This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Steve Zimcosky will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
A bible mysteriously disappears from a Russian businessman’s home and it is said to have a secret hidden inside that would cause embarrassment to the Russian Orthodox Church. The Polish Dragon P. I. is called in, along with his new partner, to help find the bible. The problem is the bible is not supposed to exist and there is a secret organization, sworn to protect the church, also looking for the bible. They will stop at nothing to locate it and destroy it.
Read an Excerpt
“I found out that before Father Zelenko was in charge of the church, there was another priest there who was excommunicated from the church.”
“Really? How did you find that out?”
“I managed to talk to some of the older parishioners, who told me they were surprised when he was given the boot, so to speak.”
“Did you find out why he was excommunicated?”
“Yes, it appears he began to question some of the things going on with the church and some outside group called…”
“The International Bureau of Archangels.” Tom blurted into the phone.
“How did you know that?”
“I have had two calls from some mystery person who wanted me to check out Father Zelenko and who just last night left me a message to check out this group.”
“Well, I’m not having much luck finding anything about the Bureau, but most of the local churches and any others I’ve contacted claim to not know anything about this group. They say they never heard of them.”
About the Author: Steve Zimcosky is a multi-award winning and international selling author. He is the creator of the Polish Dragon P. I. series and was born in the Slavic Village area of Cleveland, Ohio where many of his stories take place. He has wanted to be an author since elementary school while reading books like White Fang and Call of the Wild by Jack London. He spends his retirement time writing short stories on a variety of subjects he hopes his readers will enjoy. Some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, James Clavell, Thomas B. Dewey and Vivien Chien.
Being Grateful for Everything, Especially the Crappy Stuff
It’s Thanksgiving and everyone is thinking of things to be grateful for – food, friends, and the freedom to stuff ourselves silly and then watch football. (Did you like that alliteration? Wasn’t even trying!)
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to be appreciative of all the good things in life, large and small. I also think for writers it’s important to be grateful for those times we’ve faced challenges, because how else do we create interesting, complex characters if we haven’t experienced both good and bad things in our lives?
Those mean girls in high school who made fun of your hair? Thank them for helping you understand that behind every bully is a scared person who isn’t necessarily evil, maybe even redeemable. The antagonist in your next book will be vivid because of it.
The friends who abandoned you in your time of need or grief? Knowing for sure that everyone is flawed and struggles with what to do in awkward situations can provide fuel for your next novel.
The dog next door who howls all night long? Pretty sure Arthur Conan Doyle must have had a neighbor like that as inspiration for “The Hound of the Baskervilles”.
An old boss of mine would say that life is like a quilt – without the dark patches to contrast with the light it would be pretty boring. The same is true of any book or character – without the lows there would be no highs. Or as Edgar Allan Poe put it, “Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.” Granted, that might not have worked out so well for him, but you get the idea.
Most people have heard the quote from German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche – “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” I’d alter it a little – that which does not kill us, will give us richer, deeper, more interesting characters to write about.”
Challenges are one thing, but if you are feeling a little too in touch with your inner-Poe, talk to someone. According to the website everyday HEALTH writers have depression or manic-depression more often than non-writers, so be aware of the difference between sadness and depression and get the help you need.
After injuring herself on the job as a Los Angeles cop, Mel O’Rourke leaves the force battered both physically and mentally. Looking for a fresh start, she moves to a quiet mountain town and opens the Babbling Brook Inn. Excited for her new life, Mel decides to participate in the town’s holiday cookie contest, but her newfound joy goes up in smoke when one of her guests turns up dead in her lobby.
Mel is tempted to attribute the death to natural causes but when another guest dies, her cop instincts kick in. The local Sheriff tells her to stand down, but Mel can’t let it go. With everything on the line, she has to push through her fears to catch the killer before more bodies drop, perhaps even her own.
“Keep him in our freezer?”
It took Mel over twenty minutes to get through to the sheriff’s department. After telling the dispatcher what happened, that was the best advice he had to offer. No one was available to come out for a non-emergency until late tomorrow morning at the earliest. She thanked the dispatcher and returned to the Great Room to mentally measure the body. It surprised her when Jackson, apparently over his squeamishness, tagged along behind her.
The Babbling Brook only served breakfast, and when they replaced all the old appliances with gleaming new ones, thanks to her brother Liam being a contractor, Vinnie had insisted they’d be serving fresh food and wouldn’t need the big chest freezer that used to be in the laundry room. Instead, they bought a smaller upright one for the kitchen. Unless someone held the door to this smaller unit closed until Mr. Hubbard froze into an upright human popsicle, it wouldn’t do.
