Monday, February 15, 2021

Author Interview with Josh Greenfield (Continue Breathing)

 

Continue Breathing

By Josh Greenfield

Genre: Fiction

“Continue Breathing: A Novel” follows the adventures and misadventures of its protagonist, Jordan Fineman, as he seeks to fight his way out of the depths of an emotional breakdown.  Jordan is diagnosed as both a manic-depressive, during the days when that term was still in use, and a severe obsessive-compulsive.  Before he can find his place in the world as a writer, before he can know a relative amount of peace, he must go through his trials; two hospitalizations for mental illness, a psychotic episode, more than twenty-five years of psychotherapy and swimming pools full of psychiatric medications.  In the end, it is a story of perseverance and victory, and of striving to live in the present day, made possible by one particularly skilled psychiatrist and his able successor. If Jordan begins his journey with one particular gift, it is his sense of humor.  He is able to laugh at himself.  This, in the end, is what brings him home.

Interview with the Author


What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?

When and where do you do your writing?

I think it would be best if I attempted to answer both of the first two questions at once.  For me, the writing is very much an extension of the way I try and live my whole life, that is, one day at a time.  I try to hold to the idea that only today real, only today is guaranteed. I might make notes on a calendar about a future date. But this one is the one that counts

Similarly, I only look toward writing one morning at a time.  Even at that, it is fair to say I have a distinctive way of going at it.  I wake up early, before six AM, and without turning on any kind of radio or computer or phone, proceed through a carefully choreographed routine of meditative reading and breakfast preparation.  I believe this creates a form of hypnosis, so that when I do sit down in front of the desktop computer, I have access to a state mind that would not be available at some other point in the day.  This is when I do my best writing.  I see it as a gift, just for that one day.  If it comes, I am thankful. I try not to look ahead.

What have you learned about promoting your books?

I have learned that there are an awful lot of other people attempting to do the same thing.  For me the most useful approach is to remind myself that each and every marketing attempt can be taken as an opportunity to spread the theme of the book itself; namely that mental illness in a natural part of the human condition and not to be feared, to help break down some of the stigma.  In this way, none of it is wasted effort.

What are you most proud of as a writer?

I am proud of lending a voice to characters whose life experience has included serious mental illness.  This is a voice that needs to be heard.

If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?

I think I would have to choose James Thurber. I would appreciate interacting with the man who created the immortal Walter Middy.  I think James Thurber must have possessed some of that same soft-spoken humor.  I would like to learn how The Secret Life of Walter Middy evolved and came to fruition.


About the Author 

Josh Greenfield is a graduate of both Phillips Andover Academy and Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences. He holds two master’s degrees from the City University of New York, one in history and one in English literature. He also completed the better part of a doctorate in English at Fordham University.  In his writing he attempt to address the recovery from mental illness with humor and honesty.

His work has been featured in The Cornell Daily Sun, The Riverdale Press, Appalachia, Word Catalyst Magazine, Better than Starbucks, Chaleur Magazine, The B’K Magazine, Prometheus Dreaming and Adelaide Literary Magazine.  His story “And the Doors of the Ambulance Closed,” was nominated for a Best of the Net 2019 award.  His novel “Continue Breathing,” was published by Adelaide Books in 2020.

Website: www.JoshGreenfield.us

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshgreenfieldwriter

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1954351291/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Continue%20Breathing%20by%20Josh%20Greenfield&qid=1609414163&s=books&sr=1-1&fbclid=IwAR0l66zaPftnGyNtYwwUn2G3x2PvpBm_GW4bwCZYEVnErqWXHJMEva6RwtU

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56756845-continue-breathing?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=BuLjFs05f2&rank=1



EXCERPT:

The only way to look back at all this is with something resem­bling a smile. The breakdown happened when I was twenty-one years old. It was June of what should have been the end of my senior year. I’d finished three and spent one screwing around. I had a part-time job in a vegetarian restaurant. I was a waiter, though on some days I helped in the kitchen. It was com­munal in that way. I was staffing the dining room one Sunday morning, but there wasn’t a whole lot to do. The spinach had been washed, and the fruit juice bottles carefully arranged, all by people more functional than myself. The wooden interior was inviting, with the morning sun flooding in through the large picture window. In the kitchen, the corn was quietly sau­téing in garlic sauce, and the brown rice was nicely puffed. All we needed were some customers.

