Saturday, September 27, 2014

Chapter Reveal: A PIRATE, A BLOCKADE RUNNER, AND A CAT, by Beverly McClure

Title:   A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat
Genre:   Paranormal
Author:  Beverly Stowe McClure
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Purchase on Amazon
Thirteen-year-old Erik Burks’ life is falling apart. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom leaves his father and drags Erik from being king of the hill in Texas to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, no friends, just Starry Knight (a girl who reads minds) and her equally weird brother, Stormy, the twins that live down the block.
Just when Erik thinks life can’t get any worse, while hanging out at the beach one evening, he and the twins notice lights radiating from the lighthouse. Stranger still, a ship materializes in the moonlit harbor. Curious, the twins and a reluctant Erik investigate and discover the ghost of a blockade runner, a cat, and a pirate who prowls Charleston Harbor, and the fun begins.
Chapter One
It’s funny how a split second can change a guy’s life. One week, I’m living in Texas with Mom and Dad. I’m the star pitcher on the Pirates baseball team, and I’m trying to figure out what to say to make Diana, the blonde in history class, notice me.
The next week, I’m in South Carolina, a thousand miles from Texas. No Dad. No baseball team. No Diana. Just Mom and me, now living with Aunt Molly. Oh, and Starry and Stormy Knight, the weird twins who live down the street.
So here I am, a thirteen-year-old kid ripped from my friends and my life, sitting in the sand on Folly Beach, a short distance from Aunt Molly’s house, watching the sky grow dark, the waves building, and wondering where it all went wrong. I’m not alone for long. As always, they find me.
“Hey, Ek. How’s it?”
Stormy plopped down beside me, stirring up sand. My nose twitched. I sneezed. What kind of talk was “How’s it?” And who was “Ek”?
His sister, Starry, settled on my other side. I was surrounded, no chance to escape, short of jumping into the ocean.
“Have you seen the lights?” Star asked.
On the day we met she told me to call her Star or Starry. Either way she was from outer space. I glanced over my shoulder at the football field length of tall grass separating the beach from the nearest houses.
“You mean those?” I pointed at the hazy glow around a street lamp. “What’s the big deal?”
“Not those. Over there.” Star tipped her head in the direction of the water. “Look.”
“I’m looking. I’m looking.” Why was she so excited? All I saw was a faint beam of light floating across the inlet. “So? It’s a reflection of the moon.”
Star shook her head. “No moon tonight.”
She was right. Yet stars (the heavenly kind, not the girl) glittered between the layers of gathering clouds. “Okay, it’s only the starlight.”
“The light comes from the lighthouse,” Star said.
“You can see it blink on and off,” Storm added.
Morris Island Lighthouse stood several hundred yards into the water.
According to Mom, who was big on history, the water was land during the Civil War. Over the years the sea had eroded the shore and water now surrounded the lighthouse. I couldn’t deny the yellow glow flowing from the top of the building. I couldn’t explain it either.
“Impossible. Mom said the lighthouse has been out of commission for years. The lantern was removed. Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse across Charleston Harbor replaced it.”
“Then tell us what it is, Erik,” Star said. “You see it. Storm and I see it. This isn’t the first time, either. On cloudy, rainy nights the light flashes on.”
“It’s not raining,” I said.
“It is raining.”
Star had barely said the words when a gust of wind whipped across the beach. Sand spiraled like a Texas dust devil. Something wet slapped me on the nose. Several somethings wet—raindrops. The space girl predicted the weather. So what? Dark clouds usually brought rain. “Yeah, it’s raining.” Under my breath I mumbled, “And I’m getting wet.” In a lame attempt to pep me up about my new home, Mom had promised many adventures waited for me in Charleston. Adventures? Yeah. If you called ocean waves slurping against the shore and neighbors with two grains of sand each for brains adventures, I was up to my wet nose in adventures.
The twins stared into the gloomy night, watching the light fading into a dim sliver.
The rain seeped into my T-shirt, gluing it to my skin. Lightning raced across the sky. I shivered. I’d had enough. I shook Stormy’s shoulder. He kept his eyes focused across the inlet. Star didn’t budge. They could drown if they wanted. I was outta there. I jumped to my feet, turned, and took one step, before Star snagged my ankle.
“Wait. Where are you going?”
“Home, before I turn into a duck with webbed feet,” I yelled above the
whistling wind and growling thunder.
She freed my ankle and stood. Raindrops plastered her carrot-red hair against her face. “Besides the light, we’ve seen a ship, Erik. It always comes during bad weather.”
Stormy sprang up. “We think someone in the lighthouse is warning the ships.”
“Who? How? They can’t.”
“The proof is before us.” Star twisted her mouth, the way she did when she was thinking. “We have a theory.”
They always did. Since I was sopping wet already, and the rain showed no sign of letting up anytime soon, I wasn’t interested. “Stay here if you want. I’m opposed to drowning.”
I loped off, but not before I caught a glimpse of a shape in the water that vaguely resembled a ship. I paused. Either I was hallucinating or something was out there. Curious, I trudged back, raindrops dripping from my hair down onto my chin. The water had calmed. The dark crept in. The inlet was empty. “Where is it?”
“Vanished, the way it always does.” Lightning flashed, revealing Star’s eyes, wide and troubled. “Tomorrow, I’m going to the lighthouse and investigate.”
I swiped the rain off my face. “What do you expect to find?”
“You know, Erik. Your mind dreams tell me so. See you tomorrow.” She sprinted away.
I raised an eyebrow at Storm. “My mind dreams?”
He shook his head. “She knows your every thought, Ek. She calls them mind dreams.”
“You’re kidding me?”
“Lights. Ships. Mind dreams. I don’t believe it,” I muttered as the rain tumbled around me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Blitz! Miracle Man by William R. Leibowitz #bookblitz

