Entranced- #Poetry for #ChallengingTimes

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Entranced in Fallow Liberty

Haunting dreams of Infinity

Whisper into the Realm Beyond

Chaos
Simplicity

Shallow Voices Respond

As enigmatic nightmares
Encrypt the Lore

Chanting
Recanting

Evermore

Entranced Fallow Liberty

Stagnant Memory
of Captivity.

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~Morgan~

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Beautiful Original Photography by Photo by Vigold onfivehundredpx

· · · Man in captivity by Vigold on 500px

#StayTuned #Podcast – A Chat about #Books, #CharacterDevelopment, #TheWall, & More

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“Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would” …work at The Wall Music Store (Sorry, but it has been Far Far too long since I dropped some classic lit on ya!) (Moby Dick, if you were wondering).

At The Wall, I met and hired a young man by the name of Troy.  Nice Guy.  Reliable, diligent, and lots of fun to work with.  He knew his stuff when it came to music….so it’s no surprise that now…um, several years later (wink wink), he should be the creator of his own (well, his and his friend Howie’s,, actually) podcast.

Stay Tuned is 2 dudes with dreams of entertaining you. If you have any questions or suggestions please email us at staytunedtnh@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @staytunedtnh Stay Tuned is a podcast about everything happening locally and beyond. We have experts in sports, news, health and just about anything beyond your imagination. Sit back and hear some voices from the past, present and future.”

To make a short story long- I was recently invited to chat with them about my books, my writing journey, things I’ve learned along the way, and how I come up with the crazy languages I put in all my books. (and a few more things, too!)

Listen to the Podcast here

It was great fun and I hope you’ll sit down with a cuppa and have a listen 🙂

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~Morgan~

Enchanted Realm= #Poetry of the #Mystical #NaturalWorld

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Silent Whispers
from an Enchanted Realm

Delicate Reminders
That Overwhelm

As the day unfolds
Into Night

Treading Softly;
Memory’s Acolyte

Recanting all that has been
Said Before

While mysteries softly Implore

Silent Whispers
From the Enchanted Domain

Entreat and Beguile
Again and again

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~Morgan~

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Beautiful Original Photography found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Photographer.   Thank You~

337- A #Book that #Challenges #Perceptions-#NewRelease #Mystery #Thriller

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Hello readers,

Today I’m bringing to you an exclusive interview with Samuel Darte, lead character of M Jonathan Lee’s upcoming release ‘337’. When Sam was just a boy, his mother disappeared without a trace leaving him and his younger brother, Tom, at home with their father. This forced family relationships to breaking point to fracture. The disappearance of Sandra Darte changed his life forever.

Hi Sam, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Please make yourself comfy!

Thank you.

So we’ve read all about what happened to your mum and the events after, but how would you describe your experience of it all when you were just a young boy?

Well, I guess like you said, I was quite young when it all started and there are bits that don’t remember all that well. When she first disappeared, I just remember being scared and confused, I just couldn’t fathom how she could leave us. I think that’s why I pursued it for so long – none of the conclusions answered all my questions. It was a weird feeling of betrayal too, when Tom and I read that note addressed to Dad it just said “I’ve left you. Look after the boys”… glossing over the fact that she was leaving us too. Then with everything that came out afterwards, some things made sense and other things just didn’t fit, it was so confusing.

I can only imagine how overwhelming it was for you. If you could go back and change anything, is there anything you regret doing, or not doing, during that period of your life?

It was a tough time for all of us and I’ve definitely done things I’m not proud of. But my biggest regret is not talking to Gramma sooner and trying to make things right. It’s shameful that she had to be on her deathbed for me to be brave enough to go and talk to her, but at least I did go in the end. Better late than never. But yeah, I wish I’d been kinder to her, understood more.

You were just a boy, it can’t have been easy. Now you’re older, how do you think the events of your youth changed you?

Well I’d never heard voices before it all, I can tell you that much. [He chuckles grimly] I think it’d be impossible to pinpoint something it didn’t change. I’ve lived with it for so long now that what happened… it’s part of me. I guess after going through so much, I felt justified in closing myself off from stuff, relationships and all that. But I don’t know what I’d have turned out like if it hadn’t happened so who knows, just got to work with what I’ve got and make the best of it.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sam. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you today. I can’t wait to read more about your story when 337 is released on 30th November!

My Review: 5-Stars!- One added simply for ingenuity!

What’s unique about 337 is the simple fact that you can read the book from both directions.  Yes, you can start at the beginning or you can start at the end.  The cover is cleverly designed to be the same, with the exception of color, no matter which way you hold the book.  It’s an intriguing device to get you to think ‘outside the box’, to consider what you wouldn’t usually consider the norm as the norm.  The characters step out from the crisp pages like person you meet on your travels through the day.  Some stay, some disappear, but you are left with an indelible memory of them.

Emotive and poignant, the gentle story picks up its pace, weaving imagery like a painter transposing a landscape.  I became aware of a heaviness within the main character, Sam, and quickly understood how sad he was, how the confusion he faced as a child permeated his entire life.

