First Tuesday Replay, Oct. 5

This feature has a two-fold purpose: 1. To allow those recently added to our followers list to discover books they might have missed and 2. To make sure previously featured authors and their work aren’t forgotten. If you’d like to learn more about any of the books revisited here, simply click on the “Authors” page, then on that author’s name.

“MISS PORTLAND,” BY DAVID EBENBACH.

Miss Portland: A Novel (The Orison Fiction Prize) by [Ebenbach, David]

After years of medicated struggle, 34-year-old Zoe quits her office job and moves into a trailer with her boyfriend in rural Maine against her family’s wishes and her doctor’s advice. After all, she has big plans with Gordy, a goateed vegetarian with thoughtful eyes and a job at a yoga studio and, as it turns out, an unfortunate desire to always be in control. But when a late-night argument turns violent, Zoe runs away in search of a mystical beach house she recalls from childhood, only to discover that in order to find it, she must reckon with her past. In electric prose that burns with wit and intelligence, Miss Portland explores what it means to give up everything in order to recover who you are.

“SO LATE TO THE PARTY,” BY KATE ANGUS.

The poems in So Late to the Party, in different ways, all ask the same question: How can we best live in this beautiful terrible world that we are lucky enough to so briefly visit? There are poems about loneliness and desire, love and loss, longing and connection, cups of coffee and glasses of wine, wolves and tiny origami dragons, violins and shipwrecks, New York City’s East Village late at night and early mornings in Michigan, cassette tapes and theremins, and family and friends and lovers and pets who all make an appearance, wandering in and out of the poems.

“MISSILE PARADISE,” BY RON TANNER.

Missile Paradise by [Tanner, Ron]

It’s 2004 at the start of this tale of cultural dissonance, hubris, anger, loss, and resiliency, and Cooper, a talented video-game programmer, is about to join a missile-defense group on the island of Kwajalein, a military stronghold on which Marshallese are not allowed after dark. But he has a freak accident after sailing alone across the Pacific from California, following a rift with his fiancée, and begins his stay on Kwajalein in rehab after losing a leg. A bizarre diving mishap has left Alison widowed with two young sons. Jeton, an impulsive Marshallese teenager jilted by his American girlfriend, propels himself into deep trouble. And Art, the flinty cultural liaison, fights discrimination against the Marshellese. In this poisoned island paradise besieged by poverty, disease, and rising sea levels precipitated by global warming, each irresistibly self-embattled character makes grievous mistakes, suffers from regret, and plunges into disaster. Tanner (From Animal House to Our House, 2012), who lived in the Marshall Islands and launched the Marshall Islands Story Project, brings this microcosm of human folly and valor to captivating realization with bracing insights, tangy humor, profound respect, and rebounding resonance.

“CLUTCHING LAMBS,” BY JANET PASSEHL

Writes Janet: “Clutching Lambs brings together poems that are driven by language itself, wrought against a hidden background of peril and loss. The poems are haunted by the vulnerable— women, children, the occasional man or wild animal. This is an emotional book. Architecture and the natural world frame the psychological content. There estrangement from religious faith, the sense that one will not be protected, a lesson I learned repeatedly and at too young an age. My background as a visual artist impacts this book via my use of imagery as well as my occasional use of ekphrasis as a starting point.”

“THE STING OF THE BEE,” BY KAREN LANNING.

The Sting of the Bee (Sting of the Bee Trilogy Book 2) by [Lanning, K.E.]After the murder of his wife, John Barrous escapes from the corrupt country of the United States of Amerada, filled with haves and have-nots, to stake a claim on the rich, virgin land of Antarctica. Along with Lowry Walker, now returning to her home, John and his fifteen-year-old daughter join a United Nations PR event, an Oklahoma-style land rush. But the Rush turns into a race against ruthless, armed competitors . . . and a corrupt politician determined to control this new land. Within the epic of settling a new land, John and Lowry crisscross in this complex tale of love, destiny and betrayal.

“LOST AT THAXTON,” BY MICHAEL E. JONES

n 1889, a massive late-night storm caused a tiny creek at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains to turn into a raging river. The rushing waters washed away an embankment where the railroad crossed the creek. Near the small village of Thaxton, Virginia, a passenger train plunged into the washout, and at least eighteen people perished in the wreck. The survivors remained stranded with no contact or help for hours in the rain, while those who did not make it out were consumed by a horrible fire that ripped through the wreckage. In the days that followed, most of the remains found were tossed into a common and now unmarked grave in the city of Roanoke. The wreck was forgotten even in the state of Virginia, where they had memorialized train wrecks that were much less devastating. The book focuses on the people on board the train and their stories before, during, and after the wreck.

Weather Report, October 4

Firefighter Prays On September 11
(Photo from CBS News)

Our currently featured books, “There You Will Feel Free,” by Nate Ragolia, “All Bleeding Stops,” by Michael J. Collins and “You Will Never Be Normal,” by Catherine Klatzker, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

—————————————————-

This week’s featured books offer different twists on the two most significant events to affect the United States in the 21st century.