We're happy to be hosting William R. Leibowitz and his Miracle Man Book Blitz today!

About the Book:

Title: Miracle Man
Author: William Leibowitz
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Pages: 428
Genre: Cross-genre Thriller
Format: Paper/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON


The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero. 

Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real. 

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history.  But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect.  Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal.  But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.  

Book Excerpt:

  A tall figure wearing a black-hooded slicker walked quickly through the night carrying a large garbage bag.  His pale face was wet with rain.  He had picked a deserted part of town.  Old warehouse buildings were being gutted so they could be converted into apartments for non-existent buyers.  There were no stores, no restaurants and no people. 
  “Who’d wanna live in this shit place?”  he muttered to himself.  Even the nice neighborhoods of this dismal city had more “For Sale” signs than you could count.
  He was disgusted with himself and disgusted with her, but they were too young to be burdened.  Life was already hard enough.    He shook his head incredulously.  She had been so damn sexy, funny, full of life.   Why the hell couldn’t she leave well enough alone?    She should have had some control. 
 He wanted to scream-out down the ugly street, “It’s her fucking fault that I’m in the rain in this crap neighborhood trying to evade the police.” 
  But he knew he hadn’t tried to slow her down either.   He kept giving her the drugs and she kept getting kinkier and kinkier and more dependent on him and that’s how he liked it.   She was adventurous and creative beyond her years.  Freaky and bizarre.  He had been enthralled, amazed.  The higher she got, the wilder she was.  Nothing was out of bounds.  Everything was in the game. 
  And so, they went farther and farther out there.  Together.  With the help of the chemicals.  They were co-conspirators, co-sponsors of their mutual dissipation.  How far they had traveled without ever leaving their cruddy little city.  They were so far ahead of all the other kids. 
  He squinted, and his mind reeled.  He tried to remember in what month of their senior year in high school the drugs became more important to her than he was.  And in what month did her face start looking so tired, her complexion prefacing the ravages to follow, her breath becoming foul as her teeth and gums deteriorated.  And in what month did her need for the drugs outstrip his and her cash resources. 
  He stopped walking and raised his hooded head to the sky so that the rain would pelt him full-on in the face.  He was hoping that somehow this would make him feel absolved.  It didn’t.  He shuddered as he clutched the shiny black bag, the increasingly cold wet wind blowing hard against him.  He didn’t even want to try to figure out how many guys she had sex with for the drugs. 
The puddle-ridden deserted street had three large dumpsters on it.   One was almost empty.  It seemed huge and metallic and didn’t appeal to him. The second was two-thirds full.  He peered into it, but was repulsed by the odor, and he was pretty sure he saw the quick moving figures of rodents foraging in the mess. The third was piled above the brim with construction debris.
  Holding the plastic bag, he climbed up on the rusty lip of the third dumpster.  Stretching forward, he placed the bag on top of some large garbage bags which were just a few feet inside of the dumpster’s rim.   As he climbed down, his body looked bent and crooked and his face was ashen. Tears streamed down his cheeks and bounced off his hands.  He barely could annunciate, “Please forgive me,” as he shuffled away, head bowed and snot dripping from his nose.

