Interview with Kirsten Streicher, Kick-ass Heroine of “The Blight”

theblightMeet Kirsten Streicher, kick-ass heroine of The Blight, another nail-biter, suspense thriller by John Reinhard Dizon. First, a little about Kirsten and her story:

Kirsten Streicher is an Iraq War veteran assigned to the Supercop Unit in St. Louis. The elite unit has been successful in combating the Blight, a plague of poverty-driven crime that is overwhelming the city. Only a genocidal sociopath has declared his own war against the Blight and is conducting a campaign to eradicate the undesirable elements within the community. The death of one of her partners and the suspension of another portend the breakup of the team. Kirsten is forced to deal with a major change in her career path once the man called X is brought to justice. She is also involved in a romance with a UMKC professor, Kurt Franz. He takes her to a new reality amidst the protests of Brad, who is still hunting the killer despite his suspension. Brad reveals his love for her and places her in the middle of a love triangle. Making matters worse is evidence indicating that X is focusing on Kirsten, which makes her a potential target.

MF: Welcome, Kirsten. It’s a pleasure to have you here today.

KS: I’d just like to thank the interviewer for being so patient in allowing me to put my thoughts together. This has been a harrowing and traumatic time in my life. I’m finally able to articulate my feelings and my reflections, and I hope they might inspire young people out there trying to make the world a better place.

MF: I understand. The aftermath of such a time is often the most difficult, and you’ve had several such experiences in your life. Looking back to those that made you who you are, did any particular experience you had while serving in the Middle East have a life-defining effect?

KS: It had to be in Afghanistan when we took out that insurgent Taliban unit in preventing an ambush of American soldiers. We found out they were just high school kids who had been brainwashed into fighting for someone else’s cause. During the Blight, I saw the same thing in the teens who were recruited by drug gangs to advance the ulterior motives of others. Kids are so idealistic and easily influenced. Society has a tremendous obligation to raise our children in a moral and principled world.

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MF: That is so true. Kids are always going to reflect their environment and how they’re raised. When parents fail, often law enforcement is forced to fill the gap. As such, what do you find the most satisfying part of being a cop?

KS: The chance to make a difference in society and defend the oppressed and underprivileged. It was the same thing we tried to do in the Middle East. We tried to do it here but we never dreamed we’d be dealing with the same kind of evil. At least we had the battle experience, and I hope that other veterans will be able to use their skills and knowledge to change things here at home.

MF: It’s so sad that our veterans come home to that, but it’s true they can definitely make a difference here as well. Nothing is simple these days. Do you see crime in terms of black and white or are there shades of grey?

KS: That is such a hard question. Good is good and evil is evil, that’s your black and white. Only the effect it has on others is where your shades of grey come in. It’s so hard to deal with victims of crime, especially in gang-controlled neighborhoods where they live. The Blight nearly immersed the city of St. Louis in the darkness. It was a miracle that we were able to help its citizens find their way back to the light.

MF: Yes, it truly was. And it certainly wasn’t easy. If you were “Queen of the World” for a day, what would you change?

KS: I would eradicate drug trafficking by any means necessary. It is what empowers drug gangs, poisons its victims and destroys communities. Cut off the supply, put dealers away for good and do everything possible to rehabilitate dependents. It is the singlemost terrible problem the people of the world are dealing with.

MF: I couldn’t agree more. What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?

KS: Waking up Christmas morning to find goodbye letters from the two most important people in my life. It created a void in my heart, in my existence, that I may never refill. I can’t even remember a happy time. I think readers of my story will fully understand why.

MF: I hope with time that some level of happiness and satisfaction will come your way as you recognize how many lives you have changed in a positive way. They say what doesn’t kill us outright only makes us stronger. In that context, what did you learn from your experience with “The Blight”?

KS: Well, let me take back that last statement. Seeing the people of St. Louis unite to keep the murderers from destroying Christmas was the most wonderful thing I ever saw. Black and white, rich and poor, Christian and Muslim, it didn’t matter who they were. We all became neighbors, we shared and shared alike. The citizens of our city decided they had enough of the Blight and made it go away. Americans have that in common, we stand together in times of trouble. It makes me so proud to be an American and a Missourian. I hope my story helps other people feel that way.

MF: Thank you so much for being with us today, Kirsten. The world needs more people like you in this crazy world we’re living in. I wish you all the best and that you’ll be blessed for all the good you’ve done.

Be sure to pick up a copy of The Blight so you can put Kirsten’s comments and insights into context. You can grab your copy from Amazon here.

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Review of “Both Sides Now” by John Reinhard Dizon

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This unique story entirely sucked me in. It has so much substance I scarcely know where to begin. The characters are incredibly real, not only the protagonist, but the supporting ones as well. It feels like real life because there are so many others involved with their own agendas. In this sense, it reads more like a biography as opposed to a novel. The plot is likewise incredibly complex and convincing while it skillfully portrays a slice of history representative of the 60s era.

Lucien Triskellion obtains his PhD in Germany and accepts a teaching job at New York University teaching German. Lucien is a big guy who was a champion amateur wrestler during his college years. It doesn’t take long for someone to notice the fact he can press 500 pounds and lure him into the professional wrestling circuit. If you’re not a wrestling fan, don’t let this stop you from reading this book. I, personally, couldn’t care less about this pseudo-sport, yet I enjoyed this story tremendously because it went so far beyond that. Wrestling comprises numerous settings, but the story was so character-driven that it was comparable to meeting someone really interesting and listening to their life’s story. For example, the dichotomy of Lucien’s life as a university professor versus that of a pro-wrestler, in which he was cast as a bad guy, is gripping in and of itself. If you’re a wrestling fan, then you’ll undoubtedly love it even more as it brings the human element alive with the conflict behind the scenes.

Of course with a young, hot protagonist like Lucien, there’s going to be a romantic angle. This involves Anneliese Krieger, another German immigrant, who lives with her father. As if Lucien doesn’t already have enough going on in his life, Anneliese’s father is falsely accused of Nazi war crimes incident to WWII which results in a gripping trial which is loaded with additional suspense.

The details of all elements of this novel are so vivid and convincing it was easy to get lost in it and forget that it wasn’t real. The author has the masterful ability to include just the right amount of detail to build strong imagery, clear sense of place, as well as character appearance and development. Whether it’s an address in New York City, a famous restaurant, Madison Square Garden, or legal terminology or courtroom protocol, you feel as if you’re there. Needless to say, this book would make an incredible movie.

They say an author should write what he knows, and clearly Dizon knows wrestling, which shows in how he immerses the reader in this crazy world. He’s footnoted some of the unusual terminology and slang, which helps if you’re unfamiliar with it. The business and politics of this sport are explored and exposed as well as the various complications this adds to Lucien’s life and even reflect on the trial of Anneliese’s father. While some of the detail regarding the players in the wrestling business was somewhat overwhelming, possibly a bit overdone, it nonetheless added to the story’s amazing credibility.

I don’t often find myself in a position where I’ll actually miss the characters of a book, but I felt as if Lucien and Anneliese were personal friends by the time it ended. If you enjoy a meaty novel with a different setting, strong, well-developed characters, and a breathless ride through the 60s, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this book. I absolutely give it 5-stars.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon here.

Interview with Multi-genre Author John Reinhard Dizon

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John Reinhard Dizon is one of my favorite authors and definitely one of the most versatile. His literary repertoire includes thrillers, family sagas, historical settings, steampunk, sports, suspense and techno-horror to name a few.  His latest release, Both Sides Now, is a romantic comedy, and I must say that I have a bit of a personal interest in this book since I designed both the interior and the cover plus my daughter is the model on the back. While formatting the interior, I gleaned enough of the story’s basics that I’m looking forward to reading it properly in the near future.

I interviewed John a few years back, but in view of this new release, I thought it was time for a rerun with some specific questions directed at him about this latest work. While he dubs it a romantic comedy, it struck me as much more substantial, especially with its unique setting and situations. So let’s see what he has to say.

MF:  The protagonist in your latest novel, “Both Sides Now”, is an intellectual wrestler. You are a highly intelligent person and were a wrestler in a “previous life”, which explains the authentic feel and terminology of the sport. How much of this story is autobiographical?

JRD: Actually it’s far more biographical. Hans “The Great” Mortier was one of my mortierWorld Wide Wrestling Federation childhood favorites. There was a major roster change when Vince Mc Mahon bought the Company from his father at the end of the Sixties, and the stars from the old regime were swept under the rug. Mortier was not a German professor, so that is all ‘what-if’. However, a large portion of the story is going to be instantly recognizable to fans of the era. The novel is as much a testament to the era as it is to Hans Mortier.

