Outback: Bothers and Sinisters

OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters (Family Tree Novel) by [Adams, Mark Wayne]

Mark Wayne AdamsTHIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, ‘THE GIRL WHO COULD READ HEARTS,” BY SHERRY MAYSONAVE AND “DESCRIPTIONS OF HEAVEN,” BY RANDAL ELDON GREENE, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHORS’ NAMES ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

——————————————————————————————————–

THE BOOK:  OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters

PUBLISHED IN: 2016.

THE AUTHOR: M. W. Adams.

THE EDITOR: Gina Edwards.

THE PUBLISHER:  Mark Wayne Adams, Inc. now SYP Kids an imprint of Southern Yellow Pine Publishing

SUMMARY:  The Family Tree Novel series’ steady, enduring story is like a tree growing against nature’s will toward the sky. Driew Qweepie’s perennial story buds, blossoms, grows, and falls from the twisted branches of the Qweepie family tree. The story’s sing-song rhythm creates a songline for readers to follow, scanning a century all told.

The book begins with a boy starting walkabout, a historical rite of passage into manhood. The moments throughout walkabout are viewed by a magic man chasing along an untimely move from Dawson City, Victoria, Australia’s Outback, to Dawson Springs in rural western Kentucky. This journey becomes a boy’s tracing of his bloodline, discovery of country, and possible death.

THE BACK STORY:  The Family Tree Novel series foundation has been written and illustrated throughout my life. The novel series germinated in 2012 from a conversation: “Write a story about the horrible things we did as siblings, that we never told our parents. Call the book Bothers and Sinisters.” From my parents’ farm, on the outskirts of Pennyrile Forest State Park in western Kentucky, I married the idea with my Australian Never Never fascination.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Included in “The Back Story” section above.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?  I never imagined educators might use the series as a resource to teach language, geography, and history through the Family Tree Novel events. Lately, I cannot escape questions about the novel and art created for the illustrated editions of the series. Driew Qweepie’s fascinating life is made real through pages of thought-provoking words and illustrations.

The brilliant “water boom era” of Dawson Springs and equally brilliant tale of family perspective elevated my illustration and writing passion, while making reading a hands-on activity. I thought it unfair not to include the fascinating perspectives of supporting actors through the illustrations. There are always two sides to every story—yours and theirs.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters is a book to be read slowly and savored. I was captivated by the mood and magic that pervades this most unusual coming of age story.” — Jack Mangus, Readers’ Favorite

“Adams’ characters amuse, frustrate, intrigue, and redeem us. Most importantly, Outback teaches us the wisdom of ‘family,’ ‘roots,’ and ‘home’—all of which make their own kind of magic in our everyday lives.” —Jo Travis, retired English Teacher and Librarian

“A story that young readers and adults of all ages will enjoy.” —Ryan Jordan, Readers’ Favorite

AUTHOR PROFILE: M. W. Adams explored the magic of childhood in the creeks, caves, and bluffs of western Kentucky. Playing Outback uncovered an adventurous world between his home near Pennyrile State Park and his hometown of Dawson Springs. Accompanied by pretend horses and a brown baby doll, M. W. grew to love his bizarre Outback family, sometimes more than his “normal” family.

Mark was inspired to chase his entrepreneurial dream in the 3rd grade, selling drawings to classmates. Creating books and inspiring others has always been his passion. Mark’s ability to produce quality illustrations at a fast pace and dedication to mentor others has made MWA, Inc. both successful and unique. In the past five years, his authors have won over 50 book awards and he continues to create new, successful products annually.

Mark contributes his talents and time to the community locally and nationally. He promotes reading and writing via public speaking engagements, book signings, and participation in book events from Florida to the Northeastern United States. He has been recognized through the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, KACo (KY Assoc. of Counties), FAPA Board, SCBWI, IBPA, and national book awards. He also volunteers his talents to the Kids Need to Read annual calendar and donates books to various organizations.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Research and writing continues to take me home to Dawson Springs, both as a nostalgic adult and as an adventure seeking kid. Through masterful storytelling and art, each book is about the return of family from an abandoned life—until Driew’s shocking discovery of a songline crossing his family farm.

I always considered myself reasonably creative, but not a writer, expressing my ideas through illustrations. I felt tongue-tied and without a voice until the words cascaded onto the pages of my Best Sketchbook. This Never Never story, a dreaming, timeless-time adventure in my life. When I open the pages, I’m in wonder that somehow the phrase “Bothers and Sinisters” triggered a new childhood Never Never land.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Mark Wayne Adams’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Wayne-Adams/e/B01AJ7WQ8C

Sample Chapter:

Moment 1

Hangin’

“Be them ever so cruel, there’s no family crueler than ours!” Driew Qweepie’s hooded tormenter chuckled. “Go! Here comes that Brown kid!”

Four teenage silhouettes bounced through the overgrown pumpkin patch, their escape concealed by the shadowy tree line.

