Thursday, November 14, 2019

Book Feature: The Devil and Dayna Dalton by Brit Lunden @britlunden @pumpupyourbook

Brit Lunden
* Fantasy Romance *

Author: Brit Lunden
Publisher: Chelshire, Inc.
Pages: 128
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Reporter Dayna Dalton’s reputation has been ruined since birth. The daughter of wild child, Becky Dalton, is expected to follow her mother’s footsteps; never given a chance to prove she’s different. Dana’s been in love with Clay Finnes since she was a teenager. Her unrequited love for Sheriff Finnes leaves her empty. He’s happily married and unavailable. Instead, Dayna finds herself stuck in the revolving door of bad relationships. But this is Bulwark, Georgia, a town where strange things are always happening. Dayna is doomed to this loveless life until she can find someone who will appreciate the depth of her character. Can she overcome her fears and look beyond her own perceptions to accept a greater love?



“I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.”
Marilyn Monroe
The crisp, clear sunlight was not her friend. Dayna Dalton winced at the bright light that squeezed in through the slats of the venetian blind. She reached over and gave the cord a hard tug, sending the pint-sized bathroom into near darkness. Behind her, the shower head dripped with a steady plop, plop that reminded her of the exposé she did on water torture in Guantanamo Bay that never got published. It was deemed too harsh to print.
The Bulwark Advance preferred her to write…fluffy pieces. 

She sneered thinking of the crap on her computer, the half-written article about the elusive Easter Bunny that awaited its final edit. She hung her head in shame, thinking of what her sorority sisters from Georgetown would feel if they knew where Dangerous Dayna Dalton had ended up. There’d be hell to pay in the form of eternal humiliation.
Dayna twisted the faucet, her freckled knuckle turning bone white from the effort. It was no use; the leak continued relentlessly, driving a hole in her throbbing head. Oh, that last round of shots was totally not necessary.



Brit Lunden is a prolific author who’s written over 50 books in assorted genres under different pen names. Bulwark was her first effort in adult fiction and was chosen by several of her fellow authors as the basis for a new series, A Bulwark Anthology.  Using her characters, they are creating new denizens in spin-off stories to this bizarre town. Brit Lunden lives on Long Island in a house full of helpful ghosts.


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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Interview with Jennifer Oneal Price Author of EmpowerEd

Jennifer Price is a special education attorney in the Pittsburgh metro area who has received awards for her legal skills and advocacy.  As a former prosecutor, Attorney Price is very familiar with the courts and believes in making sure every child has an opportunity to succeed both in school and in life.  Her boutique law firm provides services protecting and defending against abuses of the criminal justice system, as well as the educational systems.  With 10 years of experience, Attorney Price’s advocacy has resulted in successes, including getting criminal charges withdrawn, preventing children from getting expelled out of school and federal civil rights lawsuits. Aa a speaker, she has presented at seminars and workshops and has also made regular television appearances for her legal opinions.




About the Book:

This book outlines the progressive steps taken to address the educational needs of an exceptional child. From the Child Find process to filing a Due Process complaint, courts have addressed many legal issues. This book goes through court cases on some key issues from 2018 with an included workbook-style composition section after the cases. Parents and educational advocates will be able to read the cases and use the Thought Questions and composition space to take notes to better analyze their own case and advocate for their child's educational rights.


Amazon →

Thank you for this interview! I’d like to know more about you as a person first. What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m a mom and attorney (sometimes in that order). I have two children, a college freshman and a 3-year son. My son keeps me busy with playdates, playgrounds, and playing with cars. I also have a private practice that focuses on
disability law. I have a special niche in the area of special education law, but I also handle other disability-related issues. While my 3-year old is in preschool, I run my legal

When did you start writing?

I started writing this book last year, but I’ve started and stopped writing two fiction novels for the past 4 years. While I wish I could say life got in the way and I didn’t have time, having published this book, I think the truth is that fear got in the way. There was a major fear of the unknown (writing and publishing processes). The biggest impetus behind getting this book out there came from wanting to give parents an effective toolset for handling issues with the school district. Parents always wanted information, especially legal updates but never knew how to use those updates for their own situation.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that
be and why? 

Martha’s Vineyard. I love the Vineyard and have visualized, for years, getting a cottage on the beach and just writing, overlooking the ocean. Just being there puts me in a calm state of mind. Coastal life is very calming and relaxing. I’ve always loved working outside. I even spent many days studying for the bar exam outside in the park. Being able to hear the waves crash in the background is that much more inspiring.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do? 

