Thursday, July 9, 2020


Dr. Barry Allen Lycka & Harriet Tinka
Nonfiction / Self-Help / Motivational

Each author suffered near-death experiences and sought renewal through the wisdom of human virtues that refocused them on a life of richness, appreciation, joy and service.

Offered in the format of an enchanting and charming dialogue between the two authors, the book also includes their chronicles of pain and triumph, allegories and stories, along with inspirational and insightful quotes. The exploration of each of the 13 Golden Pearls creates a necklace of self-empowerment that will enhance anyone’s life.

The Golden Pearls shared offer a roadmap for living a life that is rich in love, achievement, appreciation, joy and service. They offer strength, comfort and encouragement.

The authors are on a mission to transform lives. Dr. Allen Lycka is now a full-time speaker, author and transformational leader and Harriet Tinka coaches young women to fully embrace who they are through her Empower Me programs.


Amazon U.S. →

 Amazon Canada →


Two lives changed, irreversibly, in an instant, by devastating events…but rather than be destroyed, these two individuals faced the ensuing challenges, embracing them as turning points. Seizing the second chances before them with both hands, they chose the path to “Living a Fantastic Life.” In doing so, they discovered “13 Golden Pearls” to guide them…which they are eager to now share with you - to inspire you for your own journey.

Dr. Allen Lycka has been acknowledged as one of the leading cosmetic dermatologists in the world for three decades. A pioneer in cosmetic surgery, he helped to develop laser assisted tumescent liposuction – an advanced body sculpture technique, and Moh’s Micrographic Surgery, an advanced means of removing skin cancer with 99% success. He has lived and practiced in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada since 1989. He’s written 17 books, 30+ academic papers and hosted the number one internet radio show in the world – Inside Cosmetic Surgery Today. He is a co- founder of Doctors for the Practice of Safe and Ethical Aesthetic Medicine and founder of The Canadian Skin Cancer Association. He has won the prestigious Consumers Choice Award For Cosmetic Surgery for 16 consecutive years.

In 2003, Dr. Lycka’s life changed drastically when he suddenly developed a right foot drop and then misdiagnosed as ALS (Lou Gherigs’ disease). Still, he maintained his status as a leading cosmetic doctor for 30 years.

Because of what he learned, he is co-authoring the book The Secrets of Living A Fantastic Life with Harriet Tinka, a former fashion model and Woman of Distinction. He is also currently co-authoring two more books: one with Corie Poirier entitled, “bLU Talks Presents: Business, Life and the Universe” and one with Jack Canfield entitled, “The Pillars of Success.”

Currently acknowledged as a leading expert in Living A Fantastic Life and Turning Points, he is a transformational speaker, thought leader, coach, and mentor.

Dr. Lycka is happily married to Dr. Lucie Bernier-Lycka for 38 years and they have four lovely daughters and seven beautiful grandchildren. He counts his family as his most important accomplishment.


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As a Turning Point expert, Harriet Tinka is a perfect example of someone finding a need in the community and filling it. Despite dealing with obstacles in her life, she has overcome those hurdles and has found success by inspiring thousands of audiences reach their full potential.

Though stabbed, kidnapped and left for dead, she turned that horrifying experience into motivation. She has inspired and given hope to women who are faced with domestic violence. She is known by her students as a “Powerhouse Role Model” who makes being genuine the most powerful thing of all.
Harriet is an invigorating transformational speaker, passionate life coach, blogger, Chartered Professional Accountant, Football Official, and an ultra-marathon runner. She is the founder and CEO of the award-winning Social Enterprise, Empowered Me Inc, a company whose mission is to inspire and empower girls and women.

Harriet has received numerous awards including YWCA Woman of Distinction, Global Woman of Vision, Afro- Canadian Community Woman of the Year, Action for Healthy Communities Youth Empowerment Award, Rotary Integrity Award and Daughter’s Day Award just to mention a few. She is a tireless philanthropist, and a Toastmaster Divisional Champion.

Harriet feels blessed to have her journey supported by her partner Steve and her three lovable children Tristan, Rhiannah and Aaliyah.

For more information, visit
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Shadow Stitcher by Misha Handman

Misha Handman
Urban Fantasy / Mystery

Basil Stark isn’t the man he once was. A reformed pirate and private detective, he walks the line between criminal and hero, living in the corners of what was once the island of Neverland, its magic slowly fading into the new world of the 1950s.

When a routine missing-persons case turns into a murder investigation, Basil finds himself pulled into a tale of organized crime, murder, unstitched shadows and dangerous espionage. With only a handful of fellow outcasts and a stubborn determination to bring a killer to justice, will he survive the many people who want him dead?



