Looking for Reviewers: Sandy’s Gift: Walking With the Light by William P. Dunn IV

We are taking review requests for William P. Dunn’s SANDY’S GIFT: WALKING WITH THE LIGHT. This is a review campaign and not a blog tour. If requesting review copies, we ask that you post your review at Amazon no later than February 26, please. Thank you!

sandys-gift-walking-the-light

Inside the Book:

Title: SANDY’S GIFT: WALKING WITH THE LIGHT
Author: William P. Dunn IV
Publisher: Cedar Forge Press
Pages: 301
Genre: Memoir/Mental Health/Spirituality

Sandy’s Gift: Walking With The Light is an intimate and shocking true story of love and courageous struggle against a flawed healthcare system in the wake of a heartbreaking and poignant family tragedy. It is a moving tribute to the virtue of tenacious devotion and a chilling wake-up all for everyone, especially those whose lives have been impacted by the presence and aftermath of mental illness.

To sign up, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2016/11/26/memoirmental-healthspiritual-sandys-gift-walking-with-the-light-review-campaign-sign-up/.

Book Excerpt: On Top of the World (Until The Bell Chimes) by David Lamb

Title: ON TOP OF THE WORLD (UNTIL THE BELL CHIMES)
Author: David Lamb
Publisher: Woolly Mammoth Books
Pages: 240
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Contemporary Romance/Multicultural/Humor/Satire

2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens’ classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age. This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.   They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.   Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.   Now, it’s been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance.   Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets?   And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away?   Second chances don’t often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance?   Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year’s Best Fiction.

Purchase Information:

Amazon | iTunes | B&N

Book Excerpt:

The devil doesn’t wear Prada, he wears Sean John and I was the idiot who taught him how to shop.

That was what I got for reading Frankenstein in college. I’d been turned into a mad scientist without even realizing it. Just my luck, I was a math major and the one literature course I took had tricked me into creating a monster.

When I first met Scrooʝe, he—like most humans with XY chromosomes—was a fashion emergency. Awkwardly walking around campus—lost, desperately in need of a haircut, and for some strange reason wearing glasses so big he looked like an owl hunting for prey. He was just plain pitiful.

But I have to confess, from the moment I saw him my heart sang a happy song and I couldn’t look away. Something between us was magnetic.

Hey, what can I say, I was always the kind of girl who liked rescue projects. When I was eight years old, I turned my family’s garage into a makeshift animal shelter, and damn near gave my father a heart attack when a hungry pack of strays rushed at him as he pulled into the driveway.

So naturally, one look into Scrooʝe’s sad puppy dog eyes and I felt right away—he was the one.

Before I knew it, we were college sweethearts and best friends. Of course, I had to clean him up, but after a few months under my tutelage everyone noticed his transformation. They saw that with his gorgeous toffee skin, deliciously full lips and sexy broad shoulders he was the cutest boy on campus.  Pretty soon I had girls telling me I needed to start a makeover service.

That was how it all started. Who could have known that a simple makeover would unleash the devilish genius of the sweetest, shyest, most socially awkward boy I’d ever met, and transform him into music’s biggest superstar with an ego the size of Texas yet more fragile than an egg yolk? And a whole lot messier! Not me.

Without a doubt we’ve traveled a long crazy road together. Scrooʝe was the first boy I gave my heart to. Our relationship went from me rescuing him in college, to him rescuing me in law school, to our emergence as music’s power couple. He was the artist/entrepreneur, and I was the best lawyer love could buy.

And now, we’re strangers.

It’s been three years since we’ve seen or spoken to each other, and sometimes, against my better judgment, I find myself thinking about him and feel a smile creep across my face.

This morning was one of those times when my thoughts turned to Scrooʝe. Normally I’d tell myself off for not letting go, but today I gave myself a break. After all, it isn’t every day that you might not just run into your ex, but do it live on television at Hollywood’s biggest event.

“Everything’s gonna be fine, girl,” I told myself as I contemplated everything that could go wrong if we ran into each other at The Awards. I was especially dreading an untimely re-emergence of my long-standing “klutz curse”.

My whole life, I’d been jinxed with “inopportune clumsiness”. As the ring girl at my parents’ vow renewal, I stumbled, fell in the grass, and lost the rings. As a tiny ballerina, I was the best in my class, until the day of the recital when I went tumbling down like Humpty Dumpty.

Now with the whole world watching, I simply could not afford such an embarrassing spill.

As I sat in the back of a sleek limousine on my way to the ceremony, gazing up at the L.A. skyline, nervously checking my hair in the mirror for the dozenth time in half a dozen minutes, I tried to push down the queasiness threatening to erupt from the pit of my stomach. The last thing I needed was to step onto the red carpet covered in this afternoon’s lunch. The paparazzi would surely have a field day with that one.

Well, like I said it was exactly three years to the day that I stomped out of Scrooʝe’s life, but tonight we were both nominated for Awards. I knew God worked in mysterious ways, but now I was convinced she also had a sense of humor.

