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Excerpts Tour

Pieces to Mend by Clarissa Kae


Can enduring love heal her shattered soul and his broken body?

In their small agricultural town, Scarlett’s family is the picture-perfect variety. The mother encourages juvenile delinquents at the local detention center and her father coaches the church’s youth group.
All is right until Scarlett lets a shameful secret slip. Blaming her for the indiscretion, the family silences Scarlett’s accusation but the arrival of a new high school student threatens the delicate balance.
Everett’s giant frame and fractured skull are compliments of his father, but his world shifts after an accidental touch from Scarlett. Starved for affection, they forge an inescapable bond. Their relationship is encouraged by Everett’s grandmother, Marjorie Ashley, a woman with an unnatural gift, the ability to witness painful memories of those around her.


Fifteen years later, Marjorie is fading, her impending death a blow to Scarlett. Everett enjoys a flourishing legal career while Scarlett writes weekly investigative articles—keeping her own secrets hidden. An old police report is found in Marjorie’s house, revealing a web of deception spun by Scarlett’s family.

The deeper Scarlett digs, the more unsettling the discoveries. No longer aided by Marjorie’s gift, Scarlett is given an impossible ultimatum, she must choose between the family who raised her and the man who loves her—or risk losing both.






Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.
Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.
Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.
She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.


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A spark of fear lit her eyes—a look Everett knew well—and her color paled for a moment before returning to the glow of olive skin. Her throat visibly tightened. An unspoken threat had been sent.

Everett was lost, not understanding how she was involved. He draped a possessive arm over Scarlett’s shoulder, turning from the group. The laughter died immediately. His frame alone deterred teasing, but Everett, like his father, had a murderous stare. It was as practiced as his fighting.

Scarlett eyed him, her back stiff. “That’s not the way to make friends.”

“Making friends was never the plan.” He fought the urge to pull her close, to tuck her into his side.

“You had a plan?”

“Pretend all you want.” He knew a caged animal when he saw it.

“Pretend what?” She checked her watch and led him between the art buildings to a smaller, hidden parking lot at the end of the fence. The outdoor high school was built like a college with each building connected only by sidewalk and sunshine. An old table sat under an enormous oak tree on the perimeter of the school, concealed between the cars and the building.

“You have a plan. You know exactly how this whole thing works.” Everett twirled his index finger in a circle. “You’re counting the years ’til you’re gone.”

“Years?” Scarlett arched an eyebrow.

“Fine, months.”

“You realize they’re just going to replace teasing David with you, right?” She circled out from under his arm. “What you did back there doesn’t change anything.”

“You should probably just accept it then.” Everett lifted his chin. He’d helped her even if she wouldn’t admit it. Maybe he was more like his grandmother than he cared to admit.

“I already did.”

“How’s that working for you?”

“Perfectly.” She clenched her hands into tight fists and shoved them in her pockets. “Look, Superman, high school isn’t the same for people like me. You doing whatever that was doesn’t help. You can’t save me. Which, by the way, I don’t need saving.”

“Tell that to your face.” He shouldn’t care but he’d watched this before. His father was skilled in brutality, from minor digs to all-out mental warfare. Richard Ashley could confuse the pope into submission. “You were scared.”

A breeze blew between them, twisting her hair. Her eyes lit, her jaw set and her hair wildly untamed. Everett was done for, wishing he could capture her like this, alive with fire. He could only stare.

“That was nothing. That I could handle.” She rocked on her heels, sounding more like a toddler wanting to stamp her foot. “Thanks to your little performance, Andy’s going grill me about you.”

“Who’s Andy?” The jealousy in his voice was unmistakable, the fact written on her widened eyes.

“He’s my brother.” Her expression softened.

“Oh.” Everett rubbed the back of his head. He’d forgotten about that detail, Scarlett having family, having someone else caring about her.

“They’re close.” Her voice caught, and she broke her gaze. “David and Andy.”

“Your brother’s okay with it?”

She shrugged. “You tell me. He was there.”

Everett spun around, as if he could see them through the buildings he had walked by. “He was there? And did nothing?”

“They’re just teasing. It’s not like they mean it.”

“Mean what?” Everett watched the transformation, the slight hunch in her shoulders, the resignation in her stance. “Did they hurt you?”

“No.” Scarlett fidgeted and then said too quickly, “I have to go.”


“To eat lunch.”

“Me too.” He wasn’t letting her out of his sight. He blamed it on his head injury, this obsession with Scarlett Delfin, a stranger. He’d been warned by the doctors about possible behavior and memory lapses. But the sight of her, determined to be strong and yet wholly vulnerable, wouldn’t shake him.

“That wasn’t an invitation.”

“Duly noted.” Everett wouldn’t eat with her, but he wouldn’t leave her alone either. He frowned. The idea didn’t make sense. Nothing with this girl did. He felt bound to her, an intense connection that defied all reason.

“Who are you?” Scarlett looked around as if someone could help answer her. “And they call me a mystery.”

“Who says you’re a mystery?”

