Monday, May 30, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Shane Cloonan, author of Journey To The Cross

Thanks for joining us at the book club, Shane.  Can we begin by having you tell us how you got into writing children's Christian fiction novels?

I have always loved writing. Three years ago when I was in 6th grade, our assignment was to tell the story of the birth of Christ through another perspective.  I chose to write the story through the eyes of a donkey, because that was what carried Mary to Bethlehem.   After the paper was turned in, my parents encouraged me to take the story all the way to crucifixion because everyone loved it.  At the time we had 2 Sicilian donkeys, also known as the Jesus donkeys.  They had a distinctive cross on their backs that went from shoulder to shoulder and all the way down their spine. The legend of the donkey is that after Calgary the shadow of the cross shone on the donkey’s back and forever left its mark. A lot of people I know didn’t realize there is a cross on the donkeys back, so while telling my story of birth through crucifixion I incorporated the legend of the “Jesus donkey”.

Where is your book set and why did you choose that location?

Bethlehem and Jerusalem, because I wanted to follow the setting of Jesus’ life.

Your novel sounds perfect for a movie!  If it were made into a movie, who would you want to play the main character? 

I would have to have a voice over for my main character “the donkey”, and I’m not sure who I would choose.

I’d like to know more about your main character, can you tell us more about him/her?

My main character is the donkey.  He shows his love and devotion towards Jesus throughout his life, and is rewarded with the unfading mark of the cross on his back.

Can you tell us a little about the other supporting characters?

The other characters are all from Jesus’ life, himself,  Joseph, Mary, the three Kings,  etc .

They say all fiction books have pivotal points in the book where the reader just can’t put the book down.  What’s one pivotal point in your novel?                 

When the donkey realizes that he is beginning a special journey and he feels like something inside him is starting to change.

What’s next on the agenda for you, Shane?

I plan to write a book on the effects of bullying, but express it in a way that younger kids can relate to.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans?

Everyone has their own “journey” and purpose, and we are all here for a reason.  We are a part of God’s plan, Enjoy your journey.

Inside the Book:

Title: Journey to the Cross
Author: Shane Cloonan
Publisher: State Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Pages: 35
Genre: Children's Christian Fiction

Book Description: 

This is the story of the Jesus donkey, a fictional tale that takes readers on a journey from our Lord's birth to his ultimate crucifixion. Though written and illustrated for young readers, this book is perfect for people of all ages who want a fresh, youthful perspective on the life of Jesus. The book's message is imbued in the strength and simplicity of hearts that are linked to other hearts by Jesus. Journey to the Cross follows the light of hope that first appeared on that special night in Bethlehem.

For More Information:
Journey to the Cross is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Shane Cloonan is a resident of Elgin, Illinois and a high school freshman. This book, his first, started out as a grade school writing project. Shane is an avid outdoorsman. He also is an accomplished woodcarver. Shane took third place in his age group and category two years ago at the Ward World Championships Wildfowl Carving Competition in Maryland, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the International Woodcarvers Congress competition in Iowa.

You can visit Shane’s website at

For More Information:

Virtual Book Tour 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Presents Summer Heat Book Blast - Win $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Title: Summer Heat Box Set
Authors: Caridad Pineiro, Nina Bruhns, Rebecca York, Jennifer Lowery, Taylor Lee, Traci Hall, Stephanie Queen, Alicia Street, Kathy Ivan, Jackie Ivie, Michele Hauf, Rachelle Ayala, Katy Walters, Melissa Keir, Dani Haviland, Jacquie Biggar
Publisher: Chill Out
Genre:  Anthology/Box Set

16 All New Contemporary Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors. Guaranteed to make your blood run hot. Passion, steamy nights, excitement, and suspense. Something to suit every reader's taste. Grab a cool drink (you'll need it!), find a hammock, and curl up for an unforgettable escape.

1: Caridad Pineiro, Under the Boardwalk - A passionate night under the boardwalk brought them together, but can Chase and Natalie rekindle that lost love in just one night?

2: Nina Bruhns, Fast and Flirty - The top-secret package STORM Corps transporter Kade Maddox is hired to deliver turns out to be way more trouble—and a whole lot sexier—than he ever anticipated.

3: Rebecca York, Outlaw Justice - Will a surprise reunion with her old lover save her life when she flees from a homicidal husband?

4: Jennifer Lowery, The Fall (Book #2 ATCOM series) - The last thing ATCOM agent Brendan Devayne wants is to settle down, but Mia Lawrence makes him think twice…

5: Taylor Lee, Jared: (Book 1, The Justice Brothers Series) - The rookie cop learned the hard way that when tangling with the Justice Brothers, Justice—like Love-- isn’t always fair or easy.

6: Traci Hall, Festival by the Sea - Al Cooper’s too bad to be a cop and too good to be a crook; Darcy Smith can’t get enough.

7: Stephanie Queen, Beachcomber Heat - This summer’s heat wave on Martha’s Vineyard is breaking records, but so is the crime wave. The combination is causing a wave of red-hot dangerous desire between Dane and Shana.

8: Alicia Street, In Training for Love - When private fitness trainer Shannon meets her hot new client, loving her job takes on a whole new meaning.