I never thought I’d be nominated for anything, but life had other plans. After we broke up, I quickly discovered that the best cure for PTRS—post-traumatic-relationship-stress—was writing. By the time I finished hammering those computer keys, I was author of an award-winning, best-selling, drama-filled, tragically comic novel that Hollywood just had to have. Now here I was nominated for an Award as one of the producers of the year’s biggest movie.

Once word got out that I was nominated, I was immediately blessed (or cursed depending on your view) with a merry-go-round of opinions. From my hair to my makeup to my shoes to my dress, from my eyebrows to my voice, to making sure I didn’t have ashy knees—everyone had an opinion. Normally I was unflappable, but with so many people giving so many conflicting opinions I was suddenly a nervous wreck. Finally, I stopped answering the phone because I couldn’t take any more unsolicited advice. If someone did manage to reach me on the phone, before they could even say a word I’d say, “No, I don’t know what I’m going to wear, and no, I don’t know how I’m doing my hair,” before abruptly clicking off. Unbelievable, Russell Simmons can show up without a tie and wearing sneakers, yet still be a style icon. But let a woman have one eyelash out of place and it’ll be the lead on the evening news.

Two nights before The Awards, I tried to veg out with an episode of Soccer Moms From Hell. But before I could lose myself in the drama, my cell phone buzzed with a text. “Oh, come on!” I yelled, throwing my hands up unnecessarily dramatically. Then I looked at it. It was from my father. He wrote simply—Be you.

At least there was one man in the world I could still count on.

Two days later, on my way to The Awards I tried to wrap my head around the idea that I’d soon be standing on the stage with millions watching. This was not part of the plan. I was a behind-the-scenes kind of gal, not at all attracted to the limelight. So, as I pulled up to The Awards, my nerves fluttered in my stomach like butterflies. But despite my anxiety, when I last checked the mirror I didn’t look too shabby. Thank God, Michelle Obama isn’t the only one who looks perfect in a Carolina Herrera gown.

As I climbed out of the limo and walked the red carpet, waving at the crowd gathered to cheer on their favorite artists, I thought about everything that had led up to this moment and even though I was anxious on the inside, on the outside I smiled as if I weren’t the least bit concerned all while praying for two things—please, dont let me fall in front of all these people, and please, please, dont let me run into Scrooʝe.

Pump Up Your Book! Announces Rani St. Pucchi’s Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter Virtual Book Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Rani St. Pucchi’s Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter virtual book tour starting November 1 and ending February 10.  Rani will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about her phenomenal new book that will help the average woman in America which is size 14 and that relationship starts with an individual’s relationship to self..

Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends.

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type

* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most

* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit

* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks

* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well

* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

If you’d like to follow her tour, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2016/08/01/pump-up-your-book-presents-23-minutes-past-1-a-m-virtual-book-publicity-tour/.  Please leave a comment or question at each of her tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price.  More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com. While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see what we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team.

Contact Information:

Dorothy Thompson

Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours

P.O. Box 643

Chincoteague, Virginia  23336

Email:  thewriterslife@gmail.com

Book Spotlight: Rejoicing Through The Tears by Brenda George

Inside the Book


Title: Rejoicing Through The Tears

Author: Brenda George

Publisher: WestBow Press

Pages: 240

Genre: Inspirational

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with cancer? Rejoicing through the Tears has been written with you in mind. You can learn not only to survive, but to thrive. You can come through your wilderness journey of cancer and let God turn your mourning into dancing. No matter what challenges you may be facing, you can learn to embrace the hand of a loving God. He will walk with you whether you are up on the mountaintop or down in the valley; you will learn to rejoice wherever you are, because what you are rejoicing with is heartfelt joy from deep within. Your faith will be ignited, and you will be encouraged. You will learn to live each day with passion and enthusiasm. Let the God who flung the stars into space walk into your storm, refresh your soul, and bring you streams in the desert.
Book Excerpt:


