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FICTION

MEMORY ROAD by Dick Schmidt

After serving his country with distinction as a senior officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, Stewart Masterson is rewarded with detention in an assisted living facility by a government agency concerned with his advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Longing for his late wife of forty-seven years, Masterson makes his getaway from the facility and finds himself on the road with limited resources, trying to negotiate his way from Florida to his daughter in Maryland, the only place where he feels he can find happiness and relevance.

With three U.S. government agencies and the intelligence arms of unfriendly countries in hot pursuit, Masterson relies on a lifetime of training instincts to avoid recapture, proving he has a lot more on the ball than his pursuers had expected. His northward travels up U.S. Route 1 lead him from one adventure to another until the inevitable conclusion when his fate will be decided by who finds him first and how he responds. This charming, suspenseful, and sometimes ironically humorous story gives us a glimpse into a world that is far more relevant to the brave individuals facing personal limitations than we could possibly imagine.

“Dick Schmidt’s book Memory Road is a fascinating, page-turning story about one man’s journey to find home. Masterson is a relatable character who, despite personal challenges and dangerous obstacles, perseveres toward his final destination with the help, or hindrance, of an interesting cast of characters. Dick puts a relatable human perspective on the challenges faced by those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and drives home the importance of treating people with respect and consideration. I appreciate him for representing the Alzheimer’s community with so much humanity in this work.”—Jim Nantz, CBS Sports, Founder, Nantz National Alzheimer Center

“What an enjoyable read! Memory Road is cleverly crafted with a timely plot involving believable characters and real-life challenges. The story follows a retired CIA agent’s quest for home as he battles his most formidable enemy—himself. Schmidt has written a compelling human story that, instead of focusing on disability, accurately highlights compassion and capabilities.”—James E. Galvin, MD, MPH, Neuroscientist

Dick Schmidt is a lifelong resident of Florida with a background in banking, real estate development, and aviation. His time is filled with philanthropic endeavors, which he spearheads with his wife, Barbara, an international bestselling author. He has two grown children and resides in Boca Raton, Florida. Dick is also the author of The Boy and the Dolphin.

 

THE BOY AND THE DOLPHIN by Dick Schmidt

The Boy and the Dolphin_web coverFollowing the unfortunate death of his parents, young Toby Matthias finds himself living a carefree life on Piper Cay, an Out Island in the Bahamas, at his grandparents’ inn. Isolated from children his own age, Toby develops a deep and lasting friendship with an unlikely companion: a bottlenose dolphin.

A heartwarming tale, The Boy and the Dolphin follows the tropical adventures of Toby and Phinney as they make sense of life in the mid-1950s. When Toby is sent to complete his education in the States and Phinney immerses herself more deeply in her dolphin culture, the best friends experience ever-increasing separations. But even while Toby serves his country in the skies over Vietnam, the boy and the dolphin share an unbreakable, decade-long bond.

Dick Schmidt is a lifelong resident of Florida with a background in banking, real estate development, and aviation. His time is filled with philanthropic endeavors, which he spearheads with his wife, Barbara, an international bestselling author. He has two grown children and resides in Boca Raton, Florida.

 

THE LAST STRAW by J. Joseph Mawek

In the not-too-distant future, a natural disaster “sneaks up” on the international agency charged with observing and responding to climate change. Indications are topsy-turvy as sea levels and tides are falling, as opposed to rising. As the central characters are drawn into the disaster, readers of The Last Straw get an up-close look at how modern man deals with the challenges of a fluctuating planet and life-threatening climate change.

The Last Straw is also the story of how our social attitudes and values can surprisingly and dramatically change as our lives grow longer. It also explores new and future technology, both realistically and in the realm of science fiction. On the lighter side, it is a sea- faring adventure involving an enigmatic man of great longevity, skills, and personality; a globe-trotting couple who at times find themselves at odds; and a long-lost sibling with a dark past who brings them together. Geologists, climatologists, an oceanographer, and a world-class Elon Musk–like technologist dealing with latent homosexuality round out the cast of characters.

