[Book Blitz]: The True Adventures of Gidon Lev by Julie Gray

 

Bookcover

 

Genre: Narrative non-fiction/biography

Date Published: July 01, 2020

Publisher: Lightning Source

Of the approximately 15,000 children imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp of Térézin (Theresienstadt ) near Prague, less than 100 survived. Gidon Lev is one of those children.

On the face of it, The True Adventures of Gidon Lev is the story of an elderly Holocaust survivor—a man who made it through horrifying events and lived to tell the tale. But Gidon (pronounced “Gid-awn”) did more than survive—he thrived. Gidon’s is the story of a little boy who never truly grew up, with a desperate need to belong and to build a family for himself. His story spans the beginnings of a fledgling country, a first marriage gone seriously wrong, a second marriage that lasted for over forty years and a late-in-life relationship with a writer and editor, thirty years his junior with whom his adventures continued, apace.

 

The True Adventures of Gidon Lev Blitz

 

About the author 

 

JGGL

Julie Gray was born in 1964 in the San Joaquin Valley in California. A longtime Huffington Post contributor, Julie has been published in the Sanskrit Literary Journal, Moment Magazine, The Times of Israel, MovieMaker Magazine, Script Magazine, and Hip Mama. Her essay “The Freaking Autumn of My Life” was included in the anthology “Aging: An Apprenticeship.” A veteran essayist and editor, Julie moved to Israel in 2012 and is working on her memoir “They Do Things Differently Here.”

 

Contact Links

Website: www.juliegray.info

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/MyLovingLifeBuddy/posts/?ref=page_internal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieGray972

Blog: https://www.thetrueadventures.com/blog-1

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

Instagram: Https://www.instagram.com/Gidon&Julie

 

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[Guest Post]: A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen

 

Writing an Old Fashioned Detective

 

I spent nineteen of my twenty-five years in law enforcement as a detective. Long before I became a police officer, I wanted to be a writer. But I feared it wasn’t a practical profession and lacked the confidence to an attempt at it. Shortly after I retired from law enforcement, I found the courage to try my hand writing a story that I had floated around in my imagination for years. I started taking classes to learn the craft and began my first book at the same time.

When I went to conferences and seminars the same question was asked: why don’t I write a cop story? I never had the desire to write a contemporary one murder/suspense. I enjoy a good police story as much as anyone. My favorite authors in the genre are Mike Connelly, Joe Wambaugh, and John Sandford. I just didn’t want to take that road.

I love history and began a series of historical romances involving time travel. While writing that series I got the idea for an old fashioned detective. I knew he’d work in London and I couldn’t think of a better setting for murder/suspense than Victorian England. From that idea, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone (Ruddy) was created.

When I started the Bloodstone series, it hadn’t occurred to me how much of my personal experience as a detective would influence the stories. I used my years of interviewing suspects to enhance the mindset(s) of the killers. I found including the POV of the antagonists added a lot of interesting aspects to their characters. They remained villains, but they weren’t flat, black and white ones.

In the first book, Silk, Detective Bloodstone must battle politics and the class structure while pursuing his suspect. In Snifter of Death, the second book, he and his partner find themselves investigating a killer that is the last person anyone would suspect. In my latest book, A Venomous Love, there are two villains. An added twist to the case is the murderer’s use of a most unusual weapon.

My detective experience became important in the execution of Ruddy’s investigations. Silk is set in 1888, Snifter of Death in 1889 and A Venomous Love in 1890. He literally has no forensic science to help him. With each murder, I had to walk the scene with him, observe with him, and consider what could possibly serve as a clue. To stay true to the period, I had to strip away everything I knew from modern investigations and fall back on old fashioned police work.

Detectives everywhere, and over time, have all handled the occasional bizarre case. One of the main elements of A Venomous Love is the weapon used. It is based on an actual event related to me years ago by a London police officer friend of mine. The setting, the time of the story and the weapon add a colorful angle.

I found the challenge of writing a cop story with a Victorian setting surprisingly fun. Detective Bloodstone has become my favorite character to write. I love filling his world with people from all walks of life in that period. He definitely will get more cases to solve in the near future.

 

 

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About the book 

 

A Venomous Love final cover

 

Book 3 of the Bloodstone Series

Genre: Historical Suspense/Thriller

 Date Published: February 28, 2020

Publisher:  Books to Go Now

The killer whispered-“A pretty damsel…worth a pretty risk.”

 

A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.

A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London.

When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.

 

A Venomous Love Tour

 

About the author 

 

 

ChrisAuthor

I was raised in Chicago. My father, a history professor, and my mother, a voracious reader passed on a love of history and books along with a love of travel.

I am a retired police detective. After twenty-five years in law enforcement I decided to pursue my dream of writing. I write a historical-time travel romance series called Knights in Time and a historical suspense called The Bloodstone Series.

I am also working on a world war two series of novella romances. The first is Moonlight Serenade and currently available. The second is my work in progress at the moment and will be titled, The Ack-Ack Girl.

 

Contact Links

Website: https://chriskarlsen.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisKarlsenAuthor/?eid=ARDwh1KvkROLq57XcR6XR9Bbw_-Chyy4hL-c5wrq0kQK2lKjUGjl-FSfdpl_iDk3HEqVCT150TFk0jPq

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chriskarlsen1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4822048.Chris_Karlsen

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/chriskarlsen/boards/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/?hl=en

Subscribe: https://www.subscribepage.com/Moonlight_Serenade

 

 

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2 e-copies of A Venomous Love, 1 Amazon gift card for $20 to a random winner

[Book Blitz]: God of Small Affairs by Olga Werby

 

God of Small Affairs

 

Genre: Alternative History, Magical Realism

Published: September 2019

Publisher: Pipsqueak Productions

 

We are great at little things, at manipulating tiny threads of life. We are the gods of small affairs…until we are not.

“God of Small Affairs” is a creepy and slightly twisted mystery tale of a small mid-Western town, struggling to survive, told from the perspective of man who is culturally a stranger there and yet learns to find comfort and gives back love to people in need…his and those that reside in the town of Wilkins.