9: Kathy Ivan, Sex, Lies and Apple Pies - A televised baking competition brings them together.  But deceit, intrigue and revenge are on this menu.  Can their love survive?
10: Jackie Ivie, The Hunted - LeeAnn’s got business in Miami.  Bring on the sun.  Sand.  Sexy men to look at.  The last thing she expects is to be someone’s target.

11: Michele Hauf, The Geek Gets The Girl - Mistaken for the IT geek? This sexy CEO is about to learn the intimate operations of his company—up close, and personal.

12: Rachelle Ayala, Bad Boys for Hire: Ken (Bad Boys for Hire Series, #2) - After Jolie Becker is left at the altar, her friends secretly hire a hunky beach bum to cheer her up.

13: Katy Walters, Sands of Seduction - Clary escaped to a place of sea and sand, a place of passion and seduction.

14: Melissa Keir, Protecting Her Pigg - Arson and fire bring them together, but what will cause the most damage…the arsonist bent on revenge or their own stubborn ways?

15: Dani Haviland, Pool Boy Wanted (No Experience Preferred) - He’d never known a woman before, and that’s just how she wanted him.

16: Jacquie Biggar, Summer Lovin’ - Can two mismatched lovers find a way past their mistakes, or will they keep their lonely hearts forever guarded?

For More Information

  • Summer Heat boxed set is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Summer Heat is also available at Google Play, Kobo,
  • Watch the book trailer for Melissa Keir’s PROTECTING HER PIGG at YouTube.
Book Excerpt:
From Protecting Her Pigg by Melissa Keir

Arriving on the scene, the smell of smoke with the tang of gasoline assaulted my lungs. The building was a total loss. It bothered me to see something once so beautiful destroyed.
“Sir, you can’t be here,” the officer I’d assigned to the perimeter yelled.
Turning toward the commotion, I witnessed a tall, dark-haired man storming toward me with violence in his approach. Sizing up the advancing danger, I threw my shoulders back and met the man halfway.
“This is my building. Who are you, and what do you know so far?” His gravel voice caused goose bumps to form on my skin.
“I’m sorry, Mr…?” Up close, the man took my breath away. His features weren’t “pretty boy” beautiful, but striking. Chiseled chin, full lips, slightly curved nose. Must have been broken at one time.
“Pigg, Lucas Pigg. And you are?”
Caught staring at his lips, I almost missed the question. “I’m Lily O’Neill, chief arson investigator. We don’t know much so far. I’ve only begun my investigation. This wasn’t an accident. It was set with gasoline as the accelerant. The smell is noticeable. I have some questions for you. I’d like to meet you in my office to talk.” No matter how good-looking, Mr. Pigg was my first suspect.

Watch the Trailer!

About the Authors

Sixteen New York Times, USA Today, and International best-selling authors share new stories about Alpha men, Detectives, Sports’ Heroes, and sexy men. These authors write from their hearts and have stories that entertain.
For More Information


The authors of the Summer Heat Boxed Set are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one blogger who participates in their book blast and another $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky person who leaves a comment at any of their book blast stops!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One blogger will be chosen to receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card and one commenter will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • This giveaway begins April 25 and ends on May 27.
  • Winners will be contacted on May 28 and announced on the author’s tour page.
Good luck everyone!

Book Feature: You Are Here by Chris Delyani - Win a $25 Gift Card


Title: You Are Here 
Author: Chris Delyani 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Romance 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

All Peter Bankston ever wanted to do was paint. An aspiring painter, Peter scratches out a pauper’s living in San Francisco, wanting nothing more than to be left alone. Instead, he finds himself getting involved with not one but two very different men. Like Peter, getting involved with another man is the last thing on Nick Katsaris’s mind. Smart, handsome, and good-humored, Nick’s done more than just survive—he’s positively thriving in San Francisco. But when he meets Peter, what begins as fun and games quickly turns into a game he can’t control. Miles Bettencourt’s days are filled with longing. For him, San Francisco is haunted by Stuart, his missing ex-lover. Desperate to win him back, Miles wanders the streets in the hope of running into Stuart again. Instead, he runs into Peter—the one man who might hold the key to what Miles is looking for. These three gay men soon form one very unlikely love triangle. Sometimes, when people break apart and then come together, they learn that discovering that where you are is the key to knowing who you are.  

Meet the Author:

In 1993, Chris Delyani moved to San Francisco from his native Boston to devote his life to writing fiction—and he’s been at it ever since. His first novel, The Love Thing, was published in 2009. He lives in Oakland, California.    


Chris is  giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 23 and ends on June 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Trey Dunham, author of The Beams of Our House

Thanks for joining us at the book club, Trey. Can we begin by having you tell us how you got into writing Christian fiction novels?

My first couple of books were nonfiction studies of books of the Bible: 1 Peter and the Gospel of Mark. I wanted to try something different. I was a philosophy major in college and during a Sartre seminar we had to read Being and Nothingness, which is incredibly long and difficult and boring. I remember our professor telling us this is why Sartre wrote plays: He wanted to get his ideas out in ways the populace could understand and digest.

I feel that sometimes the Bible can be tough to understand and digest. And while I’d never suggest replacing Bible study with a novel, my hope is that my stories will reinforce the truths found in Scripture.