She scrubbed her hand across her eyes and heaved a sigh. “I don’t suppose we could just put him outside? Surely it’s cold enough?”
As she feared, Jackson shook his head. “Unless you’ve got a way to keep him in a high place, bears, coyotes or even dogs might get to him. What about a garage or tool shed?”
She gnawed at her thumbnail. “Nope, not yet anyway. Liam was going to get around to it this summer.”
“Liam?” Jackson’s attempt to act casual sounded strained. “Is he your husband?”
“Ewww, no. He’s my pain in the ass younger brother.”
For the moment, Mel pushed aside how oddly relieved Jackson appeared with her answer. There’s a dead guy under a sheet in her Great Room, and her marital status was what he’s worried about?
“I’ve got room in the freezer at my café, Ms. O’Rourke,” Jackson offered.
“You’d do that?”
He smiled, his dimples working their charm. “It’s a small town. Neighbors help each other out.”
“Yeah but keep a DB in with your food?” She shuddered. “That can’t be good for your ‘A’ rating.”
Mel was only partly joking. A thing like that would cause a stir for the health department in LA.
“Hey, if it’s good enough for a luxury cruise ship, it’s good enough for The Hungry Puppy.” He hurried to explain. “This one time on the Queen Mary they had to…never mind. I’m kidding, I have a spare chest freezer on my service porch. My dad likes to go hunting, and on the off chance that he actually shoots anything, we keep an extra one for storage. I have to turn it on, but in this weather I’m sure your Mr. Hubbard will be fine until it gets running.”
She put her hand out, surprised at how rough his hands were when he took it in reply. “Please, if you’re going to store dead bodies for me, call me Mel.”
“Jackson Thibodeaux. When I’m not blocking your drive, I run The Hungry Puppy Café.”
Marla White started her illustrious career as a storyteller at the age of four by drawing on the TV screen to help Winky Dink get out of mortal danger, earning her a firm spanking. Deterred by the negative feedback, she studied to be a park ranger instead until she realized it was really a TV show about park rangers she liked, not the actual outdoors. She enjoys a career in television as well as teaching story workshops at UCLA Extension.
Appropriately, she found out on April Fool’s Day she’d sold her first book, “The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder” to Wild Rose Press.
He’s been all over the world. She’s a home-town girl. Can a holiday wish bridge the gap?
In Cora Carpenter’s small California hometown, Christmas is tailor-made for couples. Unfortunately, Cora is a party of one, thanks to a con man who stole her heart, then bilked her out of thousands of dollars.
What’s on her Christmas wish list this year? Nothing whimsical. She’ll take a new vacuum cleaner, thanks—and no dating for the foreseeable future. But when she meets a stranger with a broken-down car, his warm smile and perilously blue eyes almost make her want to tweak that list. If only she could get over the pain and humiliation of her past.
A double whammy of betrayal and a broken heart sent anchorman Patrick Gervez thousands of miles…
Women are givers. Many give so much to their families and careers and after years of doing so they no longer have an identity outside of mother, wife, and their profession. Friendships have become the casualty of a “busy life” and lack consistency and depth. How does one reclaim who they really are and fill this empty space that seemed to appear from nowhere?
About five years ago I went through this identity crisis as my oldest child was approaching his senior year in high school. With his imminent departure for college, and soon to follow suit, my youngest daughter, I realized life as I knew it was about to change forever. At the time the thought was almost terrifying. For the next year, I resisted this inevitable outcome as I desperately created and clung to every mom-ment I could. Who was I going to be without my dominant role and label – MOM?
One day I had an epiphany. I was listening with envy to a friend about her upcoming trip to Italy and thought… one day…. and realized I could start a “get-to” list. This list would include all the things I would get-to do once I became an empty nester. Although still not looking forward to “the end” of life as I knew it, now I had a spark of excitement as well.
I am grateful to have had a few strong friendships in my life at that time, but I realized those relationships had been somewhat neglected. I needed these women now more than ever and committed to intentionally connecting on a regular basis. As these connections were fortified over the next few years, this companionship and sense of belonging eased the sting of my chicks launching their adult lives and helped me launch the next chapter of mine.
My first book Lady and the Tribe was inspired by these events and written in honor of my “besties” who I call Tribe. I wanted to share my journey and help women connect on a deeper more meaningful level with other women. I believe connection is the key to joy and becoming whole.
The book is about the woman and her inner circle of friendships. Our best friends see us more clearly than we see ourselves and are representations and extensions of our individuality. They are our companions, cheerleaders, counselors, and always in our corner. They are the branches of our individual “Tree of Life” lifting and supporting us so we can flourish. Tribe is the family with whom we choose to live our life… with no strings attached. Lady and the Tribe is a blueprint for building deep connections. The book shares how to find, nurture and deepen friendships creating a Tribe culture. We can become whole again through connection.
