Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Tour ~ The Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

Healing of Howard Brown 
by Jeb Stewart Harrison
Publisher:  Create Space (August 16, 2016)
Category: Literary Fiction; Contemporary Fiction; Family Saga
Tour Date: January & February, 2017
ISBN: 978-1530900282
Available in: Print & ebook,  336 Pages

"This is your last chance to do something right, son. Don't screw it up."

With these words ringing in his 60-year old ears, Howard Brown, Jr., sets out from Kentfield, California to find his wayward and possibly psychotic sister and return her to their dying father's bedside. The search leads him to the Brown family's ancestral home near St. Francisville, Louisiana, where his Southern cousins have apparently conspired with his sister to bilk him out his inherited, potentially oil-rich property. At the same time, he discovers that a long dormant birthmark in his sternum is a portal to the land of the dead. His consciousness is suddenly inundated with terrifying visitations from a rogue's gallery of twisted ancestors, until he fears that he is just as crazy as his sister and everybody else in their labyrinthine family. Wounded to his core, doped up and strung out, Howard discovers that his salvation is beating loud and clear within his own weary heart, and that all he has to do is listen.

The Healing of Howard Brown is a capacious and energetic narrative of self-discovery, delivered with an authentic voice that is supple, smart, somber, witty, ironic, self-revealing, self-doubting, and wonderfully lyrical. Themes of family, trust and responsibility to others, the national as well as personal past, and the life of the spirit resound throughout, with a cultural resonance involving class and race, the North and the South, the definition of masculine identity, and, centrally, the nature of mature love in a multitude of relationships-husband-wife, brother-sister, father-son- in the face of a debilitating mental illness that runs like a poison vein through the family tree.


Praise for Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

"If you enjoy beautiful prose, complex themes of family and race, and a refreshingly original narrator, this book is for you. Harrison is among the select few contemporary fiction writers who still write for serious readers." - Jim Heynen, author, best known for The One Room Schoolhouse , The Boys' HouseYou Know What is Right , The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap and many more.

“This book starts off with a bang and keeps on going. Howard is a character with a specific voice and story. I'm sure you'll be provoked and entertained.”- Jessica Barksdale Inclan, author of The Believe TrilogyThe Being Trilogy, and many more. 

“Jeb Stewart Harrison is an original writer and a multitalented creative person. I enjoy his unique and often innovative narrative structure. His books are thoughtfully written and a pleasure to read and savor. While you turn future pages in your life reread this inspiring story. As time goes by—(when you’re older and hopefully ‘wiser’) you’ll feel new motivation with each visit into Howard’s inimitable life.”- Paul C. Steffy, author, The Good Soldier—based on his Infantry year in Vietnam. 

“An ambitious story that navigates themes of family, redemption and even metaphysics, in a thought-provoking, humorous way. Harrison clearly has a deep affection for Howard and the myriad of colorful folk who make up his complex, often crazy life. A book any reader will continue thinking about long after putting it down.”- NW Bookman, Amazon Reviewer



