Third and Long – read every word or you’ll miss something brilliant

Review:

 

Nick Remke is a good man with bad luck. Or maybe bad timing. Or both. He’s worked hard as a plant manager for textile manufacturers and done a good job, but luck, timing, or fate seem to have always been against him, denying him a permanent position and the opportunity to put down roots.

 

Now time’s running out for Nick. He’s no longer a young man and his spotty track record is a liability. To say he’s desperate when he arrives in Longview, Ohio, a sleepy town of twelve thousand, to apply for a position at the Made Right, the town’s major employer, would not be an exaggeration.

 

On the way into the interview, Marie, the foxy administrative assistant to the owners, notices Nick’s limp and suggests it would be to his advantage to say it’s an old football injury. The owners are huge football fans, especially concerning Notre Dame. Jeremy Ziglar Jr. quickly decides that Nick’s not the man for the job until he notices he went to Notre Dame and has a limp attributed to his favorite game. Did Nick play for Notre Dame? Yes. How come he’s never heard of him? Nick changed his name. “It used to be…” Nick provides the name of a Notre Dame football icon. Being a football legend, even if from bygone seasons, is enough to get Nick the job. His football prowess is further enhanced when he’s coerced into coaching the local high school squad.

 

As the months go by, Nick continues to win the hearts (especially Marie’s) and minds of the Longview with solid performances at work and on the gridiron. His reluctance to talk about his Notre Dame glory days is considered humility, a character trait that is in itself inspiring. He’s a local celebrity. However, being newsworthy turns out not to be an asset for Nick, being more of a ruinous liability.

 

Third and Long by Bob Katz is one of those books you want to read every word of for fear you’ll miss one of the many brilliant passages. Whether it’s characterization, descriptive setting, or narrative insights, they all shine with originality and effectiveness, for example:

 “Like angry callers to talk radio, ill-informed but hotly passionate, we had hunches.”

 

Katz’s use of a challenging and relatively rare point of view, the first-person omniscient, in which the narrator is a character in the story but also knows the thoughts and feelings of all the other characters, enables the reader to become immersed in the culture and character of this small town. You know these people, how they feel, how they think, what their dreams and disappointments are, because you’ve become one of them.

 

Third and Long is literary fiction at its best.

 

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Big setting, big story, Survive – Love and Murder in Alaska is classic Wilkins

Review:

Not only is bush pilot Tom Bodeen’s cargo secret, but he’s also landing it in the remote Alaskan wilderness. Yet landing the plane turns out to be the least of his worries when he, his customer Levi and two employees, are confronted by armed hijackers and left for dead. Bodeen is saved from a shot to the head by his aviator’s helmet. 

 

When he gains consciousness, he realizes he’s alone,  is badly injured, has no means to call for rescue and ​​his only hope of survival is to try to find Levi’s cabin, located somewhere miles from the landing site. This leads to a lengthy, tortuous journey across treacherous frozen terrain to get there against the odds. 

 

Yet getting there is only half the story. When Levi’s wife Elinor and daughter Marianne discover Bodeen, barely alive, and nurse him back to health, a rivalry develops for his affections between the seventeen-year-old Marianne whose hormones are raging out of control and her mother still in her sexual prime though trapped for years in a loveless marriage. Meanwhile, if Levi’s killers learn he’s still alive, they’ll be coming to finish the job of killing him. 

 

The stage is set as two jealous women with needs compete for an attractive injured man miles from civilization where societal norms, even law and order, amount to survival of the fittest.  

 

One woman will lose, leaving the other scorned. Hell, hath no fury… 

 

Survive – Love and Murder in Alaska is the perfect setting for author Clark Wilkins to present his knowledge of survival in extreme winter environments. Realistic plotting, detailed action and complicated relationships culminate in a surprising end that makes for an interesting and informative novel. 