Continue implementing more of my marketing plan. It seems like there’s always a marketing idea for your book that can be done. While the whole writing/publishing process can be overwhelming, the marketing part of it is what I like the most.

Back to your present book, EmpowerEd: Using Real Case Examples to Look Deeper into
IEP Management, how did you publish it? 

I self-published to have more control over the publishing date. Publishing it at the beginning of the school year was important to me since that time of year and soon thereafter is when parents begin to have meetings with school officials over concerns with how things are going.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research? 


Why was writing EmpowerEd: Using Real Case Examples to Look Deeper into IEP
Management so important to you? 

Writing this book was important to me because I came across too many parents who felt overwhelmed and out-resourced by the school district during meetings. They all were interested in learning about legal updates, but they also wanted to know how they could apply the court cases to their own situation. That is why I wrote this book - to help parents understand how the legal cases can be used and also understand how the school district thinks. Research was conducted a few years ago and showed that approximately 55% of parents are unrepresented at hearings, while 100% of school districts are represented by an attorney. In the end, only about 10% of parents won their cases. I wrote this book to help them learn how to more effectively be their own lawyer.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is? 

I think I get my best ideas from watching or listening to various successful entrepreneurs on TV or podcasts.

Plus, I’m a big fan of Shark Tank, which has also given me ideas for marketing.

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Interview with Stephanie Bentley Author of Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical

Stephanie Bentley is the creator and composer of Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical, a funny, sexy love story inspired by romantic fiction and ’90s pop music. Stephanie is a musical theater/musical improv comedy performer and audiobook narrator with experience acting in television and film. She studied improv at Upright Citizens Brigade and has performed all over Los Angeles and New York.

Stephanie and her cast are available for live performances of pieces from the book.

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here:

Combining a titillating collection of romance tropes, LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL, created and composed by Stephanie Bentley, and performed by a multitalented musical cast from the Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade, makes a surprising and innovative contribution to the audiobook listening experience. With 20 original songs inspired by ’90s pop music and a spicy story penned by erotica ghostwriter Miranda Ray at its core, the musical parody pushes the limits of sexual innuendo right to the edge before tipping over into the throws of uproarious ridiculousness.

When sassy Raleigh Jackson interviews for a six-week contract to be the fake girlfriend of Trystan Lay—schmillioniare playboy, politician, ex-Navy Seal, songwriter/astronaut, and “the world’s most perfect human”—she knows the outcome will change her life.

A student/waitress/intern living with her obligatory best friend, Kim, Raleigh overcomes her medical condition—chronic clumsiness—and snags the job, thus beginning a whirlwind of extravagant travel and glitzy events.

LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL covers the span of romance novel clichés from the brooding playboy to the fake romance with sprinkles of paranormal love. The story is sultry, silly, snarky—and hilarious. Chapter titles are sung in harmonies invoking the R&B group En Vogue.
The characters voice their own dialogue and routinely burst into song, as they fumble through pillow talk, and relive steamy memories in songs such as “Talkin’ Dirty” and “50 Shades of Lay.”

The creator’s inspiration for LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL came from her unusual day job. “I’m a romance audiobook narrator by day and a musical theater performer by night. Every day in the booth, I giggle at the same tropes coming up again and again. Then these song lyrics just started coming to me, “The models in my bed don’t keep me warm at night,” for example. I started writing and pretty soon, the whole musical just came tumbling out!”

LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL has an e-book companion containing the story and all of the lyrics, and there may be plans for a sequel: “I thought we had hit most of the tropes, but now I realize we may have only just begun,” Stephanie says.

Book Info:
Audiobook, $6.95; 2 hours 37 minutes; ISBN: 978-1089023753
E-book, $2.99; 104 pages
Publication date: August 2019
Published by Stephanie Bentley


Amazon →

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m so happy to get to do this interview, thank you so much for having me!! So, when I’m not writing musicals, I’m a fulltime audiobook narrator and mom to two adorable and loud kiddos.

When did you start writing?

