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.

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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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Book Excerpt: Othello Greene: The Story Begins by Anthony Baltimore

Title: Othello Greene: The Story Begins
Author: Anthony Baltimore
Publisher: JourStarr Quality Publications
Pages: 780
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy

Lt. Othello Greene, the leader of America’s most lethal and efficient elite special ops group is captured, tortured, and mutilated by a ruthless, maniacal terrorist named Genesis and his group, the Global Supremacy Federation (G.S.F), who is hell bent on world domination.

Moments before his execution, Othello is rescued by a centuries old Islamic group intent on convincing him to use his unmatched skills and abilities for the good of mankind.In the backdrop, is the story of Othello’s past and the events which led to his life as an elite assassin.The entire world is racing towards the war to end all wars. Will Genesis prevail or will Othello put an end to his reign of terror?

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  • Othello Greene: The Story Begins is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

Every inch of his body was in pain. Its intensity caused a numbing effect. The stench of blood, urine, feces, and burnt flesh permeated the room. The air was acrid and unbearably hot, making it difficult to breathe. The unfamiliar room was dimly lit, a single flickering bulb hanging from the ceiling. His newly awakened eyes had yet to acclimate themselves to the environment. His head was pounding like a sledgehammer against a wall. Over the clamor of confusion in his mind, he could hear the faint murmur of a sobbing woman.

“Name!” he heard a voice scream in his head.

“Othello Greene,” he answered.

“Rank!” the voice continued.

“First lieutenant,” he mumbled, as his senses began to gain clarity. His heart sank like an anchor at the sight of the severed head of his longtime friend and counterintelligence operative Second Lieutenant Jack Strong. The cloud in his mind completely dissipated when he saw Jack’s nude, mutilated body lying slumped over in a corner several feet from the head. Their termination mission, he realized, had gone terribly wrong.

Othello’s unclothed body lay in a pool of his own blood. A fierce pain exploded through his torso as he stuck the severely burned stub where his right hand used to be into the ground beneath him. The failed attempt to get to his feet caused him to instantaneously collapse, quivering in agony.

He teetered between consciousness and death, staring into the face of his dead friend. Suddenly the eyes of the severed head opened and a menacing expression appeared. “This is all your fault!” it growled. “Look what the hell you got us into! You and all your guts and glory bullshit!”

“This is not my fault. I didn’t put a gun to your head. I didn’t make you do shit!” Othello screamed, blood and drool flying from his mouth.

“Huh,” Jack grunted. “Look at your dear sweet Ramirez over there. What a shame. They’ve been taking turns raping her for the last eighteen hours.” One of the arms on the headless body motioned across the room.

Othello was horrified to see his intimate friend and partner, First Sergeant Helena Ramirez, lying naked in a fetal position, brutalized and cowering in a corner. She was whimpering like a child. He felt helpless and ashamed, not for himself but for the team he had let down.

“You’re one self-righteous bastard. You knew she would have gone to hell to assassinate Satan with you. Now, because of you, she’s seen more dicks than Kim Kardashian,” said Jack with a sinister grin.

“Shut the fuck up, damn it!” Othello continued to scream. “This is not real! You’re dead!”

“This is very much real, hero. But don’t worry. You’ll be joining me soon. And speaking of Satan, he told me to tell you that he’s keeping your side of the bed warm, and that you and he are going to get real personal when you arrive,” Jack responded with laughter.

“I am not paying attention to you. You are not real,” Othello said, to himself. He tried once again to get to his feet. This time, using his still operable left hand, he pushed himself up but could not feel his legs.

Turning over on his back, he was in shock to see both of his legs severed at the knees. The miasma of burning flesh was his own. His captors had burned the stumps to stop the bleeding. The hopelessness of the situation hit him like a pile of bricks. Despair set in as he collapsed, waiting for the moment of death.

Helena crawled over to him and gently kissed his forehead. The Latina beauty who could make any man risk it all for one night of passion was unrecognizable.

“Othello, I thought you were dead,” she cried.

“Helena, I’m sorry,” he replied, looking away, not able to look at her bloodied battered face and racked with guilt.

“Shhh. It’s not important,” she said, with tears flowing, caressing the side of his swollen face. “Baby, I need you to help me.”

“There’s nothing I can do. It’s over, Helena. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“No, don’t apologize. I knew the risks and I loved the ride. But I need you to listen to me. Please,” she begged, turning his face back toward hers. “I need you to help me.

“It’s over, Helena. Only God can help us now.”

“No. That’s not true,” she cried, grabbing his hand and placing it on her throat.