It’s a bit of a horror story, a bit of fantastical science fiction, and a take on what the world would be if one could talk directly to a god…even a god who is only interested in micro-management of human species.

 

 

God of Small Affairs on tablet with Kindle Unlimited Text

 

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter One: Derailed

Jon Uolan

The sharp sound of ripping leather disturbed Jon’s reverie. He looked down with a start; they both did. Ay-Tal’s knee-high black leather boots had split along the inside seam. With bated breath, Jon watched as the boot started to swell, letting the gray flesh squeeze out like stringy putty between sheared strips of leather. He of course knew about the metamorphosis—the Change—but it had all been very theoretical up till now. He inhaled subtly though his nose so as not to appear rattled and then looked up and caught Ay-Tal’s eyes. This was why he was here with her, right now, on this journey home.

Jon sat across from Ay-Tal in a small but private train cabin. She was almost thirty years his senior, but he thought she was still very beautiful. There was a severity to her features: a strong chin, a slight widow’s peak, dark, thick hair cut short with a few stray grays but not too many, full lips and dark gray eyes, long face and slim figure, very light skin. In short, she was everything he wasn’t—except for her eye color. Gray eyes were common among his tribe. There didn’t seem to be a trace of Inuit in her. And yet Jon knew her tribal roots ran far deeper than his own. His own great-great-grandmother was English, he was told, one of those who came to Alaska during the Gold Rush all those years ago. Ay-Tal was pure…

“How bad?” she managed to ask. Even under duress, her voice was deep and velvety—a perfect oration organ. It had been beautifully designed by his grandfather.

Jon bent down to examine the boot. In some places, the leather polish was thicker than the remaining leather. Even with extra care and regular repair, thirty years was just too long for city boots. He hoped they would last all the way to the little village hidden on the shores of Alaska’s National Coastal Conservation Area, but one didn’t always get all that was hoped. Jon’s father had made these boots to last the duration, and now it was Jon’s job to make them endure these last four thousand miles. Seal fur with a whale hide foundation would have been more durable, but it wouldn’t have been appropriate, not for Boston, not for Washington, D.C., and certainly not in front of the Supreme Court.

He lifted Ay-Tal’s legs onto his lap for a closer inspection and grabbed his tools. Pressing the sides of the ripped leather together, he started to carefully wrap the specially made leather tape over and over the boot’s perimeter to repair the damage. He felt the pressure ease a bit; the gray flesh composed of millions of intertwining threads retreated and resumed the shape of a human leg. The repair wouldn’t last long, but perhaps long enough to get home? He pulled the hunting knife to cut the tape and scrape away the frayed edges.

“Tickets!” The compartment door slid open, and the conductor stared at Jon.

Jon looked down at Ay-Tal’s legs bound in tape and the long blade in his hand and back up at the horrified face of the conductor. Ay-Tal tried to talk; it came out like strange whalesong moan. She waved to the conductor, but her muscular control was still off, and what should have been a friendly hello turned into spasmodic jerks. She came across as terrifying even to Jon, and he understood what was going on. “It’s not what it—” he started to say.

The conductor dropped his pad and whipped a pistol from behind his back. “Stop right there!” he ordered.

Jon dropped his knife and tried to straighten out. Ay-Tal let out a loud howl, more animal than human. It would take some time before she would be able to speak again; too much of the transformation had been triggered by the ripped boot.

“Don’t move!” screamed the man.

“It’s not what it looks like,” Jon tried to explain. But he could guess what it looked like to this uniformed man: a dark-skinned man with a scar above his eye (an old hunting accident) threatening a white woman in a business suit with a big knife after binding her legs together. How could he explain it away? And Ay-Tal wasn’t helping. “Officer,” Jon tried again. “I was just trying to help Ms. Blue with her—” He reached for Ay-Tal’s legal case to pull out some documents.

A shot rang out. Jon felt Ay-Tal twitch and push his body out of the path of the bullet. With horror, he watched a hole in Ay-Tal’s chest start to pulse blood. The conductor dropped the gun, terror twisting his face. Jon sprung up and pushed the man out of the cabin, shutting the door with a click of the lock. He picked up the gun and hid it in his own waistband in the back, just like the conductor. The gun was still hot.

Jon looked at Ay-Tal’s ashen face. She was losing blood fast. She was his responsibility, his god, his reason for existence. And he owed her his life now too. He felt sick from panic. She blinked and blinked again, but then her eyes rolled back, closed, and didn’t open again.

“Aguguq take me!” Jon grabbed the knife and started to cut the boots off Ay-Tal’s feet. Cut and pull, cut and pull. It got harder with each incision. Ay-Tal’s fibrous flesh started to expand and push out again. But the bleeding ebbed and then stopped. Ay-Tal only bled in human form, Jon was told. Remove the boots, remove the humanity. That’s how his grandfather shaped her; the whole tribe had worked on finding the right form for those boots. When Jon was done cutting them off, he stood over a gray, twined blob covered in bloody clothing. Well, at least Ay-Tal was alive. It was time to get off this train.

Jon pulled down his backpack, his only piece of luggage, and grabbed Ay-Tal’s briefcase full of documents that solidified the tribe’s position on legal ownership of its land and mineral resources. Fifty years of work couldn’t end just because some white man misunderstood what he saw on the train. Gathering the synthetic blankets that came with their cabin, he wrapped Ay-Tal as securely as he could and stuffed the bloodied clothing under the seat with her suitcase. He wasn’t sure why he bothered—the place looked like a murder scene. Blood everywhere…

With the backpack on, Jon put his ear to the door. There were the usual noises of the moving train but no additional screams or suspicious shuffling. He dared to crack open the door and look out. The long corridor, running from one end of the train car to the other between the cabins, was empty. He had already considered jumping out of the window, but he wasn’t sure Ay-Tal was strong enough to survive the awkward fall. And he wasn’t too sure he was. Too high a risk. That meant carrying Ay-Tal through the train, out to the gangway connection between cars, and jumping from there. Jon deemed that safer. No more than a minute had passed since the gunshot, and Jon expected the authorities to return at any moment, guns blazing. It was now or never.

