Papa’s Shoes: A Polish shoemaker and his family settle in small-town America by Madeline Sharples Review

A man’s journey to escape poverty and provide a better life in America for his family takes a series of unexpected turns as he struggles with tradition and his own beliefs versus the happiness of his daughter in author Madeline Sharples novel, “Papa’s Shoes”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A man’s journey to escape poverty and provide a better life in America for his family takes a series of unexpected turns as he struggles with tradition and his own beliefs versus the happiness of his daughter in author Madeline Sharples novel, “Papa’s Shoes”. 

The Synopsis

Ira Schuman is determined to move his family out of their Polish shtetl to the hope and opportunities he’s heard about in America. But along the way he faces the death of three of his four sons, a wife who does not have the same aspirations as his, and the birth of a daughter, Ava, conceived to make up for the loss of his boys. Ava grows up to be smart, beautiful, and very independent. 

Besides having a feisty relationship with her overly-protective mother, Ava falls for the college man who directs her high school senior class play. With the news that she wants to marry a non-Jewish man, Ira realizes that his plan to assimilate in the new world has backfired. Should the young couple marry, he must decide whether to banish his daughter from his family or welcome them with open arms. Even though he won’t attend their wedding, he makes her a pair a wedding shoes. In his mind, the shoes are simply a gift, not a peace offering.

The Review

This historical fiction novel was incredibly well written. It did a great job of showcasing the dual nature of immigration by studying one man’s desire to secure a safe and happy future for his family in the United States, with his other desire to see his daughter marry someone within the same faith and people as they were. It is an in-depth look into the struggle to maintain one’s identity in an ever changing world, and the struggle to allow oneself to be open to change and accept the reality that our children must make their own choices in life, and a parent’s job is to support them and help them throughout those choices. 

It was amazing to see just how much of the Jewish culture was explored in this novel, highlighting the resistance to change so many devoted followers of the faith feel as seen in Ira’s wife Ruth, which was strengthened by their strained marriage throughout the novel. The book did a wonderful job of exploring deep character growth and highlighting the natural interactions amongst the cast of characters, helping to highlight the emotional struggle of those involved.

The Verdict

This was a wonderful book to delve into. The author does a great job of highlighting the struggles of immigration, the beliefs and culture of the Jewish people, and the emotional struggle of a father and daughter, the former struggling between tradition and love for his daughter, the latter seeking love and struggling with the thought of losing her family in the process. The book’s beginning sets the tone for the fragility of life that is explored in this novel, and the struggle to aspire for a better life.

The double lives people lead, the heartbreak of following your dreams and passions in life at the cost of losing a family unwilling to accept your different outlook on life, and a simple yet powerful ending make this the perfect read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples today! 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Madeline also co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994), co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, and wrote the poems for two photography books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer). Her poems have also appeared online and in print magazines, e.g., in the 2016 Porter Gulch Review, Yellow Chair’s In the Words of Womyn 2016 anthology, Story Circle Network’s journals and anthologies, the Best of Poetry Salon 2013-2018, and the Vine Leaves Literary Journal: a Collection of Vignettes from Across the Globe, 2017.  And her articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, Naturally Savvy, Aging Bodies, PsychAlive, Story Circle Network’s HerStories and One Woman’s Day blogs, and the Memoir Network blog. One of Madeline’s essays has also appeared in the My Gutsy Story Anthology by Sonia Marsh. 

Madeline also co-edited Volumes 1 and 2 of The Great American Poetry Show, a poetry anthology, and wrote the poems for two books of photography, The Emerging Goddess and. Besides having many poems published in print and online magazines, writes regularly for Naturally Savvy, and occasionally for PsychAlive, Open to Hope,and Journeys Through Grief and The Huffington Post.


Find Madeline Online:

website/blog

Facebook page 1

Facebook page 2

Twitter page



———-Blog Tour Dates

Launch Day – June 3rd

Madeline Sharples launches her tour of “Papa’s Shoes” with an insightful interview and giveaway at the Muffin!

June 4th @ Coffee with Lacey

The lovely Lacey reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples and shares her review with readers at Coffee with Lacey. This is a blog stop and review readers won’t want to miss!

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

June 5th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Lisa Haselton interviews well known author and memoirist Madeline Sharples about her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes” – the story of a Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America. This insightful interview is one you won’t want to miss!

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

June 6th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley A. Baird shares her thoughts after reading the touching story of a Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America – “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples is a book that is sure to please readers!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 7th @ Linda Neas

Today’s guest author at Words from the Heart with Linda Neas is none other than well-known author and memoirist Madeline Sharples. Today, her guest post is titled “How I reinvented myself from a technical writer and editor to a creative writer – and at my

age.” Heart from Madeline and learn more about her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”! 

https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

June 12th @ Linda Neas

Last week, readers at Words from the Heart with Linda Neas read a guest post penned by Author Madeline Sharples and today, Linda will share her review of Madeline’s latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”. This is a blog stop you won’t want to bypass!

https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

June 18th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker

Cathy Stucker interviews Madeline Sharples at Selling Books. Readers will flock to learn more about Sharples and her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”.

https://www.sellingbooks.com/

June 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Fellow author and memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro shares her review of “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples. Don’t miss Linda’s insight into this touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they move to America!

http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

June 27th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles reviews the latest best selling novel “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples – readers will delight to hear what Nicole thinks of this crowd pleasing story of one Polish shoemaker and his family!

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

June 28th @ Deal Sharing Aunt / Vicki Brinius

Vicky Brinius reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples. Find out how she feels after reading this touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America.

http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/

July 2nd @Author Anthony Avina

Fellow author Anthony Avina reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples – this is a touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settled in America.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 2nd @ Amanda Sanders

Amanda of Amanda Diaries reviews Madeline Sharples latest novel “Papa’s Shoes” – read Amanda’s review and add this lovely story to your TBR pile today!

https://amandadiaries.com/

July 4th @ Author Anthony Avina

Readers at Anthony Avina’s blog will delight with today’s guest post and author interview with Madeline Sharples – learn more about her and her latest work!

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 5th @ Lisa Buske

Lisa Buske shares her review of “Papa’s Shoes” – the latest novel by Madeline Sharples and a touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America.

https://www.lisambuske.com/

August 12th @ Kathleen Pooler’s Memoir Writer’s Journey

Readers and writers alike will want to stop by Memoir Writer’s Journey to hear from Kathleen Pooler and friend / fellow author Madeline Sharples as they discuss Madeline’s latest book “Papa’s Shoes”.

https://krpooler.com/

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My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi Review & Blog Tour

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Cindy Fazzi tackles one of the United States most prominent military figures and the mysterious love affair he had with a young Filipino woman in the highly acclaimed novel, “My MacArthur”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

The year is 1930. The place: Manila. Douglas MacArthur is the most powerful man in the Philippines, a United States colony. He’s fifty years old, divorced, and he falls in love at first sight with a ravishing young Filipino woman. He writes her a love note on the spot. Her name is Isabel Rosario Cooper, an aspiring movie actress. One glance at his note and she thinks of him as “my MacArthur.” 