Thursday, February 5th, 1953

There is a game I like to play whenever a client walks into my office. I sit him down — or her, occasionally, but usually a ‘him’ — and ask the simple question, “How can I help you today?” Then I start to count. I’ve found that you can tell quite a bit about someone from how long it takes for them to respond.
            My latest client does not disappoint. As I silently count, I consider the man sitting across from me. Jack Harding looks to be in his fifties, although looks could be deceiving, especially for those who have lived in the city for some time. I myself don’t look a day over thirty in a good light, despite the fact that I am … well … I don’t know exactly how much older. Old enough to remember a time before the city existed.
Regardless, my client appears to be in his fifties. He is slightly portly, with thinning grey hair and a pair of thick glasses. His suit is well-made and carefully pressed, so I gather that he has some money, but I don’t recognize him, so he can’t be too important. There is a small amount of sweat beading on his brow, despite the fact that it is quite cold outside and my office is not well heated. That, combined with the five seconds he spends composing a reply, suggests to me that he is about to give me a problem that seems important and embarrassing to him, but which is actually quite mundane. The fact that he's playing with his pocketwatch without opening or looking at it is even more evidence.
            “Well, Mr. Stark…” he begins, stammering slightly, “I hope that you can help me.”
            He’s stalling.  I glance at Harding’s hands, crossed in his lap, and am not surprised to see a ring on his finger. It will be about a woman. A younger woman, most likely. I give him a polite smile. “Mr. Harding, helping people is what I do.”
            That is not technically correct. What I do, more often, is help one person in a manner which upsets several others. Occasionally I help no one at all, and upset a great many people. But I’ve found that, despite what my mother taught me, it’s more important to be polite than to be accurate.
“Um. Yes.” Harding’s return smile is forced. “I need you to find someone.”
            “Well, Mr. Harding, finding people is one of my specialties. I am particularly good at doing so discreetly.” I lean forward slightly, fixing my best smile on my face. I’ve been told that it can use all the help it can get.
            “Ah. Good. Good.” Harding smiles again, and with some effort I manage to restrain a sigh. This is, bar none, my least favorite part of a case.
Fortunately for my increasingly-frayed patience, my assistant chooses this moment to enter the room with a tray, a pot of tea, and a pair of china cups. “Would you care for some tea, Mr. Harding?” she asks politely.
            “Ah, yes, thank you. No coffee, I suppose?”
Holly and I share a quick look, and then she smiles brightly. “Of course, Mr. Harding. Just let me warm up the pot.”
            “Seems a nice young lady,” Harding says once Holly has left the room. “Piccadilly?”
            I nod once, refraining from comment. Mostly, I’m curious to see where Harding intends to go from here. Many of my clients try to show how open-minded they are by making a comment about how kind I was to hire a Piccadilly Indian as a secretary, and prove themselves to be anything but in the process. Others make crass comments regarding her beauty, suggesting that I keep her for more than her dictation skills. A few simply show their disdain for my life choices, which I am sadly used to. One particularly foolish gentleman suggested that she was my half-breed daughter, which was absurd. Aside from the both of us having black hair, I look nothing like Holly. She takes after her mother — short, bright-eyed, a bit round, and rather gorgeous. I am taller, bony, and I have never been described as handsome. A few people have charitably called me rakish. Usually I get ‘weathered,’ and once I was termed ‘horse face.’
            I am pleasantly surprised when Harding does none of the above. Staring down at the teacups between us, he simply returns my nod and finally starts to speak. “My marriage has not been a happy one, Mr. Stark. It was clear quite early on that my wife and I were not suited for one another.”
Oh dear. “It’s not my place to judge, Mr. Harding, only to help. I take it this missing person is someone … close to you?”
Harding smiles faintly. He pauses when Holly returns with a steaming mug of coffee. Taking it from her with a smile and a nod of thanks, he applies a liberal dose of cream and sugar before stirring. Once she has left, he continues. “Yes, quite close. Angela Vickers is her name. I have a photograph.” Reaching into his jacket, he comes out with a well-worn and folded photo. I take it, then carefully unfold and study it. Definitely a young woman, even younger than I would have guessed — not much older than Holly, unless I miss my guess. She’s smiling, eyes twinkling and hair pale, wearing a glittering evening gown and a fashionable hat.
“Your camera, I suppose?” I ask.
Harding nods. “I’m something of a photography enthusiast.” He takes a sip of coffee, makes a bit of a face, but then takes another. “I first met Angela at a formal dinner I was attending. I must admit that she was not there as a guest, but as a hostess.”
“You became smitten, and asked her to attend some other event with you, I suppose?”
Harding colors and a wistful smile crosses his face. “That’s right. Not one of my usual haunts, mind you. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, but I was delighted when she accepted. Over the past few months, she has been … well, lovely.”
Typical. “You bought the dress and the jewelry she is wearing in this picture.”
Harding’s smile fades as my tone gets through to him. “I bought her some gifts, yes. The smile on her face was worth every penny.” He takes a deep breath. “And for the first several months, it was wonderful, only … in the last few weeks, I’ve felt that something was worrying her. Nothing that she would admit to, of course. She claimed to be perfectly happy. But Saturday night, she wasn’t at her flat when I arrived to pick her up, and now I can’t find her anywhere. The landlord has informed me that she moved without paying her last week’s rent, and I can’t locate her. Frankly, I’m at my wits’ end.”
“Have you spoken with her friends?”
“Well…” Harding bites his lip, taking a long sip of coffee to cover his distress. “I don’t really know many of them, you see. We mostly attended events that were more … upscale.”
Oh dear.
I pick up the photograph again. “Mr. Harding, I hesitate to suggest this, but you do realize the most likely explanation?”
Harding nods, staring down at his coffee. “You think she’s grown tired of the old fart. Now that she has the gifts I bought her, she’s moved on to greener pastures.” He looks up. “But I didn’t imagine her distress, Mr. Stark. I can’t go to the police; I really have nothing but my intuition to rely on, and besides, if it got out that I’d been seeing a girl on the side, the scandal would be very bad for my career. But you’re known for your discretion. I would just—” He breaks off and swallows heavily. “If you do find her and she doesn’t wish to see me again, that will be the end of it. I just want to know that she’s not in any trouble.”