Paralleling the story’s global climate change theme along with ideas of enhanced futuristic technology and communication capabilities, the action extends from the eastern front of the Colorado Rockies to Falmouth, Massachusetts; Andalusia, Spain; Zug, Switzerland; and the Atlantic and Mediterranean waters of the Iberian Peninsula.

The author, who writes under the name J. Joseph Mawek, wrote The Last Straw as a framework for a screenplay and subsequent film. If you would like to participate in the film production, please visit the film’s Kickstarter.com project, which is planned for late Spring 2017. When not traveling, Mawek and his wife, Patricia, reside in the town of Port Washington, New York, which is located along the gold coast of Long Island’s North Shore. Mawek is a graduate of Stony Brook University and Manhattan College where he published works of both fiction and nonfiction.

 

LOVE’S LESSONS TO LAUREL by Rita Jones

It all started with a question . . .

Laurel Montgomery has questions about puberty that her single mother, an international business attorney, hesitates to answer. Matters deteriorate when Laurel starts ninth grade and her mother joins President Nixon’s negotiators, currently drafting agreements prior to a 1972 summit meeting with China. Laurel feels abandoned as she deals with school and peer pressure to fit in.

Iris Wimple, an elderly woman who’s previously looked after Laurel, comes to stay until her mother returns. Iris is a wonderful woman, but Laurel has doubts about her ability to deal with personal teenage issues.

Invited to a dance by a handsome, unmotivated, boy, Laurel must begin to deal with adult feelings and the opposite sex. She turns to Iris, who answers her questions with candor. Laurel’s trust increases and a mature bond forms. Two days later, Laurel’s history teacher tells students that different religions have influenced today’s world. Understanding society, means understanding different beliefs. Religious leaders attend class and explain their faiths. A single question assignment is given: How can each of these educated men see God differently?

Having no religious background, Laurel struggles for answers while Iris explains arguments concerning the existence of God. With help from Iris, Laurel demonstrates a powerful answer causing classmates to reexamine their beliefs about God. Shaken by their daughter’s crisis of faith, a prominent family files a complaint, accusing teacher and student of mixing church and state. Both are suspended and face permanent discipline.

A national debate erupts. Supporters on both sides, descend on the tiny town awaiting the showdown. In front of the school board and a national audience, a teen’s spiritual philosophy will battle treachery in a death spiral of amazing revelations. When the meeting adjourns, electrifying events leave the world redefining faith.

The passion of first love, learning common-sense wisdom, and the goodness existing in all of us are humorously entwined in Love’s Lessons to Laurel.

Rita Jones is the pen name of Dan Eicher, a retired OB-GYN who delivered thousands of babies during his career. Within each newborn, he saw an essence often quickly hidden by the need to deal with life’s hurdles. Rediscovering that essence is the foundation of “Love’s Lessons to Laurel.” A recovering alcoholic, Dan helps others seeking a spiritual path. He enjoys music and history while living in Denver with his wife, Jacque, and Boston Terriers Arturo and Petunia.

 

DARK HOLE IN MY SOUL by Ellen Frazer-Jameson, Author of Love Mother Love Daughter

Dark Hole in My Soul_Web coverThree generations of brave and beautiful women inhabit the twisted world of Dark Hole in My Soul. The women share their genes, their pain, and a predilection for selecting the wrong men. The deepest secrets of their hearts are revealed as an emotional and searching journey follows Caitlin, Kathleen, and Serena from a rundown Brooklyn brownstone to the tumultuous streets of Hell’s Kitchen, and ultimately to a grand bay front Miami Beach mansion.

The image is picture-perfect, but the reality is shattered—and even a rich and famous star remains targeted by fate and ghosts from the past. Is the pattern of tragedy, conflict, and anger imprinted forever in their DNA? Can the brutal cycle be broken? Can it be replaced by forgiveness, love, and redemption? As all three will discover, only love can redeem the pain.

 

A BILLION TINY MOMENTS IN TIME by P.D. Alleva

 Billion Tiny Moments_web coverHas there ever been a time when you felt disconnected from your family? From society? From yourself?

