist and dark, yet humorous look at the contrasts we face in the world today, you will enjoy this collection of mixed-genre stories.

Buy now to enter into these worlds!

 

My Review: 

Rating: ★★★★★

Layers: A Collection of Short Stories offers readers a buffet of tales from which to choose. Author Zuzanne Belec has crafted stories filled with originality, intrigue, suspense, and life. Her characters arrive fully formed and breathing, alive with personality that radiates throughout these pages.

Each story is a look inside lives that are both unlike our own and yet very much alike. Though some stories may read slower than others, they are each worthy of a reading.

From the opening story to the final one, it becomes clear that Belec writes from the heart. She has the talent to weave emotion into her work, allowing readers to become invested in the characters and the plot. Among my favorites are The Christmas Charge, and the inventive Paths Taken.

If you enjoy short fiction, there is something here for every taste. This is a fine collection.

 

About the Author: 

Zuzanne is a writer, poet and translator who now lives in the heart of Europe, after being lucky enough to spend her first thirty years absorbing the contrasting textures of Africa.

After she quit the rat race, she spent fifteen years as a translator before discovering the world of writing. This discovery, and the encouragement from her daughters, partner and friends, led to her decision to delve even deeper into writing. She then grew a long grey beard and became a hermit, studying the craft and immersing herself into this world that is magic.
About the time when her beard reached ankle-length, she knew she was on the right path when three of her stories were published in Canadian literary magazines.

This debut collection, Layers, is the result of this passion. And it is only the beginning …

A Few Words About “Finding Myself Again” by Verwayne Greenhoe

Blurb:

A Lonely Man Finds Love Again

After forty-seven years of a great relationship, courtship, and marriage, the author found himself alone. His wife had struggled with a rough fight with dementia. Suddenly, she took a sudden and unexpected turn for the worse, leaving him alone for the first time in his adult life. He was sixty-four at the time but felt more like he was forty physically and ninety-five emotionally.

For over a year, he had tried to go forward with his life, but when he was alone at night, his heart’s emptiness reminded him that he needed someone to fill the ache inside him.

Loneliness is a killer, and he was dying from grief. He was dying inside because he had never been alone in his life. He told himself that he would be alright, but he wasn’t and was fading fast.

Then he found Heather. They were two souls drifting in a sea of loneliness and grief that found one another amid a building storm. Is she the one that can pull him out of an escalating depression?

We’ll see.

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

Finding Myself Again by Verwayne Greenhoe is part memoir, part love story, and a huge helping of healing. The author shares the story of losing his wife to the ravages of dementia, a disease that takes loved ones long before they actually leave this world.

Greenhoe gives readers an insider’s view of, not just that dreaded disease, but also of a love story shared between a husband and wife. There’s real heartache on these pages when the time comes that he loses the love of his life. But then something wonderful happens. The grieving husband finds love again—without even looking for it. When one door closes, God opens a window.

This is an uplifting story that will certainly bring hope to those who have lost their own loved ones while finding themselves still very much alive and alone. This one will stay with me for a long time.

About the Author:

Born and raised on a small dairy farm in west-central Michigan, I learned about life and death at an early age. I was lucky enough to have a loving, caring Father who taught me about some of the more intricate ‘ins and outs’ of living every day.

I started writing simple stories at age six in about 1959 and have been at it ever since. As a boy, no one ever really taught me to read, I just could. I used that gift to find a world I might not have been able to experience for another decade or more. I later became a medic, worked in a psych ward of a prison and spent many years working in Emergency Rooms as an aide and then a nurse.

I just moved to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (da UP!) and am getting settled back into a steady writing habit. I have a flurry of books I will be releasing every month to six weeks. The subject genre runs the gamut from inspirational to romance to a serial killer story. The move to a more solitude in the UP surrounding allows me to write when I want to write.

I’ve written about my experiences growing up on the farm and my father. I have several stories about the things I saw and experienced in the emergency field, both in and out of the ER. I’ll admit that my life story is weird, but I prefer to think of it as an alternate reality in which I am the pioneer and flag planter. I’m crazy, but I suspect most of my readers have figured that out.

I have sixteen, soon to be twenty audio books out. You can find them over on Audible or on Amazon under my listing for stories and books. I try to add a novella of 16,000 to 22,000 words every month, and at least two to three 40,000+ word novel every year.

Thanks for reading!

Two Friends, Too Old by Robert Scott is on Kindle Countdown! @robbiehscottjr #FIGAuthors

Author Robert Scott is offering his novel Two Friends, Too Old on Kindle Countdown for just .99 beginning July 4 and running until July 6. It goes up to $1.99 after! Grab your copy before it’s too late!