He felt a slight change in the motion of the train; they were slowing down.

“Ay-Tal,” he said. “I’m sorry, but I see no other choice.” With that, he hoisted the gray body wrapped in the Pacific Railroad blankets over his shoulder, grabbed the briefcase, and ran down the corridor.

Jon made it to the back of their train car without incident and slid open the door. Once between cars, only flexible walls separated him from freedom. He carefully lowered Ay-Tal onto the floor. Using his knife, he twisted and jammed the locks to each of the adjoining cars. It wasn’t much but it would buy him a little more time. A few quick motions with his knife and he opened a hole in the flexible siding big enough to push through. All those years of practicing on whales, seals, and reindeer…

He picked up Ay-Tal like a baby with one hand, pressing her…it to his chest, and with a briefcase in his other hand, he rushed for the opening and jumped.

He rolled over and over down the steep incline away from the train tracks. The early snow somewhat softened the impact. At least he hoped it was the snow and not Ay-Tal’s body protecting him yet again. The briefcase, unfortunately, was slapped from his hand when he hit the ground.

“Are you okay?” Jon asked as soon as he was able; the fall knocked the wind out of him.

The gray, twisting blob that used to be a beautiful woman purred. Jon wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. His father and grandfather had told him stories, but even they only saw the Change once. And he didn’t think it was this dramatic back then. From what he was told, he imagined it was more like going into a room as one person and coming out as another…after many hours. He didn’t know if anyone in his tribe’s living memory had seen Ay-Tal for what it was…like this. It wasn’t revolting or anything. Jon wasn’t repulsed touching the soft, fibrous gray flesh, but he did find it difficult to look at it directly. He needed Ay-Tal to assume a human form again. Fast. Soon. The boots were gone. Ay-Tal would never again have the look of a highly educated lawyer from Harvard, arguing cases in front of the Supreme Court. That person was dead, just like the conductor and the rest would assume…jump to conclusions. Jon knew he would have too if he saw what that man saw. There will be a murder investigation, he realized.

“We need to get out of here,” he said. He stood up and looked for the briefcase. It wasn’t visible. He would have to come back for it once Ay-Tal was safely hidden. Even if the Union Pacific train was far in the distance now, Jon wasn’t naive enough to think they were out of trouble. There was going to be a search. He gently gathered Ay-Tal in his arms and carried her—he felt uncomfortable thinking of her as it—farther away into the shelter of the thick low boughs of the evergreens growing on the edge of the forested strip of land surrounding the train tracks. Tucking Ay-Tal out of view, Jon left to look for the briefcase.

All along the railway, there was garbage strewn about among the vegetation, trash snagged on craggy branches and caught among the barren bushes, tall, dead grasses, and exposed rocks of the late fall. Civilization slithered through nature, leaving its slimy discards. Jon felt disgusted and experienced a strong urge to pick the crap up off the forest floor. But that wasn’t what he was here for. He scanned the ground for the briefcase; it couldn’t have landed too far from where they hit the ground. It was well made so unlikely to have opened and spilled its precious contents all over Wisconsin…or was it Minnesota already? Jon wasn’t sure, but he had a map and a satellite phone in his backpack; normal smartphones were not very useful out in the far northern country of his people. Although all the kids had smart tablets and shared educational materials by linking those directly. Technology had changed his people in the last few decades, but far less than Ay-Tal had when she joined their tribe. There might not even have been a tribe without Ay-Tal.

He spotted the brown leather of the briefcase in a ditch off to the side. He rushed over and almost tripped over a kid’s Dora the Explorer backpack. It was so covered in mud that Jon almost didn’t recognize the friendly face from his childhood. He bent down and picked it up. Probably fell from the train, he thought. It felt heavy; he took a quick look inside. Girl’s clothing, a coloring book, and…Yes! A pair of little pink boots! An idea formed in Jon’s head. It was crazy, but it just might work. He grabbed the muddy briefcase in his other hand and rushed back to Ay-Tal.

Jon had never seen the Change ritual; he was only a few months old for the most recent one. He had been told about it, of course, but hoped never to have to personally put into practice the legends of his fathers. There were chanting and singing and some drumming, but Jon believed all that was for his people’s benefit and not strictly necessary. He knelt before the gray form that was bundled in the ugly blankets and maneuvered the child-sized pink boots under the soft flesh. It almost felt like the gray tendrils burrowed into the earth beneath the Ay-Tal’s body, merging with networks of tubular filaments of mycelia that Jon knew naturally permeated the ground under the tree.

“Ay-Tal?” he said softly. “I know this is not what you would want. And I will help you with…with something else later.” He felt uncomfortable even talking about the Change, much less requesting Ay-Tal to become a child for him. But he saw no other way. The authorities would be looking for him and a woman. An injured woman. Perhaps if he posed as a father of a little girl… “Please?”

Slowly, oh so very slowly, thin tendrils snaked their way into the tiny boots. His father told him it took over a week for Ay-Tal to become the woman he met. How long would it take now? Back then, his grandfather spent several years designing the person Ay-Tal would need to become to win the tribe’s case in front of the Supreme Court. Ay-Tal knew what was required of her and helped shape that person. But now? How would it work now? Jon sat and watched and prayed to Aguguq that the metamorphosis didn’t take too long.

He woke up with a start. It was dark and very cold. The moon was out; he could see its light shining through the branches of their tree. A small hand touched his cheek.

“Jon?” The voice was very high. A small child was staring at him from inside a nest of blankets. “Will this work?”

“Ay-Tal?” It was one thing to know about the Change, but to witness the transformation? Jon was shaken. The child in front of him was no more than five, perhaps even younger. A skinny little arm was attached to a tiny little hand with miniature fingers. The eyes staring at him were deep blue, with just a hint of gray around the edge. A bit of red hair poked out from under the dirty cloth. That and those pink boots.

“Will this work?” the child asked again.

Jon forced himself to focus. “Yes. That’s very good, Ay-Tal.” It felt strange complimenting a god. “Thank you.” He quickly looked at the child’s face and then had to look away—too strange. “I have some clothing here.” He pulled out the Dora the Explorer bag and gave it to Ay-Tal. “If you could dress, we should try to get out of here as quickly as possible. They will be looking for us.”