A Billion Tiny Moments in Time is a story of immortality. Tracing an upscale, prominent New York family over four generations, during periods of their rise, fall and redemption, A Billion Tiny Moments in Time is a tear jerking narrative of unconditional love, compassion, and that what was lost can always be found. It is a story of the struggle to accept family values, morals, and secrets, and the pain of coming out of the family shadow into individuality. We can only reach the light when we face the darkness.

This book will pull at your heart strings. It is a story that evokes powerful emotions and questions individual and family legacy and how our actions weaken or strengthen that legacy over time. What is it that we wish to leave behind for future generations? A Billion Tiny Moments in Time is heartfelt, written with passion and purpose.

P.D. Alleva, MSW, is a clinical hypnotherapist, philosopher, author, and a spiritual guide. His passion for spiritual growth and insight into universal truths continues to transform his life and propels him forward, gathering and sharing knowledge of ancient wisdom. He is an owner and partner of Lifescape Solutions, Evolve Mental Health, and Let Your Soul Evolve, and the author of two novels: Let Your Soul Evolve: Spiritual Growth Therapy for the New Millennium and Indifference. He is also the author of the upcoming nonfiction The Zombie Apocalypse and fiction Celestial Silence. He lives in South Florida with his wife, Lisa, his daughter, Bre’Anne, and three sons Dominick, Leo and Santino.

 

THAT IRON STRING by Jack Kohl

The Iron String_Web CoverOn a cold dark night in early March, 1970, two boats are discovered tied to a pier between the separate coasts of Connecticut and the north shore of Long Island, New York. Aboard one of these are found two healthy baby boys—and three corpses. What strange music of life gave birth to this bizarre piece of business? And what is it that finally leads to the separation between the two young boys as they grow from adolescence into adulthood?

Portsmouth “Port” Gourd has not seen his cousin, Boston, for several years. While both boys have grown out of their mysterious origins into well-trained classical pianists, the wayward Boston has emerged over time as the flashier and more prodigious player of the two. Port has remained in the small town of Pauktaug, traveling by train to Manhattan in order to attain a master’s degree in classical piano and living a comfortable, albeit predictable, life.

But something is missing. Then comes the day when a disassembled grand piano arrives by delivery truck—along with the news that Boston is finally returning home. Weeks go by, however, and he does not appear. All that does arrive are a series of letters, all left unread by Port, until the night when his recently-divorced high school crush reappears in his life and feelings long thought to be dead are reawakened. What transpires will both bemuse and astound readers, as the battle between life and music becomes a wrestle between love and death.

An enthralling debut novel, written by a professional pianist in his own right, That Iron String resounds masterfully between the known and unknown, the sacred and profane, the comedic and tragic, the present . . . and the past.

Jack Kohl is a pianist and author living and working in the greater New York City area. Please visit the author’s website at jacksonkohl.com.

 

LOCO-MOTIVE by Jack Kohl

On New Year’s Eve of 1859, Henry David Thoreau wrote: “A man thinks as well through his legs and arms as his brain. We exaggerate the importance and exclusiveness of the headquarters.”

And at the start of the new millennium, a pudgy young writer, Rex Shell, engages his own legs and arms and takes up running to lose weight. When a new job takes him from Atlanta to The Pauktaug Press on Long Island’s north shore, young Shell takes notice of a pair of hardly youthful local men who show promise of shattering the world record for the 10-kilometer distance.

One of these runners happens to be Shell’s new editor, Lawrence Hare. Through Hare, Shell is about to learn that all is not well in the bucolic village of Pauktaug—or in its running community—where death may come from trying to make the most of life, and where the mind may be lost and murder found if one believes the “whole duty of man may be expressed in one line,—Make to yourself a perfect body.”

Readers of That Iron String, the first novel in the Pauktaug Trilogy, will find another eerie adventure in the realm of philosophical-thriller via the provocative Loco-Motive.

Jack Kohl is a pianist and author living and working in the greater New York City area. He was President of The Northport Running Club from 2007 to 2009. Please visit the author’s website at jacksonkohl.com

 

THE LAST KHAN by Geoff Hammond

The Last Khan_web coverWhen Dr. Jeremiah Xavier witnesses the terrifyingly destructive force of a covert experiment on a radical new fuel source gone wrong at a research facility located deep in the Black Hills of South Dakota, he finds himself narrowly dodging assassination attempts and searching for answers, calling in old favors and eluding government officials around the world. Meanwhile, Kongi Khan—the chairman of Zangshe Inc., a privately owned Chinese corporation providing the majority of the world’s supply of uranium—will stop at nothing to take control of this breakthrough discovery, and will even go as far as using this potential but unstable energy source as a weapon of mass destruction. His supporters will do everything in their power to ensure his success—even if it turns out to be their downfall. On the other end of the spectrum, the revered and respected Chinese Minister of Technology has made it his mission to halt Zangshe’s sloppy operations once and for all. And the race is on. The pace quickens when a techie deep in the subbasement of CIA headquarters slowly uncovers Zangshe’s deadly plot, and as a result, Dr. Xavier finds himself on a small boat in the Gulf of Mexico with the world’s fate in his hands.

Geoff Hammond is a successful entrepreneur. Although he’s been writing for many years, The Last Khan is his first novel. Inexplicably, his extensive treatises related to business ventures and strategic misadventures somehow became the precursors for this seemingly ripped-from-the-headlines fictitious work. He and his wife, Jayne, divide their time between the pristine beaches of South Florida and the gentle, rolling hills of Tennessee.

 

WHY BRISTOL?: MURDER AT BMS by CS Thompson

Why Bristol_web coverIn this fourth Natasha McMorales Why mystery, PI Nattie Moreland is hired by Bristol Motor Speedway to solve a series of murders. When a vendor was found dead the morning after the August race, they hoped it was just a random act, but when a second vendor meets the same fate after the March race, that hope evaporates. Both victims are part of a group called the “Dog Pack” and they were both “killed bad.” Solving this mystery proves difficult as not all the members of the Dog Pack welcome Nattie’s involvement. Everyone, it seems, has something to hide, and no one knows why it is only happening in Bristol.

CS Thompson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, with his wife, Barb. He has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and has been director of the counseling center at King College for more than twenty years. In addition to counseling students, he has a private practice and teaches two college courses. He has written four books in the Natalie McMorales series, as well as six books on applied theology. For more about CS Thompson, visit www.csthompsonbooks.com./

 

WHY KNOX?: REVENGE AT RHYTHM & ROOTS by CS Thompson

Why Knox_web coverWXBQ morning disc jockeys Mark and Steve are executed in Steve’s home and later the same day in a seemingly unrelated event a social worker receives the same fate across the state line. When a young singer named Knox DeVilla is threatened that she is next detective Nattie Moreland of Bristol TN/VA is hired. Nattie follows Knox to Cherokee, NC, Floydfest, VA, and back to Bristol and The Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival serving as both bodyguard and sleuth. Before she can figure out who is threatening Knox she will have to figure out who murdered the DJs, who murdered the social worker, who sent Knox the threat, whether it is all the same person, and even if Knox is the real target.

CS Thompson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, with his wife, Barb. He has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and has been director of the counseling center at King College for more than twenty years. In addition to counseling students, he has a private practice and teaches two college courses. He has written four books in the Natalie McMorales series, as well as six books on applied theology. For more about CS Thompson, visit www.csthompsonbooks.com.

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WHY NOW?: THE NIGHT THE WOLVES ESCAPED FROM BAYS MOUNTAIN by CS Thompson

Why Now_web coverLife for detective Nattie Moreland just got more complicated. Her ex-husband just showed up with a bag full of diamonds, a get-rich-quick scheme, and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Her mother just saddled her with a client who just might be guilty. And the list of suspects in the case she’s working on just keeps growing. She could get it all solved if only she could answer the question, why now?

