Friday, August 31, 2012

Secrets of a Boy, Lost by William C. Prentiss

Review copies and interviews are available. Contact William Prentiss -

Midwest Book Review says, "Secrets of a Boy, Lost is a strongly recommended choice for those seeking a literary coming of age tale."

The book’s description on Amazon says, “‘Kim’ is not his real name, but this is the first of his important secrets he must keep to himself as he runs away following the sudden death of his parents in an auto accident.  At the age of 15, he naively enters a difficult search on his own for a new identity.  Supported by his strong religious beliefs, he struggles to survive as he encounters many serious crises.  Can he not only survive but achieve his goals and eventually prevail?  This is an authentic, semi-autobiographical coming of age story set in the post WWII era but still highly relevant for the 21st Century.”

Prentiss has survived a long career. He spent ten years as dean of a boys' military school, taught collegiate adolescent psychology and juvenile delinquency for 15 years, and created and managed a highly awarded program for youths referred by a juvenile court. He directed this program, Operation Comeback, for 15 years. In 1988, President Reagan personally chose this program for his Volunteer Service Award presented at the White House. With his wife, Sallie, Prentiss has raised three biological children and hosted seven troubled, adolescent boys in their home for varying periods of time.  Trying to better understand his own adolescent difficulties, he began to research and write Secrets of a Boy, Lost. The main character, Kim, reflects his personality and adolescent experience throughout the book.

Title: Secrets of a Boy, Lost
Author: William C. Prentiss
Publisher: Author House
ISBN: 978-1-4685-4027-7 (paperback) 978-1-4685-4026-0 (hardcover)
Retail: $19.95 (paperback) $28.95 (hardcover) $3.99 (Kindle edition)
coming of age, adolescent problems including poor decision-making, friendship, and negative labeling, juvenile justice, anti-Semitism and American Indian discrimination

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Non-Fiction: Forks in the Dishwasher by Vilate Bentz-Bolanos

Review copies and interviews are available. Contact: Vilate Bentz-Bolanos -

Forks in the Dishwasher is a non-fiction book that encourages the reader to consider if their perspectives are truly a product of their experiences or what they have learned from parents, friends, churches, etc.  Bolanos feels, it is not about her opinions, but her goal to offer information and questions that encourage each reader to find a sense of empowerment and feel uplifted as they find their own path and consider their own thoughts and perspectives.

The books description says, “Vilate Bolanos lays out this spiritual truth in her reflective and philosophical book, Forks in the Dishwasher. After reflecting on her spiritual path, she began a letter to her children, encouraging them to consider thought-provoking questions on diverse topics. And now, in her letter-turned-tome, you'll be able to discover not only her spiritual path but also your own. Join Vilate on a life-changing spiritual journey that begins by loading the Forks in the Dishwasher.”

“Forks is a transformative guidebook for exploring this profound yet surprisingly simple spiritual philosophy. Written by one of the finest young spiritual guides of our time. Be prepared for something fresh and extraordinary.'

- Brenda Lowe, Holistic Nursing Provider

“I loved this book! I laughed, cried, and felt completely changed after I read it. It opened my mind to think about life and God from a different perspective.”
- Lindsey Cavanaugh

Bentz-Bolanos is a registered nurse by trade and works with patients and as an educator in her own business. She finds her love of reading never ceases to grow. At the time she started Forks in the Dishwasher, she had read numerous books that challenged previous ways of thinking. She realized the wisdom in these books would have been priceless earlier in life. Inspired, she began to write. What started as a letter of wisdom for her children became Forks in the Dishwasher. It is not a children's book, but she planned to tuck it away for them until they were of age. Through an amazing string of serendipitous events, the letter became a book and found its way into publishing.  

Bentz-Bolanos has a successful business, Medical Education Angels, offering BLS, ACLS, PALS, and other medical classes to a variety of professionals.

Title: Forks in the Dishwasher
Author: V. Bolanos
Publisher: Tate Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61739-909-1
Retail: $12.99
Themes: Considering multiple perspectives, personal growth

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Winds of Change by Mary Metcalfe

Review copies and interviews are available. Contact Mary Metcalfe -

The book description on Amazon says, “After losing her husband and daughter in a plane crash, Boston social worker Jennifer Barrett is rebuilding her life. Finding solace in her work, Jennifer helps young client Mark Powell find work at the seniors' residence where her father lives. After learning Mark hasn’t seen his father, an internationally-known broadcast journalist, in over four years, she can’t understand how a father could abandon his only son to chase war stories.