I consider this and the photograph for several moments before responding. “May I hold on to this for a few days?”
Harding looks up hopefully. “You’ll take the case?”
I nod. “I’m sure Holly explained my rates to you. I’ll need her address and any other information you have on her, as well. I can’t guarantee anything, Mr. Harding, but I’ll look into it. And rest assured, I will be discreet.”
            Harding stands with a broad smile, taking my hand as I follow him to the door and shaking it enthusiastically. “Thank you, Mr. Stark. Thank you so much.”
I warn him, “Don’t thank me yet, I might wind up taking your money and finding nothing. A missing person who intends to stay missing isn’t easy to find. She might have taken a ship back to America by now.”
“Nonetheless,” Harding says. “If anyone can find her, you can.”
“Thank you for the vote of confidence, Mr. Harding,” I say. “Now, tell me everything you know.”
Once I have the lady’s address and supposed work address, along with what Harding can remember about her friends and a list of the presents he gave her, I escort him to the office’s front room, and wait while Holly hands him his coat. “I’ll be in touch as soon as I have any information,” I say. As the door closes behind him, I breathe out slowly, turning to look at Holly. “Really?”
She smiles a bit bashfully. “Oh I know, Uncle Basil. But it’s just so romantic!”
            Holly is not actually my niece. But I am a friend of her family’s, I have known her for her entire life, and she’s never gotten out of the habit of calling me that. It’s not worth the energy fighting her on the subject.
“Romantic. Right.” I shake my head, pacing back and forth. “You know that I’ve already solved this case.”
            She sits on the edge of her desk, giving me a dubious look. “I’m listening.”
“An older man meets a young lady who successfully charms him. He spends several months courting her. After winning enough expensive gifts from him, she vanishes into the night. You know exactly what happened.”
“You don’t know that for sure,” Holly protests.
I raise an eyebrow. “Angela Vickers,” I said. “That dreadful movie you dragged me to last year? Angela Vickers was the name of Elizabeth Taylor’s character. So not only do we have a fraud, but a fraud with a dreadfully poor imagination.”
“That movie won six Academy Awards, Uncle Basil.”
“Dreadful,” I repeat.
“And yet you remember the name of one of the main characters,” Holly points out. “Over a year later.”
This was not an argument worth having. “As I was saying, we have someone who has clearly constructed a character, and the character that she has constructed is telling: a high-society debutante, someone flashy and friendly who lures men to their destruction. She accepts a great many gifts from her rich, much older benefactor who works in—” I break off, a thought occurring. “What does Mr. Harding work in?”
“Port authority,” Holly says, trying to hide a smirk. When I change the subject, she tends to assume that it’s because she’s won. “He’s their Human Resources director.”
“God save us from government,” I mutter. “Where was I? Yes. A rich benefactor, a government-type with money to spend and an unhappy marriage. Rich, but not extravagantly so. She grows uncomfortable — or so he believes — and eventually departs without so much as a note.” I shake my head. “In deference to your romantic ideals, Holly, I’ll give you three possible solutions to this situation, all of which have the same ending.”
“Go on,” Holly says, sitting back behind her desk and artfully posing her chin in her hands.
Ignoring her, I continue. “The first solution is also the most likely. Harding’s gifts were getting less impressive as his funds ran down, or else our ‘Angela’ felt that they were about to. She has left in search of greener pastures. The second solution, slightly less likely, is that our mysterious vixen only wished for a certain amount of money, and has departed to live her own life. The third, and I should note by far the least likely option, is that … well … let’s be honest. Harding is a bit of a sad sack.” As I talk, I start pacing around the room. Our space isn’t large. technically, it has three rooms — my personal office, the reception, and a small kitchen. I don’t mind, but it does mean that when I start to walk and talk, I find myself turning around frequently.
Holly is used to me. “I can’t argue with that,” she says. “I felt sorry for him just getting his coffee.”
“It’s entirely possible, if not plausible, that his paramour started to feel guilty about bilking him so thoroughly and has decided to move on to someone she feels is more deserving of her tricks.” I shrug, pulling on my coat. “Unfortunately for our Mr. Harding, all three of those stories have the same ending and that ending involves me wasting quite a bit of time tracking down a woman who does not want to be found, learning that she does not want to be found, and returning to explain to Mr. Harding that, as mentioned—”
“She does not want to be found.” Holly mimics my expression and intonation, and then smiles. “So why did you take the case?”
I pause by the kitchen door and turn to face her. “I enjoy being able to pay the rent,” I say dryly. “Harding seemed to be aware of how unlikely this little mission is. If he wants to spend his dollars confirming what he already knows, my conscience is clear. Besides, I could use the fresh air.”
“I know the feeling,” Holly says, sitting back in her chair. She frowns as I grab my coat. “Are you heading out now?”
            I consider the current tram lines and the area of town I intend to canvass. “I don’t see why not. You can lock up behind me and head home for the night.”
This is clearly not the response that Holly wants to hear. “It’s almost six, Uncle Basil,” she points out. “Dinner is at seven.”
“According to Harding, our mystery lady lives in Marooners. Fifteen minutes on the tram, twenty minutes to talk to a few people and have a glance at our mystery lady’s apartment, twenty minutes to get back to Piccadilly Cross. Which leaves me with five minutes to freshen up before dinner.”
“Mom is going to flip her top if you’re late.”
 “Plum won’t even notice. Besides, I’ve been late plenty of times before. Also, I am not going to be late because I have a schedule.”
“Totally. Flip.” Holly lets the syllables roll across her tongue.
“Holly, we don’t get enough clients that I can afford to leave a case be. I’m just checking out the apartment.”
Holly shakes her head. “I’m just saying, it’s not good manners to ditch a dinner invite. Repeatedly.”
“I’m not ditching anything,” I say, putting on my hat, picking up my cane for protection, and opening the office door. “I’ll be at your house by seven.”
Leaving Holly grumbling behind me, I walk out into the waning light of winter in Everland.