MacArthur pursues his romantic obsession even though he’s breaking numerous taboos. She reciprocates his affection because he could open doors for her financially struggling family. When MacArthur is appointed the U.S. Army chief of staff, he becomes the youngest four-star general and one of America’s most powerful men. Out of hubris, he takes Isabel with him to America without marrying her. Amid the backdrop of the Great Depression, their relationship lasts until 1934. After four years of relationship, MacArthur leaves Isabel for fear of a political scandal. 

The general goes on to become the iconic hero of World War II, liberating the Philippines and rebuilding Japan, while Isabel drifts in Los Angeles unable to muster the courage to return to Manila. 

The Review

As a fan of history and looking past the curtain of fame to see the true people these historical figures were, I found this story truly fascinating. A fictional story about a true love affair, the often explosive, raw and destructive affair between the famed General MacArthur and the young aspiring actress Isabel makes for a powerful and engaging read.

It truly was interesting to see the famed military leaders fascination and love for the Philippines, and the author did a wonderful job of bringing the setting to life on every page. The blend of Philippine and American cultures shone through in every chapter, and set the affair in a whole new light as the two broke taboo after taboo in both countries in order to be together. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel, and a fantastic example of historical fiction that is so well written that it could easily be reality. Giving a voice to an era and to people who have remained mysterious in their relationship with one another for decades, it was truly interesting to see the chemistry between the two, both the good and the bad. If you have a fascination with history, Filipino culture or fantastic writing overall, then you need to grab your copy of My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi today.

Rating: 10/10

Get the Grinch with Max B&N Exclusive Plush for only $12.99 when you buy any other item on BN.com

Print Length: 285 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press

ISBN: 9781937818968

My MacArthur is now available to purchase on Amazon.com as an e-book (and print) as well as at Barnes and Noble.

About the Author

Cindy Fazzi is a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. My MacArthur, published by Sand Hill Review Press, is her literary debut. She writes romance novels under the pen name Vina Arno. Her first romance book, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in 2015. Her second romance novel, Finder Keeper of My Heart, was published by Painted Hearts Publishing in 2018. Her short stories have been published in Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

You can find Cindy at –

Check out the rest of the My MacArthur tour and all of these other incredible sites!

Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list with the Barnes & Noble Gift Guide.

— Blog Tour Dates

November 5th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Stop by Women on Writing’s blog and read an interview with the author Cindy Fazzi and enter to win a copy of the book My MacArthur.

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

November 6th @ Coffee with Lacey

Get your coffee and stop by Lacey’s blog where she share her thoughts on the book My MacArthur. 

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com/


November 7th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Stop by Beverley’s blog and find out what she thought about Cindy Fazzi’s book My MacArthur. This book is sure to entice historical fiction readers everywhere!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

November 8th @ The Frugalista Mom

Stop by Rozelyn’s blog and catch her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur.

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

November 9th @ The Frozen Mind

Grab a blanket and stop by the blog The Frozen Mind and read their thoughts on the incredible historical fiction book My MacArthur.

https://thefrozenmind.com/

November 11th @ Bring on Lemons

If life hands you lemons, read a book! Come by Crystal’s blog Bring on Lemons and find out what she had to say about the book My MacArthur.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

November 13th @ Mommy Daze: Say What??

Want to know what this mom had to say about the book? Stop by Ashley’s blog and read her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur.

https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

November 16th @ Amanda’s Diaries

Find out what Amanda had to say about Cindy Fazzi’s historical fiction book My MacArthur in her review today.

https://amandadiaries.com/

November 16th @ Chapters Through Life

Stop by Danielle’s blog where she spotlight’s Cindy Fazzi’s book My MacArthur.

https://chaptersthroughlife.blogspot.com/

November 19th @ Madeline Sharples Blog

Be sure to catch today’s post over at Madeline’s blog author Cindy Fazzi shares her tips for writing fiction about a famous person.

http://madelinesharples.com/

November 20th @ Let Us Talk of Many Things

Visit today’s blog where you can catch Cindy Fazzi’s post on overcoming prejudices against romance writers.

https://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.com/


November 21st @ Mam’s Rants and Reviews

Stop by Shan’s blog where she shares her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur.

https://shanelliswilliams.com/

November 25th @ The World of My Imagination

Catch Nicole’s review of the book My MacArthur and find out what she had to say about this fantastic book.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

November 26th @ Break Even Books

Stop by the Break Even Books blog and read Cindy Fazzi’s article on the pros and cons of using a pen name.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

November 28th @ Charmed Book Haven Reviews

Visit Cayce’s blog and check out her thoughts on the book My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi.

https://charmedbookhavenreviews.wordpress.com/

November 29th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Start your journey today at Kathleen’s blog Memoir Writer’s Journey where author Cindy Fazzi talks about the challenges of writing different genres.

https://krpooler.com/

November 30th @ Joyful Antidotes Blog

Want a joyful way to start your day? Stop by Joy’s blog where she reviews the incredible historical fiction book My MacArthur.

https://joyfulantidotes.com/

November 30th @ The Uncorked Librarian

Make sure you stop by Christine’s blog and read what she thinks about the book My MacArthur.

https://theuncorkedlibrarian.com

December 1st @ Charmed Book Haven Reviews

Visit Cacye’s blog again and read her interview with author Cindy Fazzi.

https://charmedbookhavenreviews.wordpress.com/

December 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Start your morning out right by reading Anthony Avina’s review of the book My MacArthur. 

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

December 2rd @ 2 Turn the Page Book Reviews

Visit Renee’s blog when she reviews Cindy Fazzi’s book My MacArthur and interviews the author.

https://2turnthepagebookreviews.blogspot.com/

Book Excerpt:

Douglas MacArthur. Her pulse quickened as she read the name. His neat handwriting exuded confidence, but just the same, his note struck her as an anomaly, a mistake. The white man who acted as his messenger stood next to her at the bar. 

Men of all ages filled the Olympic Boxing Club, waiting for the fight to begin. Filipinos, Americans, and Europeans caroused and mingled freely here, unlike the Elks or the Army and Navy Club, which banned Filipinos. The foreigners sat at the tables, drank Cerveza San Miguel, and smoked cigars. The Filipinos stood at the cheap section of the club, jostled and bet among themselves. 

“I’m Captain Ed Marsh, by the way.” The messenger extended his hand.

An American officer in civilian clothes. It was Saturday night, after all. 

“A pleasure to meet you, sir.” She shook his hand, but withheld her name. 