 

 

Surv

#action #adventure #murder #gold #Alaska

 

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FREE E-BOOK – The Bird Witch

FREE E-BOOK. JUNE 23 -27

The Bird Witch

Book 4 in The Mattie Saunders Series 

 

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY AT

https://amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Can you love someone whose worldview is different from yours? Who is committed to a cause that excludes you because of your race? Simon is an Indigenous person dedicated to the struggle for justice for First Nations people. Mattie loves him but is love enough?

 

Birds are dying. At the Saunders Bird Rescue and Sanctuary where rescued parrots abandoned by their owners are rehabilitated and re-homed, a deadly virus has them dying in Mattie’s hands. In the midst of this outbreak, she’s called to investigate a mortality event where dozens of starlings fly into the pavement as if committing suicide.

 

Mattie looks to Simon, her rock and refuge, for support, but after spending weeks at a remote protest site, as soon as he returns home he begins working with Wendy Walters, the attractive, ambitious Indigenous politician on her re-election campaign. Mattie’s just about had enough.

 

When Simon proposes a vacation on the Mexican Riviera, Mattie sees it as an opportunity to recover from the death of her beloved birds. She’s also hopeful it’s an indication Simon’s reconsidering his priorities. She didn’t realize while on vacation he’d want to attend the Conference of Indigenous Peoples in Chiapas. Mattie’s annoyed, but decides to indulge her passion and do some tropical bird watching rather than attend a boring conference.

 

But Simon’s conference turns out to be anything but boring when a deadly firefight erupts between the Mexican Army trying to arrest suspected terrorists and revolutionary Zapatista’s. Now Simon is missing, and Mattie is determined to find him, but to do so she must first escape being kidnapped by corrupt Mexican police and avoid abduction by vicious cartel members.

 

The fourth book in The Mattie Saunders Series, The Bird Witch combines romance and action with environmental themes for an exciting exploration of contemporary culture and issues.

 

 

“Fantastic voice! I’m not typically a “series” reader but loved this author’s voice. Simon is an Indigenous native who struggles for justice for First Nations people. His character study is VERY interesting writing. Great writing…great discovery!” FIVE STARS

 

“A very professionally written ecological thriller book.” FIVE STARS “

 

“… a great book. The characters are believable and relatable and continue to evolve as the story progresses. …I didn’t have to read the other three books in order to step into the main character’s journey. Although, having read it, it makes me want to go back and read the other three! “…a great job of weaving the complexities of relationship into the story, and I could really feel the push-pull Mattie and Simon experienced between their desire for relationship and a need to pursue their passions.”

 

“Great book. Highly recommend.”

 

“Mattie, despite being severely flawed (on purpose)… her faults do not make it harder to root for her although, at times, it’s easy to find yourself annoyed with her. …it is a joy to read a character that can make you feel so many different things but still enjoy her overall.” “Simon, was my absolute favourite character … sweet and kind and endearing and patient and so well written” “One of the subplots in this book was romance and it was honestly so well done…interesting and refreshing and sweet.”

 

“The writing …was so nice, witty, and refreshing. I thought it was lovely.”- Goodreads review by Industry

 

 

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FREE E-BOOK FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend

FREE E-BOOK – June 22 -26

FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend

Go to https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Lost gold, lost love and lost hope compels Matt to return home to a dying town on the edge of the wilderness.

 

 

Matthew and Raminder are young, idealistic and in love.

As soon as they can they plan to leave behind the small town and small minds of Pitt Landing. They will embrace life and experience the world, maybe even change it.

Man plans, God laughs. Raminder’s father has a stroke and her commitment to her family means she must postpone her plans and stay in Pitt Lake. It’s just the opposite for Matt. A family tragedy leaves irreconcilable differences between him and his father and forces him to leave.

They promise to reunite, but life happens.

Twelve years later, Matt is an acclaimed war correspondent. He’s seen it all and it’s left him with post-traumatic stress, a gastric ulcer, and an enlarged liver. He’s never been back to Pitt Landing though the memory of Raminder and their love has more than once kept him sane.