Chapter Five

The Diagnosis

After we returned home from Mackinac Island, I reluctantly made an appointment for the biopsy. I still did not think there was anything to be concerned about, because I felt too good. Sick people were the ones who had something wrong, I thought. I went to the hospital bright and early the next Monday morning, following my return home from vacation for a fine-needle biopsy in my neck. I was dragging my feet all the way to the hospital. I just couldn’t stand to hear any more bad news. As I was lying flat on my back on the table, the tears rolled down both sides of my face and dripped onto the examination table. I couldn’t explain it, but somewhere deep down inside, I sensed the worst. The doctor doing the biopsy told me that thyroid nodules are fairly common. Ninety-five percent of them are benign, leaving only five percent as malignant. That was reassuring to hear. While your medical history, examination by a physician, lab tests, and ultrasound are important, the only test that can distinguish whether thyroid nodules are benign or malignant is through a fine-needle biopsy. After numbing the area, the doctor sticks a very fine needle into the nodules to remove cells for microscopic examination, which are sent to pathology. A bandage is put on your neck, and you are sent home. The biopsy wasn’t too painful, but I would describe it as uncomfortable. Every day of the rest of that week seemed to be an eternity as I waited for that phone call with the biopsy results. Finally, the nurse called three days later. She hesitated for a few minutes on the other end of the line before she reluctantly said that it was urgent that I make an appointment as soon as possible. What more can I say except that it was a long weekend! Monday finally rolled around. I was in a daze as I walked into the doctor’s office early that morning. The doctor sat down in his chair and looked me straight in the eye with apprehension. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn I saw a single tear in his eye when he gave me the news that I was dreading to hear with all my heart—that I had papillary thyroid cancer—but my eyes were so welled up with tears, I wasn’t sure, I was not prepared to hear those heart-wrenching words that would pierce my heart forever. They cut like a knife. It was the worst shock of my life, and I was completely numb inside. The true meaning of those words hadn’t sunk in yet. They were just too final. I came out of the doctor’s office and into the waiting room where my mom was waiting for me. I tried to smile, but it was forced. I wanted to act like everything was normal for as long as I could and put off telling her the news that had just turned my own world upside down. As we walked out of the hospital, my legs felt like lead. Each step became more impossible. Finally, when I fell into my car that was it. There was no holding back. I completely broke down. The tears started and went on for at least a week, almost nonstop. I remember eating my bowl of cereal that next morning before work and crying the entire time. I didn’t know my body was capable of producing so many tears. Finally, there were no more tears left to cry. But I still felt completely hopeless. Papillary thyroid cancer is a very treatable kind of cancer. The prognosis is usually good if it is caught in time, which it usually is, and receives the proper treatment. There are many more cases being diagnosed each year, mainly because technology is now so much more advanced. If mine hadn’t been diagnosed when it was, it would have probably become terminal. I was thankful that the outlook was encouraging, but I didn’t like hearing anyone pass it off as the good cancer. There is no good cancer. Cancer can kill. It may be slow, depending on what type it is and the stage it’s in, but left untreated, death is almost inevitable. The C word is one that nobody ever wants to hear. That very word meant death to me. If I was fortunate enough to survive, my life would be forever changed and would require lifelong monitoring.

Praise for Rejoicing Through The Tears:


By HCTexas on October 5, 2014
In her book, Rejoicing through the Tears: Embracing God’s Hand in Cancer, Brenda George shares not only the story of her journey through surviving Thyroid cancer but also some practical information that could be very helpful for anyone faced with a cancer diagnosis. We know that God does not heal everyone as He did Brenda but what she shares in this book will give everyone the opportunity to know there is hope and there will be victory if you put your faith and strength in our Lord, Jesus.

Though at first glance this cover may look a bit whimsical (take a closer look) the content is anything but. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Everyone knows someone that has been affected by the diagnosis of cancer; if not you then a family member, friend or friend of a friend. Please read this book it can only help.

For More Information

Meet the Author

brenda-george
Brenda George is the author of “Rejoicing Through The Tears: Embracing God’s Hand In Cancer.” She is a thyroid cancer survivor and a speaker for The American Cancer Society as a “Voice of Hope.” She has also spoken at other events, including Aglow International. She is passionate about raising awareness and reaching out to others to inspire people from all walks of life to never give up hope! She is enthusiastic about life and teaches others that they can not only survive, but thrive. Whatever challenges, they may be facing, they will learn to embrace the hand of a loving God – He will turn their mourning into dancing. Brenda resides in Marysville, Ohio, with her husband, Mark and their adorable Old English Sheepdog, named Maggie. She is the mother of three grown children and grandmother to seven.

Book Blast: The October Testament by Ruth Magnusson Davis

Inside the Book

Title: The October Testament

Author: Ruth Magnusson Davis

Publisher: Baruch House Publishing

Pages: 434

Genre: Christian / Bible / Religion & Spirituality

The primary author of the October Testament is the English martyr William Tyndale. This is his final New Testament translation of 1535. Two years later, his friend John Rogers first published these scriptures in a little-known but very important Reformation Bible called the Matthew Bible, which became the first authorized English Bible under King Henry VIII. A second edition was published in 1549, from which this update is made. Rogers was martyred in 1555, burned at the stake in Smithfield, England. The wine-colored cover, therefore, is symbolic of the blood with which this bible was bought. Ruth Magnusson Davis is founder and editor of the New Matthew Bible Project. Her work is to update the Matthew Bible: not to make a modern bible, but to keep the language of the original as much as possible, which she calls the real language of the faith. Because the KJV New Testament was largely taken from Tyndale, readers will find much that is familiar here, and beautiful, but will find it easier to understand than the KJV. Ruth, a retired lawyer, is a scholar of early modern English, the writings of William Tyndale, and the Matthew Bible. In 2009 she retired from professional practice in order to undertake this work full-time. In October 2015, she completed the New Testament, “The October Testament.” Then she began work on the interior layout and attending to all the details of publishing. In March 2016 the October Testament finally became available for sale, and was immediately well received. Ruth’s fine editorial hand is almost unnoticeable. Tyndale continues to shine through. Rogers’ style in his annotations is distinctly his. Readers comment repeatedly on both the flow and the clarity of the New Matthew Bible scriptures, and also on the beauty of the original style, which Ruth, with her delicate touch, has masterfully retained.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 3

The baptism, preaching, and office of John the Baptist, and how Christ was baptized by him in the Jordan.