Fall’s first cool breeze crept through the once popular town of Dawson Springs, ending the suffocation of summer’s dog days. Driew Qweepie’s tween body hung limp in his overalls from the scarecrow’s post. Cawing crows, darker than his hair, mocked him from their perch above.

His eyelids rose and fell over eyes of blue and green. Heterochromia, the condition was called, thought to be hereditary, or caused by a disease or an injury. Since he was healthy and the only family member with heterochromia, Driew’s explanation was an unimaginable injury. His siblings teased, “Dropped on your head is your problem.”

Thick wire-rim glasses obscured the condition. Non-family members awed at Driew’s pleasing appearance. His dark complexion, chocolate ringlets of hair, and dwarf-like size made him a doll for sure.

As he hung from the scarecrow’s perch, his consciousness swayed like a porch swing in a gentle wind. The hangin’ left him to reflect on his family hierarchy. An unwritten historical timeline that flipped through his mind recalled a decade of prank-filled albums created by four tormenting siblings. Soon his eleventh year would bring new volumes of teenage tortures.

Labeled “little bother,” he was the youngest and lowest ranking member in the Qweepie family. From the first moment of his life, he learned trust was not easily earned. His bothers’ and sinisters’ torments had worsened since moving to the Kentucky farm.

His parents, Nieve and Marq Qweepie, uprooted their Florida lives to resolve nasty letters received about their farm’s demise. Marq listed the property for sale after his father died and never intended to return. Ida Mae, the caretaker during Marq’s absence, became feeble and unable to maintain the farm properly.

“She needs you. She needs you,” a voiced echoed melodically, awakening Driew. His heavy eyelids rose to reveal a hazy heterochromic gaze reflecting his own.

“PSST! Holy Dooley! You alive mate? G’Day! Here down under!” a voice called below him.

Driew’s light-sensitive eyes focused on the pumpkin patch. Behind the scarecrow’s post, the setting sun cast a veil of darkness over the stranger. “Wh-wh-who are you? Wh-wh-what do you want?” Driew’s voice screeched into the silent patch.

“I heard whimpers. Thought I’d find an abandoned pup out here, or something entertaining. People dump treasures off this road all the time.” The stranger pointed toward the road leading to the Qweepie farm.

Scarecrow was an elevation from being a “little bother.” This prank signified his torturous life—a pawn to ward away intruders.

“No worries. They aren’t coming back,” coughed Driew.

“Who did this, mate?”

“My bothers and sinisters.”

The stranger tugged at Driew’s overall straps, releasing him from their confines. The stranger backed away in awe of Driew’s glide to safety.

A whirling cloud of dust howled through the patch. Crows abandoned their perch, alerting the hillside of the disturbance.

“A willy willy! Let’s rack off! These spirits give me the heeby jeebies!” The tween stranger grabbed Driew’s overall straps and led him away.

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, SYP Publishing, and signed editions at http://www.markwayneadams.com or http://www.mwa.company.

PRICE: $15.77

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Links are included below.

Website(s): http://www.markwayneadams.com, http://www.mwa.company

Social Media: • Twitter: @markwayneadams • Facebook: Mark Wayne Adams • Google+: Mark Wayne Adams • Instagram: markwayneadams • Pintrest: markwayneadams

The Girl Who Could Read Hearts

The Girl Who Could Read Hearts by [Maysonave, Sherry]PUBLISHED IN: 2016

THE AUTHOR: Sherry Maysonave

THE PUBLISHER: Balboa Press with Empowerment Productions LLC

SUMMARY: Born gifted with a rare seventh sense—the ability to read human hearts coupled with keen intuition—protagonist Kate Kindrick struggles to understand her capabilities. She is often bewildered by her unique perceptions, combined with seeing symbols and colors in people’s hearts. Kate’s parents fear that their young daughter suffers from delusional psychosis. Their concerns are intensified by her claims that she has conversations with an angel. Yet it’s her naiveté of the intuitive signs that augur trouble.

Sherry MaysonaveTHE BACK STORY: I was very intuitive as a child and have had mystical experiences throughout my life. At the mere age of five, I had a direct experience of my soul existing separately from my physical body. This forever changed my perception of God, life on earth, and life in heaven. “The Girl Who Could Read Hearts” was inspired by a vivid, “visitation dream” with one of my deceased sisters shouting from a mountaintop. The segments of this story that embrace death are based upon my real-life experiences when I was present with beloved family members as they passed away. My wondrous encounters of loved ones’ spirits after their physical deaths are deeply engaging. I don’t just believe there is an afterlife, I know there is.