17 My Soul Hole
            
The buzzing in my birthmark – the strange hole in the center of my sternum that, by the time I turned 60, was a discolored depression about the size of a thumbtack ­– started that night. I was lying on my back in bed, still bundled up in my Velcro rig and all abuzz with narcotics, when I got the feeling that someone had attached an electrical stim node to the hole in my chest and turned the juice up to ten. The label that had been unofficially assigned to my deformity – Chown Hoon Dong ­– surged into my addled consciousness, and I was presented with the kind of vivid memory that is usually reserved for dreams. 
I was just a baby, probably no more than a year old, and I was being studied intently by the man whom I would recognize later as the proprietor of the local Chinese laundry in Larkspur. He looked like a Chinaman from a children’s storybook: The Five Chinese Brothers or perhaps Ping, the Duck. A silvery mustache like gossamer threads fell from the corners of his leathery lips, tickling my bare chest as he peered through thick spectacles at the hole there. He oohed and ahhed, while he circled my birthmark with a long yellowed fingernail. “Your son,” he finally said, “He is very special.”
My mother, who I somehow knew was tempted to snatch me up from the laundry counter and run, said in a shaky voice: “How so? Does he have some kind of curse?”
The laundry man laughed and bared his tobacco-stained teeth. “In China, the Chown Hoon Dong is great honor.”
“Chow what?” my mother cried.
“Chown Hoon Dong. It is the soul hole. A conduit to the afterlife.”
Lying there in bed, I remembered the feeling of having unique, super-secret powers that were mine and mine alone. It was a feeling that had manifested periodically in dreams throughout my life, and had without fail boosted me out of whatever blue funk I might have been in. But this time it was accompanied with a powerful sense of foreboding, along with the palpable buzzing/tickling/burning sensation on my skin.
Soon enough I learned that the buzzing was, quite literally, a signal, a warning of sorts that either my father had a message for me, or that I was in the presence of ancestral ghosts. At first it was just a voice in my head; the visions didn’t come until later. When I told Sandy about it, not long after the old man’s final exit, she called her “intuitive,” a woman most folks would refer to as a “psychic” (and that I referred to as a “psycho”). After Sandy put me on the phone with her for a few minutes – I was not to speak – she informed me that my dead father had taken up residence in my third chakra, and my third chakra had been wired to my soul hole. Hence the buzzing. Hello? This is Howard. Please leave a message at the beep.
I had heard of chakras and energy healing – hard to avoid in Marin County – but wasn’t aware that the spirits of the recently deceased, unwilling to depart their earthly domain, could hole up in the third chakra, which I pictured to be somewhere near my large colon. The psycho intuitive told me that I had to command my father to leave; cast him out like a demon, without sympathy or compassion for his bodiless state. But what was I supposed to say?
I considered going to a Western doctor about the buzzing in my soul hole, thinking perhaps there was some sort of electrical imbalance that might throw my heart out of whack. But there was something about the psychic’s interpretation that appealed to me, if only because I figured that two could play at this “telephone” game, and here was my chance to set a few things in the family record straight without fear of retribution, before my father left the physical world altogether and I lost contact. It was also an excellent, even if totally lame, rationale for the aberrant behavior that came later.
The problem with this arrangement was that the dead man, as I imagined, could now monitor our execution of his last will and testament. Such documents often abound with various challenges and tests of mettle that must be successfully completed before the treasure is released: precarious rope bridges over rocky chasms and rivers boiling with ferocious piranha and razor-toothed crocodiles; perilous climbs up sheer granite cliffs crawling with rattlers, tarantulas, and scorpions; treacherous expeditions into the burning molten bowels of the earth to battle beasts unknown to man or God – who knows what parents might require in a will to ensure their progeny is worthy of their hard-earned inheritance?
It also meant that I was still on the hook to locate Sisi, since dividing up his estate according to his wishes meant that we, brother and sister, had to actually work together and come to an agreement on a wide variety of gifts, most notably a 100-acre tract in the woods of Laurel Hill, Louisiana, on what was once the Briarwood plantation. Dividing it up, selling it, keeping it – all this could be worked out in due time once my sister had decided to make herself available for such discussions. Trouble was nobody had a clue where she’d gone. And I wasn’t entirely sure I had the will or the energy to go looking for her. She would have to turn up, eventually. Or leave her inheritance to me.
It was an apocryphal phone call, just a week or so after my father’s death, that set our future in motion. Sandy and I had just returned home after collecting our son in Bolinas for an extended visit. Meanwhile Elke, tired of Mr. Road Rage’s daily harassment, took Odo to visit some friends in Nevada City. When we arrived back in Sleepy Hollow, there was a message on the voice mail that, to put it bluntly, took everything I thought was true about my sister and our family, threw it all onto the roulette wheel and with one sweep of a mighty cosmic hand let it spin. 


Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison
Jeb Stewart Harrison is a freelance writer, songwriter, musician and painter in Stinson Beach, California. After many years as an ad agency copywriter, writer/producer, creative director, and director of marketing communications, Jeb now writes fiction and creative non-fiction, along with commercial works for hire. Jeb’s debut novel, Hack, was published by Harper Davis Publishers in August 2012. In 2015 he received his MFA from Pacific Lutheran University at the tender age of 60, and followed up with the publication of "The Healing of Howard Brown" in August, 2016. He also records and plays electric bass guitar with the popular instrumental combo The Treble Makers, as well as Bay Area favorites Call Me Bwana. Jeb was born and raised in Kentfield, California, and has lived in Boulder, CO; Missoula, MT; Hollywood, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; Indianapolis, IN and Ridgefield, CT.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Book Review ~ Jorie and the Gold Key A.H. Richardson