When Jennifer meets Ben Powell, she is prepared to dislike him, despite his charm and affable manner. But, when he reveals he’s been battling post-traumatic stress disorder, she realizes he didn’t want to bring his demons home to Mark, who has suffered from clinical depression. As Jennifer gets to know Ben, she realizes there may be room in her heart for laughter and new love.

Lana Fitzpatrick, a close friend of Jennifer’s and a young nurse helping care for Jennifer’s father, is also a widow, raising her young son Danny alone. As Lana gets to know her handsome co-worker, Mark Powell, and sees him bonding with Danny, she finds her heart swelling with love.

As new family bonds form, all discover the power of friendship and love to overcome loss so they can face life with renewed hope.”

About the author

Mary Metcalfe is a seasoned writer and editor of technical materials who has always dreamed of writing novels. She has written three in the past year. They were lurking in her brain and, once she started writing, she couldn't stop.

Metcalfe always read that you should write about what you know. And in a very real sense, she did with Winds of Change. While she did extensive research on Boston, sailing and plant varieties, the what-you-know part came from her heart. Readers will see a theme in her novels – disparate people being brought together and blending to build a new family. It’s what she didn’t have as a child and grew up yearning for.

Metcalfe says, “Now my characters will get their happy ever after because it’s my book and we’ll work together to make it happen!"

Eight years ago, Metcalfe founded a volunteer group named Not Just Tourists - Ottawa. The group collects donated medicines and medical supplies and sends them to 26 countries in need in the Americas, Caribbean, Asia, and Africa. They work with medical missions, student missions, and individual travellers to annually ship some 2,000 kg/5,000 lb. of donations. When you consider how light the supplies and gently used uniforms are, the volume is enormous. They are currently helping collect supplies for a 40-foot container going to Syria, another to Ethiopia, and a smaller one heading to Kenya. These will have hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, and other equipment included, which are facilitated through the group’s many contacts. They want to make a difference in a world where too many don’t have adequate medical care and health support.


Title: Winds of Change
Author: Mary Metcalfe
Publisher: Friesen Press
ISBN: 1770977414
Price: $25.99 paperback; $4.99 Kindle
Themes: romance, PTSD, depression, friendship, family, sailing, food

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Brinda Carey Tells Her Story of Surviving Abuse

This is Brinda Carey’s personal story combined with many resources for survivors, parents, teachers, social workers, etc. The book discusses facts about Carey’s experience including:

  • Her biological father began abusing her at age 5
  • He manipulated her into remaining silent
  • The pregnancies and later deaths of two children conceived by him
  • Forced into prostitution at age 14
  • Her mother was physically abused by her father
  • Her brother died at age 13
  • Her search for answers and absolution
  • Her dad's suicide
  • How she overcame and where she is today

During Carey’s recovery, she met and helped other survivors of child abuse/incest. After recovery, she began teaching and speaking on the issue of child sexual abuse. In order to help more people, she wrote Don’t Cry, Daddy’s Here. Her passion is in promoting awareness, prevention, recovery, and offering hope to survivors.

Carey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Before retiring, due to medical disability (Fibromyalgia, neck, and throat problems), she worked in corrections and as an adult probation officer. She is on her 30th year of marriage with 4 married children, and 13 grandchildren.

Other than Don’t Cry, Daddy’s Here, Carey has written a short story(Christian Fiction), Grandma's Cactus Garden (.99 on Kindle), as well as several published articles. Most of her writing is non-fiction either on child abuse issues, family, Fibromyalgia, or writing; however, her fiction pieces also revolve around these subjects. She is a member of the RAINN speakers bureau (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) and does volunteer work with Saving Grace, a residential center for young women. The classes she gives for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse are not for profit.

Review copies and interviews are available upon request. Contact Brinda Carey -
Facebook: Brinda Carey Author
Fan Pages: Brinda Carey and Don't Cry, Daddy's Here
Twitter: @brindacarey

Don't Cry, Daddy's Here~ One Woman's Journey to Recovery from Incest by Brinda Carey
Publisher: White Bird Publications
ISBN:  978-0-9828024-9-6 (Hardcover), 978-0-9828024-6-5 (Trade Paperback),  978-0-9828024-7-2 (Electronic)
Retail Price: HC $32.95, PB $14.95, and Electronic $3.99

Monday, August 27, 2012

One in Eighty-Six Children Has an Autism Spectrum Disorder

In a March 2012 announcement, the Centers for Disease control released their latest statistics on autism. One in eighty-six American children has an autism spectrum disorder and one in every fifty-four boys. Why should you care? If autism has not touched your family, it will affect your friends or neighbours. Every teacher will have a child with autism in their classroom. Every coach will meet a child with autism. 