Two Friends, Too Old

What would you do if you saw your best friend for 60 years slipping over the edge into mental oblivion? You would do anything to help him, right? Frank and Clay have been friends since the first day of first grade. Now both in their mid-sixties and retired, Frank is looking forward to spending a lot of quality time hanging out with his lifelong friend. But all that is threatened when Frank sees Clay going around the bend.

Clay denies he has a problem and rejects Frank’s initial suggestions for help. But when Frank stumbles upon a drug that might help, he renews his efforts to help his buddy and he talks Clay into taking the drug. That works great, for a while. But Frank couldn’t quite bring himself to tell Clay the entire truth about the drug, and that deception has tragic consequences, not only for Clay but also for Frank.

My Review

Rating: ★★★★★

Frank is a man in the golden years of his life. But just when he thinks it’s time to settle into an easy routine of family and old friends, life throws a haymaker that sends the retired man to the canvas. It begins with finding friend Clay beating his own dog. This is only the beginning of unprovoked outbursts of violence that are so out of character for this old friend. Dementia has crept in and taken Clay away, replacing him with someone who just can’t be trusted around Frank, Frank’s wife Lucille, and others who had come to know the once gentle man.

A farmer named Will is coping with tragedy of his own, nursing his terminally-ill wife when he crosses paths with Clay in the midst of another dementia-induced outburst. This is a look at the dark side of aging, the side most people choose not to examine. But this is reality. We all grow old and eventually die. Sometimes it’s the physical self that fails, leaving a once healthy person bound to others for help. That’s what we do, we take care of those we love. But what happens when it’s the mental decline that strikes a person down with age? Violence is sometimes a symptom. And the loss of memories only twists the knife deeper. This book is for anybody who loves a well-written story. But it’s especially for those going through their own journey with a loved one caught by aging. I highly recommend this story.

Get your copy today!

Until Death Do Us Unite: Short Story by @FizaPathan – A Review

Review

Rating: ★★★★★

I have become a fan of author Fiza Pathan’s work over the past year or so. This is a writer skilled in the art of telling a great story. Whether it be her autobiographical essays, or one of her many short stories, Miss Pathan knows how to hold the readers attention.  She accomplishes this with her recent short story entitled Until Death Do Us Unite.

This quick read pulls the reader into the tale of ancient Indian customs, India under British rule, and true love finding its place in the world. After the death of the revered Thakur Ram Singh, both of the man’s living wives are sentenced to die atop his burning funeral pyre—even though both women are still very much alive. While the older of the two wives views this as an honor, the horror of death by immolation doesn’t sit well with the younger wife, who is just sixteen years old.

As the flames begin to claim its victims, the younger wife struggles to break free of this death sentence. The events play out in front of a small group of British men, one of whom is in training to become a Catholic priest. It is this man, Jack White, who does what is unthinkable in ancient Indian culture—he breaks rank with his group and seeks to save this poor soul from a painful end.

I won’t tell you whether or not he is successful. You’ll have to read the story for yourself. What I will say is, grab a copy of this story today. Pathan is a talented as any writer in the market today.

Blurb

In a village somewhere in the Thar desert, in mid-nineteenth century India, the revered Thakur Ram Singh has just died. He will be laid to rest according to traditional Hindu rites. But will he be the only one who will be cremated on the funeral pyre that day?

Meanwhile, a Church dignitary and a band of British soldiers from the nearby cantonment casually observe the proceedings as they unfold—until they are joined by a young, spirited seminarian. His name is Brother Jack and he has chosen to interfere. His spontaneous action will result in certain death, a revolt against the Crown, or a major change in the course of his life.

About Author

Fiza Pathan has a bachelor’s degree in arts from the University of Mumbai, where she majored in history and sociology with a first class. She also has a bachelor’s degree in education, again with a first class, her special subjects being English and history.

Fiza has written eleven award-winning books and a short story, “Flesh of Flesh,” which reflect her interest in furthering the cause of education and in championing social issues. In over seventy literary competitions, she has placed either as winner or finalist, chief among them being: 2018 DBW Awards; Killer Nashville 2018 Silver Falchion Award; 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards; 2018 BookViral Millennium Book Awards; Readers’ Favorite Book Awards; Reader Views Literary Awards; Eric Hoffer Book Award; Foreword Reviews Indie Fab Book Awards; Mom’s Choice Awards; Literary Classics Book Awards; and Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards. She lives with her maternal family, and writes novels and short stories in most genres. You may follow her on Twitter @FizaPathan and visit her blog HERE.