The child nodded and took the bag. There were some pink tights, a t-shirt with another Dora print on it, and a sweatshirt. The clothing was covered in mud and blooming with spots of mold. Not enough to keep a child warm, Jon noted to himself. Ay-Tal wiggled out of the blankets and started to put on the clothing, slipping off only one boot at a time.

The child was male, Jon noticed in shock.

When done, Ay-Tal smiled at him. “Ready?”

“Y-yes,” he stammered. “Are you cold or anything?”

“I will be,” the boy answered. “But not yet. It takes time to adjust to the Change.”

“Yes, of course.” Jon had no idea what that meant. “Can you walk?”

“Only for as long as a kid my age can,” the boy said with a smile…a very adult smile. “And call me Al. I think it works better for this body, don’t you?”

“Al. I can do that.” Jon tried to smile back, but it didn’t work—his face refused to make it. So he gathered their meager possessions, rearranging his backpack so he could carry all of the legal documents on his back and tied the rest into a bundle made from one of the blankets. Ay-Tal…Al put on the dirty little backpack and tried to bury the briefcase under the many seasons of pine needles and other detritus surrounding the base of their tree hideout.

“Let me help you with that,” Jon said and with just a few movements of his wide hands finished the job of concealing the bag. It would be found, of course. But anything to give them additional time to melt into the American landscape was worth it.

The child that was Ay-Tal watched him cover the now empty briefcase and strip a dead branch to make a stick to tie up their bundle for ease of carrying; a hobo stick. They climbed together from under the tree. Jon swung the bundle over his shoulder, resting the stick on the strap of his backpack. Al gave him his hand, like a child would. And they walked into the woods, away from the tracks. Jon hoped to find some shelter before the moon set. In this part of the country, they were really never too far from civilization…for better or worse.

A few hours later, Jon was carrying the sleeping child over his shoulder, wrapped in a blanket like a burrito. He walked on the shoulder of US-12, a highway he had located on his map, pegging their position near the town of Wilkins, Wisconsin. It was still dark and there was no traffic, but Jon was ready to jump into the trees along the side of the road if he spotted any headlights. He was sure there was a manhunt on for him and didn’t want to take any chances.

They would need to stop and buy more appropriate clothing for Al. He almost said “Ay-Tal” in his head but stopped himself. That name was dangerous now—too memorable and too easily connected to current events. How many Inuit lawyers named Ay-Tal Blue that just won an argument in the highest court of land were there? She was all over the news last week and would be again now, for totally different reasons. Jon shifted his shoulders, and the child gave a soft sigh. Poor kid tried to walk by himself, and only after Jon pointed out that he was slowing them down did Al allow himself to be carried.

She doesn’t just mimic the attributes of the person she changes into—she fully inhabits that person, he remembered his father telling him. For good or bad, Al was a little kid now. Jon wondered if Al remembered all her…his previous lives. He must. Or it just doesn’t work. He decided to ask later, the next time it was convenient to have such a conversation.

Jon also needed to let his tribe know what happened. He was wary of using phones, but there was an email account set up that he could use to draft a message in code. Messages from that account were never sent, in order to avoid interception in transit. Someone back home checked the account several times a day and read all of the unsent email drafts. Nothing was ever addressed to anyone; nothing ever moved across the network. Ay-Tal had set up the message drop system when the Internet came online, decades ago. Now the whole tribe used this spy-craft stuff. Encryptions, codes, secure passwords, cyber currency, anonymous accounts… It had all been fun and games until now. But Ay-Tal taught them well; clearly, she foresaw it might become necessary someday.

He needed papers for Al. There was no easy way to get over the Canadian border without passports. And the kid didn’t look like his son. A shame, that. It would have been so much easier if Al was a dark-haired, dark-eyed, dark-skinned little boy. People would ask questions, the way Al looked. Perhaps they could use hair dye and sunglasses; it would work at a distance, but not at the border inspection or during any other interaction with authorities. Jon felt cold sweat run down his back as he thought of the police arresting him for murder and taking Al away. They would accuse him of child trafficking, too, and put Ay-Tal in foster care. He needed to stay away from people as much as possible and come up with a good cover story. He could change his appearance somewhat; he could shave his head and grow a beard, perhaps. Would that confuse any face-recognition systems? He could use skin-lightening creams. He could dye his hair red to match Al’s. But then his passport… He was never into the cloak-and-dagger stuff; he was a traditional Inuit artisan, just like his father and his father’s father before him.

A squat building with white walls and a dark-shingled roof surprised Jon out of the early morning mist. “Wilkins Nite Club” said giant letters across the entire facade. On one corner of the building, there were signs of fire damage that were patched up and covered with two giant flags, Wisconsin’s and the Stars and Stripes. Jon looked around. There were no other structures close by and no cars parked in the gravel-covered parking lot. He dashed into the lot and behind the nightclub. He needed to rest a bit and change his own clothing. All this mud and blood would attract attention. Back on the train, Jon never got to the point where his and Ay-Tal’s tickets were actually checked—the conductor never learned their names. Would the conductor remember what they…he looked like? People were notorious for being lousy eyewitnesses. And he still needed to dispose of Ay-Tal’s IDs; it would not be good to be found with those.

He lowered Al, still wrapped in the Pacific Railroad blanket, onto the back porch. The ground was wet and cold, covered in a silvery frost. “These blankets have to go too,” Jon mumbled under his breath, which came out as a small silver cloud about his face. “Should have left ’em under that tree for the police to find.” But the kid was cold. “Aguguq. So much to do.”

Al was sleeping peacefully. He looked like a little cherub from one of those greeting cards. And that was a big problem. Jon actually didn’t look like a typical Inuit—those English genes. He was taller than average for his people, just under six feet, and his eyes were an unexpected dark gray, not brown. But who would take the time to check his eye color when looking at Al’s wide blue-as-a-clear-March-sky eyes? Aguguq, help me.