Isabel Rosario Cooper came to the club in search of her brother, or rather his car. She needed Ben to drive her to the Manila Carnival. 

Women didn’t come here because they didn’t watch boxing, so when she stepped inside the club, she’d grabbed everyone’s attention without trying. The men had erupted in whistles and cheers. The crowd had parted as she crossed the room. Just the way she liked it. She was born to part crowds—to turn heads. For an aspiring actress, every place was a stage. 

Who knew MacArthur sat amid the boisterous horde? She read the note again. I can’t help but notice your gracious presence. I would love it if you can favor me with your company. Please join me for dinner at The Grand.

This time, the words made sense. Not a blunder on his part or a misinterpretation on hers. The message hit her like a jackpot—bigger than the Carnival Queen title that her best friend, Nenita, aimed for. He was the most important man in the Philippine Islands. He could open doors for her and her family. 

She stopped herself from blurting out a yes!  She couldn’t afford to give herself away. Nothing compelled a man to pursue a woman more than her lack of interest. 

“Who’s Douglas MacArthur?” She stood with the note in one hand and her silk purse in the other hand. Chin up and chest out, despite the sweat underneath her lace blouse. Her skirt squeezed her waist and constricted her breathing, but she’d worn it because it displayed her figure. The stifling humidity now made her regret her choice. Even the garter belt and stockings itched in such heat. 

“You’ve never heard of Douglas MacArthur?” His eyes widened. 

She shook her head. A saxophone wailed, distracting them both. They turned toward the elevated boxing ring—empty. Below it, a band warmed up. 

Captain Marsh offered her a pack of Lucky Strike. “Care for a cigarette?”

“Why, thank you.” She tucked her purse under her armpit and took one stick, which he lit with a lighter. They stood side by side, watching the band.  

“Do you see the gentleman in the middle?” He pointed at a table not far from the band. “White suit. Gray-striped tie. Do you see him?”

“Yes.” 

“That is Douglas MacArthur.” 

The man stared at her while smoking a long-stemmed pipe, the bowl shaped like a corncob. He didn’t smile. The band played a jazz-style rendition of a Filipino folk song. The audience, packed ten deep, hooted and screamed for the fight to begin, but MacArthur didn’t even blink.

She glanced at his note again before inserting it in her purse.  “This is nice. But I don’t know him.”

“It’s unbelievable. You really don’t know him?”

She shook her head and shifted her weight to one hip. 

“He’s the Big Cheese!”

She arched her eyebrow.

“Major General MacArthur is the most powerful American not just in the Philippines, but in Asia.”

She took a drag on her cigarette. “I know what big cheese means, thank you.”

MacArthur stood out in his expensive suit, slicked-back hair, and intimidating pipe, but he was as old as her father, if not older. His title was commander of the U.S. Army’s Philippine Division, though everyone treated him like a king. 

He stared with a cool expression, pretending to be uninterested. The man was an actor. Perhaps they were not too different.

Book Release Day Blitz: Not So Wicked by T.A. Moorman

 

Not So Wicked by T. A. Moorman

Published October 30, 2018 by GothicMoms Studios

YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:

Caught in a realm they know next to nothing about, in a time
where they’re hated for not what they are but how they look, these supernatural
teens may find it harder to curve their bloodlust than they thought.

 

Like most teens, even those with supernatural powers and
abilities, Elvira thinks that her days at Be Prepared High are a colossal waste
of time. Especially Feeding 101, since she’s a cursed vampire that was born
without fangs. She and her friends view most of the classes as useless since
they never plan on venturing to the human realm. Why would they when Underlayes
was made specifically for every factions’ safety, where they could roam free
day or night with not a care in the worlds.
But just like her parents always told her, sometimes you’re
put into situations you can’t control.
Elvira’s life takes an unexpected turn when a wizard hell
bent on misplaced revenge kidnaps her and several of her friends. Not only does
she send them with a one-way ticket to Detroit, Michigan, she sends them to a
time when the tension amongst the races is at its highest. And having to deal
with race issues is the one thing that has never even been so much as a thought
to any of them and is the one course not on the roster.
But will everything they’ve learned in school be enough to
keep them alive? What will they all do when racism stares them in the face?
Most importantly, how will they get back home?

 

 

 

