WHAT READERS SAY

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NOMINATED BEST HUMOR SIBA 2016

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August 2016

OFFICIAL SCOOTER COVERIn the weeks following SCOOTER NATION’s release, I have been blessed with very positive reader comments through social media and face to face meetings. A recent speaking engagement revealed that  readers were not only ‘getting’ the dark humor, but that they wanted more of it. What could be more encouraging?

As a gonzo mortuary revenge piece, SCOOTER is many things. Characters play it straight for the camera even as the world around them disintegrates into chaos. Their narrative should not be trusted. With everyone cloying for a different result, protagonists and antagonists will say anything to get what they want. Lines blur as a result such that readers can’t always count on their heroes to be heroic especially when backed into a corner.

What if heroes are villains and altruism is priced? This is what SCOOTER NATION asks and what the characters almost without exception struggle to answer.

Thank you for your comments. Keep them coming!

–ABF

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/ScooterNation

Amazon Author Page:  www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser

 

“Funky, gonzo, hilarious, brilliant.”

—Marissa Campbell, author AVELYNN

“Compelling, hypnotic, deliciously entertaining.”

—Connie DiPietro, author REFLECTIVE PANE

“Irreverent, hilarious and heartbreaking.”

—G.L. Morgan, author

HELMS REVIEW

BRUSH REVIEW

MAJANKA REVIEW

RIVAL GATES REVIEW

 LECKER REVIEW

LINKS

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/ScooterNation

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound

Website: www.abfunkhauser.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

Branded: https://branded.me/abfunkhauser

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118051627869017397678

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1FPJXcO

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/unapologeticadult

FAQ’s: https://abfunkhauser.com/faqs/

GO BOLDLY INTO THE TWITTERVERSE

BIG DIPPER

 

If you’re like this writer and Twitter is your place to #promote, #network and #share in that glorious thing called #trending, then you’ve probably heard of #2bitTues and #1lineWed. For those who don’t and are asking “What are these?” read on as you race to set up your Twitter account.

In a word or twenty, these are hashtags used on appointed days by writers of all competencies to showcase works in progress (#WIPs). There are multiple benefits in doing this. First, the writer draws tremendous oooomph from celebrating the thing they are hard at work on with others in the same situation. Copping a “like” or a venerable retweet (#RT) from a brother in arms is the proverbial shot in the arm for a writer in isolation. Receiving a #Follow from a sister traveler is even better. You are reinforced, spurred on in the knowledge that you are not alone. Best of all, you are getting your work out there, commanding the attention of like-minded’s. Such is the divine stuff of #networking.

The second benefit of Twitter play is that the writer grows like never before. Nothing says “edit, edit, edit” like the limitations imposed by tweeting. Take your glorious one liners with all their deverbal gerbils, things ending in “ly” and fave repeat actions like ‘nodding’ and ‘glancing’ and the scribe quickly finds how easy it is to slay with impunity the darlings that aren’t really needed when crushing a zinger into 140 characters.

That said, there is a cool trend emerging called “cheats” and it is from these that a third benefit is derived. Let the picture speak:

FP CHEAT

 

When used as an attachment to an existing tweet, one is not only able to sneak in sacred cows and darlings, but can also shoehorn in essential details like website addresses and buy links. The need to ‘cheat’ forces new skills, like mastering the art of Blip Ads easily created on your desktop using apps like Paint.

Twitter offers a vast array of hashtags to suit every marketing purpose: #MondayBlogs #TuesdayBookBlog #TeaserTuesday #WW (writer Wednesday) #ThrowBackThursday and my personal favorite #FF (follow Friday), where new book relationships are formed.

For this writer, Twitter conjures images of the wild west of old: fast, loose, dusty, loud and gritty. But it’s also a place of tremendous #spotlight and #promotion(al) potential. Recently, I launched a hashtag of my own. #Thurds, a play on “Thursday” and “Words” offers Self-pub, ePub, and Trade Pub authors of poetry and prose a place to highlight their work and advertise BUY LINKS too.

thurds for April 28

 

I’m pleased to be a part of the Twitterverse. In the fourteen months I’ve actively ‘played’ on it, I’ve grown my base from 74 followers to over 4,300. In doing so, I have forged friendships, kept the fires burning, and continue to foster new words at home and on the desktops of others. For those not yet there, Twitter beckons. #Follow.

Adult, unapologetic and cognizant, I am,

FUNKHAUSER SIGNATURE

LINKS

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/ScooterNation

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound

Website: www.abfunkhauser.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

Branded: https://branded.me/abfunkhauser

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118051627869017397678

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1FPJXcO

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/unapologeticadult

FAQ’s: https://abfunkhauser.com/faqs/

FUNERAL DIRECTOR AS WRITER

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It was my great honor recently to address the Sisters in Crime­ – Toronto Chapter at their monthly meeting this past April. Not only did the experience tease me out of the relative safety of my writing vault, but it also, as a newcomer to the mystery scene, afforded me the opportunity to examine the challenges faced by funeral directors like me who endeavor to write.

