Thursday, September 26, 2019

Darkness and Light Guest Post from Annelies George

Title: Darkness and Light
Author: Annelies George
Publisher: BI Publishing
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Paperback/Ebook
On Tour: September 9-November 29

DARKNESS AND LIGHT is set five years after the brutal attack in Jessie’s apartment. From Miami to the Seychelles, the now married journalist continues her life journey. The metaphorical meaning of darkness and light are central themes throughout the story. Hatred, greed, betrayal, lies, the desire for power, far reaching jealousy, unconditional love, forgiveness and the noticeable changes in today’s climate are some of the spellbinding features of this plot.In the second part of the Jessie Golden Earth series once more today’s business jungle is intertwined with the intangible world of the other side. This results in an easily readable exciting story set in various countries around the globe, leading to a surprising unexpected end to this part in the series.


Title: Quest to the Unknown
Author: Annelies George
Publisher: Hybrid Global Publishing
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Paperback/Ebook
On Tour: September 9-November 29

Quest to the Unknown revolves around up-and-coming Dutch reporter Jessie Golden, ready for her first holiday with business mogul and playboy Carlos Gomez, with whom she is engaged in a budding romance. Her journey begins when she finds a folder full of information on a mysterious woman named Nancy and her son Paul, leading her to an unexpected quest. Soon thereafter Jessie is confronted with a series of unexplainable supernatural occurrences. She realizes there is no such thing as coincidence, although she can’t unravel the true meaning of her quest nor her link to Nancy and her son. At the same time Jessie believes Carlos’ father has ties with some questionable characters. Startled by a series of unexpected events she reaches out to Ed Turner, Carlos’ right-hand man. In order to protect the one she truly loves, Jessie starts an investigation that points to the murky world of the mob. When a stranger is constantly following her, Jessie’s life is in serious danger. Can the ones she implicitly confides in, still be trusted? The first part of the Jessie Golden 21st Century Earth Series, introduces the main characters of the saga in an intriguing story of exceptional mother love, the far reaching consequences of choices in life, genuine feelings, blind faith and brutal deception, set in a multitude of countries in today’s fast moving business world.


Darkness and Light

Recently the second part in the Jessie Golden Earth Series, Darkness and Light, was published. This sequel to Quest to the Unknown starts five years after the devastating attack in the heroine’s (Jessie Golden) apartment. Now married to Carlos Gomez, Jessie continues her life journey, a roller coaster of unexpected feelings and utter betrayal, as well as confusing supernatural experiences revolving around the duality of darkness and light, alongside the individual stories of people who surround her. The end of the book is the unexpected answer to the question why things in part one of the series (Quest to the Unknown) were indeed not what they seemed.
“The metaphorical meaning of darkness and light is central in the book,” Annelies George, author of the series, explains. “If you closely study the main characters and their behavior, you probably understand what I’m getting at.”
During her research the author stumbled over a prophecy while attending a Munay-Ki class. This inspired her to initiate Loveable Light, a peaceful cause that aims to create a flow of more positive energy in this world by using the powerful light of love we all have within.
“All my books contain an important message,” Annelies says. “Particularly in chapter 24 I share my point of view on the mystery of life and the current state of the world, reflected in a speech that a medium gave in trance.”
This work of fiction does contain some autobiographic elements, as was the case with the first part.
“I think that each writer is inspired by events occurring in the world or in his or her own life, while the behavior and characters of those we encounter can be another source of inspiration,” she comments, not revealing where exactly in the book the autobiographical section can be found.
Would you like to learn more about Annelies George, her books and the Loveable Light initiative? 

Annelies George was born on 4 August, 1964 in Bussum, After the gymnasium, she followed a one-year course as an international secretary in Amsterdam. Immediately afterward she started to work for a law firm, studying finance, management and law during the evening hours with the goal of becoming a lawyer herself. A move to a different town brought her into the fast IT world, where she was employed by GE Capital, marking the start of a successful career in the international IT Finance world. Due to the intensity of the job and long working hours, she abandoned her plans for a law degree. At the age of 30, she was appointed to Benelux managing director of a US based lease company, a rare phenomenon at the time, since few women were holding similar positions in the specific branch in the Netherlands. Thereafter she accepted a variety of EMEA and regional management and sales roles with Cisco, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard. Annelies still lives in Bussum and is taking care of her 83-year-old mother. She loves, among other activities, to paint and design necklaces when she is not writing. On occasion she likes to travel to discover new places and understand the different ways of living around the globe.