Chapter
1

Once
upon a time… Really? I’m not starting my story off with that lame ass cliché. Fat chance. Not when my story is anything but
classic. You can think of this as the life and times of a teenage vampire. A
real one, not one that sparkles as though we were sprinkled with some type of
fairy dust. Oh! And we’re born, not made by just being bitten, consuming blood
from another vampire, or any other legend you may have researched somewhere. The
bitten one is the most ridiculous theory any of us have ever heard of. I mean
really, think about it, if everyone ever bitten by a vampire were to turn into
one how could they ever go back for seconds on the same victim, er donor? Could
you imagine how large the vampire population would be? Anyway, you wanna hear
my story? Just sit back, grab a pint of blood, or milk, and have a listen.
First
off, I don’t live in your dimension, I live in a separate one called
Underlayes. Where the things that go bump in the night – werewolves, vampires,
mermaids, sirens, witches, and so much more – truly are real. Underlayes has
regular neighborhoods just like Earth does, we don’t live in a ton of dug out
caves, or cryptic looking castles; besides the royals anyway. We used to live
amongst you guys, but that was way before my time, and a story way too long and
boring for me to bother with repeating. Just know that we all truly do exist
and a very few of our number walk alongside you still. So, you may want to
think about that before you lay down at night after bullying the school nerd or
your shy co-worker. If they’re the silent and quiet type they’re more than
possibly plotting your untimely demise and deciding what side-dish you’d go
best with. Or what curse to place on you. Something my Mom should have thought
about a long, long time ago.
Me?
The names Elvira, yea, Mom and Pops have a sick and twisted sense of humor.
Which when you come to think of it is actually a very good thing, since Mom was
dumb enough to piss off a witch when she was preggers with me and my brother,
Dracula (yup, again with the humor), Drake for short. During one of her many
mood swings dear old Mom went completely off on an already pissed off witch;
something about the witch crossing in front of her, and Mom thinking that would
make us come out cross eyed (and you thought your mom was superstitious, Ha!).
Miss Witch decided to do her one better and really did curse us both. I was
granted with the gift of being the only vampire known of with NO FANGS! Since
Underlayes doesn’t have hospitals bagged blood isn’t exactly just lying around.
Why not just bite down extra hard you say? Probably because that leaves a big
chunk of meat in my mouth and vampires can’t digest meat; we have a strictly
all liquid diet. Why not just slit someone’s wrist and pour it in a cup you
ask? If you were on an all liquid diet, would one glass a day keep your hunger
pains at bay? NO! And draining someone completely dry doesn’t work either,
unlike how they portray things in your human movies, blood clots up pretty
quickly when it hits air; unless pumped up with nasty anti-coagulants which
leave a horrible aftertaste and makes the blood nearly impossible to digest. So
the blood shortage on your neck of the veil? Feel free to blame that on us, Mom
and Dad had to feed us somehow during the experimental processes of properly
bagging and storing the blood the way humans do. But no worries, they haven’t
had to raid your neck of the realms in a long time now. The alchemist’s studied
the components your scientists used and now have it down pact.
I’m
not really sure if Drake’s curse is worst or pretty much just as bad. Him? He
goes into a full-blown shock at the very sight of blood; fainting spells,
seizures, black outs, the works. Though lucky for him rarely all of those at
once. Lucky for Mom and Dad, he could still at least savor the taste and smell
of it. But talk about being seriously dependent upon someone else, hard to
nourish yourself when you can’t even look at your food. And as a baby? You try
putting a blindfold on an infant, especially one with fangs, and let me know
how well that works out for you. Ah, but it made for some fangtastic pranks
when I was thirteen, which also ended in a lot of punishments. But they were so
worth it!
So
that’s us, Elvie and Drake, two of the only known vampires forced to live on
bagged blood. Though Drake may get lucky one day and be able to savor a neck or
two, as long as he keeps his eyes shut tight and doesn’t dribble.
Can’t
we just break the curse you ask? Ask Aunt Flo that one. Did I fail to mention
the witch in question was, and still is Mom’s best friend? She’s also a witch
with more power than she can handle who needs to watch what she says at ALL
times. The curse was supposedly never intentional and trying to undo it has
proven pretty much impossible.
 Mom, Trinity Alkaev, is a beautiful creature
with a body neither skinny nor large, but what one describes as buxom
perfection. Also, one of the most patient females you will ever meet, and a
truly ferocious beast, fangs and all, when pissed. Dad, Borya Alkaev, is the
strong not so silent type, with a chiseled chin and sculpted cheekbones in
which I heard would give Michaelangelo a run for his money. Born after the
creation of Underlayes, he’s only two hundred years old, so I never understood
how he ended up with such a thick accent as if he just left the great
Motherland of Russia. The exact opposite of Mom when it comes to patience, but
the best dad any set of unorthodox twins could ask for. Neither of them were an
only child, but both are the youngest and only surviving children from both of
their respective lines. Many died before the dimension of Underlayes was made,
some during the move. And Aunt Flo, I’m not even getting into that one. And as
far as looks go Drake and I are a perfect combination of the two, with the
exception of the fact that I have no fangs.
THUD. CRASH. SCREAM.
What
in Hel’s name was that?
“Elvira
Esfir Alkaev!” Moms blood-curling screams vibrated through the floorboards,
“How many times do I need to tell you not
to leave your blood bags lying around? Get down here and help me clean up this
mess. And carry your brother to his room!”
Well
there you have it, the usual beginning of a day in the house of Alkaev.
“Now
young lady!”



About the Author:
When you become a Mom, you begin to put yourself last, and your
combat boots begin to collect dust. Going to your child’s PTA meetings in full
Gothic, especially industrial, regalia is pretty much frowned upon. Especially
by your own children, and your teens would die of a heart attack. But, one
should not have to completely stop being themselves, uniqueness is greatness.
So all of that darkness is put into words in her books, and designs in her
jewelry sold in her Gothic Moms Dark Charms shop on Etsy and Rebels Market.
Single mother of five beautiful children, but by
far more than just that. T. A. Moorman is an artist, a former violinist, a
seamstress, a crafter, a writer, a blogger, a reviewer, a dark confidant and a
darkly dangerous, fiercely protective friend. She still hopes to one day find
her Dark Knight in shining armor, since Prince Charming would never be able to
handle her. And currently broke, so go buy something of hers and tell everyone
you know how much you love this book.
Author Links:

 

http://eepurl.com/cELB79




a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Dear Mr. Pop Star by Derek Philpott | Blog Tour and Review

It is my pleasure to be the latest stop on the fantastic blog tour for Derek Philpott’s novel Dear Mr. Pop Star. Before we get into the review, here is what the book’s about.

A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…

A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing deliberately deranged letters to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. They miss the point as often as they hit it.
But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back… 
Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave’s greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T’Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

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Now, onto the review.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

How often has this happened to you? You are sitting in the car, bopping your head along to one of your favorite hit songs, and you suddenly start to think about the lyrics. You start to wonder, what does that lyric mean? What was the artists trying to convey in that moment? Well author Derek Philpott took this idea, and wrote an entire book detailing letters he wrote to several artists and bands and their responses in his novel “Dear Mr. Pop Star”. Here’s the synopsis:

The Synopsis

For nearly 10 years, ‘Team Philpott’, as their followers fondly refer to them, have been on a quite bonkers crusade, writing good old-fashioned letters to pop and rock stars (sometimes even sent to their home addresses with prior consent!), either picking up on genuine ambiguities within their lyrics or often deliberately misunderstanding them for comedic effect.

The letters are eminently publishable in their own right, mixing sharp wit, confusion, and unarguable logic in relation to questioning the offending chart hits under scrutiny.

What makes this project especially deserving of attention, however, is that it has achieved a feat never before attempted or probably even thought of. With the missives online for all to see on what was becoming a hugely popular website, the artists quite unexpectedly started to reply, writing back in just as witty and articulate a fashion, politely pointing out exactly where the original letter went wrong…or right.

Also, crucially, nearly all of the responses were procured via ”the back door of the industry”, via roadies, mutual fans, cousins of bass players, and even other famous participants telling the artists directly of the Philpotts’ written pressing inquiries. This marvellous online community, which stretched as far afield as Europe, Canada, Japan, the U.S.A, Australia and Stoke, even cultivated and organically evolved the whole surreal venture by offering up willing stars that the authors would probably not have thought of corresponding with themselves, establishing contact through personal connections.

‘Dear Mr. Popstar’’ proudly features nearly 100 of the best letters and responses from famous and legendary names spanning the whole pop and rock spectrum, all relishing their involvement and revealing their own, in many cases, hitherto unknown humorous sides within what could well be the most interactive dialogue compiled between music stars and their audience ever undertaken. Of course, it is not always possible to reach certain targets, hence many unanswered observations are also included, as they were considered too amusing not to be.