In those days John the Baptist came and preached in the wilderness of Judea, 2saying, Repent: the kingdom of heaven is at hand! 3This is he of whom it is spoken by the prophet Isaiah, who says, The voice of a crier in wilderness: Prepare the Lord’s way, and make his paths straight.   4This John had his garment of camel’s hair, and a girdle of skin about his loins. His food was locusts and wild honey.a 5At that time Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the region round about the Jordan, went out to him, 6and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.  7When he saw many of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O offspring of vipers, who has taught you to flee from the vengeance to come? 8Bring forth therefore the fruits belonging to repentance. 9And see that you ones do not think to say in yourselves, We have Abraham as our father. For I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now is the axe put to the root of the trees, so that every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. 11I baptize you in water in token of repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12He has also his fan in his hand, and will purge his floor, and gather the wheat into his garner, and will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.b  13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan, to John, to be baptized by him. 14But John stopped him, saying, I ought to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? 15Jesus answered and said to him, Let it be so
Isa 40:3
Mk 1:1-17 Lu 3:1-22 Joh 1:15-34; 3:22-36.
Now, for thus it behoves us, to fulfil all righteousness. Then John let him. 16And Jesus, as soon as he was baptized, came straight out of the water. And lo, heaven was open over him, and John saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and light upon him. 17And lo, there came a voice from heaven, saying, This is he: my beloved Son, in whom is my delight.
Mk 1:11 Lu 3:22 Joh 1:32 2Pe 1:16-18
Locusts  (3:4)
Wheat and chaff (3:12)
The Notes

a) According to Pliny [Roman savant and author of Natural History in the first century], locusts are certain creatures that people of Parthia and Ethiopia used to eat. But some say the tops or buds of trees or fruits are meant. [Tyndale>John the Baptist came not to impress with his diet and strait living, which outward things pertain only to the taming of the flesh, but he came to preach, as the voice of a crier.] b) By the wheat and the chaff are understood the good and the evil.
Luke 3:17.

For More Information

Meet the Author


Ruth Magnusson Davis is a retired lawyer with an undergraduate degree in languages, and a conservative Christian. She holds to the fullness of Reformation doctrine, with one foot in the camp of evangelical traditional Anglicans and another with the Lutherans. She presently resides in Canada.
In 2005 Ruth formed her little company, Baruch House Publishing, to publish her first book, ‘True to His Ways: Purity & Safety in Christian Spiritual Practice,’ released that year.
In 2009 Ruth retired from law and founded the New Matthew Bible Project, dedicated to gently updating the Matthew Bible, a little-known Reformation Bible. The Matthew Bible was the joint work of 3 men early in the Reformation: William Tyndale, Miles Coverdale, and John Rogers. Few people realize that the Matthew Bible formed the basis of the King James Version. Ruth’s goal is to maintain the historic language of the faith while making these old scriptures plain for today’s reader. The updated version will be called the New Matthew Bible, or NMB for short.
Ruth completed her work on the NMB New Testament, and it was published in April 2016 as ‘The October Testament.’

For More Information

Book Blast: Journey To The Cross by Shane Cloonan

journey-to-the-cross-bb-banner

Inside the Book:



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

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

Journey to the Cross helps answer questions that young people ask about the life of Jesus.
For More Information:

Journey to the Cross is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Meet the Author


Shane Cloonan began writing Journey to the Cross as a sixth-grader at a Chicago-area Catholic school.

While his own journey to the publication of this book took three years, it was a complete labor of love. Shane is an avid outdoorsman. He also is an accomplished woodcarver. Shane took third place in his age group and category two years ago at the Ward World Championships Wildfowl Carving Competition in Maryland, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the International Woodcarvers Congress competition in Iowa.

Animals and pets of almost every shape and size have always been a big part of his life. It’s one of the reasons why he used a donkey as his lead character—a donkey that tells the most profound story in human history.

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

For More Information:

Author Website

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One of Windsor Book Blast!

About the Book:
Title: One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging
Author: Beth M. Caruso
Publisher: Ladyslipper Press
Pages: 358
Genre: Historical Fiction
Alice, a young woman prone to intuitive insights and loyalty to the only family she has ever known, leaves England for the rigid colony of the Massachusetts Bay in 1635 in hopes of reuniting with them again. Finally settling in Windsor, Connecticut, she encounters the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants, her own healing abilities, and the blinding fears of Puritan leaders which collide and set the stage for America’s first witch hanging, her own, on May 26, 1647.
This event and Alice’s ties to her beloved family are catalysts that influence Connecticut’s Governor John Winthrop Jr. to halt witchcraft hangings in much later years. Paradoxically, these same ties and the memory of the incidents that led to her accusation become a secret and destructive force behind Cotton Mather’s written commentary on the Salem witch trials of 1692, provoking further witchcraft hysteria in Massachusetts forty-five years after her death.
The author uses extensive historical research combined with literary inventions, to bring forth a shocking and passionate narrative theory explaining this tragic and important episode in American history.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

