Monday, September 26, 2016

Bookish Confessions with Ms. Johnnie Renee, author of 'Living In My Father's Dream: Weep Me Not'



Ms. Johnnie Renee is a first time author. She is the mother of an at-risk adult child, so she is accustomed to street life, visions, and dreams. Inspired by the eyes of a dead rapper, Ms. Johnnie Renee hopes that by writing this book (though it depicts street life) that a child's mind can be freed from violence, and drugs.

Her latest book is Living In My Father’s Dream: Weep Me Not.

For More Information
  • Visit Johnnie Renee’s website.
  • Connect with the author on Twitter.
About the Book:

Title: Living In My Father’s Dream: Weep Me Not
Author: Ms. Johnnie Renee
Publisher: JR Perez Imprint
Pages: 426
Genre: Urban Fiction

A powerful love story, not between a man and a woman, but a real father and his Mafia-bred son ANTONIO "SHAWN" PEREZ, JR. The only grandson of a Mafia drug lord, Shawn wanted to become a drug dealer at the age of twelve, but his dad said no. Just to teach Shawn that drugs are a killer, his dad made him sit in a country chair and watch him OD. Twenty-one years later, and still mentally screwed, all Shawn wants now is to be free from the memories of his dad's death, and for his grandfather to stay out of his life. Little did Shawn know, that the day he sat in that chair, his grandfather saw his strengths to watch his dad die, and wanted him as a one-time hitman for the family. Now, in order to be free, he must complete the job assigned to him by his grandfather. His job: To kill the baddest drug dealer in the hood. 
Living In My Father's Dream is available at Amazon.

What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I remember thinking to myself, or, I would often say to myself that I was going to write a book before I died. I didn’t know what genre, what story or structure, or why I kept saying it to myself. Somehow, I just knew it was my destiny. Then, one day I looked into the eyes of a dead rapper, and started writing.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Oh, I would say around 55. I remember, I would beg God to let me be a stay-at-home writer.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

No. I’m obsessed with getting to the next level in writing. I rarely watch a movie. I don’t watch TV. I only take notes of the many thoughts that come through my mind.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

I discovered it years later. I remember, I walked into the kitchen. I don’t remember why I went into the kitchen, but I remember thinking to myself, I’m going to write a book before I die. Then along came Living In My Father’s Dream: Weep Me Not aka The Tears of God.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I did. However, I just quit my job two months back to try and figure out how to market the book. I asked my husband to give me another month or so to figure this out, and then I would look for work at a temporary agency.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

Yes. (1) If you get confused, and things are just not working out, seek the advice of an editor. There are a lot of writer/editors out there that understand where you are, and what you are going through. Just send in a chapter or two. You will find that many are willing to add an addition comment or two (at no charge) in the margins of your document. Sometimes that one little comment clicks on a light on in your mind. (2) ‘Go to local writing clubs held at libraries in your community. A lot of people don’t know the power library’s have behind them, and they are there to serve the public, offering classes, and all sorts of community activities. (3) Follow the three-act structure, and you’re off to a good start.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Yes. Besides writing, I should have been a counselor. I feel empathy for people and their problems of the world. Therefore, I sit and listen to endless conversations on the phone. I even listen patiently to things I’ve heard over, and over, and over again, wishing I could just get back to my writing.

What hours do you write best?

Any hour works best for me. It’s when do I write best, and that’s when no one is home.

How often do you write?

I write every day, all day, minus the time I have to do things for my husband, or answer a phone call for an unimportant conversation.

Are you an avid reader?

No. I will admit that I’m not. I’m more prone to read a book on writing or the Holy Bible before I find casual time to read a novel. Well, I won’t say that totally true. I do read novels that have controversy behind them. I like to know what the big fuss is.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on marketing Living In My Father’s Dream: Weep Me Not right now. I’ve heard some say that marketing is easy, but it’s not. It’s very difficult and time consuming. I pray I can get over this hurdle so I can start my next project: Promise Me.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Blast: The Rise of Gideon by Stan Matthews

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Inside the Book:

the-rise-of-gideon
Title: The Rise of Gideon 
Author: Stan Matthews 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Format: Ebook

It is the early 1960s when journalism student Art James first meets Professor Gideon Pratt at a Midwestern university. When Art secures a reporter job after graduation, Gideon summons him, reveals that the university is harboring a Communist cell, and asks Art to write a story about it. Art, driven by his desire to earn accolades, writes the article. But when Gideon’s name is slashed from the story, Art angrily resigns.