Frank Napolitano’s novel “Day of Days” uses the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as a vehicle for depicting the firefighting profession as a whole. Meanwhile, David Belmont kept a journal during last year’s COVID-19 quarantine period, then turned it into poetry.

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, OCT. 5-11.

“DAY OF DAYS,” BY FRANK NAPOLITANO.

This visceral and unsettling novel tells the story of the firefighter’s life, culminating with the emergency response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on a spectacular September Tuesday in 2001. It portrays the courage, pain, and devotion of the men and women who respond when the alarm is sounded, who follow an unwritten code borne of necessity and preservation, and who sometimes pay the ultimate price so others may live.

“WORLD GONE ZOOM,” BY DAVID BELMONT.

Writes one reviewer: “David Belmont has written a collection of poems with a rock n roll heart, but with bebop wit. The rocker roots are obvious in the epigrams that set up most of the poems, along with pop-up allusions throughout (‘i hope we’ve stabbed it/with our steely knives’). Those legacy linkages are followed by arena choruses that are as fresh as newly sprayed graffiti: ‘coronavirus on tour,’ ‘social distancing on fluid parade.’ But what I found especially arousing in Belmont’s latest work is an edginess in cadence and tonality that is like some Dizzy Gillespie solos. (A cool cat like Lenny Bruce maybe, but more spare.) These jab at you (‘sports stadiums/now empty foxholes’), unbalance you (‘the lord of the flies/family book club’), and open your ears to alternative ways of keeping time (‘get tested/quantify/uncertainty’). ‘World Gone Zoom’ performs the pandemic with a musicality that reverberates with both rock and jazz. ”

FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY

This month we will revisit “Lost at Thaxton,” by Michael Jones, “The Sting of the Bee,” by Karen Lanning, “Missile Paradise” by Ron Tanner, “So Late for the Party,” by Kate Angus, “Miss Portland,” by David Ebenbach and “Clutching Lambs,” by Janet Passehl.

There You Feel Free

This week’s other featured books, “You Will Never Be Normal,” by Catherine Klatzker and “All Bleeding Stops,” by Michael J. Collins, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

————————————

THE BOOK: There You Feel Free, 2nd Edition

PUBLISHED IN: 1st Ed 2015, 2nd Ed 2021

THE AUTHOR: Nate Ragolia

THE EDITOR: Marisa Roemer

THE PUBLISHER: Black Hill Press (1st Ed.), Spaceboy Books LLC (2nd Ed.)

SUMMARY: There You Feel Free is the story of five people whom you might call hipsters.

The Kid struggles to put his life together after his relationship, and the economy, falls apart. Cheyenne tries to define herself against the members of her kickball team. Doug faces isolation amid his long list of online friends. Paul attends a support group for struggling geniuses. And Nick battles the sinister feeling that life isn’t going as planned.

There You Feel Free by [Nate Ragolia, Marisa Roemer]

They all cross paths inside and outside a poem: a loving rewrite of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land refinished with contemporary references to indie music and pop culture. Packed with laughter, levity, reflection, and revolution, There You Feel Free captures the intricate quandary of the Millennial Generation.

Originally published by Black Hill Press / 1888 in 2014, the Second Edition presents the book with the original footnotes, reflecting the chaos and upheaval in trying to find meaning and purpose in the Millennial generation.

THE BACK STORY: In 2014, I had written a hipster-ized / indie rock-infused homage to T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, titled The(se) Waste(d) Land(ings). After engaging with the book’s original publisher Black Hill Press, then in Orange, CA, I began writing stories about the Millennial experience, to be embedded in the poem via footnotes. This book is one of the most life-inspired things I’ve ever written, and hopefully resonates with other people who grew up with landlines and now live in the time of social media, still searching for meaning and purpose. The first edition was published in 2015, and in 2021 when Black Hill Press shuttered operations, it was reissued as a second edition, using the original footnote structure that serves to break up the poem, and the stories, in mimicry of the confusing and chaotic nature of 21st Century life in America.

WHY THIS TITLE: In the original Eliot poem, there is the line: “In the mountains, there you feel free.” And since that speaks to something both beautiful and terrifying… the literary sublime, I felt that it also captured the sublime nature of modern living.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Perhaps you’re a Millennial, or you love Eliot’s work and are interested in a modernized interpretation. The stories of the five hipsters that weave between the poem’s cantos are also somewhat universal and folkloric. This is a book about finding oneself, searching for meaning, and learning to love, with the early 21st Century as its backdrop (including all the creative ups, financial downs, and perpetually changing middles).

REVIEW COMMENTS:

 “There You Feel Free does an exceptional job of balancing open satire with an incredible amount of honesty, and the ability to impact the reader in a way that feels real.” – Dani Hedlund, F(r)iction

“In the tradition of Nabokov’s Pale Fire and David Foster Wallace’s meta-commentary-as-novel, Nate Ragolia brilliantly updates T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” for a contemporary, post-ironic era marked by continual uncertainty, dissatisfaction, and borderline peril. Ragolia captures the urban, “hipster” landscape with compelling prose and dry humor; in the process, he pays tribute to the wit and complexity of Eliot while also forging a new path that could only be beaten through this creative and inspiring remix.” – Jen Moore, author of The Veronica Maneuver, Smaller Ghosts, and Easy Does It.