Those to be saluted for their great sportsmanship are:- Deep Purple, Dr. from Dr. and The Medics, Nik Kershaw, Judas Priest, Starship, Tears For Fears, The Eurythmics, Wreckless Eric, Smokie, The Strawbs, The Belle Stars, Van Der Graaf Generator, Martha and the Muffins, Thunder, Squeeze, Dean Friedman, Fairground Attraction, The Ruts, Neil Innes from The Bonzo Dog Band, DEVO, Melanie, Alannah Myles, Ian Gillan, Was Not Was, Republica, Then Jerico, Dr. Hook, Toploader, Cutting Crew, Lindisfarne, Spinal Tap, Mott The Hoople, Fuzzbox, Men Without Hats, China Crisis, Mental As Anything, David MacIver and Rupert Hine (Quantum Jump), Timbuk 3, The Rezillos, Saxon, John Otway, The Human League, Chesney and Chip Hawkes, Tenpole Tudor, Shakatak, Katrina and the Waves, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Heaven 17, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, Matthew Wilder, Middle of the Road, Liquid Gold, The Christians, Paper Lace, Dodgy, Daevid Allen, Bruce Woolley, Sad Cafe, The Housemartins, Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Johnny Hates Jazz, The Wurzels, Peter Noone, Suzi Quatro, Strawberry Switchblade, Danny Wilson, Racey, Electric Prunes, The Waitresses, Fiddler’s Dram, Bauhaus, Climax Blues Band, The Jags, EMF, T’Pau, Nu Shooz, Owen Paul, Steve Hackett, Steve Ellis of Love Affair, Hazell Dean, The Knack, The Maisonettes, Del Amitri, The Skids, Jesus Jones, The Soup Dragons, City Boy, Modern Romance, Wang Chung, The Kursaal Flyers, Fischer Z, Bruce Thomas of The Attractions, Scarlet Fantastic, The B52s. Junior, Spear of Destiny, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine.

Ultimately, this book explores how when a song is released into ‘the wild’ the artist loses all control over it, especially pertaining to its interpretation. It is also testimony to the community spirit capable of being created over social media and how positive and fun it can be.

The Review

I have to say, this was one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time. The humorous interpretations of these songs not only had me laughing but sometimes thinking about the lyrics in those songs and questioning things. Equally entertaining were the responses from the artists themselves. For instance I loved the letter to and from Tears for Fears about their hit song “Head Over Heels”. I love that song as it’s a classic, but not only hearing the author’s hilarious theory about the lyrics discussing things like chem trails and asking to meet in a public place rather than in private had me laughing out loud, while the band’s response detailing the incident that led to the song’s lyrics, including a failed attempt to ask a local weather girl out on a date that literally had the singer tripping and having his “head over heels” moment.

The book is incredibly witty and well written. The style of posting the author’s letters in the book as if on a professional stationary and then incorporating the artist’s responses was a stroke of genius on the author’s part. Music is a huge part of my life, as I not only write reviews for artists and incorporate music as inspiration for my own writing, but have music on constantly throughout my normal everyday life. Getting to see such a humorous and intimate look into popular songs and artists was a thrilling read to encounter.

The Verdict

This is a must read book! A hysterical, laugh riot that gives pop and rock fans alike a fresh perspective on their favorite artists, bands and songs, Dear. Mr. Pop Star is a fun filled ride through music history. Author Derek Philpott does a wonderful job of weaving these letters together in a funny way, and the contributions of the artists themselves makes this a true page turner like no other. If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy of Dear Mr. Pop Star by Derek Philpott today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Derek and Dave Philpott are the nom de plumes of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a small family and, crucially, a worldwide social networking community. Neither they, or anybody assisting with the creative aspects of this project had any connections with the music, entertainment, media or publishing industries whatsoever at the time of its commencement. Despite these humble origins, however, they now find themselves in the bizarre but enviable position whereby many pop stars and people within these circles are their friends “in real life’” (whatever that means!). Many artists consider “getting a Dereking” as a badge of honour, and, as one has participant succinctly put it-

‘’This is an ingenious and extremely inventive concept. You have given us a platform to answer questions that have been asked of us for years by our fans, and respond on a public platform of immense fun. You’ve created a weird and wonderful world loved and admired by 1,000s of people worldwide, and you have your own army of loyal fans. That pretty much makes you part of ‘us lot’ now!’’

Excerpt

Dear Hazell Dean,

I found your song on the internet whilst looking for how to get to friends in Hazeldene, Chieveley.

In these celebrity and appearance-obsessed times it is admirable that you are searchin’ (looking for love) for a man who needn’t be handsome or have fortune or fame.

I fear however that you may be setting your sights a bit low, Ms Dean. You appear, rather than ”looking for someone to share your life” with’ on nights out with friends or on tentative dates, to be ”seekin’ ” a long-term partner either on the train, or, more worryingly, as reinforced by your disclosure that you ”want no disguises”, a Police I.D. Parade, as you ”move on down the line”.

It is suspected that your judgement may have been impaired by ”never sleepin”’ and that there is no guarantee that a stranger on the Underground, or for that matter, from the Underworld is likely to be ”sweet and kind’.’

”Whatever You Do, Wherever You Go”, Ms. Dean, I implore you to be cautious in your quest and not to explore ”every place you can”.

Yours

Derek Philpott

Dear Mr Philpott

Think not of “Searchin’” as a light-hearted missive, extolling the virtues of promiscuity.

No! This work should be considered a seminal piece – a late 20th Century celebration of the seeking of love above all else.

“Searchin’

Looking for love

All the time I can.

Searchin’

Looking for love

I’ve got to find a man.”

This is not a transient pop song, but should be compared as contemporary to the popularist lyrics of Byron, Browning, Rossetti and Wilde.

Were these great romantics ever concerned by the trivialities of sleep sir? I think not.

As the great Oscar Wilde himself wrote:

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”

Additionally, aspersions cast on my predilection for members of the criminal fraternity are most unwelcome and unfounded,and I would therefore be grateful if you could leave me to my insomnia and romantic musings in peace.

Further to this, over the past 35 years I have received 100’s of photographs of dull establishments bearing any vague semblance of my name, in its many variants. The highlights of which include a B&B in Blackpool, and cattery in Crewe and a hovel somewhere slightly South of Brighton.

Why people presume these will interest or even slightly amuse me, I do not know.

Would you enjoy receiving a steady and annually persistent selection of “Philpotts Avenue’s”, “Philpotts Crescents” and “The Philpott Home for the Perpetually Ridiculous”? The novelty wears off very quickly I can assure you.

Quite frankly Mr Philpott the locating of your friends at Hazeldene, Chievely, is of absolutely no interest to me whatsoever.

Yours aggrievedly

Hazell Dean

You can find the book and the author at the links down below, and be sure to check out the official blog tour graphic to see where the blog tour will be next!

Social Media and Blog Tour Info

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40719521-dear-mr-pop-star

https://unbound.com/books/dear-mr-pop-star/

@DerekPhilpott   Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/ThePhilpotts/

http://amzn.eu/93h4fYH    Amazon 

Barnes & Noble Halloween Collection: Get spooky with The Nightmare Before Christmas, costumes, books, toys, movies & more!