About the Author: 

William R. Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment/media law in New York City for a number of years.  He has represented numerous renowned recording artists, songwriters, producers and many of the leading record companies, talent managers, merchandisers and other notable entertainment businesses.  At one point, he was the Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel for the Sanctuary Group of Companies, a U.K. public company that was the largest ‘indie’ music company in the world (prior to its acquisition by the Universal Music Group). 

William has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University.  He lives in the village of Quogue, New York with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George. 

William wrote Miracle Man because of its humanistic and spiritual messages and because he feels that in our current times – when meritless celebrity has eclipsed accomplishment and the only heroes are those based on comic books, the world needs a real hero –and that, of course, is Robert James Austin, the protagonist in Miracle Man.
For More Information

Monday, September 22, 2014

Interview with Tudor Robins, author of Appaloosa Summer (YA)

Tudor Robins is an Ottawa-based young adult author whose first novel, Objects in Mirror, was named a Best Book for Kids and Teens by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

She gathered publishing-related experience in her roles as a magazine editor and publishing sales representative, as well as working in offset and digital printing. Tudor currently teaches writing workshops for adults and children, as well as developing writing contests and programming to motivate young writers.

Tudor loves reading, writing, and horseback riding, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Appaloosa Summer is now available in paperback through Amazon (link), and can also be purchased in the Kindle store (link).

Receiving messages from readers is one of Tudor’s favorite things, so please feel free to visit her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Connect with Tudor Robins:
Author Website 

About The Book

Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring. Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident. Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B. Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing. When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by summer’s end.

Appaloosa Summer can be compared to Heartland TV show -

For More Information:

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Sure! I have a more detailed description:

Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring.

Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident.

Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B.

Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing. When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by summer’s end.

Or, a very short description:

When Meg’s horse dies in the middle of a jumping course, she gives up showing, and moves to her family’s cottage for the summer, only to be guided back to the show ring by a scruffy appaloosa mare.

Why did you write your book?

It took a very long time to get my first book, Objects in Mirror, published. I finished the first draft in 2007, and the book wasn’t published until June 2013. That process involved lots, and lots of querying, pitching, writing, and re-writing along with huge stretches of waiting. If I hadn’t been working on Appaloosa Summer, the waiting would have been unbearable.

So, I wrote Appaloosa Summer to be able to keep moving forward with my writing while I waited for Objects in Mirror to be published, but I also wrote it because it was in my head – not at a conscious level, but deep in there somewhere – and I needed to get it out. There are about six more books in my head, and whenever I finish one it feels like two more take its place!

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Well, in Appaloosa Summer we meet Meg Traherne, who is a horse-loving city girl. She’s been happy with her life, but when her horse drops dead underneath her in the show ring she starts to re-evaluate everything, which leads to a big shake-up.

We also meet Meg’s friend, Slate, who I personally really like, and find quite funny, and would love to have as my sister, or best friend.