I have been writing sketches and song parodies forever, in fact I was the song chair of my sorority Delta Gamma where my job was to change the lyrics of popular songs to include the names of the dorms or pizza or whatever else college kids talk about. I wrote my first musical, which I performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles in 2017, and it sparked so much excitement and inspiration in me that I’ve been doing it ever since.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

I know this is a little different since I’m a musical writer, but the thing that I can really attribute to changing me from just a performer into a writer was studying and performing improv and musical improv. Getting up on stage several nights a week to create entire musicals in the span of 30 minutes and leaving with some of those songs still in my head, inspired me to believe that if I could help make up 6 songs a night, maybe I could actually write at least 1 song, and then another, and another…

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I’m not sure yet what my next musical will be, but I would go wherever I felt the most spiritually connected to the universe, and demand to know what to do next! I was in Hawaii recently and the stars there were other-worldly, I bet if I went there I could get some answers from those stars.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

4 hours!?! That is the hugest amount of time I have ever heard of in my life since having kids! I want to say that I would do 60 things, but I would likely spend the first hour struck dumbfounded that I had that much time and paralyzed not knowing what to do first, then go race through my to do list as fast as possible (so boring I know! I wish I could say I would get a massage and take a nap, but a mama’s gotta do what she’s gotta do to work, raise kids and publish a book, ya know?)

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

That’s such a fun question and it always makes me think of Disney movies (or maybe that’s just because I have Stockholm syndrome from my captors forcing me to watch them 24-7) and how they always have such a colorful different setting. My first musical was set in NYC, Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical is sort of set in the ‘big city’, so maybe something different like a small town or an island…like Hawaii…(can you tell I’m just gaming to get myself back under those stars?!)

Back to your present book, Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical, how did you publish it?

This one is self-published because although I obviously have relationships with publishers who I work for, I wanted this to be something I could shape and release from start to finish, and I have been really happy so far with the way it’s happening!

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Hawaii? Sorry, I’ll stop talking about Hawaii, although this is really the questionnaires fault if you want to place the blame…. OK. The place I really did my research was inside the amazing double-walled giant voiceover booth sitting to my left as I write this. As an audiobook narrator reading mostly romance, I am reading 5-7 romance novels a month, which might not sound like a lot to some readers, but for me is 5-7 more romance novels a month than I had ever read before. Now, of course, I have been bitten by the romance bug and I can’t get enough. Every day in the booth, though, I get to giggle about some trope or stereotype that surfaces once again, and pretty soon these lyrics just started coming into my head: ‘The models in my bed don’t keep me warm at night, and no amount I spend can make me feel alright…’ for example. I had the incomparable gift of on the job inspiration day in and day out, and as you can imagine, the rest of the musical pretty much wrote itself.

Why was writing Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical so important to you?

I’m one of those performers who must be creating, or I feel out of alignment with the universe, and since having kids, I haven’t been able to do as much live theater, improv or singing. I knew I wanted to create something, and once those lyrics started coming to me, I knew it would be a parody of romance novels. Since I couldn’t easily set up a stage performance, I decided to try something totally new that hadn’t really been done before and make an audiobook musical. I believe that this genre is going to really blow up for those of us who love audiobooks and musicals, and I’m so incredibly excited to be a pioneer in this area sharing the first of its kind with the world!

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I usually get my ideas when I’m in motion, doing something simple like dishes, walking the stroller or driving the car, so I always try to have my phone nearby to record voice memos of whatever is coming to me. I think it may be because it’s the only time my brain turns off enough to hear the divine inspiration whispering through the air…or more likely it’s one of the only times I’m not being climbed on by tiny little people yelling ‘Mom! Mom! Mom!’ and wiping sticky fingers into my hair.

Any final words?

I’m so overjoyed to get to share this audiobook musical with your audience and I hope that it tickles them to see these romance tropes get a song and dance salute, in a cheeky love letter to everything that makes romance novels and conventions so compelling to those of us who cherish them!

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New Thriller! Widow's Run by TG Wolff @tg_wolff #bookfeature #bookspotlight

TG Wolff
* Thriller *

Author: TG Wolff
Publisher: Down & Out Books
Pages: 236
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

One night in Rome. One car. One dead scientist. Italian police investigate, but in the end, all they have are kind words for the new widow. Months later, a video emerges challenging the facts. Had he stepped into traffic, or was he pushed? The widow returns to the police, where there are more kind words but no answers. Exit the widow.

Enter Diamond. One name for a woman with one purpose. Resurrecting her CIA cover, she follows the shaky video down the rabbit hole. Her widow’s run unearths a plethora of suspects:  the small-time crook, the mule-loving rancher, the lady in waiting, the Russian bookseller, the soon-to-be priest. Following the stink greed leaves in its wake reveals big lies and ugly truths. Murder is filthy business. Good thing Diamond likes playing dirty.

