Book Review: The Sixteen by Ali B.

71Fv0vKcdtL Follow Me on Pinterest There are people out there who don’t die with their bodies. Their souls live on in the bodies of others. Some good, some bad—they are soul jumpers. Nothing in Iris Brave’s world make sense anymore. Her father, Micah, is still alive—his soul survives in the body of a teenage boy. It is up to Iris and a group of soul jumpers called the Sixteen to save Micah. To do so Iris must take on the unscrupulous leaders of the Council. Can she save her father? Will she survive?


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The Sixteen is the second book in the Soul Jumpers Series by Ali B., and though I’m always hesitant to start a book series out of order, this book definitely stands on its own. It’s also suitable for Young Adults and Tweens. At some points I would have liked to have read the first book, but only because of the background of the story, so I could have known more as to what led up to the current events.

Iris is a Soul Jumper, as is her father. Her father’s been kidnapped, and it becomes up to Iris to save him along with a few new friends that get caught up in the Council’s evil crusade. I won’t be giving any spoilers, but I will say that this book had me hooked from the first paragraph.

Ali B. did such a wonderful job building her world and her characters. It was easy to get to know them even without reading the first book, and with so many twists and turns, I literally couldn’t put this book down.  Her descriptions were very vivid and I could easily visualize the scenes as if I was right there in the story with the characters.

Still thinking about this book days after being finished reading it, I am anxiously awaiting Book 3 to see what happens next, and will be purchasing Book One to get the full scope of the characters. I love the tension she builds in her writing and I never guessed the ending – it was shocking.

All I can say is that if you love YA and Tween reads, this is one series you will definitely want to get your hands on.


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Iris Brave isn’t as courageous as her name suggests. That’s about to change. Iris doesn’t take risks. Heights make her 51Mo8dNOb9L Follow Me on Pinterest dizzy and she prefers to swim in the shallow end… with nose plugs. On a summer visit to her grandpa’s farm, a mysterious stranger shadows Iris, leaving her cryptic messages. When this outsider turns out be a phantom from her family’s past, Iris sheds her timid ways to uncover the truth and protect the family she loves. Along the way Iris discovers family secrets and enigmatic figures that lead her to question everything she’s ever thought was real.


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Book Review: A Walk On The Dark Side by Corinna Underwood

41i93H6pqFL Follow Me on Pinterest Pearl Blackthorn is a novelist and investigative reporter for Darkside paranormal magazine. Armed with her digital recorder and accompanied by her friend and photographer Harry Raymond, Pearl is sent by her editor J.J Benson – affectionately known as Benny – to the four corners of Great Britain, (and sometimes further), to investigate stories of spirits and specters, demons and doppelgangers, prophecy and possession. The problem is, Pearl doesn’t believe in the supernatural; her creative imagination is tempered by a strong skepticism. She is immovable on her stand that there is always a simple, rational explanation behind every report of paranormal activity. But Pearl soon realizes that the intricacies of paranormal events are often far from simple and not always rational.

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In A Walk on the Dark Side, we follow Pearl Blackthorn and Harry Raymond on their paranormal investigations. Each case the people that hire them think they are being tormented by ghosts, demons or worse, but Pearl proves them wrong by finding the truth and the mortal criminal.
Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down. I was on the edge of my seat, guessing who or what I thought it could be and not once did I find the stories to be predictable or like ones we’ve seen before. It did put me to mind of Scooby Doo, in how the kids are always meddling and find the real criminals in the act, only because of the way the stories went, but they were great. It wasn’t childish in any way and I loved every single story.
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What I loved most was the unpredictability, and the way that Underwood tells the story really keeps you drawn in and turning one page after another. It’s been a long time since a book grabbed my attention and held it from beginning to end, and I will definitely be checking out more of Corinna Underwood’s tales. You have yourself a new fan!!!
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Book Tour & Giveaway: Medical Billing Horror Stories by Sharon Hollander

Author Bio:
Sharon Hollander is an author, entrepreneur, and a healthcare consultant in the area of practice management for over 30 years. She is a leading expert in the area of physician billing and reimbursement. Currently the President of STAT Medical Consulting, a comprehensive medical billing service in Encino, California providing billing services to physicians and surgeons in solo practice or small group practices.

Author Links -

facebook: authorsharonhollander

Twitter: @hollandersharon

Linkedin Sharonhollander

Goodreads: Sharon Hollander Medical
Billing Horror Stories

Amazon: Sharon Hollander


Book Genre: Non Fiction

Publisher: Abbott Press

Release Date: July 2013

Buy Link(s):

Book Description:18008849

Anecdotes and real case studies ripped from the headlines about what doctors did which got them into trouble either with Medicare, HIPPA, The Office of Inspector General or worse the FBI.

The case studies presented within these pages are true stories of medical professionals: Some are about providers just like you. Many doctors are just trying to navigate the maze of the medical billing process.

Many providers thought that if they only bill just 99213’s, they could stay under the radar. What they didn’t expect is that by doing this and not varying their coding appropriately, they were raising red flags about their billing practices which led to them being audited by Medicare.

With the changing rules and regulations and challenges facing healthcare, you cannot afford to miss this information.

If you submit even one claim for reimbursement this is a must read!


Case Studies of HIPAA Violations and Penalties

ER Nurse

Two emergency room nurses actually each took a photo of an x-ray of a patient that was admitted to the emergency room with “an object lodged in his rectum.” She was accused of posting it on Facebook.


A five-physician practice became the first small practice to enter into a resolution agreement that included a civil money penalty over charges that it violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy and Security Rules

The practice agreed to pay $100,000 and take corrective actions.

The HHS Office for Civil Rights launched an investigation after a complaint was filed alleging that the practice was posting surgery and appointment schedules on an Internet-based calendar that was publicly accessible.


A large university hospital in an area with many celebrity and high profile clientele failed to disclose that their employees and even doctors on their staff “Snooped” into the medical records of famous celebrity patients. One or numerous employees even sold the stories to tabloid and mainstream media. Over the course of many years of not stopping this behavior the hospital was fined over $800,000 dollars.


A radiologist interpreted a patient’s images, and sent the claim to the patient’s employer under worker’s compensation. However, that bill was sent in error, because the worker’s compensation plan wasn’t responsible for payment. The radiologist was sanctioned.

Disgruntled Employee

An employee of a large hospital was terminated for poor job performance. He spent the next few weeks accessing celebrity patients and his superior and co-workers medical records using his computer access that was never disconnected. He ended up serving 4 months jail time even though he stated he did not know that accessing Electronic Health Records was a crime.


A large urban General Hospital employee took some work home, but accidentally left 192 paper billing records—containing detailed protected health information—on the subway.

Penalties: Even though it appears to have been an accident, severe penalties have been imposed on the hospital of a $1-million fine.

Since 2009 breaches have been reported to HHS for over 19 million patients.

Penalties and fines have ranged from $2,000 dollars to the millions.

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6 Besties with Morgan Moss – A Tatted Mom’s Guide To NOT Screwing Up Your Kids Book Blast & Giveaway



6 Besties with Morgan Moss

1. Best writing wardrobe.


My best writing wardrobe is definitely yoga pants (or pajama pants), a comfy t-shirt- which is probably my husband’s, and bare feet. I’ll need a coffee mug, filled to the brim, in one hand, and after taking a few sips, I can begin writing.