Born on Vancouver Island, Canada, Misha Handman spent his early life immersed in the arts, with one parent a teacher and the other a manager of theatre and opera. Moving across the country to Ottawa, and then Toronto, he began writing at a young age – first writing comics and designing card games for his closest friends and then, buoyed by their approval, gradually expanding out to submissions to magazines and short story collections, and graduating from the University of Toronto with a classic English degree.

Misha has always believed in the importance of entertainment to our health and well-being. He is also interested in our shared fictional history, working in game design to develop collaborative games and story-driven experiences and exploring the new worlds that we are sharing. His fascination with these things led to the development of his first novel, Shadow Stitcher, as an exploration of the English classic “Peter Pan.”

When not writing, Misha spends his time in Victoria, Canada, working as a professional fundraiser for charities – a job he describes as “helping people to help people.” He continues to work on game design on the side, and is always excited to see the myriad ways that people approach story construction and creation, both as a voracious reader of genre fiction and a dedicated player of games.


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Thursday, July 2, 2020

What Did Jesus Say by Rev. Terry Allan Christian

By Rev. Terry Allan Christian
Christian / Nonfiction

This incredible book organizes the teachings of Jesus using only the words spoken by Jesus and nothing more. The book puts readers into an imagined walk with Jesus on the beach, allowing readers to hear over 500 passages spoken by Him as recorded in the 4 Gospels.

“I was asked one time, where did this book idea come from?” says Christian.

“Well, when I was suddenly called away from motivational speaking at the top of my business career, I knew, I was being called to do what Jesus told me, 30yrs earlier. When I asked Jesus what He wanted me to do that wasn’t already being done, Jesus said; ‘Tell them, what I told them and nothing more, add no comments or opinions.’ With those instructions, I composed What Did Jesus Say: The Seven Messages from the Master containing over 500 scriptures spoken only by Jesus to those who loved and followed Him and I’ve added no opinions or comments. Whoever reads this book will know and understand what Jesus said to those who loved and followed Him and what’s expected from those who call Him their Lord and Savior.

Featuring the “best of the best” of what Jesus said, this book is a ‘one of a kind’. The scriptures, stripped of everything save for the words spoken by Jesus, have been composed into seven primary messages and serves as a daily Teaching Devotional.


Amazon →

Message I
The Christ
It’s early morning and the sun is rising over the water.
You can see a crowd gathering at the water’s edge, waiting for Jesus to appear, and teach them.
As everyone begins to quiet, a deep silence falls and the only
sound to be heard are the birds flying above.
Then Jesus suddenly appears and says...

Peace be with you my brothers and sisters
I AM the Christ
I have come down from heaven,
not to do My own will,
but the will of Him who sent Me.
John 6:38
Truly, I Say to You
The Spirit of the Lord
is upon Me,
because He hath anointed Me
to preach the gospel to the poor;
He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Luke 4:18
I say to you who hear,
Come to Me, all you who labor
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you
and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy
and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30
If anyone desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
For whoever desires to save his life will
lose it, but whoever loses his life
for My sake will find it.
For what profit is it to a man
if he gains the whole world,
and loses his own soul?
Or what will a man give
in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:24-26
Again I Say
If anyone thirsts,
let him come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and
where I am, there My servant will be also. If
anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
John 7:37-38 / John 12:26
Now, take heed and listen
Do not think that I came
to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace
but a sword.
For I have come to
set a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law
against her mother-in-law
and a man’s enemies will be those
of his own household.
Matthew 10:34-36
He who loves father or mother
more than Me is not worthy of Me.
And he who loves son or daughter
more than Me is not worthy of Me.
And he who does not take his cross and
follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
I say to you who hear,
He who finds his life will lose it,
and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
Matthew 10:37-39
Most assuredly, I say to you,
he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door,
but climbs up some other way,
the same is a thief and a robber.
But he who enters by the door
is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the doorkeeper opens,
and the sheep hear his voice;
and he calls his own sheep by name
and leads them out.
And when he brings out his own sheep,
he goes before them; and the sheep follow him,
for they know his voice.
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger,
but will flee from him,
for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
John 10:1-5
Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door.
If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved,
and will go in and out and find pasture.
The thief does not come except to steal,
and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd,
one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf
coming and leaves the sheep and flees;
and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
The hireling flees because he is a hireling
and does not care about the sheep.
John 10:7-13
I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep,
and am known by My own.
As the Father knows Me,
even so I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold;
them also I must bring and they will hear My voice:
and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
John 10:14-16
Listen Closely
My sheep hear My voice,
and I know them, and they follow Me.
And I give them eternal life,
and they shall never perish;
neither shall anyone snatch them
out of My hand.
My Father, who has given them to Me,
is greater than all;
and no one is able to snatch them
out of My Father’s hand.
I say to you who hear,
“I and My Father are One.”
John 10:27-30
let these Words sink down in your ears.
I am the true vine,
and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me
that does not bear fruit He takes away;
and every branch that bears fruit
He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you,
unless you abide in Me.
John 15:1,2,4

Assuredly, I Say to You
I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him,
bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me,
he is cast out as a branch and is withered;
and they gather them and throw them into the fire,
and they are burned.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.
And by this My Father is glorified,
that you bear much fruit;
so you will be My disciples.
John 15:5-8
Peace be with you.
Then Jesus started walking and we followed Him.

Since dedicating his life to Jesus at the age of 23, Terry Allan Christian has been reading the red lettered version of the 4 Gospels as recorded in the KJV Bible. Even though Terry reads the whole Bible, his primary focus is on the words of Jesus and the example of His actions.