It’s an exciting time for funeral directors in Ontario. Legislative changes in force since JulyBAO 1, 2012 continue to filter through the industry; the most recent realized April 1 with the creation of the new Bereavement Authority of Ontario. What this new body will mean for service providers and the client families they serve can only be determined through anecdotal experience. Let these be positive as the spirit behind the changes intend. What it means for me—a purveyor of gonzo, paranormal, mortuary, fiction—is how important it is to tell the story of the industry in a way that is accessible without compromising my duty to protect the deceased person and family he/she leaves behind.

A lot of what a funeral director sees and, indeed, does remains confidential for obvious reasons. Human beings do not stop being human beings with the cessation of breath. In fact, their humanity is heightened, given that their ability to protect themselves from harm is now taken from them. Dignity, privacy and integrity of the individual falls under the purview of the funeral service professionals charged with their care. This is the funeral director’s oath and the writer’s oath as well.

loved one movieIt is not surprising then that confidentiality as a mainstay of funeral service lends itself to broad artistic interpretation. As I revealed at the April 21 Sisters in Crime meeting, it is easy to lampoon/throw rocks at something that cannot defend itself. And yet, examination from unusual quarters can only strengthen the dialogue. There’s a lot of fine satire out there to drive the discussion; some older, but classic pieces like Evelyn Waugh’s THE LOVED ONE and the newer gothic horror AFTER.LIFE whet the public’s appetite to ‘know’ what really goes on.

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Which is why I turned to gonzo as my genre vehicle of choice when I chose to weigh in not as expose—because I love my industry—but as a spotlight to inform and, yes, entertain those who rarely, if ever, set foot inside a funeral establishment.

Gonzo, as I’ve said before in previous articles, is a kind of first person journalism created and perfected by the late great Hunter S. Thompson of ROLLING STONE fame. Taken off road into fiction, it is both a humorous and slightly subversive means of drawing attention to difficult subjects and making them whole.

Later this month, I will attend professional development seminars at my alma mater. There, I will be brought up to date on the latest innovations in an industry undergoing constant change. I’m looking forward to it. Where there is education, there is dialogue; where there is discussion, there is growth.

Such is the stuff of the journey in both life and art.

Adult, unapologetic and wholly cognizant, I am

FUNKHAUSER SIGNATURE

 

LINKS

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/ScooterNation

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound

Website: www.abfunkhauser.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

Branded: https://branded.me/abfunkhauser

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118051627869017397678

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1FPJXcO

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/unapologeticadult

FAQ’s: https://abfunkhauser.com/faqs/

 

 

 

 

WRITING HISTORY

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Today on the blog, two writers weigh in on history: what it means to them and how it affects their fiction. Carl Brush, author of BONITA, an historical fiction novel set in California prior to unification with the United States, comments that history loops, leaving its benefactors to repeat the lessons of the past over and over again. Gonzo writer A.B. Funkhauser, on the other hand, makes a case for the continuum with the events of yesterday unfolding to an end not quite finite. Take a look…

PRESENT IS PROLOGUE TO THE PAST

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By Carl R. Brush

Sounds funny, I guess, to say I write historical novels partly in order to create a window into the present, and that reading fiction set in the past will do the same for you. I haven’t yet written about presidential politics (though my The Second Vendetta covers a hot campaign for the 1912 California State Assembly), but politics is in everyone’s face now, so if you doubt my word, how about this?

The pundits say no one has ever before seen the scurrilous likes of the insulting, name-calling, barrage that’s been loosed upon us lately. We hold our founding fathers in reverence and imagine that they, unlike our current political crew, engaged in mature and intellectual deliberation as they went about fleshing out the institutions they created in the constitution. Well, uh, no. Check out the slings and arrows that flew during the contest between our second and third presidents.

Jefferson’s camp accused President Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” In return, Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.” As the slurs piled on, Adams was labeled a fool, a hypocrite, a criminal, and a tyrant, while Jefferson was branded a weakling, an atheist, a libertine, and a coward. Even Martha Washington succumbed to the propaganda, telling a clergyman that Jeffersowas “one of the most detestable of mankind.”   [Kerwin Swint, professor of political science at Kennesaw State University and the author of Mudslingers: The 25 Dirtiest Political Campaigns of All Time]

With apologies for the racism–that’s been part of the culture since before the 4/5-of-a-man clause which the originators used to bequeath the solution to the slavery question to future (Civil War and beyond) generations. It’s important to understand that savage rhetoric has been around from the beginning, so why are we surprised about today’s hoopla? We have no sense of the past. As if the world started yesterday. Or this morning.

