Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club: Spotlight on Sustainable Church by Walt Russell, PH.D.



About The Book

TitleSustainable Church
Author: Walt Russell

Publisher: Quoir
Pages: 234
Genre: Christian / Church Leadership / Ecclesiology



Book Description:


Sustainable Church is a thorough, Bible-based exposition of how the ministry of every church should be organically built around all of the Spirit-gifted followers of Jesus within that local body. It critiques the shallow pragmatism and unsustainability of non-organic churches and biblically showcases the sustainability of the organic church. “Body Discipleship” is a key part of the church’s sustainability and the author explains biblically how it corrects the model of discipleship that has been popular for the last 2-3 generations. Additionally, Sustainable Church showcases the servant-model of biblical leaders who are supposed to equip the saints to do the work of ministry on behalf of Jesus, the true Pastor/Shepherd of every local church!


Book Excerpt:

Introduction


MUsin Gs on cricket basket


Five years ago my wife Marty and I visited northern Louisiana and stayed in a lovely house on a lake. The owners of the home knew that I liked to fish and they graciously gifted us with a bait basket full of crickets. Fishing with crickets was relatively new to me, so after my first morning of fishing, I was intrigued to observe the cricket bait container and its now-depleted population.
The first thing I noticed was that if the crickets had just looked straight up, they would have been able to jump or crawl up and through the huge opening in the top of the basket. However, they seemed content to settle for the confines of the familiar. They could see the outside world through the fine mesh walls of the basket, but they could not join it. Apparently, seeing it was enough. I did notice that a very small percentage of crickets had jumped or crawled out of the container by the next morning, but the vast majority were still captive and crawling up and down the same walls, over and over. Their immediate goal seemed to be avoiding the big hand that periodically invaded their space!
Christians can be a bit like the crickets in the cricket basket. We have had our familiar containers—church traditions—for many centuries. Many aspects of these traditions restrict us in a confined space, where too often we are satisfied to remain.


Sustainable Church is available at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Goodreads


Meet the Author





Walt Russell lives in Southern California with his wife and two married children. His passion for the last 36 years has been teaching God’s people and helping them to find their gifting and ministry role within the Body of Christ. He has planted 2 churches on the East Coast and taught the Bible in seminary for the last 28 years.

For More Information


Book Blast Event







PUYB Virtual Book Club: Spotlight on Have You Received Since You Believed: Quest For The Holy Spirit by Brian Hollins





About The Book


TitleHave You Received Since You Believed? Quest For The Holy Spirit
Author: Brian Hollins
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication Date: June 12, 2016
Pages: 59
Genre: Christian Living

The Spirit that is within me that leads and guides me into all truth is again personified when I receive Christ as my Lord and Savior. The Spirit that is upon me after I ask for him is how I receive power. How could I believe that he would come upon me if I have not really received first that he dwells within me? This is what I wrestled with for many years. The problem was, I really didn’t believe the way I thought; And and maybe I also didn’t understand the purpose of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. Bottom line, now that I think about it, I just didn’t believe right.


Have You Received Since You Believed? Quest For The Holy Spirit is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads



Meet the Author



Brian G. Hollins, Pastor – Pastor Hollins was born in Los Angeles Ca, in 1963. He moved to Shreveport La. as a child where he presently resides. He has ollinsbeen married for 30 years to his beautiful wife Henrietta.   Brian and Henrietta have four children Oliver, Jordan, Jade and Lauren. Oliver and his wife Adrienne have two wonderful children: Brian Christopher, age 10, and Londynn Nicole age 6. Jordan has a handsome named Jordan Christian age 3.   Pastor Hollins served 28 years in the Fire Service and retired March of 2009, holding the position of Chief Training Officer.

He was called to ministry in November of 1999.  On August 10, 2002, Pastor Hollins was appointed to the position of Pastor of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ.  On May 23, 2007, Pastor Brian and First Lady Henrietta founded Emmanuel Christian Ministries. On October 21st of 2013, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Hollins changed the name of ECM to Abounding Grace.  Pastor Hollins founded “Have Faith in God” Radio Broadcast which is heard mornings at 9:00am CST, on KOKA radio 980AM and www.koka.am and on The Promise on 90.7FM at 3:30pm to 4:00pm. He is the author of two books “ Don’t Take The Bait” and “Have You Received Since You Believed”. Pastor Hollins also serves as a Volunteer Chaplain for the Shreveport Fire Department.