MF: Ray Karpis, quite a shady character from the early 20th Century, has made an appearance in two of your books, this latest one as well as “The Triad.” What do you find most appealing about him?  Did you ever meet him?

TheTriadCover1 copyJRD: As a criminologist, I have to say that Alvin Karpis is my favorite gangster. He was the last of the Public Enemies but was so elusive and shadowy that hardly anyone knows of him. I wrote Both Sides Now before The Triad and paid homage to Karpis by naming the Lou Thesz-based character after him. Outside of his autobiography and the Public Enemies biography and movie, there is almost nothing out there about Karpis. Hence The Triad. I think I did a good job of bringing his personage to life. He was considered a genius, loyal and generous to a fault, and very much in touch with the modern world and technical developments. Like most of the great gangsters, he would have been a tremendous success in society and the real world had he not gone the wrong way.

MF:  You do a great job of capturing the flavor of other eras as well as places.  You’ve lived through quite a few yourself, but when you get beyond your experience, what’s your favorite research method for your stories?

bothsidesnowcover6.jpgJRD:  The Internet usually helps you find the resources you need to make your story work. Only in this case, as you mentioned, I lived through most of this. Ergo, it was mostly a matter of documenting my recollections. I spent a lot of time in the NYU neighborhood, Soho and Greenwich Village, so most of what I did was pull up addresses. I read hundreds of wrestling magazines so was familiar with the old-time arenas. I was also a paralegal, so that helped me make the courtroom drama all the more realistic.

MF:  You’ve certainly held a wide variety of jobs, which undoubtedly contributes to your writing. Authenticity is important if you want to be taken seriously as an author and when you can say, “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt” the details bring the story alive. As far as the plot itself, do your stories reveal themselves as you write or do you know what’s going to happen, start to finish, when you first sit down to write them?

JRD:  Many times the characters end up helping write the stories, as Sabrina Brooks does in the Nightcrawler series. She just makes things happen around her. In this story, Ray Karpis greatly influenced the conflict in the storyline (pun somewhat intended). He becomes the voice of reason, letting Lucien clearly see all the possibilities if he chose that direction in life along the road to wrestling superstardom. I think it also lets the reader see ‘both sides now’ and will stimulate discussion as to whether or not Lucien makes the right choice.

MF: Ethical dilemmas make great material because the reader is forced to think.  You have a huge list of published work. How long does it take you, on average, to finish one of your novels?

courthouse1JRD:  It varies, considering how complex the story is. The action/adventure stories move along pretty quickly as there’s the adrenaline rush that keeps you writing. Historical fiction such as this takes a bit longer because you have to authenticate your work. Getting names, places and events wrong will leave your story dead in the water. The courtroom storyline in this novel took almost as much research as all the wrestling background. It probably took the better part of a year to put it all together.

MF: Wow! That’s so true, though, if you want to be taken seriously as an author. When a reader stops to roll his or her eyes because something is inaccurate it pulls them out of the story, which is the last thing an author wants to do. Of the numerous books you’ve written, do you have one particular character who’s your favorite? Why?

JRD:  I’m having to go with Sabrina Brooks, aka the Nightcrawler. Every one of her novels is an adventure in itself. She’s a beautiful woman who moonlights as a crimefighter, who seems to target the Russian Mob. She’s the CEO of a chemical company, which means she doesn’t have to do this but does anyway. She’s very compassionate and is a churchgoer, which makes her all the more unique. Her personal relationships suffer greatly as she gets beat up, and the Nightcrawler’s successes come at the expense of her personal life. I enjoy writing her story as much as people love reading it.

MF:  Multi-dimensional characters are essential to a good story.  So what’s your favorite part of the writing process? Which part is the most difficult?

JRD: It’s the dialogue. It may be my strong point as a writer, and it helps me develop the characters and give the reader the best insight as to the speaker’s personality and motivation. The reason why reality TV shows get over is because people want to see their heroes behind the scenes. In literature, the author allows readers to listen to the characters giving up their innermost hopes and fears. The most difficult part is bringing it all together, making the story plausible. You do your homework, you authenticate your background, you flesh out your characters, but your audience has to buy your story. That’s the make or break part, and I think I make that happen every time.

MF:  Yes, you certainly do! When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

JRD: I was writing dialogue for my stick-figure cartoons when I was six. I was fascinated by TV and the movies and wanted to tell my own stories. Many people will say my entire life was about turning my fantasies into reality.

MF: So obviously you were born to write, which isn’t surprising considering how prolific you are.  You’ve worn a variety of hats over the years in a wide variety of jobs and places. What can we expect from you in the future? At what stage is your next novel and when do you expect it to be out?

JRD:  The Blight is about a decorated fire team of Navy SEAL commandos working as an elite unit for the St. Louis PD. They are taking on a mass murderer intent on destroying the ‘social blight’ plaguing the city. Kirsten Streicher is a typical JRD bad-ass female protagonist. Only her team is heavily impacted by the madman known as X, and the writing is on the wall as their group is slowly disbanding. Kirsten is forced to move forward with a whirlwind romance beckoning, though she feels compelled to bring the killer to justice before her career comes to an end. As usual, there’s lots of social issues and moral conundrums discussed, and the standard JRD reflections of current-day controversies. I’m hoping to release it by Summer 2016.

MF:  Sounds like another winner! Is there any particular author or authors who have inspired you the most?

JRD:  Shakespeare, Ian Fleming and Robert E. Howard. The Bard for his conciseness and verbal dynamism, Fleming for his ability to take the reader to a myriad of locations, societies and situations, and Howard for his gift of lurid description and breathtaking action. I hope my readers see my work in a favorable light in comparison.

MF: From what I’ve read, I believe you can rest assured that they will.

You can pick up a copy of Both Sides Now on Amazon here.

Connect with John Reinhard Dizon:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/johnreinharddizonUSA

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/John-Reinhard-Dizon/e/B00DU9JNUQ/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JohnRDizon

 

 

THE TRIAD: An Action-Packed Slice of Pre-WWII History

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The period leading up to the USA’s involvement in WWII is often overshadowed by the war itself and its explosive ending. Wars don’t suddenly erupt, however, but evolve gradually as various events transpire that lead in that direction. This exciting story is based on covert plans by the Axis powers to weaken USA leadership by assassinating key individuals and thus lessen the chance of US involvement which would hinder their likelihood of success. Their assassination squad dubbed “The Triad” has targeted Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin Roosevelt. Aware of the threat, the FBI brings in Alvin Karpis, a mobster stashed away for the long-haul on Alcatraz, to assist in return for his parole. He insists on some cronies enjoying a similar benefit, which is agreed upon, and the chase begins.

Author John Reinhard Dizon’s action-packed story illustrates the connections mobsters maintain and their ability to orchestrate elaborate plans. Its fast pace never lets up, assuring a breathless dash from coast to coast as Karpis et al accomplish their mission, leaving you wondering at the conclusion just how sane Karpis really was given the fine line between genius and insanity.

BUY LINK TO AMAZON

http://www.amazon.com/Triad-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00NPOJ9VY

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR JOHN REINHARD DIZON

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnreinharddizonUSA

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/John-Reinhard-Dizon/e/B00DU9JNUQ/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnRDizon

Dizon’s “Stxeamtown” Elevates Steampunk to its Best Satirical Potential

“Stxeamtown” by John Reinhold Dizon was my introduction to the “steampunk” genre which I didn’t even realize existed at the time.  I saw it as a hilarious satire, which apparently is the intent of the genre generally.  This particular book operates on so many levels that it can only be compared to such works as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Alice in Wonderland” and Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”  Readers of all ages can enjoy its genius though if you choose to read it as a bedtime story your young children may not understand why you laugh uproariously from time to time.

This brilliant satire creates a vivid post-apocalyptic world in which the few survivors following the “Big Bang” form a variety of societies.  The teenage protagonist is Trip Nortel, short for Amitriptylene, his name credited to the custom of finding baby’s names in pre-Big Bang formulary volumes.  Trip is an Abovegrounder, a subculture that lives on the rooftops unbeknownst to the Grounders below due to a perpetual cloud of water vapor that obscures visibility; steam is the primary power source, having been rediscovered following the Big Bang.  Abovegrounders are held to strict rules, including the need to be obsequious toward tyrannical “young-uns” by meeting their every demand.  Those who don’t follow the rules are “crossed-out,” i.e. given a lobotomy, and sent to the ground below.  Those who don’t make trouble don’t fare much better since upon reaching the ripe old age of 30 they, too, are banished.  The rules are enforced by Big Boys who maintain limited contact with Traders below.