"TG Wolff's novel is for crime-fiction fans who like it action-packed and hard-edged. Written with feisty panache, it introduces Diamond, one of the most aggressive, ill-tempered, and wholly irresistible heroines to ever swagger across the page." --David Housewright, Edgar Award-winning author of Dead Man's Mistress


Amazon →



“Dixon.” It was the resigned statement you used when a kid straight up beat you at your own game.
“Hey Diamond.” Chips crunched in my ear. “How’s Italy?”
“How’d you get this phone number?”
“I called myself from it last night.” A bag crackled in the background.
“When and where was I?”
“When you went to the bathroom. You said make yourself comfortable.”
I wasn’t gone three minutes, not three minutes. “And you took it as an invitation to steal my phone number?”
“You know, for emergencies and stuff.” Either he had shoved another fistful of chips into his mouth or he had wadded up the bag into a ball and was gnawing on it.
“Dix, you put one more chip in your mouth and I’m going to swim across the Atlantic and give you a chip bag colonoscopy.”
He laughed. “That’s something old people get, right? Something like a camera up the butt?”
It’s hard to physically intimidate someone who lived day in, day out with violence. You know. Been there, done that, got the black eye. The one he’d gotten for his birthday still had days until it would fade.
“Yeah, Dix. I hear it comes with good drugs though. So, who is she?”
This time he glugged liquid, finishing it with a sloppy lip slap. “Who is who?”
“You know who.”
“Do who know you?”
I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Dix, you’re making my head spin. You texted me you know ‘who she is.’ Tell me who she is while I’m still young enough to care.”
“Oh. Her. Ilsa Dumanovskaya. I’m not making it up either. Musta sucked to spell her name in kindergarten. Least her parents gave her a short first name.”
I leaned against an ice-cold plaster wall, prepared to commence head pounding. “Why should I care?”
“Because of Doc.” Doc. That was the nickname the kids at the YPF gave Gavriil. He liked the stories I brought home and showed up one afternoon. It wasn’t even “take your husband to work day.” I found him arguing with the science teacher over a chemical equation. They got past their chalkboard differences, created a bouncy-ball polymer, then had contests to see which formula bounced higher. The kids loved it. Gavriil came in once a week for lecture and the occasional spontaneous laboratory experiment.
“She’s the woman he met in Rome.”
My chin snapped up. My heart beat in double time. I had her face, now I had her name. I signaled Carlo for pencil and paper. “Give it to me.”
“She owns a bookstore. I have the address for her store and her apartment. Do they call them flats?”
“No idea. Give me the address.” My mouth watered with the taste of deep-fried quarry.
“Three-twenty-one valle Didochachiata.”
My pencil stayed still. “That can’t be right.”
“Maybe I’m not saying it right. Three-twenty-one Vya Deedoshakiata. Better?”
“No. Carlo? Can you figure out this address?” I handed over the phone and recommenced pacing.
Carlo alternated between speaking and listening. Then he laughed. Of course, he and Dix would understand each other. Gibberish was an international language.



TG Wolff writes thrillers and mysteries that play within the gray area between good and bad, right and wrong. Cause and effect drive the stories, drawing from 20+ years’ experience in Civil Engineering, where “cause” is more often a symptom of a bigger, more challenging problem. Diverse characters mirror the complexities of real life and real people, balanced with a healthy dose of entertainment. TG Wolff holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.


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Thursday, November 7, 2019

New Crime Thriller! Justice Delayed is Justice Denied by Preston Howard

Preston Howard
* Crime Thriller *

Author: Preston Howard & Anne Howard
Publisher: PHP
Pages: 335
Genre: Noir Crime Thriller

Retired attorney Preston Howard obsesses about the newly elected, bombastic and narcissistic president, and three corrupt Austin police officers whom he represented and saved from capital murder charges and execution ten years before. After his wife divorces him and his drinking reaches gargantuan proportions, Howard’s thoughts turn to murderous impulses as the only way he can stamp out one, or both of his fixations. Howard and his co-author, daughter Anne Howard, tell the story, often with hilarious observations, of compulsion, addiction, love, and in the end, the search for justice.
“I thought Preston Howard’s first book was terrific, but Justice Delayed is Justice Denied is a home run! One of the best books I’ve read in years.” – John P. Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee
“Preston Howard’s writing and insights into politics and the legal system keep getting better and better. Justice Delayed is hilarious and on point!” – Amy Margulies, Austin, Texas

order your copy below

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I cackled while watching The Donald in June, 2015, as he descended the elevator at Trump Tower like an Arabian potentate, Melania walking below him in one of her bazillion-dollar outfits (or more...can there be more than a bazillion?).
Right off the bat, I figured no rational person would listen to this clown as he ranted about Mexican rapists, recapturing oil in the Mideast, jobs lost to China and Mexico, blah, blah, blah. Right after the Great Bloviator announced his candidacy, Jon Stewart licked his chops and rubbed his hands together in glee but expressed sorrow that he would soon be leaving The Daily Show, unable to skewer this phony poohbah in Jon’s inimitable style.