He’s at his desk in the newsroom, recuperating from his last assignment and current hangover and reading a letter from his father, the first contact they’ve had in over a decade. It talks about a legendary lost gold mine, a map leading to it, and proof in a safety deposit box back in Pitt Lake. He’s sent it to Matt in case something happens to him and cautions his son to keep it a secret.

Matt is about to dismiss the letter when the telephone rings. It’s Raminder telling him his father has disappeared somewhere in the wilderness that surrounds Pitt Lake.

Lost gold, lost love and lost hope compels Matt to return home to a dying town on the edge of the wilderness.

The forest is waiting.

 

 

“A compelling story…definitely worth the read”
“A compelling story layered over with a much stranger story of forest myths peering through from the shadows. FOREST…neatly encapsulates the battleground of humanity’s greed for natural resources versus the cost to the environment…This is a compelling story, studded with evocative detail and underlaid by a very real question – definitely worth the read.”
– 4 STARS, Reader’s Favorites Book Reviews

“…pure reading delight.”
“The plot is something Stephen King might think up if he wanted to write something only slightly scary for a change.”
“…well balanced between the mysterious, the romantic, the scary and the reassuring.”
“I hope you get a professional publisher to pick up this book and give it the attention it deserves.”
– FIVE STARS, C. Widmann, Goodreads review

 

A strong character driven novel

“I would recommend it to anyone looking for a deep character driven novel.”

 

A fantastic nature adventure

“…a fantastic read. The author has a great writing style that is easy to read and very enjoyable.”

 

“If you are looking for something meaningful, you’ll certainly get a lot of true love, trust, relationships, friendship, childhood memories, and a lot more in this excellent book.”

 

★★★★★ Wow, a very well written mystery, suspense book.

 “Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great foreign film adventure movie, or mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.”
Tony Parsons, reader review

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PROMOTIONAL VIDEO

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FREE E-BOOK – East Van Saturday Night

FREE E-BOOK- June 21 – 25

East Van Saturday Night – Short Stories and a Novella

“…adventures were undertaken, friendships were forged, and character was created.”

Download your copy now at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

East Vancouver in the ’50s and ’60s was a low income, blue-collar neighbourhood. Kids grew up with minimum supervision. They left home in the morning, showed up for dinner, and were gone again until “the gun” sounded at 9 p.m. During the time away adventures were undertaken, friendships were forged, and character was created. East Van Rules was not only meant as a challenge, but also a code to live by.

 

These four short stories and novella highlight coming of age events; a ten-year-old playing for the elementary school softball championship, a teenage tough strutting his stuff at the local dance, a hippie youth hitchhiking across Canada during the Summer of Love.

 

Watershed moments told from a perspective that explains why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you’ll never take East Van out of the boy.

 

WATCH THE PROMOTIONAL VIDEO

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FREE E-BOOK – END OF THE ROPE – A Play in 4 Acts

FREE E-BOOK – June 20-24

END OF THE ROPE – A Play in 4 Acts

 

Download your copy now at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

When you rope up you put your life into the hands of your climbing partner. But what if you’ve just ruined his?

 

Craig, Whit and Milt are friends, have been for a long time. They’ve grown up together, but the friendship forged as young boys is getting tested as they grow into men – men with different perspectives and priorities.

Their love of climbing has kept them together. On the rock faces of the mountains they are as they once were – a team, a unit, loyal and committed. The ambiguous world of careers and relationships is left below – or is it?

Since he can remember, Craig’s loved Jennifer. He can’t wait for them to get married, he’s even bought a house.

When she breaks it off saying she’s not ready, he’s hurt and confused, but if Jennifer needs more time he can wait. He’s been waiting all his life for her so what’s a few more months?

Then she starts dating Whit.