NEW WINDSOR, BERKSHIRE,
ENGLAND, 1615
The infant was soon to enter the world. Alsie’s increased labor pains and a sudden wave of panic made a swift announcement of her baby’s imminent arrival. Gwendolyn, the midwife, motioned with a wise smile and nod to Alsie’s cousin. Mrs. Mary Merwin Tinker and her daughters were to make the final preparations for the newborn. The lines embedded under Gwendolyn’s eyes, eyes still bright after many years of life, were a testament to her wisdom and experience.
“Girls. It’s time. Quickly…Sarah, bring the rest of Gwendolyn’s supplies to the bedside table. She’ll need the string and knives shortly. Little Mary, come and support Alsie’s back. You too, Ellen. Assist Mary. Margaret, make sure the linens are warmed and everything else is ready for the babe! We must all give our support to cousin now,” spoke Mrs. Mary Tinker, their mother.
“Yes ma’am,” they replied in unison as some sisters hurried about making sure everything was in place for the birth, and the remaining sisters stayed at Alsie’s side to comfort her.
Despite the excitement inside, a branch softly and hypnotically continued to hit the leaded glass window of the thatched cottage in a steady cadence. Alsie had already been in a trance for the past hour, the trance a woman’s body and soul become held in toward the end of labor.
About the Author
Beth M. Caruso grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and spent her childhood writing puppet shows and witches’ cookbooks. She became interested in French Literature and Hispanic Studies, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati. She later obtained Masters degrees in Nursing and Public Health.
Working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, she helped to improve the public health of local Karen hill tribes. She also had the privilege to care for hundreds of babies and their mothers as a labor and delivery nurse.
Largely influenced by an apprenticeship with herbalist and wildcrafter, Will Endres, in North Carolina, she surrounds herself with plants through gardening and native species conservation.
Her latest passion is to discover and convey important stories of women in American history. One of Windsor is her debut novel. She lives in New England with her awesome husband, amazing children, loyal puppy, and cuddly cats. .

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Book Excerpt: One of Windsor by Beth M. Caruso

Title: One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging
Author:  Beth M. Caruso
Publisher: Ladyslipper Press
Pages: 358
Genre: Historical Fiction

Alice, a young woman prone to intuitive insights and loyalty to the only family she has ever known, leaves England for the rigid colony of the Massachusetts Bay in 1635 in hopes of reuniting with them again. Finally settling in Windsor, Connecticut, she encounters the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants, her own healing abilities, and the blinding fears of Puritan leaders which collide and set the stage for America’s first witch hanging, her own, on May 26, 1647.

This event and Alice’s ties to her beloved family are catalysts that influence Connecticut’s Governor John Winthrop Jr. to halt witchcraft hangings in much later years. Paradoxically, these same ties and the memory of the incidents that led to her accusation become a secret and destructive force behind Cotton Mather’s written commentary on the Salem witch trials of 1692, provoking further witchcraft hysteria in Massachusetts forty-five years after her death.

The author uses extensive historical research combined with literary inventions, to bring forth a shocking and passionate narrative theory explaining this tragic and important episode in American history.

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Book Excerpt:

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY, 1692

The elderly reverend knew it was crucial to stop Satan. As if in unison with the Dark Lord’s latest antics, tremendous bolts of lightning and deafening thunder heralded the ensuing rainstorm of that early autumn day in Boston. The reverend’s dedicated son would have preferred that he stay home by a fire and rest. Still feisty in his later years of life, he refused. He was fervently determined to discuss pertinent matters at hand concerning the witchcraft calamities in Salem and surrounding towns. As a minister, albeit a retired one, he felt responsible for guiding younger ministers, such as Cotton Mather, to make their congregations understand the menacing threats of witchcraft.

The aged minister was someone who had personally suffered through a de- monic incursion in Windsor, a river town of the Connecticut Colony, back in 1647. He was fully cognizant of its evil impacts. Satan had infiltrated Windsor through a consort and witch whom he knew all too well. The Great Demon had been stealthy in his trickery. But this time, the respected pastor hoped to arrest the Devil’s mischief before the same level of destruction and harm could occur. Accordingly, he was there to offer his assistance to Cotton Mather in dealing with witchcraft presently taking hold in Massachusetts Bay towns and villages. The young minister welcomed him into his home.

“Good day, dear Reverend. You must come in quickly out of the rain and take comfort by the hearth. I will have my servants bring you my fin- est cider and freshly baked, delicious cakes to eat. I have so much to share with you. By your experience, you have been the inspiration I have needed to start the work that we were speaking of the other week,” spoke Cotton Mather.

“Thank you, Cotton. It will warm my body as well as my heart to sit by the fire and hear of the inspirations that took hold of your soul. I hope it helped you to do the honorable task of warning our people of the great wrath of Satan,” replied the elderly reverend.

With that pronouncement, the old reverend took off his soggy cloak and sat down at a table next to the hearth. He paused and grew distinctly somber before continuing.

“Satan must not be allowed to advance further into our New England wil- derness, for we have painstakingly worked at taming it over the years. Yet our young people lapse into disobedience of the commandments of Jesus Christ. Our current admonishment by the Lord through the events in Salem and be- yond act to bring us back to the righteous path,” explained the aged pastor as the rain poured down.

He looked wide-eyed and serious at Cotton.