Trip falls in love with Lyrica, another Abovegrounder who lives on a different rooftop.  She’s not only beautiful but wears stitched clothing rather than the wraps worn by most of the others. The two exchange Morse code messages in which they express their affection and finally the day comes that Trip finds his way to Lyrica and the pair makes a precarious escape to the ground, some rooftop friends subsequently joining them.

Once amongst the Grounders, Trip immediately connects with influential people who advise, “He who moves the most paper is the one who goes farthest ahead.”  He’s quickly dressed in stitched clothing like the others in styles reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’ world of fantasy.  Eager to learn, he soon finds himself elevated to the upper echelons of society.  The hero and his girl are instrumental in instituting numerous changes, including starting a school system to educate the Idiots, i.e. those “crossed-out” and cast from the rooftops, so they can reach their full potential.  Things get more complicated as their Abovegrounder friends lament receiving unequal benefit from Trip’s influence and stir up trouble by associating with the Traders Guild and the Society of Black Beards who enjoy strong drink. The complications of the culture clash that follows are ultimately solved and of course everyone lives happily ever after.

While this tale is presented in a style similar to the best of fairy tales, more sophisticated readers will be greatly entertained by recognizing the allegorical themes running throughout the surprisingly intricate plot, colorful characters and their societal predicaments.  Dizon’s dry wit is only matched by his genius in creating this must-read allegorical tale that bears a striking resemblance to the world in which we live.

Will “Triad” take John Reinhard Dizon to the Best Seller List?

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  1. Rumor has it that your current work is an historical piece that addresses the pre-WW II era. It seems as if this time period is often eclipsed by WWII such that most of us are mostly unaware of the events leading up to it. Does your novel fill in some of the blanks?

What the novel does is try to help readers understand the mindset. Just as Millennials have great-grandparents who remember WWII, teens in the pre-WWII era had great-grandparents who saw the Civil War. Radio was like the Internet back then, it was a phenomenon. There’s an episode in the novel that reflects how people thought we were being invaded by aliens when The War of the Worlds was broadcast. People were extremely vulnerable to propaganda, which is how the dictators took over most of Eurasia. Governments played on that, and it is remarkable how easily people gave up their civil liberties in exchange for having their leaders tell them everything was all right.

  1. Historical fiction is typically populated by a mix of fictitious characters intermingled with historical figures. Are your characters purely fictitious or based on actual people?

It’s a mix, which is something I try to do as much as possible. I use the actual people to help readers understand the historical figures, while creating characters to help bring them into perspective. Chess Power is based on someone I know. He lived through the Pendergast Era, and I turned him into an FBI agent trying to earn a paycheck while serving his country. Alvin Karpis is my favorite gangster, and I thought I could do more to bring him to life in this novel than writing a biography about him. Some of the protagonists are entirely tongue-in-cheek, like Cat the Bounty Hunter. Alternately, J. Edgar Hoover and Heinrich Himmler are who they are, they create their own stereotype that no one can change.

  1. Historical fiction has a sub-genre, speculative history, which examines what could have happened had past events played out in a different way, for example, if Hitler had won WWII. Is there anything of that nature in Triad?

Not really. In my opinion, authors who do that are dead in the water. You’re asking for too much of a suspension of disbelief. What this novel is doing is asking, suppose we got from Point A to Point B by taking this route? All roads lead to Rome, but some take paths you wouldn’t imagine. In this novel, we have gangsters helping thwart assassins trying to murder some of our great leaders. In reality, Lucky Luciano made a deal with the Government to put Mafia associates at the waterfront in NYC on alert to catch Nazi saboteurs. After the war, the US Army recruited hundreds of Nazi war criminals to help win the Cold War. Many say the ends justify the means, and this novel calls that into question.

One thing I’d like to point out is that most publishers and agents loathe postmodernist literature. It breaks all of their traditional industry rules. It takes your head out of The Box and tosses it into the street. It took over eighteen months for me to find an indie publisher for The Bat, one of my first works which was also a postmodernist novel. It is unique among art forms in that it brings the reader out of the audience and sits him alongside the author. Anyone who’s read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut can relate. You realize you’re being jerked around, and you ask, what’s this guy doing? Where is he going with this? It’s actually a classical concept, the deus ex machina, but postmodernists like myself take it places you’ve never seen before.

  1. What particular event or situation inherent to that historical period, if any, inspired you to set a novel at that time?

Again, it was all about Karpis. I find it amazing that he is the least known of all the 1930s gangsters, though by far the most successful. He is probably the only man in history to have personally known Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, and Charles Manson. He was a criminal genius, though surrounded by Ozark hillbillies whose IQs ranged in the eighties. This is what provides us the angle where his partners suspect his mind is controlled by either the Government or aliens. It also supports the storyline that technology is changing the world faster than people can absorb it, and Karpis becomes their lifeline in helping them cope. He is also the only one smart enough to figure out what the Nazis are up to.

  1. Writing an historical novel involves a significant amount of research. Do you have any particular method for gathering the information you need?

German society and culture has also been another area of expertise for me. I try to write about subjects I know a lot about. People have no idea how closely America is tied with Germany. If not for a few votes, our national language would have been German. People in Texas can tell you how many cities and towns have German names. It was an act of God that Roosevelt and Hitler dragged us into WWII. After the war, we helped rebuild Germany into the economic power it is today. Hitler envisioned a world ruled by the Third Reich and the USA. When the Germans declared war against us, it was an ultimate betrayal. I think the novel takes a lot of that into account.

  1. Do you generally travel or vacation at locations used as settings for your novels, use past experience, or simply research them from home? Has a particular location ever inspired a novel in and of itself?

Living in Kansas City really helped me channel the Gangster Era of the Thirties. I’m a short driving distance from Union Station where the Kansas City Massacre occurred. UMKC is a short distance from the neighborhoods where the Karpis-Barker Gang used to recruit their gang members. Alvin Karpis had a luxury apartment at the Plaza where I hang out all the time. It’s not much different from my life in South Brooklyn where I grew up. My parents knew lots of associates from the Colombo Mob, which is where I got the background for my crime novel, The Break. I clearly remember Crazy Joe Gallo, who took on Joseph Colombo in a war that changed the face of the New York Mafia. It’s safe to say that I’ve a lifetime of experiences that inspires lots of these novels.

  1. When you mention the “Five Families in NYC” do they include Rockefeller, Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan or are they purely fictitious?

I love it! That’s the five Mafia families who controlled the underworld of the 20th century. There was the Gambino Family, the Genovese Family, the Colombo Family, the Bonanno Family and the Lucchese Family. In the timeframe of the novel, Albert “the Mad Hatter” Anastasia was the boss of his family after killing the Don, Vincent Mangano. Anastasia was then murdered by Carlo Gambino, whose son-in-law and heir Paul Castellano was knocked off by John Gotti. The FBI’s annihilation of the Gotti Mob heralded the demise of the New York Mafia. That makes your question perfectly logical. There’s almost nothing left of the Mafia in comparison to what it was in the last century. Top guys who get elected Godfather are thinking, “Oh, please, not me!” They usually wind up doing life in Federal penitentiaries.

  1. They say that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Is there something to be learned from this period of history that’s relevant to today?

It’s all about civil rights, and how governments manipulate them to ensure their power and authority. When you deny criminals their rights, it then becomes a question of how you define a criminal. The FBI shredded the Constitution to win the War or Crime in the Thirties. They next used their authority to eradicate enemies of the State, much like the Nazis and the Communists did. It wasn’t until the McCarthy Era did we realize we had gone too far. Islam caused us to repeat history with the Patriot Act after 9/11. There are always those who will feel that law enforcement keeps us safe, while others will feel that they will be taken next.

  1. The intermingling of the FBI, mafia, politics and “Big Money” typically result in considerable corruption. Do you think things of that nature have gotten better or worse since the pre-WWII era?

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Great Depression nearly destroyed the middle class, which is what spawned the Gangster Era of the Thirties. We’ve been seeing the steady erosion of the middle class since the end of the 20th century, and it’s resulted in the War on Drugs and our current Gangsta Culture. Desperate people turn to crime as a last resort, and when governments crack down and rich people refuse to share the wealth, history will repeat itself again and again.

  1. I sounds as if this novel has a plethora of subplots as well as something for everyone, e. history, intrigue, conspiracy, a touch or romance and perhaps a touch of the occult which broadens its appeal to just about every reader. Such broad appeal is often the stuff of New York Times Best Sellers. Do you think this might be the one?