2. Best Inspiration for writing.


I write what I know. If I’ve experienced it, or it’s going on in my head, that’s what my readers will read. So, for me, life is the best inspiration. I take day-to-day happenings and give them a humorous voice.


3. Best writing place.


My kitchen island is where my book was written. Sounds strange, I know, but I found that I stayed motivated while standing at my kitchen island to write. When I’m writing more casual articles or posts, I tend to sit in my favorite chair with a blanket over me.


4. Best Pick-Me-Up book.


“The Sugar Queen” by Sarah Addison Allen. I love the way her books weave everyday life with magic, and I’m definitely a happy ending to a book type of person.


5. Best secret talent.


I have this amazing ability to fall asleep during just about any type of movie- it doesn’t matter if it’s horror, action, adventure- I can sleep through it. I’ve gotten much better about it, but over the years I’ve probably only seen half of the movies I’ve sat down to watch from beginning to end. Not sure if it’s a talent, but I sure have perfected it.


6. Best experience or writing idea.


I have to say that being able to share my life with people, through my writing, is pretty amazing. I’ve lived in 2 different countries (soon to be a 3rd with our upcoming move to Japan), have two amazingly unique kids who are pretty funny themselves, have screwed up my life and picked up the pieces, rebuilding myself even stronger than before. All of these experiences are what I write about on my blog, and in my book. As I write about them, people comment on them, saying they can relate to what I’ve been through in my life. That keeps me motivated to write.




authorphotoMorganMossAuthor Bio: Morgan Moss is the creator of The Inklings of Life humor parenting blog (, which was named a Top 10 Mom Blog of 2013 by the parenting website VoiceBoks ( Many of her parenting and motherhood articles have been featured on sites such as the Huffington Post, Babble,, Mamapedia, Parent Society and She is a trained tattoo artist, and spends her free time creating mixed media art.


Author Links – The link for any or all of the following…


Blog |

Facebook |

Twitter |


Goodreads |



Book Genre: Nonfiction Parenting/ Humor Parenting

Publisher: Inklings Print

Release Date: October 17, 2013

Buy Link(s):

Book Description:frontbook



Motherhood is chaotic.
Some days are filled with unicorns and fairy dust, and some days the unicorn craps on your brand new rug and the fairies are flying around, crashing into walls. Mainstream parenting books help with the unicorn and fairy dust days, but what happens when your kid drops the f-bomb in a crowded grocery store?
That’s where “Tatted Mom’s Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids” comes into play, tackling situations in motherhood that you were definitely not warned about. Think of this book as your manual to the parenting problems that leave you throwing your hands up in the air, wondering if you are the only mom who goes through this craziness, and has you hiding in the back of your closet with a bottle of Moscato and a cheesecake (we’ve all been there).
“Tatted Mom’s Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids” includes:
~The myths that mainstream parenting books tell you, and how they don’t apply to every mother.
~How to deal with temper tantrums from toddlers to tweens.
~How to “win” the various battles you will have with your children (like the Personal Hygiene Battle and the Clothing Battle)
~Tips on dealing with picky eaters and the difficult potty trainee.
~Helping build your tween’s self esteem and creating a strong family unit.
~Motherly advice on parenting from birth until the tweenaged years (around 12 years old)
~Mom Competition, unplugging your kids, chores, peer pressure and more!
Written by an unconventional, tattooed, colorful mother whose out-of-the-box parenting tips have proven successful for many families, regardless of parenting style, “Tatted Mom’s Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids” weaves together helpful advice with humorous stories from the author’s own trials and tribulations as a mom, as well as stories from other moms and dads on their own parenting journeys.
So get the kids in bed, grab a glass of wine and something sweet from your hidden stash of goodies (we all have one of those, too), and crack open “Tatted Mom’s Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids”. Your mom-sanity will thank you.





Who am I? I’m Tatted Mom, once a tattoo artist and body piercer, now stay-at-home mom… ninja assassin by night, bad-decision maker, and mother of two beautiful kids, aged eleven (The Girl) and eight (The Ginger), whose parenting is just as colorful as the tattoos on my skin. What makes me a parenting expert? Nothing. I’m a regular mom, just like you, who looks at parenting in a way that no other mother does.

I’m very honest, very open about motherhood and its ups and downs. When you are forced to stripdown everything that you are and admit that you were a bad mother, as I was for 3 years, it pretty much paves the way for crap to never build up again, and you truly understand the value of honesty. I’ve figured out how to tackle the parenting problems that most books and websites don’t even tell you about (like how to catch a child in a lie and what to do when your child shouts out the ‘s’ word in a room full of strangers), and pass on this advice in a way that will have you shaking your head, laughing your ass off, and trying the techniques for yourself.

Are my methods the ‘end all, be all’ in the field of parenting? Not even close. These techniques are ones that have worked for my family, and for friends and family with whom I have shared these tips. I don’t claim to be ‘The Tween Whisperer’ or have every answer to every parenting question out there. What I do have is advice and helpful things to keep in mind when parenthood throws the curve balls at you. Life is an experiment, and parenting is definitely a mix-baking-soda-and-vinegar-in-the-bottom-of-a-paper-mache-volcano-and-see-what-happens type of thing. You may get a controlled, steady ooze of lava from the top that delicately covers the miniature town below while allowing its inhabitants to evacuate slowly. Or, you could get a massive explosion that takes out the town below, stains your shirt and covers the cat that was staring curiously at what you were doing. I’ve had both. The key is to perfect the techniques that do work, and fix the ones that don’t work. That’s what being a mom is all about.






Signed paperback of A Tatted Mom’s Guide To NOT Screwing Up Your Kids

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Choose The Intro To Unleashed by Emily Kimelman Audiobook (Contest & Giveaway)


Choose the Intro to Unleashed


Sydney Rye is coming to Audio and we need your help picking the narrator!

Emily Kimelman’s “Sydney Rye” series features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!


Haven’t read Sydney Rye yet? Download the first book, UNLEASHED, for free on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, or Kobo and see how she sounds in your head then vote for the best narrator!


Voting enters you to win all sorts of great prizes including Amazon gift cards, signed books, and the finished Audio book! Add to your chances of winning by joining Emily’s email list, liking her Facebook page, or telling your friends about the contest.


Here are your choices: (Please vote via Rafflecopter Below)


Prize Details


Every vote, like, share, or sign up is an entry for the “grand prizes” 

$20 Amazon or BN Gift Card

Copy of the Finished Audiobook


More about UNLEASHED:


UNLEASHED is the first book in Emily Kimelman’s best selling Sydney Rye series of mysteries.


When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller’s dog-walking business on Manhattan’s exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.




But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim–and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.




When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit–cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan’s elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.



The Rest of The Sydney Rye Series:


DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2) 

INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)

STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)

THE DEVIL’S BREATH (A Sydney Rye Novel, #5) Coming April 2014


Emily Kimelman Biography


Emily Kimelman is the author of the best selling “Sydney Rye” series of mystery novels including UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, INSATIABLE, STRINGS OF GLASS and the forthcoming THE DEVIL’S BREATH. Emily lives with her husband, Sean Gilvey, and their dog, Kinsey Millhone “Pup Detective”, on a trawler docked in the Hudson Valley during the summer. She spends her winters traveling to where ever the next Sydney Rye Novel takes place. Right now she is in Costa Rica working on Sydney Rye #6.