Jorie and the Gold Key
by A.H. Richardson

Click HERE to add to Goodreads

When Jorie and Rufus planned another summer of adventuring, they didn’t plan on sharing it with a snooty, stuck-up, bossy 10-year-old Nigel. When the Wizard Grootmonya calls on Jorie to remedy another disaster in Cabrynthius — the theft of the Magic Stones, Jorie grabs the Gold Key and the three children descend to the enchanted land beneath the Tarn. There they find more extraordinary adventures that bring them face to face again with the wicked Lord Fodomalk and his evil butterfly. Their troubles grow as the fiendish dragon not only snatches Nigel, but confines him to a cold dank cell with the illusive Professor Schrinch (yes, he’s still alive and as sneaky as ever). Jorie and Rufus — and the persnickety Nigel — are joined by all their old friends in this rollicking tale of magic, strange impersonations, and hair-raising exploits. They help Master Nigel with his confusion of the world beneath the Tarn and discover strengths in their new friend that even he didn’t know he had. Aside from spurts of jealousy from Rufus and impatience from Jorie, Nigel learns about bravery and friendship as he struggles with belief and enchantment. Follow this feisty threesome back to the evil, dark world of Shyloxia and the beautiful, bright world of Cabrynthius, where live all manner of creatures, naughty and nice. Do they recover the Magic Stones? What does that Gold Key open for them? Do they survive the shadowy world of nasty characters? Do Jorie and Rufus accept Nigel into their world? And what about Chook — that beloved baby dragon? And if you want to know how Jorie and Rufus survived their first summer adventures, pick up your copy of Jorie and the Magic Stones


Before I begin, I just want to give kudos to the Cover Designer, Jeff Preston, for creating the perfect depiction of Lord Fodomalk’s lair in Shyloxia.  In the first book, Jorie and the Magic Stones, I imagined it to be a dark, uninviting, and dreary world and the cover for Jorie and the Gold Key matched my visualization 100%.

Jorie and the Gold Key was such an enjoyable book to read!  Once again, Ms. Richardson has written an adorable story filled with magical creatures and an action-filled plot that kept me captivated throughout.  With her ability to provide the reader with vibrant imagery and a story line that flowed with ease, truly demonstrates what an incredible story teller Ms. Richardson is.  I found myself deeply engaged in this story, not wanting to put it down even for a second!  I hope that the author continues this series, as I enjoy the adventures and want to read more.

I would highly recommend this book (and series) to young readers who delight in tales of fantasy and know that they will truly enjoy this unique and entertaining story.


4 stars

A. H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.


She published her first book, Jorie and the Magic Stones, in December 2014, and has written a sequel to it titled Jorie and the Gold Key at the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story. She is currently working on the third book in the series.

She is also the author of Murder in Little Shendon, a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two, and introduces two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt and his sidekick,  Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor. She has more ‘who-dun-its’ planned for this clever and interesting duo… watch for them!

A. H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

Readers can connect with Angela on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


To learn more, go to https://ahrichardson.com/

Monday, February 20, 2017

Audiobook Release Event & Giveaway ~ Hound's Bite (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #5) by E.J. Stevens



Hound’s Bite
Author: E.J. Stevens
Narrators: Melanie A. Mason and Anthony Bowling
Publisher: E.J. Stevens
Length: TBD
Genre: Paranormal
Series: Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective (#5)
Audio Release Date: March, 2017

Ivy Granger thought she left the worst of Mab's creations behind when she escaped Faerie. She thought wrong.

In a cruel twist of fate, Ivy has unleashed a powerful horde of Unseelie beasts upon her city, turning her homecoming into a potential slaughter of innocents. Now Ivy must gather her allies to fight a reputedly unstoppable force—The Wild Hunt.

Will the training Ivy received in her father's court be enough to save her city, or will Harborsmouth be forced to kneel before the Lord of the Hunt? She is willing to risk her own life, but some sacrifices come at a cost worse than death. When an ally is bitten by one of The Wild Hunt's hounds, Ivy must face the possibility that winning this battle may mean killing the one person she has come to love most.



 
Click HERE to listen to an excerpt


   Audible * Amazon * iTunes


Now that you have learned more about Hound’s Bite, be sure to check out Shadow Sight, the beginning of the Ivy Granger series.  Right now, you can get the Audio Book for a reduced price of $1.99 when you purchase the Kindle edition for only 99 cents!

E.J. Stevens

     Jessica Meats is a graduate of the University of York and works in the IT industry. She draws on her experiences as a technology specialist and martial arts student to create a unique and interesting fictional community of combat experts and computer geeks.


Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Tumblr

Melanie A. Mason

    Melanie A. Mason holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in performance and a Master of Science in Information Science with a Graduate Academic Certificate in storytelling. Her expertise is bringing characters to life, either through performance or direction.  For more than 20 years, Melanie has worked in the performance and voice over industry, including commercials, audiobooks, documentaries, film, and anime. She is currently the voice of Ivy Granger. You can also hear her as Marl in Funimation’s Fairy Tail and Mrs. Shimura in Kodocha.  Learn more about and connect with Melanie on Twitter, IMDB, and at www.MelanieMason.net.