Boy oh boy, did Jon and I ever get this one wrong, as did most of the elitist commentators—the FOX reporters impostering as legitimate media excluded, of course. And as well did the multiple Republican candidates, who scorned Trump as a laughable huckster not worthy of consideration. His list of gaffes during the campaign mounted day by day, but the Trumpster shrugged them off like water off a duck’s back each time and just kept lying all the way to victory and the White House.

I wonder often how many times after the Republican Convention, Jeb Bush and Marco “Trump has little hands” Rubio asked themselves, “How the fuck did this nimrod beat me?” And Hillary, bless her heart, she must wake up every day thinking “I deserved to win; I was entitled. How could all those deplorables snatch away my victory? How dare they?”



Preston Howard has retired from his rewarding profession as a labor lawyer, where he represented law enforcement officers not only in Texas but across the country. As a renowned expert, he spoke at meetings and conferences about topical labor law issues not only in the United States, but in other countries as well.  He now lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he spends his time writing novels.
His first book, “The Sheltering Palms,” was highly praised. One reviewer said, “…had me hooked right from the start.” Another person wrote, “…storytelling at its best.”

His latest effort, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied,” tracks his struggles with retirement: a divorce from his wife, alcoholism, and thoughts of murder either of the president or three corrupt police offices he represented ten years before. As he wrestles with these concerns, he also dips his foot into the dating scene, meeting an attractive senior lady. As in his first novel, Preston Howard’s observations about the human condition are hilarious and on point.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

New Scifi Military Thriller! SAVE HIM by William M. Hayes

William M. Hayes
* Scifi Military Thriller *

Inside the book

Save Him 3
Author: William M. Hayes
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 245
Genre: Military Faith-based Thriller

Rydel Scott, a brilliant scientist working at a secret military lab, accidentally discovers a form of time travel while working on a project designed to save wounded soldiers in the field. Rydel’s sister, a woman of faith, tells Rydel on her deathbed that she has received a message from God. The message—save Jesus Christ from the cross.

And Rydel Scott travels back in time to do just that.

It is believed even the smallest change to the past can cause catastrophic repercussions for future generations. An elite military unit is sent back in time to hunt Rydel down before he can alter history and possibly kill millions in the process.

The unit and its commanding officers, Colonel John Adams and Unit Commander Ray Catlin, become divided. Catlin, a devout Catholic, claims he witnessed a miracle by Jesus upon arrival in Jerusalem and fervently believes in Rydel’s mission. Adams hasn’t believed in God since he was a boy and his only concern is the safety of the people in the present. They must now choose between the fate of Christ and the fate of present-day mankind.
They must decide if they will Save Him.

Order Your Copy below

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Save Him 5 anim


Near the window inside the room, the nurse and her superior set up a chair with a footstool, blankets, and pillows and brought in a bedside table with wheels. They also placed a nightlight in an outlet below the window for Rydel to see where he could plug in the laptop he'd brought with him in a shoulder bag. He finally left the room briefly while the nurse named Peggy changed his sister's bedding.

Now alone with Karen, the first sound of thunder finally came. Rydel stood by the window for over half an hour, watching the gray clouds form above the city, listening to his sister fighting to breathe behind him. Another rumbling sound as light-tapping rain hit the pane of glass in front of him. He almost began to cry along with the rain—but held it back. Another feeling started to take over, a feeling of contempt toward this God his sister devoutly served with everything she had in her beautiful soul. And this is what she received for her complete devotion—to suffer in a wasted shell of a body at the age of twenty-seven.

How incredibly cruel, he thought. Suddenly, Rydel's awareness of his surroundings alarmed him that something was wrong. He could not hear Karen breathing anymore.

Turning, he came face-to-face with Karen standing in front of him and took a startled step backward.

Not just because of the sight of his sister out of bed—but her appearance. She looked healthy, vibrant.

Karen reached out with both hands and touched Rydel's face.

"He came to me. He has been guiding you these past few years. At last, finding the right soul to give the knowledge to, the one who will help save His Son. He told me about your Placement."
"How? How do you know about Placement?"

"By the broken fence leading to the field where we would play as kids…there is something He needs to show you, Rydel."