You can visit her at: 

Tuesday, September 10
Book featured at Review From Here

Wednesday, September 11
Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

Friday, September 13
Book featured at The Writer's Life

Monday, September 16
Book featured at As the Pages Turn

Tuesday, September 17
Book featured at Book Cover Junkie

Thursday, September 19
Guest blogging at Book Bloggin' Princess

Friday, September 20
Interviewed at A Title Wave

Tuesday, September 24
Guest blogging at She Writes

Wednesday, September 25
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish

Thursday, September 26
Guest blogging at Straight From the Author's Mouth

Friday, September 27
Book featured at Read My First Chapter

Friday, September 13, 2019

Straight from the Mouth of Mystery Authors Rosemary and Larry Mild

I, Manuscript

One gloomy afternoon many years ago I, Larry Mild, was feeling low, way down after too many rejection slips. So I picked myself up by writing the following tongue-in-cheek piece. I took the point of view of a manuscript so as not to jeopardize my future chances as an illustrious author.

Hello! I am Manuscript, a neglected one at that, and whether you know it or not, stories like mine have feelings, meaning, and purpose. My creative parents have endowed me with certain of their finest attributes, and I have an obligation to convey these to my readers. Despite my eagerness to please and inform, I am also bound to endure a long and arduous journey.

One doesn't easily forget the anxiety of being suppressed in the dark recesses of a mind—mulling, gestating, and waiting for a life on paper, or at least a trial at lip service. During my struggle to exist, I'm called many things; finally, I'm baptized with a working title. My initial exposure to the monitor is terrifying. I'm in my first draft and shaking. My prenatal experience is filled with disruptive punctuation, spelling, re-phrasing, and annoying forethoughts and flashbacks. Then, emotionally torn from my birth printer, I arrive in complete innocence, all eight-and-a-half by eleven inches and twenty-pound bond of me. If I am not perfect, how can this be my fault? I had nothing to do with my origins. In fact, I appeared on the purest of blank pages made from humble rag and mere pulp.

I crave my parents' affection. Do they think me precious and commendable? If I'm rejected, what will become of me? I could be thrown in drawers to jaundice away, shelved to gather layers of dust, locked up in loose-leaf binders to serve some guiltless sentence, crunched and mutilated beyond repair in deep round baskets, and utterly abandoned for eternities.

I survive, but there are worse travails ahead for the likes of me. My pages are deemed worthy to travel to one or more meccas of literary processing gurus—there to be judged, not only for gems of wordsmanship, style, content, or cohesiveness; but mostly for the possible wealth and privilege I can generate in the publishing field. My touted attributes and my parents' pedigrees are included in many initial query letters to addresses obtained on websites that vociferously solicit submissions of my particular phylum, family, and genre. I try to contain my emotions when I see these letters eliciting only a modest number of form letter responses—a few with invitations to submit in the future and a considerably larger number to effectively take a literary hike. I'm further insulted when the message is "My stable is full" or "We're not taking any new clients until the next millennium" or "We are no longer accepting submissions in that genre." The negative responses make me wonder why they are still soliciting on their websites. Yet the affirmative few turn a bright new page in my life.

What happens next? I'm forced to lose weight, shed numerous words, and even endure a physical makeover. My margins need to be girdled to accommodate some ideal figure. My header is messed with and my footer is stepped on or truncated. My pagination requires a new location. And all of these hoop jumps are the result of fickle cosmetic forces called submission guidelines that are specified on very differing guru websites. These same guidelines warn against simultaneously submitting my cloned siblings elsewhere, even though the decision on my submission may take up to a year. Good grief! At that rate, we'll all be in the Great Filing Cabinet in the Sky before very many gurus can be queried. Only a writer who believes in the tooth fairy complies with that one.

With mixed feelings, my cloned siblings and I finally leave home for the first time, but not alone. Accompanied by an SASE, a cover letter, and an acknowledgment-of-receipt postcard, I am slipped into a manila envelope, sealed into darkness, and stamped abruptly on one shoulder before being dropped altogether in some postal receptacle. Getting there is grueling—thin air, rough handling, more stamping, and finally, I'm deposited in someone's IN basket. My package is opened, and my cover letter perused by one or more recent English majors of school-teacher proportions, who make the first-level decision—either I'm someone they'd love to read or not. The nots are redirected toward the dreaded "slush pile," unopened, but not quite refused...yet. There's the slim chance that I'll see sunlight again if another first-level decider wants a look before automatic rejection time. The pile containing my cohorts and me is picked over periodically, and usually I am returned home to Momma in my SASE with a rejection slip. I am listed as dead and sent to the Potter's Field of manuscripts. All the while, my parents eagerly await word of their beloved offspring. The non-replies hurt most.