“No . . . No, I can’t,” he sighed, attempting to pull his hand away.

Even under these nightmare conditions, the touch of his hand against her skin brought back a flood of memories. How much he loved her. The thousand times they shared each other, holding nothing back. She grabbed it tightly, with both hands, kneeling her broken, battered, and violated body in the pool of blood around him. “Yes, you can. I’m already gone. Please don’t let them hurt me again. Those bastards did so many terrible things to me. Please . . . Please . . .,” she pleaded, pulling his hand harder against her throat.

Book Excerpt: Othello Greene: The Story Begins by Anthony Baltimore

Title: Othello Greene: The Story Begins
Author: Anthony Baltimore
Publisher: JourStarr Quality Publications
Pages: 780
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy

Lt. Othello Greene, the leader of America’s most lethal and efficient elite special ops group is captured, tortured, and mutilated by a ruthless, maniacal terrorist named Genesis and his group, the Global Supremacy Federation (G.S.F), who is hell bent on world domination.

Moments before his execution, Othello is rescued by a centuries old Islamic group intent on convincing him to use his unmatched skills and abilities for the good of mankind.In the backdrop, is the story of Othello’s past and the events which led to his life as an elite assassin.The entire world is racing towards the war to end all wars. Will Genesis prevail or will Othello put an end to his reign of terror?

For More Information

  • Othello Greene: The Story Begins is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

Every inch of his body was in pain. Its intensity caused a numbing effect. The stench of blood, urine, feces, and burnt flesh permeated the room. The air was acrid and unbearably hot, making it difficult to breathe. The unfamiliar room was dimly lit, a single flickering bulb hanging from the ceiling. His newly awakened eyes had yet to acclimate themselves to the environment. His head was pounding like a sledgehammer against a wall. Over the clamor of confusion in his mind, he could hear the faint murmur of a sobbing woman.

“Name!” he heard a voice scream in his head.

“Othello Greene,” he answered.

“Rank!” the voice continued.

“First lieutenant,” he mumbled, as his senses began to gain clarity. His heart sank like an anchor at the sight of the severed head of his longtime friend and counterintelligence operative Second Lieutenant Jack Strong. The cloud in his mind completely dissipated when he saw Jack’s nude, mutilated body lying slumped over in a corner several feet from the head. Their termination mission, he realized, had gone terribly wrong.

Othello’s unclothed body lay in a pool of his own blood. A fierce pain exploded through his torso as he stuck the severely burned stub where his right hand used to be into the ground beneath him. The failed attempt to get to his feet caused him to instantaneously collapse, quivering in agony.

He teetered between consciousness and death, staring into the face of his dead friend. Suddenly the eyes of the severed head opened and a menacing expression appeared. “This is all your fault!” it growled. “Look what the hell you got us into! You and all your guts and glory bullshit!”

“This is not my fault. I didn’t put a gun to your head. I didn’t make you do shit!” Othello screamed, blood and drool flying from his mouth.

“Huh,” Jack grunted. “Look at your dear sweet Ramirez over there. What a shame. They’ve been taking turns raping her for the last eighteen hours.” One of the arms on the headless body motioned across the room.

Othello was horrified to see his intimate friend and partner, First Sergeant Helena Ramirez, lying naked in a fetal position, brutalized and cowering in a corner. She was whimpering like a child. He felt helpless and ashamed, not for himself but for the team he had let down.

“You’re one self-righteous bastard. You knew she would have gone to hell to assassinate Satan with you. Now, because of you, she’s seen more dicks than Kim Kardashian,” said Jack with a sinister grin.

“Shut the fuck up, damn it!” Othello continued to scream. “This is not real! You’re dead!”

“This is very much real, hero. But don’t worry. You’ll be joining me soon. And speaking of Satan, he told me to tell you that he’s keeping your side of the bed warm, and that you and he are going to get real personal when you arrive,” Jack responded with laughter.

“I am not paying attention to you. You are not real,” Othello said, to himself. He tried once again to get to his feet. This time, using his still operable left hand, he pushed himself up but could not feel his legs.

Turning over on his back, he was in shock to see both of his legs severed at the knees. The miasma of burning flesh was his own. His captors had burned the stumps to stop the bleeding. The hopelessness of the situation hit him like a pile of bricks. Despair set in as he collapsed, waiting for the moment of death.

Helena crawled over to him and gently kissed his forehead. The Latina beauty who could make any man risk it all for one night of passion was unrecognizable.

“Othello, I thought you were dead,” she cried.

“Helena, I’m sorry,” he replied, looking away, not able to look at her bloodied battered face and racked with guilt.

