Welcome to Day 5 of the “SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN” Blog Tour! @SarahAngleton @4WillsPub #RRBC

Please welcome Sarah Angleton, an awesome author who is here to talk about her latest book ‘Smoke Rose To Heaven.’ Over to you Sarah!

Divining a Novel

I think the best part about writing a novel is learning all the new things I have to learn in order to make my fictional world feel as real as possible for readers. Fiction writers, it turns out, are not necessarily experts on everything that happens to become entwined in their works.

For my first novel, Gentleman of Misfortune, that meant I had to figure out, among other things, how to make a mummy. Because this is historical fiction, I had the added challenge of trying to determine how a person living in nineteenth century America might have done it with materials commonly available. The first step was to make a phone call. Whenever dead bodies are concerned, I reach out to an old college buddy of mine who is a funeral director by trade. He was able to point me in some of the right directions and led me down many wonderful hours of rabbit holes.

My most recent release, Smoke Rose to Heaven, which is a companion to the first, also made me ask some questions, because it includes a character who is a dowser.

In case you’re as unfamiliar with dowsing as I was, it’s the process of locating something hidden, often water or minerals beneath the ground, with the aid of a pointer or pendulum. It’s considered a form of divination and those who use it are often landowners wishing to dig new wells or people looking for lost items or persons. It can allegedly even help to answer more spiritual questions. Historically, and still sometimes today, it’s also been used in treasure hunting.

And as it is done regularly by some of the fictional characters in my novel, it was also practiced by the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, one of the central historical figures wrapped up in the conspiracy theory that forms an important part of the book. I knew I couldn’t be faithful to my setting and story if I didn’t do a little research.

Because I did not have a dowser among my contacts, I began my search with the American Society of Dowsers, which I learned is the largest organization of professional dowsers in the world and has a convenient online list of its members identified by region. There I found the name of a gentleman working in Western New York State, the very setting of my novel. He listed water dowsing as well as missing persons and objects as his area of particular expertise, which worked perfectly for what I needed.

I reached out and received a very warm response. We spoke for more than an hour over the phone and exchanged numerous follow-up emails. He patiently answered all of my questions about how dowsing feels and even how it could be faked by a conman. He then offered stories that illustrated aspects of dowsing that would never have occurred to me to ask about. Many of these extra fascinating little tidbits became part of the novel and added a richness I could not have achieved by reading a few articles on the internet.

I didn’t become a dowser. As I tend to be a somewhat skeptical person, I’m not even sure I could say I came to believe it really works. But I did manage to get a feel for how my characters might perceive it and how it might be woven into the culture of my setting. I also learned how to write respectfully about something that is outside the realm of my own experiences and knowledge so I could share it with readers.

And that is definitely the best part about writing a novel.smoke-rose-to-heaven-by-sarah-angleton

 Book Blurb:

New York, 1872.

Diviner Ada Moses is a finder of hidden things and a keeper of secrets. In her possession is a lost manuscript with the power to destroy the faith of tens of thousands of believers.

When a man seeking the truth knocks at her door with a conspiracy theory on his lips and assassins at his heels, she must make a choice.

Spurred by news of a ritualistic murder and the arrival of a package containing the victim’s bloody shirt, Ada must either attempt to vanish with the truth or return the burden she has long borne to the prophet responsible for one of the most successful deceptions in US history.

Protecting someone else’s secret may save Ada’s life, but is that worth forcing her own demons into the light?

Author Bio:

sarah-angletonSARAH ANGLETON is the author of the historical novels Gentleman of Misfortune and Smoke Rose to Heaven as well as the humor collection Launching Sheep & Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense. She lives with her husband, two sons, and one loyal dog near St. Louis, where she loves rooting for the Cardinals but doesn’t care for the pizza.

 

Social Media Links:

https://twitter.com/SarahAngleton

https://www.facebook.com/sangletonwrites

https://sarah-angleton.com

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2t7RS9g

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2U9pwXk

Sarah is giving away 5 e-book copies of SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN and all you have to do for a chance to win a copy is to leave a comment below.
To follow along with the rest of her tour, please drop in on her 4WillsPub tour page.
If you’d like to take your book or books on a virtual blog tour, please visit  4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com and click on the VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR tab.
Thank you for supporting this author’s tour.

Welcome to the “AMERICAN AGONY” Blog Tour @BorelMedWriter @4WillsPub

Am_Agony_Blog_Tour_PlacardPlease welcome my guest Helen Borel today with her enlightening book.