Where is your book set and why did you choose that location?

It is set in a dystopian future–think Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or Huxley’s Brave New World. What used to be the United States is now the United Cities of America as nearly the whole population has migrated and consolidated in ten urban centers. There is, however, a small remnant, inhabiting a dozen or so settlements in the Wilderness.

The City-Wilderness setting is key to the story because it sets up the key conflict: the tension between God and humanity. In the Bible, the City represent humanity’s rejection of God, beginning with Cain, who rejected God’s promise of protection and instead built a city. The book is a traditional love story–based on Song of Solomon–but on a deeper level it is about God’s pursuit of humanity and his own Bride, the Church.

Your novel sounds perfect for a movie!  If it were made into a movie, who would you want to play the main character?

Well, one of the main ideas of this novel is that a good marriage starts with finding a good mate; that’s the foundation, the supporting structure of the house, so to speak. Usually, people focus on external things like appearance, but the Song of Solomon teaches that character and selflessness are the best foundation for a good marriage.

So the two main characters are, intentionally, less than attractive: skinny, plain, nothing extraordinary to look at. But they have high character and are very hardworking and generous.

So whoever played them would need to fit that description: Maybe DJ Qualls and Maya Rudolph; folks like that.

I’d like to know more about your main character, can you tell us more about him/her?

There are two: Sol and Lill. Sol is a cadet at the Academy in one of the future megaCities that dominates the U.C. Lill grew up in the Wilderness, an orphan with two brothers, but strong woman, a hunter. They each have their own path. Sol is tormented by the oppressiveness of the City, especially Coupling, a forced dating technique he undergoes at the Academy. Lill is innocent in a way; she lives in isolation, but eventually she realizes she cannot stay where she is. Slowly, the two of them start their journey towards one another.

Can you tell us a little about the other supporting characters?

There are quite a few, but the most important would be Em and Pietr. Em is an old woman, a spiritual guide, who sets Sol and Lill on the right path as instruments for El (i.e., God). Pietr is Sol’s roommate from the Academy, who begins an underground movement in the heart of the City that is waiting for Sol to find a way for them to all escape.

On the other hand, there are Adon and Michal and the Controller, also known as Alexa. Adon is Sol’s other roommate and Michal is his on-again- off-again girlfriend. They represent the values and priorities of the City and work closely with Alexa to protect them against any threat. They’re keeping an eye on Sol throughout the book, even though he doesn’t represent much of a threat at this point.

They say all fiction books have pivotal points in the book where the reader just can’t put the book down.  What’s one pivotal point in your novel?

When Sol finally makes it out of the City, he has an encounter with a dark spirit, not unlike Jesus’ temptation in the Wilderness. It’s at this point he really decides which direction he will go: Will he continue into the danger and unknown Wilderness? Or will he return to the relatively safe, but oppressive, City?

What’s next on the agenda for you, Trey?

I am just finishing up the second novel in the Banner Series on the Song of Solomon. It is called Catch For Us the Foxes and follows Sol and Lill as they struggle to reveal some past secrets, as a revolution is brewing.

After that I plan to take a break from this series and work on a novel based on the book of Job. It’s about understanding suffering and loss, of course, but I hope to add a comedic element, a la John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans?

I am just really appreciative of anyone who has taken the time to read any of my books. I hope they’re meaningful and helpful and provide a little bit of hope.

Inside the Book:

Title: The Beams of Our House: A Novel Based on the Song of Solomon
Book 1: The Banner Series
Author: Trey Dunham
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Pages: 394 pages
Genre: Christian Dystopian / Furturistic Fiction

Book Description:

Sol 203119 hates Coupling—the forced dating and mating technique initiated across the United Cities as populations consolidated, gender tensions mounted, human reproduction plummeted, and marriage fell out of style—but he doesn’t know why. But when a fourth classmate at the Academy commits suicide, he follows the prompting of a mysterious voice and goes in search of a way out of the City for him and his classmates at the Academy.
Thousands of miles away, Lill, an orphan Wild, raised by strict and overprotective brothers, discovers she is part of an ancient prophecy that will bring to an end the longstanding battle between the Spirits of the City and Wilderness. Em, a mysterious, spiritual recluse, mentors Lill in her preparation: caring for refugees who have fled the City in search of a better life.
Able to escape the City, Sol slowly adapts to life in the difficult and dangerous Wilderness. He discovers a community of healthy, loving, committed families, but when a special ops team from the City nearly captures him, community leaders decide the time has come to unite and resurrect an ancient rite of the Spirit of the Wilderness: marriage.
Waiting anxiously for his return, a small contingent of Sol’s classmates from the Academy form an underground community in the heart of the City, which they call ‘the Banner.’ Meanwhile, Sol and Lill travel separately to witness the first wedding in centuries; the City counters with a deadly attack. In spite of massive casualties, a small remnant survives. And in a narrow underground cavern, the bruised and battered Sol and Lill meet for the first time.