Scarlett rubbed the bridge of her nose. “It’s called a rhetorical question for a reason, Everett.”

She said his name, her voice echoing in his head. He grabbed the memory, wanting to hold it a moment longer. He shook his head—and immediately regretted it. Dizzy, he brought a palm to his head. In an instant, her hands guided him to the wooden table a few decades past its prime. She situated Everett, his legs long enough to sit on top of the table with his feet flat on the ground.

She scrambled next to him on the table and held up two fingers.  “How many finger—”

“Two.” He groaned, although it sounded more like an angry lion than a pained high school student. “I told you I’m fine.”

“You mentioned that.” She smiled wryly and added, “How’s that working for you?”

“Those were my words.”

“We’re breathing the same air, want to whine about that too?” Scarlett’s hands fell to her lap, her tone now somber. “I get that you’re fine, but really, should you be here?”

“I will go insane if I spend one more day staring at a wall.” It’d taken a considerable amount of begging his grandmother to get here. If he went home now, Marjorie would never let him go.

“How, exactly, are you supposed to be Superman if you’re hurt?” Sitting on the table, Scarlett wrapped her arms around her knees and rocked back, her head cocked to the side.

“Oh, now, you want to be saved?”

“Are you always this moody?” She rolled her eyes. “I was kidding, you know.”

“The sarcasm gave it away.”

Scarlett winced again.

Everett wanted to kick himself. His tone was curt and his words were sharp. He reached for her. “I’m an idiot.”

Her head snapped up, her eyes unsure.

“I don’t know how to do this.” He stared at his hand, realizing he’d placed it on hers. His thumb instinctively drew small circles on the back of hers. “I’m sorry. I already said that. I don’t know what to say that would mean more than sorry.”

Nothing. Scarlett said nothing, her expression wary.

“You’re making me nervous. Please say something.” His tongue felt dry and his throat shriveled.

“For never touching a girl, you sure touch a lot.”

His hand froze and his arm went stiff. “I’m s—”

“Stop saying that,” she said softly.

He pulled his hand back, his face hot. “What do you want me to say?”

Scarlett didn’t meet his gaze. Her eyes lingered on his hand, back on his thigh. Everett didn’t know what that meant, what was okay and what wasn’t. Scarlett seemed to dance along the fence, a moment with contact and then without.

Risking, Everett shuffled sideways on the table, making room for her. He held out his arm. “Come here.”

She hesitated and then leaned forward, only to pause. The quiet debate appeared on her face.

Everett became instantly aware of his stature compared to her tiny frame. “You don’t have to. Just if you want.”

His voice seemed to pull the unease from her mind. She brightened and curled into his side, sending Everett into a mixed state of relief and confusion. She tucked her knees under her arms and leaned in.

“You are a mystery, just so you know.” He didn’t know how long she’d welcome the embrace but he’d take it.

“You’re no picnic either.”

“Scarlett?” Everett debated on asking, wondering again why he cared. “Did they hurt you?”

“No, not really.” She sat up but allowed Everett to coax her back, nestling her close. “They’re just boys being boys.”

He tipped her chin, forcing her to look at him. Her large, dark eyes searched his. Oh, he was in deep. “That doesn’t make it right.”

“Yeah, well, Superman can’t be everywhere.” A flicker of a smile appeared.

“I’m here now.”

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The Blind Boxer by Jim Lester



Sports Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fiction


Published: September 2020


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“Rocky meets the Shawshank Redemption”

Set in the real American dystopia of the Great Depression, The Blind Boxer is the story of a prison inmate known as Harvard who is offered his freedom if he will participate in a mysterious boxing match. Harvard, who is a former professional fighter, suffering from failing eyesight, is joined by two other fighters, but when the Big Fight begins the inmates learn that the rules of prize fighting and fair play no longer count and survival is the name of the game.

About the Author






Jim Lester holds a Ph.D in history and is the author of four successful young adult novels as well as a history of college basketball in the 1950s.

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Excerpts Reviews Tour

Saving Grace by DM Barr

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Saving Grace

A Psychological Thriller

by D.M. Barr

on Tour October 12 – November 13, 2020


Saving Grace by D.M. Barr

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself – she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband’s scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace’s own, Saving Grace is, at it’s core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.

“A psychological thriller with more than enough twists, turns, and misdirection to keep even the most jaded reader turning pages all night long.”

–Lori Robbins, author of the Silver Falchion Award-winning novel, Lesson Plan for Murder

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Suspense Published by: Black Rose Writing Publication Date: October 15th 2020 Number of Pages: 255 ISBN: 978-1684335565 Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BlackRose Writing | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

One felony was all it took to convince Andrea Lin she was better suited to committing crime on paper than in person. As renowned mystery author Lynn Andrews, she understood conflict equaled good drama. Like her readers, she should have expected the hiccups, even relished them. What she hadn’t counted on was the accompanying agita, especially while sitting in her Bergen County kitchen, far from the action at the Bitcoin Teller Machine.