Years later, Art lands a job with the New York Dispatch, with help from Gideon who is busy defending an educational foundation from attacks by a little known organization, the Cotterites. After Art reconnects with Gideon and his beautiful colleague/ love interest, Jo Davis, he discovers that feared anti-Communist Harry Cotter once wrote a thesis in praise of Communism—a fact that his former professor Silenus Stoddard eventually verifies. Many stories later that include an interview with Cotter himself, Art learns that Cotter is planning a rally in Madison Square Garden. While Art falls for Jo, an infuriated Gideon who blames Silenus for an embarrassing failure prepares to reveal his true self.

The Rise of Gideon shares the tale of a public relations guru and an ambitious New York reporter as they work together to expose a vicious society of extremists.

Meet the Author:
Stan Matthews is a veteran investigative reporter who has worked for both Canadian and American newspapers, and served as a fund raiser for many institutions, including churches, colleges, hospitals, American Cancer Society, Easter Seals and PBS. He is the author of several books and lives in Florida with his wife, Mary Jane.

Giveaway

Stan is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins September 19  and ends on September 30.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on October 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

September 19
September 20
September 21
September 22
September 23
September 26
September 27
September 28
September 29
September 30

Book Blast: Life-Changing ABC Scriptures with Stories by Katherine Dye

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Inside the Book:

life-changing-abc-scriptures

Title: Life-Changing ABC Scriptures with Stories 
Author: Katherine Dye 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Religion/Spirituality 
Format: Ebook

Life Changing— In the beautiful collection of fictional southern style short stories, set in her hometown, Katherine Dye highlights many nooks and crannies of New Albany, Mississippi, and if you are a native, you will delight in reading about the places you often see. If not … well, you will want to visit this lovely little artisan town and see for yourself the wonders of the pleasant and less complex southern way of life as depicted in Katherine's stories, paintings, and sketches.

The beauty of her short stories is their attraction to the Word of God. Katherine, from a child, was encouraged to memorize scripture verses; and those that became a “lamp unto her feet and a light unto her path” are the ones she has cleverly included. There is a verse for each letter of the alphabet, and she makes clear the need for a two-way conversation between God and his children, the grand and glorious balance of prayer and reading of the scriptures.

The stories are designed for young teens, but if you are a bit older now, you may find yourself slipping back to childhood and teenage years, reminiscent of the days of The Old South. Many of the scriptures Katherine features are those we memorized as children.

We are never too old to learn, but as Katherine explains in the story of Grandy and Jamie, it is much easier when we are youthful and our minds are clear and sharp, unencumbered by years of living and working and loving and playing. It feels good to slip back to those times when our ability to memorize was heightened by virtue of our youth, and the verses we so cherish are those we best remember from childhood.

This collection of stories is timeless. Read and relish youthful thoughts.

Meet the Author:

Katherine Dye was born in Blue Mountain, Mississippi, during the Great Depression. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Art and English from Blue Mountain College and a Master's Degree in Art Education from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She taught art and remedial reading for many years in the New Albany school system. Katherine is a gifted artist, having illustrated three published children's books. Her art is prominently displayed in her hometown of New Albany where she has lived for many years. In 1979 and ‘80, after researching and mastering the history of her town, Katherine sketched or painted and signed limited edititon prints of the two historical depots, the grand old courthouse, the birthplace of William Faulkner, and other local points of interest. She is affectionately known as “The New Albany Historian.”

Her fictional characters, Grandy and Jamie, are examples of those hometown people who believe it will be an adventure, even an experiment, as Jamie says, “to hold Jesus' hand to see where he might take us next. From my youthful experience, I've concluded that God's way is the best way!”

Giveaway

Katherine is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins September 19  and ends on September 30.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on October 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

September 19
September 20
September 21
September 22
September 23
September 26
September 27
September 28
September 29
September 30

Book Blast: I Asked My Father by Dorothy Rice, R.N.