Cure for that? Read some history. No, not that bare-bones eleventh grade textbook. Take a peek at http://amzn.to/1ROFyzG for my take on the juicy past-as-present California and Texas. And there’s plenty beside my (excellent) works. The Shaara novels about the civil war. Max Byrd’s novelized biographies of Grant, Jefferson, and Jackson. Plus the vast sweep of historical fiction full of characters and cultures which provide insight into who we are, were, and where we’re going even though it may seem like you’re reading about people in weird costumes and funny accents. It’s all about you and me, really. Don’t think it’s not.

 

ART HISTORY

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By A.B. Funkhauser

An infamous twentieth century political figure was once asked to comment on the effects of the Industrial Revolution. His reply was fast and revealing. Paraphrased, the leader of one of the largest countries in the world remarked that he couldn’t really say, because the world (circa 1950s) was still feeling the impacts of that seminal event.

So goes it with true tales and their relationship to art.

Well before I ever took to a keyboard, I was enthralled by the stories conveyed to me by the grandparents of my industry. Their eyewitness accounts of funeral service, stressing more a way of being than a means of doing business, focused on constant evolution in response to economic and socio political pressures. Neither dry dissertation nor heartfelt laments about a life gone by, these reminiscences were a direct commentary on a way of life that had not only changed, but was still changing, and will likely continue to do so as long as there’s life on planet E.

History called and I blinked.

“Time was when we didn’t leave the building without our stripes,” one elder statesman said. “Back then, we were held in higher esteem, but then, so was everybody else.”

“Some of us had been driving since our twelfth birthday. That’s why we never crashed the coach.”

“People actually smoked in the building back then. Can you believe that?”

FD’s don’t smoke in the building anymore, and the snappy black and gray livery of an era gone by appears less and less inside North American funeral establishments. But the way an FD sees to the directions of the living in order to honor the wishes of the dead remain constant. How directors got there and how they continue to achieve that balance is the stuff of my art.

Many times, fiction writers are asked if their scenes and characters are based on actual events. I can only hope that the answer will always be ‘yes,’ for what better way to shine a light on a subject than through plumbing it’s antecedents to draw a line right up to the present.  The people and events we hear about or—even better—are lucky enough to witness with our own eyes beget the words that feed a continuum…history making news.

As the famous unattributed quote goes: “How can we know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been.”

Such is the role of history in the creative process. Such is the role of great plots.

 

 

 

LINKS

https://www.facebook.com/home.php

https://www.facebook.com/CarlrBrush

www.writerworking.net

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1Mzapu6

Author’s Den profile: http://bit.ly/1Fu4HtW

Bonita buy link: http://amzn.to/1H6M8No

Bonita trailer link: https://youtu.be/ktS6Ols1kaA

Yellow Rose buy link: http://amzn.to/1TMA2dM

Yellow Rose trailer link: https://youtu.be/MfW8qLOxgow

The Maxwell Vendetta buy link: http://amzn.to/1iV5hqA

The Second Vendetta buy link: http://amzn.to/1Gb13A8

BONITA

LINKS

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/ScooterNation

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound

Website: www.abfunkhauser.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1FPJXcO

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser

FAQ’s: https://abfunkhauser.com/faqs/

SCOOTER NATION Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/oqmrW_t92jc

HLF Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-C5qBpb0Yc

Scooter Nation

 

 

Guest Post Scooter Nation

Editor Charlene

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LET THE EDITING BEGIN

by A.B. Funkhauser
A funny thing happened after I finished the first draft of my first novel: colleagues told me I had to edit it and that editing was hard. Hmmm. I suppose anything can be made tough if you’re told often enough, but how about surprising everyone and making that alleged dreaded thing a zesty thought provoking experience instead?
Editing for me is not something that’s endured, but rather something that’s explored with curiosity backed by a genuine desire to learn more. Who are these characters and what’s all the fuss about anyway? After months of workshopping with the critique group, it is very tempting to tuck in and make changes right away. I resist the temptation. The notes I receive—good and bad—are given because I ask for them, and it’s only after a proscribed period of time that they become truly useful. I like…

View original post 1,071 more words

Lady Brenda and Devlin’s Curse

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Her biography is amazing; her accomplishments, rich and varied; and, she’s a great lady! Please welcome to the blog, multi-talented author, radio personality, medium and screen writer Lady Brenda McKoy.

 

crystal ball me2Lady Brenda aka Brenda McKoy was born in Southern California and raised in east Africa. Writing vampire fantasy and non-fiction in the metaphysical genre, she most recently published Devlin’s Curse through Solstice Publishing (2016). Non-fiction works include Tarot Secrets and Reiki for Witches, also from Solstice Sisters Publishing (2015), and The Wings of Isis from O-Books (2010). As a screenwriter, she has two optioned screenplays to her credit Red Bluff and the Heart of Anubis.