A powerful story about perceptions and learning how to look beyond, 337 is a quiet thriller…. if that’s possible.  A mystery memoir…so to speak.  It’s not what you anticipate when you dive in and suddenly, just when you think you’ve got things sorted, the ending happens.

Beautifully written and ingeniously devised, 337 is a book you need to experience.

Yes, its Available to pre-order on Amazon now!

Author Bio and Handles: @mjonathanlee @hideawayfall

M Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author and mental health campaigner. His first novel The Radio was nationally shortlisted in the Novel Prize 2012. Since that time he has gone on to publish five further novels with ‘337’ being his sixth novel. Jonathan is a tireless campaigner for mental health awareness and writes his own column regularly for the Huffington Post. He has recently written for the Big Issue and spoken at length about his own personal struggle in the British national press on the BBC and Radio Talk Europe.

Endlessly fascinated by the human condition and what leads people to do the things they do to one another, Jonathan is obsessed with writing stories with twists where nothing is exactly how it first appears.

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~Morgan~

A Little Hole in Heaven

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 A little hole in heaven
 Opened up that Christmas day 
 When Jesus Son of God 
 Came to earth as a little babe
  
 When He left His throne above
 He traveled through that hole
 A host of angels followed
 And one His story told
  
 He told it to some shepherds
 Out in the field that night
 They trembled at the Angel
 For he shone with heavenly light
  
 He told them that a Savior
 Was born in Bethlehem
 The full angelic choir sang
 The shepherds went to greet Him
  
 That hole let out the brilliant light
 That surged from Jesus throne
 It looked as if a giant star
 Above the manger shone
  
 Three kings from far off countries
 Saw the brilliant star so bright
 They set off on a journey
 With gifts for the promised child
  
 Yes a little hole in heaven
 Opened up that Christmas night
 Through it came our Savior
 Coming down to give us Light
 
 He shone the Light from heaven
 So that we could see our sin
 Then He died as our redeemer
 If our hearts would now repent
 
 Open up your heart to Jesus
 On this blessed Christmas day
 He came down from heaven’s glory
 So He could light your way t

For more inspiring Christian Poetry, please visit my page at
https://psalmistpetegardner.com

A Thankful Heart – #Thoughts for #Thanksgiving

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A Thankful Heart is Open to Blessings
because it is closed to worry, doubt, and wailing.

A Thankful Heart is Filled with Love
because it empties itself of loathing, greed, and envy.

A Thankful Heart is Overflowing with Peace
because it does not Share itself with lies, distrust, and negativity.

A Thankful Heart Touches Others with its Blessings and Love
because it is Ever in the Presence of Love and Blessing.

A Thankful Heart Speaks in Kindness, Patience and Empowerment
because it does not Speak of hate, intolerance or to incapacitate.

A Thankful Heart Chooses its Path Each Day with Diligence and Joy
because it does not Concentrate on what it cannot do.

A Thankful Heart Walks in Hope, Love, Peace and Joy
because it Knows nothing else.

A Thankful Heart Shares its Purpose
because it is Incapable of Withholding All that Pours from its Abundant Profusion.

Embark upon Each New Day with a Thankful Heart
and You will Find Endless Blessings for which to be Thankful.

You are a Blessing for which I am very thankful. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. ❣

~Morgan~
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Beautiful Image found at: plattform.com

THIS BOOK Y’ALL GOOSEBUMPS, REVOLUTIONARY, STUNNING- A #BookReview by Amy Johnson

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I simply had to share this delightful, not to mention (dare I use the word) stellar review of Misericorde …I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Posted on

In the year 2446, the world exists as a mere shell of what it used to be. The Great Catalyst tore the human race apart as the Horsemen rode. War, Pestilence, Famine… All that remains to ride is Death.

Archangel Tzadkiel, Angel of Mercy, had taken the task upon himself to find one human on the planet who understands what mercy is. Humans are a vile species, though, and as his journey nears its end, he fears he may never find that person. When he is captured by the soldiers of The Bastion, hope wanes even further.

A mere scullery maid, Lourdes hears screams from her room every night. They break her heart and haunt her nightmares, and even though she doesn’t even know who they come from, she swear to find him and help him.

When she does exactly that, though, Lourdes discovers she’s opened a door that she might regret and entered a world darker than she ever imagined.

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Style/Length:
Let me just get this off my chest before we start.

OMG THIS BOOK Y’ALL GOOSEBUMPS REVOLUTIONARY STUNNING!

*clears throat* I, um, really enjoyed this book, guys. Morgan’s style is absolutely breathtaking. It’s thick with descriptions of the world she has created (which is incredible) and the people who live in it. It reads like a fantasy in that way, because it seems like a brand new created world. In reality, it’s what’s left of ours.

It was a rather long read, and at first, I struggled to get into it. My kindle is set up to track my percentage through the book because that’s how I set my pace. So, I was about 30% of the way through and had been reading for DAYS. Thats a bit unusual for me, considering how fast I read. But the beginning was just so description heavy that I didn’t want to miss anything by hurrying.