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Inside the Book:

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Title: I Asked My Father 
Author: Dorothy Rice, R.N. 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Religion 
Format: Ebook

This is a small book of poetry. It was written while the author was close to death from Lupus. Why, then, does pain inspire, and inspiration produce fruits to uplift and comfort. God only knows. But there is knowing here and insights only the heart knows through suffering. If you are suffering, or know someone who is, you may find these poems a salve and solution to why good people have to suffer. For, as the author once said, "The question is not why bad things happen to good people, but why good things happen to bad people; namely, why did Jesus came for me?"

Meet the Author:
Dr. Charles Rice is the husband of Dorothy Rice, R.N. He is a clinical psychologist and Dorothy still helps him in helping couples and families. She is the author of this, small, book of poetry which she wrote when very ill with Lupus before God healed her.

Dorothy and I have two grown daughters and one grandson all living near us in Boise, Idaho.  

Giveaway

Dorothy is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins September 19  and ends on September 30.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on October 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

September 19
September 20
September 21
September 22
September 23
September 26
September 27
September 28
September 29
September 30

Book Blast: True Success by Arnold S. Judson - Win a $25 Gift Card

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Inside the Book:

true-success

Title: True Success 
Author: Arnold S. Judson 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Business & Economics 
Format: Ebook

Whether you work for a business, nonprofit or governmental organization, you’ll find ways to boost organizational performance with this guide that reveals fundamental but often uncomfortable truths about the forces that impact any organization’s performance, and how this can be improved.

Arnold S. Judson, who has been helping organizations of all types for almost seventy years, reveals what makes an organization truly successful.

He describes how to:
 • define what success means for any organization;
 • identify and assess attractive opportunities;
 • generate and implement creative ideas; and
• recognize and address limits on internal capabilities.

You’ll also learn the four key drivers that can cause an organization to be truly successful. Charts and figures are included to make it easier to formulate and execute successful plans. Empower yourself, fellow employees and your organization as a whole to be more effective and boost results with the ideas, tips and strategies in True Success. “Most management books are like instant oatmeal: hot for a minute and ultimately bland and boring. Arnold Judson has found a way to provide plenty of meat, encapsulating his diverse consulting experiences in a thoughtful and thought-provoking set of ideas that any senior manager could use.”—Allen R. Cohen, Distinguished Professor of Global Leadership, Babson College
Meet the Author:
Since 1948, Arnold S. Judson has been helping governmental, business and nonprofit organizations formulate and execute strategies in North America, Europe and the Middle East. He’s also conducted public seminars to help organizations move in new, productive directions. He now lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he continues to work with nonprofit organizations.

Giveaway

Arnold is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins September 19  and ends on September 30.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on October 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

September 19
September 20
September 21
September 22
September 23
September 26
September 27
September 28
September 29
September 30

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Chapter reveal: Joe Peas by Samuel Newsome

Title:  JOE PEAS
Genre:  Fiction/Inspirational
Author: Samuel Newsome
Publisher: Lulu
Purchase here.

An extraordinary tale about life, love, faith and friendship, Joe Peas illustrates how the most important life lessons sometimes come from the places we least expect. 

About Joe Peas:  Who is Joe Peas?  Is he a simple Italian immigrant house painter, or is he a complicated man with much to hide, even from himself?   When the aging painter develops health problems, his life intersects with that of family physician James King. Dr. King is drawn to the curious Italian, whose life is a stark contrast to his own orderly life.  The free-spirited painter and doctor forge a unique friendship—a friendship that only grows when Joe breaks a hip, and becomes a patient in a long-term care facility where he does rehabilitation under Dr. King’s care.  As Joe interacts with other residents at the facility, he learns of their struggles, their triumphs, and witnesses their close relationships with their families.  The spirited little Italian enriches the lives of the other patients—and encounters with the residents change Joe in ways he never expected.   Through these interactions, Joe realizes just how much he missed in his own life.  While Joe struggles to come to term with his past, Dr. King faces his own struggles living in a community that values conformity over individual expression.  Eager to help his friend, Joe hatches a plan.  But that plan—as colorful and vibrant as Joe himself—sets in motion a chain of events that sheds light on the secrets of the enigmatic painter. Things are not always what they seem on the surface. Could there be more—much more—to Joe Peas than meets the eye?  And will the truth about the mysterious painter finally be unveiled?