WHY THIS TITLE: The six-year old protagonist, Kate, has the ability to read human hearts coupled with keen intuition. While encountering good and evil, this special “seventh sense” provides her with insights into what other characters in the book are thinking and feeling.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: — Mentally Provocative:
Have you ever wondered what was going on in a child’s mind? Is it possible to know what others are thinking and feeling? Is there an afterlife?
— Real-life Experiences:
Not just conjecture. Many of protagonist Kate’s mystical incidents are based on the Sherry Maysonave’s personal experiences.
— Unique Twists
A multidimensional plot developed within the complex dynamics of family life. Daring and inspiring while exploring intuition, angels, the afterlife, and social issues.
— Compelling Family Storylines
Spiritual, mystical, and experiential themes woven into a compelling family storyline. Metaphors, similes, and analogies bring life and light to these interconnections.
— Memorable Characters
Powerful characters — flawed, in the process of growing, and complex. Kate encounters the earthly dangers of her rare seventh sense in a labyrinthine setting.

REVIEW COMMENTS:  “Sherry Maysonave’s ability to juxtapose inner and outer worlds for a maximum sense of impact and her realistic portrayal of a youngster’s world make for satisfying blends of extraordinary and ordinary experiences. Highly recommended.” — Midwest Book Review.

“The Girl Who Could Read Hearts is a delightful, inspiring novel. In a world that seems to be getting darker, Maysonave creates a little child to help us focus on the beauty of our planet, and to help us let the light in.” — Net Galley.

“Sherry is a talented writer who is able to create a multitude of unique, developed characters in a relatively short book. Through Kate, the book’s protagonist, Sherry succeeds in portraying the depth of feeling, thought and intuition that children possess, as well as (comically) how it is overlooked and misinterpreted by adults.” — Amazon

Awards:
“Best Book” ─ 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award ─ Fiction, Inspirational
“The Winner” ─ 2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards ─ Fiction, Religion
“Award Winner” ─ 2016 London Book Festival ─ Fiction, Spiritual / Religious
“Award Winner” ─ 2016 Great Midwest Book Festival ─ Fiction, Spiritual
“Readers’ Favorite” 2016 Award ─ 5 Stars

AUTHOR PROFILE:  An accomplished author and motivational speaker, Sherry Maysonave has made multiple appearances on NBC’s Today, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NPR, and she has been featured in USA Today, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek. Previously, Sherry wrote the nonfiction best seller “Casual Power – How To Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication & Dress Down for Success” and the award-winning eBook “EggMania: Where’s the Egg in Exactly?”. Sherry and her husband, Stephen, reside in Austin, Texas.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “Significant, key elements of “The Girl Who Could Read Hearts” are based on my personal experiences, not conjecture.”

SAMPLE CHAPTER:
Website: http://www.thegirlwhocouldreadhearts.com/excerpt/
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fRjeoR

LOCAL OUTLETS:
BookPeople, Austin, Texas, and most fine book stores

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Balboa Press, Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Indies, http://www.thegirlwhocouldreadhearts.com/

PRICE: eBook $8.69 – $9.99; Trade Paperback $20.99; Hardcover $37.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
Twitter: @SherryMaysonave
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/The-Girl-Who-Could-Read-Hearts-1770380679870722/book_preview/
Website: http://www.thegirlwhocouldreadhearts.com/contact/

Stephen G. Maysonave  |  USA Mobile: +1.919.931.9991
mailto:Steve@Maysonave.com  |  Maysonave International LLC | Global Business Development

Descriptions of Heaven

Descriptions of Heaven by [Greene, Randal Eldon]THE BOOK: Descriptions of Heaven

PUBLISHED IN: 2016

THE AUTHOR: Randal Eldon Greene

THE EDITOR: Martine Bellen

THE PUBLISHER: Harvard Square Editions

SUMMARY: A linguist, a lake monster, and the looming shadow of death—news of an unknown creature in the New Bedford Lake coincides with news that Natalia’s cancer has returned.

On the shores of the lake in a strange house with many secret doors, Robert and his family must face the fact that Natalia is dying, and there is no hope this time. But they continue on; their son plays by the lakeside, Natalia paints, Robert writes, and all the while the air is thick with dust from a worldwide drought that threatens to come down and coat their little corner of green.

Randal Eldon GreeneA lament for what is already lost and what is yet to be lost, Descriptions of Heaven leaves only one question to be asked: What’s next?

THE BACK STORY: As with most of my stories, I started with the end—a last line, and I worked my way toward that. At the time I was trying to write a novel that wasn’t going anywhere. One of the elements of this aborted novel was a character dying of a terminal illness. But the book just wasn’t making the kind of progress I wanted.

One night I had a terrible bout of insomnia. Still unable to sleep, I spent much of the next morning lying on a couch, watching a marathon run of some monster-hunting show. In one of the episodes, they were searching for a lake monster. It turns out there are hundreds of lakes across the globe that have supposed lake monsters. While watching this episode the last line came to me. I went downstairs (where my writing desk was located at the time) and wrote the line down. I got some sleep and the next day started working on this new book. I didn’t know at the time if it would be anything more than a writing exercise or maybe even a short story. Instead, it took some of the themes from that now-abandoned novel and built a unique story for itself, becoming Descriptions of Heaven, a little book with a lot of depth.