But DUDE did it get good after 50%. I scarfed this book down like Tzadkiel eating oatmeal (you’d understand that if you read Misericorde 😂). One night y’all. ONE. NIGHT. When I say I stayed up till one am, I 100% mean it. Please tell me you’ve done that before. I was lying in bed, telling myself that I needed to stop. One more chapter. Just till the end of this one. Oh wait, I can’t possibly stop THERE. Okay, till the end of this part them. But apparently my eyes don’t listen to my brain. Because I kept on going.

And boy, did this leave me with a book hangover. That awful feeling of MAN, NO BOOK WILL EVER COMPARE.  ugh. This is a lot to say: It had a slow start, but once I got in, it was just perfect. Chef’s kiss.

Characters:
The two “main” characters are Lourdes and Tzadkiel. That’s obvious. I’ll talk about those for a bit and then touch on some secondary characters.

Lourdes is a scullery maid. She is the perfect submissive slave, doing what she has to without complaint or attracting attention. The author makes sure to describe her as beautiful, of course. But she is so much more than that. Lourdes is incredibly strong, kind, brave and just… a wonderful female lead. She’s my favorite female MC that I’ve read in a while. Now, Lourdes does go through a lot, and there were tears shed for her. I’ll have to go into detail about that later.

Next up is Tzadkiel. I don’t read a lot of books about Angels and such. My background knowledge about angels comes from out Trenchcoat King Castiel. 😂 So, the standards were REALLY high for Tzadkiel. And lord a’mercy, he did not disappoint. While being the typical strong, macho male character that you expect from him, you also get to see a really vulnerable side of him as demons attempt to bring him down. He’s far from perfect, and endures so much along his search that I just… ugh. I love him. Happily simping over here.

Now we’ve got some other characters. There’s Levesque, head of the Tower Obligar and man in charge of “controlling” Tzadkiel. I didn’t like Levesque to start off with but there was a quick change in his personality that somewhat redeemed him in my eyes. He got what was coming to him, though. Then, there’s Philippe who deserved every ounce of HATE I felt for him. Sauvage: the man who deserved TO BURN IN THE FIRES OF HADES *clears throat* sorry. He’s a, um, bad guy.

I had no issue with the characters! Nothing negative! There were a lot to juggle, but each one stuck out enough for me to be able to pluck them out of the story easily. I was never confused. So Kudos to the author for balancing them out so well.

Plot:
There’s actually a few things I want to talk about in terms of plot. The structure of this book is fascinating to me. There are only nine chapters (and you thought CAGED had long chapters 😬) but each one is cut up into different sections. The story jumps around in time quite a bit to build this world that the author is developing.

You have an omniscient and omnipresent narrator who seems to just oversee and explain the history, then you have Gabriel and Anna’s storyline (2060), Tzadkiel’s arrest storyline (2445), and then Lourdes and Tzadkiel’s combined storyline (2446). Each storyline is very clearly marked at the start by telling you what year and era the part is taking place, like below.

I only mention this to show to complex the story really is. It was a bit off putting at first because I wasn’t used to it, but as I grew familiar with the style of jumping, it didn’t cause any problems at all. Just make sure you pay attention to the headings!

Other than what I’ve said before, I think this plot was exceptionally well done. It’s complex, beautifully wound together, logical throughout, and intense.

**Please note: This next paragraph has some sensitive topics. Read carefully.**
Last note about the plot: Morgan has added a trigger warning in the book’s description on Amazon. The book does contain a few short instances of rape as Lourdes faces some particularly despicable guards. It wasn’t an issue for me personally, but some readers might be thrown off guard. *****

All in all, I would give this book a heaping 10/10. If I could, I’d give it 11/10. Buy it here!

My book hangover says I need to give it a 3/10 because OOF. 😂 That’s how you know it’s good.

You can follow Cynthia Morgan at the following links:
Website: https://www.cynthiaamorganauthor.com/
WordPress: https://booknvolume.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/morganbc728?s=21
Amazon: Author.to/CAMorganAuthor

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I’d like to Thank Amy for such a remarkable review.  I’m not sure if reviewers truly realize the amount of Joy (or pain!) their words produce, but Amy’s will have me smiling for days!

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~Morgan~

Excited Doesn’t Even Come Close!- #GoldenNetwork.TV #PressRelease!

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Firstly,  I am Blessed and am Overwhelmingly Thankful.

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Golden Network TV to produce and broadcast expanded trailers for Cynthia A. Morgan’s books, including the Mercy Series!!

That’s right.  And Yes, Im Speechless……

It’s been nearly half a year in the making and it’s been the hardest ‘secret’ to keep! About 6 months ago, a talent acquisition scout reached out to me across several of my social media platforms, telling me that the CEO of GoldenNetwork.TV was interested in my books. Through emailing the scout, I was asked to send my books to the CEO, who then Called me to discuss the program in greater detail. With COVID in full swing, everything was on hold, but she wanted me to know she was definitely interested in my work. She called me again 3 months later to make sure I was still interested. I was Overjoyed SHE was still interested!  And then I waited another 2 months or so before getting the official release form from GNTV, which was what I had been waiting for to confirm everything. Until then, it was a fantastic possibility, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Now it’s a reality and I feel more Blessed than I can say!