Whit doesn’t do relationships, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the many women who compete for his attention. He doesn’t understand what Jennifer represents to Craig, can’t even begin to imagine it, but just the same he’d never hit on a friend’s woman.
But, hey, it’s a free country, right, and Jennifer’s warm and willing, and after all it’s been about, what, two months since she dumped Craig. He needs to get over it.

Milt sees the potential for trouble, but he has his own problems. His new wife, Samantha, thinks her husband’s band of brothers are a bad influence. She wants him to grow up and give up these juvenile escapades.

It’s a constant battle for Milt to maintain some independence and now the tension between his friends makes him wonder if it’s worth it.

This is not the way to start a challenging climb – filled with anxiety, anger and resentment. On a sheer granite wall distractions kill you. You need singularity of purpose, a clear mind and a focus that’s finite.

Now Whit’s goading Craig to try a new route, Craig’s worried that the weather’s breaking down, and Milt’s frantic because his cellphone’s broken and he can’t report in to Samantha.

Everyone’s just about at the end of their rope, but only figuratively – for now.

 

 

“Twenty pages of truth.”
“…couldn’t review it as I usually do, immediately … The play was still resonating in my mind. I was still discovering nuances to plot and characters, savouring relationships. The End of the Rope is a powerful piece of writing.”
“Readers with a paper copy… profit from all the attention invested in stage instructions. It makes the play come alive in our minds.”
FIVE STARS, C. Widmann, Goodreads review

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PROMO VIDEO

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FREE E-BOOK – Abandoned Dreams

FREE E-BOOK

Abandoned Dreams

 June 19-23

Can Dreams be Resurrected? Is it Worth It?

Download your copy now at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

At twenty-seven years-old, George Fairweather is “the voice of his generation”, a poet whose talent has garnered him accolades from the literary establishment and homage from the disenfranchised “hippie” youth of the late 1960’s. George is the embodiment of the times with his long hair, rebellious attitude and regular use of mind-expanding psychedelic drugs.

 

Then the sudden and tragic death of Fallon, his friend, his muse and his lover shatters his world, his sanity and nearly ends his life. Katherine is the one person who stands between George and destruction. A hanger-on, a groupie, a go-for, she’s a woman George never considered – for anything. Katherine idolizes George and makes it her personal mission to keep him alive, doing whatever it takes, twenty-four seven.

 

Because of Katherine’s sacrifice and devotion George slowly begins to mend his soul and rebuild a life. But guilt and gratitude make it a much different life then he’d previously led.

 

Thirty-seven years later, George Fairweather is a husband, father and grandfather and a successful copywriter at an advertising agency. Another death, his wife Katherine’s, is about to change his life again.

 

Can dreams be resurrected? Can a live abandoned be taken up again? Will they let him? Is it worth it?

 

“Literary and artistic matters including the drive for fame and creativity, as well as cutting criticism, are refreshingly realistic and provide illuminating insights into the minds of writers and artists. How the past and present link up and influence their current lives and activities is skilfully portrayed. Generational aspects … are woven into multiple relationships and ambitions that stir the narrative.”

Judge Number 54, The 26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

 

“A well told, fascinating and powerful story. Highly recommended.”

 

★★★★★ “I loved every part of the book. I would definitely recommend it to everyone.”

 

★★★★★ Lovely premise, well-delivered

“…offers an unflinching look at how circumstance, both disastrous and mundane, can shove youthful ambitions aside. “Raglin delivers excellently insidious character development, where every individual springs from the page.” “Overall a very entertaining, unsentimentally sardonic study of how shallow souls can leach subsistence from the goodness of others. And how sometimes responding to those needs can lead to contentment.”

– Mary Keefer, Amazon VerifiedPurchase

 

CLICK TO WATCH THE PROMO VIDEO

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FREE E-BOOK

HARRY’S TRUTH – A Play in One Act

 

Are there cosmic truths?