WHY THIS TITLE? Descriptions of Heaven has three main characters. There’s Robert, the linguist. His wife, Natalia. Then there is their son, Jesse. Natalia is basically an atheist while Robert is an agnostic. Their son knows his mother will die soon and he poses questions for them about what this means, what exactly the afterlife is. Seeking answers to these questions from a stance of human unbelief and doubt direct the narrative flow.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Anyone who likes beautiful rhythms and artistic language will love this book. The narrator, Robert, will also take you on a journey of words, as he reaches for more difficult descriptions and obscure nouns, verbs, and adjectives—only revealing the inadequacy of words to provide the answers he’s seeking. So if you’re a logophile (a lover of words) you’ll be in for a treat.

Fans of contemplative literary fiction are the main audience for this book. Though many others have found Descriptions of Heaven to be a beautiful little novel to turn to when in the mood for a poetic tragedy.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“This is an accomplished work. Greene has addressed a great deal of material in a short space. His story is physically minimal while his prose, and the ideas and situations it conveys, are expansive. Greene does very effective work with very few pages. In the process, he has created a thoughtful and emotional novel that examines with intelligence and compassion the deepest levels of human suffering and loss.” —Colorado Review

“Descriptions of Heaven is an admirable sort of quietly suspenseful literary novel; its prose flows without awkwardness, and heartrending gothic secrets are revealed in due course as the philosophical narrative unfolds.” —Kevin Polman, author of The Extra Key

“From the very first pages, I saw the lives of these characters like a shattering mirror. All those details which make everyday life normal will be torn apart in front of the characters, leaving them unable to do anything but wait for that final dreaded moment and afterwards try to move on.” —eLitere

“Randal Greene masterfully created a character who fights in silence, who faces life with her heart and her feelings out in the open. I loved meeting her, and her last journey seen through her husband’s eyes was beautiful to witness.” —Chocolatenwaffles

“In My Opinion if you like to read books there is no reason you shouldn’t pick up this one. . .It’s short and easy to read, it packs a punch for something so small, and it will touch each and every one of your emotional strings by the time you read the ending.” —Victor G. Espinoza, author of Greyhart

“I loved the author’s prose and his style in general. Greene makes poetry of his prose and commands the page. For that reason alone, it was a joy to read.” —The Underground

“Let yourself get involved, and you may be pulled in by the linguist’s efforts to use the tools of his craft—words—as aids in his search for answers to his son’s (and his own) questions about why Natalia is dying and where she is going.” —IndieReader

“It’s a book that must be read with the desire to see the ordinary transform. Images are poetry in a novelist’s prose. Emotions are felt through metaphors and the scene itself—internal battles that end with short moments of dialogue.” —Cayce Berryman, copy editor and newspaper producer for Gannet (USA Today Network)

“What’s surprised me is how such a short novella has left lasting thoughts.  Greene’s use of words has evoked such vivid images and thoughts that I find I’m contemplating life and death myself.  An interesting and thought-provoking read.” —happymeerkatreviews

“This work of art is incredibly poetic from beginning to end. Randal Eldon Greene paints his words with every array of colors imaginable.” —Paperback Darling

“With so many hauntingly beautiful lines, and characters that I cared about and became attached to, I felt as if I, too, took this journey, and I’ve been changed along with them. And for me, that’s the ultimate gift that a story could give.” —Unbroken Journal

AUTHOR PROFILE: Randal Eldon holds a degree in English and Anthropology from the University of South Dakota. His short fiction and other writing has appeared in 34thParallel, as|peers, Unbroken Journal, StoryFinds, Monkeybicycle, NPR online and elsewhere. He works full time as a seeing eye human for his blind dog, Missy. Greene lives in Sioux City, Iowa. His typos are tweeted @authorgreene and his website is found at authorgreene.com

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “Descriptions of Heaven is not a religious book. And it’s also not an anti-religious book. It’s just a good story that anyone of any faith can enjoy. Don’t let the title or cover the publisher chose dissuade you or give you false expectations. Sample the book below and see if it’s right for you.

SAMPLE CHAPTER:

http://eco-fiction.com/read/descriptions-of-heaven/

LOCAL OUTLETShttp://harvardsquareeditions.org/portfolio-items/descriptions-of-heaven/

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and available for order through bookstores everywhere.

PRICE: paperback 22.95 ; Kindle 9.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
www.AuthorGreene.com
Facebook.com/RandalEldonGreene
twitter.com/AuthorGreene
wintergreenwriter@gmail