When parents, especially mothers, receive the news that their child has autism, they spend countless hours researching the subject, usually at night, after an exhausting day. Author Sharon Mitchell knows. She's been there. Even though her Ph.D. focussed on autism, she tires of pouring through heavy textbooks and weeding through the material on the internet. Parents who are hanging on by their toenails or busy teachers don't have the time either. They need a break, yet still want answers and hope. Rather than a textbook, what about a novel?”

Mitchell wrote this book for such parents and teachers - a light, entertaining novel with romance that shows, rather than tells, yet still offers strategies and information on autism. Her novel is set in a typical school and shows strategies that can work at home and at school. Most of all, it provides a light read. 

From the book's description:

After suddenly receiving custody of his five year old son, Ben must learn how to be a dad. That fact that he'd even fathered a child was news to him. Not only does this mean restructuring his sixty-hour work week and becoming responsible for another human being, but also his son has autism. 

Enter the school system. Under the guidance (and bullying) of a gifted teacher, Ben and Kyle take tentative steps to becoming father and son.

Teacher Melanie Nicols sees Ben as a dead beat dad, but grudgingly comes to admire how he hangs in, determined to learn for his son’s sake. Her admiration grows to more as father and son come to rely on Melanie being a part of their lives.

What do reviewers say?

  • "School Daze" Entertains, Entrances & Educates: 3 for the Price of One!

  • This wonderful book is about a Dad, Ben, meeting his autistic son Kyle for the very first time, when Mom dumps him suddenly on his doorstep, saying she can no longer take care of him. Through the eyes of Ben, we get a glimpse of both the challenges and joys of being a parent of a child who sees the world in different ways.

  • Opened MY eyes to much that I did not know about autism!

  • A quick and informative read, written with flair and expertise.

  • Unlike some stories that speak of autistic children, this one brings a wealth of hope and information! As we look over Ben's shoulder, we see a glimpse of the learning tools currently being used in the classroom today, and we get glimpses of things that could be helpful in the day to day life of an autistic child.

  • (Dr.) Sharon Mitchell in her new romance School Daze gives us an interesting romantic tale about Ben and his adjustment to unexpectedly becoming the father of an autistic child

  • Enormously useful to parents, professionals and anyone that wants to understand the world of a child with autism. Bravo and keep them coming.

  • The romantic side-plot between Ben and Melanie, Kyle's teacher, is sweet.

  • I'd recommend this book to parents...It's a lighthearted, easy read that will help you understand the common mistakes a parent might make with an autistic child. Parents will benefit from references to methods of calming a child, different toys and gadgets used for autistic children, and ways to adapt a child to a routine. There are even links in the back of the book to sites where you can find out more information.

  • I appreciated this story on several levels. First I enjoyed the story of Ben discovering what it means to be a parent, especially a single parent.  Second, I enjoyed watching Kyle find his own means of success in this new and upside down world.

  • I enjoyed the glimpse into classroom life and options available today. Finally I enjoyed the quiet romance between Mel and Ben.

Author Background:

Mitchell has worked in schools as a teacher, counselor, psychologist, and consultant for thirty years. Her Master's and Doctorate degrees focussed on autism. She also has a son with an autism spectrum disorder who is away at university. She is co-author of the Amazon bestseller The Official Autism 101 Manual. Hundreds of her articles and responses to questions appear on She has delivered workshops and seminars to thousands of participants including national conferences.

Mitchell says, “Less than ten percent of young adults with high functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome live independently, despite having intelligence in the average or above range. What a shocking waste of ability. Luckily, my son with Asperger's beat these odds. My passion is helping those with autism become as independent as possible.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 345 KB
  • Print Length: 198 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ASD Publishing; 2 edition (April 29, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085HN9HQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled

Free samples as well as the entire book are available on Amazon at
For review copies and interviews, or the book in other formats, contact Sharon A. Mitchell -

Saturday, August 25, 2012

50 Shades of Inspiration

Photo by Adrian Midgley

Erika Mitchell, better known as E.L. James, has had remarkable success with her self-published novel, 50 Shades of Grey.  Most of my clients and social media friends know I don’t promote erotica, however, there are many lessons that her success offers. While I have researched this book as a publishing case study, I didn’t read the book, nor do I endorse it.