For More Information



Book Blast Event









Monday, August 29, 2016

Storm of Arranon by R.E. Sheahan



Title: Storm of Arranon
Author: R. E. Sheahan
Publisher: Rule of Three Press
Pages: 300
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy

 A forbidden birth. A remarkable young woman. A marauding alien society. The battle begins.
 A brutal alien society invades Korin and Arranon, intent on destroying the two worlds that make up Cadet Erynn Yager's home. Forced to expose her strange abilities and reveal her forbidden birth, a guarded web of secrets unravels.

Stranded on an unfamiliar planet of eternal winter and predatory wildlife, the mysterious living consciousness of Arranon intervenes, leading Erynn on a mystical journey. 

Aware of Erynn's potential, the alien enemy pursues her. She struggles to gain control of her growing powers while in a constant race to elude the invaders, and join the forces preparing to fight a mounting occupation. 

Erynn’s secret may be her worlds' only hope, but at the cost of her life. Swept up in a chain reaction of events, Erynn's dedication extends far beyond service and duty. She learns the true meaning of sacrifice. 

Along with courage and hope, Erynn finds something unexpected on her journey of awareness and growth.

Love.

For More Information

  • Storm of Arranon is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
 TENDRILS OF BLUE STATIC POPPED and snapped around Lieutenant Erynn Yager’s fingers as she tapped the keypad. Black numbers and symbols streamed across the white screen of her monitor. She glanced up, checking the equation on the large overhead at the front of the cramped classroom and smiled, her answer correct.
Delicate blue currents reached out and wrapped around her hands with a faint tingling sensation. In a breath Erynn whispered, “Com avlash.” She brushed at dappled shadows that danced across the pool of sunlight at the edge of her desk, amused by the wispy blue filaments tracing her movements. They flowed like a lazy stream, trailing the path her fingertips traveled before the energy faded. As the static disappeared, she glanced around to make sure no one noticed.
No one ever had.
The buzz of winged centinents drifted in on a warm breeze through the open window next to her. She sighed and fingered the neck of her white uniform shirt, the stiff collar tight and irritating in the rising temperature.
From the front of the classroom the instructor, Major Kendal, his tan uniform meticulous, asked, “Does anyone need more time?” He scanned faces in the room. No one responded and he continued, “I trust you took into account gravitational pull, divided by trajectory angles, while factoring in speed given mass and friction before multiplying . . ..”
Erynn tried to listen, but his incessant droning soon matched the hum from outside.  
Static crackled, and the air thickened with a sinking heaviness. The temperature plunged to an icy cold, chilling her moist skin. A sweet, spicy aroma replaced the electronic scent of computers and sour sweat of bodies pressed into a tight space for too long. She glanced out the window and frowned. What
Broad yellow, orange, and red leaves trembled in the breeze. Brown stone buildings melded with the blue sky and manicured green lawns. The colors ran, blurred, and morphed into dark oily shapes with faint outlines of long arms and legs. She stiffened and squeezed her eyes shut. Images played in her mind like a silent vid in fast-forward.
Flash—a brilliant jeweled city nestled in a deep green forest. Flash—majestic spires of trees surrounding a clearing, the woods tossed in a violent windstorm. Flash—mountain peaks covered by snow and ice.
More impressions swirled and sped by, eclipsing her thoughts, taking control.
Bright pinpoints of red and orange exploded, swarming under her closed lids. The high-pitched sound of a hundred musical instruments in discord screamed in her mind. The syrupy aroma intensified. She caught two words through the cacophony—a plea, and a warning.
“Cadjoo. Mabrath.”
Her chest constricted, unable to expand.
Help. Death.
The meaning of these two words, in a language she’d made up as a child, took her breath. She pushed recognition away, refusing the insistent vision that pried at the corners of her mind seeking purchase.
Prophecy.
The word slithered across her nerves like a dry whisper.
Heart thudding, her lids flew open. At the periphery of her vision, the sparkling colors blinked out, and the heavy atmosphere in the room lifted. Erynn’s ears popped and the shrieking voices died, sudden quiet making her believe the shrill proclamation left her deaf. She jumped up, chair legs screeching backward on polished tile as the desk banged into the seat in front of her. “No!” Her shout rang out in the small, quiet room.  
Floor heaving like rolling waves, she leaned against the desk on unsteady legs. Startled students in her weapons-and-tactics class stared at her, most of them shaking their heads and smirking. Ridicule and resentment came as a barrage of stinging barbs digging under her skin. Concentrated emotions of pity, anger, concern, scorn, disgust and envy bombarded against her attempt to focus, to gain control.
In a practiced technique, Erynn envisioned a wide tunnel of white brightness spiraling into a tiny point of light. This method narrowed her exposure to the emotions of others. The reactions assailing her all but disappeared. She hissed quick breaths through clamped teeth and the nauseating sensation of motion stopped.