An internationally acclaimed professional psychic for over 25 years she is known for her straightforward, on target predictions. Presently, Lady Brenda hosts of Psychic Viewpoint on Psychic Access Talk Radio as well as her own radio program The Destiny Show on KTMQ and Lady Brenda’s Psychic Hour on KSHJ. She has made guest appearances on radio nationally and internationally on The Jamie and Danny Show with Danny Bonaduce, and as the in house psychic for the annual KROQ Halloween Party. Lady Brenda has been a guest on such television shows as The Daily Show, Woman to Woman News on CBS, Men are from Mars Woman are from Venus on NBC with Cybill Shepard, Jay Leno and The Learning Channel.

As a medium, Lady Brenda specializes in spirit contact and has performed séances, ghostbusting, exorcisms and table tipping throughout the United States, UK, Mexico and in Egypt.

tarot secretsLady Brenda has a PhD in Religious Philosophy, is an ordained minister and Reiki Master woi book coverTeacher. She is the founder and High Priestess of The Grove of the Green Cobra, School of Ancient Mysteries and The DejaVu School of Healing provides classes in various metaphysical and healing subjects.

As a spiritual tour guide, Brenda has led tours to Egypt to facilitate meditations and rituals in Pyramids and the ancient temples.

Other interests: A professional belly dancer since 1990, Lady Brenda performs and promotes events at restaurants and other venues all over southern California and Nevada.

Lady Brenda resides primarily on her small ranch in Southern California with her husband, two dogs and four horses. She travels once a month to her haunted Victorian home in the living Ghost Town of Virginia City, Nevada, the backdrop for her upcoming novel, Devlin’s Curse.

 

NEW FROM LADY BRENDA: DEVLIN’S CURSE

Devlin's Curse (1)A wicked tale of love and immortality, set against the backdrop of the Old West…

Esmeralda Jones, exorcist and healer, travels to the notorious gold town of Virginia City where a demonic presence lurks deep in the Gilded Bird mine. A woman with a mysterious past she sets herself up in a fine salon where she can fulfill her calling to purge innocent souls from unspeakable evil. An unexpected encounter with Devlin Winter, gambler, gunfighter and sinfully handsome vampire puts her soul and carefully guarded heart in peril.

Driven by a passion of many lifetimes and the thirst for revenge, Devlin doesn’t count on Esmeralda becoming the bait that draws him into the demon’s lair, deep inside the Gilded Bird mine. During his quest he confronts Virginia City’s most prominent mine owner, a rabid pack of hired guns and a Babylonian demon. Devlin and Esmeralda face a fierce battle that even his immortal strength and her magical abilities may not be enough to win against. A battle in which Esmeralda herself may have to choose between a half-life and immortality to survive.

 

What was your inspiration for Devlin’s Curse?

Devlin’s Curse  was inspired by my love of Old West lore, magic, vampires  and the living ghost town of  Virginia City Nevada. The characters for the story were first originally created in a previous screenplay I wrote entitled Red Bluff then spun off to the novel Devlin’s Curse. The book tells the tale of Devlin Winter, gambler, gunfighter and vampire that comes to Virginia City to kill a demon that lives deep in a gold mine. His plans are shot to hell when the woman he loves Esmeralda Jones arrives in Virginia City and becomes the bait that draws him into a battle between a corrupt mine owner, a pack of desperate gunslingers and a Babylonia demon.

 

Why did you choose the town of Virginia City as the location of your story?

The first time I laid eyes on Virginia City Nevada, I could feel the spirits all around me. The history and the rich tapestry of notorious characters from the gold rush days led my husband and I to buy a historic house on the hill. It was built by one of the original founders of the town and owner of a famous gold mine, the Belcher mine.  Many of the historic saloons, opera house and landmarks of Virginia City are mentioned in Devlin’s Curse. The battle between good and evil and the underlying love story is woven into the history and legends of some of the town’s most prominent characters and locations.

 

Why do you write?

The voices in my head tell me to write! Characters and stories come to me late at night and even in my dreams. I always keep a notebook beside my bed in case I need to scribble a plot or dialog down in the wee hours of the morning.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Bram Stoker, Ann Rice, Alexander Dumas, Max Brand, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Eloisa James and Jane Feather.

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Thank you so much Lady Brenda for stopping by and sharing your latest success with us. Good luck with the book and everything you do.

ABF

LINKS

www.ladybbooks.com

www.ladybrendapsychic.com

Twitter: @ladybrendamckoy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brenda.mckoy.9

https://www.facebook.com/Lady-Brenda-159720594098554/?fref=ts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15050449.Lady_Brenda?ref=ru_lihp_up_rs_0_mclk-up2980336249

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scooter Nation by A. B. Funkhauser

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The Writer's Inkwell

scooternationbannerScooter NationAging managing director Charlie Forsythe begins his work day with a phone call to Jocasta Binns, the unacknowledged illegitimate daughter of Weibigand Funeral Home founder Karl Heinz Sr. Alma Wurtz, a scooter bound sextenarian, community activist, and neighborhood pain in the ass is emptying her urine into the flower beds, killing the petunias. Jocasta cuts him off, reminding him that a staff meeting has been called. Charlie, silenced, is taken aback: he has had no prior input into the meeting and that, on its own, makes it sinister.