And then there’s Jared. Jared’s something special. Let’s just say I’m sitting here, smiling, just thinking about him …

There’s also a cast of supporting characters, all of whom I’m really invested in. Most will go forward in the trilogy, and one or two may take a larger role.

Those are some of the specifics about this book, however, during the editing process my editor gave me something to think about that’s changed how I approach and develop my characters forever. This is what she said:

“Most people believe themselves to be doing the right thing most of the time. It’s part of what makes us human. How do your antagonists believe themselves to be doing the right thing?”

We were specifically discussing antagonists, but I now consider this advice for all my characters. We all do things sometimes that make perfect sense to us, but can have bad consequences, or be seen unfavourably by others. It’s that underlying motivation that makes a character believable, and likable.

I try to always consider the above question when writing all my characters.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I definitely don’t consciously base my characters on real people, although I know elements of real people I’ve met work their way into my characters.

Due to my journalism background, I feel a big responsibility to be factually accurate, even when I’m writing fiction. So, I don’t tend to let myself twist the truth, or change things around, even if they don’t seem that important, and even if doing so would make the story much easier to write.

Because of that, I feel like my characters are one of the main things I’m free to run with, so I wouldn’t want them to have to be like somebody else (even if only in my head).

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I would say I’m consciously aware of the basic premise – using Appaloosa Summer as an example; a girl loses her horse, and moves to a rural island for the summer – but as to how the story unfolds, I feel like that becomes clear to me as I go.

It’s great to be asked this question right now, because Hugh Howey recently wrote a very interesting blog post about this very issue. The part of it that really rang true to me was this:

Ever had the feeling you were forgetting something as you left the house? You walk around, wracking your brain, trying to figure out what it is. Exhausting every option, you decide your intuition is wrong. It isn’t until you’re half an hour away from the house that the missing thing percolates up to the conscious level. This is writing. You know what happens next. The challenge is remembering.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Absolutely! In Appaloosa Summer, in particular, I feel like the island is a character. The feedback I’ve been getting from readers all over the world is that they feel the same way, too.

In some ways, the ferry is also a character – not up front – but because of the limitations it places on other characters. The fact is, on an island, you can’t always get where you want to go exactly when you want to go there. This changes the way people act, and interact.

This book wouldn’t have been the same in a different setting.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I don’t tend to suffer from writer’s block – mostly because I don’t ever get enough time to write. I write in fits and starts between all my other life activities, so when I get to write it’s a big relief and I want to take advantage of it.

I also find certain things tend to get my writing brain “unstuck”. Going for a run will always do it, and I’m usually conscious of working out plot problems while I run. Skiing or riding often help as well, but in those cases it’s usually more that my brain works away on writing problems in the background while my body is focused in the more immediate, physical activity.

What do you like the most about being an author?

It’s really hard for me to imagine being anything else, so I would say I like most parts of it. The writing is, obviously, pivotal. However, with Appaloosa Summer, I’ve also been able to make all my own business, sales, and promotion decisions, and I’ve really loved doing that. I also place a huge amount of value on the opportunity to get reader feedback – it’s so rewarding!

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

I think, likely, the moment you call yourself a “writer”. I remember the first time I wrote “Writer” in the space on the customs card where they ask for your occupation. A little part of me expected the customs officer to say “That’s cute, ma’am, but what are you really?” Instead, of course, he just waved me through, and ever since then it’s been easy to call myself a writer.

Since my first book was published I’ve tended to use “Author” instead, and that feels nice, too!

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

I’m not always sure I’m in a position to give advice – very often I read other writers’ work, and blogs, to see what they’re up to. However, for people who are just starting, I would say, you really need to finish something.

This may sound like silly, or obvious advice, but it’s something I used to struggle with. I used to have lots of projects in various stages of completion but nothing finished (I still do have all those projects but at least some are finished!).

You can’t let other people read your work, or get it published, or whatever it is your aim is, if you haven’t completed your project, and worked on it until you think it’s as good as you can make it.