“Shhh. It’s not important,” she said, with tears flowing, caressing the side of his swollen face. “Baby, I need you to help me.”

“There’s nothing I can do. It’s over, Helena. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“No, don’t apologize. I knew the risks and I loved the ride. But I need you to listen to me. Please,” she begged, turning his face back toward hers. “I need you to help me.

“It’s over, Helena. Only God can help us now.”

“No. That’s not true,” she cried, grabbing his hand and placing it on her throat.

“No . . . No, I can’t,” he sighed, attempting to pull his hand away.

Even under these nightmare conditions, the touch of his hand against her skin brought back a flood of memories. How much he loved her. The thousand times they shared each other, holding nothing back. She grabbed it tightly, with both hands, kneeling her broken, battered, and violated body in the pool of blood around him. “Yes, you can. I’m already gone. Please don’t let them hurt me again. Those bastards did so many terrible things to me. Please . . . Please . . .,” she pleaded, pulling his hand harder against her throat.

Book Feature: I Have Faith by Davin Whitehurst

Title: I Have Faith
Author: Davin Whitehurst
Publisher: Childlike Faith Publishing
Pages: 26
Genre:  Children

Are you ready to get your child excited about faith? “I Have Faith” puts your child right in the footsteps of Danny as he begins to learn about faith. Danny and his older brother have been wanting a dog, but both know their parents don’t think they are ready for a dog. When Danny’s mom begins teaching him what the bible says about faith, he puts his faith into action. After praying and releasing his faith for a dog, doubt and even his best friend keep telling him that he will never get a dog. Over time Danny never loses his faith in the promises of God and finds that God is faithful and that faith works. Come along on this journey that is a real life event that took place in the author’s life as a child.

This book has great illustrations that support a wonderful story about finding faith in God. As you are teaching your child about principals in the bible; this book will help you teach faith. What a wonderful experience it is when we can see our children begin to develop their faith in God, and grow from a tiny mustard seed to a firmly planted tree. The back of the book has a parent/child discussion which will help children gain understanding in faith and some scriptures that Danny’s mom used to get him excited about faith.

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About the Author

Davin Whitehurst lives in the beautiful high desert of Southern Arizona with his wife and son. He is releasing his first book “I have Faith” in May of 2016 but has so many more that are in the making. The motivation behind the books are deeply rooted from in his own past. He is a living testimony of Proverbs 22:6. Growing up in Southwest Kansas and in a Christian household, he was trained up in the way he should go. By the time he became a teenager, Davin turned away from God and left church. Fast forward into his late twenties and God brought him back with a powerful calling. He and his family have been faithfully serving at Seed of Abraham Christian Center International for over seven years now. Proof that when we teach our children the way they should go. When they get older, they know where to turn and will not depart from God. Davin wants each book written to be a resource that parents have to help train their children in the way they should go. He writes stories in a simple way that will be fun and practical for every child. He wants children to get excited about faith and the things of God.

His latest release is the children’s book, I Have Faith.

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Monday #BestReads Eastern Wisdom Western Soul Book Blast

We’re happy to be hosting Richard Singer’s EASTERN WISDOM WESTERN SOUL Book Blast today! Please leave a comment or question to let him know you stopped by!

About the Book:
Title:
Eastern Wisdom Western Soul
Author: Richard Singer
Publisher: Devorss and Company
Pages: 200
Genre: Spirituality

Spiritual enlightenment from the Far East has taught the world that true happiness and peace come from within—a wisdom that transcends time and boundaries. As each new generation struggles to find happiness in an ever-changing world overrun by technology and media, few take the inward path to deep, long-lasting peace.

Richard Singer, a psychotherapist, has studied hundreds of Eastern-based writings and given them new life in today’s world for people looking to apply this wisdom to the stressful and frustrating aspects of the 21st century. Based on the words of Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Buddha, Lao-Tzu, and others, Richard Singer has illuminated some of the most profound Eastern quotes with 111 meditations and contemporary applications. Each selection acts as a seed that he expands upon to create a practical meditation for a real-life situation,
enabling you to recognize and accept the inner peace of your true being . . . right here, right now.

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Book Excerpt:

Mindfulness is the secret of life. A life lived mindfully is a life lived
full of peace, tranquility, joy, bliss, ecstasy and compassion. Mindfulness is
our direct link to the Universe. It is the solution that we as human beings
have been seeking outside ourselves since the beginning of modern times. The
simple practice of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years; however most
human beings discard this approach to life and instead search for more complex
and intellectual philosophies or techniques. Unfortunately, this external
journey never resolves itself. There are many individuals and texts available
that also complicate and over analyze mindfulness. It seems that our ego is
programmed to complicate even the simplest solutions. Mindfulness is meant to
be simple, yet a profound way to live. This present centered solution allows us
to live authentic lives.