Operation Counterpunch by Marc Marlow is Available for Pre-Order Now!

North Korea will be the biggest challenge to your presidency, warned the outgoing commander-in-chief; but to imprisoned journalist Geon Jae-sun, surviving each day in the prison camp proves the greatest challenge of his life. Protecting beautiful young prisoner Ji-su has grown increasingly difficult, too, for this slight man, otherwise powerless but for his prowess at deceiving their captors.

Navy SEAL Andrew Gunnar Jackson is tasked by the president himself with gathering intel from the hermit kingdom. It’s a dangerous gamble where capture means summary execution—if he’s lucky—or death the slow way in a North Korean prison re-education camp. Information is the least of his concerns, though, as the president agrees he can leverage this mission to satisfy a few goals of his own.

How far will each man go to fend off the cruel machinations of a ruthless dictator? And will that be enough for either to survive?

 

My Review of SCENES OF A RECLUSIVE WRITER & READER OF MUMBAI

Rating: ★★★★★

“I am a recluse and I love books more than I love people.” – It’s a line from the author herself. And she means it, too. In Scenes of a Reclusive Writer & Reader of Mumbai, author Fiza Pathan opens the door and allows readers just a glimpse inside of her life. These essays introduce us to her world, her family, her many loves. Her loves being books and characters, of course.

I won’t say Pathan has had a difficult life, though it couldn’t have been easy, either. Her father rejected her based solely on the fact that he didn’t want a daughter. But it is through this rejection that the author is shaped into the person she is today. See, while the father may have been absent, her mother, grandmother, and uncles were very much present. As were those who worked in the libraries of Mumbai. These are the rich cast of lives that aided Pathan during her childhood and beyond. One can fully appreciate her family simply by reading these essays. Her words come from her heart–which is what makes this collection so wonderful.

Pathan’s love for the written word, for storytelling, began with Archie and Jughead, and carries on through Dracula, Bollywood, and the classics. Social issues rank high on her list of priorities, often showing up within her writing, whether it’s essays, short stories, or novels.

As a writer, Fiza Pathan skillfully weaves her words into beautiful tapestries that tell tales in vivid colors and textures. Though her culture is different from my own, I am easily transported into her world, able to feel what she wants readers to feel. This is one trip I truly enjoyed taking.

Welcome to Day 4 of the Fresh Ink Group Authors’ Blog Tour! @FreshInkGroup

 

Welcome to Day 4 of the Fresh Ink Group Authors’ Blog Tour with author Mark Allen North. Comment on his post here or at Contest@FreshInkGroup.com to enter for one randomly awarded free book trailer or one of seven (7) daily free books. Thanks for hosting, and thanks for visiting. Be sure to subscribe!

About Mark Allen North

Michigan native Mark Allen North is a retired aerospace engineer, industrialist, and educator who has published many technical and academic articles, primarily in the field of human-factors design. Now he is a novelist and writer of short stories and personal-experience essays.  He writes illustrated children’s books such as A Water Journey and his memoir of short essays is titled Time Past, Time Present. He is a longtime student of Native American spirituality, which led him to pen his first three novels, The Lady Trilogy.

 

Mark’s Post: a Mock Interview with Leigh of The Lady Trilogy

 

Interviewer: Leigh, how did you become involved with the native tribes of Alaska? Aren’t you a grad student of the natural sciences at The University of Michigan?

Leigh: True, but as I studied the biological diversity of the northern climes, Alaska stood out as a perfect resource, so I was authorized to conduct a ‘field study.’ Little did I know I’d be so involved romantically with the local population of pilots and the native Indian population. That’s an understatement, yep—not only ‘involved,’ but marrying the local Tlingit tribe’s chief, Big Bear, and adopting two of the tribe’s children needing a home. Yep, ‘hook, line, and sinker.’ After years of my living with the tribe and working with the local DNR, they even established an institute in my name with a program affiliated at the U of M for sustainability studies of Alaska’s natural resources. I may never return to the Lower 48…wait, not sure ’bout that, we’ll see.

Interviewer: Isn’t that a major life-changing decision?

Yep, but what the heck, I’m in love with Alaska, the animals, the natives; and Alaska now ‘fits in’ with my lifestyle choices at my age. No, I’m not saying how old I am, but I’ll soon be automatically on the AARP mailing list.

Interviewer: Are you planning to publish again?

Can’t say, but one thing is true: my adopted daughter, Raven Maiden, is writing a story about her experiences in the Tlingit tribe, and will be releasing the manuscript for my review in 2020!