Terry grew up in a violent dysfunctional family where he quit school at 16 and left home. He stuttered so bad he could only say 3-5 words in a row. His family and friends mocked him and that caused much stress in his early life.

At the age of 23, he had a near death experience and in which he had a dream. In this dream, he was told that one day he would be a teacher for Jesus. Needless to say, he was scared at first because of his stuttering and lack of structured education however, he always had a child-like faith and trust in Jesus as Lord.

After the dream, he was soon hired by the Dale Carnegie Organization and trained in sales and public speaking, where he met a man who taught him how to visually read. During the next few years Terry read several hundred books on the subject of personal growth.

At the age of 30, Terry became a professional Motivational Speaker and Executive Trainer and over the next 20 years he would deliver more than 2,500 presentations to private and public audiences across America and Canada.

Several years ago, Terry retired as a public speaker after feeling the Holy Spirit redirecting his life. He was led to do what Jesus told him many years earlier. After researching the 4 Gospels he composed the book What Did Jesus Say: The Seven Messages from the Master, using only the Words spoken by Jesus as recorded in the 4 Gospels, without adding any personal comments or opinions.
As in all God called missions it took longer, cost more and challenged him to the edge of his faith. He would later say, he had to read the Book of Job just to understand why this was happening to him and was he being tested or penalized. In the end, he was being tested and by the grace of God, he prevailed.

Now after 12 years of study, obedience, difficulty and struggle, this book is now available in Paperback, eBook, Audio Book and Kindle.

Today, Author and Counselor, Rev. Terry Christian is founder of Foundations for Life ‘Online’ Ministries and he presently lives at Negril Jamaica where he does local missionary work in schools and churches while counseling Christians worldwide online thru his program Christians Helping Christians.

Negril, Jamaica is where Rev. Christian went to fast & pray while seeking divine healing for Bladder Cancer. His doctors gave him 3yrs to live so he created a healing sabbatical and after fasting & praying, and walking the beach for 21 days, he returned to his Doctors and they released him ‘cancer free’.

Terry calls this program: The Life Walk –aka- The Miracle Walk and now offers this ‘restoration’ program online or in Negril, for everyone seeking Life, Health or Marriage Restoration.
Terry believes: WITH GOD, all things are possible, all the time, wherever we live and at every given moment, when we pray, believing.


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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Read the First Chapter! SLOW DOWN by Lee Matthew Goldberg

By Lee Matthew Goldberg

How far would you go to make your dreams come true? For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick’s Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth. For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick’s spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good.
Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.

Here’s what readers are saying about Slow Down!

“Slow Down is a frenetic first novel…full of unedifying characters scrambling for the elusive, perhaps imaginary, brass ring.”
Publishers Weekly

“Lee Matthew Goldberg writes like a young Bret Easton Ellis doing a line of uncut Denis Johnson off the back of a public urinal. Memorable in the best possible way, also mostly illegal, Goldberg’s Slow Down is a mad man’s tour of Manhattan’s vices, follies, and ultimate betrayals.”
–Urban Waite, author of The Terror of Living and Sometimes the Wolf

What would happen if one of Raymond Chandler’s 1940’s femme fatales were to join forces with one of Jay McInerney’s enfant terribles? Lee Matthew Goldberg wrings every delectable trope imaginable out of this mashup while still managing a fresh spin. A writer to watch out for.”
–David Kukoff, author of Children of the Canyon

“Slow Down starts fast and gets faster quick, gunning through yellow streetlights on its way to a full collision with your shattered soul. Lee Matthew Goldberg takes on the American Zeitgeist in this stunning debut.”
–Stephen Jay Schwartz, LA Times bestselling author of Boulevard and Beat

Slow Down is a brilliant rush of a work charting the rise and fall of Noah and other pretentious losers. Savor this book.”
Foreword Reviews

“Dark and hard-boiled writing that grabs you by the throat. Slow Down is one of those rare novels that’s so good you want it to go on forever!”
–Nick Pengelley, author of Ryder: An Ayesha Ryder Novel

“The plot takes off…there’s no denying it’s fun to watch rich snots destroy themselves.”

“Goldberg’s portrayal of the New York demimonde is one of the book’s strengths and brings to mind Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero. He also succeeds in marshalling a complicated plot.”