Blog Tour: grydscaen: dark by Natsuya Uesugi

grydscaen darkNatsuya Uesugi has a new book out in his dystopian sci fi series grydscaen:

A clandestine meet occurs in the Echelons under cover of darkness where Top Secret intel on the stock market changes hands. The insider tip gets the gothic hacker Jester engaged in a high tech game. Parliament votes to lower harsh stock market regulations fueling the Corporation’s bottom line, a payoff from ministers who were propped up by illegal corporate campaign donations. Ordered by Jester, the teenage hacker Rom infiltrates the largest high volume brokerage house causing wild gyrations in trading. When Jester triggers an insidious stock market payload, all hell breaks loose threatening the pristine City. Will Zoon, the leader of the Triumvirate, get roped into the fray? Can Raven, the government hacker, put the cryptic clues together before the market crashes? Find out in grydscaen:dark. Whose side are you on?

Series Blurb:

Lino just wanted peace. All he got was war.

In the year After Colony 2055 there was the Great War. SenseNet government scientists harnessed their knowledge of nuclear weapons and created a new form of energy. This kedek energy was a natural found occurrence that existed in pools far inside the planet. Harnessing this energy into weapons called kedek bombs, scientists warned these weapons were unsafe and should never be used.

The draconian Atlantea Federation conquered more than half of the world’s territories. A group of islands and nation states formed the Pacific Territories and in a single brave act retaliated in a battle known as the Blood Red Incident. The Atlantea Federation responded with wrath releasing the kedek-based Dionysis Effect nuclear bomb stolen from the SenseNet. The untested weapon’s radioactive fallout created Codesswhich manifested as psychic powers.

Pacific Territories’ society was segregated into citizens and non-citizens. Only citizens could reside in the pristine City. Non-citizens were left with poverty and strife in the Zone where the bomb had gone off, or in the Echelons with the Red Light District, drugs, and crime.

A group of hackers rose up to combat government oppression and injustice by the Zone Police. Enforcement squads rounded up psychics nightly taking them to work camps in the toxic kedek mines. The Terror Hack used guerrilla warfare to fight the Elite government. The Packrats, a cyber terrorist organization vowed to regain control and free society through cyber revolution. Run by the elite hacker Faid Callen, he created the Packrat Sprawl and set up the Runners, Wastes, Acolytes, Hosts, Prophets and Mobile Command. Each faction possessed deadly skills and laws in the Packrat Code that ruled their actions. Civil war ripped at the heart of society.

The son of the Viceroy, Lino Dejarre had psychic power. All he wanted was peace. He joined the Psi Faction as a clandestine psychic operative and was tasked to capture Faid Callen and quell the violence. When the Atlantea Federation attacked the City, Lino found himself once more answering the royal edict and forced to become Sub Viceroy and rule as war raged around him.

Separated at age nine and banished from the royal family, Riuho Dejarre’s hatred for Lino grew as he tried to scrape out a life in the slum level Echelons while Lino lived in the pristine City. Stripped of his citizenship, Riuho vowed he would get revenge and did everything in his power to thwart Lino’s every move. From his first encounter with the Atlantea Federation, Riuho found his place and the resources to get what he desired.

The Atlantea Federation attacked brutally on the ground and also threatened the Pacific Territories’ space colonies. Lino and his Psi Faction team were roped into global diplomacy, inter-colony politics, covert missions, battleships, and space battles where they encounter the Atlantea Federation head on. When Riuho once more enters the fray, the high stakes game threatens to destroy everything for which Lino has worked.

Intrigue, psychic powers, clandestine operations, treaties, politics and a hacker revolution. From space battles, to kidnappings and assassinations, and battleships off the coast, grydscaenis filled with in depth characters and richly detailed storylines that peak your interest and keep you coming back for more.

Buy Links Coming Soon


Giveaway

Natsuya is giving away eBook copies of two of his other works – grydscaen: tribute and A Storm’s Coming one shot manga – with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4719/?


Excerpt

“Not here. Hide the data till we are off the street. This way,” Toapfyl hurriedly motioned to the data messenger in the blue military coat, dark cargo pants and combat boots who followed him off the sidewalk and down another alley. He was wearing the typical garb for a data messenger which made Toapfyl comfortable when he met the stranger in the alley leaning against the wall, easily identifiable.

Toapfyl, a Level 3 hacker, was wearing maroon jeans and a zippered black hoodie pulled over his ebony half shaved head, exposing a slap of dirty brown dreadlocks gathered in a ponytail at his forehead hiding his right eye.

A prostitute wearing a pink miniskirt and fishnet stockings kissed a businessman in a black suit under a sickly yellow streetlight. Toapfyl and the data messenger were once again shrouded in shadow by the derelict buildings as they passed leaving the two to their pleasure.

Toapfyl pushed in a dilapidated door at the end of the alley, grime from the street creating a dusty haze in the air leaving a putrid stink. They entered a staircase. There was no light as they descended. Toapfyl sparked up his aegis to his hand, the manifestation of his psychic power, and lit a path to the basement.

He pushed in the door onto a dimly lit room and revealed Jester, the leader of the Jester hacker guild sitting in a rickety folding chair in the center of the empty room smoking a cigarette from a long black holder. A soft haze filtered over him from a light fixture dangling precariously from ceiling wires, the glass cover filled with dead moths that had happened their way inside and lived out their final days circling the artificial sun. The wan flickering light cast shadows that danced at the corners, the bulb swinging back and forth, moved by the basement door opening.

Legs crossed, Jester was wearing black patent leather platform boots, a shiny mahogany lace skirt, skintight black denim jeans, and a slick dark vinyl blouse with embroidered crimson roses, He sported an elaborate olive short coat with a high collar and dark cuffs and epaulets. A monocle optical sensor over his right eye, he was wearing a green top hat with a scarlet rose perched at the brim. His pink straight, shoulder length hair shined in the light.

He made an irritated gesture with his hand. “Don’t keep me waiting. Where is it?” Jester took a long drag from the cigarette and blew out a puff of smoke. He waved as Toapfyl closed the door.

“Not until I get paid.” The shocked data messenger prompted pulling out a red etched credit sized data card shaking it.

“Do the needful,” ordered Jester raising an eyebrow. He turned his back to them as he continued to smoke his cigarette taking a long drag.

Toapfyl pulled a platinum credit card out of his back pocket. The data messenger pulled his. They locked the two cards at the long end, pins embedded in the technology. Toapfyl typed out the amount of 55,000 credits on the virtual keyboard appearing on the face of his card. The cards chimed signaling the encryption key matched and the credits transferred from Toapfyl’s account.

The data messenger released his card and ran it through a handheld confirming the amount. He nodded stashing the handheld in his chest pocket.

“Done,” responded Toapfyl.