But wait! A publishing house pronounces my plot fit, of sound meaning, and full of promising dollar signs. Apparently, I also have enough luck and talent to get past first readers, editors, marketing sages, and executive councils. And so…my creative parents are offered a publishing house contract. I'm so excited I can feel the words pumping through my sentences. Wow, a lowly member of the Manuscript family like me being promoted to Book! And with covers, too!

When the initial excitement wears down, I find that I have been sold on the block like some slave with neither basic nor extended rights. I learn that I'll be indentured that way for years to come. I'm to serve in darkness, not knowing my actual publication date, nor any other milestone in my development. I have no approval in how my appearance will be altered. Suddenly, e-mails and phone calls go unanswered. Have I been forgotten? Or worse, lost? What has become of me?
One day, my text, clothed in a fixed format, arrives for proofreading. My parents examine me line-by-line and my faults are duly noted and transmitted back in record time. Weeks pass, and an out-of-nowhere cover design turns up. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I can live with it. Hey, I've got an ISBN number and a price tag now. And my parents' names, they're in large print. That's got to mean something. Still no publication date yet.

That is, until a package finally finds its way to the front door. Undressing me from my plain brown wrappings, my parents find a revelation within. I have my arty covers and hundreds of printed pages. I am dedicated and acknowledged as well. I am truly Book!

ROSEMARY AND LARRY MILD, cheerful partners in crime, coauthor mystery, suspense, and fantasy fiction. Their popular Hawaii novels, Cry Ohana and its sequel Honolulu Heat, vibrate with island color, local customs, and exquisite scenery. Also by the Milds: The Paco and Molly Murder Mysteries: Locks and Cream Cheese, Hot Grudge Sunday, and Boston Scream Pie. And the Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries: Death Goes Postal, Death Takes A Mistress, and Death Steals A Holy Book. Plus Unto the Third Generation, A Novella of the Future, and three collections of wickedly entertaining mystery short stories—Murder, Fantasy, and Weird Tales; The Misadventures of Slim O. Wittz, Soft-Boiled Detective; and Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i.

ROSEMARY, a graduate of Smith College and former assistant editor of Harper’s, also delves into her own nonfiction life. She published two memoirs: Love! Laugh! Panic! Life With My Mother and the acclaimed Miriam’s World—and Mine, for the beloved daughter they lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. On her lighter side, Rosemary also writes award-winning humorous essays, such as failing the test to get on Jeopardy; and working for a giant free-spending corporation on a sudden budget: “No new pencil unless you turn in the old stub.”  

LARRY, who was only called Lawrence when he’d done something wrong, graduated from American University in Information Systems Management. In 2019 he published his autobiography, No Place To Be But Here: My Life and Times, which traces his thirty-eight-year professional engineering career from its beginning as an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, to a field engineer riding Navy ships, to a digital systems/instrument designer for major Government contractors in the signal analysis field, to where he rose to the most senior level of principal engineer when he retired in 1993.

Making use of his past creativity and problem-solving abilities, Larry naturally drifted into the realm of mystery writing, where he also claims to be more devious than his partner in crime and best love, Rosemary. So he conjures up their plots and writes the first drafts, leaving Rosemary to breathe life into their characters and sizzle into their scenes. A perfect marriage of their talents.

THE MILDS are active members of Sisters in Crime where Larry is a Mister in Crime; Mystery Writers of America; and Hawaii Fiction Writers. In 2013 they waved goodbye to Severna Park, Maryland and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they cherish quality time with their daughters and grandchildren. When Honolulu hosted Left Coast Crime in 2017, Rosemary and Larry were the program co-chairs for “Honolulu Havoc.”

Over a dozen worldwide trips to Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Great Britain, France, Italy, Israel, Egypt, and more have wormed their way into their amazing stories. In their limited spare time, they are active members of the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival committee, where Larry is the statistician and recordkeeper for their film ratings.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Straight From the Mouth of Gina Heumann, Author of 'Love Never Quits'


By Gina Heumann

We knew something was off right away.

We had just traveled 2700 miles to pick up our second child in Guatemala – our second adoption from the same country. Our first baby, Landrey, was incredibly easy, so much so that my friends called him “The Stepford Child”. We were convinced his awesome behavior was due to our stellar parenting, so we assumed that new baby Maddox would be just as easy.


We didn’t know the signs to look for back then and had never heard of attachment disorders. We chose Guatemala because we could get babies as young as 4 months, and assumed if there were any issues before we picked him up, we would be able to fix them with love and attention. Boy, were we mistaken!