Book Excerpt:

Washington, DC: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) announced today recommendations made to federal and state legislatures to suspend all laws and regulations related to the issuing of marriage licenses, effectively ending a practice which had been in steep decline over the previous two decades. DHHR Executive Director David Berkeley said, “The psychological, economic, and legal weight of marriage places a significant burden upon the health and well-being of individuals and society as whole.
            In light of these health concerns and declining participation by the general populace, the DHHR is recommending that federal and state lawmakers suspend all policies related to marriage. Additionally, we ask that any binding legal restrictions to those currently married, especially as pertains to divorce and separation, be waived.”
            Lawmakers at the federal and state levels, which enter sessions next month, plan to review the measure. Several states already have resolutions on the docket in support of the DHHR recommendation.

(Many years later)

Sol 203119 looked at himself in the mirror and grimaced. After a full minute, he dropped his eyes then pulled off his shirt, bending, contorting, folding and unfolding his arms and elbows like a giant insect; standing as tall as his thin, slight frame would allow. He stopped, then let his arms fall and dangle at his side. He closed his eyes and then looked again, hoping that perhaps things would appear more to his liking. They did not. He rubbed his chest, the part over his heart, with his right hand. It felt warm to the touch.
He twisted his lips and puffed out his chest. He was only partially successful. The left side laid flat, unflinching in spite of his effort. His ears started to turn red with effort. He held his breath and hoped that might inflate the muscle. He started to get dizzy and so he let go; his lips broke their seal and released an enormous, blubbering gust of wind and disappointment.
Sol pulled the shirt over his head and then slouched, paused for a moment, his eyes moved up and down his body. He rubbed his chest again. The scar was still there, only it seemed to have grown larger, like a knotty rope of flesh and scar-tissue. He first noticed it the week he moved into the Academy. It was small then, a string at best. Now thicker, harder, like a heavy rope, it extended from just under his shoulder down at an angle and ended near his sternum. He felt it tighten and pull as he moved and lifted his arm over his head. He grimaced, put his shirt back on and yanked down on the sleeve. A knock sounded at the door.
“Hey, Sol. You ready?”
“Yeah,” he paused. “Just a minute. I’m getting dressed.”
“Well, hurry up. They’re coming and from the sounds of it they’re in a bad mood.”
“And don’t worry. You can’t see it.”
Sol opened the door with a click and stepped into the common room. Adon stood in front of a full-length mirror, adjusting the collar of his Academy jacket. He was tall, taller than Sol and bigger. His chest and arms pushed menacingly against the fabric
“Still self-conscious about that pec, I see.” Adon grinned. Sol reddened. “Don’t worry about it,” Adon continued, “the women they put us with don’t care about that kind of stuff. At least that’s what they tell us.” He smiled as if he didn’t really believe himself what he had just said. He ran his fingers through his black, coarse hair and, somewhat satisfied with what he saw, turned to his roommate.
“Where’s Pietr?”
“In his room, I think. The door’s closed.”
“We better get him. They’ll be here any second. And I don’t want to end up in the Tank because of that idiot.”
Outside, they heard the sound of shouting and boots running. Heavy fists landed against doors at the far end of the hall. They needed to be quick. Pietr’s door was closed, so Adon knocked, “Hey, it’s time to go. You ready?” He spoke loudly and with conviction. No answer. Sol reached down and pulled on the handle. It clicked. Unlocked. They pushed the door and stepped inside. It was dark.
At first the room appeared empty, except for the unmade bed along the near wall. A small desk was at the far end of the room facing a large window that looked out into the City. It was night, but the glow from the lights in the facing buildings was sufficient to illuminate the room. The room smelled dank; a stale cheese sandwich lay in the corner, covered in mold.
“You in here?” Sol asked.
The boys crept deeper into the room, the air acrid, unmoving. It smelled of sweat. “Ow!” Adon yelled and crumpled to the floor. Sol heard a weight bar roll and crash into the wall. Adon cursed and murmured as Sol moved deeper into the room.
Adon moaned, but Sol wasn’t listening. Two white lights appeared in the in the corner, next to the desk. They blinked off, then on, then off again.
“Pietr, I see you. Turn off the game. You have to come out,” Sol said. “We’ll get in a lot of trouble if we’re not ready. None of us want the Tank again.” Pietr’s eyes reappeared for a moment, and looked at Sol. Then, they clicked off a second time.
“Turn the game off,” Sol said with some force.
Adon stopped moaning just long enough to shout, “You can’t stay holed up in here all day. You know that. We have to go, so get dressed or I am going to beat you like the useless piece of trash you are.” Adon was suddenly angry and could feel the blood rushing up his back along his spine to the back of his neck, the tiny hairs standing erect. His hand pulled tight into a fist. Pietr was strong, and easily as big as Adon, but he was soft. He did not have the malice of his roommate. Adon stood up slowly and repeated his threat. “Get dressed or I’ll beat you bloody. Be out in two minutes. I’ll get some Meds ready for you. That’ll help.”
Suddenly, they could hear shouting in the hall. “Something’s going on,” Sol said to Adon, stepping over him and making his way to the door. “Hurry, Pietr. Please!” He yelled over his shoulder as he left the room.
Sol flung open the door to the hallway just as four black-clad officers ran past. They were carrying weapons: long, black lightweight batons. Sol watched them run down the hall, but did not see the group behind them. An extended hand at the end of a locked arm slammed into the small of his back and sent him hurtling, face first into the doorframe. He fell back immediately and crack, the back of his head rang with a second impact. He heard Adon grunt loudly. Sol felt the blood almost immediately begin to trickle down his face. He wiped his nose with the back of his hand. It was red. He could feel a lump start to grow on the back of his head.
Adon bent over holding his chin. “Oh, man,” he moaned. He rubbed his face then stood up, “What’s going on out there?” Another four officers ran past the open door, followed closely by two medics dressed in white. Sol looked at Adon, his fingers pinching his bloody nose and slowly shook his head. An officer, face shield covering her eyes, stopped and stepped halfway into the room. “Keep your doors closed,” she barked “All rooms on lockdown until further notice!” She slammed the door and was gone.
“That’s the fourth one here this week. Who knows what’s going on everywhere else,” said Adon. “I heard that most Academies average one a day.”