So, what exactly is mindfulness and how do you
apply it to your life? Mindfulness is a specific form of meditation or simply
put awareness of the moment. There are many different forms of meditation,
however we are going to specifically focus on mindfulness meditation, which
this author believe to be the most practical and pure meditative exercise.
Mindfulness involves directly participating in each moment as it occurs with
complete awareness of your present experience. Life only exists in the Here and
Now when practicing mindfulness. The moment we experience is pure and
unadulterated. Mindfulness is a “living” meditation that you can
practice each second of your precious life. There is no need to escape to a
secluded place, as you can engage in mindfulness anywhere and at anytime, no
matter what is happening around you.

Instead of presenting the reader with one rigid definition of mindfulness, a
few but concise definitions will be presented below drawn from the wisdom of
various experts and practitioners of mindfulness.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, the best selling author of Wherever You Go There You Are and
the creator of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, describes mindfulness
meditation as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the
present moment and non-judgmentally.”

Levey and Levey in their magnificent book, Simple Meditation and Relaxation,
state ” Mindfulness liberates us from memories of the past and fantasies
of the future by bringing reality of the present moment clearly into
focus.” They also express that “mindfulness makes us aware of life’s
everyday miracles.”

In one of the ancient Buddhist commentaries, it is stated that mindfulness
is “presence of mind, attentiveness to the present… ”

Stephen Levine, author of A Gradual Awakening, says that mindfulness is a
” moment to moment awareness of whatever arises, whatever
exists.”

Meditation teacher and author Sylvia Boorstein states that mindfulness is
having ” the aware, balanced acceptance of present experience. It is not
more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment,
pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to or rejecting
it.”

These simple yet profound use diverse expression and terminology, but what
they all share in common is that mindfulness is being completely and fully
present for life. It is being aware of what is going on within and around you
in each moment of your miraculous existence. We simply practice awareness
without judgment, accepting our thoughts and emotions exactly as they are.

As you may have noticed mindfulness is a simple
yet, powerful way to live our lives. Its simply being Right Here, Right Now:
immersing your entire being in the present moment and fully experiencing your
life. That’s it! It really is that straight forward. It is not necessary to
over analyze, intellectualize, or complicate what it is to be mindful. Of
course our ego wants to distract us in any way possible, but don’t allow this.
Recognize the presence of your ego, say hello, and then calmly dismiss it. All
there is to being mindful is to Simply Be. While there are plenty more advanced
explanations on this topic available for you to further explore if you desire;
what has been described here is the simple and pure essence of mindfulness
meditation.

As you leave this article and continue your journey of mindful living or if
you are just beginning, this writer suggests that you dive into the ocean
of Now and intimately acquaint
yourself with the pleasure of what is directly in front of you. As expressed in
the Zen tradition, “When eating, eta and when walking, walk.”

Are you Right Here, Right Now? If not, center yourself and experience the
bliss and ecstasy of the eternal moment. Enjoy your journey!

About the Author

Richard Singer is first of all a real human being who is quite faulty and still struggles with life on a daily basis. He is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic that once was homeless, hopeless and penniless. However, on a worldly basis, he is an award winning author, trained psychotherapist, adjunct professor, and most importantly a seeker of truth. He continuously searches for wisdom to use in his life, as well as helping other human beings in their precious journey. He has studied Eastern Psychology, Buddhist Healing, and Non-Violence at the Doctoral Level; in addition, he has spent years devoted to the study of wisdom recorded throughout history. He seeks to impart this knowledge to the world through his writing. His primary purpose is to benefit humanity in any way possible.

Richard states that My books are not only for reading, they are meant to be lived. Richard has written two meditation books and co-authored an inspirational children’s book.He consistently supports human beings in their search for purpose and passion in life. Richard passionately believes in equality among all human beings. “After all we only have one race; the Human Race.”

He has been featured in many magazines, on various radio and television shows including BBC News in London and his books have been widely reviewed specifically by Library Journal, Martha Stewart’s Body and Soul Magazine and many other review forums.

Richard has twin boys that reside in the Cayman Islands. Mathew and Alexander are his life. Mr. Singer loves to read, write, travel, and engage in anything spontaneous and adventure filled. He has driven across the United States several times and traveled many places in the world. Cuba remains his favorite country to visit. He continuously strives to embrace each unique moment of life by applying Mindfulness Meditation to all moments. Mindfulness is a “living meditation” that we never stop applying to our lives.