“There You Feel Free is unlike any other book I have ever read. It is the perfect homage to T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Waste Land” embedded with the struggles of five hipsters: The Kid, Cheyenne, Nick, Paul and Doug. Ragolia crafts a beautiful poem filled with love, heartbreak, anger, regret and wit. Alone this poem would have been simply an insightful homage to T.S. Eliot; however, Ragolia artfully included footnotes filled with vivid, in-depth scenes that magnifies a Millennial’s (also known as Generation Y or the Me Generation) struggle. The intricate scenes found in There You Feel Free felt similar to a Jim Jarmusch, day-in-the-life film—a gritty display of young adulthood shared with the perfect Instagram filter. There You Feel Free is truly a testament to the human condition—our ability to have passion and the desire to do great things, but live in a society that only wants to see us fail.” – Amanda Moses, The Spring Creek Sun.

“There are distant echoes of other voices—Allen Ginsberg’s and, at other times, Jack Kerouac. But Nate Ragolia dances to a different Beat. Small wonder that both the poetry and prose is seemingly scored in a musical context—concerts, DJs, all chased by riffs of cheap beer (Pabst Blue Ribbon), games and gamers, cigarettes and reefers. In the clouds of this smoke and mirrors are a herd of hipsters, haunted by a despair of sorts— drowned dreams, unrequited ambitions, near-delusional self- images and aspirations defined by a world that will neither accept nor absorb them—all but swallowed up by techno- terrorism in an Aldous Huxley-like electronic Erewhon world of screens, sites and indecipherable algorithms of a seemingly alien planet. Worse, in an effort not to ‘sell out,’ they come to the conclusion that it is they who are the ‘aliens’. They are right, of course. They are misfits in that world. But hope springs eternal expressed in a monologue of sorts by the principal protagonist railing against a ‘nowhere’ and a numbness of the mind and soul.” – Diane Root, painter, The New York Times Magazine published writer, and editor.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Nate Ragolia grew up in rural Colorado reading science fiction and comics, and imagining strange worlds beyond our own. He was labeled as “weird” by a girl in his first grade class and it stuck. These days, he’s a writer and publisher in Denver. He’s authored the books, There You Feel Free, and The Retroactivist, co-founded Spaceboy Books LLC (readspaceboy.com), and edits BONED: A collection of skeletal writings (bonedstories.wordpress.com). He also dabbles in webcomics, The Illiterate Badger (2009 – 2016, illiteratebadger.com) and The Right Corking Adventures of Cecil Larkbunting and Alastair Wakerobin (2013 – present, larkandrobin.com). When not creating, he’s spending time with his wife, petting his dogs, and voraciously devouring other peoples’ works.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: It’s interesting how quickly life, and the world changes. This book was written in 2014 and 2015, and there are ways in which it may seem quaint now, but also ways that the commentary on war and economics and individual purpose versus community ring truer than ever.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). https://www.amazon.com/There-Feel-Free-Nate-Ragolia/dp/1951393090/

LOCAL OUTLETS: Any store can special order it at your request.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/There-Feel-Free-Nate-Ragolia/dp/1951393090/), Bookshop.org (https://bookshop.org/books/there-you-feel-free-9781951393090/9781951393090), Barnes & Noble (coming soon), and by request from any local book store.
PRICE: $9.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: You can find me on Facebook at @NateRagoliaAuthor and on Twitter at @nateragolia.

You Will Never Be Normal

You Will Never Be Normal by [Catherine Klatzker]

THE BOOK: You Will Never Be Normal

PUBLISHED IN: May, 2021

THE AUTHOR: Catherine Klatzker

THE PUBLISHER: Stillhouse Press

SUMMARY: You Will Never Be Normal is the story of my dissociative identity disorder, (multiple identities,) and PTSD that were accelerated by meditation and treated with psychotherapy and mindfulness. In You Will Never Be Normal, I take readers through that DID experience. This memoir looks deeply at the lifelong effects of early childhood trauma from the perspective of my own treatment and healing and my wish to have a “normal” life. A key takeaway from this book is that “it’s not trauma alone that traumatizes—it’s having no one who is interested or cares about you afterward, that’s what’s especially traumatizing.” Healing was a result of therapy and mindfulness. For a long time I wanted to get rid of my alternate identities, to make them go away and have my life go back to normal. What ultimately happened was that I fell in love with my “parts” and wanted to make their burdens my own.

As I became less fragmented, we became less and less separate over time until fully integrated.

Catherine Klatzker

THE BACK STORY: It was not my original intention to write a mental health memoir. My DID was securely compartmentalized from my writing life. My writing had hit a wall—what I recalled as richly boisterous stories with my sisters were frankly bland, and I took a hard look at what I might be leaving out. I was leaving out the “parts” of me that I kept hidden from everyone. No one knew I had DID; my “parts” or alternate identities gave coherence to my narrative. If I wanted to be genuine—and I did—I would need to include those alternate identities and reveal my mental illness. I reset my intention and I allowed them into my writing, without really appreciating how deeply I would need to dive into profound terror to honestly tell my story. Then I was compelled to get it right, not just for me but for the others (1 to 2% of the general population) who struggle with DID, often unknowingly, often misdiagnosed. I came to believe that the stigma of mental illness, and DID specifically, can only be overcome if its lived experience becomes real to people.