Randal Eldon Greene

authorgreene.com | Twitter @authorgreene

Weather Report, March 28

Image result for australian outback images
THIS WEEK’S FEATURED BOOKS, “ECHOES OF TATTERED TONGUES,” BY JOHN GUZLOWSKI, ”FIXING BOO BOO,” BY PAT STANFORD AND ”MAZE,” BY KATYA MILLS, MAY BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING ON THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR’S PAGE.
,I have to admit having a soft spot for the Southern Yellow Pines Publishing Company in Tallahassee, FLA. SYYP (I don’t like acronyms, but sometimes it’s necessary) has sent a flock of authors to Snowflakes in a Blizzard, and I have been impressed with the effort publisher Terri Gerrell puts in to get her writers noticed.
It probably helps that this is very much a regional operation, specializing in Florida authors and/or books, and that enables Gerrell to dispatch “her” writers to book signings within a relatively small geographical area.
I mention all this not so much to give SYYP a plug (I definitely don’t want to start down that road),  but to encourage other publishers to take advantage of this service. Snowflakes in a Blizzard has no intention of competing with or co-opting the efforts of any publisher, agent or publicist. It’s just another way of getting books noticed — and because the service is free, we have no financial incentive for competing with anyone.
Mark W. Adams, whose “OUTBACK: Bothers and Sinisters” is featured on Snowflakes this week, has recently combined his young adult/kids company to SYYP.   We haven’t done many young adult books, but this one is intriguing, offering a taste of life and language in the Australian Outback.
Also featured this week are “Descriptions of Heaven,” by Randal Eldon Greene and “The Girl Who Could Read Hearts,” by Sherry Masonave.
Sherry already has established quite an impressive “footprint”  — her work has been featured by NBC’s Today, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NPR, USA Today, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Business Week.
Randal initially made a name for himself by writing short fiction. He may be our first author with combined degrees in English and anthropology.
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, MARCH 29-APRIL 3
“OUTBACK: BOTHERS AND SINISTERS,” BY MARK W. ADAMS.

The Family Tree Novel series’ steady, enduring story is like a tree growing against nature’s will toward the sky. Driew Qweepie’s perennial story buds, blossoms, grows, and falls from the twisted branches of the Qweepie family tree. The story’s sing-song rhythm creates a songline for readers to follow, scanning a century all told.

The book begins with a boy starting walkabout, a historical rite of passage into manhood. The moments throughout walkabout are viewed by a magic man chasing along an untimely move from Dawson City, Victoria, Australia’s Outback, to Dawson Springs in rural western Kentucky. This journey becomes a boy’s tracing of his bloodline, discovery of country, and possible death.

 

“THE GIRL WHO COULD READ HEARTS,” BY SHERRY MASONAVE.

Born gifted with a rare seventh sense—the ability to read human hearts coupled with keen intuition—protagonist Kate Kindrick struggles to understand her capabilities. She is often bewildered by her unique perceptions, combined with seeing symbols and colors in people’s hearts. Kate’s parents fear that their young daughter suffers from delusional psychosis. Their concerns are intensified by her claims that she has conversations with an angel. Yet it’s her naiveté of the intuitive signs that augur trouble.

“DESCRIPTIONS OF HEAVEN,” BY RANDAL ELDON GREENE.

A linguist, a lake monster, and the looming shadow of death—news of an unknown creature in the New Bedford Lake coincides with news that Natalia’s cancer has returned.

On the shores of the lake in a strange house with many secret doors, Robert and his family must face the fact that Natalia is dying, and there is no hope this time. But they continue on; their son plays by the lakeside, Natalia paints, Robert writes, and all the while the air is thick with dust from a worldwide drought that threatens to come down and coat their little corner of green.

A lament for what is already lost and what is yet to be lost, Descriptions of Heaven leaves only one question to be asked: What’s next?

Echoes of Tattered Tongues

THIS WEEK’S OTHER TWO FEATURED BOOKS, “FIXING BOO BOO,” BY PAT STANFORD AND “MAZE,” BY KATYA MILLS, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR’S PAGE.

———————————-

THE BOOK: Echoes of Tattered Tongues: Memory Unfolded

PUBLISHED IN: March 2016

THE AUTHOR: John Z. Guzlowski

THE EDITOR: Terry Tegnazian

THE PUBLISHER: Aquila Polonica

SUMMARY:  In this major tour de force, John Guzlowski traces the arc of one of the millions of immigrant families of America, in this case, survivors of the maelstrom of World War II. His narrative structure mirrors the fractured dislocation experienced by war refugees. Through a haunting collage of jagged fragments―poems, prose and prose poems, frozen moments of time, sometimes dreamlike and surreal, other times realistic and graphic―Guzlowski weaves a powerful story with impacts at levels both obvious and subtle. The result is a deeper, more visceral understanding than could have been achieved through descriptive narrative alone. This is the story of Guzlowski’s family: his mother and father, survivors of the war, taken as slave laborers by the Germans; his sister and himself, born soon after the war in  Displaced Persons camps in Germany; the family’s first days in America, and later their neighbors in America, some dysfunctional and lost, some mean, some caring and kind; and the relationships between and among them all. As Guzlowski unfolds the story backwards through time, he seduces us into taking the journey with him. Along the way, the transformative power of the creative process becomes apparent. Guzlowski’s writing helps him uncouple from the trauma of the past, and at the same time provides a pathway for acceptance and reconciliation with his parents.