 

June 18-22 Download your copy now at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Are there cosmic truths? Harry thinks there are and he’s discovered one which will make life easier, simpler and more fulfilling. He wants to share this epiphany with those he loves but not only do they not want to share in his enlightenment, they feel threatened by what he has to tell them.Much is at stake – careers, lifestyles, power – if Harry pursues his truth.

 

For Deidre, his wife – all her life she has worked to overcome the stigma of being the daughter of the neighbourhood drunk. She has struggled for social status, “respectability” and to have “nice things”. Now she has attained it and more is within her grasp. She can’t allow Harry to jeopardize it.

 

For Philip, his partner – his aggressive manner, lack of sophistication, short stature, balding pate, pudgy midriff and loud ties have made him a subject of derision among his colleagues, but landing this multi-million dollar client will change all that. Soon Harry’s condescension and the humiliation of his marriage will be overshadowed by the respect and power corporate success will bring. The “truth” is he only needs Harry to keep it together until the deal closes. After that, he can goddam well wander off into the wilderness if that’s what he wants.

 

For Joan, Phil’s wife – the bitterness of her affair with Harry twenty years ago in college has shaped and defined her life, But not Harry’s. No, he just up and left her in search for “the truth” and she had to survive as best she could on her own. Now he’s about to do it again – turn her world upside down with the same selfish, irresponsible behavior. Maybe she can’t stop this middle-age flight of fancy but she isn’t going to let him influence her teenage daughter with all his nonsense about “following your heart”.

 

For Alexus, Joan’s daughter – her parent’s marriage is empty of love but filled with material possessions. How could “Uncle Harry’s” truth make anything worse? Her mom’s pushing her to go to college but that’s just more “preparing for life”. Uncle Harry’s truth sounds far more appealing. Better to fill your life with experiences than just more “stuff”.

 

“A quick and good read, and a play five actors can produce…One can read Harry’s Truth as it were a short story.”

“New money, fashionable clothes, a lot of work for Harry and Philip, the two business partners who started off selling doves to Chinese restaurants and slowly made it big. Now they’re past forty and Harry has had enough. Enough, that’s the keyword here: He wants to downsize the firm and his expenses because he knows that more money can’t make him happier anymore. “…the interactions between the five of them let us have a glance at everybody’s past. A lot gets revealed in every scene. I like the detailed stage instructions and the symbolism in the last scene. One can read Harry’s Truth as it were a short story. I’d really like to see this play on stage someday…”

FIVE STARS, C. Widmann, Goodreads review

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PROMO VIDEO

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FREE E-BOOK – The TRIUMVIRATE – Love for Power, Love of Power, the Power of Love

FREE E-BOOK

 

The TRIUMVIRATE 

Love for Power, Love of Power, the Power of Love

June 17-21

 

Download your copy now at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

 

When terrorists kill Shyloh’s mother, he dedicates his life to making a better world. He recruits his childhood friends Aiya and Judith. With their intimate bond, exceptional talents and singular determination they become a formidable team as they grow to be leaders in their chosen fields of politics, religion and the military.

 

The unraveling of civilization caused by climate change brings unique challenges, and for each of them the goal begins to take on different meaning.

 

Whose better world will be best?

 

   

“This book traces Shyloh’s efforts to make a better world of our present social, economic, and environmental crisis through creating a team of three unbiased leaders (The Triumvirate). The problems they address are real and will be known to the reader. They are today’s headlines and, being unbiased, these three are revolutionaries in their own time. It is fast paced, a good story, and an easy read.

    This would be a GREAT choice for a bookclub to read and discuss. How can Shyloh relate to the world but not to his own neighbors? Why is Shyloh so helpless without women? Do the two women love him and, if so, why? Would not the two women have gone on to do the same things without him? And what about their politics? Are they right or wrong?”
    – Clark Wilkins, Author of A Compelling Unknown Force

 

“If you enjoy fiction/sci-fi, climate change and politics this could be a book for you.