A man and a woman entered to the sound of the tinkling bell above the door, not that we would have overlooked them in the rush. They took a seat at a table for two against the wall. The woman wore a long maroon skirt, and the man had his hair pulled loosely back in a ponytail. Ready to serve, I approached the table and offered the couple menus. I looked at them. The woman smiled, the man nodded. They consulted the bill of fare in silence.

I stepped back behind the wait station and began to contem­plate the water glasses. Five filled, two empty glasses on the end.

I could fill them, or not…

If I fill them I’ll have to refill the pitcher, which means walking into the kitchen.

If I don’t fill them I’m going to run out of water glasses. Unless I fill them later…

It might get busy and I won’t have time. I could fill the glasses but let the water level in the pitcher drop. How much would it drop? If I got a smaller pitcher, it wouldn’t drop as much. At least it wouldn’t look like it had dropped as much.

No one is going to look at the pitcher.

I could take the empty glasses off the end of the shelf. Then at least I wouldn’t have to think about them. I could also put them under the counter.

There, now all the water glasses are filled. But three don’t have any ice. The empty glasses under the counter don’t have any ice either. They don’t even have any water.

What will people think when they see empty glasses under the counter? Nobody puts empty glasses under the counter.

Better put them back on the shelf...

There.

The couple had been ready for ten minutes. I walked over to take their order.

“I’ll have the soup and salad. With cornbread, right?” the woman asked.

I looked at her but did not fully comprehend the question. I nodded. I made some effort to write down her request. The writing was not coherent. These people had water. But the man had no ice, or very little. They needed ice.

“The choices?” she asked again, smiling a little more force­fully.

I tried to focus. “There’s blue cheese. There’s also Russian and… a French. ”She ordered the French. I got something down on paper about the man’s order and retreated to the wait station. The ice glasses were still there. I counted them again: five filled, two empty. Of the five filled, three didn’t have any ice.

It’s getting warm outside. It’s going to get hot.

No ice. The ice is in the kitchen. I could fill the pitcher and get the ice at the same time. What would Corey think? Doesn’t everyone fill the glasses with water and ice before the meal, during set up? There are two glasses filled with ice. That’s enough for one more table of two. What if it’s a table for four? Two would get water with ice and two would get water without ice. Maybe they wouldn’t notice…Better get the ice now.

This process proceeds indefinitely, or until interrupted. Some prisons have no walls.

The order slip with the pencil scratch marks on it was crumpled and placed in the front left pocket of my denim apron. It remained there. The couple was quietly looking at one another across the table for two. The kitchen staff were leaning against the stove perusing the Sunday paper. Nothing was happening. Forty-five minutes went by in this condition of suspended animation.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Book Spotlight: Deathload by Cy Young


Deathload

By Cy Young

Genre: Thriller

When his Marine son is killed by friendly fire in Desert Storm, ex-CIA agent and truck tycoon Vincent Fazio constructs two trucks and out of revenge, sends them on a destructive rampage across the country blowing up air force bases.  Tracking the behemoths is Phoenix P.D. detective and karate champion Manny Breen.  Breen teams up with Phoenix P.D. chopper pilot Sharon Kramer.  Together they follow the trucks and end up at the White House for a powerful ending.

 

About the Author 


Cy Young performed as a dancer/singer on Broadway and co-starred at the Globe Theater in London in Divorce Me Darling.  He worked with Howard Keel (On A Clear Day) and Buster Keaton (Once Upon A Mattress) as a featured player with great reviews.  Young has many recordings on the Painted Smiles Records, performed a night club act at New York's famous Number One Fifth Avenue, and has done numerous commercials and voice overs.  Also a writer, Cy has written three published (French) plays, three musicals, and has a song on the Streisand Third album, Draw Me A Circle, which Barbra used to open one of her early TV Specials.  Cy's short story, The Schitzle Connection, has been published by Twit Publishing (Winter/Spring. 2011 edition) and won Best Short Story in an Oklahoma City Writer's Group contest.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indie.lector

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CyrilCCC.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cy.young.jr/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1209374.Cy_Young

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Deathload-Highway-Destruction-Cy-Young-ebook/dp/B07R1RDYHS



DEATHLOAD Prologue 


Bursts of heavy artillery fire danced on the horizon as the staccato rumble of Saddam’s big guns rolled across the windswept desert toward them. Marine Lance Cor- poral Vincent Fazio, Jr. squinted into the rolling clouds of dust at the road ahead.