I truly appreciate my host for allowing me to introduce my new book, American AGONY: The Opioid War Against Patients in Pain, published by Fresh Ink Group. 

I wrote it in six tightly focused months because I felt compelled to follow up swiftly on the true-life horror stories increasingly reported on social media, on medical websites, and in personal communications from suffering and dying patients, victims of federal heavy-handed restrictions on prescription opioids.

Regarding the ethical treatment of patients in pain, America has arrived at an impasse.  Increasingly, patients with chronic incurable pain from various injuries, surgeries, and genetic conditions are having their years, and even decades, of well-working prescription narcotics being tapered to ineffective lower-dose levels or being suddenly cold-turkeyed altogether.  Results?  Severe 24/7 suffering of millions, suicides of thousands. This national outrage is caused by ignorant, non-medical bureaucrats running the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Veterans Administration (VA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) who’ve insinuated themselves into the most minute aspects of the doctor-patient relationship.

These entities began their onslaughts intensely in the last decade, especially the past three years. They have emboldened themselves to hound physicians so that amputee-Veterans can no longer get their prescription opioids from VA doctors. Other paincare facilities are shutting down, pain patients abandoned to zero treatment and zero referrals. They are spying on and raiding physicians’ practices. This is a medical emergency being overlooked by a heartless political system. Yet another epidemic—this time of patient suicides—is ignored by the CDC.

Am-Agony-Blog-Tour-Book-Cover-200x300
Amazon link

Who are the patient groups affected?  It begins with the denial of well-working prescription opioids from those with lifelong pain conditions diagnosed as Intractable Pain Patients (IPPs).  Now neither you nor I can receive a medically indicated narcotic when we go to the ER with severe injuries, with a kidney stone scraping its way down a bleeding ureter, or with suffering postsurgical pain—not even root-canal surgery at our dentists’. It affects child patients. It even affects pets treated by veterinarians, suffering animals whose owners are feared might take the meds.

I call those who interfere with pain treatment “OxyMORONS” because of their opiophobic stupidity. They have clamped down so hard on normal opioid prescribing for pain that now even end-of-life, hospice care, and cancer patients are being denied relief. Family of terminal patients have even been told, “We fear he’ll become addicted.”

One example: the critical blood disorder Sickle Cell Disease, which causes misshapen erythrocytes (red blood cells) to threaten oxygen transport throughout the circulatory system, can be excruciating during a crisis. It requires emergency intravenous morphine in addition to the lifelong opioid such patients are normally managing on.  Shame on America for accusing so many of these patients as being “drug seekers.”As a published medical and pharmaceutical writer, and given my earlier career as a bedside hospital nurse with expertise in evaluating and medicating various kinds and levels of pain, I felt it my duty to expose these government injustices and cruelties, to research and write a book aimed at helping to restore normal, medically indicated opioid prescribing by physicians without interference by bureaucrats.

Thank you for giving me a platform to share this critical information that ultimately impacts everyone.

—Helen Borel, RN, MFA, PhD

Watch the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW-pmcAb4ZU

American-AGONY-Author-Photo-256x300About the Author: 

Dr. Helen Borel wrote poetry and played piano as a child growing up in two orphanages. She became a registered nurse, then earned her master’s in creative writing. After 18 years as a medical, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical copywriter, she published books, literary criticism, satire, and fiction. She became a doctor in psychoanalytical studies with her own website, PsychDocNYC.com. Always outspoken for the underdog, her intense research is the basis for her passionate expose of government wrongs and the legal rights pain victims must assert. Find her at PsychDocNYC.com and on Twitter: @BorelMedWriter or @PsychDocConnect.

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar fashion, please click HERE.

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

 

 

Welcome to Part 2 of “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub #RRBC

the-merest-loss-by-steven-neil

Please welcome Steven Neil, the author of The Merest Loss, a story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

Book Blurb:

‘A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?’

Genres:

Historical Fiction and Victorian Historical Romance

THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.com/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.fr/Merest-Loss-English-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.ca/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.com.au/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Follow Steven Neil on https://twitter.com/stevenneil12 for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.

Meet the author:steven-neil

Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.