And looks like a girl too, Jon continued his train of thought. A little white blue-eyed boy…or girl traveling with a guy like him raised eyebrows as well as questions. He needed to get the kid sex-appropriate clothing, something dark and grungy. But those boots… He looked at the shocking patch of pink sticking out from under the drab navy-blue blanket. Those had to stay. So more raised eyebrows, more questions.

He pulled out Ay-Tal Blue’s wallet and passport. Keep or destroy? As far as Jon knew, Al would never be able to take on that identity again. If they were discovered with these… Jon stuffed the papers deep into his backpack and lay down next to the child, pressing the little body close. The kid was still cold and made pathetic little snorts in his sleep. A child who is not a child. How do I keep him safe? And with that thought, Jon fell fast asleep.

 

About the author 

 

God of Small Affairs Author Olga Werby

Olga Werby got her B.A. from Columbia University in Mathematics and Astrophysics and worked at NASA on the Pioneer Venus Project as a programmer. She received her masters from U.C. Berkeley in Education of Maths, Science, and Technology and went on to earn a doctorate in education. Together with her husband and business partner, Olga conceives, designs, and creates products, ideas, websites, and exhibits. Along the way, she writes science fiction.

Olga is an indie author. Her stories have won awards and got some nice reviews (thank you, readers!).

 

Contact Links

Websitehttp://www.Interfaces.com

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OlgaWerby

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

Promo Link: http://bookbuzz.net/blog/alternative-history-god-of-small-affairs/ 

 

 

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[Book Blitz]: Gardenia Duty by Kathleen Varn

 

Gardenia Duty

 

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
In 1957 jobs are scarce in rural Ashland, Alabama. Bobby Higgins is facing life decisions; his family’s farm struggles and threat of the draft hangs over 18-year-old males as the Cold War rumbles in the distance. Bobby heads off to boot camp, vowing to provide for his family from his pay. Between shore and sea duty, Bobby leaves broken hearts in every port. When his own heart is stolen by Rose, he’s shocked to learn that she comes with four daughters, a package deal he’s unsure he wants. But when Rose disappears, Bobby finds her and persuades her to marry him. Somehow they navigate their way through the trials of marriage and parenting as he fulfills his patriotic career and his promise to raise four willful daughters. In the spring of 2004, his daughters are brought together by grief. They forge new bonds, sharing their joys, losses, regrets, and ultimately family secrets that will seal all their fates…if they can summon the courage to report for duty.
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About the author: 
Gardenia Duty Author - Kathleen Varn
Kathleen Varn’s love affair with words manifested when she turned four and taught herself to read.
As she grew older, books and reading were an escape from responsibility. Eventually, Kathleen dove into journaling, which helped her find solace in the grief of a toxic relationship. Kathleen is now very happily married to her soulmate.
She resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where she worked for an adoption attorney for twenty-three years.
Her first novel, Ameera Unveiled, released in 2013. Gardenia Duty is her second novel.
Excerpt
Acknowledgements
           Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense but the past perfect! —Owens Lee PomeroyNostalgia. This is an emotional word that con-jures body language from a slow sweet smile, eye rolls or a furled brow that delights the der-matologist reaching for a Botox needle. I believe it is an underrated emotion but also one that requires balance. Mental health professionals also validate the value of cop-ing in the present by looking at the past to find hope for a future outcome. It can remind us and regroup our sense of purpose. So, when I began to pursue the story of what became Gardenia Duty, I chose to marry the relation-ships of the adults of the Silent Generation with the Baby Boomer descendants. This would create the social setting of the prospering America during a relatively peaceful time.
          Each generation would look through the eyes of a child and the eyes of an adult. Fortunately, it is at the root of my own childhood that I knew where to draw my research. To weave the sto-ry’s perspective from the young adult sisters reliving the past through the eyes of a child allowed me to use stories of many people. To educate my own perspective about the angst of the adults that were influential in my childhood, I dove into the dominant male military world of 1950s and forward. As I progressed, it softened the edges of my own painful and happy nostalgic memories. As in the book, I started out dissecting my late step-father’s military records and mementos, which allowed me to ask relatively informed questions to the many Vets, including my own Tin-Can sailor father. Their uniforms were retired, but often a baseball cap with a military logo alerted me to their presence. The Goose Creek Tin-Can Sailor Chapter graciously endured my prodding. I would meet shipmates of my dad’s and even developed deep friendships with a few. I explored the decks of the USS Laffey at Patriots Point. The familiar smell of diesel mixed with grey paint sent my nostalgia into overdrive. I spent time in Jacksonville Beach, Florida to launch myself into the mind of a grade school girl navigating her way as a military dependent in the 1960s.
            I treasure the many glory day chats that revived the boyish spirits over a beer at ship reunions or an American Legion hall. The vulnerable confessions of the trials and tribulations of raising families under the strain of the Cold War helped me flesh out the tender undercarriages of these masculine souls. At the announcement of “free wine for all the blondes at the bar” at a local Olive Garden, I met and became part of the Thursday lunch gang of Jack Connerty. He became so dear to the heart of my story, I promoted him to Chief in my book. His best friend, Richard Santa Stanley, amused me and welcomed me with that first free glass of wine. (Lynn Stanley, you’re a saint!) Thank you also to Jerry and Marla Wickerham, Dwight Cargile of American Legion Post 147; John Long, who shared the photos of the recovery of Gemini VIII from the deck of the USS Leonard F. Mason (see next page); and especially to my father, Ret. LCDR Eugene Hall; and late step-father, Command Master Chief Robert Hardegree. But, as pointed out in the story, behind all these men were wives and children. The ones who waited and kept the family together during a husband’s absence. There has to be a thank you to my mother, Jeanette Hardegree and my three sisters because without the experience of being a real ‘package deal,’ my story would lack a realistic flare. My mentor and writing coach, Shari Stauch, con-ceived the basic idea of this story and kept me motivated to never abandon ship. Her confidence in Gatekeeper Press has finally laid the keel of my cover and launched the pages of the journey of the Higgins family. Of course, my husband, Steve Varn, gave me much needed R&R and escape with my camera underwater when the words would freeze. I hope this book inspires readers to look into the amazing stories of their families and ancestors. I have a new appreciation of the messiness of life, but how some-thing as simple as birth order can be a key to untangling it. For me, the result has been profound, and I’ve dis-covered, as I hope you will, that the definition of family isn’t limited to blood but to those whose hearts are so big, they prepare us to become the watchstanders at the helms of our own lives. Thank you to generations of those who reported for duty, and to the families that served with them. I salute you…

[Book Tour]: Between the Cracks by Carmela Cattuti

 

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One woman’s journey from Sicily to America

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: HenschelHAUS Publishing

 

Join Angela Lanza as she  the experiences the tumultuous world of early 20th century Sicily and New York. Orphaned by the earthquake and powerful eruption of Mt. Etna in 1908, Angela is raised in the strict confines of an Italian convent. Through various twists of fate, she is married to a young Italian man whom she barely knows , then together with her spouse, immigrates to the U.S.