John Z. GuzlowskiTHE BACK STORY:  I was born in a refugee camp in 1948 in Germany. My parents had been slave laborers there. My father spent 5 years in Buchenwald Concentration Camp, and my mother spent 3 years in various women’s camps. After the war, they could not return to their homes in Poland because the Soviets had taken the country over. We came to the US as refugees in 1951.

From the time I was a child, my father told me stories about what it was like for him and my mother in the concentration and refugee camps. These stories mixed with the stories I heard around me as a child. Growing up in the immigrant and refugee neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago, I met hardware store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their wrists,

Polish cavalry officers who still mourned for their dead comrades and women who had walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians.

In 1979 I started writing about my parents and the refugees and survivors I grew up among. Echoes of Tattered Tongues is my 5th book about them.

WHY THIS TITLE? The title comes from a line in my poem “Refugees.” There, I talk about what it was like when we arrived in America. I say we came with “our tongues in tatter, our teeth in our pockets.” For me this is an image that captures the chaotic state of refugees who have survived terrible horrors. They come to the new place in psychological and mental rags, in tatters, deprived of everything except the memory of the horrors.

What I try to do in my book is to capture the tattered voices of my parents and other survivors and refugees.

Why do I do this? Before she died, my mother told me to tell people about what happened to her and the millions of people who were taken to Germany as slave laborers.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: I think it’s important to hear stories about terrible things. It connects us to the past and also prepares us for the future. But what is as important as hearing the stories of terrible things is hearing the stories of hope and struggle and survival. I think hearing these stories makes us more human, more humane, and stronger.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Exceptional…even astonished me…reveals an enormous ability for grasping reality.” (Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz, “Exceptional…even astonished me…reveals an enormous ability for grasping reality.” on Guzlowski’s poetry in “Language of Mules”)

The son of two Nazi concentration camp prisoners, John Guzlowski was born in a Displaced Persons camp and immigrated to Chicago with his little sister and Polish mother and father shortly after WWII. This devastating, one-of-a-kind collection uses poems and short essays to reveal unspeakable moments from his parents’ wartime experiences, and the less-than-open arms America mostly extended to millions of families fleeing the ruins of Europe. (Matt Sutherland, “Devastating, one-of-a-kind collection.” Foreword Reviews, Spring 2016; https://www.forewordreviews.com/reviews/echoes-of-tattered-tongues/) Guzlowski, a Polish-American writer born in a German refugee camp after WWII, recounts the horrible atrocities enacted upon his parents during the war in these straightforward, gut-wrenching narrative lyric poems. These snapshots of Nazi German rule illustrate that hardship didn’t end with German surrender; the aftershocks radiated through successive generations. Guzlowski’s simple language highlights the violence without offering any comment or consolation…each word means more in the sparse, unadorned language Guzlowski employs.

Poems of this nature are not meant to alleviate the pain, but to help keep a record of it; to serve as a reminder that silence is not a crime, but forgetting is. (“Gut-wrenching narrative lyric poems.” Publishers Weekly, April 4, 2016; ttp://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-60772-021-8).

“Like most immigrant kids, John Guzlowski never wanted to write about his Polish parents and the world they left when they came to America…. Unlike most stories of this kind, however, Guzlowski’s is told mostly in poems, which forces the author to wield formal control over a material that’s painful and distressing. Luckily for us, in Echoes of Tattered Tongues: Memory Unfolded (Aquila Polonica, 2016), Guzlowski writes taut poems―he cares about the narrative as much as the voice or the image….These beautifully realized lines not only showcase Guzlowski’s poetic sensibility but also keep the poem from slipping into sentimentality….Guzlowski aims to write not only about his parents’ lives “but also about the lives of all those forgotten, voiceless refugees, DPs, and survivors that the last century produced, no matter where they came from.” In doing so, he appeals to our shared desire to understand how the present continues to be shaped by the past.

(“Taut…beautifully realized.” World Literature Today, April 13, 2016; http://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/blog/book-reviews/channeling-other-review-echoes-tattered-tongues-john-guzlowski) “Powerful…Deserves attention and high regard. To read these poems is to lift the lid on history and risk a step inside. One not only suffers the furnace but also endures, like the poet himself, the human will to counter history’s inferno with an awful fire all its own. The poet’s spare voice sings as austerely as his parents’ trunk cobbled of Buchenwald wallboards. These poems do not flinch even as they take and give a punch: each note the pitch of absence given body, each silence a terrible waiting answered by singed arrival.” – See more at: http://www.polandww2.com/echoes-of-tattered-tongues/echoes-of-tattered-tongues-praise#sthash.2I3ItxwY.dpuf (Kevin Stein, “Powerful…Deserves attention and high praise.” Poet Laureate of Illinois).

“Deeply moving. John Guzlowski has written a powerful, lasting, and sometimes shocking book, one in which prose and poetry join hands to document a felt comprehension of the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis in WWII. He tells the stories his parents would have told had they not been living them. Thus these pages honor his forebears and indeed all those who were in the camps. The stories will haunt you but we must read them or fail to grasp what humans can do to humans. Anyone who wishes to consider himself or herself knowledgeable about the world in which, for better or for worse, we live, will read this superb book.” (Kelly Cherry, “Deeply moving. A powerful, lasting, and sometimes shocking book. Superb.” Poet Laureate of Virginia (2010-2012)).