Her one job had been to place a single phone call when the money hit and tell the hacker to lift the encryption on Grace’s computer. Trouble was, her dozen calls remained unanswered until a few minutes ago, throwing their meticulous plan off schedule.

Andrea stroked the blue-gray Nebulung purring on her lap and tried to ignore the churning in her stomach. “Denver, the next time I consider helping a sibling with some crazy scheme, you have my permission to use my leg as a scratching post until I come to my senses. Agreed?”

Denver looked up, his green eyes filled with innocence, and answered with a single meow before leaping onto the table toward her plate of shortbread cookies.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” She sipped her tea, willing the sugar to sweeten the acrid taste in her mouth. The phone interrupted her meditation. No doubt a check-in from her brother, the extorter-in-chief.

“I figured you’d have called by now. Everything on track?” Joe’s strained voice conveyed his own jangled nerves. They’d agreed to be vague when communicating. In these days of Siri and Alexa, anyone could be listening.

“Finally. Took forever to get through to our friend, but she said she’d take care of ‘our project’ as soon as her meetings wrapped up. From here on out though, I’m sticking to fiction. Real-life intrigue is too stressful.”

Andrea missed Joe’s response, instead perplexed by her cats’ sudden change of behavior. Denver had tilted his head and leapt from the table; Vail and Aspen sat frozen, ears perked, staring toward the foyer. Then she heard it too, the sound of papers shuffling in the living room. She leaned forward, muscles taut, hackles raised, ready to pounce. “Joe, hold on a sec. I think someone’s in the house. I’ll call you back later.”


“Wait, what? Andrea??” Silence. The connection was dead.

After twenty minutes of weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic to travel one mile, Joe “Hack” Hackford pulled up outside his sister’s Ridgewood home. Adrenaline pumping on overdrive, he jumped from his car and sprinted toward the house. Door wide open—not an encouraging sign. He steeled his nerves and hastened inside. The living room looked like a hurricane’s aftermath, with furniture overturned and papers littering the carpets and floor.

“Andrea? Are you here?” He rushed into the kitchen, which lacked any signs of their celebratory dinner—no spaghetti boiling on the stove, no cake rising in the oven. Only the door to the backyard ajar and a shriek emanating from the next room, piercing the eerie silence. Hair stiffening at the back of his neck, he raced into the dining room where a redheaded woman stood frozen, staring across the room.

“Who the hell are you?” he growled.

The stranger remained wide-eyed and unresponsive. He followed her gaze to the floor, where he witnessed the unthinkable. His beloved sister lay in the corner, surrounded by a pool of blood, a kitchen knife stuck in her chest. Her eyes remained fixed on the ceiling. A trio of feline guards circled her lifeless body.

Hack’s knees turned to jelly, and he grabbed onto a chair for support, forcing back the remains of the snack he’d consumed only minutes earlier. Once the initial shock waned, he reverted his attention back to the intruder. At second glance, she did look somewhat familiar, though the woman he’d met a few weeks back—the missing heiress whose computer they’d just hacked—was brunette. Had she uncovered their con? With a bolt of fury, he reached forward and pulled the wig from her head. A thousand questions zigzagged in his brain, but only one forced its way past his lips:

“Oh my God. Grace. Oh my God. What the hell have you done?”


Excerpt from Saving Grace by D.M. Barr. Copyright 2020 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

D.M. Barr

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven’t run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me.

But that’s not to say that I haven’t wanted to…

Catch Up With Our Author On:, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

My review for Saving Grace

When I read the synopsis, I jumped at the chance to read and review and I wasn’t disappointed.

If you like a good thriller with plenty of twists and turns, then Saving Grace is for you.

Saving Grace is a fast paced and well written book that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for D.M. Barr. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on October 12, 2020 and runs through November 15, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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The Last Rose of Summer Mary Austin

Medical Fiction

Date Published: June 25, 2020

Publisher: Archway Publishing


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While working independently as a pre-med student at Cleary University, the soon-to-be physician, Mary Austin, discovers a remarkable, non-toxic drug that could offer tremendous hope to cancer patients. Her work is headed for publication in a top medical journal until a drug company begins negotiations with her bosses from which she is mysteriously excluded.

Amid egregious sexual harassment, Mary’s materials are blatantly sabotaged. As death threats follow and her work becomes impossible, she is accepted at Whitehead College of Medicine despite evidence that her bosses tampered with her application process. After becoming a pediatrics resident, she shares her story with her beloved mentor, Dr. Daniel Taylor, who allows her to temporarily leave her residency training to reproduce the work. Her joy turns to sorrow and then determination when she learns that Dr. Taylor is battling terminal pancreatic cancer. Even as a chain of events prompts the sabotage of Mary’s drug stock and leaves her seemingly without any choice but to permanently leave academic medicine, the story of her drug is not over yet.

In this novel inspired by a true story, after a young cancer researcher discovers a breakthrough drug that could change chemotherapy, the drug industry suppresses the breakthrough and transforms her life and career forever.