An extraordinary story that will stay with readers long after the final page is turned, Joe Peas is irresistible. Tender and touching, thoughtful and thought provoking, Joe Peas is filled with unforgettable characters that come to life within the novel’s pages.  Informed by Sam Newsome’s experiences as a physician and educator, Joe Peas is a powerful story about true healing.

////////////////////////////
Joe Peas
by
Sam Newsome
Copyright 2015 



Prologue

February 16, 1944

The Battle of Monte Cassino, sometimes referred to as the Battle for Rome, was as intense as any combat in the Second World War. Axis troops guarded the mountains and controlled the Rapido, Liri, and Garigliano River valleys. They controlled the old Appian Way access to Rome. While the German forces did not occupy the Abbey of Monte Cassino, they did control the surrounding hillside. Allied forces were uncertain of the strength of the Axis defenders and whether the abbey was under Axis control or not.
On February 15 alone, a massive barrage of 1,400 tons of bombs was loosed upon the abbey and its environs.
American soldiers of the Fifth Army witnessed the Allied bombardment as they steeled themselves for yet another assault on the enemy stronghold. The smoke and mist rolled down into the valley from the hills.
Most of these weary, battle-hardened soldiers were veterans of the North African campaign. They had not seen their wives and families for months, if not years. They knew that nothing or no one could survive such a barrage.
On February 16, as the smoke began to dissipate and the irritation of the GIs’ eyes cleared, a patrol noticed a new and unexplained feature on the landscape of no-man’s-land. A closer investigation revealed what appeared to be only a smoldering pile of cloth, perhaps a sack. On closer inspection they discovered the cloth to be the burned and tattered shirt and trousers of a small child. And they were surprised to find that the waif inside the clothes was still alive. The child was no more than smoke-stained skin and bones. His hair was filthy and scorched.
The soldiers snatched up the child and got him out of harm’s way. Over the next few days, he gained strength but appeared to be mute. The medics couldn’t tell if this was shell shock or a more serious medical condition. The homesick GIs refused to hand the boy over to the authorities. As he gained his strength, he was more or less adopted by the mess hall personnel.
Eventually the boy learned a few words. His main word was “Joe.” He probably had heard the term “GI Joe” so often that, when asked his name for the hundredth time, he said, “Joe,” and the moniker stuck.
The time came for the Fifth Army to move on. Joe had become a fixture at the mess hall and had won the hearts of the GIs, but they couldn’t take him with them to the next deployment. He was classified as a displaced person. When the aid worker asked for his name, he said, “Joe.” As for his last name, he had no idea. After an uncomfortable period of silence, he saw the cook opening a can of black-eyed peas. Joe had become fond of them as a staple of his new diet, so he said, “Peas.”
The aid worker asked, “Your last name is ‘Peas’?”
“Peas.”
And so it was. At least that was one version of the story.