From the beginning, Maddox was a fussy baby. He didn’t make eye contact and didn’t smile easily. In fact, we discovered as he got a little older that the only way to get a picture of him smiling was to have someone chase him while another person set up the camera and tried to capture him as he was running past.

He didn’t sleep. It seemed the planets had to align in order to get him down, and my husband spent several hours every night putting him to bed. For years. He awoke at least 4-5 times a night until he was eleven.

Even at 6 months old, the kid was DIVING across the table to grab our food. It was then (and after meeting a completely detached foster mom) that I started to suspect he was neglected before we adopted him.

As he grew older, we started to experience intense meltdowns. Like REALLY intense. He could scream for four hours over something as silly as asking us to play a song again – on the radio. If we were unable to fulfill his requests, he would scream. And scream. And scream. And then throw things – whatever was within arms length, and when I figured out to keep items out of reach, he’d take off his shoes and throw them. As time went on, he would destroy property – TVs, computers, lamps, car windshields, you name it. If we put him in timeout in his room, he would throw the lamp, the table, even take pictures off the wall and smash them so that the floor was covered in glass. He’d throw things at me, punch holes in the door, pull my hair. At one point, he punched me in the face. At 3am. While I was sleeping. Because I took away his video games eight hours earlier.

We were at a loss. We tried therapy. In the beginning, they assumed it was a parenting issue and offered us behavioral charts, marbles, stickers. You know, the techniques that work for “regular” kids. All of them worked on my first son. NONE of them worked on Maddox.

Over time, we tried other types of therapy: individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, in-home therapy (which is really weird – a therapist comes to your home and tries to be invisible while you go about your business and pretend he’s not there… then he interferes as necessary. So uncomfortable!) We took parenting classes. We tried homeopathy, neurofeedback, nutritionists, and even the Brain Balance program.

He was eventually kicked out of school, sent in handcuffs to the Juvenile Assessment Center, appeared in court, and had to serve a summer of community service at the ripe old age of 12. That felt like rock bottom to me.

I have never felt so helpless and alone in my whole life. Strangers in the grocery store witnessing a public meltdown would assume I was a terrible parent. Most of the time I could tell by the looks on their faces, but on rare occasions, they’d tell me right to my face. “You should be embarrassed. You’re failing as a mother”, said one lovely woman who was “only trying to help.” UGH.

Not until we identified a proper diagnosis 10 years in were we able to find an expert in Reactive Attachment Disorder. With this doctor’s help, we were finally able to find some peace for our family. We did a family intensive therapy that lasted two solid weeks, four hours a day, with four therapists, and all four of us. This experience was hard… probably the most intense and soul-searching thing I’ve ever done, but over time, we realized that this therapeutic effort was the greatest money we’ve ever spent on our family.

We also found Maddox a school that was designed for kids with social, behavioral and academic challenges. The environment offered incredibly small class sizes, experiential learning, meditation and yoga, a social worker on staff who met with them every day, and even a weekly visit from the school therapy dog.

That was three years ago. Today, Maddox is doing amazing. He’s finishing up his freshman year at the public high school, which he chose primarily because he wanted to be in a marching band. Music has been great for him, and he’s now a member of six different bands both at his school and in the metro area. He is playing both the tuba and the bass trombone. Smallest kid, biggest instrument. He loves it!

We haven’t seen a violent incident in over two years and he’s incredibly mellow now. His grades have improved. He has a group of friends. He even has a girlfriend, who he’s been meeting at the mall or the library for almost a year. Life is good.

I’m so proud to have a success story to share. Our journey wasn’t easy, and I wouldn’t wish RAD on my worst enemy, but I’m happy to say that we never quit searching for answers and trying new alternatives. I love this kid with all my heart. And love never quits.

About the Author

Gina Heumann is a true Renaissance woman: wife, mother, architect, designer, instructor, author, speaker, and sales rep for an award-winning Napa Valley winery. She and her husband, Aaron, adopted Landrey in 2001 from Guatemala and then went back for Maddox three years later. Gina’s love of learning and dedication as a mother inspired her research of different treatments and therapies that eventually led to this inspirational success story about conquering Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Her latest book is Love Never Quits: Surviving & Thriving After Infertility, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Website Link:

About the Book:

WHACK… At three in the morning Gina was sound asleep, yet somehow she was smacked in the head. She looked over at her husband, thinking perhaps he accidentally rolled over and flopped his
arm on top of her, but he was sleeping soundly and facing the opposite direction. She turned to the other side and glaring back at her was her eight-year-old child.

“Did you just hit me?”

“Yes, and I’d do it again.”


“Because you took away my video games.”