Karen closed her eyes and slowly fell forward into Rydel's open arms. Rydel carried Karen back to the bed, placing her down softly, staring down at his sister as her body continued to heal right in front of him. Rydel moved away from the bed and stumbled out of the room, running toward the nurses on duty just down the hallway, the two talking quietly to each other.
Rydel had met the nurses before, but now, frantic, he could not recall their names.


"Mr. Scott—what is it?" the taller of the two nurses, Jackie, asked.

"Something has happened to my sister!" Rydel shouted.

Rydel spun away from the two women and ran back inside Karen's room. The two nurses ran after him, both sharing the same thought—the vital signs monitor had gone down (happening only one time on record at the hospital five years ago) and Karen had passed without anyone noticing but her brother watching over her in the room.

The two women entered the room to see Rydel kneeling at his sister's bedside with his head lowered.

They looked over the patient, then the machines in the room, and everything seemed to be working.

Rydel quickly turned toward the two.

"No, no, no! She wasn't like this before!"

"Calm down, Mr. Scott. She wasn't like what? What did you see—what happened?" Jackie asked. "She wasn't dying! She was cured!"


Early the next day, Rydel sat alone and impatiently in an office, waiting for Karen's doctor, the sunlight streaming through the windows behind an oak desk in front of him. A man in his forties with sandy hair entered the office. He walked behind the desk and eased down into a high-back gray swivel chair.

Lee Stepneake was a man with an excellent reputation not only for saving lives but also for his amazing bedside manner. It was a blessing the way Dr. Stepneake cared for a dying patient and for the family as well.

Knowing Rydel was a man of science—having talked with him briefly—Lee saw no need to comfort Rydel and therefore skipped the approach he was well regarded for by so many. He was at the end of a twenty-hour shift; he was tired and hungry and wanted to go home.
"Your sister has only weeks to live. I am sorry."

Another doctor entered the room. A woman with frazzled hair and eyes that seemed almost halfway shut. Rydel knew the look all too well with the hours he put in at the lab. The woman walked over and stood next to Dr. Stepneake without saying a word.

Rydel nodded a hello toward the woman, acknowledging her, and returned his attention back to Dr.


"She got out of her bed. Coherent. Healthy, it seemed. Somehow, something is happening inside her that is trying to fight off the illness. I saw it happen."

The half-awake woman glanced down at Dr. Stepneake and then stepped closer to Rydel. "Mr. Scott, she hasn't been able to get out of her bed for over two months now. You are tired. Believe me, I understand. The mind can play cruel tricks when a loved one is dying."

Rydel quickly stood up and paced in front of the two doctors, shaking his head, knowing very well what the two were trying to do with him now. Rydel came to an abrupt stop and pointed a finger in the face of the woman doctor with the slept-in hair and droopy eyes.

"Don't talk to me like that, damn it! I know what I saw. I didn't imagine what happened. I'm not crazy!"

"No, you are not. However, the way you are screaming right now, you do sound a little crazy." Frustrated, Rydel turned away and bolted toward the office door. On his way out, he suddenly

"I know what I saw."


Rydel spent the morning and afternoon with his sleeping sister. By early evening, he was out of the Hertz car rental office on 76th Street and in his rented Chevrolet Impala, navigating the streets of Manhattan.
He was heading back to his childhood home in New Jersey.

The hour-long drive seemed like the first time in years he felt calm and at ease. A soothing, whispering voice was calling him to the place his sister had told him to go. He had complete fluidity in his thoughts and a feeling of peacefulness flowing throughout his body.

Everything he was working on at the lab pushed its way out of his mind, and a calming presence began to take over him. His work was now not all-consuming. Those thoughts were put aside, not gone, but on the back burner.

Where he was going became all that mattered. Where he was going would give Karen what she needed. Rydel had no idea what that was, but he knew he had to reach the place his sister had talked about, hoping that the fence and the field would still be there.

The field and remnants of the old broken fence were still there. Nothing much had changed. The house looked different on the property, refurbished. However, the large backyard property line of his childhood home had not changed at all. The homeowners of the present, feeling it was also too much of a hassle to landscape the entire acreage of the property, ignored the fact that the overgrown, weed-strewn wasteland with tall trees dotted here and there was theirs to upkeep.

Standing in the knee-high grass with a half-dead tree behind him, Rydel took it all in. Memories of being a young boy playing hide-and-seek with friends, running after his sister, times when they would—
"Remember playing out here when we were kids, Rydel?"

Rydel turned around so fast he lost his footing and went down on his knees. He lifted his head to see his sister in her hospital nightgown, smiling down at him. Small patches of moonlight lit her face, and thin, tree-limb shadows covered her body.