Chapter 1

“You guys don’t know how to paint a house. You got to scrub, and I mean really clean the shit off! You don’t do that, you just wastin’ you time! Then you scrape that sucker plenty good! You don’t scrape and you just wastin’ you’ time! And then you prima it.” He used the word prima, instead of prime. “Then the paint. You got to use that good paint and none of that shit you get at any hardware store. You gotta know you’ paint, man.”
All this was overheard above the usual cacophony of the Waffle House. The customers in the surrounding booths, the chatter of the counter traffic, and a jukebox with the usual repertoire of country offerings provided a constant din that completed the diner experience. The high-speed, enigmatic counter orders shouted by the waitresses, and the clatter and motion of Freddy, the short-order cook, completed the symphony of a morning at the King’s Mill Waffle House.
The atmosphere was not one suitable for meditation, but it was great for a quick breakfast with a genial ambience. And with the bonus of a little time to read the daily paper, it was hard to beat. There was also something to be said for the old-fashioned diner experience that allowed the patron to see the food prepared.
Dr. James King and his wife, Betty, frequently slipped in for a Sunday breakfast before hospital rounds. This morning the paper took second place to the bantam man monopolizing the counter conversation. He had a dark, olive complexion; a pate of slick black hair; and a pencil-thin mustache. He appeared to be of an advanced age, but his animated speech and gestures suggested he was very active. Doc and Betty had lived in town all their lives, but they didn’t know him, and yet the small man was literally holding court with a cadre of local laborers as though he was a well-known local craftsman. Doc knew that a couple of these men had been lifelong painters, but they and the younger men listened when the speaker harangued them as though he was the resident house-painting expert.
“Lemme tell you ’bout paint. You paint a house like you court a beautiful woman. You don’t think Joe knows women? Lemme tell you guys. All the world’s best lovers, they’re Italian. All the best painters, Italian. You think that may be an accident?” The little fellow gestured widely with both hands, ending up with his thumbs inside his suspenders.
“You see a beautiful woman, you size her up. You got to find her blemishes. She may be bellissima outside, but she will have secrets. She got a jealous lover, or even a husband, you gotta know.”
He looked over at Betty, and she could have sworn that he winked at her. “That house you paint. It’s a got problems, you gotta know ’bout it. It got dry rot or hidden wasp nest, it can hurt a fella.
“That woman, you got to court her; you offer her flowers and candy. Flatter her and tell her she’s a so special to you! Give her all the attention she needs. She’ll say she doesn’t want it, but never you mind. She’ll eat it up. Make her believe she’s a you’ only one.
“That house, you got to court it too. Clean it like it’s a you’ best friend. Give it attention; take care of its special needs. It’ll pay off, guaranteed!
“That woman, now you better close in on the next step. You got to get physical contact. Now you guys know physical contact.” He looked around, giving his audience a knowing look. “A li’l touch and a li’l kiss and you on you’ way. Now you get to know her. She let her veil drop. You learn what she want or not want.”
Again, Betty sensed the Italian’s eyes on her. She could not help but wonder if it was more of a leer than an innocent glance. He was, after all, an Italian!
“That house, you ready for the next step. You get more physical with that house. You place the best prima you got. A simple kiss, a preparation for the real amore.” As the little Italian said this, he seemed to blur the comparison of house painting and a romantic liaison.
“Gents, it’s a now time to consummate the affair. Be gentle, be thorough.” He looked around to see if the entire diner, even Betty, was listening. They were. Then he continued.
“Take you’ time. You be simpatico with her and she be kind to you. Remember, you ’mericans, you always hurry. You take you’ time here. Smitty, none a’ dis wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am! Make you’ time with you’ lady count!
“That house, now it’s time to complete the act. Use you’ best paint. You no grab the brush like a bat. You hold it gently; caress it like a fine lady’s hand. You do slow, so slow, even passes, gentle strokes, feel the moist paint being stroked into the rough wooden surface. Soon the surface becomes moist, pliable—sexy. The strokes, they become more rhythmic, hypnotic—even erotic. You take you’ time, jus’ like with that bellissima woman. You do a slapdash job, you paint no good.”
As the fellow warmed to the sensual aspects of house painting, he actually lost part of his broken English.
“After that, you stay. You call that what? Afterglow! You stay. You be kind. You stay. You no run off and you see what it’s like to have real, real…”
“Intimacy.”
The little Italian and everyone in the diner turned to see who had said that. Dr. King and Betty looked around too, till they realized that the now red-faced Betty had volunteered the statement.
Joe continued, “Buono, intimacy. That lady deserves you’ best. That house deserves you’ best. You got it painted, then you look at the family. You see the look and feel of the family who live in the house. That’s a so good!”
One of the painters, Smitty, looked up from his third cup of coffee. “I need a cigarette.”
Abner, Smitty’s partner, decided he’d better call his wife and see if she was ready for their regular “date night.”
Dr. King and Betty had lingered longer than usual over their coffee as the little Italian and his band of painters entertained them. As Doc and his wife left the restaurant, they heard Joe ask his audience, “Who is that guy?”
“Why, he’s my doc,” said Smitty. “Fixed me up real good when I hurt my back last year.”