All my love,
Brenda Billings Ridgley
GENRE: Non-fiction, Self-help
Wives, mothers, and career women—we have all fallen victim to the silent epidemic that is, literally . . . letting ourselves go. Not the makeup free, yoga pants, weight gain routine. Little by little, we have allowed our preferences, interests, and individuality to slip away until we no longer recognize ourselves outside of our role as wives, mothers, or professionals. Who we are has become what we do.
In the process, our friendships have become the casualty of a “busy life” and lack consistency and depth. We have a gaping hole inside us that longs to be filled. How do we reclaim who we really are and fill this empty space that seemed to appear from nowhere? The answer lies in our Tribe. Our best friends see us more clearly than we see ourselves and are representations and extensions of our individuality. They are our companions, cheerleaders, and counselors—always in our corner. They are the branches of our tree of life that lift and support us, so we can flourish. Our Tribe is the family with whom we choose to live our life . . . with no strings attached.
Lady and the Tribe is a blueprint for building deep connections. As you read, you’ll be swept away on a journey of friendship as the author shares her own personal stories and those of other women. In the process, you’ll discover how to find, nurture, and deepen friendships and create a Tribe culture that is unique to you.
We can become whole again through the power of connection.
When three or more gather, we are Tribe.
Loneliness Can Be Lethal
Why is loneliness so lethal? As human beings, one of our greatest needs is to be seen, acknowledged, and cared for. We want to belong and be a part of something larger than ourselves. More so than men, women need to maintain close connections. Relationships increase serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone. In times of stress, women don’t just experience the drive toward fight or flight—they also release oxytocin. This hormone surge can compel women to “tend and befriend.”
Research is clear. Close friendships are necessary for optimal health and well-being. A longitudinal study of aging found that strong social networks lengthen survival among older people. Dr. Amir Leving suggests that social connections are the most powerful way for us to regulate our emotional distress and that proximity to someone you are securely attached to is the most effective way to calm yourself.
An article in the New York Times reported that close relationships create positive mental and physical reactions in our body, mind, and heart. We are less likely to experience high levels of loneliness when we feel supported by intimate and close relationships. Strong relationships with close friends or family benefit us greatly and fulfil our social needs.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
BRENDA RIDGLEY is an author, speaker, and girlfriend guru who loves helping women connect, find success, and discover joy through friendship. Her mission is to start a movement: women coming together to build thousands of new Lady Tribes around the globe. Through her workshops, vlogs, blogs, and book clubs, Brenda helps women connect and communicate with respect, love, and trust. She holds an MA in human resources and has spent decades cultivating her own Tribe. A Colorado girl at heart, Brenda lives in the Carbon Valley area with her husband, Parker, two kids, Parker Jr. and Gillian, and pooch, Perry. She enjoys hiking and has conquered Longs Peak and several other 14’ers.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ernesto Patino will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Hired to investigate the murder of an 84-year-old widow, P.I. Joe Coopersmith hits one dead end after another in his search for leads. With few clues and no suspects, he nearly gives up, until he uncovers a connection to a bizarre plot to kill the descendants of Irish soldiers who fought for Mexico during the Mexican-American War. Known as San Patricios, they belonged to the St. Patrick’s Battalion, an elite Mexican unit composed mostly of Irish immigrants. When a well-preserved diary of an Irish soldier turns up, Coopersmith knows he’s on the right track. He digs deeper into the plot, soon learning the identity of the man behind it and his warped motive for the cold-blooded murder of the elderly widow.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from the diary of Kevin O’Leary.
September 13, 1847
I am writing this from the home of Father Bernardo, who is not only my protector but my only source of information about what is happening throughout the city. This morning the last of the condemned San Patricios were hanged within view of Chapultepec Castle. Father Bernardo witnessed the event, which he described as barbaric beyond belief. With nooses around their necks, they waited over 3 hours before they were hanged. May they rest in peace and may Mary, our Mother, watch over them for eternity.
As I deserted after the battle of Monterrey, I know the Americans will show me no mercy. But I thank God that David McElroy and John Brooke were spared the noose because of their youth. They were with me when we slipped away from the Americans as they celebrated their victory.
About the Author:Ernesto Patino has been a musician, soldier, schoolteacher, FBI agent and private investigator. He is a multi-genre author whose books range from Mysteries and Thrillers to Romance and Children’s books. His published works include In the Shadow of a Stranger, Web of Secrets, The Last of the Good Guys and One Last Dance. He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife Pamela with whom he shares a passion for ethnic cuisines, classical music and foreign films.