Amazon →

THE STEPS THAT LEAD ME TO MY CATACLYSMIC ENCOUNTER WITH DOMINICK BAMBACH WERE PUT IN MOTION TWO DAYS EARLIER WHEN I GOT THE NEWS ABOUT BEING DOUBLE-FIRED FROM MY SOULSUCKING JOB. Ah, Classic Screw-Up Noah. I’d come home a little buzzed from a Yankees game to hear my parents’ cook, Consuela, shouting from room to room trying to find me. Since my parents’ place was big enough to get legitimately lost in, I had no clue where she was, but I did run into my brother Dex ripping bong hits on our wraparound terrace.
“That mad Guatemalan woman has been huffing and puffing around the apartment for over half an hour,” Dex said.
“Is she okay?”
“Importante!” Dex mimicked, rather poorly, sounding more stereotypically Asian than stereotypically Spanish. “Más importante, señor Noah. Su jefe llamando! Your boss called!”
I caught up with Consuela in what my parents dubbed their “Conservatory,” named with pretension like we all lived inside the game of Clue. Actually, it was a shoebox of a room that had wedged in a piano, a piano bench, and a rather spectacular view of Central Park. I found Consuela perched on the window seat, hands folded in her apron like she was praying, breaths heavy and sad. She was a whale and I had made her sweat.
“Señor Noah. Oh, señor Noah,” Consuela heaved, the life drained out of her, ready for her deathbed. “Message for you.”
She had written the message in Spanglish on a post-it stuck Slow Down
to her large left breast. She displayed it to me like it was a medal of honor. It also had a blob of her famous Diablo sauce and basically said that my jefe sounded muy angry and would call my cell at nine tomorrow morning.
My father had adopted Consuela fifteen years ago, a rotund woman who fancied spiced rum and sour looks. My parents had met her during one of their “slumming vacations”—meaning a stay anywhere in the Third World, even if they shelled out for five-star hotels. This time it had been in Guatemala, where she was an overworked cook who made delectable tamales at the breakfast buffet. After one bite of her tasty creations, they whisked her back to the States as their latest charity case. But my father, all red nosed and with a jarring demeanor, had stated the real reason one night at a dinner party:
“You should see some of these people, just ghastly…” my father, a swirling glass of port in his hand, spouted to an audience of wondering blinks. I couldn’t stop looking at his blinding white teeth, which made him look demented. “That is where Consuela would still be if Janet and I hadn’t opened up our home to her. But my God, can that good woman make a tamale!”
I had passed out from a couple of late-night bong hits and woke up the next morning thinking about the note Consuela had given me. The sheets had been pulled up to my neck, the open window letting in cool hums of early spring air. I ran one cold big toe over the other as some morbid indie band played from my iPod alarm, soft and sweet as if they were singing me back to sleep. I had to download some new songs soon.
It was odd that my boss Irene had called, since the company only had few days left before it shut down completely. So calling me on a Sunday night, a time better spent basking in her wonderful glow, meant that something huge had gone down.
I’d been recently fired. No big deal, most of the company had been “downsized” or “let go,” or any other nice way of describing permanent termination. An economy in the toilet meant a whole lot of trouble for an independent media production company with only one client. Recently, all my co-workers had been summoned one-by-one into her office situated away from the rest of the peons.
The day I got the ax, I’d been ignoring the red light blinking on my office phone, which always meant that the Queen wanted something. E-mail this, call so-and-so, walk my dog while I get my hair done for an upcoming interview on CNN (that would probably never air). I finally picked up the receiver.
“Noah, come into my office.”
I wanted to be “let go.” Really I was aching to do nothing but come up with an idea for a novel and then adapt it into a film, my guaranteed tickets to fame. Back in college, a story I wrote for a fellowship won me five-hundred bucks and a trip to a Writer’s Colony in Wyoming, so I knew I had chops, but since then I’d written zilch. I had only one year left before I turned twenty-three and became older than F. Scott Fitzgerald when he wrote his timeless classic, This Side of Paradise. And, if I wanted to direct an adaptation of this yet-to-be-written novel, I had to hurry up before I turned twenty-five and became older than Orson Wells when he directed Citizen Kane. I longed to give an interview that would bring up both these bits of trivia and anoint me into the history books, but time was running out fast.
So this bullshit job where I booked authors for an interview series that aired on a Big Bookselling Chain’s website was really just holding me back. I pitched the project to the author’s publicists, set it all up, and sent them an embarrassing questionnaire that my boss created with questions like:
If someone described you as an animal, what animal would you resemble on the outside, and what animal would you identify with on the inside?
Unfortunately, this whole venture was happening right around the time that Big Bookselling Chain was going bankrupt. Anyone who didn’t anticipate a downsizing was in serious denial or too stupid to breathe.
When I stepped inside the Queen’s office that afternoon, it felt like walking smack into Calcutta. She had cranked up the heat on a day that didn’t require it. Her panting dog greeted me by doing an interpretive dance on the rug. The thing was about a hundred and sixty-five in dog years and begging to be put down.
“Have a seat, Noah.”
She gave me a smile that was completely devoid of any emotion. I could tell that it had taken so much out of her to produce, and it still managed to only be the smile of a stroke victim, one end being pulled up by a puppeteer’s string and the other end long forgotten.
“How are things?” she said, grimacing.
“Super.” I nodded.
Her half-smile had already vanished.
“I’m sure you know that the Big Bookselling Chain is in dire straits right now.”
Yes, I did already know this. I had figured it out one month ago when all of the authors the company filmed were mysteriously pulled from the B.B.C’s website without any explanation, and then The New York Times reported that one third of the B.B.C’s staff had been terminated.
“So, Noah, along with that, I don’t think that we can keep you on any longer as a Talent Booker,” she said, with a sigh to show how traumatized she was by having to fire me, a sigh to convey her plight. Forget the fact that she had just closed on a two-million dollar property in the Village a couple of weeks ago.
“As of today?”
“No, I am giving you two weeks notice. Any interviews you want to go on are fine by me, but this is the way it has to be.”
Her little rhyme made her sound like an Alice and Wonderland character, the caterpillar atop the mushroom blowing plumes of smoke in my face. I choked on a fake cough to keep from laughing since I’d been waiting for a day like this for the last few months. At least now I wouldn’t have to quit and go through the process of telling her off, something I honestly did to people in power too often and was a trait I needed to rectify.