 Promising Results Lead to Drug Company Involvement

I was introduced to clinical researchers who were to develop the drug at the academic center, but Dr. Cromm also involved a drug company named Dullahan Pharmaceuticals. For a while, Dr. Cromm remained as elated about the drug as he had been on that April day, telling me at one point, “Mary, I wish I could be back at the lab bench, doing this with you!”

Dr. Everton subsequently invited me to a party Dullahan was throwing for the lab, and I came, embarrassed that I hadn’t known about it that morning. As luck would have it, I had to show up to a nice restaurant right after work wearing ripped jeans and that same damn greenish T-shirt, which had been that morning, as in times past, the only one that passed the smell test. Now, after a day in lab, it doubtless didn’t even do for that; nevertheless, I went, and I spoke with representatives from the company all evening.

Afterwards, Dr. Cromm became more guarded with me, and Evan had closed-door meetings with the drug company, to which I was not invited.

About the Author

Mary Austin is the pseudonym for a physician who, in order to publicize a suppressed discovery in cancer research, had to sacrifice first her academic career, then a career as a board-certified paediatrician, and then her personal safety. She would do it again.

Contact Links

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Purchase Links

Amazon   /   Barnes and Noble   /   IndieBound   /   B-A-M


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So Long Earth by Michael Bienenstock


Science Fiction
Published: January 2020
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2017. Dr. Thomas Burns, an environmental engineer, is listening to the President, talk about global warming. He and his colleagues quickly realize that Earth will no longer be able to sustain life in a few years. Environmental disasters all over the world are occurring at a quicker rate, and each one seems to be stronger than the previous one. As a result, Tom begins to develop and carry out his plans to build 4 spaceships for 1,000 people each to leave Earth and travel to a new galaxy to find a place to live. The Russians, Germans, and Australians all agree to build spaceships and join Tom in search of a new home somewhere in the Alpha Centauri Galaxy.
Over the next 20 years of planning Tom along with his wife, Sarah, determined but naïve son, Sam, his loyal second-in-command, Bob Jackson, and an amazing medical doctor, Dr. Sato, Tom must wrestle with inevitable questions. How are they going to sustain life for such a long journey? How can they travel fast enough? Will the Russians fully cooperate? How will they be able to successfully launch four huge spaceships at the same time? Most of all, will they be able to save humanity?



Denver, CO, September 2017

Dr. Thomas Burns could not believe what he was hearing. He was sitting in a restaurant with his eight-year-old son Sam after attending a baseball game. The Colorado Rockies had just defeated the New York Mets by a score of eight to six. They were discussing the various players on the team. That was until the president started talking.

Listening intently to every word President Trump said on CNN, the environmental scientist shook his head several times. He’s appealing to every gawker of developers and brand-loving radicals rolling everything back—radicals who want to de-regulate, de-environment, just de-anything—and it was deflating, thought Dr. Burns. Decades of work falling apart for a new consensus, it seemed. Depressing.

Not only was the president waging a permanent delay of just about everything, while making money for his backers, but he was hoping people were going to do nothing about it. He was buying time for some of his obscenely wealthy investors and developers; that was all. They somehow pinned their losses in the previous years from failed deals and investments on anyone but themselves, despite how their investments were only about money, not about the major concerns of the times everywhere you looked. Having had a great outing with his son only moments ago, Dr. Burns fumed as he sat there.

The president was like the suits many in the rural parts of the Dakotas, Tennessee, and his home state of Colorado worried about. They were all caught up in their excesses, mindless to what life outside their air-conditioned life was like. Who cared how his message on TV was going to benefit neglected areas? He just expected people to deal with it. Except, this time, this suit, staring at Dr. Burns on the high-definition TV screen, was the one barreling his way at anyone who gave him a microphone like a dusted wagon train full of barons with money bags who pulled into town. And he’d be building what he knew best, a wall of heat for struggling people. They were less interested in tackling the daily concerns in their lives, finding no areas of concern in common.

Dr. Burns shook his head again. And the environment was a no-brainer!

Sam looked up at him momentarily, and Dr. Burns gave a half-reassuring smile. Sam returned his attention to his cell phone.

The president was unconcerned about whatever no man’s land was left in his wake of ruin while he doled out skepticism and disparaging comments when people needed reassurances and to feel confidence that the authorities were doing their best to keep them safe and secure. In the old Wild West, they used to blame the Yankee, wondering if somebody up in the skyscrapers meant them more harm than good. They just wanted the top suite.

Dr. Burns couldn’t stop looking from the TV to his son. He felt like he was falling into an abyss when he should have been feeling like he was there to share a moment of joy with his son.

He stood up, and despite his tall stature—he’d almost made it to varsity baseball years ago at six feet, two inches tall—he felt powerless. It was time to put the agreed-upon plan into action—at full speed. First, he gave his son some ice cream and told him to stay seated across from him, take out his Game Boy, and put his ear buds in, as he did not want Sam to be concerned about what he was going to discuss with everyone. He pulled out his phone and dialed a group text number, the specific code setting of a meeting of his peers. Tom raked his hands through his solid black hair, practically pulling strands out as he waited impatiently for everyone involved in the meeting.