Jester turned back around not witnessing the exchange purposefully and stuck out his hand with his black lacquered fingernails in the knitted fingerless gloves. The stitching was coming apart at the seams on the thumb and index finger, the gloves covered in little white pills. Where everything about Jester’s appearance was immaculate, the gloves gave away an underlying confusion or sloppy disregard for his perfect veneer.

Jester was one of the hacker guild leaders who almost never showed his face in public. It was well known that Jester did not make meetings with data messengers or low level hackers, like a Level 3. He couldn’t be bothered with them. The fact that the data messenger insisted, and that Toapfyl made it happen, kept the data messenger on guard. He placed the red card in Jester’s palm and turned to leave.

Toapfyl jerked raising a gun to the data messenger’s temple. He touched skin. “No one leaves until the data is confirmed.”

Rom, the teenage Level 9 hacker, emerged from the shadows behind Jester. Eyebrow raised, he was annoyed with Toapfyl. Rom pulled a handheld out of his tan trench coat as he came into the dim light. His dull blonde unkempt hair gleamed with a blue streak at the front. He took the data card from Jester and swiped it in the port on the handheld reading the file as the system ran the security check. He typed on the deck triggering an encryption key prompt as the handheld’s computerized female voice spoke the request.

“The data is encrypted? Why didn’t you mention that?” questioned Toapfyl suspicious. He pushed the gun barrel closer taking a step in and made the data messenger move his head back.

“No problem,” interrupted Rom. “Most data messengers are Packrat Runners smuggling data from the City into the Echelons. It should take a Packrat decrypt key. I have access to the Packrats’ archive of one-time, pre-shared obscure keys. What I need for this, right?”

“That is why I wanted Jester at the meet. Toapfyl, all data messengers use encryption. If you don’t know that, you are an idiot. No self-respecting hacker attached to Jester would even ask the question you did just now. Only a Level 9 can penetrate. Jester would know a Level 9. Rom is one of the best in the business,” the data messenger revealed his disgust with Toapfyl and yanked the gun out of his hand pointing it back at the hacker.

Toapfyl blanched confused how he had been disarmed and lowered his eyebrows at the disrespect. Rom shot him an angry glare silencing him.

Jester smirked giving Rom permission to engage and waved the data messenger off. The messenger lowered the gun handing it back to Toapfyl.

Toapfyl opened the basement door and motioned the data messenger out accompanying him up the stairs leaving Jester in the room with Rom.


Author Bio

Natsuya UesugiNatsuya Uesugi is a systems analyst and ethical hacker by day and a manga artist and a writer by night. With an MBA in International Management and a minor in Japanese, Natsuya insists on showcasing diversity in his writing using his Japanese, Native American and African American heritage.

He studied animation and game design in art school and has published the grydscaen manga “A Storm’s Coming” which features the LGBT teen Rom from “grydscaen: dark,” and two manga in the yaoi series “graphic noiz.” Two episodes of the short anime “A Storm’s Coming” is available with a third episode planned. Four counseling centers are currently using the “A Storm’s Coming” novelette to help LGBT homeless youth and troubled teens with self esteem.

He is author of the dystopian cyberpunk “grydscaen” series, the dark fantasy trilogy “”The Seer of Grace and Fire,” and the yaoi novels and manga “graphic noiz.” He enjoys skydiving, cosplay, watching anime in Japanese, watching French news, World Cub futbol, eating ramen and anything with matcha, and writing poetry.

Author Website: http://www.grydscaen.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/natsuya.uesugi

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Grydscaen/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/natsuya_uesugi

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4558587.Natsuya_Uesugi

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/natsuya-uesugi/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Natsuya-Uesugi/e/B00J6EDQQ6/

Buy Link

And now here is a fun Interview with Rom one of the main hacker characters from grydscan: dark by Natsuya Uesugi

 

Tell me a little about name. Is that your real name?

My name is Rom, only Rom. If I have a real name I don’t know it. The government wiped my memory it is hard for me to remember stuff.

Are you a citizen or do you have a cit card?

No, I live in the Echelons. I have no money, there is no way that I am a citizen.

Where do you live?

I live in an abandoned subway near the Red Light District in the Echelons. It is my squat. It is safe from the elements and it is shielded from the nuclear fallout. I have a sleeping rig and a lantern and some rations still left over. Reminds me I hope I have enough money to buy water free of radiation, I am almost out.

What is your favorite food?

You can’t be picky when you are dumpster diving. There is a dumpster behind the eatery Tram and one behind a noodle restaurant that always has good haul. They put out trash after lunch and dinner and I wait around for the good pickings. Saturday evening is always a treat.

Do you have a job?
Well, not really. I do hacking sometimes for the Packrats and I am trying to officially become a Runner which means I deliver messages and data throughout the Echelons. I am not a full Runner yet as I still have a lot to learn but I am getting there.

What got you living on the streets if I may ask?
I was arrested by the government for hacking into the Parliament and they erased my memory and threw me out on the streets. It is hard for me to even remember my name some days.

Isn’t living on the streets hard?

I would say living on the streets is hard most days but you get used to it. I have been out here over 9 months, it is fine. A little cold at night but it works for me.

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

Oh, don’t make me blush. There is this trans girl I like but I don’t think she would even talk to me again if I told her I liked her. For now we stay friends. She is also homeless. I might get the courage up to ask her out one day. I would like to bring her to the Packrat Sprawl to get her off the streets but we will see.

What is that device you have with you?

This handheld is a piece of crap, well actually it is state of the art hidden in a crap package. It can hack, compile, do just about anything. I have had it a while now. I keep it safe so no one steals it. Don’t want to get into it too much.

What do you think of the government?

Down with the Elite government. Hackers Unite. Hack Till Your Dead!

How about the Zone Police?

Rounding up psychics and delinquents after curfew and sending them to die from hard labour in the kedek mines. I make sure I don’t get caught on the streets after curfew. The Zone Police are insane.

What did you do yesterday?

Dumpster diving, panhandling, hacked a cash register, wandered around the Red Light District, got some free electrolytes at the Office of Affairs, went to the Hack Tech and Ware nightclub and surfed the gridscan, downloaded a new script that steals cash from a hacked account – just need to find a machine and some sucker to infect now.

Sounds like you enjoy hacking. Do you find it fun/difficult/exciting?

It is what I do. It is fun enough. I just need a rig and I hope the Packrats will let me use their machines.

Do you have any friends?

I have a host friend who works out front of The Hole X-rated magazine shop in the Red Light District. He is gay and picks up Johns nightly to pay his way. Keeps him busy and he makes a pretty good haul. He is one of those pretty boys. I could never be a host. And my other firned that trans girl I was talking about. Her name is IIn. Other than that I keep to myself.

What about family?