Cotton Mather nodded at the old reverend in agreement and replied, “You see, honored Reverend, by your histories of the very earliest acts of war first waged upon these colonies by Lucifer, I have been able to put the current dif- ficulties in Salem into a broader view of understanding for our present govern- ment. I hope it will aid those justices that would weigh their opinions upon such cases of bewitchments. It is also for the benefit of younger generations. I know you prefer not to be mentioned by name, but hear what it is that I have reiterated concerning those times,” he implored.

Cotton quickly pulled out a satchel full of papers written upon with a righteous and eloquent hand and requested, “Please tell me what you think, Reverend. This is from the introduction of my commentary. These words were taken directly from our lengthy conversations of what is transpiring now at Salem and in our congregations in relation to the Devil and his armies’ frustration of

defeat in Connecticut so many years ago. I am naming this commentary Wonders of the Invisible World.”

Wonders of the Invisible World,” nodded the old reverend, speaking loudly over the storm.

A servant came in and poured warm cider for the two ministers. At being interrupted, the elderly pastor pursed his lips, staying silent, but met Cotton’s eyes with a secret understanding. They waited until the servant left before con- tinuing their discussion.

Cotton continued, “This is part of the Introduction, Enchantments Encountered”.

He read, “We have been advised by Credible Christians still alive, that a Malefactor accused of Witchcraft as well as Murder, and executed in this place, more than Forty years ago, did then give Notice of An Horrible PLO T against the country by W I TCHCR A F T, and a foundation of Witchcraft then laid, which if it were not seasonably discovered, would probably Blow up and pull down all the Churches in the Country.”

“ Yes. Yes!” agreed the agitated old minister, and added, “ The young people need to know how, if we had not ferreted out the witch that spawned all oth- ers on the shores of the Great Connecticut, all of our churches in the colonies would have failed indeed. Nothing would have pleased Satan and his legions more than to see those intent on building a godly and pure Utopian state in this wilderness beaten down and forced by evil to return to England. We, the people of Windsor, agonized much in bringing to light of day the bewitchments brought upon us by a naughty and wayward woman. She who made a pact with the Devil allowed him to nearly destroy us. By the Grace of God he did not, thanks to the watchful vigilance of God’s dedicated and steadfast servants!” he howled with the tempest.

The aged pastor continued, enraged, “No one likes to speak her name. She deserves no recognition for her defamation of this country by unleashing devils that would dare claim this corner of the earth for their own in an affront to the Lord Jesus Christ. By her hand, a great pestilence of disease infiltrated the daily life of the fledgling colony of Connecticut, especially in the town of Windsor. We had settled into our homes only about twelve years when the Devil was over- come with venomous jealousy that we had claimed formerly heathen territory and tamed wilderness for our Lord Jesus. Satan saw a prime opportunity to permeate and upset our small community through the wickedness and unfaith- fulness of that woman,” he spoke as the sky rumbled.

The old reverend took a sip of cider, wetting his dry lips.

“Such was the power that Satan infused her with that a great many people died, including many young children, for the Devil has no conscience and no compassion. Upon her death, she did swear in a fit of lies that she was innocent. She cursed those whose testimonies and swift actions led her to the hangman’s noose. The good Reverend Thomas Hooker was presiding at the First Church in Windsor for the Reverend John Wareham during the time of her bewitch- ments,” recounted the old cleric.

He clenched his fists as he took a deep breath.

“He helped to expose her and was touched by her wickedness in such a way that he died less than one month later of the same dreaded disease that she helped to proliferate and use to kill other devout soldiers of Christ,” the old reverend said.

Cotton Mather spoke again intensely, “Yes, I understand, Reverend. I pref- ace the first reading I recited just now with this…The New Englanders are a People of God settled in those, which were once the Devil’s Territories; and it may easily be supposed that the Devil was exceedingly disturbed, when he perceived such a People here accomplishing the Promise of old made unto our Blessed Jesus, that He should have the Utmost parts of the Earth for his Possession.

Cotton continued, “I believe that never were more Satanical Devices used for the Unsettling of any People under the Sun, than what have been employed for the Extirpation of the Vine which God has here Planted, Casting out the Heathen, and preparing a Room before it, and causing it to take deep Root, and fill the Land, so that it sent its Boughs unto the Atlantic Sea Eastward, and its Branches unto the Connecticut River westward, and the Hills were covered with the shadow thereof. But in all those attempts of Hell, have hitherto been Abortive and Having obtained Help from God, we continue to this Day. Where fore the Devil is now making one Attempt more difficult, more Surprising, more snarled with unintelligible circumstances than any we have hitherto encountered.

The senior cleric nodded his head approvingly. Their conversation contin- ued for the better part of two hours. The time was interspersed with prayers

as well, imploring the Almighty Father to empower them in their fight against the Prince of Darkness. Cider was refilled several times. They discussed the importance of weeding out all of Satan’s imps and witches in Salem and other nearby villages and towns so that New England could be as pure again as that first generation of godly wayfarers who led the ultimate religious Utopian ex- periment into the wilderness.