WHY THIS TITLE: “You will never be normal” is a sentence I said to myself following an incident of PTSD flashback long after I thought my trauma was resolved and my “parts” had integrated. This seems to be true for so many survivors of trauma—loud noises, people yelling, even in play, can elicit adrenal responses of startle, a racing heart, readiness to fight or flee—and those lasting embodied responses are what I’m primarily referencing.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: This book can help anyone reevaluate things they take for granted in life. People tell me that it’s written in such a way that they start to remember things from their own lives, to relate to various chapters in personal ways. The primary story is the fracturing into parts as a result of childhood sexual abuse and the long road to integration. The secondary story is about making sense of the life I assembled moving from place to place and relationship to relationship to understand my true strength. The third is a social commentary in part of the book about the struggle underneath the primary narrative of a single mother in the United States. People connect emotionally to hope and to the search for balance in their lives.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“You Will Never Be Normal is a beautifully rendered account of personal integration and survival. Klatzker’s personal detective work, vulnerability, and intelligence create a compelling story, skillfully told, that invites the reader into a struggle to map the after-effects of trauma and of complex resilience.” — Sonya Huber, author of Pain Woman Takes Your Keys.

“With You Will Never Be Normal, Catherine Klatzker has written a remarkable account of survival from childhood trauma. As the title suggests, Klatzker does not sugarcoat her life. This honest, gutsy book achieves a tough, hard-won, genuine sweetness.” —Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences.

“A brave, compelling memoir written with honesty and vulnerability. Catherine’s healing journey will contribute to lessening the stigma of DID and to better understanding of severe abuse.” —Jack Kornfield, PhD, author of A Path with Heart.

“…The style is often entertaining, especially due to the inclusion of Klatzker’s poems and some prayers. The memoir tackles themes of sexual abuse, family relationships, romantic relationships, self-harm and self-love, dissociation, therapy, and single parenting.

“In this brilliant memoir, you will find the two ends of human experience, love and death.

“This memoir is a book not written to one target group, but to the whole race of humans who owe each other humanity.” — —Alain-Jules Hirwa, Porter House Review https://porterhousereview.org/articles/its-the-soul-that-needs-surgery-catherine-klatzkers-you-will-never-be-normal/

Amazon Review, Verified Purchase, 5.0 out of 5 stars “Profound and Gripping

Memoirs are typically not the books that you just can’t put down, but this memoir captivated me from page 1 and compelled me to read it in every spare moment of the day. What is it like to be in someone’s brain? That is almost impossible to imagine, but somehow in You Will Never Be Normal, Klatzker takes us inside her complex experiences and with beautiful and clear sentences, we live inside what happened in her brain. Her writing is vulnerable and raw and at the same time fierce and powerful. She guides the reader through so that we all can be more compassionate and have a better understanding of trauma’s impact as well as how our brain protects us in non-intuitive ways. I’m so grateful to have read this book.” —Rachel S

“A lucidly written memoir that documents the devastating psychological impact of childhood abuse while offering hope to fellow survivors…powerfully illuminating writing.” —Kirkus Reviews

AUTHOR PROFILE: Catherine Klatzker’s work appears in Atticus Review, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Emrys Journal, Tiferet Journal, The Examined Life Journal, in River Teeth’s “Beautiful Things,” and in mental health anthologies from In Fact Books and Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. She has recently written about empathy in the art of health care for Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine and for Please See Me. Catherine is a retired pediatric ICU RN, residing with her family near Los Angeles, California.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Writing this book helped me reflect more on what had happened. I noticed I had more empathy than when I started. Why was that? Mental shifts had happened. Writing gave me the creative space to find those moments of kindness and grace that I’d missed as I went through the shifts.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). https://catherine.klatzker.com/?p=1124

LOCAL OUTLETS: Village Well Books & Coffee, Culver City, CA; Small World Books, Venice, CA.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, Barnesandnoble.com, Stillhousepress.org

PRICE: Paperback $16 Kindle $8.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/klatzkerwriter/

Twitter @mettah4

Instagram @toomanyparts Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55567142-you-will-never-be-normal Website http://catherine.klatzker.com For those who click on my webpage, there are more reviews, radio and podcast interviews, and much more.

All Bleeding Stops

THE BOOK: All Bleeding Stops

PUBLISHED: 11/07/21

THE AUTHOR: Michael J. Collins

THE PUBLISHER: Friesen Press

SUMMARY: What does a doctor do when he thinks his best is not good enough? Matthew Barrett, thirty-one years old and fresh out of residency, is drafted and sent to Vietnam as a combat surgeon in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War. Compassionate and sensitive to a fault, he is determined to make a difference but quickly finds his idealism crushed by the pain, suffering, and indifference that surround him. Shamed by his inexperience and tormented by his failures, he slowly unravels. Only the love of Therese Hopkins, a nurse, keeps him from falling apart. But will their love survive the grinding horror of war?