Sol didn’t answer. He stood looking out the window into the night. The lights in the yard below seemed distant, the weight of the moonless sky holding them down. He took a deep breath and looked out towards the City. Buildings and lights rose from the earth as far as he could see. He looked at his hands, small and pale. He tried to remember a time he had not been at the Academy. He had lived out in the City once, when he was a child, but that was before his father had left and his mother died. I’ve never known anything else, he thought. They brought me here when they needed me and they will send me where they please when they’re done. What choice do I have? He stepped away from the window and turned to look at his roommate. Adon sat still on the couch, rubbing his chin.
With more than fifty thousand boys, the Academy was among the largest in the United Cities. Built in concentric circles, it consisted of twenty-four identical towers housing two thousand one hundred residents each: seven hundred rooms on thirty-five floors; twenty rooms per floors. Three boys per room. Sol stood looking out of Room 3415, House 22.
“See if you can pick up any chatter.” Adon stretched himself out on the couch, gingerly; his chin that had taken on a slightly purple hue.
“They never talk about this kind of stuff publicly.”
“Yeah, but maybe someone can get through on a high-wire.” He paused, thinking aloud, “I wonder who it was.”
Sol walked to the desk and opened the drawer. He pulled out a small earpiece and awkwardly jammed it into his ear. A small red light turned on, went yellow, then green. He closed his eyes and listened, then looked up to see Adon watching him from the couch.
“You know they don’t like you taking that out.” He gestured with his eyes to Sol’s ear.
“I know. Sometimes I need the quiet.”
“Still hearing it?”
Sol closed his eyes again and tried to concentrate. Sounds began to fill his ear, distant and garbled, as if he were underwater, the muffled tones drifted in and out, softer, then louder. He tried to focus, concentrating on an especially high frequency. Brain waves from an adolescent, from other boys, resonated at a higher frequency than adults, much like their speech, and at times, when the situation dictated, high frequencies, what they called “high-wires” could be accessed out of reach of anyone who might be listening. Sol closed his eyes tighter, trying to understand what was being said. It wouldn’t be long before the System detected the network anomaly and disrupted the pattern.
“It was Salo,” he said finally.
“Salo?” Adon and Sol turned to see Pietr standing in the doorway to his room. He was undressed, out of uniform, wearing shorts and a white tank top, a large white blanket wrapped around his shoulders. It hung three feet from the floor off his huge frame. It was covered, like his shirt, with grey grease stains. He had on one sock, a huge toe poking out, the nail yellowing.
Pietr shuffled into the room and fell into a chair opposite Adon. Sol sat down and pushed the earpiece deeper into his ear. He closed his eyes again. Pietr and Adon watched, waiting.
“He hanged himself,” he said finally. “Hadn’t been out of his room in days. They’d put him in the Tank to try to shake him out of it, but it didn’t work.” He pulled the piece from his ear and tossed it roughly on the table. “Obviously.”
There was a noise in the hall, and then the sound of doors opening. They heard a loud voice, someone yelling. Sol ran to the door and cracked it open. He felt Adon behind him; his breath smelled like mint. Halfway down the hall, he saw a group of officers, their backs to him, huddled, working vigorously close to the ground.
Suddenly, they stood up lifting a gurney that clicked firmly into place. They turned and pushed the bed towards Sol and the elevators that would take them to the roof and a waiting transport. As they moved, they tapped open doors with the ends of their batons, yelling at the curious to get back inside. “Coupling will be delayed by thirty minutes only,” an officer yelled, “and anyone not ready will get the Tank.”
Sol watched, staring as the gurney and officers approached. The thump of heavy boots and harsh click of batons against doors sent chills through his spine: he looked at the black bag as it passed, zipped down the middle, resting silently on the cart. Who will it be tomorrow? he wondered. Suddenly, he felt a sharp crack across his hands, the sting of a baton on his knuckles.
“Thirty minutes,” she snarled.
He closed the door and fell back as it clicked shut. He leaned against it, facing into the room. (There is another way.) Sol closed his eyes again, listening.
(All you have known is the City, but there is another way.) He opened his eyes.
“Why do you think he did it?” Pietr asked quietly pulling his blanket up around his shoulders.
Adon and Sol didn’t answer; both looked instead at the floor.
“You know why.” Adon sat back down on the couch.
“The same reason we imagine doing it. We’re afraid,” Sol said. “We hide in our rooms, but they root us out, drug us up, set us up, push us out. And if that isn’t enough, if that doesn’t work, if it all gets to be too much, then you just crack and you find another way out. Salo found the only way out I know of.”
Adon looked at Sol. He knew he was right. Pietr’s eyes fell to the floor, then he pulled the blanket up again around his huge shoulders. He looked like a child, even though he was larger than any man Sol had ever seen. The blanket struggled to hide him, but beneath it Pietr huddled, afraid, shaking. He pulled the cloth over his head and then he started to sob, quietly, his shoulders rolling.
“I wish it could be different,” Adon said. “The Academy is trying to help us, to bring us back, all of us, the thousands of us that live here and in the other Cities. But sometimes guys like Salo fall through the cracks. They don’t make it.”
“Shai and Topher should have done something. They should have told someone so they could have helped him. He needed help, but they didn’t do anything. No one did anything.” Deep, violent sobs rolled out from under the blanket. Pietr pulled himself tight into a ball, trying to make himself small.
“Yeah, maybe someone could have done something,” Adon said. “But the reality is there are fifty thousand guys just like him in this place. And tomorrow someone else will move in right down the hall. And in a week, everything will be back to normal. The whole City can’t just stop for one person. You’d better get used to that. He’s gone, but there are a thousand more just like him. And we’re still here. We have to keep on or we’ll end up just like him.”
Sol walked behind Pietr and placed a hand on his back: “Take this,” he said holding a glass filled with creamy white liquid in front of his friend. “It’ll make you feel better.” He felt Pietr’s labored, uneven breath.
“No, you’re wrong,” Pietr yelled, suddenly standing up. He knocked the glass from Sol’s hand and it shattered as it hit the floor, white cream exploding everywhere. “There was only one Salo,” Pietr said angrily. He looked up, red eyes glaring at Adon, face streaked with dirt and tears. He walked quickly to his room and slammed the door behind him.
Adon shook his head, “Some guys just don’t get it.” Sol bent down and picked up a piece of broken glass. “Leave that for the maids,” Adon said. “We’d better get ready. They’ll be here soon.” He turned and walked into his room.

For More Information:
The Beams of Our House is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads

Meet the Author

A writer, teacher, and church planter, Trey Dunham has been blogging on spiritual, family and personal topics since 2009.

He lives in Morgantown, WV.

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Virtual Book Tour 

I Have Faith by Davin Whitehurst

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

Are you ready to get your child excited about faith? “I Have Faith” puts your child right in the footsteps of Danny as he begins to learn about faith. Danny and his older brother have been wanting a dog, but both know their parents don’t think they are ready for a dog. When Danny’s mom begins teaching him what the bible says about faith, he puts his faith into action. After praying and releasing his faith for a dog, doubt and even his best friend keep telling him that he will never get a dog. Over time Danny never loses his faith in the promises of God and finds that God is faithful and that faith works. Come along on this journey that is a real life event that took place in the author’s life as a child.
This book has great illustrations that support a wonderful story about finding faith in God. As you are teaching your child about principals in the bible; this book will help you teach faith. What a wonderful experience it is when we can see our children begin to develop their faith in God, and grow from a tiny mustard seed to a firmly planted tree. The back of the book has a parent/child discussion which will help children gain understanding in faith and some scriptures that Danny’s mom used to get him excited about faith.

For More Information

Book Excerpt:
“Hi! My name is Danny.” This is how I learned to trust God and believe His word.
It’s called faith, and you have faith too.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Floor 21 by Jason Luthor

Title: Floor 21
Author: Jason Luthor
Publisher: Scout Press
Pages: 355
Genre: Sci-fi/Dystopian

The last of humanity is trapped at the top of an isolated apartment tower with no memory of how they got there or why. All travel beneath Floor 21 is forbidden, and nobody can ever recall seeing the ground floor. Beneath Floor 21, a sickness known as the Creep infests that halls of the Tower. A biological mass that grows stronger in reaction to people’s fear and anger, the Creep prey’s on people by causing them to hallucinate until they’re in a state of panicking, before finally growing strong enough to lash out and consume them. Only a small team known as Scavengers are allowed to go beneath Floor 21 to pillage the lower levels in search of food and supplies.

Jackie is a brilliant young girl that lives far above the infection and who rarely has to worry about facing any harm. However, her intense curiosity drives her to investigate the bottom floors and the Creep. To deal with her own anxiety and insecurities, she documents her experiences on a personal recorder as she explores the secrets of the Tower. During the course of her investigation, Jackie will find herself at odds with Tower Authority, which safeguards what remains of humanity, as she attempts to determine what created the Creep, how humanity became trapped at the top of the Tower, and whether anyone knows if escape is even possible.

For More Information

  • Floor 21 is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
When you stop and think about it, I mean, our lives don’t make sense. We couldn’t have always lived up here, right? It gets me pretty antsy thinking about it because, I mean, this is a tower, so we had to have come up the stairs at some point. Didn’t we?
I don’t know, and thinking about it gets me frustrated. When I’m in this kind of mood, I go to the rooftop and look out. You can actually see other towers rising up in the distance. Some aren’t even that far from ours. I stare at them, and I’m just like . . . is anybody over there? Is anybody looking back at me? Does anybody know or remember we’re trapped in this place?
Or are we all that’s left?
After I’ve gotten myself sufficiently depressed, I’ll stare over the edge of the roof, trying to see how far below I can look. Thing is, it’s impossible to see much. This tower just vanishes into the Darkness. Nobody, and I mean nobody, even knows why. It’s just blackness down there.
Oh, about Floor 12. Yeah, that’s where the Creep really starts. The Creep? It’s this . . . gunk. Super-disgusting stuff that you shouldn’t touch because it makes you feel weird, and the lower down the Tower you go, the more you see it. It starts to cover the walls, and it’s kinda gross. It’s really slick, like saliva, and it looks all muscle-y. Almost alive. Good thing you don’t have to worry about it when you’re higher than Floor 11. Still, I wonder what it is. We all do. I know that when you touch it, you can start hallucinating. I did once. Well, okay, I’m lying. I’ve touched it a few times when I’ve been on the lower levels, which is why my parents made the rule that I couldn’t head down there in the first place. I mean, I don’t pay attention to them, but I get why they don’t want me going that far below into the Tower. The Creep makes you see . . . things. Shadowy things. Sometimes they’re right in front of you, but most of the time, they’re in the corner of your eye. They say that by Floor 21, you don’t even have to touch the Creep to hallucinate, which is a total trip. Must suck to live down there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tours and Cures of a Lightsolder by Alexander King

Title: Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier
Author: Alexander King
Publisher: O Books
Pages: 370
Genre:  Self-Help/Self-Discovery/Spirituality

Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier is a revolution in the Self-help book world. It shakes up the status-quo, by questioning and uncovering the illogical, cold-hearted or incomplete in spiritual teachings. But Alexander King then attempts to find understandings which allow for the Divine and the basis of Life to be truly loving and intelligent again. Perhaps to keep ascending on the spiritual path one has to keep evolving ones self-help literature as well? Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier does not just stand still, and repackages existing esoteric teachings – it is moves forward with brutal honesty, but thorough positivity!
Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier tells the true story of one person’s incredible quest for self-discovery, and the answers to why we are here and what exactly we should be doing with our lives. From an inquisitive childhood, full of promise and expectation, we follow Alexander down a much murkier path to the all consuming world of a modern day cult. And then a battle for identity ensues…
Initially Alexander King, studying for a medical degree at the time, did just want to learn about Spiritual Healing, but the Teacher/Guru he found turned out to be the manipulative and sociopathic kind. A great battle for survival, to de-mask the Guru, and ultimately to de-program himself again ensued.
From this baptism with fire a stronger, more grounded Alexander emerged. All was not all well yet though, as after the cult, a few years of Chronic Fatigue followed. They gave Alexander the chance though to really test all sorts of spiritual tools and teachings on himself, to see which could actually stand up to the often so high flying promises they come with. In recent years Alexander King has worked as a full time masseur and healer and, through his dealings with many different clients, has learned even more about energies, and how they appear to work on this planet. In his practice Alexander King endeavours to help his clients to better health, healing and ‘enlightenment’ in a realistic manner.
Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier starts as a personals story but finishes as a most unique and encompassing encyclopedia of esoteric practices and teachings.

Book Praise:

This is a fascinating book because we get inside the thoughts of the author, who is himself a healer. It is a kind of journey we travel with him, as we learn how he arrived at where he is now, all the pitfalls and all the logical thinking processes ( yes, this author reasons with logic - his early training was in medicine). We are taken thorough all the weighing up of facts and possibilities, and the battles. It is a very frank, honest, and for a book of this kind of topic - strangely realistic. The author avoids merely restating in repackaged form material which is covered in other books. What we get instead is his own unique insights and perspective, and his own application of methods. Reading this book has led me to modify my own practices, and to substantially reconsider some of my own views.

There is much to be applauded in this book, from the courage it takes to follow your dream, to the bravery of standing up to those who seek to destroy it and to then speak up about the great untruths that still exist in this world, masquerading as fact. Take encouragement and guidance from this book and live your truth today!
Barbara Meklejohn-Free, author of the bestseller The Shaman Within  (Moon Books)

For More Information

  • Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

Why I Had To Tell This Story…

It has taken me years to begin to write this book, because I had to test and retest my beliefs/conclusions and their effects on my life, before committing them to paper. I am sincerely hoping that this book shall bring more clarity, and not add to the tangled mass of confusions out in the Mind-Body-Spirit (MBS) market, which often lacks open, critical thinking. People seem afraid to question esoteric or spiritual teachings, especially if they are claimed to have been channeled by Angel X, Spirit Guide Y or enlightened Alien Z; forgetting that these teachings have been channelled through human beings, and we are not infallible.

I don’t doubt the ultimate goodness of the Divine, but I am cautious about people’s perception, understanding and teachings of all things divine. That is why I have my mind to filter out the true, good and wise intuitions, from all the other input I receive when opening up. I urge you too to keep your head screwed on, feet planted firmly on solid ground, while perusing my thoughts, explanations and beliefs. Feel free to question and test them as often as you like. I have seen and felt too much suffering coming out of what first seemed liberating esoteric or religious ideas to be offended by any caution on your part.

I write about my experiences, my thoughts and ideas, which have shaped my beliefs and understandings. I am aware it’s not a ‘movie star’s’ life, still I believe it has interesting and entertaining elements, that might just help you to understand how I have come to see the world and what life on this planet is about. The examples I use in this book are just that, examples. In the past, maybe because of my German heritage, I would take many things very literally, which sometimes led to unnecessary fears or feelings of guilt. So please read my examples with a pinch of salt and consider that ‘exceptions make the rule’ i.e. examples that may be suitable for some might not be all applicable for another. The same applies when trying to find a balance between connecting to you the reader and not sucking you in, but leaving you room to make up your own mind, whether you choose to agree with my conclusions or have your own – if I do say ‘we’ and you do not feel comfortable seeing yourself as a part of that ‘we’, please feel free to assert your own belief.

Whereas many prominent esoteric authors, healers and lecturers lay claim on having been born with the gift, having had some life-changing spiritual experience, such as a visitation by an angel or perhaps having ‘hooked up’ with some spiritual being during an automatic writing session, I am one of the many more who just happened to start reading about ‘Lightwork’, ‘Spiritual Healing’ etc. and decided to learn and understand more about it.

On my path I have encountered countless, seemingly bottomless abysses of guilt and doubt. Were it not for my innate stubbornness and a good deal of help from ‘Above’, I might have given up on Spirit or Life altogether, long ago. The main reason for this book is to hopefully spare you a few of those mind traps and feelings of paranoia that can be so debilitating. And if you have come to the same conclusions as I already, then perhaps you will get comfort from discovering you are not alone.

I am aware that, from say a psychiatrist’s view, some of my experiences could possibly be diagnosed as bipolar, paranoid and/or schizophrenic – but then one just ends up with the same old debate of whether there are divine powers/spirit(s) (which one can communicate with) or if we live in a purely materialistic world. I am not a radical creationist. I do see the merit and worthiness of science. However, if we look at scientific history, we will often find many a scientific accomplishment would never have been possible without scientific visionaries, who pursued their ideas against all odds. If something cannot be measured yet, that does not disprove its existence; it just points out that the proper measuring tools are yet to be discovered.

I hope that this book will help you get some fresh perspectives or give you healing tools you might not have considered yet. For me the spoils of wandering the spiritual path are diminished fears, serenity, having fewer questions and knowing who, what and why I am. I’m much less likely to be shaken up, by what seem unfortunate events now, because there is a certainty, rooted deep inside me, that all is going to be good. My spiritual path has also taught me greater patience and to manage my expectations. ‘Ultimate Good’ is working full speed on the fulfillment of my harmonious dreams, and they are allowed to be ‘big’, but for all sorts of reasons they can still take time to manifest. It’s not that miracles don’t happen, just that they can take a lot longer to manifest than one is often led to believe when reading other esoteric books.

The spiritual tour can be stressful and sometimes perilous. My own journey definitely got worse before things started to come together and improve. Initially I ended up in a cult and afterwards for almost ten years I suffered from ME, so my experiences with spiritual tools and techniques could be said to have gone through some good stress tests, which have helped me to sort the wheat from the chaff. I often feel that I am in the midst of a battle between ‘Lighter’ and ‘Darker’ energies. I feel though that with Ultimate Good support I am as safe as can be during these battles, but that does not mean that they are always pain free. This book may well shake up your belief systems and rattle your peace of mind. If you bear with me, I hope you will find peace in my conclusions. To those who might get upset about my writings and criticisms – I am sorry. I pray you’ll come to forgive me, as I have forgiven all those who have caused me upset and pain with some of their spiritual wisdoms, beliefs and ideas, which I found to be wrong or incomplete.

I am a great optimist and think all suffering can be overcome with the right approach, help and patience. Spirituality, spiritual healing tools are complementary forms of healing though. So if you are ill in any shape or form, this book does not suggest you flush away all your medicines and shout, “I’m healed!” never to set foot in a doctor’s practice again. If you believe you have been healed, get it verified by a doctor. I studied medicine and saw the compassion in my fellow students and our teachers. Furthermore I spent a year in a medical research facility and saw the love and unpaid overtime that went into research by doctors and scientists there too. There are ongoing developments for medical treatments to become less invasive, more effective and with diminished potential side effects etc. I do not think that generally doctors are out there to poison their patients.

Where medical treatment of one’s physical body should be one’s own decision (where possible), I would never recommend ditching your doctor. Sure, educate yourself about your ailments, different treatment options, do not just trust blindly, get a second opinion etc. In my opinion it’s likely though that medical treatment, if one is sick, will often buy time, give more strength or diminish some pain and hence enable you to resolve other issues causing the dis-ease, which might have to be approached with complementary means.

I see that the true purpose of our being is simpler and far more positive than many religions/belief systems purport. It is perfectly alright to strive for happiness in life. That includes striving for, affirming and living creational essences, such as intelligence, creativity, beauty, abundance and sex. Our bodies were primarily created for us to enjoy and to experience the world around us on physical, emotional and sensory levels. On this planet we can choose to take our bodies on a roller coaster of suffering, but once we decide that we have had enough, we are allowed to fully utilize their potential for joy. My moral compass points to the notion that what I do not want others to do to me, I do not do to them. And this book is my tour of discovery, which I hope in some way will make your journey less fearful and ultimately more joyful as well…