The second novel in the UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series, SCOOTER NATION takes place two years after HEUER LOST AND FOUND. This time, funeral directors Scooter Creighton and Carla Moretto Salinger Blue take centre stage as they battle conflicting values, draconian city by-laws, a mendacious neighborhood gang bent on havoc, and a self absorbed fitness guru whose presence shines an unwanted light on their…

View original post 617 more words

SEARCHING THE PAST, AUTHOR FRANCENE STANLEY

Francene - blackParanormal storyteller Francene Stanley has added another volume to her Moonstone series, and it’s her last. Has she turned her attention to things non-writerly? Not a chance. This prolific author is taking a different tack, moving into non fiction as she works on her memoir. Congratulations Francene on your new release and best of luck with the next project!

ABF

What is your latest book called?

Karm Currents. It’s the fourth in the Moonstone series about a woman whose spirit is drawn to unknown people at unexpected times. Aside from her visionary experiences, she’s an ordinary woman with all the problems and relationships of modern life.

 

Who are your main characters?

The novel centers around Liliha. In this stand-alone story, her daughter Alissa arrives to stay with her.  Two other characters share the story: heart-sick Harry, and devious Delphi.

 

Tell me about the title. Are there any hidden subtexts we should know about?

The title points to the karmic link between the characters, and how the currents work below the surface of their lives.

 

How many books do you have planned?

When Karm Currents is released on March 16th, I will have published nine novels. At the moment, I’m working on the first part of my memoirs, beginning in the 40s and progressing to the 70s.

 

Tell me about your home base. Country or city?

I live in the best of both worlds; close to the town of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, UK, but living in a little village to one side surrounded by fields and trees.

 

All writing and no play makes the writer suffer. What do you do in your spare time (other than work the day job)?

One could say I’m lucky to have reached the age of retirement. But as one ages, aches and pains deter a person from joyous relaxation. You could say, writing lifts me out of suffering.

 

What are you doing right now this minute?

I’m sitting in my warm study answering your questions. Outside the window, fields stretch into the distance, rising to meet the tree-covered horizon. I won’t fall for the sun’s cheerful promise and venture outside. With age comes wisdom.

 

Thank you Francene. Let’s take a look at KARM CURRENTS:

 

 

Karm CurrentsKarm Currents is the fourth and final book in the paranormal Moonstone series set in the little village of St. Ives, Cornwall, England.

Apart from her telepathic sojourns of whispering advice to strangers, Liliha is an ordinary woman, separated from her teenage daughters in Australia. Her youngest daughter, Alissa, arrives to live with her, and brings her grandmother. As if that interference isn’t enough, Liliha’s ex turns up to take their daughter home.

Lovesick Harry steps in to help, bringing with him an ancient Egyptian necklace in the hope of compensating for the bracelet he lost. When more jewelry turns up, all seemingly connected, regressions reveal a previous relationship between Alissa, Harry, and Liliha.

 

****E x c e r p t****

 

“Are you trying to get rid of me?”

“I think you should have a good sleep. You’ve flown half way over the world in the last twenty-four hours. I know how exhausting that can be.” Once, she’d loved and believed in him. But he’d ruined that. Why did she go on placating him? Why not throw him out right now?

Before she could stand, Gareth staggered over to sit beside her on the sofa. Ears alert for Harry’s knock, Liliha wished her ordeal would finish. When he held her hands and looked deep into her eyes, she recognized the pain inside his.

He mumbled, “Nobody understan’s me like you do. Let’s get together again.”

“No, Gareth. You left me for someone else, remember?” She managed to slip one hand out of his clutching fingers, but he held the other with a desperate grip.

“I’m sure she’s going to leave me. Jillian. They all do. Why did we part? You were always kind. Come back to me … please.”

“I’ve made a new life here.” She tried to extract her remaining hand.

He growled, “I did e’rything for you. All you had to do was run the house and take care of my daughters. Was tha’ so hard?”

“No, Gareth,” She pushed his shoulder. “But I didn’t like being betrayed.”

He clasped her extended hand. “You could never get enough o’ me.”

The lie offended her. “Gareth, will you please let go?”

“Sho polite.” His expression showed determination. “I need you.” He twisted her hand behind her waist.

What! A hard, demanding kiss caught her by surprise—lips like sandpaper, chaffing hers while she struggled and broke free.

“I miss your fire,” he whispered.

She went rigid. How could he mistake her resistance for passion? His hot lips scalded her neck. “Gareth, no!”

He released her left hand, but before she could move he grabbed her breast—moved his lips with care. “I know how to make you my wife again.”

With growing panic, she focused on his throat. She’d read that if she squeezed the carotid artery he’d lose consciousness. Instead of throttling him, she muttered. “I’m not your wife.”