 

 

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About the author: 

 

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Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a writer for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. She is a writer, painter, and yoga instructor in Boston. After she finished her graduate work in English at Boston College, she began to write creatively. As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write her great aunt’s story. Between the Cracks and The Ascent have gone through several incarnations and will become a trilogy.

 

 

Contact Links

Website: www.ccattuticreative.com/carmela-cattuti-books

Facebook: www.facebook.com/carmelacattuticreative

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccattuti

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18388553-between-the-cracks?from_search=true&qid=pUEZkURrJd&rank=1

Instagram: www.instagram.com/carmelacattuticreative 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble 

 

Giveaway

Free Paperback Copy

 

Excerpt 

 

A cross from Italy’s mainland sat the city of Messina like an indomitable fortress. Proud of its solid presence, Messina was the travelers’ first encounter with the island of Sicily. The earthy colors of the buildings and landscape signaled to the visitor or returning Sicilian that Messina and its people belonged to the island, not to any outside political force or cultural tradition. The clang of the donkey-drawn carts and the voices calling out to customers to buy wares in the market added to the music of the city’s sounds. Visitors marveled out loud at the cathedrals and ancient art work throughout the city, but the locals walked and spoke softly, especially near the narrow slits between the buildings.

Visitors delighted in the snake-like movement of the streets. The streets seemed to lead directly to a famous church or street market but then would slowly veer off in a different direction. They seemed to be designed to intentionally confuse. The city offered no help in arriving at a specific destination. Ancient buildings were so close together that air barely squeezed through. Residents believed that between the buildings old mysteries sat, holding the true essence of Messina. Whenever one of the townspeople
walked close to the openings, there seemed to be a whisper, not a sound you could hear with your physical ears but heard in your mind. The whisper seemed to convey a yearning that had been imprisoned for hundreds of years. When this happened, people scurried past, heads down, attempting to get away from the whispers in their heads.

Angela ran down the hot cobblestone street and fell, scrambled to her feet and ran, then fell again. She threw herself on the street and screamed a long scream that echoed off the ruins of the ancient churches. A timeless scream that would always and forever be heard. Her city, Messina, was a massive graveyard. She searched for her family—her mother, sister and brother. She yelled their names into the air, into demolished houses. She screamed at bodies crushed or run through by fallen beams. Other bodies were caught between the open earth and the street. They were the souls in hell that she had seen in paintings, forever in agony, never at peace.

[Book blitz]: Alien Redemption by Gloria Oliver

 

Alien Redemption

 

Genre: Science Fiction
Date Published: February 2020
Publisher: Zumaya Otherworlds
All Claudia wanted to do was escape the mistakes of the past and start over. But when she answers an ad for a medical officer on a merchant ship in the Fringes, the captain recognizes her and blackmails her into taking the job.
The Holiday’s Captain Bennet is amoral and has a short fuse. Claudia steers clear of him as much as possible, while trying to care for the crew he lashes out on. Then the rumors start that their latest mission is to a location Bennet won’t even share with the pilot.
The secret coordinates take the ship and crew to an uncharted system in the Fringes. To a planet that holds intelligent life, and despite the odds, also a humanoid one.
Bennet plans to use these aliens to climb up the power ladder at the borders of the Dominion. Even if it means placing the Avians into brutal servitude for the rest of their lives.
Can Claudia stop the impending exploitation of this newly discovered sentient species all on her own? Or is there a worse fate than blackmail waiting for her if she tries?
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Excerpt
“Another accident, I presume?”
A flash of something crossed Stevens’ eyes. Whether it was good or bad, Claudia couldn’t tell. Instead of answering the question, the first mate placed the unconscious woman she was carrying onto the scanner bed. Her patient had a large lump on the side of the head, and her nose looked broken.
Claudia had just activated the bed and was checking the unconscious woman’s vitals when Stevens broke the silence.
“The captain doesn’t tolerate failure or disobedience well.”
Cold fury flared inside Claudia, her suspicions of abuse by the one who commanded them confirmed. She was amazed her hands didn’t shake as she programmed the scanner. Now that there was a medic on-board, was Bennet showing less restraint than usual? It would make her being here a boon and a bane to everyone on board. If the captain took things too far one too many times, might the crew decide the downside was worse than the benefits and turn on her?
Claudia shook her head. “You still work for him.” It wasn’t quite an accusation.
Stevens came up close. Claudia held her ground and didn’t step away.
“We all have our reasons for being here. Whether we like it or not.”
About the author: 

Alien Redemption Author Gloria Oliver

Gloria Oliver lives in Texas, staying away from rolling tumbleweeds while bowing to the never-ending wishes of her feline and canine masters. She works full time shoveling numbers around for an oil & gas company and squeezes in some writing time when she can.
Alien Redemption Blitz

[Book tour]: Double Blind by Sara Winokur

 

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Genre: Mystery Thriller

Date Published: March 31, 2020

Publisher: Anchor House Publishing

A young boy disappears in the chill of North Iceland. Twenty years later, a mysterious poem lands on the desk of his twin sister Brynja, a forensic geneticist, and rekindles her hopes that her brother might be alive. As Brynja unravels the clues, more poems arrive, each bearing dire consequences for those who receive them: the guard of the medieval manuscript of Icelandic sagas that possibly has the answer to her burning question, the prime minister’s secretary, the local pastor.