Matthew’s journey of redemption takes him from combat surgeon in Vietnam to transplant doctor in Ohio and, finally, to physician in a relief camp in Biafra, exploring how the caring and compassion that draws young people to pursue the healing arts can also sow the seeds of their own destruction, and how love may be the only thing that can finally make all bleeding stop.

Image preview

THE BACK STORY: In writing this book, Mike says he hopes to raise awareness of the difficulty doctors face in learning to care for and about their patients. The very qualities—compassion, sensitivity, dedication—that lead young people to a career in medicine, are often the seeds of their own destruction. Sometimes they care too much. “A generation of young men went to Vietnam naive and idealistic,” Mike says. “They returned home broken and disillusioned—if they returned at all. We doctors are often victims of a similar fate. Like soldiers, the things we see and do are often too much to bear. And, like soldiers, not all of us make it back.”

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“A gut-wrenching and expertly wrought drama, plunging readers into the atrocities of war as well as offering uplifting moments of human connection.” – Kirkus Reviews

WHERE TO BUY IT:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-bleeding-stops-michael-j-collins/1139975557

PRICE: $19.99 Paperback

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

Connect with Michael J. Collins on:
Website: https://michaeljcollinsmd.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjcollinsmd/ 
Facebook: facebook.com/authorkalelawrence
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/45725.Michael_J_Collins 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjcollinsmd 

Weather Report, Sept. 27

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, SEPT. 28-OCT. 4

“THERE YOU FEEL FREE” BY NATE ROGALIA.

There You Feel Free is the story of five people whom you might call hipsters.

The Kid struggles to put his life together after his relationship, and the economy, falls apart. Cheyenne tries to define herself against the members of her kickball team. Doug faces isolation amid his long list of online friends. Paul attends a support group for struggling geniuses. And Nick battles the sinister feeling that life isn’t going as planned.

They all cross paths inside and outside a poem: a loving rewrite of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land refinished with contemporary references to indie music and pop culture. Packed with laughter, levity, reflection, and revolution, There You Feel Free captures the intricate quandary of the Millennial Generation.

Originally published by Black Hill Press / 1888 in 2014, the Second Edition presents the book with the original footnotes, reflecting the chaos and upheaval in trying to find meaning and purpose in the Millennial generation.

“YOU WILL NEVER BE NORMAL,” BY CATHERINE KLATZKER

Catherine writes: You Will Never Be Normal is the story of my dissociative identity disorder, (multiple identities,) and PTSD that were accelerated by meditation and treated with psychotherapy and mindfulness. In You Will Never Be Normal, I take readers through that DID experience. This memoir looks deeply at the lifelong effects of early childhood trauma from the perspective of my own treatment and healing and my wish to have a ‘normal’ life. A key takeaway from this book is that ‘it’s not trauma alone that traumatizes—it’s having no one who is interested or cares about you afterward, that’s what’s especially traumatizing.’ Healing was a result of therapy and mindfulness. For a long time I wanted to get rid of my alternate identities, to make them go away and have my life go back to normal. What ultimately happened was that I fell in love with my “parts” and wanted to make their burdens my own.

As I became less fragmented, we became less and less separate over time until fully integrated.

“ALL BLEEDING STOPS,” BY MICHAEL J. COLLINS

What does a doctor do when he thinks his best is not good enough? Matthew Barrett, thirty-one years old and fresh out of residency, is drafted and sent to Vietnam as a combat surgeon in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War. Compassionate and sensitive to a fault, he is determined to make a difference but quickly finds his idealism crushed by the pain, suffering, and indifference that surround him. Shamed by his inexperience and tormented by his failures, he slowly unravels. Only the love of Therese Hopkins, a nurse, keeps him from falling apart. But will their love survive the grinding horror of war?

Matthew’s journey of redemption takes him from combat surgeon in Vietnam to transplant doctor in Ohio and, finally, to physician in a relief camp in Biafra, exploring how the caring and compassion that draws young people to pursue the healing arts can also sow the seeds of their own destruction, and how love may be the only thing that can finally make all bleeding stop.

When Silence Screams

When Silence Screams (The Arthur Nakai Mysteries Book 3) (An Arthur Nakai Mystery)

This week’s other featured books, “The Magi Menagerie,” by Kale Lawrence and “Absolution,” by Rachelle Storm can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

————————————–

THE BOOK: When Silence Screams.

PUBLISHED IN: 2021

THE AUTHOR:  Mark Edward Langley.

THE BACK STORY: I decided to write this book when I learned of the 5,712 girls and women that went missing on Native reservations in Canada and the USA in 2016. The more I read and learned, and the amount of missing fliers I went through from MMIW (Missing and Murderer Indigenous Women), put a face to the number and shocked me. I thought, “Why is this not known? Why is this not talked about?” The families stories touched my heart, and made me think I needed to create a story around a fictional 19-year-old girl who gets caught up in the horrifying world sex trafficking by talking with someone on a fake online profile. She is never seen again.

WHY THIS TITLE?: I chose this title because it is what the FDMI (Field Deputy Medical Investigator) says to another character in the book. “These girls’ voices are not heard before they are stolen. When I meet them, it’s like they are speaking to me because that is when their silence screams. “LOOK AT ME! SEE WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!”