Hitting the best-seller list is like hitting lightning in a bottle. The odds are phenomenal, but it happens. I personally think pigeons will be shitting on my statue in cities across America long after I’m dead. If there’s any justice in the world, maybe this’ll be The One. There’s also great unknowns like Elle Klass, Pamela Winn, Chris Birdy, Susanne Leist and Marcha Fox who also deserve their day in the sun. We’re all starving indie authors who are writing great novels and just waiting for our day to come.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500878642

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SYNOPSIS

The Triad is a postmodernist historical fiction novel centering on the pre-WWII United States of America and its difficulties in maintaining its neutrality in a world on the brink of war. Amidst rumors of a conspiracy by the Axis powers to diminish America’s capacity to engage in hostilities, the FBI is called into action. Special Agent Chess Power is empowered by Deputy Director Melvin Purvis to put together a plan to thwart the efforts of a mysterious team known as the Triad. Powers heads out to Alcatraz Island and enlists the aid of criminal genius Alvin Karpis in return for his parole. Karpis agrees on condition that his partners, Fred and Doc Barker, and Harry Campbell are included in the deal. Power agrees, and the game of cat-and-mouse soon begins.

                It is announced that Karpis and his gang escape during transport to a military base for medical observation, and the criminals are considered fugitives though the FBI dragnet is non-existent. Karpis returns to one of his main hideouts in Kansas City where he reestablishes contact with his Mafia connections. During that time he learns of activity by the Triad in the Missouri area and immediately begins working on leads provided by both the FBI and the Mafia. He discovers a plot to assassinate Vice President Harry Truman, and moves in to thwart the Triad near Truman’s home in Independence.

                Karpis’ FBI and Mafia informants next lead him to Philadelphia where the Triad agents have been sighted. During this time, one of Karpis’ gun molls, Carole Robbins, finds out where the gang is hiding out and rejoins her long-lost lover. She provides a romantic comedy angle to the action-packed story as the laser-focused Karpis is repeatedly distracted by her antics. She also becomes his weak spot as the Triad learns of her existence and seeks to use her against Karpis. Yet the lovely girl is not without her own devices, and she remains one step ahead of the Triad as they fail to abduct her time and again.                                                                  

                In Philadelphia, both the FBI and the Mob learn of the Triad’s plan to murder Army General Dwight Eisenhower as he and his wife are looking at property in the Gettysburg area of York County. Once again Karpis is able to use his criminal genius to determine the Triad’s course of action and uncover their sniper nest near the hallowed battlefield area. 

                In the climactic episode, Karpis learns of the Triad relocating to the New York City area in time for a Presidential speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt scheduled at Madison Square Garden. Unknown to Karpis, one of the Triad members is connected to the Sicilian Mafia, and they have made arrangements with the Five Families in NYC to coordinate the assassination. The Karpis-Barker Gang manage to save the day in stopping the Triad and bringing the killers to justice.

        The postmodernist techniques are evident with the use of non-linear narrative, metafictional technique, elliptical structure and classical irony. Of particular note are the dream sequences in which Karpis seems to be transported through time to modern-day Harlem where the gang’s bank robbery is pre-empted by a botched attempt by a street posse. Upon waking, he finds himself in the ‘dream house’ on the Plaza in Kansas City where he begins to suspect Freddie Barker of being a spectre. There is also a sequence where J. Edgar Hoover meets with Heinrich Himmler at an INTERPOL convention where they discuss objectives in destroying world Communism and eliminating crime in the USA and Germany. These are but a couple of scenes that may define this work as a postmodern classic.

                This is a rollicking action/adventure tale with plenty of thrills, chills and tension-breaking comedic episodes that make The Triad a barn-burner that readers will long remember.

l

John’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/John-Reinhard-Dizon/e/B00DU9JNUQ/

John’s Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/johnreinharddizonUSA

John’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnRDizon

John’s Blog: https://centerstagejrd.wordpress.com/

OTHER TITLES

Tiara: http://www.amazon.com/Tiara-10th-Anniversary-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPS7R64/

The Kingdom: http://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00L2LLCY4/

Generations: http://www.amazon.com/Generations-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00K5DQYSY/

Generations II: http://www.amazon.com/Generations-II-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JG56C2U/

Transplant: http://www.amazon.com/Transplant-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JQRH1J6/

Destroyer: http://www.amazon.com/Destroyer-Abaddon-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00FDWB7KC/

Nightcrawler: http://www.amazon.com/Nightcrawler-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00I0K9QEI/

Nightcrawler 2: http://www.amazon.com/Nightcrawler-II-Tryzub-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00L8653CU/

Wolf Man: http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Man-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00H4HWDAC/

Vampir: http://www.amazon.com/Vampir-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPPI7FC/

King of the Hoboes: http://www.amazon.com/King-Hoboes-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00HXQ4YKQ/

The Break: http://www.amazon.com/Break-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPPI3ME/

Strange Tales: http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Tales-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JAHX8OO/

Hezbollah: http://www.amazon.com/Hezbollah-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IZMV4D2/

The Fury: http://www.amazon.com/Fury-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00FK3UTE4/

The Test: http://www.amazon.com/Test-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IVB9EA2/

Stxeamtown: http://www.amazon.com/Stxeamtown-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00GSTZK5W/

The Standard I: http://www.amazon.com/The-Standard-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00E1TL5LO/

The Standard II (The Citadel): http://www.amazon.com/Standard-II-Citadel-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00KP2B40I/

Writing Process Blog Tour

writingprocess

This blog tour originated with Kelly Lewis who stated, “The purpose of this tour is to showcase fellow writers with emphasis around the writing process itself to spread great words, get insights, and to show support in this isolating craft we embark on.”
Kelly Lewis passed the baton to author, Susanne Leist, who in turn passed it on to me in her blog.
http://susanneleist.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html

Susanne is the author of the popular thriller “The Dead Game.” If you enjoy scary books check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Game-Susanne-Leist-ebook/dp/B00F3IWF70/

Here are the questions and my answers:


1. What am I working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on “Refractions of Frozen Time,” the fourth and final book in the Star Trails Tetralogy science fiction series. I have it drafted but my characters have gotten themselves into such a mess that it’s going to take a while to sort it all out and wrap it up.

2. How does my work differ from others of this genre?

In addition to being science fiction it’s also a family saga. When a family is scattered across the galaxy there is just too much going on in too many places to tell it through a single viewpoint. So at one time or another you get inside everyone’s head. I know it’s breaking the rules but that’s how the story flowed and so far my readers have liked it.

What’s interesting, though, is how everyone seems to relate to a different character and see him or her as the protagonist. While it was originally intended as a young adult series I’ve been told multiple times that it’s suitable for all ages. Another reviewer told me that the “human element raises the bar in this competitive genre” which points out that the setting may be on another planet but it’s the people that matter most, even though the brutal star system their planet is in drives the story.

While much of it is science fiction, I base as much as I can on what is known and pass it on in lay terms. I hope to build an audience of young people interested in science and engineering who will learn something painlessly along the way. I also have a section on my website for parents and educators with hints on how to use the stories as a springboard for discussion on various topics. If I can inspire one person to go into a career in science my work here is done.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I write science fiction because I love science as well as writing fiction so, as we say in physics and math circles, it was “intuitively obvious.” Speculating on the many weird and wonderful theories out there and what the future holds as we gradually get a grip on them and apply them to technology is my idea of fun. What most people don’t realize, though, is I got the physics degree so I could write authentic science fiction, not the other way round.

4. How does my writing process work?

I have an overall view of the story’s premise but once the characters are created most of it comes to me as I write. I’ve never been one who stuck to a chapter outline very closely because the story is sure to deviate based on what the characters do. The story seems to have a life of its own and it feels as if it’s being dictated to me. My characters always take over. I learn more about them all the time like you would someone you meet in real life. Many times they’ve gone off in directions that surprised me or new characters, sometimes important ones, have sprung up out of nowhere. I enjoy writing even more since what comes out usually surprises me.

Of course there are times when I have to do some serious crafting or brainstorming to tie it all together for which I have to give a lot of credit to my muse, Kalliope. I’m an astrologer as well as a writer and a few years ago I discovered that an asteroid named Kalliope is very prominent in my horoscope, which explained a lot.

I tend to do a significant amount of rewriting. My first draft is mostly action and dialog and I have to go back to make sure it includes sufficient imagery and renders appropriate emotion. I use the acronym IDEAS (Imagery, Dialog, Emotion, Action, Suspense) to check on whether I’ve included everything required. I’m one of those authors who never finishes a novel but rather abandons it because I can always find something I can say better or add.