After that, it’s your decision what path you follow. If you just want to share your words with friends and family, now you can do that. If you want to publish, you should probably consider getting feedback from a trusted source.

The main thing, though, is to complete your work to the best of your ability.

Interview with Diana Raab, author of 'Lust'

Diana Raab, Ph.D. is an award-winning poet, memoirist, educator, transpersonal psychologist, and author of eight books, including four poetry collections and two memoirs, Regina’s Closet and Healing With Words. Her latest poetry collection, Lust, is available in softcover wherever books are sold and on Audible.

She is also editor of two anthologies, Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge: 22 Writes Speak About Addiction and Dependency. She is advocate of writing for healing, transformation and empowerment and teaches workshop around the country. She also teaches memoir writing. She has been writing and publishing her work for more than 45 years.

For More Information
About the Book:

A passionate journey through private emotional moments, Diana Raab's LUST voices the pain of loneliness and the heart's yearning for love while transcending the depths of human desire. In her fourth book of poetry, Raab employs narrative verse that is alive, titillating, and seductive. LUST examines the emotional and physical complexity of love, helping readers navigate the risks of intimacy as we move toward the realization that every experience enriches our lives, whether we perceive it as joy, pain, or out of the ordinary. Yet for all their psychological richness, the poems's simplicity and accessibility will resonate with women and men across all walks of life. LUST is a book you won't put down and won't soon forget. 

"Diana Raab's poetry collection, LUST, will make you fall head-over- heels in love with words. Words that are strung together, knotted like a perfect strand of opera length pearls. Some read like heartbreaking short stories. Some read like pieces of your soul. Some read like scented love-letters. Some like tearful, regretful voice messages. If you want to have a love affair with the written word, please, read this collection. It will make you a believer. Or maybe ... just maybe, it will make you a believer in the pure absolute beauty of Diana Raab."--Amy Ferris 

"In the lyric tradition of Song of Songs, Rumi, Lady Murasaki, and Anais Nin, poet Diana Raab sings of carnal desire. The themes of LUST, the transcendence of sexual ecstasy, the range of its expression, the sorrow of its temporality, they surprise of its renewal in maturity, the physicality of its intimacy, are, at once, timeless and as contemporary as Raab's short leather skirt and an espresso shared at Starbucks."--Tristine Rainer 

"Diana Raab in this daring book offers what shouldn't be so remarkable, yet is, a fearless detailing of intimacy, of blissful 'acts of kindness,' of that worshipful sexuality which forms our birth- and adult-right. LUST celebrates the sacred 'everlasting eros' that we must admit most interests us, the giving and taking, the ultimate bonding, the very enlightenment through glories of the body. She sings 'your oasis in the midst of me,' and bless her for it!"--Barry Spacks

For More Information

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Lust is a passionate journey through intimate emotional moments, The poems voice the pain of loneliness and the heart's yearning for love while transcending the depth of human desire and need.

The poems have been described as alive, titillating, and seductive. The poems' simplicity and accessibility resonate with women and men across all walks of life, and will make you fall in love with life, love, and the magical beauty of words. To give and to receive love--and to touch one another on an emotional, psychological, and physical level--this collection provides tools for helping us navigate through intimacy and helps us realize that nothing is out of the ordinary, but that everything is an experience that enriches our lives whether perceived as joy or pain

Why did you write your book?

For me, deciding upon the genre is the challenge for writers like myself who write in multiple genres. I chose poetry for this book because it is the voice of the soul and it is the most intimate voice, perfect for the subject area.

What kind of message is your book trying to tell your readers?

That no matter what you do, always have passion and lust for life.

Who influenced you to write your book?

Anais Nin has been a great admirer of mine.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Not really. I don’t believe in it. If I am stumped, I just read my favorite writers or do anything else which might inspire me.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Thanksgiving because I have a lot to be thankful for.

What do you like to do for fun?

Yoga, Meditation, walking of the beach with my dog. Reading. Journaling.

Can you tell us about your family?

I have been married for 37 years to a wonderful man who has always been supportive of my professional and creative life. We have three creative children, ages, 31,29 and 25. As  a two-time cancer survivor my husband always encouraged me to follow my dreams and I feel very blessed by this.

What do you like the most about being an author?

Being creative. Being a writer chose me, I did not choose it. I have no choice. I have been writing from an early age. It’s where I find peace and passion.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Review: ‘Bible Bands: Rubber Band Jewelry’ by Katreina Eden

bible bandsBible Bands is a fun, educational how-to book for children who love making jewelry. Not only does it teaches how to make lovely designs, but it also strengthens children’s faith by combining hands-on creativity with Bible verses and stories.
Rubber band jewelry seems to be the hottest new craze, so Eden’s book comes at the right time. Though at first glance, when you look at the jewelry, it might seem complicated and difficult to make, especially for kids, the author demystifies it with simple step-by-step instructions accompanied by colorful photos. I found the language and descriptions clear and straight-forward, easy for most kids to understand, though the younger ones will need guidance from an adult, at least at first. There are over 12 designs, from the simplest to the most elaborate.
Eden incorporates faith with verses and symbols, such as a blue and white pattern to symbolize Christ’s baptism, a heart design to remind you of God’s love, and a multi-colored weave to match Joseph’s coat of many colors, among others.
Bible Bands doesn’t come with the looms or bands, but you can find these at most craft shops. This will make a lovely gift for any child, especially those who are into crafts. It is also a good book for those long summer and Christmas holidays, as it will keep children entertained for hours. Recommended!
Find out more on Amazon.
My review was previously published in Blogcritics.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Interview with Laurence St. John, author of YA fantasy 'Metatron: The Mystical Blade'

Laurence A. St. John was born on January 11, 1965 in Toledo Ohio. Laurence has one older brother and two younger sisters. Laurence along with his parents, brother and sisters moved once while growing up to Genoa Ohio, just south of Toledo. While attending Genoa Area schools, he was active in track, football and baseball. Later, after he graduated from Genoa High School (Comets) in 1983, he worked for a few manufacturing companies.

At the age of 23 and after three years of dedication, hard work and sweat, in 1988, Laurence received his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in Tae Kwon Do. This gave him the self-confidence and perseverance needed to surmount anything that came his way.
When Laurence was 25 years old he fell in love then married the love of his life, Julie in 1990. He then adopted her two young wonderful children Joe and Jan shortly after. 

Out of high school for nearly fifteen years and after persuaded by his former manager, Laurence attended Owens State Community College where he obtained an Associates Degree in Microcomputer Business Systems while working full-time. In addition to computer classes, he enjoyed composition classes where he could free his mind and write what he wanted. 

While working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, Laurence's place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for his job, again. In the same year his first granddaughter, Kendall, "Papa's Angel" was born. He described this as one of the most uplifting moments of his life. In addition, it was during this time when his emotions were running wild; he became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper. 

Nearly four years later, he had completed his first middle grade fantasy novel, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen. His latest book is Metatron: The Mystical Blade.

Laurence currently lives in Northwood Ohio with his wife of 24 years, Julie. His son Joe is married to Cari and they have three daughters, Kendall, Sadie and Harper. His daughter Jan is married to Andrew and they have a son Eli and a daughter Evelyn. Laurence currently holds the position of Administrations Manager at Precision Strip, Inc. in Perrysburg Ohio, where he works full time. He continually writes in his spare time; weekends and after work, and is endlessly inspired by his five grandkids Kendall, Elijah, Sadie, Evelyn and Harper. 

For More Information:
About the Book:

Thirteen-year-old Tyler Thompson is on the verge of becoming a superhero, but he must prove himself so he can earn the remainder of his superpowers and fulfill his destiny.

When his grandfather, Benjamin, is held prisoner at AREA 51, where the eternal powers are presumed to be hidden, Tyler attempts to penetrate the base’s heavy security. However, Dr. Mason Payne, the evil scientist who killed Tyler's father, has insidious plans of his own.

Hunted by an unknown entity, Tyler races against the clock to retrieve the superpowers, rescue his family and help the others who are depending on him. And when all hope seems lost, help comes in a power he didn’t know he possessed—a mysterious weapon known as The Mystical Blade.

For More Information

  • Metatron: The Mystical Blade is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

Q: Thank you for this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background?

A: Hello and first thank-you for having me. I appreciate it very much. My writing started in my head when I was probably around seven years old. I had these cool characters and stories in my head but I never acted upon them. I was too busy playing sports and being a kid. In high school then college I took writing classes that gave me the freedom to finally follow through and my penned-up thoughts. When my first granddaughter, Kendall, was born, that was the push I needed and became inspired to write my first novel METATRON: The Angel Has Risen. 

Q: What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

A: I’m very claustrophobic. When driving through tunnels it freaks me out.  

Q: What scares you the most?

A: Something terrible happening to one of my grandkids that I can’t do anything about. That would probably kill me.

Q: What makes you happiest?

A: Being with my five grandkids Kendall, Eli, Sadie, Evelyn and Harper. They are my whole world and my writing inspirations. Whether one of them is playing tee ball, soccer, cheer, dancing, or karate the smile on my face could be any larger. 

Q: What are you most proud of in your personal life?

A: There are several; graduating from high school, receiving my first degree black belt, getting married, adopting my two kids Joe and Jan, graduating from college and publishing my first novel.

Q: What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

A: Getting published traditionally was the hardest for me. After I received over 100 “no” replies from publishers and agents, I finally received my one “yes”.

Q: Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? 

A: When Jarod, a ten year old boy walked up to me after a church Christmas play a year ago and asked me, “Are you Mr. St. John who wrote the Metatron Book?”  “I replied, yes I am, did you read it?”  “He replied, yes I did and I loved the book and the story – thank you for writing it!” That is when I knew I was a successful writer.

Q: Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

A: My new book METATRON: The Mystical Blade is about thirteen-year-old Tyler Thompson is on the verge of becoming a superhero, but he must prove himself so he can earn the remainder of his superpowers and fulfill his destiny.

When his grandfather, Benjamin, is held prisoner at AREA 51, where the eternal powers are presumed to be hidden, Tyler attempts to penetrate the base’s heavy security. However, Dr. Mason Payne, the evil scientist who killed Tyler's father, has insidious plans of his own.

Hunted by an unknown entity, Tyler races against the clock to retrieve the superpowers, rescue his family and help the others who are depending on him. And when all hope seems lost, help comes in a power he didn’t know he possessed—a mysterious weapon known as The Mystical Blade. 

This is the second book in the series which explains the continually story of how he received the remainder of his powers and the challenges he had to overcome.

Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax?

A: I like to watch scifi movies, or lay by the pool with a beverage or just have a quite dinner with my wife Julie.

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book?

A: It’s an inspiring story that everyone can relate to - In a race against time, who will reach the eternal powers first – Tyler or the devil’s most ruthless warrior, Black Shadow? I believe that people are always looking for inspiration in their lives. The story of Tyler Thompson will capture their hearts and minds.

Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

A: Start a social media following right away. Begin networking with other authors, editors and agents. And. When submitting manuscripts do not get discouraged; you will get rejected many times. Believe I yourself and rise above your doubts.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

First Chapter: Lieutenant Henry Gallant by H. Peter Alesso

Title: Lieutenant Henry Gallant
Author: H. Peter Alesso
Publisher: Video Software Publishing
Pages: 320
Genre: Science fiction space opera
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.

Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.

With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.

In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.

First Chapter:

Gallant ran—gasping for breath, heart pounding; the echo of his footsteps reverberated behind him.
He hoped to reach the bridge, but hope is a fragile thing.

Peering over his shoulder into the dark, he tripped on a protruding jagged beam, one of the ship’s many battle scars. As he crashed to the deck, the final glow of emergency lights sputtered out leaving only the pitch black of power failure—his failure.

He lay still and listened to the ship’s cries of pain; the incessant wheezing of atmosphere bleeding from the many tiny hull fissures, the repetitious groaning of metal from straining structures, and the crackling of electrical wires sparking against panels.

Thoughts flashed past him.

How long will the oxygen last?

He was reluctant to guess.

Where are they?

He heard the clamor of dogged footsteps drawing closer even as he rasped for another breath.
Trembling from exhaustion, he clawed at the bulkhead to pull himself up. His hemorrhaging leg made even standing brutally painful.

Nevertheless; he ran.

He heard the clamor of dogged footsteps drawing closer even as he rasped for another breath.
Trembling from exhaustion, he clawed at the bulkhead to pull himself up. His hemorrhaging leg made even standing brutally painful.

Nevertheless; he ran.

The bulkhead panels and compartment hatches were indistinguishable in the dimness. Vague phantoms seemed to lurk nearby even while his eyes adjusted to whatever glowing plasma blast embers flickered from the hull.

As he twisted around a corner, he crashed his shoulder into a bulkhead. The impact knocked him back and spun him around. Reaching out with a bloody hand, he grasped the hatch handle leading into the Operation’s compartment. Going through the hatch, he pulled it shut behind him.

He started to run, then awkwardly fought his own momentum and stopped.

Stupid! Stupid!

Going back to the hatch, he hit the security locking mechanism.

It wouldn’t stop a plasma blast, but it might slow them down, he thought. At least this compartment is airtight.

Finally able to take a deep breath, he tried to clear his head of bombarding sensations. He should’ve been in battle armor, but he’d stayed too long in engineering trying to maintain power while the hull had been breached and the ship boarded.

Now his uniform was scorched, revealing the plasma burns of seared flesh from his left shoulder down across his back to his right thigh. He had no idea where the rest of the crew was; many were probably dead. His comm pin was mute and the ship’s AI wasn’t responding. He had only a handgun, but, so far, he didn’t think they were tracking him specifically, merely penetrating into the ship to gain control.

Gallant tried to run once more, but his legs were unwilling. Leaning against the bulkhead, like a dead weight, he slid slowly down to the deck.

Unable to go farther, he sat dripping blood and trembling as the potent grip of shock grabbed hold. The harrowing pain of his burnt flesh, swept over him.

Hope and fear alike abandoned him, leaving only an undeniable truth; without immediate medical treatment, he wouldn’t survive.

I’m done.

Closing his eyes, he fought against the pain and the black vertigo of despair. He took a deep breath and called upon the last of his inner resolve and resilience . . .

No! I won’t give up.

Exhaling and opening his eyes, he caught sight of a nearly invisible luminescent glow of a Red Cross symbol, offering him a glimmer of hope. He stretched his arm toward the cabinet.


He heard a cry of agony and only belatedly realized it had escaped his own lips as he strained to pull away twisted metal from the door to a medical cabinet. Reaching inside, he grabbed a damaged medi-pack.

Painstakingly he used the meager emergency provisions to stop the bleeding and to infuse blood plasma. His limited mobility prevented him from reaching awkward areas, but he managed to insert an analgesic hypodermic into his raw blistered flesh. Finally, he crudely bandaged his suffering body.
He relaxed momentarily as the medication coursed through his veins working to stifle the worst effects of shock and blood loss. His parched throat demanded . . .


He looked at more cabinets, but was unable to make out their markings in the dark. Stretching his fingers, he opened the nearest one, groping for something familiar inside.


He opened the next.


And another.

Yes. Finally, he snatched a half-buried survival kit. Greedily he drank and even managed to take a few bites of an energy bar.

A surge of adrenaline helped him shift his position to sit more comfortably as his mind came into sharper focus.

As he examined his surroundings in the faint light, he spotted an interface station. He was about to reach up and patch into the ship’s AI to get an update on the ship’s defensive posture when he was disturbed by the dismal clangor of footsteps.

He held his breath. Are they coming this way?