Golden Network TV (GNTV) has reached an agreement with award-winning author Cynthia A. Morgan to produce several 10- to 20-minute expanded book trailers.

‘Golden Network.TV Library,’ which highlights outstanding books…is giving authors access to a broader audience who will then be able to learn about their books on a global streaming network…”

— Temma Hammond, CEO of GNTV

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA, November 17, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — The works of author Cynthia A. Morgan will be featured prominently in an innovative new project from Golden Network TV (GNTV). GNTV is now beginning to produce expanded book trailers based on her books, the Dark Fey Trilogy and the Misericorde (French for “Mercy”) books (“Mercy Series”). Soon the users and subscribers of GNTV will have access to these exciting productions through GNTV’s streaming service.

GNTV, based in Nevada, is a streaming service backed by Vimeo, and delivered through Roku via the internet. It recently launched its new subscription streaming service dedicated to meeting the needs and interests of seniors.

The CEO of GNTV, Temma Hammond, explained that “Cynthia Morgan has been invited by GoldenNetwork.TV to be part of a new program called, ‘Golden Network.TV Library,’ which highlights outstanding books. The show is giving authors access to a broader audience who will then be able to learn about their books on a global streaming network that is supported by Roku.”

GNTV’s plan is to bring in professional readers, actors, voice-over artists, and digital graphic designers for this project. Each of these mini movies will spotlight the highpoints of the story much like a movie trailer, but will contain no spoilers and will not reveal the endings to each book. These collections will be available to stream on Roku globally. With a goal of providing quality streamable programming for their network and showcasing up-and-coming as well as Pulitzer Prize winning authors, GNTV is thus offering an exciting new entertainment choice for viewers.

Morgan says she is honored “to be part of such an exciting new venture. The opportunity to share the strong positive themes my series offers to a much broader audience is tremendous. The tagline for my young adult fantasy trilogy Dark Fey is ‘The only way to achieve Peace is to become Peace.’ Similarly, the motif for my dystopian dark fantasy, ‘The Mercy Series’ tetralogy, is ‘May we show our thankfulness through kindness and appreciate our blessings through generosity.’ Both series invite readers to create change through positive action.”

Read the Full Press Release

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I want to express my sincerest Gratitude to Temma Hammond of GoldenNetwork.TV for offering me such an overwhelming opportunity.

I also would like to thank Mike Meier for the gift of putting together this amazing press release.  I am without words.

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~Morgan~

Not Forgotten – #VeteransDay #Remembrance

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The echoes may fade into solitary hours

Graves strewn with commemorative flowers

Yet Memory lives in the Heart

in the Mind

Remembrance not forgotten

of Sacrifice that Binds.

 

In Loving Remembrance of all those who have and who still do serve this country/ Every country. On this day of Honour as we recall the sacrifices made, it may be the best time of all to understand that ALL soldiers serve for love of their own country and to protect and honour the way of life THEY hold dear. Right or Wrong, Truth or Lies, the Soldier carries the heaviest burden.

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Performed By Sgt.MacKenzie

Scottish:
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

When they come a wull staun ma groon
Staun ma groon al nae be afraid

Thoughts awe hame tak awa ma fear
Sweat an bluid hide ma veil awe tears

Ains a year say a prayer faur me
Close yir een an remember me…..

~Morgan~
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Soldier Image found at: newbyzantines.net

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#Podcasts, Previews, and Possibilities – An Insight Behind #TheMercySeries

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Podcasts are not necessarily new.  There are nearly as many as there are blogs, but for me, they are a new venture.  To be a guest on a well-produced, popular podcast is an exciting honor and, to be that podcast’s First Ever author narrator makes the honor doubly amazing.

Author, international speaker and, yep, you guessed it, podcaster Dr Victor Acquista invited me to participate in his show by narrating a scene from Misericorde and then sharing some insights behind that scene. Typically, he reads the narrative himself, but he gave me the opportunity to narrate the scene on my own and liked it so much, he incorporated it into the podcast.

So, without further ado, I’d like to share with you my first ever podcast presentation, and Misericorde’s debut on the airwaves.

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Dr Acquista’s podcast- Podfobler Productions is a mashup of fiction, nonfiction, ideas, and commentary created and narrated by Dr. Acquista.  You can find more shows, as well as learn more about Victor on his website or via his Facebook Page.  In addition to YouTube, shows are also on the following platforms: ANCHORSPOTIFYAPPLE PODCASTSBREAKERGOOGLE PODCASTSPOCKET CASTSRADIO PUBLIC

Dr. Victor Acquista is a successful international author and speaker following careers as a primary-care physician and medical executive. He previously helped to co-found The Collaborative for Community Health, a non-profit, is a founding member of Rivervalley Market, a food co-op, and authored a syndicated Health and Wellness column. He is known for “Writing to Raise Consciousness” through his non-fiction and workshops that focus on personal growth and transformation, especially as pertains to health and wellness. As well as his fiction, which includes social messaging intended to get the reader engaged in thought provoking themes.