I write a fair amount of nonfiction as well. Once I get an idea it tends to flow so I can produce blogs and articles with ease. I love doing research and have a gift for finding what I’m looking for almost as if I’m being guided by some invisible force. Back before the internet I could walk into a library and just somehow walk down the right aisle and lay my hands on exactly the book I needed. I love writing blogs about science at a level anyone can understand, kind of a “Physics for Dummies” series if you will. You can find them here on WordPress. However, my first love is writing novels and watching the characters evolve.

MY NOMINATED WRITER – John Reinhard Dizon

Now I’d like to hand off the blog baton to Literary Chameleon, John Reinhard Dizon. I conducted an interview with John a while back in which I conferred that title on him which you can find here: (https://marcha2014.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/interview-with-author-extraordinaire-and-literary-chameleon-john-reinhard-dizon/). He writes in numerous diverse genres and handles them all in a masterful way. No matter which genre is your favorite I would be willing to bet dollars to donuts that he’s written something you’ll love. If you enjoy reading a variety yet had to limit yourself to one author, he’s the only one you’d ever need.

In the interview I asked him how he changed his style so easily. Here’s his response:

“I think it’s more a question of adapting rather than changing. My four main ingredients are a dynamic plot, compelling characters, snappy dialogue and a powerful finish. You’ll find that common quality in all my novels. As far as genre goes, I made it a point to explore as many as possible in order to give a future fan base a wide variety of reading material. The way I saw it, there would be something for everybody. At this point in time I’ve been working on sequels, the logic being that it gives readers something to latch onto in following their favorite characters. You know how it goes, if at first you don’t succeed.”

John’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/John-Reinhard-Dizon/e/B00DU9JNUQ/
John’s Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/johnreinharddizonUSA
John’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnRDizon
John’s Blog: https://centerstagejrd.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/interview-with-marcha-fox/
My Interview with John: (https://marcha2014.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/interview-with-author-extraordinaire-and-literary-chameleon-john-reinhard-dizon/)
John’s Book Links:
Tiara: http://www.amazon.com/Tiara-10th-Anniversary-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPS7R64/
The Kingdom: http://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00L2LLCY4/
Generations: http://www.amazon.com/Generations-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00K5DQYSY/
Generations II: http://www.amazon.com/Generations-II-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JG56C2U/
Transplant: http://www.amazon.com/Transplant-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JQRH1J6/
Destroyer: http://www.amazon.com/Destroyer-Abaddon-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00FDWB7KC/
Nightcrawler: http://www.amazon.com/Nightcrawler-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00I0K9QEI/
Nightcrawler 2: http://www.amazon.com/Nightcrawler-II-Tryzub-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00L8653CU/
Wolf Man: http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Man-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00H4HWDAC/
Vampir: http://www.amazon.com/Vampir-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPPI7FC/
King of the Hoboes: http://www.amazon.com/King-Hoboes-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00HXQ4YKQ/
The Break: http://www.amazon.com/Break-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPPI3ME/
Strange Tales: http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Tales-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JAHX8OO/
Hezbollah: http://www.amazon.com/Hezbollah-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IZMV4D2/
The Fury: http://www.amazon.com/Fury-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00FK3UTE4/
The Test: http://www.amazon.com/Test-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IVB9EA2/
Stxeamtown: http://www.amazon.com/Stxeamtown-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00GSTZK5W/
The Standard I: http://www.amazon.com/The-Standard-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00E1TL5LO/
The Standard II (The Citadel): http://www.amazon.com/Standard-II-Citadel-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00KP2B40I/

Meet 7 of the 16 Authors who comprise the “Dreams, Fantasies, Nightmares & Visions” Facebook Group

(Lilo Abernathy, John Reinhard Dizon, Marcha Fox, Terri Klaes Harper,

Samantha Jacobey, Susanne Leist & John Tucker)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1439009819683643/

Event Dates: June 18 – 22, 2014

* * *

Lilo Abernathy

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Friday, June 20, 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday, June 21, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Sunday, June 22, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

I’m currently forty-two, but that could differ depending on what year you read this. Unless some fundamental laws of nature change, I expect that number to only get higher. I am half Italian and half Irish. Well, the Irish side is sort of an Irish/German/English/French/Scottish mix, but since I believed I was truly half Irish until my mother’s foray into genealogy, I’m sticking to that story.

I live amidst the Smoky Mountains and can sometimes see the shadows of clouds lying on the mountains from my front porch. I am not yet snobbish enough to call it a veranda, but time will tell. I’m a great believer in the proof being in the pudding. Sometimes my young adult daughter joins me on the veranda… err, porch to admire the view. Often my Australian Shepherd runs around the veranda looking for things to shepherd in the yard. Because we are decidedly lacking in livestock, he frequently presents me with slobbery balls to throw. I, in turn, do my best to ignore them. I feel justified in this neglect because I am planning on adopting a girlfriend for him soon so they can wrestle over the slobbery ball together to wagging tails’ content.

I started working full time while in high school and haven’t stopped since. My illustrious career began with a smattering of service experiences at various fast food and restaurant chains, went on to fine jewelry, slipped into property management for housing projects, morphed into corporate real estate, then ended up in mergers and acquisitions. Please don’t ask me how that happened as I would have to kill you if I told you.

My home is a modestly sized ranch, recently purchased and still not completely unpacked. The walls are a boring light beige, but they make the perfect backdrop for my brightly colored Gustav Klimt canvas prints. Van Gogh hopes to join Klimt on my walls soon, but right now the brakes on my Cube need to be fixed, and the washer overflows if I place the water level on super-duper high. Priorities, priorities.

More importantly than all of the above, you absolutely must know that my favorite color is purple. Not Barney purple, no offense to Barney, but more of a medium eggplant purple. I like to think of it as a “mature” purple, but deep down I know it is really just purple.

Connect with Lilo:

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/lilojabernathy/

Blog: http://lilojabernathy.blogspot.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lilojabernathy

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7789942.Lilo_Abernathy

Google Plus Account: http://google.com/+LiloAbernathy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lilo_Abernathy

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The Light Who Shines

When Supernatural Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime, it’s obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run. Using her innate sixth sense, Blue uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimiore that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.

Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and Bull Tap and leads all through the town of Crimson Hollow. Between being sidelined by a stalker who sticks to the shadows and chasing a suspect who vanishes in thin air, the case is getting complicated. If that isn’t enough, Dark Vampire activity hits a record high, and hate crimes are increasing. However, it’s Blue’s growing feelings for Jack Tanner, her magnetic Daylight Vampire boss, that just might undo her.

While Blue searches for clues to nail the perpetrator, it seems someone else is conducting a search of their own. Who will find whom first?

Danger lurks in every corner, and Blue needs all her focus in this increasingly dangerous game or she risks ending up the next victim.

http://www.amazon.com/Light-Shines-Bluebell-Kildare-Book-ebook/dp/B00HYH3ZU4/

 

John Reinhard Dizon

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Wednesday, June 18, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Thursday, June 19, 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Sunday, June 22, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

John Reinhard Dizon was born and raised in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, NY. He participated in local and high school sports at Bishop Loughlin MHS, excelling in wrestling, hockey and football. The lead vocalist of the Spoiler and the Ducky Boys, he was a key figure on the Brooklyn rock scene during the Punk Revolution of the 70’s. Relocating to San Antonio TX in the 80’s, he moonlighted as a pro wrestler while working as a legal assistant. He successfully pursued a BA at UTSA and degrees in Korean martial arts during the 90’s. He currently lives in KC MO where he is studying for his MA in English at UMKC. Mr. Dizon has been writing suspense and thriller works for over twenty-five years.