Within five minutes, all of his colleagues around the world were on FaceTime. He’d been selective about which colleagues from Russia, Germany, Australia and America he involved in preparing the mission. Several of them had worked with him on projects at Boeing and others he had met at conferences around the world that had brought his attention to the staggeringly slow pace of applied research. He knew immediately what he wanted to say to the thirty people he’d reached. He trusted them. He sat back down as they met and discussed their plans.

Members from these four countries were going to be the first ones involved because they understood that to do nothing would ensure the end of the human race. These thirty people were the most esteemed researchers in their field of expertise. They published nearly 500 research papers researching climate warming and various environmental issues as well as future space travel. Russia as the leader in space travel was an obvious choice. Germany had some of the leading engineers in the world. Australians had suffered a great number of environmental disasters such as a deteriorating Great Barrier Reef and also had a large number of excellent engineers.

Tom, despite his anguish, spoke calmly. “I hope everyone was watching the president’s disgusting speech. Obviously, he is not going to listen to any environmental scientists or reports. We have no choice but to go ahead with our agreed upon plan. It is full steam ahead. We will have to speed everything up. Based on the environmental evidence and facts, the human race probably has 200 years—or less—to live. To survive, we need to find a new planet.”

Several of his colleagues made comments agreeing with Dr. Burns. They all agreed they would go home and start implementing the agreed upon plans.

With that, he ended the FaceTime meeting. He felt a spectrum of emotions including betrayal by the president’s actions and fear for his children’s future and the future of everyone else. He had hoped his family could grow up to lead normal lives, go to college, marry, have children and choose a career for themselves without worrying about the environmental disasters that were sure to take place. He also felt bad for just about everyone alive and every person yet to be born. Most people were going to face terrible hardships just trying to survive. Most of all, he felt determined.

He and Sam walked toward the exit. Tom waved goodbye to the woman behind the counter.

As his son closed the door behind them to the restaurant, Tom felt the cool night air, hoping his son wasn’t too cold given the temperature had fallen quickly. It was September and although it had been a mild seventy-five degrees at Coors Field, they had to walk a block to get to their car. He didn’t want to embarrass his son, so he just put his arm around him to keep him warmer. Sam didn’t protest thankfully.

As they made their way to their car, Tom couldn’t help but look at Sam’s baseball glove that Sam held loosely in his hands. He’d given the glove to Sam after his son refused to use his old worn-out one. Tom had used that glove as a teenager when he was about Sam’s age. He laughed to himself when he remembered Sam’s look on his face as he stared at Tom’s old glove. It seemed so important to him to give it to Sam, but Sam wanted his own glove.

Tom knew that Sam had loved the game that afternoon. Sam had a fantastic baseball card collection and recited stats that baffled Tom, who also felt proud of his son for knowing and memorizing all kinds of stats. Seemed like the type of thing kids should be worried about in high school, not what was weighing on Tom’s mind. Tom shook away a bunch of thoughts. He still wanted to look like he was enjoying himself after he and Sam had watched their favorite team win and ate at their favorite restaurant. But that damn television and the news. He was overcome with concern and resentment, knowing that his son’s future was going to be nothing like his own.

Sam said, “You know my good friend Kory just made varsity, and I heard that there were even some top university recruits watching. I hope when I get to high school, I’ll play that well.”

Tom stared at Sam momentarily, masking the welled-up feeling of regret and sorrow that threatened to silence him, before he said, “Sam, you’re going to play with the best.”

He unlocked the car door, and they headed toward Interstate 70. All the while, Tom was glad that he had reached an agreement with his colleagues that there would be no more delays, no matter what lay ahead.

And so, it began.

About the Author
Michael Bienenstock is a retired teacher with over 35 years of teaching experience. He has published papers and given numerous presentations and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master’s degree from Gallaudet University, and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Maryland at College Park. He is married with one son and lives in Florida. So Long Earth is Michael’s debut novel and no, his clone did not write this book.
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18 Things College Students Need to Know by Renée Bailey

Non Fiction, College Guides

Date Published:  September 1, 2020

Publisher: Mascot Books


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College—it’s the first time most young adults move away from home. Suddenly, there is freedom like they’ve never encountered before—no parents, no school bells, no rules. There is no rulebook for starting college, and, unfortunately for most students, it can be a difficult and even shocking transition.

Renée Bailey knows firsthand how difficult the transition from high school and college can be. Going into her first year, she, like many others, thought she was prepared for the challenges and the freedom that awaited her. Looking back, there are so many things she wishes she had known. Renée wants students to know that they are not alone. 18 Things College Students Should Know provides rising college freshman with the tools, support, and the confidence they need to navigate a successful first year academically, socially, and mentally.