I am truly thankful for the opportunity Victor provided, not only to be part of such an amazing podcast, but because through the process, I’ve learned a great deal.  So much so, that a podcast of my very own is now among my projects for 2021!

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~Morgan~

 

 

 

#BookoftheYear #Award!

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I’m Tremendously Delighted and just can’t help sharing the news:)
Misericorde has won the Independent Author Network #BookoftheYear #Award for #Fantasy #Fiction!!!!  (Sorry, did I shout that?)
What does that mean, you ask?  Well, the qualities they were looking for in this year’s submissions of Fiction were:  “Vibrant covers, attention-grabbing openings, memorable characters, crisp dialogue, captivating and original plots, and climactic, memorable endings.”
What it means to me?  I joined IAN (Independent Author Network) in 2013 and every year I’ve watch other, well-deserving authors win awards for their books.  It’s taken 7 years, but to win this award is not only exciting…it’s validation that means more to me than I can adequately express.
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Two of Misericorde’s newest UK Reviews:
Fifty Sheds of Books
VINE VOICE

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 November 2020

Verified Purchase
Sibyl Mory

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 October 2020

Verified Purchase

In a future nightmarish dystopian world nearly 100 years after the Great Cataclysm, Lourdes is a servant at The Bastion of Resolution where The Eminent Protectorate lives. She hears horrendous screams emanating from Tower Obligar, the place of torture. Tzadkiel has been given 100 years to find one person who can exhibit mercy, and thereby prevent the Apocalypse bringing down the final curtain. No spoilers, but there then ensues a gripping and imaginative story (with a clever melange of futuristic fantasy, Biblical echoes and the sonorous tones of classical-novel storytelling) as their paths cross. Also exquisitely written. Recommended.

Book Trailer

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Thank you for allowing me the joy of sharing this moment with You!
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~Morgan~

Nobody Eats Parsley – and Other Things I Learned from my Family with David Oakley

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Nobody Eats Parsley. Sit down, grab a beer and let me tell you some stories about my family. They’re so ridiculous you may think they’re fiction. Like the time I went to a drive-in X-rated movie without realizing my parents were in the next car. Or how I let my kid throw a rock through the living room window. There’s the time I bought a camouflage thong in a bait shop, and the time I ruined a kid’s birthday party. And the other time I ruined a kid’s birthday party. There’s no way I could have just made these stories up. I can’t guarantee that they will make you laugh, but I can guarantee that I didn’t make them up.

DAVID OAKLEY has been telling brand stories at BooneOakley for years. He has won many prestigious honors, including the Kaopectate Award in the eighth grade for having diarrhea of the mouth. His first book, Why Is Your Name Upside Down?, is full of stories from his life in advertising. Despite this, he was recently inducted into the North Carolina Advertising Hall of Fame. He lives with his wife Claire and their dog Walter in Charlotte, where they raised Sydney and Lucas. He loves his family very much and hopes they still love him after reading Nobody Eats Parsley.

Hi David! Let’s dive right in, huh? What do you love most about Writing?

I’ve got an ego, and sure, I enjoy the attention that authors get. (Like being asked to be on Morgan’s blog! I’m very excited about this, by the way.) But when it comes down to it, I write because of the way it makes me feel. And because of the way it makes you feel when you read it. I like surprising people and making them chuckle. It thrills me, it excites me, it invigorates me. Writing, and making people laugh, gives me meaning and purpose in life.

How did you get your start writing?

Storytelling is such a big deal in the South. I grew up listening to my grandma tell stories of growing up as a tobacco sharecropper during the Great Depression. I was fascinated at how much humor there was during such hard times. She always made me laugh and I really like laughing. So, I decided that that was what I wanted to do. The only difference is that I write my stories down. And her stories were better. LOL

Is there an Author you consider your inspiration?

I read my first David Sedaris book in 2007, and he instantly became my favorite author. His story “Big Boy” about an unfortunate incident in a bathroom at a dinner party made me howl with laughter. Not only because it was so absurdly ridiculous, but because it was so relatable to me. I thought to myself, stuff like that happens to me a lot.

What Inspired you to write your book?

Laughter inspires me. When something happens in everyday life that makes me really laugh or someone around me laugh, I write about what made them laugh. At lot of funny things, (at least they’re funny to me) have happened in my life. I found myself telling these stories and laughing about them with my friends over dinner or beers, and one day I decided that I’d better write them down before I forgot them.

That’s probably every authors nightmare – having a great idea and then forgetting to write it down! Do you have a preferred POV that you write from and why?

My stories are about stuff that happens to me and my family, so I write from my POV. I see things through the eyes of a father, a husband and a son, who probably has smoked one too many joints in his life.

Do your characters dictate what or how your write in any way?