Using newspaper articles:

 “I like the idea of using different points of view to provide variety for the reader. The most obvious way to do this is by switching the narrator from, say, an omniscient third person narrator to a character narrator, in the first person. It is also possible to change the tense from past to present and back again. The challenge for the writer is to generate interest and variety rather than confusion. Sometimes it works well, but care needs to be taken. Another way to vary point of view is to use a device like a newspaper article, a review or an exchange of letters or notes to provide additional perspective. In chapter five of The Merest Loss, I used a newspaper review of Harriet Howard’s acting performance, borrowing text from a real London Weekly Chronicle theatre review of the time, thus capturing the style and language of the age and giving the reader a break from the main narrator.” © Steven Neil

Have a look at it:

Chapter Five
Perfect Match
London and Liverpool, England
 1839

 London Weekly Chronicle Saturday 23rdFebruary 1839

 JULIET ENTRANCES
 

This week we were fortunate enough to see the arrival of a startling new talent on the London stage, in MrMacready’s new production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, which commandedan exceedingly large audience.

     Miss Harriet Howard shone as Juliet and we forecast an illustrious future ahead of her. Seldom have we seen such a combination of vivacity and grace. She is young and charming and altogether presents a most elegant appearance. She was entirely believable as the innocent, star-struck lover of Romeo, but it was the poise and style of the performance that so captivated the audience. The play was throughout well performed and we must pick out for special mention, MrSamuel Phelps, for his sympathetic and finely executed portrayal of Romeo and MrRobert Walden, for a flamboyant interpretation of Mercutio. In addition,we should say that we were much pleased with the simple and judicious acting of Miss Kitty Hopkins, as Nurse. Similarly,MrJames Roper, as Tybalt certainly gained a laurel, to which we hope he will have many additions.

     The theatre has recently undergone an extensive renovation and this new production of the play was beautifully mounted, having had the advantage, accordingly, of new scenery and decoration.

     At the end of the play,the crowd made their affection known and the whole cast was warmly applauded by a house, equally overflowing in enthusiasm and numbers. Miss Howard herself excited extraordinary adulation and it was five curtain calls before her admirers would let her go. Even then the cheers rang on into the night. If you can find the means to obtain a ticket, we urge you to go and see this wonderful play, performed with much effect, for yourself. It is indubitably destined to be a decided, indeed a remarkable, success.
© Steven Neil

IAN author page:

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

Email: stevenneil1@aol.com

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.

Thank you for your support. Please share this post.

 

The Quest for Home – Prehistoric Fiction

Prehistoric fiction is a literary genre in which the story is set in the period of time prior to the existence of written record. If you haven’t read this genre, just check how Jacqui Murray has brilliantly explored it in her books. The Quest for Home is the second book in series. I have read and reviewed Born in Treacherous Times (Dawn of Humanity) and Survival of the Fittest (the Crossroads Trilogy.)

a-quest-for-home-1

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life. 

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Book information:
 Title and author: The Quest for Home
Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga
Genre: Prehistoric
Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

My Review:

The Quest for Home (Book 2 of Crossroads trilogy) by Jacqui Murray continues the journey of Xhosa despite the losses she had suffered when the rafts crashed due to the storm. She had to wait till her group had healed, to restock food and weapons in preparation for departure. A trusted leader, determined to fight the perils, crawling up mountains, slipping down into valleys, following the sun, she leads her people with unwavering confidence. There are conflicts within the group to remain powerful, reminiscent of basic human traits.

It is interesting to note that discrimination, one-upmanship, slavery, selfishness, and revenge are as old as those people who inhabited this earth 850,000 years ago. It is not easy to write such a story but Murray could weave it brilliantly, throwing in many characters quite similar to what we know about human beings. You must read these books in order to appreciate the comfort and security that we take for granted. Highly recommended with 5 stars!

jacqui-murray-2Meet the Author:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.

Contact Links:

Amazon Author Page
Blog
Instagram 
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Website  

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Survival of the Fittest #NewRelease

Please welcome my blogger friend Jacqui Murray who has a new book, very different from the usual ones we read, as she has tried to trace the way people survived and faced their enemy 850,000 years ago. I am reading this brilliant book and would like you to delve into it. I am sure you are going to like it.

Survival-of-the-Fittest-coverShort Summary:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands but an escape path laid out years before by her father as a final desperate means to survival. She is joined by other homeless tribes–from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant—all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that this enemy doesn’t want her People’s land. He wants to destroy her.

Book information:

 Title and author: Survival of the Fittest

Series: Book 1 in the Crossroads trilogy, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Cover by: Damonza 

Available at: Kindle US Kindle UK Kindle CA Kindle AU

One question that haunted me has been answered so well by Jacqui!

How do you differentiate Xhosa (this book’s main character) from the human species that probably led to her extinction?

Homo erectus (Xhosa) was a brilliant creature, worthy of our respect and admiration. This species is the longest lasting human species ever. Where her predecessor chose flight over fight, she never did, always confronting her enemy , always believing that she could win.

 But, sometimes, that’s not enough. Though she was tough, aggressive, and tenacious, like the alpha animals she defeated, a smarter human species was her undoing.

 At least, lots of scientists think so. Truly, there are lots of theories.

Jacqui has also shared the captivating beginning of her book:

Chapter 1

Her foot throbbed. Blood dripped from a deep gash in her leg. At some point, Xhosa had scraped her palms raw while sliding across gravel but didn’t remember when, nor did it matter. Arms pumping, heart thundering, she flew forward. When her breath went from pants to wheezing gasps, she lunged to a stop, hands pressed against her damp legs, waiting for her chest to stop heaving. She should rest but that was nothing but a passing thought, discarded as quickly as it arrived. Her mission was greater than exhaustion or pain or personal comfort.

She started again, sprinting as though chased, aching fingers wrapped around her spear. The bellows of the imaginary enemy—Big Heads this time—filled the air like an acrid stench. She flung her spear over her shoulder, aiming from memory. A thunk and it hit the tree, a stand-in for the enemy. With a growl, she pivoted to defend her People.

Which would never happen. Females weren’t warriors.

Feet spread, mouth set in a tight line, she launched her last spear, skewering an imaginary assailant, and was off again, feet light, her abundance of ebony hair streaming behind her like smoke. A scorpion crunched beneath her hardened foot. Something moved in the corner of her vision and she hurled a throwing stone, smiling as a hare toppled over. Nightshade called her reactions those of Leopard.

But that didn’t matter. Females didn’t become hunters either.

With a lurch, she gulped in the parched air. The lush green grass had long since given way to brittle stalks and desiccated scrub. Sun’s heat drove everything alive underground, underwater, or over the horizon. The males caught her attention across the field, each with a spear and warclub. Today’s hunt would be the last until the rain—and the herds—returned.

“Why haven’t they left?”

She kicked a rock and winced as pain shot through her foot. Head down, eyes shut against the memories. Even after all this time, the chilling screams still rang in her ears…

The People’s warriors had been away hunting when the assault occurred. Xhosa’s mother pushed her young daughter into a reed bed and stormed toward the invaders but too late to save the life of her young son. The killer, an Other, laughed at the enraged female armed only with a cutter. When she sliced his cheek open, the gash so deep his black teeth showed, his laughter became fury. He swung his club with such force her mother crumpled instantly, her head a shattered melon.

From the safety of the pond, Xhosa memorized the killer—nose hooked awkwardly from some earlier injury, eyes dark pools of cruelty. It was then, at least in spirit, she became a warrior. Nothing like this must ever happen again.

When her father, the People’s Leader, arrived that night with his warriors, he was greeted by the devastating scene of blood-soaked ground covered by mangled bodies, already chewed by scavengers. A dry-eyed Xhosa told him how marauders had massacred every subadult, female, and child they could find, including her father’s pairmate. Xhosa communicated this with the usual grunts, guttural sounds, hand signals, facial expressions, hisses, and chirps. The only vocalizations were call signs to identify the group members.

“If I knew how to fight, Father, Mother would be alive.” Her voice held no anger, just determination.

The tribe she described had arrived a Moon ago, drawn by the area’s rich fruit trees, large ponds, lush grazing, and bluffs with a view as far as could be traveled in a day. No other area offered such a wealth of resources. The People’s scouts had seen these Others but allowed them to forage, not knowing their goal was to destroy the People.

Her father’s body raged but his hands, when they moved, were calm.  “We will avenge our losses, daughter.”

The next morning, Xhosa’s father ordered the hunters to stay behind, protect the People. He and the warriors snuck into the enemy camp before Sun awoke and slaughtered the females and children before anyone could launch a defense. The males were pinned to the ground with stakes driven through their thighs and hands. The People cut deep wounds into their bodies and left, the blood scent calling all scavengers.

When Xhosa asked if the one with the slashed cheek had died, her father motioned, “He escaped, alone. He will not survive.”

Word spread of the savagery and no one ever again attacked the People, not their camp, their warriors, or their hunters.

While peace prevailed, Xhosa grew into a powerful but odd-looking female.

Meet the author: 

jacqui-murray-2

 

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, an Amazon Vine Voice,  and a columnist for NEA Today and TeachHUB. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Summer 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

 

Connect with Jacqui at:

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://worddreams.wordpress.com

  https://jacquimurray.net

https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

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Balroop Singh.