Maybe, I don’t remember. I have flashbacks of this girl Elena but I forget my relationship to her. She may be my younger sister but I don’t know. I had another sister who was older than me. She stayed with me squatting in the Echelons but I couldn’t afford her iodine pills to combat the radiation and she got radiation sickness and died recently. That was my fault. There is no way I can make up for that. I stay on the streets as part of my punishment for failing her.

Tell me something no one knows about you?

I am gay and think that the hacker Jester, leader of the Jester Hacker Guild is hot. One day. I can dream.

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Hybrids (Underlays #1.5) by T.A. Moorman

Hybrids FB Banner

Hybrids

Underlayes, #1.5

by T.A. Moorman, GothicMom’s Studios

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Hybrids Final Ecover

Anya has never been one for the spotlight, but her family seems to now be front and center, and the talk of the town in Underlayes. In the aftermath of her mother’s death, the discovery of said mother’s deceit, and Anya’s half sister getting ready to challenge her own father for the witches throne, keeping a low profile may prove to be difficult. Add in the fact that she’s pregnant, by her female mate, and it may be impossible.

Kierra has never been one for many words. So if she were forced to explain how she impregnated Anya, it probably wouldn’t be easy for her. Especially since the truth would mean revealing her origins; she’s not a vampire, or even anything close to it. And living in realm where her kind isn’t allowed may cause a few ramifications. Plus, should the kid call her Mom, or Dad?

Jump right back into the world of Underlayes where this magical family takes dysfunction to brand new heights.

Hybrids Teaser

Click Here ⬇ for the Facebook Release Event June 5, 2018!:

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Chapter 1

“What the fuck happened to you, Anya?” were the only words thrown at me as I flashed into my living quarters, right before being pulled into a crushing embrace by my mate who was so emotional she kept flashing between being male to female. My entire body was so numb I couldn’t tell how many times she transformed. Truth be told, I didn’t care. Being in Kierra’s arms was all that mattered, whether there was a perfectly sculpted masculine chest or a large pair of succulent breasts. It meant I was finally home.

After everything that had just transpired, my entire being had felt numb, right down to the depths of my soul, the feeling going beyond skin and bone-deep. Being with my Fated One didn’t take all the pain away, but it did at least make me feel grounded again and helped me to feel something other than the pain of losing a mother whom I never had a chance to figure out I loved more than I hated her or vice versa. So, not only did I miss out on having a mom to idolize when I was young, and fight with and terrorize as a teen, I also would never be able to confront her as an adult for everything that she had done. Even though I was more vampire than witch than my sister Tialanna, I still resented being the one our mother had decided to let go.

My mind replayed what had happened no more than a mere few hours ago…

“Anya, I’m not going to insult you with apologies.” My left eye twitched at that. I couldn’t help it, and I hadn’t bothered to try and hide it. She wasn’t supposed to die yet, and she owed me so much more than an apology. “What I did, I did only because of how much I love you. The beliefs as they are right now within the witch community? No way would you have been able to survive that. The king would have taken one look at you and killed you on sight, no questions asked and no answers needed. Which is something you girls are going to have to change. Your fire may be gone, but a flame still burns bright within you, honey. Hone your new element and let it shine through.”

My mother sucked in one long, final gasp of air. “I love you girls, all of you, and I know you will make all this right.”

With that, her eyes glazed over and her body went completely limp. Looking at my sisters, Tia and Elyssia, with tears streaming down their faces, my own remained dry. And for a brief moment, I hated them both. Which was completely unfair. It wasn’t their fault what happened, any of it. But I couldn’t help the anger I felt for them having been with this woman for their entire lives, none the wiser that I had even existed. When I looked back down at my mother’s body, I felt anger at her for abandoning me and fear at what she had left us to face. There was also the fact that she had given her element to me so that I could live. There was a turmoil of emotions dominating for control inside of me.

I allowed myself to sink deeper into Kierra’s embrace, losing myself as her lips captured mine in a kiss that went beyond physical contact and began to put a healing balm on my shattered soul. I don’t think I ever referred to her as a male, even when she was penetrating me as one. Some distant part of my brain was telling me that this time, however, I needed to help her regain control and remain in her female form. But right then, neither of us cared about anything except being as close to one another as possible.

So, when Kierra was finally able to settle on just one form, it didn’t matter to me that it was her male form. And I also didn’t stop to spell myself against getting pregnant.

I reached up and ran my hands through now shoulder-length, silky jet-black hair as Kierra deepened the kiss even more and brought my body flush against a chest that was all male and packed with smooth, hairless muscles, and an erection that was impossible to miss. At some point we both must have done away with our clothes, because before I knew it, we were already on the bed with my legs wrapped firmly around Kierra’s waist. And we made love, as male and female.

If I were being one-hundred percent honest with myself, I would admit that Kierra’s male form was exactly what I needed at that moment. I loved making love to Kierra in her female form, but that wasn’t what I needed at that particular moment in time.

Kierra entered me hard and strong, and for a couple of moments made no move, leaving her rock-hard shaft, seemingly growing in length, lying there inside of me, and rubbing my clitoris with her thick, calloused thumb. My mind blanked out of all thoughts, and primal instincts took over where all I could do was feel as Kierra began to thrust, rubbing and hitting against my walls at a perfect pace. “Harder,” I managed to say, right before I sank my fangs into the throbbing pulse point that seemed to be calling out to me.

It wasn’t long before juices began flowing out of me as Kierra let out a long stream of thick, wet heat inside my core. After a few more thrusts, we came
together once more. Without breaking our connection, Kierra rolled over so that I was the one on top, and just held me as I laid my head down on that sweaty, muscular chest. We both drifted off, content in each other’s arms, not yet ready to let reality back in.

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Fight the Good Fight (Echoes of the Past Book 1) Blog Tour

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That night, David took a long shower; also known as a Hollywood shower by those in the CDF. The term traced back hundreds of years; to where, David wasn’t quite sure. It referred to taking a long shower while in space, as opposed to a space shower, in which you turned the water on for thirty seconds, turned it off, lathered up, and finally turned it back on again to rinse. His bunk was thankfully quiet and empty due to the rest of the men assigned to that berthing compartment being absent, finally giving him time to think. The idea of being a part of something larger than himself embodied the motto of the CDF, which was “Semper Paratus” or “Always Ready.” If he was being honest with himself, it appealed to him.

Lying in his bunk, he pondered over and over, What do I owe the Terran Coalition? Do I owe it anything? Does everyone have a duty to stand up for the freedoms we’ve received and fight against evil?

Finding no solace, he decided to place a real-time comm call to a friend from boot camp, Sheila Thompson. It would cost his entire comm time ration for the next three months, but he had to talk to someone, and his mother wasn’t the right person to have this conversation with. As he reached for his tablet computer, his mind thought back to boot camp, where he met Sheila three days into the ten-week ordeal.

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