Is the poet out to stop Brynja from finding her brother and shut down her access to the DNA database? Or is the verse maker simply a psychopath copycat killer?

Fighting the visual auras that have plagued her since childhood and now threaten everything she holds dear, Brynja must summon the strength to navigate the twisted labyrinth of the poet’s mind and confront the dark secret buried in her family’s past.

DOUBLE BLIND is a wild ride through the cultural landscape of Iceland, from rural farmsteads to icy fjords to the high-tech world of DNA forensics. This crime thriller packed with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

 

 

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About the author: 

 

Sara Winokur

Sara Winokur is a geneticist and researcher who reinvented herself as an author. She writes historical fiction and cultural thrillers hoping to inform readers while they’re being entertained.

Sara has a Masters in Cytogenetics for cancer diagnosis and a Ph.D. for her work on Muscular Dystrophy, identifying mutations that cause disease. She is also a consultant at the University of California and an Associate Researcher at the Biological Chemistry School of Medicine at Irvine. She was part of the team that found the genes associated with Dwarfism and Huntington’s Disease.

 

 

Contact Links

Website: sarawinokur.com

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

Instagram: sara_winokur

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3c2p5EJ

Giveaway

Amazon Gift Card $25

 

Excerpt 

 

Eyjafjörður, North Iceland
April 1997
First Day of Summer

Lúkas was seven winters that day, the day he froze in time and memory.
It was mid-morning when the children pressed their noses to the window, Lúkas in his
Thor superhero jammies and Brynja in princess-pink. Below, an icy wind howled off the fjord, battering the red and white flaps of the carnival tent—a giant, striped bird that had landed on thesnowy patch of farmland below their house. The townspeople were gathered at the fair, huddled in their heavy, gray overcoats, their chatter frozen in white puffs. Their neighbors, hardy farmers
in rough-knit sweaters, stomped their boots and greeted one another with a clap on the back.
The two—twins and inseparable—bundled into woolies and raced across the hall. Brynja
begged their father Pabbi to let them go down to the fair.
“Too young, my little lambs,” he said. “Next year.” He kissed the tops of their
heads and shuffled back to Mamma.
Brynja poked her head into the kitchen, though she knew she shouldn’t. Pabbi had
just said no.
“Jónas?”
“Well, well, litla mín,” he said, flipping slices of blood sausage in the pan atop the
stove.
“Breakfast will be ready soon.”
Brynja clasped her hands together. “Can Lúkas and I go to the carnival first? Please?
We’ll watch out for each other. I promise.”

The farm manager never said a lot, so she knew to be patient while he thought about it.
“You’ll have to ask your father.”
“I did.” Brynja turned and put her finger to her lips, daring Lúkas to stay quiet. She
wasn’t lying. She did ask Pabbi.
“Okay, then, just for a bit. But keep an eye on each other.” Jónas shook his finger.
“No pony rides or talking to strangers.”
Brynja grabbed Lúkas’s hand and ran to the entry. They hurried to throw on their
winter coats, stuffed their stockinged feet into rubber boots, and quietly shut the door. Taking the long way around the house, they avoided Pabbi and Mamma’s bedroom window.
Brynja held onto Lúkas as they tromped down the hill through snowdrifts piled high
against the cliffs. They had to stop more than once to clear the snow from inside their boots.
Ducking under the carnival tent, they wandered among tables stacked with deep-fried
kleinur and steaming pots of cocoa. They peeled off their icy-cold mittens and warmed their hands against the cups as they sipped the hot, sweet liquid. Nearby, the sizzle of grilled lamb mixing with the sulfur smell of manure made Brynja feel a little sick, but that didn’t stop her from burying her face in sticky, pink clouds of cotton candy.
They had their pictures taken. Brynja put the tiny photos into the silver locket that hung
about her neck. They painted their faces green and white, looking like the elves that roamed the highlands. They played ring toss and fed the newborn lambs. Tractors rumbled. Accordions bellowed. Farmers raised their mugs and shouted, “Skál!” The old folks sang. A man tied balloons into monkeys and dogs. One popped in Lúkas’s hand when he held it too tight. Circus music piping through speakers drew Brynja to the up-and-down, round-and-round, every-color-in-the-rainbow carousel. Mesmerized by the wild eyes and flowing manes  of the painted horses, she pulled Lúkas from the tent and ran across the clearing in the field.
“Two tickets,” she said, digging deep for the krónur Jónas had tucked into her pocket.
Lúkas stomped his foot. “No. Jónas said not to go on any pony rides.”
“Come on,” Brynja pleaded, tugging his arm. “It’s a merry-go-round. Not a real horse.”
Lúkas folded his arms across his chest.
“No.” “Please? We have to stay together.”
He shook his head.
“Okay, then, wait right here. I’ll only be a minute.” She pulled the red ribbon from
her braid and handed it to Lúkas before giving him a quick hug. “Take this. And don’t
worry. Wave to me and I will see you from the carousel.”
She climbed atop a painted pony. The merry-go-round jerked, then spun about, faster
and faster, until the waves of her hair flew with the horse’s mane. Soaring above the
crowd, she let go of the reins, lifted her face to the sun, and kissed the clear, blue sky.
With each exhilarating turn, Lúkas grew smaller and smaller, until, when the
carousel slowed and the horses reared to a halt, he was nowhere to be seen.