Vincent’s LAV-25 was the third Light Armored Vehicle in the convoy now highballing recklessly into heavy enemy fire. The armored unit was speed- ing toward Umm Hugul. The Marines were the iron fist of the thrust and Vince was beginning to get that sick feeling again in the pit of his stomach.

Operation Desert Storm was moving into high gear. Vince and his buddies had hoped the ground war would never materialize. Now reality was star- ing them in the face.

A shell burst off the road behind them. The LAV swerved erratically.

“Shit, that was close!” Vince’s buddy yelled as he was jolted against the steel struts of the vehicle.

Norm Kleinhsauer was wishing he’d stayed at the hardware store in Monet, Missouri. It was better

to be a live clerk than a dead Marine. He glanced over at his buddy.

“Hey, Vince? You scared?”

Fazio’s face, illuminated in a sudden shell burst, was tense. Tense? He was scared shitless. But what the hell, he was a Marine, wasn’t he?

Marines were tough assholes, square-jawed leather-necks. He could fake it as well as the next guy.

“Nah,” Vince shouted, glancing at his buddy, “I saw more action last year when I visited New York!”

Norm laughed as another shell whined over- head. Both ducked as the shell went wide, bursting well to their right. Vince liked Norman. He liked most of the guys in his unit. They’d learned to stick together, be a family. Not like his own family. His fa- ther was too rich, too powerful, too busy making deals and traveling to pay much attention to him. He’d been proud when Vince joined the Marines, though. Vince knew because he’d overheard Vince Senior bragging about him to an old pal in the CIA.

Vince had mixed feelings about his dad. The man could be heartless, cruel. He’d seen him break associates, destroy them without mercy, then laugh about the way they’d squirmed and folded. Vince had learned to be tough. He’d learned from the best.

The first they knew of the Warthog was a wrenching roar behind and above them. Slow and ugly, the A-10 was one of the deadliest planes taking part in Desert Storm. The tank killer had a battery of high powered weapons which were already locking onto the convoy below. After the tragedy, the pilot swore he didn’t see the markings on the LAVs identi- fying them as friendly. But it was war. Crazy things happened.

Norm was the first to hear the plane closing behind them and turned. “Hey, guys? We got air cover!” he shouted as he strained to see through the smoke and sand swirls erupting around them. His as- sumption that the plane was friendly was accurate. The Iraqi Air Force had been decimated in the first few days of the air war. Now the multi-nationals owned the air. “Go get those mothers!” he yelled at the approaching plane.

As Vince turned to look back, the A-10’s two cannons fired a salvo striking the LAV and knocking it into the air. The vehicle landed on its nose with a violent thud, hop-skipping end over end half a dozen

times before skidding to a stop upside down. The Marines had been blown free and were lying scat- tered on the sand. All except for Vincent Fazio, Jr. He was wedged under the LAV’s front end, blood oozing from his mouth, his body crushed, his eyes open in a blank stare of death.

The young casualty was one of less than two hundred men killed in combat in the Gulf War. The men who would die because of Vincent’s death by friendly fire would reach into the thousands.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Book Spotlight: The Secret of Misty Mountain by L. Michelle Bowen

The Secret of Misty Mountain

By L. Michelle Bowen

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

 

About the Book

When is it right to tell a secret?

When Anne, a young country girl who lives in the beautiful countryside of South Carolina meets Catherine, a pretty and wealthy new girl in town, they become unlikely friends. Everything seems perfect until Catherine confides in Anne a secret too big to keep. When schoolmates learn of her secret, it threatens to tear apart not only her friendship but Catherine's family as well.

The Secret of Misty Mountain will resonate with anyone who has ever been sworn to secrecy too big for them to bear.

 

Author Bio 

I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina but I was mostly raised in Greenville, South Carolina. I have a heart for the southeast and all of it’s southern charm. I love the accents, the attitudes and the atmosphere. I was raised between the Great Smoky Mountains and Atlantic Ocean. My childhood consisted of vacations to both. We would climb through the woods and wade the creeks of the mountains and then head to the beach to jump the waves and play at the arcades.

All my life I have been a story teller. Everything I said and did were presented in grandiose fashion and my children were sponges to that. I loved reading books to them (and their friends). I never passed up the opportunity to read to them or tell them about something unique that happened that day, but in story form. One night, while my children were visiting their grandparents for the weekend, I had a very funny dream about a girl who’s mama tricked her one morning to get her out of bed. When I woke up, my first thought was to tell the kids. But they were gone. The story was too funny not to tell them so I began writing it down so I wouldn’t forget.  As I was writing the cute scene, I began to envision the characters more vividly and enjoy their company. When my kids got home, I told them the story and when I finished, my middle child said, “What happened next, mama?” And that was the birth of my first book, The Secret on Top of Misty Mountain. I started pouring myself into knowing more about Anne and Charles and Catherine and falling in love with them and rooting for them throughout their journeys.