Renée Bailey grew up as the only daughter of a single mother. Between the ages of about 5 and 10 years old, she watched as her mother went to a two year nursing college while working full time. She watched as her Mom studied, and listened while her mom played audiotapes of her classes. She listened so well that this young woman would actually quote the professors back to her mother. As she approached her own college experience, she realized how ill prepared she really was. Sure enough, in the second semester of undergraduate degree, life took a sharp turn for this young woman and what she didn’t know about university life started working against her. As a result of what Renée went through with her own college experience, she learned about the stress of college, firsthand. Learning more about these stressors and how to overcome them kept her from being one of approximately thirty percent of college freshmen who drop out and enabled her to finish two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree in Performance Psychology. She has taught at the college level and now writes and speaks to high school and college students to help them stress less and succeed more in college.


About the Author

Renée Bailey grew up as the only daughter of a single mother. Between the ages of about 5 – 10 years old, she watched as her mother went to a two year nursing college while working full time. She watched as her Mom studied, and listened while her mom played audiotapes of her classes. She listened so well that this young woman would actually quote the professors back to her mother. As she approached her own college experience, she realized how ill prepared she really was. Sure enough, in the second semester of undergraduate degree, life took a sharp turn for this young woman and what she didn’t know about university life started working against her. As a result of what Renée went through with her own college experience, she learned about the stress of college, firsthand. Learning more about these stressors and how to overcome them kept her from being one of approximately thirty percent of college freshmen who drop out and enabled her to finish two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree in Performance Psychology. She has taught at the college level and now writes and speaks to high school and college students to help them stress less and succeed more in college.


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Facebook: @rbaileyspeaks

Instagram: @renee.bailey.speaks


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Inner Child by Reyhan Toplu

Healing My Inner child to Restore Self-Love

Self Help- Body mind Spirit- Psychology

Date Published: 9/29/20

Do you have a yearning to be the best version of yourself, but struggle to connect with your inner child? If you answered yes, perhaps I can help. I am Reyhan Toplu, and once upon a time, I was just like you. My journey will help inspire you to reconnect with yourself. 

We’ve all heard the cliché, “don’t lose sight of the child within”, but how do we hold onto them in a world of negativity? How do we preserve our love and innocence in a world seemingly intent on grinding us down? The time is right for us to rediscover our inner peace and self-love.

Too many of us think of our inner child as someone to fight against, rather than embrace. The victim of embarrassment, trauma, and for some of us, suffering, we’re all too willing to fight against the worst of what our inner child could be, rather than realizing the potential for growth, love, and happiness. This book is all about a journey to reconnect with my inner child, a book of ideas to help you on your own journey to finding peace and happiness. Our journeys may not be the same, but I hope my story can help guide you to finding your own contentment.

Journey with me, Reyhan Toplu, as we explore the hidden truths of your inner child on a quest for health and happiness that comes from within.



“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”  – Rumi

A paradigm has huge influence over perception, the use of time, creativity, effectiveness, logic, productivity, ability to earn money, relationships, all aspects of our lives. When you shift your perception, you unveil yourself from what is outward. The way of doing this is to unlearn, relearn and transform. Where is our paradigm stored? It is a vital question for you because all of our paradigm storage is in our subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is a part of our mind which is shaped by feelings and emotions.What is a paradigm? What is the inner child? There are many words in psychology. Paradigm is one of them. The basic definition is: it is the imaginary lens through which the mind perceives everything and how we see the world. Another way to say is it is your perception and acts according to mind orders. Think of it as a pair of sunglasses through which we see the world. It is a mindset or programming that has control over all habitual behaviors. A paradigm is set up in our minds and we see things via our experience. Many label this as the shadow side, dark side, inner child, or id.

The inner child is part of the mind (subconscious) being affected while you are a child between conception to 8 years of age. The root is right in the center of your mind. This not the same for everyone. I have noticed that children are particularly affected. Because kid’s sensitivity develops quicker than their cognitive reasoning, and then something happens in these formative years with their cognitive reasoning and understanding, their thinking, where one event or a series of events happen between that age gap and creates a strong emotional feeling – a really really overwhelming feeling which traumatizes them. In their logic, catching up with their emotions, triggers very strong emotional reactions. This child is experiencing the feeling but does not have the cognitive reasoning, the thought power, understanding and the knowledge to deal with that feeling. So they are in this position where they going to be believe in their emotions but they do not know how to deal with it. I could say that is the birth of the inner child.

It is a part of your mind that is blocked or stuck in this very important stage. That very part of your mind can not act in a certain way. Every human has those parts of their minds. I can hear you while you say: It must be me! Something is wrong with me! And the child has to deal with this tsunami in his/her mind. And the child vows this for the rest of his/her life. The child believes that vow deeply in his/her core from then on. Even as the child grows right to 60, 70, 80 years of age, he/she believes that because it is still planted in his/her mind. It is frozen and locked in so the inner child sees the world through these spectacles and accepts all these events or experiences he/she held in his/her mind from an immature stage. You act immaturely and you say things that are not true. It is like having somebody there talking in your head. This is how it feels for many. İt is your mind, but it is not mature.