 

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Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler is about the exploits of Sabrina Brooks, the heiress to the Brooks Chemical Company. Bree is trying to pick up the pieces after her father’s death, and is now in a position to live up to a personal commitment to use her resources to benefit the oppressed. She is intrigued by the notion of conducting a guerrilla campaign against drug gangs in New York City, and accesses top-secret archives detailing Government contracts for developmental research of chemical weapons. She uses her wizardry in chemistry to concoct weapons for her own use as a vigilante known as the Nightcrawler. NYPD undercover officer Hoyt Wexford becomes friends with Bree, and begins to suspect she knows the identity of the Nightcrawler. Her sudden interest in a series of terrorist attacks in the New York area makes him believe she may be investigating a group called the Octagon. He tries to follow her but is too late to prevent a showdown between the Nightcrawler and the mysterious Reaper. Hoyt rescues Bree and learns her secret identity, and together they plan to stop the Octagon once and for all in preventing a chemical attack in NYC on the Fourth of July. This is a pulse-pounding thriller straight out of world headlines, with an unforgettable heroine fighting impossible odds against fiendish arch-criminals. For suspense fans looking for some chick lit with international intrigue, Nightcrawler is one not to be forgotten.

http://www.amazon.com/Nightcrawler-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00I0K9QEI/

 

ImageTiara

Tiara is an action-packed, historical fiction, romantic thriller centering around the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. The main female protagonist is Princess Jennifer of Edinburgh, a civil rights activist involved in the negotiations between the British government and the coalition groups in Ulster. She becomes an object of fascination to Berlin Mansfield, an international terrorist of Irish descent who is equally intent on attending the historic event as it transpires. The two eventually cross paths in a tale of intrigue and suspense with the future of a nation at stake.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Tiara-10th-Anniversary-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPS7R64/


Marcha Fox

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Saturday, June 21, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Marcha Fox is a prolific writer who has addressed a wide variety of subjects but her favorite is science fiction. It began as a love of astronomy which eventually led to a bachelor’s of science degree in physics from Utah State University followed by a 21 year career at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where she held a variety of positions including technical writer, engineer and eventually manager. Her NASA experiences included trips to Cape Canaveral in Florida, visiting other NASA centers in Mississippi, Alabama and Maryland as well as trips to the European Space Agency in The Netherlands but the most memorable was the sad task of helping to recover space shuttle debris in East Texas following the tragic Columbia accident in 2003.

Her Star Trails Tetralogy Series incorporates her knowledge of physics and space travel within a family saga set on a primitive planet where survival is an ongoing struggle further complicated by political intrigue. While some of the science is speculative, her goal is to represent it as accurately as possible so that her readers learn accurate principles in a painless, entertaining manner within the context of the story. More information on the individual novels in this series, the science behind them as well as the status of the fourth and final volume can be found on http://www.kallioperisingpress.com.

She is the mother of six grown children, 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and lived in New York, California and Utah before making her home in Texas.

Connect with Marcha:

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Marcha-Fox/e/B0074RV16O/

Author Homepage: http://www.kallioperisingpress.com/abouttheauthor.htm

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marchafoxauthor

Star Trails Homepage: http://www.kallioperisingpress.com/startrails/star_trails_tetralogy.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/startrailsIV @startrailsIV

Blog Page: https://marcha2014.wordpress.com/

 

ImageA Psilent Place Below

Finding refuge in Cyraria’s underground network of caverns to survive Opposition, it doesn’t take Dirck Brightstar long to discover these are no ordinary caves. When he and his mother share a shocking veridical dream its clear his imprisoned father is in grave danger with immediate action required. Following a harrowing prison break the entire family plunges into a world of intrigue as the Integrator’s hold on the planet tightens. At long last Creena makes it home only to find her family still can’t be together because her father’s now a virtual prisoner in Cira City working covertly to oppose Integration. With the caverns located deep within enemy territory the risk of being discovered not only threatens their personal safety but assures Integrator victory if cristobalite crystals fall into enemy hands. Squabbling between Creena and Dirck resumes in short order, jeopardizing their ability to recognize yet another grave threat that leaves them reeling with regrets as this volume concludes amid technological challenges, political intrigue and culture clashes in yet another volume of high powered science fiction adventure. This is the 3rd volume of the Star Trails Tetralogy which can be enjoyed out of sequence.

http://www.amazon.com/Psilent-Place-Below-Trails-Tetralogy-ebook/dp/B0082CW8QC/

 

Terri Klaes Harper

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Thursday, June 19, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

For someone who loves to write, I never really know what to say about myself. I’ve lived a fairly “normal” American life, and I’ve been writing for about as long as I can remember. I started with stories about the origins of camels’ humps and strange planets one could only travel to while riding a flying cat, and now I keep a blog of randomness and am writing a young adult book series.

Inspired by my own ninth grade English teacher (the one who discovered that my love for writing might actually be a hidden talent), I too became a high school English teacher, a chapter in my life I very recently closed. I am blessed with an amazingly supportive husband and two beautiful and hilarious Australian shepherds who fill my life with love. I have an appreciation for good literature and words and a hatred of human trafficking. I hope to continue writing fun fiction, but I would also love to put my talent to use to help battle modern day slavery. Other than that, I enjoy running, or rather the benefits of running, and long walks on the beach. After all, I do live in Florida. However, a part of me always considers Virginia, where I spent middle school through college, as my home.

Connect with Terri:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Terri-Klaes-Harper/e/B00AAEGY74/

website: http://terriklaesharper.wix.com/author

blog: cavernsofmymind.com

 

ImageMemoirs of an Ordinary Girl: Fresh-Meat Year

It’s just another extraordinarily ordinary year in Drew Hotchner’s world, and one she faces again with wit and sarcasm. Freshman year is the only thing that just might be more horrific and awkward than middle school, and Drew cannot avoid it. Thankfully, she is not alone and still has her support crew of friends, because some things never change, no matter the setting. Old enemies return and new distractions abound, such as a new crush, even while she holds onto the old, the advent of the grunge music movement, helping to plan a wedding, and the creepy neighbor boy down the equally creepy rural road. Drew must again learn to hold her own in the unknown and to stay true to her identity while also learning that doing the right thing is not always the easy thing and may take a degree of maturity a fourteen year old often doesn’t realize she has.

http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Ordinary-Girl-Fresh-meat-Year-ebook/dp/B00KMYJ3DO/

 

Samantha Jacobey

Friday, June 20, 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Saturday, June 21, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sunday, June 22, Noon – 2:00 pm

Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations anywhere at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night.

I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.

Connect with Samantha:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Jacobey/165092307031832

https://www.facebook.com/ANewLifeSeries

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GEB5LX0

Twitter: @samjacobey

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7335383.Samantha_Jacobey

 

ImageCaptive

To what lengths would you go to break away from a life filled with pain and suffering?

Tori Farrell has lived a dangerous life. When you grow up with a Motorcycle Gang of Mercenaries and Drug Lords like the Dragons, a normal life is more like a fairytale. For years, she accepted her dark reality, a world consisting of drugs, sex, violence and murder. In the end, she learned the most valuable lesson: survival.

After years of being ruled by the Dragons, Tori uses her skills of seduction and assassination to free herself from the grasp of the people who vowed they would never let her go. Taken in by the FBI, she fears not everything is what it seems, and soon finds herself lost in a web of lies and deceit. She thought getting away from the Dragons would put her on a path to a new and better life, but now she must face the cold hard truth” there is always a price to be paid.

Tori’s story begins with CAPTIVE for ONLY 99 CENTS (sale price) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J1AO3JE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/captive-samantha-jacobey/1118955652

 

ImageBound

Raised by bikers and held by the FBI, Tori Farrell has literally walked over dead men to get to where she is today.

When she broke the ties to her dark and twisted life with the Dragons, she thought it would give her a fresh start and a chance to live a normal life. However, she soon discovered the demons from her past have no desire to let her go.

Bound to a halfway house under orders of the FBI, Tori takes things day by day, working to move forward and to face her own addictions. With her true identity a mystery and no family to turn to, she must learn to accept the love and support of those around her. When a mysterious and charismatic man walks into Tori’s life, she believes she’s finally found someone who wants her for who she is. But sometimes danger doesn’t hide cloaked in darkness” It comes out into the light of day in the form of a smooth talking bad boy who appears to be everything you’ve been looking for, but is really the one thing you should be running from”

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J1AO2C2

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bound-samantha-jacobey/1118955657

 

Image Entwined

There is nothing crueler than getting a taste of something you’ve fought hard to reach, only to have it ripped away, sending your world into a tailspin

Tori wants to put the past behind her, but it’s a daunting task when you have the FBI trying to force you back into the life you’ve escaped. When a ghost from her past visits, it could be the leverage they need to do exactly that, put her back into the game of murder and deceit. Tori has decided to run, in an attempt to protect her new friends, by fleeing from LA.

Wanting a place to call home and feel safe from the madness, she sets out with a plan to disappear and hide in anonymity. Her idea only holds one flaw, a man she can’t shake, who won’t take ‘No’ for an answer.

She soon discovers that getting a new life means she must first lay to rest the demons of her past.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J7F2NTA

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/entwined-samantha-jacobey/1118955781

 

Image Exposed

[Exposed is being released that weekend so purchase links are not available until then.]