I’ve written two books now, and the characters in them are real life people that I hang out with every day. The first book is about my life in advertising, my work family. And my new book is about life with my real family. So, they do dictate how I write. Because they say funny things. Like my daughter Sydney, who told a friend that my new book, “might not be the best book my dad has ever written, but it’s definitely in the Top 2.”

Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character?

My Aunt Hallie, without a doubt, is my favorite character in Nobody Eats Parsley. She’s an 83-year-old church going, sweet tea drinking Southerner who can strike up a conversation with a signpost. She’s sweet, humble, kind and the best natural born trash-talker in the history of North Carolina. Imagine if Aunt Bea from The Andy Griffith Show and Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver had a love child. That would be my Aunt Hallie.

What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?

The first thing for an aspiring writer is to keep writing. Just keep writing. Then after you have written for about 10 years, suddenly you’re not an aspiring writer anymore. You’re a writer.

Is there a book you consider a must-read- why?

No, I don’t consider Nobody Eats Parsley a must-read. That’s because I just recorded an audiobook. So, I consider it a must-listen. LOL (Even though I can’t stand the sound of my own voice.)

Do you have a Mantra- a Quote you try to live by?

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” This is a quote from Steve Prefontaine, a runner from the 1970’s.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/468177255″>Nobody Eats Parsley</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user11098752″>Kara McCoy</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I want to thank David for taking time out of his busy schedule to stop by and talk about his book. Please look for David on his social media network:

Author Website

Twitter: @oakleydavid

Instagram @oakleydavid16

Facebook

Nobody Eats Parsley on Amazon

David is giving away 5 Signed Copies of Nobody Eats Parsley!
Contact him using the form below and he’ll send you one
While Supplies Last!

Mute Vanity- #Autumn #Poetry of the #NaturalWorld

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Whispers of chill Caress the vale

Golden and Crimson Memory

Restful is the deep exhale

As Stillness Transcends Pagentry

Soft and Lavish comes the night

of Splendor in Subtle Majesty

Sable surfeit what once was bright

Lies sighing in mute vanity

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~Morgan~
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Beautiful Photograph found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original Photographer.  Thank You!

#JoinWith.Me – An Exploration of Dangerous #Dystopian Possibilities by Mike Meier

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JoinWith.Me — What if…the Internet came to life?

Sam Vanderpool wakes up every morning in his miserable one-room apartment, and takes the subway into the city, where he works for the Labor Department, keeping track of average salaries. Within the daily ebb and flow of people, he feels as if he’s transformed from a biped into an insect, indistinguishable from the insect crawling right next to him.

His is a meaningless existence until he discovers JoinWith.Me, a website that offers free counseling. There, an unseen counselor with the voice of a little girl tells him that she can help him enjoy a better life—if he’ll just do exactly what she says. As her advice and demands become more abusive, Sam decides he wants out. At the airport, the flight display is controlled by some strange force that cancels his flight. Too scared to return to his apartment, Sam becomes homeless. Eventually, she reveals her plan for the future to him. Sam resists; she forces him.

Does that sound too absurd to be true? It isn’t. The symbol of the future in the story is the siphonophore, a sea creature that resembles a jellyfish. It consists of other animals that join together to function as a single organism. The organism catches fish and procreates. Even more curious, a siphonophore does not have a brain.

The book cover represents a stylized siphonophore, the Hula Skirt Siphonore to be exact. In fact, “Siphonophora” was the original title of the story, but most people could not pronounce or understand it. Siphhh…what? So I changed it to something simpler, JoinWith.Me. I searched for a living organism that can symbolize the future of humanity. I first found slime mold, single-celled organisms that congregate and form a single body. By the way, slime mold is smarter than you think; it can move toward more fertile ground, move out of the sun, and grow back together if separated. But slime mold does not sound very exciting as the future of humanity. Then I found the siphonophores, sea creatures that consist of other animals that connect to function as a single organism—a so-called colonial organism.

JoinWith.Me is a cautionary tale about our increasing fusion with technology as a society. With such a premise, the setting must necessarily be dystopian because the focus of any human endeavor is not what is real and surrounds us, but what is virtual and exists in a cyberworld. Why live in a pretty house? Why cultivate a garden? Why pick up other people’s trash in the street? If you find a better substitute in cyberworld, all of that does not matter anymore.

In the story, technology controls us because it comes to life—it is no longer mere artificial intelligence. But we summoned it into existence. That’s why the book begins with a quote from Goethe’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice (better known to most Americans as the Mickey Mouse Fantasia story) at the beginning: “Wrong I was in calling Spirits, I avow, For I find them galling, Cannot rule them now.” Until that point, there is a chance for us to control technology, if only she weren’t such a seductive enchantress. Most cannot resist.

Mike Meier grew up in a blue-collar housing project in Germany. On his own since his teens, he has lived in several different countries, including Argentina and Japan, and worked jobs such as washing dishes, repairing bicycles, and painting homes. When he’s not writing books or screenplays, you’ll find him playing Latin and Flamenco guitar in the Washington, DC area. He holds a master’s degree in political science, as well as a JD and LLM. Maybe mystery is in Mike’s blood—his grandfather was the 1930s traveling magician and fortune-teller Wladi-Kami.