When the conversation eased, the thoughtful and grave old minister stared into the fire. He wondered if she were burning in hellfires in that very moment. And what of the souls of the family who had forever fractured in their defense or blame of her, the first colonial witch? He was becoming quite old now. Soon, he hoped to be called to God’s kingdom. Until that time, he would continue to be of service to the younger generations of ministers trying to guide their lost flocks away from Satan.

Abruptly, there was a knock on the door that jerked the ministers from their pious imaginings. It was the elderly reverend’s son. He had come to re- trieve his father. He paid his respects to the Reverend Cotton Mather and then gently guided his father out into the streets of Boston, newly drenched from the rain. The elderly pastor turned around and shouted to Reverend Mather.

“Please feel free to call for my assistance again. For an old man such as I delights in nothing more than making his last acts upon this earth ones that are dedicated to bringing God’s people closer to Him and away from the wretches of the Devil. I shall be honored to continue to help you with your mission,” of- fered the old cleric.

“Thank you, honorable Reverend,” answered Cotton with a slight bow.

Book Excerpt: Friend of the Devil by Mark Spivak

Title: Friend of the Devil
Author: Mark Spivak
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 325
Genre: Culinary Thriller

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

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Book Excerpt:

Several years after the opening of Chateau de la Mer, the triumvirate of Avenzano, Walsh, and Ross appeared to be one big happy family, although there were rumors of strains in the relationship.

One night, at the height of the Festival of Champagne, there was an incident. Ross, a notorious womanizer, was sipping Cristal with a redhead at the restaurant’s corner table.

His wife slipped through the front door of the mansion, unannounced. Walking slowly through the dining room, past the Medieval memorabilia and dramatic cast-iron griffins, she strolled up to Ross’s table, took a revolver from her evening bag, and calmly shot him through the heart.

The ensuing chaos did more to establish Joseph Soderini di Avenzano in the American imagination than his designer pasta, his Bedouin stuffed poussin, his recipes transposed from Etruscan or Old Genoese, or his library of ten thousand cookbooks.

This was more than a good meal, after all. This was sex and death in Palm Beach. Even more intriguing was the chef’s refusal to comment on Ross after his death, except for informal and effusive eulogies in his famous baritone.

“Watch that Cristal,” David’s friend Bill Grimaldi told him before he left Manhattan to do an assigned story on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Chateau de la Mer. “It’s a killer.”

Book Feature: Scar Tissue by MC Domovitch

Title: Scar Tissue
Author: MC Domovitch
Publisher: Lansen Publishing
Pages: 396
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Paranormal

When successful model Ciara Cain wakes up in hospital, remembering nothing of the weeks she has been missing, her only clues are the ugly words carved into her skin. According to the police she was a victim of the Cutter, a serial killer who has already murdered three women. For her protection the police and her doctors give a press conference, announcing that because her amnesia is organically caused, her memory loss is permanent. But, whether her memory returns or not is anybody’s guess.
Overnight, Ciara’s glamorous life is gone. Her scars have killed both her modelling career and her relationship with her rich boyfriend. With nothing to keep her in New York, she returns to her home town of Seattle, moves in with her sister and goes about building a new life. But when her sister lets it slip that Ciara’s memory is returning, the killer comes after her again. If Ciara is to stay alive, she must keep one step ahead of the Cutter.

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Book Excerpt:

It was the pain that pierced the fog in her brain. It seemed to come from all over her body, more intensely from her right leg, where it pulsated to the rhythm of her heart. She tried to open her eyes, but her lids felt…so…very…heavy. It was easier to fall back into the haze inside her mind. She floated there, vaguely aware of somebody calling her name.

“Ciara, it’s me.” The voice sounded familiar, but she couldn’t place it. “Please wake up.”.”” She drifted off again.

Time had lost all meaning. She wandered in and out of a great void. She might have been sleeping for minutes or days. Occasionally her eyelids fluttered for a few seconds, only to grow still again. One day when she opened her eyes, the fog had lifted. The first thing she saw were old acoustic ceiling tiles. Puzzled, she blinked. A beeping caught her attention and she shifted her gaze to the side. Next to her was a monstrous machine. Tubes were running from it to her and back again. Where was she?

She tried to speak, but there was something in her mouth. She moaned, and then a woman was bending over her, her eyes full of tears.

“Ciara. Can you hear me?” Her sister? Deirdre was here? All the way from Seattle? She must be in a hospital. If she was sick, whatever she had was serious.

“If you can, squeeze my hand.” She strained to move, but her limbs were great weights. Her movements were sluggish. But she must have squeezed because suddenly Deirdre was yelling, “She’s awake. Ciara is awake.” But she was asleep again.

Over the next few days, there were more and more moments of awareness. The tube in her mouth was removed and she was given ice chips, and then water. She couldn’t seem to get enough.

“Good morning, young lady,” a doctor said.

It was morning? She’d had no idea. He shone a penlight in her eyes. She vaguely remembered him doing this before. She must have drifted off again, because she blinked and he was gone.

A different doctor came to visit. He wore surgical greens. He too peered into her eyes with a light and then asked her a number of questions, starting with her name.

“Ciara Kelly,” she said in a voice she barely recognized. From a corner of her room came an excited voice. “Oh, my God! She’s speaking. That means she’s fully out of the coma, doesn’t it?”