Just to give an example to visually understand, imagine you are in a beautiful garden full of flowers, birds, bees and butterflies. Everything is healthy, grooving in harmony, and there is a little patch in the corner, with rubbish and bins. Although seeds lay beneath, they have not germinated because you have to clear all the rubbish away, water the ground, and then the seed will germinate. That is exactly what you have to do in your mind.

Whatever it is called, paradigm or inner child, it is all the same. It is important to ask yourself three questions and speak with your paradigm communication. Ask your inner child what would you like to tell me or what you want. That child suddenly does not know what to say. The inner child will be shocked suddenly. This may be because you need space to talk freely because you may be judged, blamed, abandoned, etc. Communicate genuinely with your inner child in such a way like nurturing your own child. Create space, give time, stop embarrassing, criticizing, being judgmental and comparing your inner child.

Some people misunderstand the inner child. Just because you had your basic needs met as a child, like a roof over your head and food on the table, it does not mean you did not experience early childhood trauma! When I started my inner child healing journey, I asked myself what is that inner child. I could not identify the child within me. I had internal knowledge that a part of me was traumatized and hiding herself from surroundings due to not feeling safe physically and spiritually.

In me, in you and in everyone around you, there is a little child in pain and suffering. There are good times and challenging times. We all experienced those difficulties and most of us experience different levels of traumas in our unique circumstances. This does not mean a small or large amount. When you are in a downswing as a child, you do not know the swing changes to get better. In order to be cognizant of this, you need to use higher mental faculties or laws, but due to the lack of knowledge, experience and surroundings that little child has no ability to manage and ease those traumas. In order to protect and shield ourselves, we try to forget and suppress our subconscious mind from those events, moments or painful times. As a result, we may not be aware of our inner paradigm or inner child even for decades.

The fact that we may ignore or deny and suppress our inner child and send him/her to our rabbit hole (subconscious mind) does not mean the little one is not there. The wounded child is always there, seeking expression and trying to get your attention. While we have many a-ha moments, they are feelings coming to the surface, showing up in our entire life and manifesting as dysfunctional behaviors, habits and experiences. Because that inner child wants to express “See me please! I am here! Help me! Help me! You cannot run away from me.” While we hear those inner voices, we want to end our suffering and we try to send the inner child deeper inside as far as possible. It is a pity trying to avoid or run from trauma because it does not help us or end our suffering. We are sending our inner child to the subconscious mind to be frozen not for healing.

The wounded child asks for healing, love and care; but what do we do for that? Do not think of the answer easy. I will tell you now. We do the opposite. We run as much as possible because we do not want more suffering; we are afraid of it. The suffering we experience not only belongs to a moment, but multiple events, and experiences. It can be in any form and does not matter how big or small. It is relative. Those traumas: blocks of pain and suffering in us feels overwhelming. We are not at a certain level of awareness to change our paradigm in that moment. We try to occupy and entertain ourselves within the illusion of our world. That illusion captures us with watching TV. Using the phone, socializing, sex, or using drugs or alcohol. Why all of those? Why do we try those things when we truly we do not want to? Because we do not want to feel that suffering all over again.

The main point here is ignorance because we even do not know the inner child is there. This part of us is reality and in us. Our paradigm is ignorance; the solution is understanding because the ability to see things the way they are, without that lens is freedom for the inner child. But ignorance is inside of each cell of us and our consciousness. This is a like a drop of poison passing throughout our body – organs and consciousness. Ignorance stops us from seeing the source and reality. While we are in that state, we are in an illusion. It gives us pride, false ego, convincing us to make foolish decisions, and it causes even more suffering. The cycle repeats and we go in deeper, closing ourselves from the outside. But in that state, we think there is something wrong with the outside, not the inside of us. Then we try to force to change jobs, relationships, the place we are living, etc. Of course, they may need to change as well, but my point is if change happens in you when your paradigm shifts, your entire life will be changed. You will see everything in a harmonious way. We do not need to go seeking the cause of our suffering outside or far away because it is lying inside of us right now at this moment. The one thing we need to do is look deeply and we can be in touch with that child. How do we touch that child? Everything starts with a thought and that is a seed you need to plant inside of yourself in order to shift and heal your inner child/paradigm. Because our mind is the true source of infinite power and the example of Gandhi has shown that a single individual’s strong belief can move whole nations.

When we become aware of a wounded child within us, we feel great compassion for that child and we begin to generate the energy of mindfulness. Because the seed of awakened understanding that supreme intelligence, and happiness is inside of us, we need to turn our spiritual essence. We have a supreme power with which we can communicate and create our reality. We are spiritual beings experiencing a human experience in a human body. So when we came into this incarnation, we forgot why we came here and what powers we are holding. We forgot how to use our higher mental faculties and abilities and then we let the illusion of existence capture us and manifest itself in different forms and names.

One of the main reasons we avoid our inner child is because we are afraid of suffering. This is the subconscious mind where our illusions, programing, paradigm and illusionary beliefs are stored. The mind is a separate self because we suffer from discrimination and delusion. Turn and look at all creatures, animals and every being around you. All have been in their habitat living in harmony. The only creatures living without harmony is human beings and they are living separated from their source. The reason is only human beings have the ability to create their own reality.