On his feet, Rydel clumsily stepped closer toward Karen, his legs unsure and his head trying to process what he was seeing. She's not here. She can't be—your mind is not working properly. Too much work. Too much to take, knowing Karen is going to die. Too much!

Rydel closed his eyes, feeling the wind move over him, seeing and thinking nothing, taking time to calm his mind. He breathed in the air passing over him, and the smell of the greenery around him began to make him feel better.

A hand touched the side of Rydel's right cheek, and his eyes snapped open. He was now standing face-to-face with his sister.

"This can't be possible."

"God has given me an extension of life in this world. My life should have ended by now, Rydel. This night is why I kept my illness from you—to show you God's miracle. To make sure you do what needs to be done. There is a reason you discovered Placement. You need to follow me now."

Karen let her hand fall slowly away from the side of Rydel's face and walked past him into the field, and Rydel followed. She walked toward a circular clearing with a sky-reaching dawn redwood placed in the middle of the overgrown landscape.

Rydel stopped and rubbed his eyes. And when he was finished, Karen was suddenly sitting under the towering redwood with her back against the tree, sixty feet away.

"Come sit with me, Rydel," she shouted out.

Fear hit Rydel hard. He feared not just for himself but also for what he could do to help others with his mind's abilities, saving lives with his work.

God, I'm losing my mind.

"You are not losing your mind, Rydel. Come and sit with me. We have a lot to talk about," Karen said, just loud enough to be heard.

The inflection changed in her voice. She spoke in her normal speaking voice from before she became ill; however, there was now this underlying warmth coming from her. With the soothing tone of voice drawing him in, Rydel was starting to peacefully accept what was happening.

Rydel smiled back at his sister, who still sat sixty feet away, and walked over to her. After lowering himself and leaning against the tree, Rydel touched Karen's face, the face of a healthy twenty-seven-year-old woman.

"You're cured. How?"

"By God."

"I don't understand."

As he faced his sister, Rydel's mind began to question what he was seeing. This is not your sister. You are just seeing what you want to see. You are imagining this image of her.

"You are not imagining what you are seeing, Rydel. I am healed right here in front of you now." "That's not possible. My mind has just created you. I wish to God you were cured, Karen. But I'm starting to understand what is happening. The doctors were right. I am worn out. I'm surprised I made it

here without getting in some sort of accident. You are back at the hospital, you are dying, and I will always miss you."

Rydel got back up on his feet and turned away from his sister. After taking three steps, the redwood tree he had been leaning against landed on each side of him, perfectly halved. One tree branch struck his lower cheek, and his cheek began to bleed slightly. The tree never made a sound; it just split perfectly in half from the ground up and fell forward.

Body and face trembling, Rydel looked over his shoulder. Standing between each half of the tree, Karen nodded for Rydel to join her, and he did, moving closer with robotic legs he no longer controlled until he stood in front of his sister.

"A war is coming, Rydel. One you have to help stop."

"A war?" Rydel replied.

Karen slowly nodded three times. "Yes. The one war that will turn the earth into a literal hell. The Other will wipe out humanity. Christ's Second Coming has to be done in His time to save us from that. We let Him die on the cross as a people. We have to save Him."
"Save Him?"

"The earth will burn, Rydel. Did you really believe it was just you creating Placement? God's hand was guiding you to save our Savior."

"Placement is dangerous—"

"It is not dangerous," Karen quickly said. "And you know it. It will save humanity…once He is saved. The message Christ was sent to deliver to the world has to be known in our time. He was crucified before He was able to finish what He was sent here to do."
"You want me to go back in time and save Jesus Christ?"



William M. Hayes lives with his beautiful family in a small suburb in New York. His passion for writing became apparent in his twenties, and he dreams of retiring to a secluded beach house where he can write all day.

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Interview with Leonard Bassed Author of The Witch Port Video Game

Writer-actor-singer Leonard Bassed was born in the town of Middleburg, Mpumalanga and raised in Johannesburg.  He started taking vocal lessons at age eight and studied drama throughout his high school years.  A mentor encouraged him to pursue an acting career.  Leonard went on to complete acting classes in both South Africa and later Los Angeles.  Currently, when not writing or singing, Leonard continues to study acting techniques with the renowned Margie Haber Studio in Hollywood. In his free time, he enjoys travel, reading and movie going.  His latest book is The Witch Port Video Game.