Some books take a lifetime to write, yet they can be read in one sleepless night, filled with tears of compassion and a heaviness of heart. John Z. Guzlowski’s book of poetic memoirs is exactly such a book: an unforgettable, painful personal history, distilling the horrors of his parents’ experiences in German labor and concentration camps into transcendent artwork of lucid beauty…

A poet, writer and retired professor (Eastern Illinois University), Guzlowski has enjoyed 40 years of a successful academic and literary career… Intensely personal, the book is, at the same time, universal. Here’s the secret of Guzlowski’s impeccable use of language to capture the raw suffering of millions through the personal lens: “the bread of sawdust and sorrow…” “the scream that ends in screaming.” The book is an historical and literary revelation: when I first read it, I realized that I did not even remember how many millions of Polish slave laborers were feeding Germany and building up its infrastructure, the machinery of war. Bringing this experience home, through intense, starkly realistic descriptions of dire facts and brutal events, is one of the strengths of Guzlowski’s volume. It should be considered on a par with the work by giants of Holocaust literature – memoirs by Primo Levi, or stories by Tadeusz Borowski… (“Unforgettable. An historical and literary revelation.” Cosmopolitan Review, Winter 2016, http://cosmopolitanreview.com/echoes-of-tattered-tongues/).

“John Guzlowski’s rugged poems rise like a land-bridge emerging from would-be oblivion to connect continents, generations, and a deeply felt personal present with the tragic, implacable history of the twentieth century.” (Stuart Dybek, “John Guzlowski’s rugged poems rise like a land-bridge.” award-winning MacArthur Fellow and poet, author of “Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories”).

“I could not praise it enough―masterfully done. Reads almost like a novel.” (Professor Gregory F. Tague, “I could not praise it enough―masterfully done. Reads almost like a novel.” Editor of “Battle Runes: Writings on War and Common Boundary: Stories of Immigration”)

“It’s hard to read this book. Not because the prose is in any way turgid or the poetry difficult in that pretentious way that once was the fashion. It’s hard to read this book because it is so honest. So clear. Like a crystal clear day you get in the cold sunlight of winter…it shines…like seeing into people’s souls… This is a book to hold and to hug, to stroke softly. (Martin Stepek, “This is a book to hold and to hug, to stroke softly…it shines…like seeing into people’s souls.” award-winning poet, author of “For There Is Hope”, Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1492819406?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1).

“Remarkable blend of academic scrutiny with stark, uncompromising humanity. What I find fascinating is Guzlowski’s ability to always say something new…balancing overarching social commentary with the smallest, heart-wrenching details.” (Michael Meyerhofer, “Remarkable blend of academic scrutiny with stark, uncompromising humanity. Atticus Review, on Guzlowski’s earlier work. Atticus Review, September 3, 2013, http://atticusreview.org/featured-poet-john-guzlowski/) “Guzlowski should join the annals of the great recording angels, not just for his unsparing yet compassionate language but also because he makes clear what is so easy to forget: that no matter how many years pass, such events never do.” (Lola Haskins, Florida poet and author,

AUTHOR PROFILE: Over a writing career that spans more than 40 years, John Z. Guzlowski has amassed a significant body of published work in a wide range of genres: poetry, prose, literary criticism, reviews, fiction and nonfiction. His work has appeared in numerous national journals and anthologies, and in four prior books. Guzlowski’s work has garnered high praise, including from Nobel Laureate Czesław Miłosz, who called Guzlowski’s poetry “exceptional.”

Born in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II, Guzlowski came to America with his family as a Displaced Person in 1951. His parents had been Polish slave laborers in Nazi Germany during the war. Growing up in the tough immigrant neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago, he met hardware store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their wrists, Polish cavalry officers who still mourned for their dead horses, and women who had walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians.

In much of his work, Guzlowski remembers and honors the experiences and ultimate strength of these voiceless survivors. Guzlowski received his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Purdue University. He is Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Eastern Illinois University, and currently lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: It’s easy to turn away from history, to say that was so long ago, to say that it doesn’t matter to anybody. But I think doing so cuts us off not only from the people who brought us to this stage in history, but it also cuts us off from the lessons history wants to teach us about how to survive and how to love and how to hope. History is our mother — teaching us all the lessons we need to know to go on.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link).

The foreword, the preface, and 5 sample poems can be seen “inside the book” on the official Echoes of Tattered Tongues book page.

http://www.polandww2.com/echoes-of-tattered-tongues/echoes-of-tattered-tongues-about-the-book

LOCAL OUTLETS: The book is available through most independent bookstores and Barnes and Noble.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: It’s available as a hardcover book and as an audible version at Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Tattered-Tongues-Memory-Unfolded/dp/1607720213/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

PRICE: $21.95 in hardcover.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: jzguzlowski@gmail.com

My Amazon writer’s page is:

https://www.amazon.com/John-Z.-Guzlowski/e/B00287TCBG/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Fixing Boo Boo

Fixing Boo Boo by [Stanford, Pat]THE BOOK: Fixing Boo Boo.