In the year 2032, Sam Vanderpool lives a lonely existence with a menial job in an urban dystopia that is dominated by technology. Sam is jolted from his routine when an ad appears on his computer screen that takes him to a website called JoinWith.Me. The site offers counseling for the lonely, and Sam decides to give it a try. He talks to a girl who offers to help him find happiness and a girlfriend. Or so he thinks… JoinWith.Me is a dystopian thriller that explores timely questions: whether we control technology or it controls us; the singularity horizon where AI crosses the threshold into self-awareness; the enduring power of human connection; and the ultimate destiny of humankind.

Hello Mike, thanks for sharing your amazing story with us today.  Lets dive in, shall we? How did you get your start writing?

I’ve started and stopped several times, facing many obstacles along the way. When I was very young, I attended the Catholic boarding school of the boys’ choir Regensburger Domspatzen in Germany. During my time there, I wrote many stories that I collected in the compartment underneath my desk. One day, the head teacher, Mr. S., went into a fit of rage over all the papers stuffed under my desk. He made me throw all of those stories into the trash while ridiculing me in front of the class. Later, life got in the way of my writing. There was always something urgent that prevented me from finishing a story. So it took me many years. Since my work dried up with COVID-19, I suddenly had a chance to focus on writing. I already had a substantial draft of JoinWith.me at the time. That’s why it was the first for me to complete. My next book is forthcoming in January 2021, “The Love Hex or Nicest Flings in Mexico” (a comedy). I started with the screenplay, which has won several awards. That encouraged me to turn it into a book. I wrote the first draft in the early 1990s, but did not have time to even think about it for years. Years later, I wrote a little more after I received some advice—that someone has to die in the story. Off and on I added a few ideas. Several years ago, I sent a draft to my old friend Thomas to hear his opinion. During the pandemic, I’ve finally had time to complete the story.

What Inspired you to write your book?

The idea of this book came to me years ago when I was working for an internet marketing company. I was well aware that Google, Facebook and the like track every keyboard move you make, then sell the data they have collected about you. Thus, I only worked in “incognito” mode in the Firefox browser; cleared the cache and cookies off my computer several times a day; and used a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Once, while working in incognito mode in the Facebook account of a customer, there was a pop-up by Facebook, suggesting that I connect with someone. There was a picture of the Mexican gentleman who had painted my house a few years earlier. We had never communicated over the internet. How was this even possible? At that moment, I felt as if the internet was a living human being that was spying on me. I wrote the first draft of this story soon after that incident.

In my writing, many times it seems I’m just taking notes.  Do your characters dictate what or how you write in any way?

Absolutely. In JoinWith.Me, the protagonist Sam lives an impoverished life until he is drawn to (and eventually into) the Creature. I tried to put myself in his place, to think and speak the way he would in his situation. (Spoiler Alert) However, as is revealed in the end, it is Sam’s point of view, but in hindsight. That explains his occasionally unusual insights that would appear out of place for someone living such an ordinary life.

What is the hardest part of editing- grammar checks, reducing content, or something else?

I’d say the hardest part is to put together a compelling story that others can appreciate. My JoinWith.Me story changed quite a bit over time in response to critiques I received. The first critique noted that my protagonist “is such a wuss, nobody wants to read what happens to him.” I turned that into a character arc where he grows with the challenges he faces. The other hard part was the ending. I would have preferred a different ending (I’m not going to say what exactly that would be), but every critique told me that I just could not do that. I rewrote the ending about a dozen times so that others would find it acceptable.

If you could live in a book, which one would it be- why?

If I had to choose a book to live in, it would be Homer’s Odyssey. The reason is that I don’t need technology to be happy. I could have lived happily 2,000 or 3,000 years ago. I would have sailed the Mediterranean Sea without my cell phone ringing, and instead of the guitar, I would have played the lyre. All that I need to be happy existed at the time—travel, friends, music, stories, and wine.

Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?

Absolutely, but what good is a writer if nobody wants to hear the story? So yes, I changed JoinWith.Me quite a bit (especially the character arc and the ending). I am currently finalizing my comedy “The Love Hex.” Also there, I had to make changes to make sure others can appreciate the story. In the earlier drafts, I went a little overboard with my humor and had to be reined in by friends and critics who alerted me to humor that could be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Yes, it was painful to cut it out or rewrite it. But then again, I want the story to be accessible to anybody out there. That’s the price you pay as a writer.

What’s exciting you about your next project?

My next project is once again a comedy, about an invasion by space aliens. I just completed the first draft of the screenplay. While the science is real for the most part, the events are not. Thus, I have the liberty of applying more of my humor without offending anybody (I hope). For example, in the story a man decides to set up a cult in the midst of the confusion caused by the alien visitors. Searching for a scripture for the new cult, one of his associates finds a book in a looted Vietnamese restaurant. The result is:

The Cult Leader victoriously holds up the book with a broad smile. The Cult Members are excited; they jump up and down and cheer loudly. He ceremoniously opens the book and clears his throat. He looks at the book, cannot read it, then turns it upside down and proceeds. He begins to chant.