Mark’s Books: The Lady Trilogy

Leigh West travels to Alaska’s majestic and mysterious Tongass National Forest in search of self-discovery and harmony with nature. In her journal, she chronicles all she learns from the cunning wolves, belligerent brown bears, and native Tlingit tribesmen. She marries one, adopts two, fights fire with vigor, and promotes environmental concerns all in the transforming seasons of the region’s glorious landscape. It is through Native American spirituality that she sparks new passion within herself, a new appreciation for the physical world, and a life filled with love.

 

Mark’s Social Media

Twitter: @MarkAllenNorth1

Contact: MarkAllenNorth@FreshInkGroup.com­­­

 

Mark’s Books

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Rakuten Kobo

To follow along with the rest of this tour, please drop in on the tour page.
 
If you’d like to take your book or books on a virtual blog tour, please visit us at 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com and click on the  VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR tab.
 
Thank you for supporting this tour and also the blogger of this post!

 

 

 

Look Who’s Standing in the Spotlight! It’s Forrest Stepnowski!

Hello readers! Today I am excited to welcome Rave Reviews Book Club’s February Spotlight Author to The Indie Spot. Take it away, Forrest. . .

 

Writer’s Q&A

What inspired you to write and become published?

Answer:  Many people have heard me say I like to represent people who are in the “land of misfit toys.” What do I mean by this? When I use the analogy, I am talking about people who do not fit inside the heteronormative, privileged society. Some question if this world still exists. If you look at current politics in the United States, you can see these examples fully. I represent the different; LGBTQ, people of color, the poor, etc. We are all human, however, there are many who are privileged who tend to focus on their own “special needs” and forget to represent all people.

“We the people” does not mean you pick and choose who get civil liberties, or cutbacks in taxes. It means all people, no matter race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or identity. I may be lost in a utopian point of view, but I believe we can care help each other.  As far as why I pursued publishing? Was it to become a world-famous author that would be a NY Times best seller? No, I never imagined my work would elevate to such levels. Not that I would be opposed to it, however, my goal has always been to inspire others to find their voice, to make the world a better place, and to show others they are not alone. I have survived more than most people, so I have been told. I truly believe literary arts help unite people and help them into a world of common ground. When we start to see similarities in each other’s eyes and hearts, we can become united, creating a world that focuses on the greater good. 

 

Excerpts from “Journey to the Rainbow’s End” by Forrest Robert Stepnowski

Human

 

I sit here in the silence, complacent, and meaningless.

Am I but a whisper of make believe, a soldier trapped in a world of turmoil and lies,

I am alone,

I walk through a shadow driven by what I believed to be my calling,

An inspirational relic lost in the memes of my successors,

 

I am lost,

 

I stare at the night sky wondering where I’ve been, trying not to dwell on the should’ves, could’ves, and would’ves,

 

Not knowing what exactly I’m doing wrong and why I walk in pensive dreams of those who may oppose me,

 

I am drowning,

 

I lay my head down trying to escape the nightmares of existence, of a world that still identifies me as the keeper of rainbows and glitter.

 

Forgetting I left my heels and tiaras at home in a closet that I thought I’ve long since escaped in distant memories,

 

a closet which many wish me to return,

 

The Journey continues,

 

I wake up and begin to laugh at the adversity being thwarted at my doorstep, for I have survived this demon before.

 

It attempts to taunt and hinder me, trying to break my will and sparkle,

 

I am my own utopia.

 

They say god doesn’t give you more than you can handle, I am broad shouldered after all,

 

Even the meek can fight the negative blood outpoured from those who say they are true friend,

 

I am humbled.

 

I am captured by rejuvenated thoughts and energy, and begin to rise and embrace new beginnings… 

 

I fly like an eagle, soaring out of the darkness and into the light,

 

For this I say… I am human.

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog: https://www.forresttakesajourney.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forrestrobertstepnowski

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/frstepnowski

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/forreststepnowski

 

Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey (Available on Kindle and Paperback)

 

AUTHOR BIO – FORREST STEPNOWSKI

 

Forrest Robert Stepnowski is an advocate, writer, social worker, and performance artist in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing poetic works and prose for most of his life. He realized how important it would be to share his work with others, who may have tread similar paths of self-hate, self-deprecation, and self-loathing, in the hopes that they find they weren’t alone. Helping others who have been deemed as “different” because of varying sexual orientations or identities to realize that they are not deviants nor are the “against human nature” has always been of grave importance to him. He wants this group of beautiful people to know they are part of a collective, on an island where being different is embraced and accepted.