I enjoyed the futuristic portrayals of Canada because of the connection with the many pressingsocial issues in our country’s politics.

Touches on many divisive social issues of today (immigration, virus, climatechange, federal/provincial strain) and provides a unique perspective. The take on the Canadian confederation was particularly interesting to me because of the current issues in Alberta.”

– Tom Urac, Author of Spartan Revolt

 

    “…unflinchingly stares down some of today’s most contentious issues, whether they are of a socioeconomic, environmental, racial, or political nature.

“…sure to spark discussion amongst intellectuals and casual readers alike, … highly recommend it as a selection for a reading group.”
— Jonathan Walter, Contributing author to THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL, GHOSTLIGHT, and DARK DOSSIER anthologies; and columnist for UXmatters Web magazine

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PROMO VIDEO

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FREE E-BOOK – LOCAL RAG – News to Die For

FREE E-BOOK
LOCAL RAG – News to Die For
June 16-20
Download your copy now at
 
 
Jim Mitchell is a journalist and the publisher and editor of a community newspaper, The Sentinel.
He gave up a career with big media because he couldn’t justify their choice of what to cover, couldn’t tolerate the way they edited his stories and would not be implicit in misleading the public to benefit some hidden corporate agenda.
When he bought The Sentinel, he thought all that would end. Being the owner of “the local rag,” he could select the stories, edit the copy and make sure the interests of the community were served.
He would print the truth – no slant, no bias, no spin, and he’d make a living doing it.
He was wrong.
Right from the beginning, Jim’s brand of reportage rankles some powerful people, people who pay his bills. Then there’s the new competitor, a multinational media conglomerate that’s expanding its generic community newspaper format into The Sentinel’s market area.
Soon it’s a struggle for The Sentinel to make a profit and for Jim to keep true to his uncompromising ethics.
When his best friend, Anthony Bravaro decides to run for mayor Jim hopes he’ll be an honest politician.
Hope turns to dismay as Jim watches the quest for power turn a good man bad. Tony’s campaign tests Jim’s professional objectivity and personal integrity.
When Jim confronts his friend with damaging information that could end his run for public office, he finds out how far Tony’s prepared to go to win the mayor’s seat – farther than he could ever have imagined.
 
 
“5 STARS for having given his readers a story which pits an individual trying to do what’s right when it comes to reporting the news against those who would rather keep the status quo in keeping what happens somewhere stays there.”
 
“… a dose of reality not seen on most major media. His story highlights the control over the minds of the public by special money factions. Readers have only to see similarities with today.”
 
“… engrossing and exciting story that moves quickly. The narrative comes alive because the characters are three dimensional. This is a novel well worth reading. Highly recommended.”
 
“Raglin … grips the readers’ attention from the very first page. He managed to put so many levels in this book – corruption, drugs, murder, threats, politics. Yet, there is also place for love and friendship … he challenges his readers to get actively involved, to start asking questions and reconsidering their own life decisions”.
 
… this is the type of hard-hitting believability so often lacking in dramas nowadays.... presented at a crisp, fast-moving pace reminiscent of the best newspaper copy. The story moves along with realistic drama and life-threatening action as the hero…this is the type of hard-hitting believability so often lacking in dramas nowadays. I enjoyed this book immensely.”
– Keith Julius for Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews – 5 STARS
.
..a well-designed, masterly written, and realistic murder mystery. (5 STARS)”
“Local Rag should appear to the careful reader much more than a well-designed, masterly written, and realistic murder mystery.
Local Rag is, in my opinion, a philosophical parable on the ultimate meaning of truth in our earthly lives. The last pages will clarify the individual relevance of the initial Aurelian quote in this story.
By the way, the closing image of the book is a powerful visual allegory about where humanity as a whole is heading fast, if not for a sharp change of route.”
– Thomas Dalcolle, Author of Five Urban Stories – And Something Better
 
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