Richard is open to questions, suggestions, or simply having a conversation.

You may contact him at RSinger9999@gmail.com.

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Book Spotlight: Sustainable Church by Walt Russell, PH.D.

About The Book


TitleSustainable Church
Author: Walt Russell

Publisher: Quoir
Pages: 234
Genre: Christian / Church Leadership / Ecclesiology
Book Description:
Sustainable Church is a thorough, Bible-based exposition of how the ministry of every church should be organically built around all of the Spirit-gifted followers of Jesus within that local body. It critiques the shallow pragmatism and unsustainability of non-organic churches and biblically showcases the sustainability of the organic church. “Body Discipleship” is a key part of the church’s sustainability and the author explains biblically how it corrects the model of discipleship that has been popular for the last 2-3 generations. Additionally, Sustainable Church showcases the servant-model of biblical leaders who are supposed to equip the saints to do the work of ministry on behalf of Jesus, the true Pastor/Shepherd of every local church!


Book Excerpt:

Introduction


MUsin Gs on cricket basket

Five years ago my wife Marty and I visited northern Louisiana and stayed in a lovely house on a lake. The owners of the home knew that I liked to fish and they graciously gifted us with a bait basket full of crickets. Fishing with crickets was relatively new to me, so after my first morning of fishing, I was intrigued to observe the cricket bait container and its now-depleted population.
The first thing I noticed was that if the crickets had just looked straight up, they would have been able to jump or crawl up and through the huge opening in the top of the basket. However, they seemed content to settle for the confines of the familiar. They could see the outside world through the fine mesh walls of the basket, but they could not join it. Apparently, seeing it was enough. I did notice that a very small percentage of crickets had jumped or crawled out of the container by the next morning, but the vast majority were still captive and crawling up and down the same walls, over and over. Their immediate goal seemed to be avoiding the big hand that periodically invaded their space!
Christians can be a bit like the crickets in the cricket basket. We have had our familiar containers—church traditions—for many centuries. Many aspects of these traditions restrict us in a confined space, where too often we are satisfied to remain.

Sustainable Church is available at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

Meet the Author

Walt Russell lives in Southern California with his wife and two married children. His passion for the last 36 years has been teaching God’s people and helping them to find their gifting and ministry role within the Body of Christ. He has planted 2 churches on the East Coast and taught the Bible in seminary for the last 28 years.
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Book Spotlight: Have You Received Since You Believed: Quest For The Holy Spirit by Brian Hollins

About The Book


TitleHave You Received Since You Believed? Quest For The Holy Spirit
Author: Brian Hollins
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication Date: June 12, 2016
Pages: 59
Genre: Christian Living
The Spirit that is within me that leads and guides me into all truth is again personified when I receive Christ as my Lord and Savior. The Spirit that is upon me after I ask for him is how I receive power. How could I believe that he would come upon me if I have not really received first that he dwells within me? This is what I wrestled with for many years. The problem was, I really didn’t believe the way I thought; And and maybe I also didn’t understand the purpose of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. Bottom line, now that I think about it, I just didn’t believe right.
Have You Received Since You Believed? Quest For The Holy Spirit is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads


Meet the Author


Brian G. Hollins, Pastor – Pastor Hollins was born in Los Angeles Ca, in 1963. He moved to Shreveport La. as a child where he presently resides. He has ollinsbeen married for 30 years to his beautiful wife Henrietta.   Brian and Henrietta have four children Oliver, Jordan, Jade and Lauren. Oliver and his wife Adrienne have two wonderful children: Brian Christopher, age 10, and Londynn Nicole age 6. Jordan has a handsome named Jordan Christian age 3.   Pastor Hollins served 28 years in the Fire Service and retired March of 2009, holding the position of Chief Training Officer.
He was called to ministry in November of 1999.  On August 10, 2002, Pastor Hollins was appointed to the position of Pastor of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ.  On May 23, 2007, Pastor Brian and First Lady Henrietta founded Emmanuel Christian Ministries. On October 21st of 2013, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Hollins changed the name of ECM to Abounding Grace.  Pastor Hollins founded “Have Faith in God” Radio Broadcast which is heard mornings at 9:00am CST, on KOKA radio 980AM and www.koka.am and on The Promise on 90.7FM at 3:30pm to 4:00pm. He is the author of two books “ Don’t Take The Bait” and “Have You Received Since You Believed”. Pastor Hollins also serves as a Volunteer Chaplain for the Shreveport Fire Department.
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