 

Susanne Leist

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Thursday, June 19, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Sunday, June 22, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Susanne Leist graduated with an MBA in finance. Her life has led her through the hectic commodities market and the number-crunching field of budgeting, but she always continued to read and daydream…which ultimately led to the fulfillment of her dream to put one of her stories on paper for everyone to enjoy. She currently lives on Long Island with her husband, two daughters, and Maltese dog.

From the Author

I have always loved to read books. My goal has been to write a book different than any other book that I’ve ever read. And I believe I have accomplished this goal. The Dead Game is a supernatural thriller with plenty of mystery and romance.  The once peaceful town of Oasis becomes a haven for murder. Dead bodies are found on the beach. Tourists disappear from the hotel–never to be heard from again. Once the sun sets, dark shadows can be seen roaming the streets of town. With two of their own missing, Linda and her friends must locate THE DEAD and determine whether their members are humans or creatures of the night.

Connect with Susanne:

http://amazon.com/author/susanneleist

https://www.twitter.com/SusanneLeist

http://susanneleist.wordpress.com/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+susanneleist/

http://thedeadgameblog.tumblr.com/

http://susanneleist.blogspot.com/

 

ImageThe Dead Game

From the Inside Flap

How could evil exist in a perfect paradise? The town of Oasis is famous for its sunshine, picturesque streets, and white-sand beaches. Yet evil haunts the streets at night. Dark shadows stalk the innocent residents. Tourists disappear from the fancy Oasis Hotel.

In the center of it all, stands End House, with its long, dark history of disappearances. Linda and her friends are invited to a party at this house. It is not at all what they had expected. The young residents find themselves trapped in a deserted house where they must flee for their lives through revolving rooms and terrifying illusions. Or are they illusions? With two of their own still lost in the house, they decide to investigate on their own. Not knowing if their stalkers are vampires or humans, they must uncover the evil one controlling the game and everyone else in town.

Let the games begin.

 

Book Description

Linda moves to a small town to live a quieter and simpler life. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple–that is until the dead body washes up on shore. Linda is horrified to find that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are common for this town. As soon as the sun sets, she and her friends are stalked by dark shadows. But this is only the beginning.

Linda and her group receive an unsigned invitation to a party at the deserted house on the hill. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives. Two of their own remain trapped in the house. Or so they think. To save themselves and the town, they must reveal the true face of evil–the one controlling the game and its elusive players.

The Dead Game has begun.

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Game-Susanne-Leist-ebook/dp/B00F3IWF70/

 

John Tucker

Wednesday, June 18, 10:00 pm – Midnight

Friday, June 20, 10:00 pm – Midnight

Saturday, June 21, 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Sunday, June 22, 10:00 pm – Midnight

A life-long Georgia native, John D. Tucker has burned through three wives, raised two sons, and has persevered despite being brought up in a wonderfully dysfunctional family.

He is a multi-genre author with psychological thrillers (DIVISIVE, THE FIFTH GAME, AND SPLITS IN THE SKIN), a Romantic Dramedy Series called BEMUSED AND BEDEVILED (TERPSICHORE IN LOVE, THE MARK OF CAIN, and THE SEVENTH SEAL), a young adult Mystery (THE LITTLE GIRL YOU KISS GOODNIGHT), an Adult Contemporary novel (ROMANCING THE FOX) and the Erotica sizzler (TWELVE DOORS TO ECSTASY).

He plans to release five more books over the course of the 2014 – the final chapter in the Rask Trilogy – THE EIGHTH FAMILY, a Hostage Drama called THE WISDOM OF LUNATICS, a Contemporary Romance – eTERNALMATES, the second book in the Steph Linder Trilogy – THE LITTLE GIRL WHO CRIED AT MIDNIGHT, and a collection of short stories entitled FIVE FORKS IN THE ROAD.

He is a proud member of IWW (The Internet Writers Workshop) which he highly recommends to aspiring authors.

Connect with John:

Facebook Author Page —- http://www.facebook.com/hutt1234

Amazon Author Page — http://www.amazon.com/JohnTucker/e/B005GQUH3I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hutt1234John @Hutt1234John

Blog: http://johntuckermustlive.wordpress.com/

 

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Twelve Doors to Ecstasy

Due to her religious upbringing, Tristina (Tryst) Sanyon has become a sexually repressed woman with intimacy issues. After breaking up with her boyfriend, who called her a fairy tale princess incarnate, Tryst becomes determined to push her sexual boundaries. She just doesn’t know how she’s going to do it.

Enter a mysterious millionaire who runs an organization that promises to ‘cure’ sexually inhibited women. When Tryst answers a newspaper ad that promises to make her more ‘complete,’ she finds herself in a situation where her deepest fantasies could end up becoming a dangerous prison.

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Doors-Ecstasy-John-Tucker-ebook/dp/B00EWBWUT2


ImageThe Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight

Steph Linder dreams of being an Atlanta policewoman when she graduates high school in 1980’s Georgia. After her estranged mother is killed in Woody Pines, Steph is forced to stay with the grandmother and uncle she blames for her parent’s divorce in order to secretly investigate the murder. In the small, insulated town, Steph encounters a hunky teenager with intimate ties to her mother, three disreputable men who worked with her at a seedy bar, and a friendly librarian with several motives to be the number one suspect.

With only six days to catch the killer before going back to Atlanta to finish her senior year, Steph deals with a lecherous uncle, residents who view her as an unwelcome stranger, and long distance problems with her boyfriend and two BFF’s. Will she find the killer, or fall victim to the same fate as her mother?

The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight is a teen-noir crime mystery that features a plucky, but flawed heroine, a broken family unit that bands together after eight long years, and a tension-filled denouement that will stay with you long after you finish the novel.

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Goodnight-Steph-Linder-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00ANCRJ9A

 

ImageDivisive

The Connors are your All-American dysfunctional family. Carolyn, the matriarch, is a hard-drinking single mother with no desires to be a “sitcom mommy.” Elizabeth, her seventeen-year-old daughter, is a Goth dressing, snarky teenager who lives to protect her baby sister and to find love. Precocious Emily, twelve, is the peacemaker of the family saddled with issues of her own. Enter Dennis Rask, a charming rogue who insinuates himself into their family and brings them together as a self-appointed messiah – becoming loved by Carolyn, idolized by Emily, and accepted with reservations by a suspicious Elizabeth. Little do the Connors know, Rask has united three families before them, with every unit destroying themselves from within by his hellish machinations. Rask views the Connors as a hobby – a game – which has left no survivors in the past.

Divisive starts the reader off at the end of their story. Detective Frank Bostick attempts to unravel the reasons behind a tragic event in the Connors house, resulting in a “supposed” death, a “questionable” overdose, and a brutally “perceived” attack of Rask by one of the members. Switching back between the past, and the present, Divisive ensnares the reader in a thriller that goes back several years in the life of Dennis Rask until ending in a grim battle for the soul of the one he has hand-picked to be his “Queen.”

http://www.amazon.com/Divisive-Rask-Trilogy-John-Tucker-ebook/dp/B005GAAZW2

Interview with Author Extraordinaire and Literary Chameleon, John Reinhard Dizon

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Fellow author and good friend, John Reinhard Dizon, is a talented and diverse author whose work spans numerous genres. It’s no exaggeration to say that he has truly written something for everyone whether you’re a fan of steampunk, international intrigue, medical thrillers, murder mysteries, or historical fiction to name a few. Learn more about what’s behind his incredible talent and ability to create original plots populated with unforgettable characters you feel as if you know personally by the time the story ends.

 

While most authors who have written as extensively as you have would typically develop their own style, I have unofficially nicknamed you the Literary Chameleon due to your ability to adapt so well to so many genres. I have read Stxeamtown, Tiara, Transplant and most recently, Generations, and am amazed by your ability to completely change your writing style from one book to the next. How do you do that?

I think it’s more a question of adapting rather than changing. My four main ingredients are a dynamic plot, compelling characters, snappy dialogue and a powerful finish. You’ll find that common quality in all my novels. As far as genre goes, I made it a point to explore as many as possible in order to give a future fan base a wide variety of reading material. The way I saw it, there would be something for everybody. At this point in time I’ve been working on sequels, the logic being that it gives readers something to latch onto in following their favorite characters. You know how it goes, if at first you don’t succeed.

 

You have been writing books for much of your adult life. At what point did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I started writing dialogue for my stick-figure cartoons since I got out of diapers. I wrote my first novella, Enemy Ace, in sixth grade. I only wish I had more encouragement and guidance earlier in life. It wasn’t until my later years when I published my first novel. That should be something for parents out there to think about.