Mark Edward Langley

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?:  I think someone would want to read a good story involving characters that are relatable and ones they can cheer for, cry with and laugh with. Though my characters are Navajo, I think the stories they tell will make the reader see them not only as Native American, but people just like themselves struggling with a lot of the same issues and some the reader is not. I want to raise awareness. I also touch on Navajo beliefs and traditions trying to educate the reader with another point of view.


REVIEW COMMENTS:

Regarding my series:

1) “Langley’s third installment of his Arthur Nakai Mysteries is the most thrilling yet. The characters are fully formed, and the danger is real and urgent. Langley has an unmatched feel for his New Mexico setting, both the landscape and the culture. A master of dialogue, Langley lets the banter flow freely and allows the mystery to drive the story from the opening pages to its heart-pounding conclusion.  There’s not a better detective writer in the American West.”   — James Wade, Spur Award-Winning author of All Things Left Wild and River, Sing Out.


2) “With Death Waits in the Dark, Mark Edward Langley offers readers an utterly compelling portrait of human beings struggling to deal with the aftermath of great trauma. Langley writes about the great Southwest with a loving eye for detail that fans of Tony and Anne Hillerman will readily embrace. I was utterly captured by this fine second novel in the Arthur Nakai series. Along with those who are already fans, I can only hope that there will be many more stories to come. I recommend this book with a full heart. ” — William Kent Krueger, New York Times Best-selling author of This Tender Land and Ordinary Grace.

3) “Death Waits in the Dark tells a gritty story of betrayal, deceit, and danger through the eyes of Navajo protagonist Arthur Nakai. The tightly written noir plot moves from scene to scene like a thriller, building suspense in every page.” — Anne Hillerman, New York Times best-selling author of the Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito Novels.

4) “Combining the gait of a fine horse, the comfort of your favorite Indian blanket, and the ease of a well-worn saddle, Mark Edward Langley’s Path of the Dead  is one heck of a debut novel!” — Craig Johnson, New York Times best-selling Author of the Longmire Series.


AUTHOR PROFILE: I have always felt a kinship with the American Southwest. It was where my heart and soul were first touched immediately by the beauty of the landscape and the wonder of its people. Revisiting it in my 30’s, I realized I was home among the red rocks and desert landscapes on New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. My goal is to move there so I can be within driving distance of all the locations in my books.  When you read my books you get the sense that I’ve driven the hard-packed dirt roads, highways, visited the ruins, and moved through the communities … and I have. I believe you cannot write about an area if you yourself have not seen, smelled, touched, heard, and absorbed it into your soul. The Arthur Nakai Mystery Series includes Path of the Dead, Death Waits in the Dark (which was a finalist in the American Book Fest Awards in 2020 and won the Feathered Quill Award for best mystery of 2021) and When Silence Screams (Winner of the Public Safety Writers Association Award). I am currently writing my fourth novel of the series, Broken Glass, due out August 2022 as well as book five, Midnight Harvest, due out in 2023. My wife, Barbara, and I divide their time between their home in Indiana and the state of New Mexico.  


SAMPLE: Amazon.com: Mark Edward Langley: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and independent booksellers.

PRICE: $15.99.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Markedwardlangley.com. From there people can click on my social media pages, watch book trailers, read more reviews, listen to my radio and podcast interviews and much more!

Mark Edward Langley, award-winning author of the Arthur Nakai MysteriesAuthor @ markedwardlangley.comAuthor @ blackstonepublishing.com

The Magi Menagerie

The Magi Menagerie by [Kale Lawrence]

THE BOOK: The Magi Menagerie.

PUBLISHED IN: 2021.

THE AUTHOR: Kale Lawrence

THE PUBLISHER: Enchant Fire

SUMMARYSome stars aren’t meant to be followed. For seventeen years, Ezra Newport and his parents were habitual immigrants, traveling from their Ottoman Empire home across 20th century Europe. As the Newports migrate to Belfast, Ireland, Ezra wants nothing more to settle into a consistent life and lay the foundation of his architectural dreams. But after a strange, mechanical bounty hunter murders his mother and prompts the disappearance of his father, Ezra discovers that his parents had actually been on the run. Now, their enemies are targeting him, and they won’t stop until he is dead. 

In a moment of desperation, Ezra’s fate collides with the Third Order of the Magi, a secret society dedicated to using their supernatural powers to protect their communities. With increasing violence around the world, the Magi are fairly certain they know who’s behind the attacks on Ezra and his family since the same group could also be threatening their own existence.

Kale Lawrence

Both Ezra and the Magi’s survival hinges on knowledge only Ezra’s father has and the key to saving them could be buried within history itself. In a race across continents and time, both Ezra and the Magi must secure an ancient Babylonian artifact before hell is unleashed on the world. And, against all odds, Ezra must decide where his allegiances truly lie, despite what is written in the stars.