“That was EIGHT HOURS AGO. And you’re still mad about it?”

“I wish I could kill you.”

This is the true story of the hell one family lived through parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder, a severe diagnosis related to children who experienced early-childhood trauma.

This inspirational story covers over a decade of daily struggles until they finally found resolution and made it to the other side. The family remained intact, and this once challenging son is now achieving things never thought possible. 



Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Straight From the Mouth of Soren Paul Petrek, Author of Wolves At Our Door

Wolves at Our Door is the immediate sequel to Cold Lonely Courage.  I wanted to revisit my protagonist, Allied super-assassin Madeleine Toche.  In Wolves, Madeleine and her mentor Berthold Hartmann go after the Nazi Atomic Bomb project in a bid to keep the Nazis from turning their inevitable defeat into absolute victory and world domination.  Hartmann, a German Jewish war hero
from WWI, and Madeleine’s mentor and trainer, take on the SS infiltrating the notorious Dora concentration camp whose Jewish slave labor is used to build V-2 rockets, soon to be fitted with operational atomic warheads.  In writing Wolves, I was able to entice my French publisher, Editions Encre Rouge to sign the entire Madeleine Toche series in English and French.  Although an Indie publisher, Editions Encre Rouge is distributed by the giant publisher Hachette.  The Madeleine Toche series is for sale in 60 countries in English and French.

Overall my inspiration comes from the desperate need for more action adventure, thriller and military-themed novels featuring women as the heroes.  There are hundreds of real-life examples from history where women played the pivotal and essential roles in successful military and clandestine campaigns.  I wanted the world to recognize these obscure heroes, so many of whom lost to time, will never have their stories told.

In mainstream literature and films, the female characters are so often stunningly beautiful, indestructible and dominant.  Real heroes are usually must act alone, with only their courage and sense of what’s right and wrong to guide them.

Here’s an important quote from the officer who recruited women for the British Special Operations Executive in WWII:

“I was responsible for recruiting women for the work, in the face of a good deal of opposition, I may say, from the powers that be.  In my view, women were very much better than men for the work.  Women, as you must know, have a far greater capacity for cool and lonely courage than men.”
—Captain Selwyn Jepson, British Special Operations Executive Senior Recruiting Officer, World War Two.

About the Author

Soren Petrek is a practicing criminal trial attorney, admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1991.  Married with two adult children, Soren continues to live and work in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Educated in the U.S., England and France Soren sat his O-level examinations at the Heathland School in Hounslow, London in 1981.  His undergraduate degree in Forestry is from the University of Minnesota, 1986.  His law degree is from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota 1991.
Soren’s novel, Cold Lonely Courage won Fade In Magazine’s 2009 Award for Fiction.  Fade In was voted the nation’s favorite movie magazine by the Washington Post and the L.A. Times in 2011 and 2012.
The French edition of Cold Lonely Courage, Courage was published January 2019, by Encre Rouge Editions, distributed by Hachette Livre in 60 countries.  Soren’s contemporary novel, Tim will be released along with the rest of the books in the Madeleine Toche series of historical thrillers.
His latest book is the historical action adventure novel, Wolves at Our Door.

Straight From the Mouth of Lee Matthew Goldberg, Author of Wolves At Our Door

The Inspiration Behind the Desire Card

By Lee Matthew Goldberg

I began writing The Desire Card in 2012. At the time, I never imagined it would be the first in a series. The sequel Prey No More will be out later this year, and I’ve recently finished the third and fourth book as well. 

Occupy Wall Street was a protest movement that began around the same time I started the book, which raised issues about economic inequality between the wealthiest 1% of the population and everyone else. I had also been speaking to a friend who was a medical resident and learned two things about the human liver. One, it can regenerate in a matter of weeks. And two, if you need a liver transplant, it can take a while to move up the donor list and no amount of money helps speed the process. The two ideas merged. An organization catering to the 1% that promised “Any wish fulfilled for the right price.” And a desperate man on Wall Street who needs a new liver and goes to extreme measures to get one.  

The book was sent out by my agent to many big publishers but it was proving a tough sell. Too dark (one editor wanted it to be lighter), or they were hesitant about publishing a series. I had heard great things about Fahrenheit Press and on a whim sent both books to its publisher who was getting on a flight when he read my query. The Desire Card became his flight and when he landed, he wanted to schedule a call. Ultimately, he bought the first two books in the series.  

Overall, I have an idea for the fifth book and would probably end the series there, but who knows? With the main character being the shadowy organization called the Card, there are a multitude of possibilities for future books.  

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series ( He lives in New York City. Follow him at and @LeeMatthewG.