Friday, August 26, 2016

23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. by Robert J. Dornan



Title: 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M.
Author: Robert J. Dornan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 550
Genre: Historical Fiction

In the early morning of her sister's wedding day, Mila Kharmalov stared in stunned silence at the coloured sparks streaming from Reactor Four of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.  At that very moment, her life and the lives of everyone she knew changed forever.

Years later and on another continent, Adam Byrd was writing biographies for everyday people looking to leave their legacy in book form. When the woman he loved phoned from Kiev offering him the chance to write the story of a lifetime, he jumped at the opportunity not realizing that his voyage would be a bumpy ride through a nations dark underbelly. With the help of his friend's quirky cousin, Adam is nudged into a fascinating adventure of love, greed, power and psychotic revenge, culminating with a shocking finale.

23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. is a work of fiction based on factual events from Chernobyl and villages throughout Ukraine.

For More Information

  • 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. is available at Amazon..
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
The nurses at the reception desk were told not to stare at the late night visitor. He was a Ukrainian hero and deserved the highest level of respect. He arrived at midnight wearing sunglasses and a hoodie that covered most of his face. He said his name and the three nurses stood to welcome him as if honored by his presence. He was then led to Tania’s room. A wall light was lit above the bed. He didn’t recognize her.
Twenty-seven years had passed since the last time they spoke.  Tania was worried that Yuri would miss their wedding. He told her not to worry. She could have had a huge ceremony if he had not been so naïve with Asimov. If he had said no to the Colonels request, Yuri would still be alive. Tania didn’t know this part of the story. She didn’t know the love of her life agreed to dive into the radiated water to protect his best friend. 
It was his fault.
Samizdat adored the sisters but the government-owned newspapers wrote horrible articles about them. He plowed their path and never admitted so. Tania disappeared into obscurity, visited only by curious weekend thrill seekers. She has no hair and her skin is yellow.
It was his fault.
Alex pulled a chair next to the bed and touched her hand. She groaned but her eyes remained closed.
“I don’t know where to begin. I’m hoping you don’t open your eyes to see me speak. To watch the hurt in your eyes would be more painful than the burns on my face.  I abandoned you Tania. I abandoned you to hide from life…and to hide from you. My memories of the days before the explosion are what allow me to wake each morning. They are my life force and I owe this to you and Yuri. Without the two of you, I would have been a lonely man with few true friends.
And I still abandoned you. “
“I thought you were dead,” Tania whispered.
A startled Alex let go of her hand and almost tumbled off his chair. “I’ve awoken you,” he said between excited breaths.
“If I remember correctly, it’s not the first time. Am I dreaming Alex?”
“No my friend,” he replied. “It’s me next to you.”
Tania rubbed her eyes attempting to see her friend better. “Why are you covering your face?”
Alex tugged on the top of his hoodie and lowered his head. He dared not remove his sunglasses fearing he would startle Tania.  A patient on the other side of the room exhaled a long painful groan. This was followed by a seemingly chorused shuffling by the other patients.  He closed his eyes. Everywhere he visited, there was suffering. It followed him like a shadow. Tania repeated her question.
“The left side of my face including my eye is scarred from radiation. In situations such as this, I am more comfortable not revealing my deformity. Please don’t ask me to do so.”
“And I look better?” Tania replied with a short snort. “I won’t ask you to do what you don’t want Alex. You were always a stubborn man anyway.” She paused. “I wish you had come see me many years ago but I’m thrilled to have you here.”
“I’ve wanted to sit with you for a long time,” Alex responded.
“Then why didn’t you?” Tania asked between short breaths. “Why do you choose now when my last breath is so near? Alex, we mourned your death. Your mother was heartbroken. I visited her little hut in the Exclusion Zone and it was a memoriam. Photos of you adorned every inch on every wall. Asimov gave her a medal from the Kremlin in your memory that was front and centre above the main room couch.  She picked flowers and left them on your gravesite every day. She cried for years and died alone.” Tania inhaled a long breath. “I always wondered why your body was not entombed at Mitino.”
A full cup of water lay on the bed table and Alex handed it to his friend. She raised herself and sat upright.  The sole light in the room warmed her bumpy, hairless scalp.
“They told me I saved the Soviet Union,” Alex whispered. “They told me I saved Europe. I was a hero in so many eyes…” His voice trailed for a few seconds and he continued.  “I didn’t feel like a hero. The guilt was too heavy to endure. I ruined your life.”
“My life was not yours to ruin. You’re obviously here to say your peace so take a deep breath and tell me what has encumbered you all these years.” Tania stroked his hand with her fingertips. “Don’t fear judgment my old friend, it is not mine to deliver.”
Alex contemplated removing his sunglasses but did not. He had thought of this moment for more than two decades. The conversation took place hundreds of times while he lay in bed struggling to find sleep. He must stay strong.
“Asimov summoned us when someone from Pripyat mentioned Yuri and I were champion swimmers. I didn’t fully understand what the Commander was asking us to do but Yuri did. He didn’t chastise me when I eagerly volunteered. He was more concerned about you.
The suits they gave us were flimsy at best. After opening the sluice gates we tried to swim back as fast as we could but our legs were numb. My face stung like I had fallen on a bee hive. Smiles greeted us at the pond edge and pulled us out of the water. Within seconds I vomited, as did Yuri and Breshevski. I lay on my side and Breshevski was staring wide-eyed at me. I smiled, but he did not acknowledge me. His eyes were shining. I couldn’t understand how he could stare at me and not blink. Two men lifted him and as he was transported outside he yelled that Yuri and I were still in the water and someone had to save us. He was looking right at us.  I learned later that his goggles were defective. By the time he reached the hospital his corneas had melted.
Yuri vomited for a second time in less than three minutes. His arms could not hold him and he slumped into his own regurgitation. I was about to stand when two comrades wrapped my arms around their shoulders and dragged me outside.  Yuri was not far behind and was eased onto a stretcher while we waited for another ambulance.  I wasn’t suffering like Yuri and was strong enough to kneel next to him.  I was overcome with emotion when I looked at his bright red face. The skin on his forehead was cracked like a car window. I cried openly, and a photographer snapped a picture.  Yuri mumbled that if I continued to cry he would start calling me Alexandra. These were the last words he would ever say to me. I couldn’t stop bawling. Asimov was nearby and put his hand on my shoulder. Paramedics lifted Yuri and placed him in the ambulance that had mercifully arrived. I yelled out his name. I told him I was sorry. I was trembling and frozen in place. I didn’t hear the cheers from the workers in the background. I didn’t hear Asimov whispering in my ear. I could barely move so I sat with my head on bent knees. My best friend may die and it was my fault. Flashing lights blurred my vision. More photographers had gathered to take more photos.
Asimov, with the help of a few men, got me into a jeep and we drove back to the same hotel that Kremlin dignitaries were staying. They gave me a room with a shower that I used until no hot water remained. Aside from the tingling in my face, I was fine. They brought me new clothes. I had dinner with the Colonel and some other man I have long forgotten. They praised my efforts. I asked for updates on Yuri but none were available except that he was being flown to Moscow. I told Asimov that Yuri’s fiancée had to be called. The other man made a note and mentioned that Yuri’s condition and whereabouts would be posted in every newspaper across the Soviet Union. Asimov found his assistant’s comment inappropriate and said he would fly to Moscow himself and I was not to worry.
I did worry. It was all I did for years to come.
I had the strangest dream. It was an evening of sleep I never forgot. I excused myself from dinner early and returned to my room. Within minutes I was sleeping. I remember four white walls, a white floor and a white door. I was yelling for someone to save me but no one came. Every time I reached to open the door it would disappear and reappear on a different wall.  A bright light blinded me temporarily, and I realized the door had opened. The same light shone whenever the door opened except once. Yuri walked in through the lights and stood in front of me.  He said nothing and shook his head with disapproval before leaving through the wall behind me. You were next Tania, and you did the same as Yuri. Mila followed, as did my mother, Yulia, David and many others. Each paraded by me with contempt in their eyes. The last person to visit was Valeri Markov, a man I knew from the academy. When he entered the room there was no bright light. The door opened and shut. He smiled, tapped me on the shoulder and sat in the far corner. I asked what he was doing and where he thought he was. He said he was sharing a room with me… in hell. I woke up. Firecrackers from May Day celebrations burst in succession. Drunken soldiers and liquidators were singing. My face hurt.
The next morning I told Asimov I would return to my duties. He replied that I was to rest and not to worry about work for the next few days. He handed me two bottles of vodka and a radio. I wanted a newspaper and one was delivered to me along with breakfast and a prostitute. She drank my vodka and ate my breakfast. I read a small blurb about Reactor Four and that all was safe. There was no mention of Yuri or Breshevski. Maybe tomorrow, I thought. The prostitute danced around the room with a bottle of vodka in her hand.  She had undressed and wore only her panties. She spent most of the previous evening celebrating May Day with married politburo officials and smelled like liquor and old men. She passed out but not before puking on the curtains.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Othello Greene: The Story Begins by Anthony Baltimore



Title: Othello Greene: The Story Begins
Author: Anthony Baltimore
Publisher: JourStarr Quality Publications
Pages: 780
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy

Lt. Othello Greene, the leader of America’s most lethal and efficient elite special ops group is captured, tortured, and mutilated by a ruthless, maniacal terrorist named Genesis and his group, the Global Supremacy Federation (G.S.F), who is hell bent on world domination.
Moments before his execution, Othello is rescued by a centuries old Islamic group intent on convincing him to use his unmatched skills and abilities for the good of mankind.In the backdrop, is the story of Othello’s past and the events which led to his life as an elite assassin.The entire world is racing towards the war to end all wars. Will Genesis prevail or will Othello put an end to his reign of terror?

For More Information

  • Othello Greene: The Story Begins is available at Amazon.
Book Excerpt:
Every inch of his body was in pain. Its intensity caused a numbing effect. The stench of blood, urine, feces, and burnt flesh permeated the room. The air was acrid and unbearably hot, making it difficult to breathe. The unfamiliar room was dimly lit, a single flickering bulb hanging from the ceiling. His newly awakened eyes had yet to acclimate themselves to the environment. His head was pounding like a sledgehammer against a wall. Over the clamor of confusion in his mind, he could hear the faint murmur of a sobbing woman.
“Name!” he heard a voice scream in his head.
“Othello Greene,” he answered.
“Rank!” the voice continued.
“First lieutenant,” he mumbled, as his senses began to gain clarity. His heart sank like an anchor at the sight of the severed head of his longtime friend and counterintelligence operative Second Lieutenant Jack Strong. The cloud in his mind completely dissipated when he saw Jack’s nude, mutilated body lying slumped over in a corner several feet from the head. Their termination mission, he realized, had gone terribly wrong.
Othello’s unclothed body lay in a pool of his own blood. A fierce pain exploded through his torso as he stuck the severely burned stub where his right hand used to be into the ground beneath him. The failed attempt to get to his feet caused him to instantaneously collapse, quivering in agony.
He teetered between consciousness and death, staring into the face of his dead friend. Suddenly the eyes of the severed head opened and a menacing expression appeared. “This is all your fault!” it growled. “Look what the hell you got us into! You and all your guts and glory bullshit!”
“This is not my fault. I didn’t put a gun to your head. I didn’t make you do shit!” Othello screamed, blood and drool flying from his mouth.
“Huh,” Jack grunted. “Look at your dear sweet Ramirez over there. What a shame. They’ve been taking turns raping her for the last eighteen hours.” One of the arms on the headless body motioned across the room.
Othello was horrified to see his intimate friend and partner, First Sergeant Helena Ramirez, lying naked in a fetal position, brutalized and cowering in a corner. She was whimpering like a child. He felt helpless and ashamed, not for himself but for the team he had let down.
“You’re one self-righteous bastard. You knew she would have gone to hell to assassinate Satan with you. Now, because of you, she’s seen more dicks than Kim Kardashian,” said Jack with a sinister grin.
“Shut the fuck up, damn it!” Othello continued to scream. “This is not real! You’re dead!”
“This is very much real, hero. But don’t worry. You’ll be joining me soon. And speaking of Satan, he told me to tell you that he’s keeping your side of the bed warm, and that you and he are going to get real personal when you arrive,” Jack responded with laughter.
“I am not paying attention to you. You are not real,” Othello said, to himself. He tried once again to get to his feet. This time, using his still operable left hand, he pushed himself up but could not feel his legs.
Turning over on his back, he was in shock to see both of his legs severed at the knees. The miasma of burning flesh was his own. His captors had burned the stumps to stop the bleeding. The hopelessness of the situation hit him like a pile of bricks. Despair set in as he collapsed, waiting for the moment of death.
Helena crawled over to him and gently kissed his forehead. The Latina beauty who could make any man risk it all for one night of passion was unrecognizable.
“Othello, I thought you were dead,” she cried.
Helena, I’m sorry,” he replied, looking away, not able to look at her bloodied battered face and racked with guilt.
“Shhh. It’s not important,” she said, with tears flowing, caressing the side of his swollen face. “Baby, I need you to help me.”
“There’s nothing I can do. It’s over, Helena. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“No, don’t apologize. I knew the risks and I loved the ride. But I need you to listen to me. Please,” she begged, turning his face back toward hers. “I need you to help me.
“It’s over, Helena. Only God can help us now.”
“No. That’s not true,” she cried, grabbing his hand and placing it on her throat.
“No . . . No, I can’t,” he sighed, attempting to pull his hand away.
Even under these nightmare conditions, the touch of his hand against her skin brought back a flood of memories. How much he loved her. The thousand times they shared each other, holding nothing back. She grabbed it tightly, with both hands, kneeling her broken, battered, and violated body in the pool of blood around him. “Yes, you can. I’m already gone. Please don’t let them hurt me again. Those bastards did so many terrible things to me. Please . . . Please . . .,” she pleaded, pulling his hand harder against her throat.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Disinheritance by John Sibley Williams



Title: DISINHERITANCE
Author: John Sibley Williams
Publisher: Apprentice House Press
Pages: 98
Genre: Poetry

A lyrical, philosophical, and tender exploration of the various voices of grief, including those of the broken, the healing, the son-become-father, and the dead, Disinheritance acknowledges loss while celebrating the uncertainty of a world in constant revision. From the concrete consequences of each human gesture to soulful interrogations into “this amalgam of real / and fabled light,” these poems inhabit an unsteady betweenness, where ghosts can be more real than the flesh and blood of one’s own hands.

For More Information

  • Disinheritance is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Praise for Disinheritance:
“In John Sibley Williams’ moving, somber collection, the power of elegy, reverie, and threnody transcends the disinheritance caused by separation. These compellingly atemporal poems form the locus wherein generations of a family can gather. Here, Williams’ lyric proto-language—elemental, archetypal, primordial—subsumes barriers of time and space. His poems create their own inheritance.”
—Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita

“There is eternal longing in these poems of John Sibley Williams. A yearning for what cannot be understood. A song for what simply is. A distance beyond human measurement. The dead and alive dancing, hurting, and praying at the mouth of what must be the beginning of time. A series of profound losses giving birth to words no different from medicine.”
—Zubair Ahmed
Book Excerpt:
Truce

A panic of finches rises and tonight
the late salmon moon is filled

with rivers and old shadows. Reflected,
iridescing, an amalgam of real

and fabled light. I rub grains of wood and cloud
between my hands and stretch from the grass

into a grandmotherly story of angels,
their necessary demons, and how little

it takes for the one to climb or descend into
the other. This is what she told me before

she climbed or descended. The distance from us was
the same. This is how she explained where I’d gone

and am going.

My hands don’t remember much anymore
of where the birds have flown. There are felled trees

in the sky. The moon’s face drifts across the river.
And I miss the hard geometries of coffins.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Feature: The Bomb That Never Was by J.R. Shaw

419382_Blog Tour_L2
 

Inside the Book:

The Bomb That Never Was
Title: The Bomb That Never Was
Author: J.R. Shaw
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Alternative History
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Praise for The Bomb That Never Was “Hitler has the bomb, and it's headed for the USA. This meticulously researched historical novel will have you asking, ‘What if?' This is an intelligent, fast-paced page-turner that will make you forget that you already know how it all turns out. Provocative, informative, and entertaining—I couldn't put it down.” —Joseph P. DeSario, author of Limbo and Sanctuary and coauthor of Crusade: Undercover Against the Mafia & KGB “Authoritative and credible in its attention to detail, The Bomb That Never Was captures the spirit and temper of the WWII years and raises some deep philosophical questions about loyalty, treason, and commitment to country. A page-turner … tough to put down … a story well told.” —Robert L. Aaron, journalist and public relations executive
Meet the Author:
J. R. Shaw is a pseudonym for a person who likes privacy, preferring to remain in the shadows. If you're interested in reading the next book, please turn to the back of this book and enjoy reading an excerpt from The Pieces. The Pieces will be out in 2016.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Baseball's Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them Book Blast


We're happy to be hosting Jonathan Weeks' BASEBALL'S DYNASTIES AND THE PLAYERS WHO BUILT THEM Book Blast today!


About the Book:


Title: Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them
Author: Jonathan Weeks
Publisher: Rowan and Littlefield
Pages: 408
Genre: Sports History

Baseball has had its fair share of one-and-out champions, but few clubs have dominated the sport for any great length of time. Given the level of competition and the expansive length of the season, it is a remarkable accomplishment for a team to make multiple World Series appearances in a short timespan. From the Baltimore Orioles of the 1800s who would go to any length to win—including physically accosting opponents—to the 1934 Cardinals known as the “Gashouse Gang” for their rough tactics and determination, and on to George Steinbrenner’s dominant Yankees of the late twentieth century, baseball’s greatest teams somehow found a way to win year after year.

Spanning three centuries of the game, Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them examines twenty-two of baseball’s most iconic teams. Each chapter not only chronicles the club’s era of supremacy, but also provides an in-depth look at the players who helped make their teams great. Nearly two hundred player profiles are included, featuring such well-known stars as Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, and Pete Rose, as well as players who were perhaps overshadowed by their teammates but were nonetheless vital to their team’s reign, such as Pepper Martin, Allie Reynolds, and George Foster.

With a concluding chapter that profiles the clubs that were on the cusp of greatness, Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them is a fascinating survey of what makes some teams dominate year after year while others get only a small taste of glory before falling to the wayside. Written in a lively style with amusing anecdotes and colorful quotes, this comprehensive book will be of interest to all fans and historians of baseball.

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Book Excerpt:

With a roster full of superstars, the Orioles captured three straight pennants from 1894–1896. They followed with a pair of near misses, placing second in 1897 and 1898. Along the way, they developed a reputation as one of the nastiest teams in baseball. John Heydler, an umpire who would later ascend to the NL presidency, described the Orioles of the 1890s as “mean, vicious, ready at any time to maim a rival player or an umpire.” Infielder John McGraw was proud of that distinction. “We’d go tearing into a bag with flying spikes as though with murderous intent,” he boasted. “We were a cocky, swashbuckling crew and wanted everybody to know it.”
Pirates great Honus Wagner manufactured a tall tale about a harrowing trip around the bases against the Orioles. After driving a ball deep into the outfield, he claimed to have been tripped at first base by Jack Doyle and then knocked flat by Hughie Jennings at second. Climbing to his feet, he lumbered toward third, only to find John McGraw holding a shotgun on him. “You stop right there!” McGraw allegedly bellowed. Although Wagner’s story is obviously apocryphal, numerous reliable accounts confirm the fact that the Orioles resorted to underhanded tactics regularly. When they weren’t physically accosting opponents, they were treating them to streams of verbal abuse. Baltimore players were so free in their use of profanity that a resolution was adopted in 1898, imposing mandatory expulsions upon anyone using “villainously foul” language.
Even the groundskeepers at Baltimore were deceitful. Soap flakes were mixed with the soil around the pitcher’s mound to make the hands of opposing hurlers slippery when they reached into the dirt.  Orioles moundsmen knew to keep untainted soil in their pockets. The infield was mixed with clay and rarely watered, creating a surface not unlike cement. Baltimore players chopped down on the ball, creating dramatically high hops that gave them a head start to first base (hence, the origin of the term Baltimore chop). The outfield was ruddy and riddled with weeds. Outfielders allegedly kept extra balls hidden out there in the event that the ones in play eluded them.


About the Author


Weeks spent most of his life in the Capital District area of New York. He earned a degree in psychology from SUNY Albany. In 2004, he migrated to Malone, NY. He continues to gripe about the frigid winter temperatures to the present day. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, he writes about the game because he lacked the skill to play it professionally. He still can't hit a curve ball or lay off the high heat. Baseball’s Dynasties is his fourth nonfiction work.
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