In my free time, I like to watch and sing to musicals, have coffee with my daughter, cook and read books. But my favorite thing to do with my free time is to be with my kids!


Links: 

Web: https://www.lmichellebowen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MBowenAuthor/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MBowenAuthor           

 

 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Interview with Author Kimberley B. Jones, Our Friendship Matters #YA


Our Friendship Matters

By Kimberley B. Jones

Genre: Young Adult


About the Book


Sasha and Leah are living the good life. They have money, good looks, great boyfriends, loving families, supportive friends, good grades, and, most importantly, they have each other. They do everything together, from playing sports to planning for their big prom night, and they share a bond of trust and loyalty almost as if they were sisters. However, beneath the surface, neither their lives nor their friendship are as untroubled as they seem. When a friend from Sasha’s past becomes the victim of police brutality, their friendship is put to the test as both girls are forced to confront their values and what it means to be privileged in

American society.


Interview with the Author

What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?

What is challenging to me about the writing process is the editing. You can write all day until you go back and revise what you have written. I set some time away on nights and weekends while putting myself on a schedule and completing the tasks before my deadlines given by my publishing company.

When and where do you do your writing?

I have an office next to my laundry room. It’s not the best when clothes are being washed, but it’s away from everything where I can focused on my writing.

What have you learned about promoting your books?

What I’ve learned about promoting books is that it doesn’t matter if you are self-published or traditional published; you still have to promote your book. It’s not easy, and it could be tiresome, but it’s worth it at the end. Promoting yourself is also great because I gives you a chance to build relationships as well.

What are you most proud of as a writer?

I am most proud of getting my words out to readers not only for just the writing part but changing the world. But truly and honestly, I can tell me mother that I’ve finished the novel and I’m making you proud.

If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be, and what would you talk about?

Just one. Okay, if I can choose one, it would be James Baldwin. I would want to talk about the past and compare it to today. I will ask him if he sees any changes, or do you see a reverse of going back to the old days.

I will sit with him and talk about one of my favorite quotes by him, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

How powerful can that be? That’s all I want to do with Our Friendship Matters is face the issues of today’s society and change it.


About the Author


Kimberley B. Jones is a professional early childhood educator. She was born in the small town of Saint George, South Carolina, on September 12, 1982. She graduated from Woodland High School in 2000, Benedict College in 2004 with B.S., Child & Family Development, and Ashford University in 2013 with a Masters in Early Childhood Education. After receiving her education and being a military spouse, she held several jobs as a preschool teacher and a preschool director, but she wanted to use her education by writing children’s books. She wrote her first book in college for a children’s literature course. She has since self-published several books that can be found on Amazon. Currently, she is branching off into writing fiction YA, NA, and A novels on issues in society. She loves writing and would change it for nothing in this world. She is now representing Rhetoric Askew, a great publishing company. Kimberley is the author of “Our Friendship Matters,” soon to be released and so much more coming soon.

Website: www.kimberleybjones.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kimberley.jones.3762584 

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/KimberleyBJones

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/authorkimberleyjones/

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08C44GYMD?tag=

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54355969-our-friendship-matters


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Book Spotlight: radical. by heather liz #poetry


radical.

By heather liz

Genre: Poetry Collection


About the book

radical lays bare the devastating effects of patriarchy on the lives of women. It shows how beliefs, laws, and even aspects of feminism are used to keep women in place. A place that wounds. These pieces require more from the reader than casual poetry reading. In fact, you may at times find yourself holding your breath as you race to consume the book in one sitting. radical takes you on a journey that even the most self-proclaimed woke person still needs to go on. It is uncomfortable at times to have liz perfectly describe pain, anger, or loss you thought dealt with long ago. And yet, every word validates who you are and what you have experienced in life, as if she knew all your secrets. But don't worry, radical also suggest a way forward. After all, liz wants what we all want, a better way of being human. 

From the book:

So, what does that say about us women?