PUBLISHED IN: 2017

THE AUTHOR: Pat Stanford

THE EDITORS: Terri Gerrell, Tom Birol, M Taylor & Liz Jameson,

THE PUBLISHER: Southern Yellow Pine Publishing.

SUMMARY: Do you know a person with a brain injury? Pat did. Her sister, Barb, needed help and Pat wanted to help.

All Barb really wanted was to be treated like everyone else, but it was difficult since she was born with cerebral palsy. All the family wanted was for her to be safe and well cared for, especially after a life-changing accident that left her brain-injured. Stubborn and determined, Barb carved out a life for herself, overcoming many obstacles. After her husband died, she needed assistance to cope with daily meals and chores.

Pat StanfordHer sister and brother-in-law encouraged her to sell her house and come live with them. The family thought they were providing a home for a family member, but they had no idea what dealing with brain injury meant. They found out! A story of one family and the struggles they faced to live with the diagnosis of Brain Injury.

THE BACK STORY: I started writing it as a cathartic process after my sister died. Since I kept all emails and other correspondence to the many people we had to contact for her care, that became my starting point. Rather than dump all the info gained, I thought it might help someone else facing a similar situation. This being my first novel length work, took me four years to complete, mainly due to running it through a critique group, that only met monthly.

WHY THIS TITLE?: My sister had a lot of medical problems, so my husband nicknamed her “Boo Boo” as an endearment. When she came to live with us, she needed surgery on her hip, but that required other things to be taken care of first, hence the “Fixing” part of the title.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? While it certainly will have a niche with families of brain injured people, it may have a broader appeal due to its snarky sense of humor which was necessary for both my husband and I to develop. It also has a nifty resources section for several organizations representative of the main character’s other health problems.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

By ROSEMARY on March 9, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

I initially bought this book because I wanted to support my friend Pat, the author, but as I began to read this beautifully unfolding story of her sister, Barb, I couldn’t put it down. It is written with humor and honesty and so descriptively that I felt like I was right there with Pat and her husband Gary. I was sad when the book came to an end, I wanted to keep reading! Pat very thoughtfully included a list of resources at the end of the book for people that may be dealing with the same issues. I am proud to give this book 5 stars.

By Amazon Customeron March 10, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

Fixing Boo Boo is an incredible story of a woman’s devotion in caring for her brain injured sister at the end of her sister’s life. If you have ever been a caregiver this book will encourage you to keep moving forward. Pat and her husband are determined to give Barb the best care while trying to set boundaries within their own lives. You will find yourself laughing and crying through this journey. You will not want to put this book down.

I also had two endorsements on the back cover, if you want to use them:

Fixing Boo Boo is heartwarming, informative, and funny from a sister who chose to be a caregiver not knowing what she didn’t know about brain injury. It’s the story of 9,000 families every year in Florida who give up their lives to care for their loved one.

Valerie Breen, CEO, Brain Injury Association of Florida

Fixing Boo Boo provides a great perspective! Many caregivers will relate to it and just as important, it will invoke thought about disability sensitivity from others that have not been touched by disability…yet.

It’s a great read!

David C. Jones, President, Florida Disabled Outdoors Association

AUTHOR PROFILE: Pat Stanford was born in Philadelphia, PA. Her farming family moved to Delray Beach, Florida when Pat was one, looking for year-round growing seasons. She lived there until a brief stint in the Air Force took her to California.

She graduated Florida State University with a B.S.in Secondary Education, which was never used for its intended purpose. She has poetry published in several anthologies, and won second place in the 2004 Seven Hills Contest with her short story, Divorce Sale. She has completed her novel, Fixing Boo Boo, a fictionalized account of what happens when a brain-injured sibling comes to live with a sister who doesn’t know what that means.

After being introduced to growing roses by her father, Pat created her own rose garden of photogenic roses. She served as President of the local rose society and is a bronze medal recipient with the American Rose Society.

Pat lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her husband and two cats and is currently working on a new novel as well as ghostwriting a book of non-fiction.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: It is a story of a family trying to help a brain injured person and not knowing what they don’t know, or what they are getting into. It is unique because it is my story, but it is universal in that many people who don’t understand brain injury may become aware.

I have partnered with the Brain Injury Association of Florida and the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association

SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B06XHM592X

LOCAL OUTLETS: My Favorite Books (Currently in Market Square, but is moving) and Downtown Marketplace in the Tallahassee Writers Tent

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XHCN85Z

PRICE: Print -$15.95 Kindle – $4.99.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Website: http://www.wordhacker8.wixsite.com/pat-stanford Email Address: fixingbooboo@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fixingbooboo/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wordhacker_pat LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pat-stanford-33786393/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16549074.Pat_Stanford