Website * Twitter * IMDB

 Anthony Bowling

    Anthony Bowling is an American voice actor who has provided voices for a number of English-language versions of Japanese anime films and television series. Some of his major roles include Ukyo in Samurai 7, Shiro Ashiya / Alciel in The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, Shin Fukuhara in Baka and Test, Orito in Is This a Zombie?, Aoi Torisaki in Absolute Duo, and Jun'ichirō Kagami the title character in Ultimate Otaku Teacher.  Learn more about and connect with Anthony on Twitter, IMDB, and the Anime News Network.


Twitter * IMDB * Anime News Network


Friday, February 17, 2017

Blog Tour ~ The Billionaire's Runaway Fiancee by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Title: The Billionaire's Runaway Fiancée
Author: Jenna Bayley-Burke
Release Date: Feb 13, 2017
Add to TBR


Robyn Tindall’s new boss has a penchant for running off new personal assistants before lunch, but she’s not about to let herself be fired by the billionaire with a bad attitude, no matter how good he looks. She’s determined to be indispensable and unflappable, until he surprises her with a crazy proposal.

Curtis Frye is impressed with his new assistant’s dedication and decides she could be the answer to his publicity problems if only she’ll agree to marry him. It’s the perfect plan. He can offer her the world—everything he thinks a woman desires. But Robyn doesn’t want anything money can buy. She wants a happily ever after with a man who loves her. If only he can convince her love is off the table, not to mention convince his heart of that…




“No one will ever believe this day.” Robyn’s words had flowed like a waterfall after the second glass of champagne. Since her third, she’d been completely relaxed. “They’ll think I dreamed everything.”

“Why?”

“Please. My boss drove me around all day like a chauffeur, I was bum-rushed by paparazzi, had dinner with California’s most eligible bachelor, and he closed down one of the best restaurants in the city to talk to me about…wait. What was it you were going to ask me?” She pushed her glasses tighter against her face, making him want to pull them off. The glasses had to go. She had the prettiest green eyes, a bright green that shouldn’t be shrunken behind lenses thick as the bottom of wine bottles.

“I want you to know how much I appreciate all you’ve done for me.”

Her brows knit together. “The raise and the car said that. Dinner wasn’t necessary. Lovely, but—”

“We work very well together. I’d like for us to do more of that.”

“Are you promoting me?”

“Absolutely.” He reached into his pocket, gripping the blue box in his fist. He shouldn’t be nervous. This was business.

“But I’m not qualified to be a project manager.” She shifted in her seat, her lips twisting. “I learn quickly, and with a little mentoring I—”

Curtis cleared his throat as he set the ring box on the table between them and opened it to face her. “I was thinking of another position.”



By day, Jenna is faster than a speeding toddler, stronger than a stubborn husband, able to leap tall Lego structures in a single bound...but by night, while the family sleeps she writes romance novels where no one ever has to scoop up after the dog, change diapers, clip coupons, drive carpool, do laundry, mop floors, get silly putty out of hair, vacuum, empty the vacuum bag (gross!), exercise, count calories, apply bandaids, clean up puke...wait where was this going? Oh, Jenna writes romance because it is glamorous. Just ask the dog.
  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Release Blitz ~ We Are the Stars by Teagan Hunter

Title: We Are the Stars
Author: Teagan Hunter
Release Date: Feb 16, 2017
Add to TBR


The first time I saw Carsen Wheatley, I flipped him off.
The second time, I kneed him in the balls.
The third? I kissed him.

Why? Because Carsen needed it.

Angry and full of hate, Carsen is a lost soul, searching. Since the death of his mother, he’s cold and isolated, needing someone to fill the gap she left wide open, someone to kiss the anger from his soul.

That’s where I come in.

I’m restless, on the search for a new adventure, something to make me feel…well, anything. I’m certain I’ll find a permanent fix soon, but in the meantime, I have this summer job and Carsen to keep me going.

But the summer is only temporary, and so is the fix.

We are imperfect.
We are mismatched.
We are the stars.

  



I’m a romance cover artist by day and a writer by…well, every free moment I get. I currently live in North Carolina with my US Marine husband where I spend my days bugging him about getting a cat so our puppy won’t be alone (he keeps saying no). I survive off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When I’m not writing, you can find me binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural. I like cold weather, I buy more paperbacks than I’ll ever read, and I never match my socks—unless they’re fuzzy.

I’m weird. It’s kind of my “thing.”