Foolish

Weak

Things

Who clearly cannot be trusted 

With their own self

Having never experienced being a self.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR  


heather liz wrote her debut collection, radical., on accident. A culmination of events: leaving a high-demand religion, entering her last year of law school, and the discovery of her body as her own (as opposed to belonging to a man) caused her to realize what we have done to women. This collection captures her first observations of the world, as it currently stands, and her critiques and suggestions for how to change it. heather liz resides in the Carolinas with her husband and five children.

Find her: www.heather-liz.com

Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/radical-heather-liz/dp/1545675554/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2YC5936W252T4&dchild=1&keywords=radical.+heather+liz&qid=1599318475&sprefix=radical.+heather%2Caps%2C191&sr=8-1

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/radical-heather-liz/1136514718;jsessionid=826C1C735CB7C8404B70D4CD402EE368.prodny_store01-atgap13?ean=9781545675557

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heatherlizpoet

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heatherlizpoet

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51651396-radical?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Fo7DlgGBiz&rank=1#other_reviews

 

 


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Cover Reveal: The Reluctant Bandit by Ami Hicken King

 

The Reluctant Bandit: lawlessness and the law Book 1

By Ami Hicken King

Genre: Historical fiction (western & romance elements)

 

About the Book

Good guy or villain?

Charlie Stapleton begins his day with one dilemma—rob the mercantile in a booming mining town or his brother Jimmy dies–ending the morning with another–kidnapping the sheriff’s daughter.  Conscientious and guilt-ridden, he’s now responsible for Jimmy and Annabelle, against their wishes.

Annabelle, the sheriff’s daughter, grew up sheltered for reasons beyond her understanding.  Chafing at the restrictions placed on her by her single father and unwilling to be courted by her father’s deputy, she begins planning a “trip.”  

Charlie’s actions propel himself and Annabelle into a long-standing chain of events so intertwined they blur the lines between law and disorder, and right and wrong.  In the battle between the law, lawlessness, and corrupt business, who will be willing to sacrifice their goals and principles to gain resolution?

About the Author 

I’ve always been curious as well as a verbal processor who thinks about things, a lot. This behavior also happens to drive my family a little batty. What may seem like random thoughts and words sprouting out of seemingly nowhere has a method in my mind—this includes the mid-sentence pauses, over-thinking, and a variety pack of humor. It can be entertaining and confusing, but never dull. Amongst the entertained: two male, rescue mutts—Yes, I talk to my dogs (I’m sure I’m not alone in that).

While I love wandering, wondering, and cloud watching, I also enjoy learning and connecting the dots in my inner and outer worlds. I’ve always been a voracious reader, fountain pen and paper product enthusiast, as well as lover of wax seal jewelry and pretty, shiny objects. I love a good story and analogies—written and spoken. Tell me your story, my spirit will listen.

I frequently stand on the precipice, watching and observing, but when I’m in, I’m all in. I’m your ride or die girl, or the Thelma to your Louise (or Louie, whichever the case may be). Coffee or tea? Yes, please.

Website: https://amihickenking.com

On Instagram: @amihickenking

 


Monday, July 6, 2020

Book Spotlight: Sky Queen by Judy Kundert


Sky Queen
By Judy Kundert
Genre: Women’s Fiction

It's 1967, and Katherine Roebling is a Chicago-based stewardess caught between the hold of highflying travel and the call of her Native American ancestors just as the women’s movement is taking the US by storm. As she vacillates between an ever-present mystical ancestral feather and her alluring stewardess life of excitement and travel, she embarks on a journey from one adventure to the next―each episode bringing her closer to her predestined calling. A chance meeting with a college student from Athens, Greece at a Chicago Playboy Mansion Press Party and her visit to the Oracle of Delphi intertwine with Katherine's discovery of the treasure inside herself. Ultimately, she gains wings that allow her to glide over society’s barriers; she abandons the so-called glamorous life she’s been living, creates her own path, and embarks upon a new career at the Smithsonian in DC―one that will take her on a miraculous experience of personal growth and uncharted paths.


About the Author 


Judy Kundert, a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Excellence in Authorship award, loves storytelling, from folk and fairy tales to classics for elementary school children. She authors award-winning middle-grade novels designed to inspire and intrigue children. After she left her career as a United Airlines stewardess, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University, Chicago and a Master of Arts from DePaul University, Chicago. Most recently, she completed a master’s Certificate in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Denver. For fun, she likes reading (usually three or four books at a time), watching movies from the oldies to the current films, traveling, biking, and hiking in the vast Colorado outdoors with her husband. Learn more at www.judykundert.com.

Links