Gareth studied her face with a cold, clinical look. “I don’ know who you are then.”

The anger she’d held in check for so long flared. “Gareth. You’re a guest in this house because you’re here for Alissa’s birthday.” She wrenched her other arm out from behind her and strengthened her voice. “I don’t want to be with you, ever again. Got it?” She struggled to her feet.

A knock sounded. Quivering, she fled to the door into the hall. “Harry! Come in.”

 

****L i n k s****

Moonstone series: (These novels are set in the present in Cornwall, UK)

  1. Still Rock Water: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B009KNQ4RG
  2. Tidal Surge: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00DX5YLXQ
  3. Shattered Shells: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00O94OHIY
  4. Karm Currents: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01D0AW

 

For her other books, see Francene’s author page at Amazon.  http://amzn.to/1ljAdMf

 

Still Rock Water trailer: A person whisperer in a battle over good and evil. http://youtu.be/qFY97XzSQW8

Tidal Surge trailer: What if an ancient jewel trapped you into committing evil? http://youtu.be/qFY97XzSQW8

 

Karm Currents Universal link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01D0AW 784

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1ljAdMf

 

#AuThorsday with A.B. Funkhauser

Sunshine Somerville

IMG_20160108_214128_0Today I’d like to welcome “brilliant and wacky writer” A.B. Funkhauser, author of Heuer Lost and Found.

Can you give us your quickest description of your book? 

I write gonzo mortuary revenge fiction with a hint of pas de deux.

That’s one I’ve never heard before!  What is involved in this genre/kind of writing?

Gonzo journalism was pioneered and advanced by the late great Hunter S. Thompson of Rolling Stone Magazine fame.  The basic tenet of gonzo is to shine a light on something that is held near and dear and make it more accessible through HUMOR.  These can be cherished moments, sacred cows, or pet peeves, which means the gonzo is free to wander through both positive and negative territory.  Because subtext is as important as story in gonzo, something greater than the action is featured.  More often the hero must win, or the joy is lost; hence, the…

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THREE GENERATIONS IN SEARCH OF PEACE

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Multi-disciplined resident of planet Earth author Sandra sandraPerez Gluschankoff can rightly claim expertise in the fields of psychoanalysis, anthropology, Judaic studies and Hebrew language. And, man, can she write! Today on Blog Funkhauser, the celebration of the publishing journey continues with an amazing shining light. Welcome Sandra!

 

 

1)   Tell us about your book?

 

Franzisca’s Box is a story that spans seven decades and delves into the irreversible damage war causes in the lives of three women, in this particular case. The novel is set against the backdrop of World War II in Romania, the immigration of Nazi criminals into South America, and present day California. It’s a heart-beating journey through mystery, murder, betrayal and passionate love.

 

2)   What made you decide to write it?

I don’t have specific reasons why I write a story. The ideas strike me like lightning, well, it’s not that dramatic… I get to walk away with my life, though. Anyway, back to the question, when a story strikes me, comes to me, I know I have to write it. It is then, during the writing process, when I start identifying stored memories, personal experiences, which make for key parts of the story. Very Freudian, if you ask me.

 

3)   How long did it take you to complete?

I started and abandoned the story a few times, life and other things got in the way, but all in all, less than a year.

 

4)   Do you have more planned?

Of course. I’m in the midst of another historical/women’s fiction novel. It’ll be my third.

 

5)   What’s your guilty pleasure?

Cheesy, romantic holiday movies.

 

6)   All writing and no play makes the writer suffer. What do you do in your spare time (other than work the day job)?

I exercise regularly, love hot yoga, spin, I run sometimes and when I get the chance I ride horses. I also get together with friends and we gossip till no end. Shopping is always on my to-do list, I may own more shoes than Imelda Marcos at this point. Also, I live a block from the beach, so I do take advantage of it and walk along it for miles.

 

7)   What’s the thing you love most about this thing we do called writing?

The stories, the characters, the deep emotion I feel when everything comes to life before my eyes as I pour it into words. But I guess, one of my favorite parts of being a writer is that no matter how uphill I feel the path sometimes is, I still sit down and write with a smile on my face.

 

Thanks, Sandra. Her new book, FRANZISCA’S BOX is available now. Read on 

 

Cover FranziscaMystery, betrayal, murder, and passionate love were things Sofia Lazar only experienced as a movie producer. All of that changed after her grandmother’s sudden death when she comes face to face with an unwanted revelation contained in a tattered box. The meager contents take her back to her childhood and the fantastic bedtime stories that Abuela, her grandmother, used to tell her of a heroic warrior girl named Franzisca. Now, two decades later, fragments of Franzisca’s stories creep back into Sofia’s life, tying Franzisca and her grandmother to an unknown past. With the memories of her childhood bedtime stories to guide her, Sofia sets out to piece together her grandmother’s mysterious history leading her to discover the truth behind her life.