My cell rang at exactly 9:00 am. The moody music had lulled me back to sleep for the past hour, but the phone was relentless. I found it under a pair of balled-up khakis and a Fight Club poster that had floated down from my wall.
“Hello,” I said, out of breath.
“Can I speak with Noah Spaeth?”
The voice was curt and cold. This couldn’t be good.
I am Noah’s complete lack of surprise, I thought, as I pictured Edward Norton’s sad-sack character from Fight Club.
“This is Irene, your boss. I don’t want you coming in today or any of your last days.”
“Uh, why…?”
“Well, Noah, over the weekend I decided to go through some of the e-mails that you wrote on your office account…”
She said it as if it was the most normal thing to do, as if he should be proud of her shadiness.
“Since I was allowing you to use me as a reference, I needed to make sure you had been spending your days here productively, but I realized with some of the things you wrote about me and the company itself that you never took this job seriously and that you’re just some immature twenty-two-year-old child. This means that you’re fired.”
“I was already fired.”
“No, you were let go; now you are fired.”
“I’m not understanding the difference.”
“Meaning you will not be able to use me as a reference anymore, so good luck finding other employment.”
I blew a raspberry into the receiver.
“Excuse me? Is that all you have to say?” I blew another raspberry.
“You little shit.”
I stayed on the line, the dial tone pulsating in my ear. I had trashed her as a person and a boss, e-mailing to friends that she was a trust fund baby who got the company as a type of hush money from parents who just wanted to get rid of her, but worst of all (well maybe not worst of all because, at least, it was making me laugh at the time), I had e-mailed to a friend about her big ass, how it was über long and flat in the white mini skirts she’d always wedge herself into and made her look like a pulled tooth when she bent over due to that sizable rear and bowling pin legs. All of this had now been read and dissected by her; she probably fled to the bathroom afterwards and planted herself in front of a long mirror that only proved those accusations right. Her frequent mentions of a personal trainer weren’t fooling anyone.
My cell rang again to the sound of breathing at the other end.
“Hello,” I said, ready for her. Her breathing sounded winded, as if she was trying to blow up a balloon from across the room.
“I…” she began, but I was too fast.
“Have a big ass. I know.”
I threw my cell to the floor without hanging up and could hear her muffled shouts, but I was laughing so hard that I could care less. I held my stomach and rocked in a fit, wanting her to hear.
My laughter echoed down the hallway as my teenage sister Cassie passed by, yakking on the phone. She was dressed in the skimpiest amount of clothing that the Baron School for Girls allowed. Just a few years ago she was wearing leotards and tumbling through the house with her hair in pigtails.
“No, Maddy, we’re totally gonna make her cry at school tomorrow…I know, I’m so psyched. All the Untouchables deserve to cry.”
I stepped out of my room in front of her so she couldn’t get past. She twisted a finger around her bra strap and let it snap against her skin. Her expression looked as if someone was using her face to juice a lemon.
“Move out of my way, Noah.”
“Why does everything you say need to have its own lingo?” I made a grab for her cell. “What the hell is an Untouchable?”
I could hear cackling coming from her cell. Cassie rolled her eyes as if I wasn’t worthy of sharing her air.
“It’s someone at Baron that’s poor. Just like you’ll be one day.”
She snapped her gum and continued past me with her middle finger in the air. The finger had become yellow from her new smoking habit; the nail caked with white powder. As if her bloodshot eyes weren’t enough evidence that she’d snorted her breakfast.
When she was born, I thought she’d been stolen from another family in the hospital because her hair was so blonde. My parents had let me hold her, and I whispered “my baby” into the tiniest ear I’d ever seen.
That seemed like many lifetimes ago.
Heading to Consuela’s kitchen for breakfast was always the best part of my day. I could already smell her Hollandaise sauce, which meant that I’d be eating Eggs Benedict soon. A perfect cure for my newly fired self. Good ol’ Consuela, with a work ethic like an Alaskan race dog in the Yukon, knew what I needed. The fact that it was Monday and her “Noie” (as she sometimes called me) wasn’t already at work had indicated that something was up. A wise shaman had once told her during a trip to the jungles of El Petén that “food cured all,” so she lived with that mantra and preached it unabashedly.
But as my nose followed the Hollandaise aroma through the hallways, I began to feel unsettled. Five minutes ago the whole boss-reading-my-e-mails thing had been ridiculously funny, but now reality was starting to sink in. My girlfriend at the time, Margaret, was bound to dump me because she had a firm plan of a career path and life for us both. Being attached to an unemployed artiste and wasting her glory twenties, as she called it (which always made it sound perverse) was not part of The Plan. So if I wanted to keep her around, I knew I’d have to scour the job sites, go on interviews, and pretend to be interested in whatever lame experience some company offered.
I entered the kitchen to find Dex and Consuela whispering to one another.
“Why aren’t you at work already?” Dex asked, studying me through his thick glasses without any lenses. His hair was a brown ball of chaos, and he wore a lopsided sweater over pajama bottoms that he’d probably live in for the rest of the day.
“Why aren’t you in school?” I shot back, knowing Dex had dropped out of Franklin & Marshall College last spring because he couldn’t take the Amish people in the town anymore, obviously an excuse that sounded better than his likely suspension.
“Touché, brother. Consuela, chop-chop with the Eggs Bene. I’m about as hungry as an Ethiopian at a Smorgasbord, or a newly-fired boy desperate for another job.”
He gave me a condescending squint while pushing the bangs out of his eyes only to have them fall into place again. I knew that he kept those bangs to give his fingers something to do: at parties, talking to girls, it was his thing. He could hide behind his hair if he wasn’t interested, or flip it away, show you his eyes, and pretend to care.
“Maybe you wouldn’t be so hungry, Dex, if you didn’t have two joints for breakfast already.”
“Haha, double touché, brother Noah.”