THE BACK STORY: I’ve always been fascinated with the three wise men—or Magi—from the Christmas stories. They just sort of came out of nowhere, following a star into the west and just as quickly, disappearing into the folds of time. This story was essentially born from wondering, “What ever happened to those guys?” That led me down a fantastic rabbit hole of creating this entire secret society of Magi dedicated to helping the world. But I sort of left that idea on the shelf for a while, until a year later when I wrote the first chapter as a creative writing exercise. I knew immediately what came out of that exercise (very similar to the final version of the first chapter) was that story and started piecing together all the details.   

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: I sincerely hope that readers come away from this adventure feeling empowered, knowing that they, too, can do great and wondrous things. I also hope that audiences can appreciate the diversity of the cast and see the beauty in every person, no matter their race, religion, or sexual orientation.

The Magi Menagerie was the light that guided me out of a lingering depression. I honestly didn’t know if I would ever write creatively again, but when I dove into this story, I knew it had to be told. If this story helps someone else out of a dark time, it makes all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into this project worth it.  

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“I am completely in love with this book!!! The author creates a fantastical realm where not only is magic present, it’s rooted in a known history: the Three Wise Men.” – Amazon Review

“The way it was written, the world-building, the magic system, the characters, all of it! Not to mention the amazing cover, stunning! Once I started reading this book I could not put it down.” – Goodreads Reviewer

WHERE TO BUY IT:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-magi-menagerie-kale-lawrence/1139655329?ean=9781736512517

PRICE: $16.99 Paperback

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

Connect with Kale Lawrence on:
Website: www.kalelawrence.com
Instagram: @kalelawrence
Facebook: facebook.com/authorkalelawrence
Goodreads: goodreads.com/kalelawrence
Book Bub: bookbub.com/profile/kale-lawrence
TikTok: @authorkalelawrence

Absolution

Rachelle Storm

THE BOOK: Absolution.

PUBLISHED IN: 2021

THE AUTHOR: Rachelle Storm.

THE EDITOR: Maggie Katamay.

THE PUBLISHER: Amazon.

SUMMARY: Absolution weaves together an unforgettable plot of forbidden desire and sworn duty as three immortal brothers struggle to protect themselves in a corrupt world that seems destined to end in annihilation. Chris Harris’s destiny was bestowed on him before birth, just as it was on his two brothers, John and Randy. Not human but the physical embodiment of elemental water, earth, and fire, they’ve been burdened with protecting Earth and freeing the world from the Ultimate Evil, an enigmatic force shrouded in mystery and only known as a looming threat on the rise. However, unlike their elemental forms, their human selves have desires of their own and Chris finds himself in a situation that makes him question everything.

Absolution

After a night of training in New York City goes wrong, Chris and his two brothers are hidden away in the remote town of Anderson, North Dakota by the Guardians, a brotherhood sworn to protect the immortals and help them fulfill their destiny. Their plans are derailed when Chris has an intense encounter with Joanie McNamara, a young woman returning to her hometown after years of running from her past. Forced to choose love or duty, Chris is placed in an impossible situation that leaves him at odds with those sworn to protect him as he tries to decide whether to embrace his instincts or the only values he has ever known. His choice will place everyone on a collision course with the Ultimate Evil and nothing will ever be the same. Absolution is an epic fantasy intertwined with a contemporary romance at heart as Chris and Joanie try to find a way to embrace their love and still save the world from itself.

THE BACK STORY: In 2009, I was fresh out of college and trying to figure out what to do with my life during The Great Recession. I wanted to escape into my writing and started listening to music to get into the mood. As soon as “Map of the Problematique” by Muse began to play, the first scene of the book unfolded in my mind. It didn’t take long for my imagination to fill in the blanks or to decide that this would not only be a book, but a series. It took a while to gain the courage to publish the first novel and it has been edited quite a few times over the years. The pandemic forced me to actually sit down and make a decision about how I wanted to proceed with the story that I always knew deep down needed to be told. I felt very much at a crossroad in my life and chose to share my characters and their story with the world. I haven’t looked back since.

WHY THIS TITLE?: I get asked this question quite often. Some readers see the title and assume it is some sort of religious text because absolution is a term rooted in religion. However, the story is not religious, even though it is a bit ontological. It is rooted in the concept of how humans and the universe came to be, but from the perspective of an epic fantasy. Absolution is the process of creating a shift from the consumption of evil to embracing goodness in the world. If the Elements create absolution, they could tip the scales of the world back in favor of Good in the never-ending battle between Good versus Evil. This is the story of how that battle comes to be.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Absolution is unique because of its hybridity and the way it plays with traditional tropes in fantasy and romance genres. It is a fantasy, but steeped in romance. It takes itself seriously and yet has humor and sarcasm. It is both traditionally romantic and yet feminist in its approach to romance. Most importantly, Absolution is meant for the mainstream and embraces diversity with multiracial characters looking to break through the glass ceiling and shatter the expectations of what love interests and heroes in the genres can embody.