She hadn’t dreamed it. Her sister truly was right here in New York.

This is New York, isn’t it?

“It’s still too soon to be certain, but things look good so far.” The doctor continued with his questions. “Can you count backward from one hundred for me?”

She had to think hard. “One hundred, ninety-nine, ninety-eight.” Had she gotten that right?

“Very good.” After another half dozen questions, the doctor smiled at last. “Welcome back, Ciara. You’ve had a lot of people very worried for a long time. Do you remember what happened?”

“I was in an accident?” she guessed.

“That’s right. Do you remember it?”

She wrinkled her brow in concentration. “I was at a photo shoot for Prêt-a-Porter,” she said, naming a popular magazine. “Oh, my God. I was supposed to fly to Milan today. I’ve got to get out of here. My agent will kill me if I miss my flight.”

“You already missed that flight,” her sister said. “You’ve been in a coma for a while.”

“In a coma?” Ciara looked at her blankly. “How long of a while?”

There was a hesitation, until at last Deirdre said, “Seventeen days.”

“Seven…” That was impossible. Why, that photo shoot was only yesterday. She was sure of it. She’d been looking forward to her flight to Italy and auditioning for all the glamorous designer shows. Could that really have been over two weeks ago? She suddenly noticed her forearms. She hardly recognized them as her own. They were so thin. She must have lost a ton of weight. Her first reaction was one of joy. Even her agent would have to agree she was thin enough now. She imagined what she might say when she saw her. Why Ciara, you’re a perfect size two. Armani will adore you.

But from what her sister had just said, the collections were already half over. And come to think of it, she had no idea what kind of shape she was in. How badly was she hurt? Could she even walk? She flexed her toes and was relieved to see movement under the bedsheet. At least she wasn’t paralyzed.

“What’s wrong with me?” At the same time she became aware of a dull pain in her right leg. “Please tell me I don’t have a broken leg. I don’t have time for that. I have to get back to work.”

Deirdre came closer, placing a comforting hand over hers. “Work will have to wait. You have some healing to do first. You were pretty banged up when you were brought in. You had a compound fracture of the leg, not to mention a lot of cuts and bruises. But, didn’t I always tell you, you have a really hard head, Ciara Kelly, because with the blow you got you should have had a broken skull. Instead, all you got was a concussion.”

The doctor took over from there. “But as far as concussions go, yours was a beauty. Your leg will be fine. We had to put in a few screws, so from now on you might beep when you go through airport security. Your cuts are healing nicely. All in all, you are one very lucky young lady.”

He called this lucky?

“What about my head? Am I… Will I…” She could deal with all of that, but the thought of having a brain injury was too much.

“You did have a brain bleed when you came in. But we were able to treat it without surgery. You’ve had an MRI, and from what we can tell, except for a tiny bit of scar tissue in the posterior cingulate cortex, everything is fine. If you had lingering problems, they most likely would have shown up by now.”

“Posterior cingular…What does that area of the brain do?”

“The posterior cingulate cortex,” he repeated with a teasing smile. “That’s an area most people have never heard of. It’s one of the most metabolically active regions of the brain, but the simple truth is nobody really knows what its true cognitive role might be.”

“Are you telling me I might have brain damage, and you don’t know how it might affect me?”

The teasing glint was gone, but his tone was still light. “No idea whatsoever.” He picked her chart and scribbled a few words. “But we’ll keep an eye on you and if we notice anything, we’ll deal with it then.”

Her sister gave him a reproving look. “You’re fine, Ciara. Don’t worry about it. They’ve taken every possible test and everything looks perfectly normal.”

A nurse walked in at that moment, signaling for the doctor’s attention. “The police are sending somebody over to question the patient.”

“The police?” Ciara said. “Of course. The accident.” They’d want her version of what happened.  “Why can’t I remember anything between the photo shoot and waking up here?”

The room became quiet. “That’s not abnormal,” the doctor said at last. “You’ve only been fully awake for a few hours. It could take days, maybe even longer before everything comes back to you.” Ciara nodded, her eyes darting from the doctor to her sister. She had the feeling they were keeping something from her.

About the Author

M C Domovitch is the author of nine novels, four of which were published under the name of Carol Ann Martin (by Penguin), another two under the name Monique Domovitch (by Carina Press) The other three are published as M C Domovitch, Scorpio Rising, The Sting of the Scorpio (Both now republished in one single tome) and Scar Tissue. The decision to use a different pen name was based on her departure from cozy mysteries and entering the Romance and Romantic Suspense genres.

Before becoming an author, Monique had multiple careers, beginning with modeling. She won a modeling contest in the 70s and became one of Canada’s top models. After retiring from the fashion industry, she studied finance and joined an investment company. This led to a new career as host of her own television show about investing, with the television network, WTN. Following her retirement from finance, she decided to pursue her true passion, writing. At a writing workshop at San Diego’s Writers’ Conference, one of her unpublished books caught the eye of a publisher and of an agent. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Domovitch lives with her physician husband and their dogs. They divide their time between homes in Victoria and Toronto Canada and Key Largo Florida.

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