About the Author

Reyhan Toplu is a holistic healing and mindfulness practitioner, scholar, yogini, and author who offers her blending lifetime skills and knowledge with holistic; body mind spirit approach. Reyhan focuses on the multidimensional needs of individual. Recognizing a need for greater spiritual awareness in society, Reyhan has devoted her life on especially inner child healing, self-love, teaching mindfulness and helping people in all age groups who need to discover and develop their creative power of self-healing and personal growth. She also has integrated her accredited yoga, meditation, reiki, shamanic healing and other healing practices into her private healing & therapy work and public course offerings. And she is also writing her next book “Mindful Compassion for Suffering”.

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The Funeral Murder by Nancy Lynn Jarvis


In The Glass House, the first book in the PIP Inc. Mysteries series Pat Pirard, recently downsized Santa Cruz Law Librarian, needed to find a new job in a hurry. She printed business cards announcing she was Private Investigator Pat and crossed her fingers, hoping she could earn enough money working for attorneys as a PI to survive.
Pat’s first investigation went well, so she’s excited when she gets a call from an estate attorney who offers her a second job. The attorney tells Pat his client died at a funeral and he needs help sorting out who is entitled to inherit her estate.
Pat quickly discovers the dead woman’s past is as complicated as her estate. And when an autopsy indicates she had two deadly toxins in her body when she died, Pat’s new case becomes not only complicated, but dangerous.





Nancy Lynn Jarvis left the real estate profession after she started having so much fun writing the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series that she let her license lapse. She’s enjoyed writing about Regan and her husband, Tom, but decided it was time to do a new series.
PIP Inc. introduces protagonist downsized law librarian and not-quite-licensed Private Investigator Pat Pirard. “The Funeral Murder” is the second book in the series.
After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, Nancy worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare/Santa Cruz at UCSC.
Currently she’s enjoying being a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Santa Cruz Women of Mystery. 



“My stepdaughter once removed―is that what my wife’s stepdaughter would be to me? Well, she’s a doctor, so she knows what she’s doing. She tried, but she couldn’t save Viv. They think she had a massive heart attack. I guess I’m not surprised. She told me all her relatives had heart trouble and died young.”

Pat was careful to maintain a poker face. Mario Ponti had just told her something that wasn’t true. Did Vivian tell him that over the course of her marriage to him, or had he just lied to her about something that didn’t warrant a lie?

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Living Sacrifice by Rachel Rossano



Separated, but still joined, they strive for freedom.

Left behind at the sept son’s compound, Zezilia Ilar struggles with the after effects of her prolonged commisceo-link with Hadrian. She devotes herself to caring for the wounded arriving almost daily from the battlefields. Pressed to perform procedures and make decisions far beyond her training, Zez grows in confidence and skill. All the while, she wonders if she’ll see Hadrian again, fearing the worst possible news will arrive any day.
Sept Son Hadrian Aleron fights to bring peace to his home nation. Allied with the new high king, he and a small army of Talented struggle to retake the capital city. Elitists, though scattered, continue to pick off the strongest of his men. As he battles the remnants of the commisceo-link and tries to organize the campaign, he begins losing himself to exhaustion. Only a miracle will keep him alive.







  Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.


Top Ten List:

Rachel Rossano’s Top 10 Things to do in Inside the House (in no particular order)

1) Watching movies with her kids. We have a new tradition of family movie night with the kids. My husband and I have introduced them to classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Harvey as well as the Marvel movies they have missed until now because they were too young.

2) Reading books. As an author, I know this isn’t a huge surprise, but it needs to be said. I do love a reading afternoon or evening tucked in bed or snuggled on a couch with a large cup of tea.

3) Binge watching a previously watched show. Leverage, White Collar, and Castle are all favorites. My kids have gotten hooked on Leverage right along side me. It is fun that they are getting old enough to enjoy the same shows as me.

4) Designing book covers. It is a bit of cheat because this is one of my jobs, but I do enjoy playing around with images and learning new techniques in my free time, what little I have.

5) Doing Puzzles. We are just introducing our kids to the old favorite from earlier in our marriage when we didn’t have a TV or a DVD player. I have hopes they will enjoy it as much as my husband and I do.

6) Cooking. I rarely enjoyed cooking when the kids were very young. However, as the kids have grown to take over other chores, I have been enjoying cooking more and teaching the kids how to cook.

7) Coloring. I do enjoy coloring with my daughter. We pick up coloring books with pretty designs and color them in with markers and colored pencils.

8) Writing. Another given for an author, I suppose, but it is still my favorite activity.

9) Brainstorming writing ideas. I love spending a day chatting with a fellow writing friend as she and I bounce character and plot ideas off of each other. It is so exciting when someone beside yourself is  anticipating the fruition of an idea.

10) Making crafts. I haven’t been spending as much time crafting of late, but I do enjoy it. From making bookmarks to crochet, I love making new things, especially when they are useful.