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About the Book:

Author: Leonard Bassed
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 108
Genre: YA

Leonard Bassed had no plan to write a novel titled THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME when he set out to create a movie script with a similar name.  “I had written the pilot script first and I kept the same ending for the novel…everything from the script I wrote found its way into the finished book version of ‘The Witch Port Video Game,’ said writer-singer-actor Leonard Bassed.  “I was able to spend more time developing the characters and their world…the whole thing was just such an organic experience and extremely enjoyable, creative for me.”
THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME tells the story through the lives of three ordinary teens who live in the fictional town of Cradle Creek, USA – a small town they hope to one day escape, attracted by the bright lights and promise of the Big City.  All three are students at a prestigious performing art school with hopes of one day making names for themselves in the entertainment world.
Mr. Bassed continued about his story, “A chance encounter the three have with a girl named Bianca Morris threatens to derail their plans. Bianca introduces them to an enticing video game, ‘The Witch Port Video Game’.  This encounter, coupled with the arrival of the MacQuoid brothers sets in motion a series of bizarre events that spins their lives into chaos and disarray as the three head into a world of sorcery with an ultimate fight for survival.”
As a young boy growing up in South Africa, Leonard dreamed one day of working in the arts.  He wanted to write, to act, to sing.  While drawn to acting and song writing, he was also a good story teller.  “The auditions I would go out for as an actor were never reflective of the kinds of roles I was after to play. It was this realization that led me to writing the pilot script which I planned to pitch to TV and movie producers.  But, once I finished the script I’d grown too attached to the characters and the wonders of their world that ultimately led the script into the shape of a full novel,” he went on to say.
“While the book’s final moments leave us with a rather sudden, enigmatic ending, an end note does indicate a sequel Witch Port Igniting the Coven on the horizon. For those who enjoy the entertaining literary chemistry that results from inquisitive teens and their foray into the mysterious world of sorcery, Bassed’s venture should prove an intriguing reveal.”
--Pacific Book Review

“Filled with cheeky references to famous pop-culture stories of sorcery and mixed with some classic teenage angst, this book is a fast-paced, suspenseful story. The novel’s premise that some teenagers gain special powers through a video game is an updated, modern take on magic and suits the story quite well for a 21st-century setting. The author sets up the story mechanisms so that everything that happens through the students’ video game play also happens in real life. The author states that this novel was originally a screenplay, and those elements shine through, from the descriptive settings to the fast pace in which the action occurs on the page. It will be interesting to see how the protagonists grow with their powers in the sequel.”
--The U.S. Review of Books
Book can be purchased at the author’s web site at

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a singer/songwriter and actor so when I’m not writing I spend my time in studio, recording my music or simply getting my ideas down.  Auditioning for various theatric projects and commercials or taking class.

When did you start writing?

I’ve written all my life mainly for my own enjoyment. I’d start off with the best of intentions but would lose steam, up until now I couldn’t find subject matter that really resonated with me as profoundly as The Witch Port Video Game does. The whole thing came to me fully formed as though it were the book I were always meant to write.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When I initially adapted the pilot script into a novel I did so with the intention to self-publish. I had the realization that the book would turn out to be exactly what I wanted it to be; there was something so satisfying in that for me.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

This is a hard question because I enjoy traveling in general. Ideally, I’d love to write at any coastal or cabin setting, I’ve glamourized the idea of being secluded with nothing to do but write. I’d also love to visit Amsterdam again, but I doubt I’d get much writing done.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

In a perfect world I’d respond by saying I’d write, but I have so much administrative things to do outside of my craft I’d probably choose to tackle that.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I would like to set my next book in a fictional town that I’ve yet to coin.

Back to your present book, The Witch Port Video Game, how did you publish it?

I chose to self-published my novel, I wanted to maintain full creative control.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

It was my traveling that sparked the idea to write my novel, but I only began the writing process when I returned home to South Africa from Los Angeles, California, USA. I was fortunate enough to participate in a Baltic tour seeing much of Europe a few years prior and all these experiences served to enrich my writing.

Why was writing The Witch Port Video Game so important to you?

I was an out of work actor when I wrote the pilot script; the projects I’d audition for weren’t reflective of the roles I hoped to book. This realization led me to write The Witch Port Video Game pilot, but upon its completion I was hooked and knew I had to carry on writing, at that point I was too invested.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I get my best ideas every time I’m isolated from the outside world, whether I’m out in nature or somewhere where communication with me is limited. I’m an introvert so I guess that’s when I feel most comfortable, and when you calm and in your element that’s when creativity flows.

Any final words?

In closing I’d like to thank you for this interview, much appreciated. For more on my book please head over to my website

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