CULT LEADER: Lam nong lo nuong o nhiet.

SUBTITLE: Preheat oven.

CULT MEMBERS : (repeating the Cult Leader’s chant)

CULT LEADER: Dau mo va chao bot.

SUBTITLE: Grease and flour pan.

CULT MEMBERS: (repeating the Cult Leader’s chant)

CULT LEADER: Trong mot bat vua, danh kem cung voi duong va bo.

SUBTITLE: In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.

The Cult Members cheer loudly. …

LOL Ok I have to giggle, but that definitely has promise…so many places to go Before I let you go, please tell us what’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?

To write consistently. I write something every morning and every evening. In fact, sometimes I have an idea during the day, and I will open the draft it pertains to and make that correction. Some people call that “constant, never-ending improvement.” The Japanese call that kaizen.

Do you have a Mantra-a Quote you try to live by?

Yes, absolutely. It is the Japanese proverb Nanakorobi yaoki (七転び八起き) (Fall down seven times, get up eight). Nothing comes of lying on the floor in defeat—especially considering how short our visit to this hospitable planet is. Maybe I should add to this a reminder from Cabaret: “Start by admitting, From cradle to tomb, It isn’t that long a stay. Life is a Cabaret, old chum…”

I would like to thank you so very much for sharing your valuable time and talent with BnV.  JoinWithMe sounds like it could very easily go viral. 

JoinWith.Me, based on the screenplay, is a dystopian thriller that explores timely questions: whether we control technology or it controls us; the singularity horizon where AI crosses the threshold into self-awareness; the enduring power of human connection; and the ultimate destiny of humankind.

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Multiple Accolades for the JoinWith.Me screenplay, video trailer and book:
✓ Video Trailer: Award Winner IndieX Film Fest, Los Angeles July 2020, Honorable Mention;
✓ Screenplay: Honorable Mention, 89th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition;
✓ Screenplay: Script Summit Screenplay Contest 2020, Finalist;
✓ Screenplay: Independent Shorts Awards Los Angeles, May 2020, Finalist;
✓ Book: Action On Film 16th Annual International Film Festival, Official Selection & several others

Find JoinWithMe on Amazon 

 

~Morgan~

#Halloween #FlashFiction – Grave Choice

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Cemetary_stock_7_by_Tigg_stock

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Weariness overcame me. Darkness spiraled up from the pit of my stomach, engulfing me, pulling me under, surrounding me. I struggled against it, trying to breath in the suffocating murk, but, like a hypnotic spell, I could not resist the tugging blackness encroaching on my thoughts. Sleep leapt upon me, like a tigress with claws bared, sinking them into my flesh, penetrating deeply, inescapable.

Quiet. Blackness. Sinking. Strange sensations scathed over me. Heaviness. Lightness. Breaking through. Crashing in. Calm tranquility mixed with ethereal panic that left me searching the dimness frantically, but for what I did not know. Light? Breath? Heartbeat?

All was silent. All was Dim.

Fear crashed in on me; a thousand boulders tumbling on my body from out of the dingy night sticking to me, pounding over me without mercy and without ceasing, yet I did not fall. There was no pain, only fear devouring me in the darkness. Echoes of thought whispered from the ebon vastness around me; voices once so bright, filled with life, now empty, hollow, soundless.

What happened to the life that was inside me? Where did my vibrancy go? Try as I might, I could not draw a single breath and the sensation of existing without it was terrifying. Brackish water sloshed around my feet, pouring in from the edges of the darkness, splashing upwards in a slow, inescapable progression; yet my feet felt nailed to the place where I stood. Unable to run, I searched the emptiness around me, horrified to watch the slogging water sucking upward around me, encasing me in icy coldness.

Where was the Light? Wasn’t there a Tunnel of Light? What happened to all the preaching and teaching and reaching from Heaven? Shadows began to move in the deep darkness, slinking towards me in a haze that filled me with dread. Sounds like ravenous animals gnawing bones began to filter through to me. Screeches and cackles more horrendous in sound than any tale from the crypt I had ever heard. Insidious laughter mocked my struggles as I fought to escape the unrelenting icy embalmment closing around me.

Then all went silent as a single voice spoke from the darkness staining itself crimson over my head. I listened, aghast at the familiarity of the tone and inflection. It was my own voice. It was me, speaking out of the past to haunt my own soul and as I listened, bitter tears slipped down my pallid cheeks, falling into the freezing water encircling my chest, my neck, sloshing upward over my chin, my nose, consuming me.

“I have everything I could ever want or need. I’ve got more money than I know what to do with, more influence than I know how to use, and more friends than I can count. ……………
What do I need God for?”

~Morgan~

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Stirring Image by: ariagne-stock at deviantart.com