[Book blitz]: The Critical Offer by Yitzhak Nir

TheCritic-1583697899

 

 

Genre: Political Thriller
Published: November 2019
A car bomb explosion horrifies Jerusalem.
Head of the Mossad, a former Israeli Air Force fighter pilot Gershon Shalit, is enraged by the murder of his daughter, frustrated by his wife’s decision to leave and distrusts his prime minister – seeks revenge. But, his first priority is to eliminate the fundamental threats to destroy the State of Israel’s existence.
His random encounter with a beautiful Chinese diplomat, leads to an impossible love affair, where he is exposed to a once in a lifetime offer that could diminish the threats to his country and save Zionism from collapse. Nothing will keep him from making this offer a reality, despite a heavy personal price.
The Critical Offer is not just a ‘run of the mill’ thriller. Its futuristic and believable plot is based on a wide spectrum of inside information and suggests bold and ‘out of the box’ solutions to the Jewish state’s main dilemmas…
Can the Chinese megalomaniac initiative “Belt & Road” solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
If you care about Israel’s destiny – The Critical Offer is a breathtaking book that will keep you awake for many nights…
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About the author: 

The Critical Offer Author Yitzhak Nir

Yitzhak Nir is a former Israeli fighter pilot, trainer and operations planner in the IAF. He retired as an El Al captain and IAA supervisor. He took part in 86 combat missions, shot down 2 enemy planes and documented some 30,000 flight hours.
Yitzhak Nir is an author, painter and curator. He is also a former urban planning and road safety activist. His paintings can be found in art books, private collections and on book covers. He has published short stories and professional papers and holds a BA from New Haven University in Air Transport Management.
He is deeply involved in changing the Israeli public opinion about crucial security issues, towards a new “out of the box” vision and ideas.
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[Book review]: The Last Nazi by Andrew Turpin

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Genre: Thriller/Speculative History

Publisher:  The Write Direction Publishing

Release Date: August, 2017

 

Blurb:

The buried contents of a Nazi train. An ageing SS mass-murderer. And the wartime secrets of a U.S. presidential hopeful’s Jewish family, hidden for seven decades.

War crimes investigator and ex-CIA officer Joe Johnson is more than intrigued when he learns of a link between the contents of a Nazi train, hidden by Hitler’s Third Reich, a ruthless blackmail plot, and financing for a U.S. presidential hopeful’s 2012 campaign.
But the investigation becomes bigger and more deeply personal than Johnson expects when it leads him toward an SS Holocaust killer who escaped his net years earlier, and propels him into a deadly conflict.
Soon there are high-level intelligence and criminal networks combining against Johnson across three continents.
He finds himself inextricably caught up in a terrifying quest to win justice, to avenge his mother’s tortured past and revive his flagging career.
With dramatic settings, explosive action and characters readers will come to love, The Last Nazi is a gripping full-length thriller—the first in a forthcoming series featuring Joe Johnson.

 

My review: 

“The Last Nazi” is a great, well-researched, fast-paced thriller which takes a reader on the ride through time. From USA to England, from Argentina to Poland–Joe Johnson is on the hunt for the Nazis’ gold and ferocious Nazi war criminals.

Andrew Turpin is a new author to me, and “The Last Nazi” is his first book I’ve read. I wasn’t disappointed. There is no lack of action, twists, and turns of the plot as well as historical references.
The amount of research Mr. Turpin has conducted, describing the Nazis’ lost gold, the SS’ atrocities during the war, a life of prisoners in concentration camps, etc. is enormous.
As a huge history fan, I really enjoyed reading the backstory.
The author gives us lots of insights into the life of the CIA and the OSI agents.
Slightly rushed in the very end, the story kept me wondering about what has happened to Ignacio when his plan was ruined? How did Brenner face the trial? Was he afraid? Did he repent in the end? Constantly surrounded by ladies, why Johnson hasn’t got a girl, after all?
I look forward to reading the sequel and recommend this book both to both history lovers and thrillers’ fans alike.

[Release Blitz]: The Girl on the Roof by Debra Moffitt

The Girl on the Roof

Historical Mystery

Release Date: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Divinely Inspired Books

 

As the people of Annecy in the French Alps meet the Gestapo’s brutality with surprising resistance, a teen-aged girl cannot rest until she solves the mystery of a death in her family. Aurelie watches as her father places a shrouded body on the North side of the roof of the family home. It’s winter, under a Nazi-declared state of siege, and they must wait until the spring thaw for the burial. But who died? And why is no one speaking to her anymore? Aurelie cannot rest until she discovers the truth and fights to prevent the same terrible fate from happening to her best friend.

Debra Moffitt’s rare psychic abilities open up a world of unexpected insight into the French Resistance, life beyond death, and reincarnation. She was working on another book in a French farmhouse, when the girl who became Aurelie showed up and opened a world that bridged time and dimensions.

Praise for The Girl on the Roof:

“A haunting, beautiful book.”” – Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times Bestselling Author

“A dreamlike tale unfolding amidst the nightmare of war, The Girl on the Roof will transport you into another world—and beyond. Debra Moffitt pierces the thin veil that separates life from the afterlife, the hunted from the haunted, the ghost story from the love story. Through her eyes, we are offered a glimpse of the eternal energetic bonds that connect us throughout time and space. An evocative, transcendent, and truly unforgettable book.” – Amy Weiss, Author of the Hay House Novel, Crescendo

 

The Girl on the Roof on ipad and iphone

 

About the author: 

The Girl on the Roof Author Debra Moffitt

Debra Moffitt is an author who leads workshops and retreats on writing, creativity, and spirituality, in the United States and Europe. Her popular French Alps retreats attract participants from around the world. She has taught at the Sophia Institute in Charleston, SC and the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Her writing appears regularly in Unity Magazine in the US with interviews of Lynne McTaggart and Dr. Joe Dispenza; in Swiss Entrepreneur Magazine, and in many luxury and consumer magazines world wide. Debra is also Editor in Chief for a Swiss luxury magazine. She is the author of the award-winning books, Awake in the World, Garden of Bliss, and Riviera Stories. Her blogs have appeared on Beliefnet.com and Intentblog.com​. Debra worked in international business until she felt a deeper calling to write. She speaks and writes in French and Italian as well as English. Her writing is deeply influenced by her travels.

 

Contact Links

Website: https://www.debramoffitt.com/girl-on-the-roof-book-release.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraMoffitt

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

Promo Link: http://bookbuzz.net/blog/historical-supernatural-mystery-the-girl-on-the-roof/ 

 

Purchase Links 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083P653LG/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-on-the-roof-debra-moffitt/1135934906

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-girl-on-the-roof

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-girl-on-the-roof/id1493593534?mt=11&app=itunes 

 

The Girl on the Roof Blitz