For the past year, Cassie, Dex and I lived in our childhood apartment parent-free with Consuela as the only authoritative figure; primarily there to make sure we ate. Our parents occasionally traipsed back home with stories of the South of France, or the wonders of Vanuatu before clearing out the gin and Scotch and slipping under the cracks in the door to board any type of transportation away from us all. Our grandfather, Hubert, my mother’s father, had finally choked on his own vomit in his sleep from an overdose of morphine medication that a hired specialist insisted was necessary for his emphysema. Hubert had paid for our pre-war, Classic Eight masterpiece on 79 th and Central Park West, but mostly kept his “little princess Janet on a tight leash” (his phlegmy words) with a monthly allowance that included weekly spa indulges and daily lunches at Le Cirque and the like. He let my dad foster his career as an art dealer and insisted on private schooling and a maid for his three grandchildren whose names he always mixed up.
Since I could remember, my parents had been planning their ultimate kids-free journey once the old geezer stopped breathing, complaining about a “youth idolized” New York. So when Hubert upchucked his last breath, they packed up their suitcases and vowed to live out of them. After air-kissing us, they left some vague numbers in case they needed to be reached (but only for an emergency!), along with some martini-soaked advice about the real world before slamming the front door and returning mostly through postcards.
I always imagined what I’d say to them and the rest of my family if I ever made it big:
“Mom and Dad, I’m a famous author-slash-filmmaker and you two did nothing for that. Cassie, you’ve become a hideous lost cause, but Dex, you can stick around. You may not be a good friend, but you’ll always be my brother. I know you’ll keep circling back into my life each time your antics stop being amusing to everyone else, and I will be all you have left.”
An overpowering smell of weed pummeled my nostrils as I opened Dex’s door to find him inhaling a massive hit and drumming on his knees in a lotus position. Dex held out a smoking bong as an offering.
“So what happened with your job, bitch?”
I shook my head and gazed around Dex’s room, a study in dementia. Retro Playboy magazines created a non-existent carpet, a mob of tits and eyes scrutinizing me. Chynna, the mannish wrestler from back in the day, seemed to be the most inquisitive, spreading her legs and giving me a “yeah, why’d you get canned?” glare.
“My boss read some nasty e-mails I wrote about her.”
“Haha, you fucked up big time.”
“I was already let go, it just means I can’t use her as a reference. It doesn’t really matter–”
“Tell that to the judge, or rather, tell it to Margaret and see if she’ll ever let your irresponsible ass touch her coot again.”
I’d been dating Margaret for almost a year. We met as seniors at Connecticut College, a tiny enough school where we knew everything about each other before ever really having a conversation. The first time we actually spoke, I was bombed out of my mind and found myself in some ethical debate with her, which sounded life changing at the time. We left some party, the Connecticut sky pure and smelling of the surrounding woods, dizzy with one another. Throughout the rest of the year, she became more of a convenience than anything. The type of girl who joined every amnesty-animal-feminist rights organization to compensate for her bland personality and championed her pre-law studies as being more important than whatever anyone else was doing. I kept her around because a few months before I met her I had tried to kiss Nevie, who then cut me out of her life for good.
“You should come to a party tonight,” Dex said.
“I should write tonight.”
I thought of Nina, the only character I’d created so far. I pictured her at a bar, twisting away on a stool, smiling wide from all the drugs she’d consumed. People would be naturally crowding around her because she had that magnetic effect. She longed to be in movies, using her skinny, but still rocking body, to work her way into chic clubs and get close to anyone with connections, but she wound up vomiting a cocktail of pills by dawn. She had peaked too early and knew her biggest accomplishment was bound to be a tragic headline. She’d need the hero of the novel, a guy just like me, to remind her of the Nina that she used to be, someone who’d stop her from rushing toward an early death and let her find solace in his arms. I could be that hero.
“Dude, come to the party. You can even bring…Margaret.”
“No, I should stay home and get serious about my writing.”
“You are such a pretentious loser. You’ll lock yourself in your room and write some dumb story with me as this screw-up who’s going nowhere and you’ll be the protagonist who gets him to go back to school or some shit like that. Oh, wouldn’t that be lovely?”
“Are you done?”
“I heard your whacko girlfriend going off on me the other day. Evidently, I gave her some look that she misinterpreted when she was here with her nose on the ceiling.”
“Yeah, she can’t stand you, what’s your point?”
“My point is that you can still bring her to this party because I can see you need a night of fucking fun after getting canned. You can always write tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after. In case you didn’t realize it, we’re basically living a charmed life here without any expenses and can do whatever the hell we want to do.”
“You’re right, man,” I said, shoving Dex and making sure, as always, to play the role of Older Brother. “You are so right. Why should I agonize over getting another job and dealing with another possible Queen? And Margaret can kiss my ass if she has anything to say. I’m about to create something that’ll blow people away and no one can stop me.”
I imagined my character Nina again, home from college at her country house in South Hampton, deliriously stoned after a round of golf at her parents’ club. I envisioned myself beside her as we danced around a bonfire on her private beach.
But I knew she wasn’t actually a creation, just a substitution. That night on the beach in South Hampton was based on one of the last times I saw Nevie. I can remember she was leaning in too close to the fire while high on something, and that I caught her before she burned herself.
“Are you okay?” I had asked.
“My hero,” I longed for her to say, but she only wriggled out of my arms, staring at the fire as if she wanted to fall in.
“I’m never okay,” she said, and stumbled up toward her house where she locked her bedroom door and didn’t even come out to wish me good-bye in the morning before I had to board my train.
That weekend had also been one of the last times I was able to write anything.
I told myself not to stress about that now. Tonight I’d be Nevie free. And maybe if I’d be able to keep forgetting about her, a bevy of dazzling ideas would flow once again.
“The Spaeth boys will be out for blood tonight,” Dex cheered, taking a final bong hit. “Brother Noah, I think I know how to get you started on the fast track to living.”
A cloud of smoke obscured Dex’s face as he continued preaching.
“Zoom. Zoom. Zooooooooom!”

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming, along with his Alaskan Gold Rush novel THE ANCESTOR. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book 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, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.


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