Set against the backdrop of World War II Romania, the immigration of Nazi criminals into South America, the later years of the Military Regime in Argentina during the 1980s, and present-day California, Franzisca’s Box is a story of war that ultimately affects three generations of women who will never find peace until they call for a ceasefire in their own wars and surrender to forgiveness and love.

 

Excerpt 1

“Sofia, are you happy?” she asked.

No one had ever asked me that question before, especially not her. Before answering, I looked around the set, felt a pull in my lower back that had nagged me for the past two weeks and visualized my unshaven legs.

“Yes, I am.”

After a prolonged silence, she came back on the line sounding a bit hoarse as though she had been crying. “I love you, Sofia.”

Her urgent declaration had come as a shock. For Abuela the word love was not spoken freely. Her conception of love was a raw, unrestrained surrender of oneself to another, a responsibility, a lifetime commitment. I knew she loved me, but why had she the need to assert it now?

“Abuela, are you all right?” I asked. My chest had tightened with concern.

“Never better,” she said, regaining her steady commanding voice.

The conversation continued without any mention of the sudden pronouncement of her feelings and with my assurance that I would be back home in time for our rescheduled breakfast the following Sunday, even if I was dead on my feet.

Standing alone in her study, the irony of the metaphor undid me. One of us was indeed 115dead. My eyes slid over the darkened order of the room then went back to the box staring insolently back at me from the center of the desk. It wasn’t an ordinary box. Its battered state spoke of safely kept secrets, hardship, and survival. There was only one character in my life that had tempered all of those experiences and more. With that in mind, the events of the last twenty-four-hours were gradually falling into place. I thought back on the last conversation I had with Abuela. The way in which she had pronounced the words I Love You, brought back long buried childhood memories. Her words hinted to a time when we had shared a love for stories, fantasy, adventure. To Franzisca, the make-believe heroine she had introduced me to during my early childhood years. The fearless adventurer who could do it all, the fictional character I had secretly admired all of my life. The brave woman I’ve always aspired to be.

I remembered looking around the disheveled state of my rented apartment in Sienna, wondering if I had become who I had dreamt of being. Wondering if I was really happy. I shrugged. Was there a real answer to such an existentialist question? I saw my life as sliced in two. One part was infused with unlimited possibilities alongside Franzisca and her adventures. The other was limited by my fears, my skeptical thoughts on happy endings and my repudiation of everything Franzisca stood for.

Perhaps it had been the piled-up exhaustion throughout the production of The Italian Nightmare that had me fervently wishing that I could be embraced again by those stories that used to bring me so much warmth and comfort. Stories I ejected from my life because regardless of how much Abuela loved me, I had learned the hard way that fairytales only belonged in books. The most important question that nagged me with a big question mark was, why now? Why did I want to claim Franzisca back? The answer was simple. I missed Abuela terribly; moreover, I missed the connection we shared when we were both immersed in the land of Franzisca.

 

Excerpt 2

A wave of conflicting memories invaded Margaret as soon as her eyelashes rested atop her cheekbones. But this time, unlike the weeks preceding this trip, she did not pursue the safety of the light, and kept her eyes shut. It was time she revisited the event that had triggered her becoming Margaret.

Her silence had been sworn more than sixty years before when she was only a little girl. But her tender age had nothing to do with the years her soul had accumulated during her short life. Perhaps it had to do with the distress all survivors of war suffer. She had been amongst a group of thirty-five fortunate children who have fallen under the protection of an anonymous philanthropist.

It had happened during the second year of War World II when Margaret was a girl of six. Streets, sewage tunnels and abandoned buildings had become her temporary housing during the war-years. Margaret learned survival skills and to hide like a rodent during the daylight. She was not certain of the reasons that drove her to live in hiding, but the memory of her parents’ glazed eyes, as they lay dead after being shot in the head, caused her to avoid being seen by anybody in uniform.

Since the death of her parents, the butchery on the streets had diminished significantly. The soldiers sporting the interlaced crosses on their jackets became a common sight in her town, especially around the oil refineries. On many nights, when she was scared and hungry she had made her way back to where she thought her home was. But when she approached the main gate of the property, visions of guns and death pushed her back into the darkness, back to the safety and the anonymity of homelessness.

However terrifying the Nazi occupation had been in her town, Margaret had found a certain balance to her survival. The intense questioning the citizens of Ploesti had been subjected to during the first year of the war had ceased soon after her parents were murdered. She noticed that most men, the ones she knew as neighbors or local business owners, were no longer in the vicinity and she wondered if they, just like her parents, had breathed their last breath down the cold barrel of a pistol.

The lack of adults made for a large amount of unattended children, which at one time or another moved together as a swarm of bees only to shoot in different directions at the slightest sign of danger.