The top five things that 50 Shades teaches indie authors are:

1.       Use familiar characters50 Shades started out as a fan fiction series, Master of the Universe. Mitchell refined it and created an original novel.  Her characters are based on very successful characters from Twilight, most notably Bella and Edward reworked as Anastasia and Christian, with other hints of Bella’s mother and Jacob thrown into the mix through other characters.  I am not suggesting stealing characters directly from other works. Identify what people like about the character archetypes in successful novels; use what works about them, leave out what doesn’t, and add your own signature touch through new characteristics. 

Characters can drive reader interest even more so than plot, therefore analyzing what the public likes about iconic characters can be a great way to come up with characters that work for you.  If you decide to create a series the way that J.K. Rowling, E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, and Stephenie Meyer did, you have to start with great characters.  The plot will change and the characters will develop throughout the duration of the series, and following the characters is often what motivates readers to purchase the next installment.

2.      Use passion and fantasy.  Whether it is the dismal economy or a certain dissatisfaction with modern life, fantasy sells.  Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades, and The Hunger Games all incorporate some kind of fantasy and offer a departure from reality for readers, which is, after all, the point of fiction.  This is not to say that you can’t make money with a book that is not in the fantasy genre; 50 Shades is only fantasy insofar as it explores sexual fantasies.  Bring passion, fantasy, and imagination to everyday, ordinary scenes and people, whether it’s in the form of an over-the-top character, a character with the kind of quick wit that only exists in fiction, or a character who does extraordinary things, even if he/she is just an average mortal.

3.      Push the envelope.  Don’t include gratuitous sex and violence in your stories to capitalize on sensationalism, but consider what edgy content would be appropriate for your story.  A portion of the success of 50 Shades can be attributed to the curiosity factor.  If you’re concerned that people might be offended by the content of your book, you can hold yourself back from succeeding by giving readers a product that insults their intelligence by watering down incidents, dialogue, and subcultures.

4.      Don’t let your day job or your age hold you back.  E.L. James is a 49-year-old woman who leads a modest life as a wife and a mother.  As a former television executive, her background is not one that is related to books, literature, or writing.  No one is more surprised by the success of the novel than James herself, who typed 50 Shades on her Blackberry during her commute to work.

Although you shouldn’t break driving laws to write your book, James’ story shows that no matter how busy you are, there is time that could be spent writing your book.  She also shows that starting late in life after leading a fairly normal, less-than-notable lifestyle in an ordinary job does not disqualify you from becoming an author.  There is no reason to allow your age, job, background, or time schedule to hold you back from writing the next bestseller.

5.      Get involved with your research.  James’ husband, Niall Leonard, has famously complained about growing tired of the “experimentalism” that she used for her research.  Although James’ research is far different from the kind of research that you might do for your own book, she proved one thing without a doubt: no amount of reading and fact-finding can compare to first-hand research.  James’ book resonates with readers because she lived her book and what her characters would have gone through, enabling her to write 50 Shades in a compelling, realistic, relatable, and accessible manner. 

If you’re writing a book about someone on safari, go on a safari yourself, rather than reading about people who did.  If you’re writing a book about New York high society, visit the famed watering holes and restaurants yourself so that you can describe the ambience and total sensory experience in exact detail, rather than relying on the Zagat guide for insight into the world in which your characters exist.

James is not the first self-published author to experience tremendous success, nor will she be the last.  By analyzing what made James a success and how to make it work for you, your book may be the next international sensation.

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Book from the ‘Anonymous Inebriate’ Reveals Stunning Tale of 13,500 Days without a Drink.

13,500 Days With out a Drink: A Gift from God Reflections on Long-Term Sobriety (Volume 1)

Interviews and review copies are available. Contact Anonymous Inebriate -

From being so drunk in a fast-food bar that he ended up in an insane asylum, to becoming an author with a connection to God whose work is being used to help other alcoholics recover -  this is the amazing tale of the Anonymous Inebriate.

New York City, New York –    "I just went out for some hamburgers, and ended up in an insane asylum locked in a rubber room in a straight jacket shot full of Thorazine."   Like most alcoholics, the Anonymous Inebriate didn't really know why he drank, except that it "numbed out the pain of life and living."  It helped him to cope with his inner demons or at least to quieten them down. As with many alcoholics, the Anonymous Inebriate had undiagnosed mental disorders that he could only cope with by getting drunk (this disorder would later be diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, following combat in Vietnam).

It wasn't an ideal situation; far from it.  However, it worked for a while.  Until the day he went to the fast-food restaurant feeling slightly more than mildly inebriated. "It was a fast food restaurant that wasn’t fast enough for me. I went into a blackout and caused quite a fracas, sending napkin holders flying and busting plate glass windows." This is when he ended up in the mental asylum.

Although it might not have seemed it at the time, this public breakdown was the start of the author's recovery from alcoholism and the mental disorders that had led him there. In short, this was the start of his new life.

In his book: 13,500 Days without a Drink: A Gift from God, Reflections on Long Term Sobriety, our Anonymous Inebriate relays how he won his dramatic battle with alcohol and turned his entire life around.  What's more inspiring, however, is that his story is now being used by health professionals working with struggling alcoholics.

Louise Mark, Registered Nurse, cannot recommend this book strongly enough.  She says:  "For those of us with many years, even decades experience in the program of helping alcoholics, our lives ultimately come down to this - what is the best way to reach out to another alcoholic?"

She continues, "The Anonymous Inebriate is a remarkable man. I’ve known very few. What defines them is that remarkable men live from their heart - no compromises. They live from their heart, so they speak from their heart. There are heartbeats bounding from pages of this book. There is heart in the soul of this book."

While popular among healthcare professionals and those with career interest in alcoholism, the book is also working to reform actual alcoholics around the world.

Offering tips, techniques and insightful experiences – the book is somewhat of a spiritual roadmap away from the bottle and back to everyday life.

Covering topics including the control of cravings, dealing with disappointments and making vital decisions, spirituality also plays a key role.

“It is imperative for alcoholics to first admit that they have a problem. They must then make a commitment to sobriety and surrender to a higher power in order to take steps to recover, one day at a time” the author admits.

Our anonymous Inebriate maintains that, while often fatal, the lures of alcoholism can be successfully treated. However, he is more than aware that people often can’t do it by themselves.

“I was suicidal, possibly even homicidal and life felt as if it was in an unstoppable rut. However, God helped me out of my problems and into a place where I can hopefully inspire others to do the same” he adds.
13,500 Days without a Drink: A Gift from God, Reflections on Long Term Sobriety is available now from Amazon. It can be purchased here.

About the Author

The anonymous author fought in Vietnam for over nine months and was wounded three times. He suffered 15 years of out-of-control drinking, including three suicide attempts, and an arrest for carrying a weapon in Washington D.C. He was admitted to a psychiatric center for the criminally insane.

His treatment for mental illness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and anxiety, along with attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings helped him to become clean and sober for the past 37 years

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Preteen Fiction: No Ordinary Excuse by Michelle Adams

Review copies and interviews are available upon request. Contact Michelle Lovi -

Twelve-year-old Gemma Martin habitually avoids homework. She lacks motivation, but not ability. Once again, Gemma fails to finish a project. This time, however, her teacher Miss Haven has issued serious consequences, so Gemma masterminds a homework excuse like no other, spring boarding an idea from a well-known story about a kidnapped garden gnome.

Gemma enlists the help of her eccentric Aunt May, who is heading off to Sydney on holidays. Aunt May poses as an anonymous project thief, photographs Gemma’s stolen project in different locations around Sydney, and then emails the pictures back to Gemma.

Kids everywhere will identify with Gemma, as she would much rather spend her time doing anything else but homework. Gemma has a long history of homework excuses, but Miss Haven’s curiosity is aroused when Gemma presents proof that her project was stolen. Miss Haven devises a plan to use Gemma’s own scheme to teach her a lesson. Gemma’s story soon becomes widespread throughout the school, thanks to Miss Haven’s ingenuity. Although Gemma’s popularity skyrockets, her stolen project story soon spirals out of control, and Gemma knows she is ultimately heading for disaster. As she knows her popularity won’t last, Gemma loses herself in the momentary attention.

Brittany Nicholls is the most popular girl in school, and she’s not very happy about Gemma’s sudden rise to fame. She’s feeling left out and formulates her own plan to derail Gemma Martin’s popularity train.

The tension builds as time runs out for Gemma to finish what she’s started and save herself from an embarrassing public exposure as a fraud. However, Brittany’s nasty plan works out and ends it all for Gemma. Everything falls apart until, in Gemma’s true nature, she ingeniously hatches another plan to redeem herself and in doing so Gemma learns an unexpected lesson.

No Ordinary Excuse is a fun story which showcases the power of imagination (and the cunning antics of a great teacher). It’s also about how our mistakes can be our greatest teachers.
About the Author: Michelle Adams is not of the modern, fast-paced world. She exists in a realm where everyone has enough time to hear a good story, and the joy of growing and cooking your own food is the norm. Neighbours trade things over the fence and a tribe of children trample through the house on a daily basis. Some of them live here, but many others float in and out upon wafting aromas or wandering welcome bubbles. This is a happy place where the magic of imagination is alive and well.

You can find out more about Michelle Adams at

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Adventure Thriller: Savage Bay by Christopher Forrest

Savage Bay: A Titan Six Action Thriller

Review copies and interviews are available upon request. Contact Christopher Forrest -

An ancient secret collides with cutting edge science in a thrilling, action-packed adventure.

SAVAGE BAY is a pure adrenaline rush. In his newest action thriller, bestselling author Christopher Forrest delves into the astounding secrets of an ancient civilization hidden inside human DNA.

When a secret research facility is invaded by hostile forces, Hawkeye and the Titan Six covert ops team are called into action. Thwarted at every turn by a mysterious enemy, Titan Six races against time to unlock the secrets of an ancient message encrypted in our DNA and rescue the daughter of Catherine Caine, the billionaire CEO of Titan Global.

SAVAGE BAY is a pulse-pounding, non-stop adventure that will leave you breathless and make you question everything you believe about human history.

Praise for other books by Christopher Forrest:

From New York Times bestselling author JAMES ROLLINS: "Be prepared! THE GENESIS CODE will make you question the fundamentals of mankind's past. Cutting edge science and lost history collide in a thrilling tour de force. A debut not to be missed."

From BOOKLIST: "[Will] keep thriller fans panting."
From New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston: "Launches the reader into a story of science and ancient mystery that will blow your mind."

Forrest is a practicing attorney, but he has always loved genre fiction.  His first novel, The Genesis Code, was published by Tor/Forge.  Savage Bay is his second novel. He has lived on a sailboat, explored Mayan ruins in the jungles of Central America, been struck by lightning, free-dived the barrier reefs off the coast of Belize, and solo-hiked through the Everglades.

Find out more at

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

World War II Novel: The Special by J.E. Pendleton

Review copies and interviews are available upon request. Contact: J.E. Pendleton -

The Special is a novel set in World War II about family, love, and trust in the face of world-wide catastrophe. The story begins in 1941 when Billy Pendleton hitch-hiked from his home in Fort Worth, Texas to San Diego, California to seek his fortune. Little did he know what awaited. After encouragement from his new-found friend and landlord, he is soon building an automobile to set speed records and rubbing elbows with some of the legends of motor racing history. Into this heady world walked the woman who would change his life forever. As the car is built romance blooms and the world slips into a war that will touch every person on the planet.

Author J.E. Pendleton retired after a 42 year career in the telecommunications industry. He and his wife have three children and six grandchildren. Some of his passions in life are family, reading, racing, hot rods, and history. His passion for reading led to the desire to write. He set out to create an imaginary history for a car he was building. The pen created something very different. A simple car story quickly became the story of his uncle, and the life he hoped his uncle lived before being swallowed by the catastrophe of World War II.

In February of 1944, Pendleton’s uncle and his crew were listed as MIA (Missing In Action) while on a mission over the Bay of Biscay hunting German submarines. Two radio calls from his airplane were received, one stating they were under attack by German fighters and the other a simple Mayday call. Later search planes found an oil slick and two rubber life rafts, one American and one German. This is all Pendleton’s family knew for well over sixty years.

While researching The Special, Pendleton found two history books that listed the events of that day in 1944. His uncle's B-24 was attacked by a pair of German JU-88 long-range fighters off the southern coast of Ireland. During the ensuing battle, Pendleton’s uncle’s aircraft and one of the attacking fighters were both shot down with no survivors.

The same week Pendleton was writing about his uncle's death in The Special, a fishing trawler off the southern Irish coast found a large landing gear strut entangled in its net. The strut was later identified by serial number to have been from his uncle's airplane.  Was this simply a coincidence? Pendleton doesn’t believe so. He knows his uncle sent him a message that day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Historical Romance: A Woman Possessed by Marilyn Hering

Review copies and interviews are available upon request. Contact Marilyn Hering -

In 1913, 24,000 silk workers in Paterson, New Jersey, went on strike, demanding an eight-hour work day and better working conditions--reasonable requests that nevertheless led to the arrest of over 1800 people. Young Eleanor O'Bannion was not arrested, but she was there. Living in the tenements of Paterson, she survived near starvation, poverty, and illness. She survived with the yearnings of love.

Her heart belongs to the charismatic and passionate Dante Ravelli, a union leader, supporting the workers at the Great Silk Strike. But, can Eleanor trust him to love her back? Against her better judgment, she decides to marry Charles Lafferty, the wealthy son of a silk baron. Charles is stable, dependable, and safe. So why does she continue to think about the dashing Ravelli?

Eleanor carries her own secret past, and this secret robs her of any happiness as she struggles to look to the future and find fulfilling love with her husband. She has survived so much; she knows she will continue to thrive. Any choice she makes will hurt a man she loves. Who will she choose in the end: Ravelli or Charles--or perhaps her own liberation?

Hering is a former English teacher, MA, and Ph.D equivalent in English.  She lived through a lot of the story. Her dad was a weaver in the mills of Paterson, most often on strike than not.  She realized the centennial would be coming up for the Great Silk Strike and thought the book could somehow coincide with that as well. She is working on a sequel.

Hering lived in Paterson for 25 years or so. So much pain and suffering took place during the strike, including violence and death, and no book she could find anywhere covered this topic, which is really important to New Jersey history.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Shadows Walking, a Novel by Douglas Skopp

Review copies and interviews are available upon request. Contact Douglas Skopp -

Why would an idealistic German physician join the Nazi Party and commit crimes against humanity? How might he come to realize the horror of his deeds? And what would he do then?

In 1935, Johann Brenner, M.D., joins the Nazis and volunteers to sterilize mixed-race German children—-the “Rhineland bastards” born to German women from relationships with Allied colonial troops after World War I. In 1939, he volunteers for Hitler’s “euthanasia campaign” to kill those Germans who were deemed by the regime to be “useless lives not worth living.” In 1943, now an SS First Lieutenant, he volunteers to participate in gruesome sterilizations and mass murder at Auschwitz.

As Berlin is falling to the Russians, Brenner flees to Nuremberg, where he once lived with his family and practiced medicine. With a false identity, he has become a janitor in the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg’s courthouse. In 1946, he attends the “Nazi Doctors’ Trial,” knowing that he could be one of the physicians sitting in the dock. The chief defendant is Dr. Karl Brandt, Hitler’s personal physician and the highest-ranking Nazi medical officer captured at the end of the war. Brandt, more than any other Nazi, inspired Brenner to join and serve Hitler.

Outside Nuremberg’s Palace of Justice, where the “Nazi Doctors’ Trial” is being held, Johann Brenner helps an old man who is sorting out the rubble that was once the neighborhood’s savings’ bank. Doing so helps him find the courage to confront his own past and sort out the rubble of his own life. He decides to write his estranged wife, Helga, a letter in which he tries to understand the choices he has made. Through it, he becomes a physician trying to heal himself.

Shadows Walking illustrates how Brenner’s actions are linked to—but not excused by— events in his private life. When his daughter, Greta, dies of polio, despite his best medical efforts, he suffers a serious blow to his self-confidence. He and Helga drift further apart with his unwillingness to heed her warnings about the Nazis, especially after he does little to dissuade their son, Paul-Adolf, from participation in the Hitler Youth. Although Johann is distressed by the vulgarity of the Nazis, he supports the Party for the prestige and material benefits it brings to the medical profession and, he believes, for the good of his Vaterland.  

In 1960, when Skopp was eighteen, he dropped out of Dartmouth College and travelled to Germany to see and learn what had happened there less than a generation before.  Some thirty members of his family had disappeared and probably died in the Holocaust.  Were all the Germans monsters?  He was interested in more than the usual historical questions—-the “who? what? where? and when?”  Skopp wanted to know “how?” and even more importantly, “why?”  How and why was Auschwitz possible? This, for Skopp was a fundamental question, not only of German history, but of all human history.  

Visit for seventy short historical essays about the people, places, incidents, and circumstances around which Shadows Walking is woven.

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