CS Thompson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, with his wife, Barb. He has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and has been director of the counseling center at King College for more than twenty years. In addition to counseling students, he has a private practice and teaches two college courses. He has written four books in the Natalie McMorales series, as well as six books on applied theology. For more about CS Thompson, visit www.csthompsonbooks.com./

THE JASPER LILLA CHRONICLES by C.S. Thompson

Jasper Lilla 1_web cover  Jasper Lilla 2_web cover  Jasper Lilla 3_web cover

Jasper Lilla and the Wolves of Banner Elk: Book I of the Jasper Lilla Chronicles 

Before he inherited his father’s wolf tooth necklace, Jasper Lilla considered himself to be the most ordinary guy in Boone, North Carolina. He’d have done anything to please Riley Lyons, the girl with the strawberry lip gloss, but why would a girl like her be interested in an ordinary guy like him? To please her, he put on the necklace, and his life became anything but ordinary. Despite the disapproval of his mother, Jasper got a job as an errand boy at Lion Pharmaceuticals. A man died in his arms. A panic attack sent him to the ER. He was nearly killed . . . twice.

Was the necklace responsible for that, or did the necklace save him? Could the necklace have something to do with the uncanny appearances of the white wolf? What was its connection to the weird security guards at Lion Pharmaceuticals? A deeper confusion came when Jasper discovered his father’s journal. Did his father really believe the necklace had some sort of magic power over wolves? Could it be a talisman used by the Nicatani, a legendary, priestly Cherokee clan? Could the necklace hold the key to who he and his family really are?

Jasper Lilla and the Hendersonville Rescue: Book II of the Jasper Lilla Chronicles

In Book II of the Jasper Lilla Chronicles Jasper must defy his school, the police, and even his mother to save Riley and discover another shocking truth about his family.

Jasper Lilla and the Flight to Boone

In this final confrontation Jasper’s family must defend themselves against an enemy that threatens all of nature. Victory will require more than the courage to face the enemy—it will require the courage to face themselves.

Chuck Thompson hails from Bristol, TN. After he and his wife attended the Woolly Worm Festival in 2014, they had such a great time that it was included in the first Jasper Lilla novel (as well as Dunn’s Deli, Sister Lees, Mountain Grounds Coffee Co., Studio140, and the Azalea Bed & Breakfast). Prior to writing the novels featuring Banner Elk, Thompson wrote six mystery novels featuring a female detective from Bristol, TN. All of his novels are family friendly, and although they often include danger, they are never graphically violent. It is the author’s custom to write about local events and places so that his readers can go to locations they have read about and see what the characters and author saw. With the mystery series, Thompson always writes about places in Bristol, but in each novel the characters travel to others places such as New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Asheville, Weaverville, and Cherokee. He deliberately left the Bristol area for the Jasper series so he could write about different locations.

 

CARSON’S LEASE by Dennis L. Boykin

Fired from his ranch management job, charged with cattle theft, and evicted from his boyhood home by his emotionally disturbed mother, twenty-seven-year-old Reed Carson finds himself on a lonely mountain lease with his dog and a few head of cattle. He is further alienated from his family and the large Carson ranching empire by his cruel, unstable older brother, who has teamed with an ex-convict hired man to take advantage of Ms. Lucy Carson’s mental imbalance to grab ownership of the Carson ranches.

Half-blood Arapahoe Indian, tall and handsome, emotionally bound to his reckless teenage past, Reed becomes a virtual recluse on his small ranch lease. Reed’s life is turned around when Butch Morgan, a grizzled mountain man, stumbles onto his cabin during a fierce spring blizzard. Morgan has news of Reed’s father, whom Lucy chased off the ranch before Reed’s sixth birthday. Morgan is passionate about finding his own long-lost daughter, and when Reed agrees to help, they form an alliance that sparks Reed’s spirit to clear his name and regain what is rightfully his.

Dennis Boykin is a lifelong agriculturalist and conservationist who, after graduating from the University of Wyoming, enjoyed a successful career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service before becoming an independent rancher and businessman. Boykin is also a published newspaper columnist on the subject of natural resources conservation, and author of the memoir The Boykin Boy and the novel Carson’s Lease.

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