When caught, children were forced to work in the oil refineries managed by the Nazi soldiers. The activities inside the refineries were a mystery to her. Yet, the results of being swallowed by those grim buildings stayed branded on the faces of their young prisoners. Some of the kids, who only days before had been on the run with her, were now gradually turning grey behind the barbwires surrounding the forced labor camp. Margaret was too young to understand the concepts of freedom and oppression, but she was old enough to notice the path of death, a one-way road, the imprisoned kids were set upon.

The refineries had become a target for continuous bombings. It was said that the Germans milked the depths of Ploesti to help finance their dream of worldwide domination. With each blast, the interest the Nazis had in the town waned. The cash cow Ploesti represented during the first years of the war became a trap where high ranking Nazi officials lost their lives; burning in the fires of the hell they created. As the production of the rigs stopped, the number of people imprisoned diminished. Soot-faced zombies in striped pajamas became the latest sight along the deserted streets of Ploesti. The Nazis did not waste bullets on the escapees; the smoke and tar inhalation took care of their dirty work for them. After a few steps into a desperate freedom, the former prisoners met their untimely death by natural asphyxiation.

Although tender in age and ignorant to the mechanics of war, Margaret noticed that the appearance of the enemy had changed over the years. No longer were the neatly dressed soldiers wandering the streets of Ploesti. Instead a new breed of bearded savages roamed the shell-shocked industrial town. Much like the Germans, the newest invaders, the Bolsheviks, were bent on mayhem. Both spawns of similar evil, sought out murder as a way to leave their imprint and manifest their domination. However, there was a noticeable difference between the two. While the Nazis conducted their operations in a cold and organized manner, turning their massacres into business transactions, the Russians behaved like butchers. Their trail was bloody and dirty.

The day she was discovered, she was huddled, with two other children, in the bowels of an abandoned aqueduct in the outskirts of Ploesti, Romania.

There were three things about herself that Margaret did not remember. One was her name. She had no recollection of her given name. She remembered her mother’s panic-stricken face and her last attempt to call for her. However, every time Margaret tried to put a sound to the last word formed on her mother’s lips, all she heard was the deafening explosion of the gunshot that silenced her. The next thing she did not remember was how to talk. Since the day she became an orphan, nobody ever addressed her directly again. She understood the tongue of the local people, the foul sound of the iron invaders; however, she could not articulate a single word.

The third thing she did not know was what she looked like.

Not until the day before she was found did she discover her face for the first time. Right before the earth swallowed the ball of fire that illuminated the city, the children made their way to the Teleajen River to try their chances at catching anything edible from the riverbank. It was customary for fishermen to take pity on the little souls that roamed the docks as if sleepwalking, and before retiring for the evening they would toss them a few scraps of fish.

A storm had hit the vast river the previous week, and after succumbing to its natural course, the waters became once again a silver mirror. Margaret was among a group of children who inched hopefully toward the docks scouting for food. The sight of a lone fisherman cleaning his dinghy sent the group of starving children running his way. Margaret was ahead of the pack when she hit a rock with her naked toes. The impact sent her flying a hairsbreadth from plunging in the river. Suddenly her face was confronted by a pair of hollow dark circles that fixed her with shock. She blinked a few times, fighting tears ready to slide down her face. The pain shooting through her toes was unbearable, but the curiosity at the image that floated on the face of the river was enough to make her forget about it. The vision staring back at her from the water remained still while she did her best not to breathe. Then, she wrinkled her nose and arched her eyebrows. The silver image mimicked her actions without skipping a beat. Margaret suddenly forgot about the nagging hunger clawing at the inside of her stomach. Instead, she smiled at a reflection that accepted her with the same smile. Move by move, she discovered the contours of her face, the mechanics of her facial joints and the many funny things she could do with them. For a brief moment, her mind was free of war, and in the watery mirror, she relived her short life before everything was lost. Filled with memories of happier times, that evening, Margaret snuggled next to her wretched companions and fell into a deep slumber.

When they heard heavy footsteps approaching the large sewer pipe where they had decided to spend the night, two of the children took off running. She and a few others were too tired to flee and slept beyond the allowed depth for survival. There was a soft knock on the outer wall of the tunnel. Resigned, Margaret and the other children crawled out. She was worn out, and if surrendering meant going back to the warm embrace of her parents that had kept her safe during one the best dreams she had in years, so be it.

What she encountered outside out of the pipe was far from fear. A soft hand reached out and took hold of hers and from that day forward, Margaret was never alone again.

 

How to contact Sandra:

Email: Sandra@palabrasandstories.com

Social Media

Website: www.palabrasandstories.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sandra-Perez-Gluschankoff-1960339320857070/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter:  @SandraGluschank

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6451518.Sandra_Perez_Gluschankoff

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Franziscas-Box-Sandra-Perez-Gluschankoff-ebook/dp/B01BX2M7A4

Amazon USA: http://www.amazon.com/Franziscas-Box-Sandra-Perez-Gluschankoff-ebook/dp/B01BX2M7A4