If you’ve read Emily’s work and liked it please contact her. She loves hearing from readers. You can reach Emily via email or on twitter @ejkimelman. Follow her on Instagram to see pictures from Emily’s latest adventures. Visit to learn more about Emily and the Sydney Rye series.
















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Interview with Connie Corcoran Wilson – Khaki = Killer Tour

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Welcome to BK Walker Books, I’m so happy I could join you today at Chicago, in your Writers’ Lair near Museum Park.

BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.

I write in the side bedroom of a two-bedroom condo in Chicago and, out my window, I can see the head of the dinosaur outside the Field Museum, the top of the Shedd Aquarium and a tiny slice of the lake.[Also, a little bit of Soldier Field. However, my daughter, a Flight Attendant for Southwest Airlines, also uses this room for a crash pad, so then I am on my laptop and see more of Grant Park and the Chicago skyline.]

BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?

The “office” in Chicago is a side (extra) bedroom. The desktop is always messy. I actually am freaked out because a centipede ran into a drawer of my desk in the basement in the Quad Cities very recently and I hate those things. I’m now afraid to use that desk for a while. My entire basement has become Book City since I have about 20 books now, ranging from one that came out in 1968 (“Training the Teacher As A Champion”) to KHAKI=KILLER this April.

BK: What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?

Diet Dr. Pepper.

BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?

I need silence. And I need to get away from the distractions of people who tempt me to go to movies or go to dinner or other fun things of that sort, which is why I have a Chicago Writer’s Lair, when I live more full-time in East Moline, Illinois, 3 and one-half hours away.

BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.

Tad McGreevy began life in a story in the first “Hellfire & Damnation” short story collection. It was originally entitled “Puffer Fish” and then became “Living in Hell.” I went back to write Tad out of the corner I had written him into, with his “affliction.” And that’s how THE COLOR OF EVIL series was born.

BK: As a writer myself, I’m always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?

I put it aside for a while and return to it later and move on to writing “short” for Yahoo or for my own blog ( I come back with fresh eyes, and that often helps. Or else I just give in and go to the movie I want to see. [I recommend "The Fault In Our Stars" right now.]

BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book…

Well, my true legal name is CONSTANCE, and I write my children’s series (The Christmas Cats) under that name, so here goes nothing:


Chaos Over Numerous Situations Tetrachromatic Advances New Catastrophes Extraordinaire.

BK: How did your writing journey begin?

I won a poetry competition in 6th grade (Archdiocese of Dubuque.) and a $50 prize. Then, the local newspaper editor (Reeves Hall) asked my dad (the local banker) if I’d like to interview adults for the newspaper (the Independence, Iowa, “Bulletin Journal & Conservative”). I was writing for pay from about age 10, therefore, so I’ve been at it for 58 years.

BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?

Sensitive.  Understanding/ unstintingly generous. Musical. Married.  Educated.  Really fun(ny).


If you want to go negative with that, you could go with: Snotty. Ugly. Mean. Messy. Egotistical. Really talkative.


But those would be my detractors and I’m sticking with the “friends” and “family” positive folks.(Screw the rest of them.)

BK: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever written about, whether it got published or not?

I have a couple of blog posts I really enjoyed doing. One was, “Don’t Tase Me, Bro’!” and one was about the Speedo swimsuit re-design and how it cut times off the Olympic swimmers’ races. Plus, I followed the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential election(s) for Yahoo with press passes. I think that the piece I did about Fred Thompson’s run,  where I got a picture that looked like a giant trout was eating his head was pretty unique. (Google it). And attending the Ron Paul Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the Libertarians was definitely crazy. Onstage were Jessie Ventura (“My governor can beat up your governor.”) who was talking about running for president; Tucker Carlson in a bow tie; Ron Paul looking really old; and Barry Goldwater, Jr.,. who looked exactly like his famous right-wing father. It was truly a surreal experience. Did I mention I was surrounded by Germans, for reasons I have never understood? They kept trying to explain Libertarianism to me in heavily accented English, while Ron Paul lobbied for the legalization of hemp and a return to the gold standard. An interesting assignment. And so was following Rudy Giuiliani around in Florida while he stood on a box and handed out autographed baseballs, which seemed to be his entire campaign strategy, since he never left Florida. And the Newtster. Don’t get me started on Newt Gingrich! What a hoot! Most people probably don’t know that his biological father more-or-less gave him up (to his stepfather) in exchange for not having to pay child support or that he eliminated the one organization in D.C. that was designed to educate Congressmen about issues they might have to vote on about which they know nothing, like the Internet or pipelines. (Hence the question from a Congressman during SOPA hearings about regulating the Internet: “What is the difference between a pager and the Internet?”) On my way in to a John Edwards rally at the Putnam Museum, I slipped on the ice and fell under his bus, which was also random. When I got inside, I posed with him and said, “Act like you’re having fun.” (Ahem). That night, I covered Hillary, Obama and Edwards, all in town at the same time in Davenport, Iowa. [Very hard to get to 3 places simultaneously, but, somehow, I managed.] Except for falling under the bus. Which, later, Edwards himself did, as we now know.

BK: Tell us one thing you’ve done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.

I founded 3 successful businesses from scratch and served as CEO of them from 1986 through today (Sylvan Learning Center #3301; Prometric Testing Center; Quad Cities’ Learning, Inc.).


I once accidentally locked myself in a bank vault while filing for the Security State Bank in my hometown (my dad’s bank).


I once won an Adversity in Business Award from the Bettendorf (IA) Chamber of Commerce, beating out a man who had a freezer full of meat when his power failed. (My accomplishment was to deliver a child at the height of our busy season my first year in business, 1987, which was definitely poor planning on my part.)


I set out to write “one of everything” except erotica and romance novels, and have very nearly succeeded: 1 scholarly book (1989); 3 Ghostly Tales of Route 66 stories collected along the route; 1 sci fi novel (Out of Time); 1 nonfiction book about movies from my 44 years of reviewing same, entitled “It Came from the 70s;” 2 humor books; 3 thriller/horror novels (The Color of Evil series); 3 books in an illustrated children’s series ( and 3 short story collections organized around Dante’s “Inferno” and the crimes or sins punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell.


I was a cheerleader with the World’s Fifth Best-Selling (then) Living Author (Janet Harradon Daily), with whom I went to high school and co-edited the school yearbook. Janet was a year ahead of me in school. She died, tragically, in December after routine heart surgery. She also went bald in high school, but details like that are probably the weird sorts of things that only I would remember. Both were tragic events, but the one in December was the pits. Especially for Janet (and her fans.)


I was named a Point of Light for having the most active Reading Scholarship program in the country for poor kids by sitting First Lady Barbara Bush, who awarded me that, personally, in 1993. My company promptly co-opted the film for their Miami Convention and lost it.


My Sylvan was named Best Business of the Year in 1993, also by the Chamber in Bettendorf. [It eventually made its way into the top 3% nationwide.]


Or they might be interested to know that I have interviewed a lot of  famous people. If they were to go to my Pinterest board in the name Connie Corcoran Wilson, they would see some of them, usually in a picture with me. Some are politicians; some are actors, since I cover film festivals for Yahoo a lot. (I interviewed Joe Biden’s granddaughter, Finnegan, in Iowa). Some are writers (Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, Joe Hill, Anne Perry, Valerie Plame, David Morrell, r. Barri Flowers, William F. Nolan, Frederik Pohl, Alan Zadoff, et. al.)


They might find it interesting that I have 2 children born almost 20 years apart (same husband), ages 26 and 45.


How about the fact that I once toured Hastings Book Stores in prison towns in the Southwest, dragging an accordion along with me and playing the theme song “Both Sides Now” for the humor book I wrote? (I play accordion, piano, oboe and drums). Despite this illustrious career in music, including 22 years of classical piano training and playing “Rhapsody in Blue” with a Symphony Orchestra once, I was kicked out of Band Camp at the University of Iowa for clmbing out of a first floor dorm window with 2 accomplices and violating the 9 p.m. curfew. I’m now officially in the directory of the Chicago Speakers’ Bureau, so, if you are reading this in Chicago, heads up! I can talk about any of these things, or the time(s) I’ve talked about Route 66 at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis. Or the Ghost Tour at Fort El Reno, which they put on especially for me in November, since they were done for the season.


Or, there is the distinct possibility that readers would not know that I have over a million and a half hits on Yahoo as Content Producer of the Year 2009, have consistently been in the Top 500 Contributors for several consecutive years, and that I have now won the Silver Feather Award from the Chicago chapter of Illinois Women’s Press Association in both 2012 and 2014. (I didn’t enter in 2013 because I was in Australia, where I had a book signing at the Galaxy Book Store on York Street.)


Also, that I served on panels at the Hawaii Writers’ Conference the year Jane Smiley was the keynote speaker. (over Labor Day) and once tried to sneak off with a life-sized cut-out of Barack Obama from the DNC convention in Denver in 2008. (I was detained curbside.)

Last year, I was a judge for the CWA (Chicago Writers’ Association) Best Book of the Year because I was not then a member, but now I am. I also was a finalist to go write in Ernest Hemingway’s attic in Oak Park, which I find an interesting bit of trivia.[ I was not selected, but was encouraged to apply again].

When I was 19, I went to Europe and kicked around by myself for months, after spending a brief amount of time as a People to People exchange student in England (Birmingham; Weston Super Mare; and Chislehurst in Kent), and my daughter spent a full year kicking around in Australia, year before last.

And, speaking of trivia, I can be found playing trivia in Pub Quiz on AOL at odd times, usually losing or placing 3rd, at best. I used to run movie quizzes, but nobody but me liked them.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?

“Hellfire & Damnation III” (short story collection) is about ready to roll. It’s going off to the editor for more proofing tonight. Vincent Chong will do the cover. Can’t give you an exact date, but soon.

You can read more about this series at

Also, my children’s illustrated collection should be ready (for Christmas) by July, says the illustrator, with Book #3 entitled “The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats” and following on the heels of “The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats.” ( It rhymes and the cats (who wear silly hats) encourage young children to be helpful and kind. They go around helping other animals and my twin 5-year-old granddaughters help me choose the animals and the theme(s). Fun for the whole family—although we had a split vote on bats, since Ava wanted pigs and I wanted deer.


And, of course, I shall be starting in on earnest on Book #4 in THE COLOR OF EVIL series. I hope your readers are getting caught up on that series and will follow H&D, as well. (I love short stories!)


I thank them all, in advance and I thank you for the difficult questions, which I am answering in the wee hours of the morning.

This or That…


Coke or Pepsi? Neither. Diet Dr. Pepper and white zinfandel. Pepsi when I was in high school.

Night Owl or Early Bird? Definitely a night owl. I’m writing this at 4:48 a.m.

Fantasy or Mystery? Mystery.

Pen/Paper or Computer? Surely you jest? I type 250 error-free wpm. I’d never get  4 books a year done if I wrote with pen and paper. I stared writing on a WANG PC in 1985 about the time Al Gore invented the Internet. (I just love saying “WANG PC”).

Pizza or Burger? Pizza. I like Happy Joe’s BBQ pizza, but I doubt if they have Happy Joe’s where you live, since it’s kind of a local thing using REAL ingredients. (I once interviewed Happy Joe Whitty for “The Iowan” magazine and he is a true humanitarian.)

Rock or Country? Straight ahead Rock and Roll. I just saw Adam Lambert with Queen on June 19, Bruno Mars on June 20 and we are going to see Dave Matthews Band on July 5th. I’ve seen the Rolling Stones about 15 times (most recently on May 28 of last year) and saw the Beatles, “live” from the 7th row at the San Francisco Cow Palace in 1965 while a student at Berkeley. (Drove up on my boyfriend’s motorcycle, cutting class to do so.) I also saw Pink Floyd before they had a contract (in Birmingham, England), have seen Billy Joel and Elton John about 5 times each. James Brown twice. B. B. King a couple of times. Bette Midler about that many times. Just saw Philip Phillips with John Mayer at Tinley Park. However, my daughter was once employed by the Taylor Swift 13M organization, as she is a Music Business graduate of Belmont in Nashville, TN.

Also, since I only live about a block from Lollapalooza, I generally have a balcony listening party for same. I can hear the entire concert, although Skrillex might not be properly appreciated from a block away.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate, unless it’s soft serve.

Beach or Mountains? Beach. Three time shares (Cancun, Mazatlan, loved Cabo last January.) Going to spend a month in Cancun Jan. 15-Feb. 15. Have been going there at Easter for 20 years and drifted around in the Bahamas/Caribbean area before coming to decide on Cancun (after 5 trips to Hawaii.)

Thank you so much for having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to know more about you and your book, and wish you the best of success!



Publisher:  Quad Cities’ Press (April 22, 2014)

Category: YA, Psychological Paranormal Thriller
ISBN: 13: 978-0982444825
Tour Dates: June 23-August 1, 2014
Available in: Print and E-book, 235 Pages

The Color of Evil series first two books (The Color of Evil and Red Is for Rage) were named:  PageTurner of 2013 by Shelf Unbound magazine; Best Indie Cover of 2013;  NABE Pinnacle Thriller winner;  E-Lit Gold Medal winner (Horror); and Connie is a 2 time Silver Feather (IWPA) winner (2012, 2014, Chicago chapter).

The Color of Evil series describes the adventures of the young man (Tad McGreevy) with the power to detect auras around others (Tetrachromatic Super Vision) and to relive the crimes of those with “the color of evil” in his dreams.

Khaki = Killer, the third book in the Color of Evil Series, picks up where Red Is for Rage left off, answering the question, “What happened to Melody (Harris) Carpenter?”

Readers of Red Is for Rage, [Book #2], will remember that Melody was involved in a rescheduled UNI (University of Northern Iowa) football game, cheering for the Sky High Eagles. Rushed to the hospital with injuries suffered in a fall from atop the human pyramid [formed by fellow cheerleaders Heather, Kelly, Janice, Angie, and Jenny, Melody is hospitalized and fighting for her life as Khaki = Killer opens.

The budding romance between Janice and Stevie continues to grow more serious, but Janice’s parents oppose her relationship with the son of a murderer. There are more revelations about Earl Scranton’s motives, and other romance s develop (Tad and Jenny; Charlie and Andrea).

When Heather Crompton and Kelly Carter mysteriously disappear while ice skating on the Cedar River, the tension in town ratchets to a fever pitch. The entire town is involved in the search. Retired police officer Charlie Chandler reorganizes the rag-tag team that helped find Stevie Scranton and bring him back to Cedar Falls, Iowa (Book #2).

In the background lurks Michael Clay (aka, Pogo), still searching for Tad McGreevy, still hoping to permanently silence “the boy who can see the future.”

Tensions run high and the stakes run even higher in KHAKI = KILLER, Book #3 in THE COLOR OF EVIL series.

 Praise for THE COLOR OF EVIL series:

“Wilson makes all this count and mixes the ugly and the good in ways that can turn out to be rewarding for readers…There are moments of a real gift here…deft touches…especially between Stevie (Scranton) and his girlfriend, that are quite touching and even inspired…So, I remain happy to follow this series. I am assuming this series will reach a conclusion, and I cannot wait to see how Wilson writes it.”- Andy Andrews,True Review

“Connie Corcoran Wilson weaves a deftly fine scalpel in an age where a crude blade is more the norm. Her work is a smooth, subtle hybrid mix of science fiction, thriller, and horror that realizes a unique and pointed vision in the great tradition of Phillip K. Dick and Ray Bradbury. Her voice is a wonder to behold, at once dark and somber while maintaining a glimmer of hope that shines in the hearts of her heroes, who cling to the light. Like Stephen King, nothing escapes her discerning eye, the result of which is tale after tale that bleed life onto the page, both literally and figuratively.”—Jon Land, bestselling author of the Caitlin Strong Series

“Connie Wilson is back—-She’s good! She’s DAMN good! In a world of mainly bad-to-fair writers, she stands above the crowd with plot, description , and strong character. Believe me, you’ll enjoy her latest! That’s a guarantee!…She’s a born storyteller!”—William F. Nolan, Living Legend in Dark Fantasy, “Logan’s Run,” “Logan’s World,” “Nightworlds”

“Wilson’s characters come alive on the page. Comparisons to Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Philip K. Dick aside, Wilson has spent 33 years teaching students in this age range. She knows what she is talking about.”—Gary Braver, author of “Flashback” and 8 other thrillers.

“THE COLOR OF EVIL series is old-school psychological horror, artfully blended with new-school shocks and twists. ..Bravo!” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author, multiple Bram Stoker winner

Praise for Red is For Rage (Book 2 of The Color of Evil Series):

”I didn’t find this book as scary/creepy as I did The Color of Evil. It was more eerie.  I knew that something was going to happen, I just didn’t know what or when.  Ms. Wilson introduced a number of side stories that each could have been the ‘big one’.  Again, I found myself wanting to continue reading to find out which of these stories would develop furthest.  I wasn’t able to complete the reading in one sitting, but I was back up early in the morning to finish.”-Heather Pearson, Books and Quilts

“Connie Corcoran Wilson  has become another favorite go-to storyteller. The Color of Eviland Red is for Rage, are reminiscent of  a Stephen King novel. Mr. King has a knack for making the all American small town a nest of unimaginable horror. Well, Ms. Wilson has also accomplished that in her tales.

The incredible twists and turns the author takes the reader on; the in-depth characterizations that Author Connie Corcoran Wilson employs is exceptional; the reader becomes intimate with the characters, an affectionate  bond grows, with the reader finding those characters  to root for.

Red is for Rage was a good story, disturbing in spots but this was due to the author’s skill at creating a very realistic  plot line. The story flowed smoothly, the action was steady.”-Michelle Cornwell-Jordon, Author of “Tormentin”, “Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy”, “Chrysalis”

“I have not read the first book in this series, The Color of Evil, but I had no problem picking up on what was going on in  Red is for Rage. It was suspenseful and Intriguing. After I started reading, I quickly became absorbed and anticipating what would come next . Connie does a great job of bringing it all together in one book that. I highly recommend reading .”- Heather Beldon, Saving for Six

” If you’re looking for a book full of adventure and action, then this is the one for you.  I can say that Ms. Wilson did a wonderful job with Tad, and his unique abilities, which we learn more about in this novel. I also think that she knows her characters quite well. She left me craving the next book, which says something. Especially since I tend to avoid these types of tales where there is so much darkness. But I could see that little glimmer of hope, the little bits of light through the darkness and it left me wanting more.

We also get to see a bit more of Stevie in this book which was nice since he had gone missing early in Book #1. And Michael Clay, (aka Pogo the Clown), just reinforced my hatred of clowns! He doesn’t have as big a role in this book, but he still plays a part in continuing the story line. He is a great character whom we all love to hate!

I recommend it to ages 16 and older. While it deals with some sticky situations, it does it in such a classy manner that it will suck you into the world she has created.”-CondyGirl, Recent Reads


About Connie Corcoran Wilson

Connie (Corcoran) Wilson (MS + 30) graduated from the University of Iowa and Western Illinois University, with additional study at Northern Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago. She taught writing at six Iowa/Illinois colleges and has written for five newspapers and seven blogs, including Associated Content (now owned by Yahoo) which named her its 2008 Content Producer of the Year.  She covers politics and entertainment and has over 1,000,000 “hits.”

She is a member of ITW (International Thriller Writers), where she is a writer for their online newsletter, and a member of IWPA (Illinois Women’s Press Association, Chicago chapter), which awarded her its Silver Feather Award in 2012 and 2014, MWA (Midwest Writers Association), AWP (American Writing Program) and MWC (Midwest Writing Center), which named her its Writer of the Year in 2010. She has won numerous E-Lit awards, a NABE Pinnacle award, an ALMA (American Literary Merit Award),  Lucky Cinda competition and two IWPA Silver Feather Awards (2012, 2014).

Her stories and interviews with writers like David Morrell, Joe Hill, Kurt Vonnegut, Frederik Pohl, William F. Nolan,  Anne Perry, r. Barri Flowers, Valerie Plame, Allen Zadoff and Jon Land have appeared online and in numerous journals.

Her work has won prizes from “Whim’s Place Flash Fiction,” “Writer’s Digest” (Screenplay) and she has 25 published works. Connie reviewed film and books for the Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa) for 12 years, wrote humor columns and conducted interviews for the (Moline, Illinois)  Dispatch and maintains her own blog,, while also twittering (@Connie_C_Wilson), Connie Wilson Author.

Connie was a presenter at the Spellbinders Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii over Labor Day (2012) and at Love Is Murder in Chicago (February, 2014).  She has three ongoing series:THE COLOR OF EVIL, HELLFIRE & DAMNATION (short stories organized around the crimes or sins punished at each of the levels of Hell in Dante’s Inferno) and THE CHRISTMAS CATS, which she writes for her granddaughters. (;;;;

Connie lives in East Moline, Illinois with husband Craig and cat Lucy, and in Chicago, Illinois, where her son, Scott and daughter-in-law Jessica and their five-year-old twins Elise and Ava reside. Her daughter, Stacey,  graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, and is currently in training in Dallas to become a Southwest Airlines stewardess.

Connie on Twitter:
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Connie on Pinterest:

Buy Khaki=Killer:

Amazon- Paperback
Amazon- Kindle

Red is for RageThe second book in the The Color of Evil series, Red Is For Rage will be free on Kindle on the following dates: June 26, 27, 28, 29,  and 30!








Follow the Tour: 

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus June 20 Spotlight & Giveaway
Books & Quilts June 23 Review
Room With Books June 24 Review
Let’s Talk About Books June 25 Review
Cassandra M’s Place June 26 Review & Giveaway
The News in Books June 30 Review
BK Walker Books  July 8 Interview
Like a Bump on a Blog July 10 Review & Giveaway
Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author July 14 Excerpt
Giveaways and Glitter July 18 Review
Bound 4 Escape July  21 Review
The WormholeJuly 22 Review
fuonlyknew July 23 Review
Cheryl’s Book Nook July 28 Guest Post
Paranormal Romance July 29 Review

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Book Tour & Giveaway: Northwest of Eden by Yancy Caruthers


It worked for Hemingway, so why not?

My regular job had taken me to a two-year assignment in The Bahamas. Ernest had written Old Man and the Sea while living on Bimini and I was in Nassau, but it was close enough for me. I had barely unpacked, the majority of my possessions on a ship somewhere between Houston and the Port of Nassau, but I decided it was time to stop “writing” and get down to business. I’d done a few short stories in different genres, mostly to gauge the reader’s reactions as I honed my craft. That turned out to be a distraction.

A book is a big thing, and I never realized just how big until the task lay ahead of me. I envisioned a length of about 60,000-80,000 words, and I had about half that in notes and partially finished stories. I really had no idea how to put it all together, but I knew where the story began, so I started there.

I set a word goal for myself – 1,000 words/week. I knew it would take a long time at that rate, but I’d been screwing around for six years already, so anything would be progress. It was tough to make my goal – I’d do it all on Saturday night, and sometimes I’d start the next week a few hundred words behind, but as I caught a rhythm I upped my goal to 2k. I never looked back, not even to spell check. By the time I’d been at it three months, I had a rough outline of twenty chapters. I knew where I wanted the book to go, and how I wanted to end it.

I mentioned in a previous post that writing the book hurt – a psychic pain of reliving some of the most horrible experiences of my life, of scars that were torn open again. The nightmares had returned with a vengeance, and I found myself preoccupied more often than not. I pushed through it, channeling that hurt into the story.

Somewhere along the line I figured out what the book was about. For the past six years I hadn’t had a clue.

My time in Iraq had changed me. I knew that without knowing how much, but it was coming out in the book. My notes reflected it once I put them in a logical order – I was reacting differently near the end of the tour than I did at the beginning. It was subtle at first, but the arrogant feeling of power morphed into resignation as I realized I didn’t have any, and never had.

I finished the manuscript just over six months to the day after I had begun it in earnest. I didn’t pick it up again for three weeks. During that time, the dreams went away. When I finally went back to do that first spell check, it felt like the whole thing might have been a work of fiction – someone else’s story.

My war was finally over.


Yancy Caruthers (1971- ) grew up in Alton, MO, and joined the Army Reserves at 17. He became a nurse, and worked in several areas until finding a passion in emergency medicine, which ultimately led to a job with an air ambulance company. He served in Iraq two different times, and retired from the Army as a Captain.

After this experience, he decided to leave the medical profession and pursue other endeavors. He has now lived on three continents, and is hoping to reside on at least three more. He currently lives with his family in Nassau, The Bahamas.


Author Links -



Book Genre: Memoir, Military/Medical71Y0ONAIsbL._SL1500_

Publisher: Independent (CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing)

Release Date: eBook April 2014, paperback May 2014

Buy Link(s):


Book Description: Northwest of Eden is the author’s first person account of his experience during Operation Iraqi Freedom as second-in-command of an Army emergency department and leader of an air transport team. The varied cast of characters provides top-notch medical care to service members in harsh conditions, while wielding the darkest humor against each other just to stay sane. Most of the time they succeeded…


When it finally came time to roll the bad guy over and look at his back, we found the wound that should have killed him.  A bullet had entered over his right shoulder blade, then taken an unexpected right turn and followed the surface of the bone.  It had skipped out without entering his chest, but had taken a fist-sized chunk of meat along with it.  The hole had been packed with a bandage roll, but it wasn’t bleeding or bubbling, so I shoved a fresh wad of gauze into it and we rolled him flat again.

I turned my attention to the room’s other occupant, a soldier who wore a dusty pale green uniform and wore the 4th Infantry patch on his shoulder.

So what exactly happened to this guy?” I asked.

The soldier exhaled sharply, and acted a bit bothered that I had asked, but he relayed the story that two guys had been spotted trying to set a roadside bomb, but had fled once they realized they had been discovered.  Troops had pursued, and had ultimately cornered the two bad guys in a tiny house in a cluster of tiny houses.

When cornered the insurgents had fired back at the patrol with AK-47s, which is generally a bad idea, but these two hadn’t read the insurgent manual.  When friendlies returned fire (which isn’t very friendly if you think about it) the two gentlemen had taken off out the back door.

One of them now wore a blindfold, and lay paralyzed and sedated in our trauma room, having been shot three times by some fairly pissed-off infantry troops.  When he awoke, he would not be allowed to see his surroundings, or get a feel for the layout of the hospital.  Those caring for him would have nametags removed, as it was a favorite habit of insurgents to pass all sorts of information using a soldier’s name, or make various allegations.

It was different, not like treating a drunk driver or sex offender back home, but trying to give good care to a man who wanted me dead, and would be certain to try if the opportunity presented itself.  It was a game changer.  I started every IV with a pistol on my hip.

I looked back at the corporal.  He stood about five four, a good six inches shorter than me, and a full foot less than the guy on the recruiting poster.  His arms were thick, but he still wore medium sized armor.  I thought mine was bad enough, but this guy had additional Kevlar panels that covered each side of his torso.  The plates alone probably added twelve more pounds.  His short rifle was slung to his chest, but his right hand stayed draped over the pistol grip, index finger straight and off the trigger, but close enough.

The conspicuous thirty round magazine protruding from the bottom was something my soldiers only carried in their pocket, assuming they remembered it at all, and only unloaded it once a month to keep the spring from going bad.

I wondered how much of this kid’s adult life had been spent in a war zone.  If I had been a bartender, I would have asked him for an ID.  He might have been nineteen or twenty.  He had dark eyes and dark hair, with fair, flawless skin.  I speculated about his heritage, as he was some amalgam of two or three different origins.  His mouth turned up slightly at one corner, in a kind of a permanent smirk.  I had worked long enough in a profession dominated by females to know what women find attractive, and this guy was it.  Had he been six feet tall, he would have had a group of nurses following him around.

What I wouldn’t have called him, however, was vibrant.  He moved his head very slowly and deliberately, and his eyes never left his prisoner.  I wasn’t sure he had even blinked.  He reminded me of a coiled snake.

I decided to try some obnoxious humor.  “Somebody need to go back and teach some marksmanship.  This guy is shot three times with only one hit center mass.”

I expected a half-hearted grin or part of a laugh.  The soldier just kept staring at his charge.  His look softened a little, and his reply was deferential.

I don’t know what their problem was, sir,” he said, shrugging one shoulder.  “I killed the other guy.  They didn’t shoot him enough times, I guess.”

There it was.  He wasn’t responding to my joke, he was actually trying to explain why my patient was still alive.  Except for the words themselves, it was normal conversation, and flowed as smoothly as the answer I would have gotten if I had asked him whether or not he had eaten chow today.


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Ebook Giveaway & Book Blast – Wizdom and Pandora by K.M. Woodard



About The Author:

A lifetime resident of the Washington, DC area, K.M. Woodard has always enjoyed the outdoors and loves to travel. After working 17 years with the MetLife Insurance Company, she pursued her career as a Federal Law Enforcement Agent with Homeland Security and has a Masters Degree in Criminology. A true Tolkien fan, her passion for medieval and ancient times and her personal travel adventures often inspire ideas for new books. Her active imagination and fascination with escaping reality to a world of enchantment, mystery and suspense has resulted in a series of novels sure to delight readers looking for fast-paced adventure at every twist and turn, interspersed with a smidgen of humor.


Author Links -


Twitter: @wizdomandpandor

Goodreads member/blog:

Amazon link:




Book Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Fantasywizdom and pandora book cover

Publisher: Authorhouse

Release Date: 10/30/2014

Buy Link(s): AMAZON:



Book Description:

Wizdom didn’t know dragons really existed. He’s never ridden a white woolly mammoth or flown on a griffin. He’s never known a real king or a princess or been friends with a goblin. Wizdom’s never seen elves that glow blue all the time. All he’s ever known are his adoptive mother and his aunt Kayden. One day he finds himself in a secret world, face to face with dragons and fire monsters. He meets an interesting girl, Pandora, who he learns is no ordinary girl, just as he is no ordinary boy. Wizdom soon finds himself on a magical journey full of secrets, sorcery, danger and evil. He fights many fierce battles and faces certain death as his quest leads him on an adventure like never before as he discovers his true identity . . . or does he?


At the end of the day as the sun burned bright red in the violet

and crimson sky, they reached the edge of Saldor and were entering the

Realm of Talagand. The land grew heavier and the ground underfoot

was much rockier. There were colossal boulders strewn about, making

it difficult for the mammoths to continue on, as they could barely fit

between them. The mountains grew nearer and went high above the

clouds, their jagged peaks thrusting sharply upward, almost unnaturally.

Wizdom stared up at them having never before seen anything quite

like them. They were truly imposing and creepy. As they traveled on,

the clouds intensified as the sun tried to peek out between them.

Suddenly, as they were walking, a loud roar was heard in the sky

above them. “DRAGONS!” shouted Pandora hysterically. “Merle!” she

yelled desperately.

Quickly, Merle put up a force field, but there were too many

dragons. There were nearly twenty all together. Pandora even

recognized some of them. She had seen them in friendlier days, before

Lord Bregolien had put them under his evil spell. They flew over head

shooting fire and swooping down low trying frantically to grasp them

in their deadly claws. One large, fierce, green dragon came very close to

catching Rupert’s mammoth in its talons, but only managed to snatch a claw full of white hair.

Wow, did you see that, brother?” Rupert said excitedly to Merle.

He almost got me!” Suddenly, the same dragon came in for another

dive. “Look out!” Rupert shouted to Merle.

But Merle was ready. He had his force field up like a shield and

Puck and Wizdom were right next to him on their mammoth, Puck

joining forces to make the force field stronger. The dragon crashed into

it with a loud thud before recovering and flying back to the rest of the

dragons circling overhead, readying for another strike.

As Wizdom, Puck and Merle recovered from the sonic boom

created by the dragon’s impact on the force field, they realized all the

woolly mammoths had turned and faced together in a circle, while

their companions were still sitting on their backs. “Hold on!” Willow

said to Wizdom silently.

Hold on!” he yelled to the others, as Puck looked at him frightfully…




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Book Review: Inner City Strength The Last Unknown Name Slaughter by Dwight Slaughter

Dwight Slaughter graduated from Verbum Dei High School, a school with one of the top 10 winning basketball teams of all time. While at Verbum Dei High School Dwight was voted number one player in the Country in 1972 by different sports magazines.  He then went on to further his education and play basketball at Cal State Los Angeles from 1972 to 1976—a period that would set a precedent with new laws changing how colleges accept athletes. During his athletic career, Slaughter was interviewed by such greats as Howard Cosell, on his show SportsBeat and in his book, I Never Played the Game; Morley Safer from 60 Minutes; and John Chancellor from World Nightly News. He was voted by ESPN and Sports Illustrated as one of the top 100 basketball players in the State of California.

Website Blog Email Twitter Publisher 




Publisher: Dwight Slaughter

Release Date: 2/14/2014

Buy Link(s):

Book Description:


Dwight Slaughter graduated from Verbum Dei High School, a school with one of the top 10 winning basketball teams of all time. While at Verbum Dei High School Dwight was voted number one player in the Country in 1972 by different sports magazines. He then went on to further his education and play basketball at Cal State Los Angeles from 1972 to 1976—a period that would set a precedent with new laws changing how colleges accept athletes. During his athletic career, Slaughter was interviewed by such greats as Howard Cosell, on his show SportsBeat and in his book, I Never Played the Game; Morley Safer from 60 Minutes; and John Chancellor from World Nightly News. He was voted by ESPN and Sports Illustrated as one of the top 100 basketball players in the State of California. As a child, Slaughter relied on basketball to build his self-esteem and relieve the stress of mental and physical abuse. His gripping memoir follows his public career and takes the reader inside his personal life as well—into a childhood of abuse, betrayal…even murder.

Betty-Boop-Review Follow Me on Pinterest
Dwight Slaughter deserves a lot of credit for making the decision to put his life out there. I can’t imagine living in the time when segregation was at it’s peak and racism was around every corner. Luckily I didn’t have to endure that pain and I lived in a world where different races were accepted across the board, for the most part anyway.
I do know that it’s hard growing up without a father and how important it really is for a young boy to have a positive role model. As I started reading Inner City, Mr. Slaughter reminded me of this and to read his story and how he felt as THE boy that grew up without a father and an abusive mother.
Slaughter drags you into the depths of his world, bringing emotions to the  surface as we read the pain he had to endure, not only physically, but mentally as his mother blamed him for his father leaving. As parents, in these days and times, children endure a lot of an adult world which many times is best left there instead of dragging a child to our level of worries when they deserve to be kids. To blame a child for one parent leaving, it breaks my heart that Slaughter had to live with this confusion and guilt.
I love that he took the courage to write about his life, to let others that are struggling and see no way out, that there is hope, and there’s always a way. His message is clear and the detail within this story will have you not just reading about his life, but living it with him.
Kudos Mr. Slaughter and thank you for sharing your story and inspiring hope into all that read it. I highly recommend this book, and whether your a parent, teacher, being abused now or know of someone that is in need of help, this is a book that will give you strength, faith, and that you are never alone.
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Dwight Slaughter has long been a fixture of American Basketball history. Voted 1972’s ‘number one player in the country’ by nationally-acclaimed sports magazines and also hailed by ESPN as one of California’s ‘Top 100’ players – many people were led to believe that Slaughter’s entire life was at the top of its game.


However, as Slaughter’s new memoir exposes for the firs time, basketball was an escape from a personal life filled with abuse, neglect and exposure to a lifestyle no young person should ever witness. ‘The Unknown Story of the Last Name Slaughter’ holds no bars the author recounts his life with gripping honesty.


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Sam’s Place Stories by Bob Mustin – Enter To Win An Ecopy


Bob Mustin was born in Louisiana, USA. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, Louisiana Tech University, and the University of North Carolina, Asheville. He holds a BS degree in Civil Engineering from La Tech and a Master of Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis on creative writing from UNC-Asheville. 

He has worked in Georgia, USA, as a structural designer, specification writer, and transportation administrator. He has been an instructor in writing skills, and has served as a mentor. He’s also been a North Carolina Writers Network writer-in-residence at Peace College under the late Doris Betts. In the early ’90s, he was the editor of a small literary journal, The Rural Sophisticate, based in Georgia. His work has appeared in The Rockhurst Review, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Cooweescoowee, Under The Sun, Gihon River Review, Reflections Literary Journal, and at, raving dove, Sport Literate, The Externalist, Language and Culture, Imitation Fruit, and R.KV.R.Y in electronic form. A creative nonfiction piece won the North Carolina Writer’s Network Rose Post Award for Creative Non-Fiction in 2007. 

He continues to write and publish novels, short fiction and non-fiction.


How Do You Keep Your Writing Unique?

We all have our favorite writers. Personally, my greatest influences have been some of the earlier writers of the Twentieth Century: Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Sylvia Plath. And so when I began to write I did so in the style of Hemingway and his muscular prose. I tried to conjure up unforgettable characters such as Steinbeck’s. And I sought to evoke Plath’s moods. We all begin by mimicking our greatest writers, but don’t let imitation go too far. Agents and authors are constantly looking for a new twist to old stories. A groundbreaking writing style. A voice so vivid that only you can own it.

Some of this simply comes from writing, writing, writing. Being tutored by the most capable of writing instructors. Workshopping your writing time after time until it shines. But in the end, you can’t rely on imitation or instruction in order to keep your writing unique. If you’re to gain a wide readership, readers must be entertained and provoked by your writing, and they will ultimately want to see the true “you” in your stories and books.

So how do you keep your writing uniquely you? You have a life experience that no one else has. You’ve fought in a war and gained new insight into its damage, its challenges. You’ve survived a difficult childhood, or poverty, or lost love, or even the burdens of riches. What’s unique in any of these things is you, how you dealt with them. Using your unique perspective on such life experience, reach deep for something universal, something common to all people. This is what readers will want from you: to see how your characters have overcome obstacles. But whether your readers know it or not, they’ll want you to strike a chord in their own lives; they’ll want to believe the TRUTH of what you’re writing, and perhaps apply it to their own lives.

So look outward. Take in all the drama happening around you. You’ll discover that each person you meet will seem a universe of his or her own. Feel the wind blow, the seasons change, experience the ups and downs of life as they happen to you and to those around you, whether they involve you or not.

Then look inward. Digest all this outward experience, the world of the senses you live within. Stories will come, and they’ll be uniquely yours. Learn how to tell them; give the reader what he or she wants: an experience of life in the parallel universes you’ve created, ones they can be inspired by, can learn from. Stories they’ll know came from you. Only you.

Book Genre: Literary, general fiction
Publisher: AuthorMike Ink Publishers
Release Date: March 2012
Buy: Amazon | BarnesandNoble | Kobo

Book Description:

Step inside Sam’s and you can play a game of eight ball, nurse a beer, or get to know a wayward preacher, a reformed hooker, an Iraq vet amputee – or Sam himself. You may watch a baby being born, see a deadly knife fight, or simply hear tall tales. But there’s always a rough-hewn truth within the lies, and Sam’s there to manage everything from birth to death with a righteous cant. All things considered, it isn’t a bad world. Sam’s Place is a collection of interwoven short stories that revolve around a local watering hole in the Alabama town of Striven. Pull up a chair and get to know the locals in this powerful and entertaining world that is Sam’s Place.


The scarlet and white neon sign hanging over the entry to Sam’s Place began to swing, adding its creaks to the cold front’s moan. As the sign swayed, crimson shadows swept to and fro over scalloped gravel in the pool hall’s parking lot. A rangy teen-aged boy slipped from the surrounding thicket of Alabama pine and into view, his tee shirt bleached to a luminous white by the lights of an approaching semi on the two-lane. He hurried past crumpled plastic beer cups aglow with the oncoming glare, his black, high-top canvas shoes skirting a thick, odorous pudding of puke. With little more than a glance, he passed a man and woman grinding out their lubricious urges against a pickup cab. Then he leaped and cleared the three tiers of cinderblock steps to the pool hall’s threshold and opened the door to a wedge of dim light.

Inside the long, one-room building sat eight felt-covered tables, a wide aisle separating the two rows of four. An oak bar at the opposite end filled most of the building’s width, a rear door to the left. Multicolored neon beer lights clung to the rear wall, bubbling and flashing, indifferent to all else. Fluorescent fixtures hung over the tables, suspended as if by some nocturnal alchemy, the light fixing ghostly images within layers of cigarette smoke.

A lanky man, shirttail out, leaned on his pool cue at the nearest table. Opposite him stood a short, bald man named Wilson, his dress shirt stained yellow at the armpits, its buttons straining to contain a drooping gut. A woman, Noxanne, her sweatshirt pushing I BAMA at the world, muttered irritably and glanced to Wilson. She cocked an ample hip, plumbed a pocket, and handed a gobbet of greenbacks to the lanky one. Along the plank wall adjacent to the front door, hangers-on watched, solemn as cigar store Indians, their smokes hanging from lips and fingers. The lanky man took Noxanne’s money, put up his cue, slipped past the boy who had just entered, and left.

Across the aisle, a tall, stoop-shouldered man in thinning suit pants and a dress shirt with rolled-up sleeves scratched at his oily shock of graying hair, grinned, and approached his table.

“Two left,” he said. “Anybody want me to call ‘em?”

“No point to it, Slim,” said someone along the wall. ” You got too much mojo tonight.” Laughter slithered through smoke and darkness.

Slim looked to his opponent, who refused to retreat from the table. Slim jabbed his cue at two corner pockets and then slid his cigarette to the table’s edge. The cue ball clicked against one striped ball, then the other. The balls rumbled into their appointed pockets, and the cue ball rebounded away.

Slim’s opponent slammed a boot heel into the floor planking. Without a word, he broke down his cue, pulled on his coat, and departed.

“Shitfire,” someone whispered, voice tinged with awe, “you see that?”

Donnie, a short, snaggletoothed man of early middle age, offered to buy Slim a whiskey. Slim covered a cough and shook no, planted his cigarette in the thin line of his mouth, and grabbled a spray of twenties from the table’s edge. He peered into the shadows. “Anybody else got a game for me?”

“No fools here,” somebody said. Those around the spectator laughed – a staccato chorus of nervous praise.

Slim offered a wry smile. “Always some fool hoping to push you off the heap, though.” He dragged a Coke crate from against the nearby wall, stood it on end. Setting a foot on it, he leaned an elbow onto the up-bent knee and looked from face to face. “I ever tell y’all about that time in upper state New York? I was shooting with this fellow from Ohio, see? He come up to me, drunk as all get-out, bragging and waving money, so I said what the hell. Drunk as he was, he run the table on me nine straight times. Nine, I’m telling you!”

He spoke of finally beating the man, then of meeting him again in Minnesota, of playing him in the finals of a big tourney. Pausing, he licked spume from a corner of his mouth and spat a wad of dark phlegm to the plank floor.

“Did you whup ‘im in Duluth, Slim?” a beery voice asked.

“Damn right. I took him for his whole stake. But I’ll tell you what. If I ever see him again, I’ll just shake hands and ease out the door. I hear Lady Luck has been smiling real pretty for him lately.”

“Ah, you’d take him, Slim.”

“Maybe.” Slim laughed. “Well, hell, yeah, I’d probably do just that.”

The boy edged close. He reached deep and tossed a wadded bill onto Slim’s table.

Sam’s Place fell silent. All eyes turned.



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