In terms of a niche audience, Absolution is great for New Adult readers who once considered themselves YA readers, but have since grown up a bit. These readers still love the fantasy elements and romance, but have moved on from the high school settings of popular YA novels from the past decade.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“You know when you sometimes read a synopsis of a book and you get an idea in your head of how the story is going to go? Well, this one blew me away. It was truly surprising. First we have elementals (of sorts) and that’s one of my favorite kinds of magic ever (Huge Avatar the Last Airbender fan here) and then we have a fast paced, easy to read, almost like a movie feel to the story. It was so effortless to imagine what was going on, and what every character looked like. There was action, humour, and even enough romance to suit my little fluffy heart. I read it so fast (once I got started) and I’m now finding myself waiting for the next book. Don’t miss out if you are looking to clock out of the world for a while and just have some fun.” – Chelle’s Book Ramblings.

“Kept me reading and thinking of the characters when I was away from the book and unable to read it, imagining what may be coming next. Can’t wait for the next book!” — Amazon Review

— This book was great for any fans of paranormal/fantasy type fiction. It was an easy read but didn’t lack depth which I’ve found some books of the same genre to do. The story hooks you quickly and keeps you intrigued and wanting to know more. The characters are all developed well and you can definitely find a character to relate to. I really liked the character of John the most and related to him quite a bit. Those looking for a character they can rally behind and be a “team member” for (example: team Jacob/Edward from the twilight saga) you can absolutely find a character to get behind and root for in this series! I only wish the book was longer so I could continue the adventure with these characters, but I can’t wait for the next one!” – Goodreads Review

AUTHOR PROFILE: There are two things to know about me as an author. One, I am a book nerd who loves fandoms, popular culture, and embraces the truly powerful way humans can come together as a fandom family when they enjoy a fictional universe. I love all things fandom, including the romance, fantasy, and epicness of it all.

Two, I am a proud, Black woman who loves writing diverse, multiracial characters in complicated, nuanced worlds. In a world obsessed with black and white, I tend to also embrace the gray. When it comes down to it, I write to help readers escape the sometimes dark world we live in and find solace in a world that not only gives them hope, but leaves a piece of that feeling with them when they finish the story.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Absolution was completed while I was very much immersed in the pandemic and all of the social/political issues facing our current state of the world were in the backdrop. The book world is on the brink of a War on Destruction, a vague war with no end in sight and nothing but inevitable escalations. The story takes place a few years later than we are in present-day and in this world, there was a pandemic of some sort. There is racism, sexism, and everything else we experience. The difference is the Harris Brothers are meant to actually save humankind from the world that is collapsing around them. The book is not political, but has social commentary. It is not religious, but is ontological and philosophical at points. Current events definitely will hit home when reading, but not enough to jolt readers out of the escapism it embraces.

SAMPLE: You can find a sample by heading over to my author page on Amazon.com or giving the Kindle version a try on Amazon.

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon for Paperback and Kindle Versions

Barnes & Noble for Hardcovers

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/absolution-rachelle-storm/1140115065;jsessionid=3C3BCFEB68D322EC601A926FFB7F3E64.prodny_store02-atgap18?ean=9781668539002 PRICE:

Kindle $2.99

Paperback $18.99

Hardcover $24.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Contact Rachelle Storm on Twitter @rachellestorm42 or through her website at rachellestorm.com

Weather Report, Sept. 20

New Mexico Border — Stock Photo, Image
New Mexico desert (Deposit photos)

Our currently featured books, “Bridge Across the Ocean, by Jack B. Rochester and “Smile, Or Else,” by Chantel Brenner, can be found by scrolling down below this post, along with the First Tuesday Replay. Or, click the author’s name on our Authors page.

———————————————————————-

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, SEPT. 21-27.

“WHEN SILENCE SCREAMS,” BY MARK EDWARD LANGLEY.

Writes one reviewer: “Langley’s third installment of his Arthur Nakai Mysteries is the most thrilling yet. The characters are fully formed, and the danger is real and urgent. Langley has an unmatched feel for his New Mexico setting, both the landscape and the culture. A master of dialogue, Langley lets the banter flow freely and allows the mystery to drive the story from the opening pages to its heart-pounding conclusion.  There’s not a better detective writer in the American West.” 

“ABSOLUTE,” BY RACHELLE STORM.

Absolution weaves together an unforgettable plot of forbidden desire and sworn duty as three immortal brothers struggle to protect themselves in a corrupt world that seems destined to end in annihilation. Chris Harris’s destiny was bestowed on him before birth, just as it was on his two brothers, John and Randy. Not human but the physical embodiment of elemental water, earth, and fire, they’ve been burdened with protecting Earth and freeing the world from the Ultimate Evil, an enigmatic force shrouded in mystery and only known as a looming threat on the rise. However, unlike their elemental forms, their human selves have desires of their own and Chris finds himself in a situation that makes him question everything.

“THE MAGI MENAGERIE,” BY KALE LAWRENCE.

For seventeen years, Ezra Newport and his parents were habitual immigrants, traveling from their Ottoman Empire home across 20th century Europe. As the Newports migrate to Belfast, Ireland, Ezra wants nothing more to settle into a consistent life and lay the foundation of his architectural dreams. But after a strange, mechanical bounty hunter murders his mother and prompts the disappearance of his father, Ezra discovers that his parents had actually been on the run. Now, their enemies are targeting him, and they won’t stop until he is dead. 

In a moment of desperation, Ezra’s fate collides with the Third Order of the Magi, a secret society dedicated to using their supernatural powers to protect their communities.