 

Of all your novels, was any one in particular your all-time favorite?

I’d have to go with Tiara and Nightcrawler. Berlin Mansfield and Sabrina Brooks are two of my favorite characters. The expository narrative in Tiara provides everything everyone wants to know about the Troubles in Northern Ireland, which can get extremely complicated with all the factions and politics involved. Nightcrawler discusses numerous women’s issues as well as LGBT concerns that give readers plenty of food for thought. I can name a few of my other novels that raise major social and political questions, but Berlin and Sabrina make these two special.

 

You grew up in Brooklyn, spent time living in San Antonio and now live in Kansas City. Have you been a chameleon adapting to the different cultures represented by those cities similar to how your writing adapts to the different genres or do you consider one “home” or more comfortable above the others?

I’ve always been a wrestler and a punk rocker first and foremost, that’s what defines me. Broadway Turk Superstar hasn’t changed much, though the response from the communities I’ve lived in have differed somewhat. Alternately, as a writer I’ve been able to absorb the lifestyles and cultures in each area and translate them in my novels. The big city glamor of NYC, the Southwestern flavor of San Antonio and the Midwestern flair of Kansas City provided me with a wide diversity of American culture that was worth the cost of the journey.

 

Tiara and Generations have extensive and convincing descriptions of Ireland as well as Irish culture, past and present and its rich history. How did you come by this understanding and obvious love for the Emerald Isle and its people?

My mother’s ancestry was Protestant Irish, though she celebrated St. Patty’s Day like every other good Irishman in NYC. I grew up with that solidarity, and it wasn’t until Bloody Sunday in 1972 that I realized something was amiss in the Old Country. I did vast amounts of research and wrote a couple of stories, but nothing came of it until I visited Northern Ireland in 2000. The experience gave me the push I needed to have Tiara published in 2003.

 

You have a definite talent for convincing dialog, even to the point of capturing foreign and local accents. This suggests that you are a master of observation. Do you do this naturally or was it acquired by necessity?

It’s a bit of everything. I’m somewhat of a historian, and did extensive research on 20th century Germany which led me to explore the development of European society and culture. I’ve also studied anthropology, which helped me trace the history of the human race from the Middle East to the diasporas which forced the Israelite tribes to migrate across the Caucasus Mountains into Europe. When you find the common denominator between people of all races and creeds, it makes it a lot easier to pick up on their distinguishing characteristics as well.

 

Which trait or characteristic do you believe is the most important for a new writer to develop? Any other advice for someone aspiring to be a novelist?

Imagination is the most important ingredient. If you’re just trying to mimic other people’s ideas, you’ll never be creating anything but cheap imitations. If your basic premise is something that hasn’t been explored before, then you’re onto something. Alternately, there’s the whole concept of paying tribute to a person, place or thing. I wrote Transplant with the idea of putting a new spin on the Frankenstein novel. Only I incorporated the idea of bionic limb research, which has proliferated as the number of disabled vets in our nation has multiplied. In other words, although there’s nothing new under the sun, you want to make your readers envision your storyline in a way it hasn’t been seen before.

 

You have a vast array of experience and education behind you that shows up in the authenticity inherent in your novels. How much of it is based on experience and how much on research?

I’d have to say it’s a fifty/fifty split. Most of my personal experience comes into play when it comes to character interaction. I’ve known people from all walks of life in my time – children, teens, the elderly, blue-collar workers, corporate administrators, politicians, clergymen, gangsters, you name it. I know how they walk, talk and think. As far as specific areas of interest or geographical locations, that normally requires a lot of research to get it right. If you’ve done a lot of traveling as I have, you have a plan of action as far as finding the main highways, places to stay, areas to visit, et cetera. That’s what I do when I decide on a locale for the novel to take place. I want people to think, `Hey, he’s been there, done that’. Sometimes I get into uncharted waters, which requires a little extra work. Sabrina Brooks, for example, owns a chemical research company. I didn’t get far in chemistry because I suck at math. I had to do a lot of homework on processing different chemicals, like methane and fentanyl. It’s hard to bullspit a bullspitter, but I think I did a good job.

 

You’ve pursued some rather unusual means for earning a paycheck over the years such as rock star and pro wrestler. Do you find writing as exciting or do you still like to go out and participate in something that gives you an adrenaline rush? If so, such as?  

At this age, you’re always looking for that last hurrah. I think I can have one more wrestling match, a few more hockey games, and a few more rock shows. Like they say, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Plus, I think I’ve fairly well worn out my warranty. I don’t have too many more bumps left on my bump card. I’d hate to go flying through the air someday and find out something’s not working right when I land.

 

Do you base your characters on people you’ve known or do they simply evolve with the story? Do you maintain control over their actions or do they sometimes get out of hand or surprise you? Any examples?

Most of my supporting characters are based on people I know. I think they’d be delighted if they ever read one of my books and saw themselves in a story. The major protagonists and antagonists are larger-than-life creations. What’s so great about Sabrina Brooks is the little girl inside her, that Shirley Temple who sees the world through rose-colored glasses. The Nightcrawler is her way of making sure it stays that way. Conversely, I’ve got Jack Gawain in The Standard series, who pushes the envelope right off the table. Sometimes it’s amusing to see just how far he will go. The basic premise was giving a serial killer a 007-type license to kill. The series poses the question as to just how far we will go to protect and defend our national interests and preserve our security. After Guantanamo Bay and drone strikes, Jack Gawain may be a natural progression.

 

Which part of the writing process is your favorite, i.e., coming up with the premise, developing the characters, perfecting the plot, writing the first draft, perfecting the final draft, or what?

I think the ending is the most important part of the process. I know everyone can name a great movie they saw that had an unbelievably crappy ending. As I mentioned, I usually have my ending before I even start writing. Only my plots have so many bizarre twists that sometimes the storyline doesn’t always connect with the climax. That will necessitate a rewrite, and most of the time it turns out even more controversial than I had planned.

 

Which book or books and character(s) will you present in the upcoming Facebook Mega-Event, Dreams, Fantasies, Nightmares & Visions?

Sabrina Brooks [Nightcrawler] will be featured at the two-hour event on Sunday. Princess Jennifer of Tiara will appear for one hour at the Wednesday night showcase. I had Adolf Hyatt (King of The Hoboes) at the last two Facebook parties, so this will be a welcome diversion for one and all.

 

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About Tiara:

Tiara is an action-packed, historical fiction, romantic thriller centering around the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. The main female protagonist is Princess Jennifer of Edinburgh, a civil rights activist involved in the negotiations between the British government and the coalition groups in Ulster. She becomes an object of fascination to Berlin Mansfield, an international terrorist of Irish descent who is equally intent on attending the historic event as it transpires. The two eventually cross paths in a tale of intrigue and suspense with the future of a nation at stake.

http://www.amazon.com/Tiara-Anniversary-John-Reinhard-Dizon/dp/1494366878/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_tnr_9

 

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About Nightcrawler:

Nightcrawler is about the exploits of Sabrina Brooks, the heiress to the Brooks Chemical Company. Bree is trying to pick up the pieces after her father’s death, and is now in a position to live up to a personal commitment to use her resources to benefit the oppressed. She is intrigued by the notion of conducting a guerrilla campaign against drug gangs in New York City, and accesses top-secret archives detailing Government contracts for developmental research of chemical weapons. She uses her wizardry in chemistry to concoct weapons for her own use as a vigilante known as the Nightcrawler. NYPD undercover officer Hoyt Wexford becomes friends with Bree, and begins to suspect she knows the identity of the Nightcrawler. Her sudden interest in a series of terrorist attacks in the New York area makes him believe she may be investigating a group called the Octagon. He tries to follow her but is too late to prevent a showdown between the Nightcrawler and the mysterious Reaper. Hoyt rescues Bree and learns her secret identity, and together they plan to stop the Octagon once and for all in preventing a chemical attack in NYC on the Fourth of July. This is a pulse-pounding thriller straight out of world headlines, with an unforgettable heroine fighting impossible odds against fiendish arch-criminals. For suspense fans looking for some chick lit with international intrigue, Nightcrawler is one not to be forgotten. 

http://www.amazon.com/Nightcrawler-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00I0K9QEI/ref=la_B00DU9JNUQ_1_9_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402505429&sr=1-9

Connect with John Reinhard Dizon:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnreinharddizonUSA

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/John-Reinhard-Dizon/e/B00DU9JNUQ/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnRDizon