Spiritual Coming of Age Fiction – The Sapphire Song

The Sapphire SongThe Sapphire Song
By Todd Erick Pedersen
Publisher: Balboa Press
ISBN: 978-1452597454
ASIN: B0793R36LY
Pages: 104
Genre: Spiritual Fiction, Fantasy Quest, Coming of Age

The time and the place are universal. Metaxaeus, a youthful yet visionary sculptor, will embark on an odyssey in which he will at last meet face to face with Akasha, a talented storyteller from a distant township. Set in a simple landscape of mountains and rivers, The Sapphire Song is a meditation on the possibilities of love, when seen in the light of the spirit. Underscoring a fidelity to the sacred dimension of life, that so often reveals itself to us in the inmost presence of our dreams, and written with the poignancy of a parable, this timeless story is an evocation of the spiritual power, and the lasting truth, inherent in our quest for an enduring love.

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Praise for The Sapphire Song:
“Pedersen’s work is considerably more esoteric than your average teen-geared supernatural romance. The Sapphire Song is a subtle religious allegory in a gently fantastical wrapping, echoing works from Tolkien to Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha.”  –  Foreword Reviews

The Sapphire Song Author Todd Erick PedersenAbout the Author:
Todd Erick Pedersen is a poet-essayist and novelist whose writing strives to evoke the cross-section between our dreams and the spirit, with a natural sense of wonder and the turning seasons of the Earth. Thus, his poems, his essays, and his stories are an invitation to any reader to explore this timeless terrain for oneself. His home is in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley, in Stevensville, Montana.

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Reaper – Paranormal Fantasy, Coming of Age

Reaper - Birds of a Feather Book 5Reaper
Birds of a Feather, Book 5
By Lena North
Publisher: FAB Books
Published: February 2018
ASIN: B079GJKFBK
Pages: 335
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, Coming of Age

Annie has secrets.

She takes a job as stable hand at Double H, but she’s really there to let her unusual abilities help the group around Hawker Johns in their search for the man responsible for death and destruction – Cameron Strachlan.

Abuse victim. Murderer. Lost boy. The devil. Annie has more reason than most to hate the man, but that is a secret too.

It’s a surprise to find Olly at Double H, and nothing about him is like she’d imagined. Olly is hard and angry, and his eyes almost as black as the tattoos on his neck. She knows immediately that she’s looking straight into the eyes of the Reaper.

As they spend time together, the Olly she thought he would be slowly begins to show again, but there are still doubts at the back of her mind… What will happen when he finds out? Can he handle her secrets?

Reaper is the fifth and final book in the Birds of a Feather series, a young adult/coming of age series with paranormal elements, full of laughter, mystery, and romance.

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Other Books in the Birds of a Feather Series:

Wilder New CoverWilder
Birds of a Feather, Book 1
By Lena North
Publisher: FAB Publishing
Release Date: December 14, 2016
ISBN: 978-9188367082
ASIN: B01MQIYHIX
Pages: 343
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance, YA Fantasy, YA Urban Fantasy

Wilder’s wonderful grandfather is dead, and so is her mother, but Grandpa Willy gives her one final gift in his will – the knowledge that her father is only her step-father.

Once she meets Hawker, the scary man who turns out to be her real dad, her life takes an unexpected turn. She finds out about a heritage she never knew she had, and secrets from the past are uncovered as she fights to save her part of the world from destruction.

And then there’s Mac, with his green eyes and a soft voice that flows through her like sweet honey. He’s there to help Wilder when she needs it the most, and as she struggles with how to fit into the group of people around her dad – having Mac in her life becomes more important with every bad thing that happens.

“Wilder” is the first in the Birds of a Feather series and a spin-off from the Dreughan trilogy. It’s set in modern time and can be read stand-alone.

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Sweet WaterSweet Water
Birds of a Feather, Book 2
By Lena North
Publisher: FAB Publishing
Published: March 2017
ISBN: 9789188367112
ASIN: B06XHPG389
Pages: 270
Genre: YA Romance, YA Fantasy

Jiminella “Jinx” Sweetwater is a genius. She’s a scholar, an inventor, hardworking and loyal, and well known in the scientific circles around the University in Prosper City.

Being smarter than everyone else might seem like a good thing, but it isn’t. At least, it isn’t to Jinx who has two friends, a small condo, and no life.

After a fight with her best friend Wilder, it just gets worse. Someone breaks into her home and when her parents show up in all their hippie-like glory, Jinx has had enough and escapes to a small village by the sea.

Suddenly, Jinx finds herself involved in village life, living with the unpleasant Mrs. Fratinelli and trying her best to juggle all the things that seem to end up on her plate. And then there’s calm, cool and gorgeous Dante – Snow’s boyfriend, who seems to see right through the shields Jinx has put up around herself, straight into her mind.

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Picture ThisPicture This
Birds of a Feather, Book 3
By Lena North
Publisher: FAB Publishing
Release Date: June 29, 2017
ISBN: 9789188367150
ASIN: B071J8KPSH
Pages: 282
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy/Coming of Age

Life just keeps slapping Mary in the face.

She had it rough growing up, and when it finally looks like she’s getting her life firmly back on track, breaking up with her boyfriend starts a string of events that threatens to bring Mary to her knees.

Fortunately, there are good people in her life who will do everything in their powers to help her when she needs it. Mary’s girlfriends, Jinx and Wilder are there for her, and after she’s rescued from being kidnapped, Carson and Bo take her into their home, becoming the family she always wanted but never seemed to get to keep.

As the group around Hawker Johns hunt the men who wanted to trade Mary for the valuable crystal from the mountains, she slowly recovers. Then life throws her another few curveballs, and it looks like she’ll lose everything yet again.

Mary is resilient and used to restarting her life from nothing, but when it looks like she’ll also lose the man she loves, maybe the happy girl has just had enough?

Picture this is the third book in the Birds of a Feather series, a young adult/coming of age series with paranormal elements, full of laughter, mystery, and romance.

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Black SnowBlack Snow
By Lena North
Publisher: FAB Publishing
Release Date: October 24, 2017
ISBN: 978-9188367181
ASIN: B075W9XJBR
Pages: 294
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy

Snow’s best friend is a bird. An osprey, to be specific.

Everyone knows Snow’s parents died a long time ago, and she has perfected her happy smile and girly giggle so no one suspects that she hides a darker side of herself deep inside. No one, except her bird – and Nick, who always seems to know how she feels.

Then Hawker Johns blackmails her into joining his covert group of protectors. The imposing sheriff from Norton sends Snow to the Islands to investigate Jamie Jamieson, one of her friends and a man she dates casually, and once the first fury has passed, she’s eager to go. Mostly so that she can come back and shove Hawker’s suspicions down his throat.

Things are not what they seem on the Islands, though, and when Snow has been shot at, almost drowned and fallen through the roof of a cave, she starts thinking about her life, and her past.

Then she suddenly finds herself in a situation where she has a tough choice to make. Will she follow her heart or the pull from her family and friends? And will she ever find peace with her past?

Black Snow is the fourth book in the Birds of a Feather series, a young adult/coming of age series with paranormal elements, full of laughter, mystery, and romance.

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wilder-author-lena-northAbout the Author:
The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.

Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them  heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…

Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say).

Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.

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African American History – From Hill Town to Strieby

From Hill Town to StriebyFrom Hill Town to Strieby
Education and the American Missionary Association in the Uwharrie “Back Country” of Randolph County, North Carolina
By Margo Lee Williams
Publisher: Backintyme Publishing, Inc.
Published: July 2016
ISBN: 978-0939479092
ASIN: B06X9C8JNQ
Pages: 418
Genre: Non Fiction: African American History

When former slave, Islay Walden returned to Southwestern Randolph County, North Carolina in 1879, after graduating from the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, as an ordained minister and missionary of the American Missionary Association, he moved in with his sister and her family in a secluded area in the Uwharrie Mountains, not far from the Lassiter Mill community along the Uwharrie River. Walden was sent to start a church and school for the African American community. When the church and school were begun this was, not surprisingly, a largely illiterate community of primarily Hill family members. The Hill family in this mountain community was so large, it was known as “Hill Town.” The nearby Lassiter Mill community was larger and more diverse, but only marginally more literate. Walden and his wife accomplished much before his untimely death in 1884, including acquiring a US Postal Office for the community and a new name – Strieby. Despite Walden’s death, the church and school continued into the 20th century when it was finally absorbed by the public school system, but not before impacting strongly the literacy and educational achievements of this remote community.

From Hill Town to Strieby is Williams’ second book and picks up where her first book about her ancestor Miles Lassiter, an early African American Quaker [Miles Lassiter (circa 1777-1850) an Early African American Quaker from Lassiter Mill, Randolph County, North Carolina: My Research Journey to Home], left off. In From Hill Town to Strieby, she provides extensive research documentation on the Reconstruction-era community of Hill Town, that would become known as Strieby, and the American Missionary Association affiliated church and school that would serve both Hill Town and Lassiter Mill. She analyzes both communities’ educational improvements by comparing census records, World War I Draft record signatures and reports of grade levels completed in the 1940 census. She provides well-documented four generation genealogical reports of the two principal founding families, the Hills and Lassiters, which include both the families they married into and the families that moved away to other communities around the country. She provides information on the family relationships of those buried in the cemetery and adds an important research contribution by listing the names gleaned from death certificates of those buried in the cemetery, but who have no cemetery markers. She concludes with information about the designation of the Strieby Church, School, and Cemetery property as a Randolph County Cultural Heritage Site.

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Praise for From Hill Town to Strieby:
“This book is a superior achievement from cover to cover. It is the result of an unusually high degree of careful research, written in an eminently readable style, and should be deemed the consummate source of information regarding this rural African American community.  It houses a colossal amount of copied primary sources, as well as some riveting vintage photographs of community members and their surroundings.  Having only read this wonderful book online, it would benefit the reader to have a hard copy on hand.  It is one to be read, savored and then added beside other cherished books on a bookshelf for future reference or to later ‘experience’ again.” – North Carolina Society of Historians

“For the residents of Strieby and the rest of Randolph County, and for the descendants of those who once lived there, From Hill Town to Strieby by Margo Lee Williams is an invaluable resource. The historical information will indeed provide a direct connection to generations past.” – David K. McDonnell, Reader Views

“From Hill Town to Strieby, is a book of scholarly tenacity,creative boldness, and near-acrobatic balance, as it promises to become an essential addition to the history of rural America.” – Thomas D. Rush, author of Reality’s Pen: Reflections on Family, History & Culture

“The reader is immediately drawn into this narrative, its people, and their legacy as Ms. Williams brilliantly captures the history of a community that sought, and achieved, the American dream.” – Carol Kostakos Petranek, Co-Director, Washington D.C. Family History Center

“Margo Williams’ outstanding research tells the history of my community and family while speaking of the power of self-determination and the impact of Strieby descendants past, present, and future.” – Elbert Lassiter Jr., Lassiter family and Strieby Church descendant

“From Hill Town to Strieby is a must-read for those interested in the role of church and education in nineteenth and twentieth century rural African American life.” – Roland Barksdale-Hall, author of Farrell and African Americans in Mercer County and former editor of the Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society

From Hill Town to Strieby Author Margo Lee WilliamsAbout the Author:
Margo Lee Williams is an award winning, genealogy and history author. A former editor of the Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, she is particularly interested in community and family histories of free people of color in the southeast, especially those in North Carolina and Virginia, who often had mixed race origins.

Williams has researched and written extensively on her Lassiter family of Randolph County, North Carolina. Her first book, published in 2011, Miles Lassiter (circa 1777-1850) An Early African American Quaker from Lassiter Mill, Randolph County, North Carolina: My Research Journey to Home (Backintyme Publishing)  told the story of both her personal and research journeys that led to the discovery of her fourth great grandfather, Miles Lassiter.

Her second  book, published in 2016, From Hill Town to Strieby: Education and the American Missionary Association in the Uwharrie “Back Country” of Randolph County, North Carolina (Backintyme Publishing), picks up where her first book left off. From Hill Town to Strieby is a social history that follows the development of the school and church, founded in 1880 by a mixed race, former slave, and 19th century poet, the Rev. Islay Walden. The church and school served the Lassiter Mill and Hill Town/Strieby communities of color in southwestern Randolph County.  Her research led to the Strieby Church, School and Cemetery property being named a Randolph County Cultural Heritage Site in 2014.

Both of Williams’ books have won genealogy and history book awards. Miles Lassiter (circa 1777-1850) was the 2012 winner for Excellence in Publishing for a Family History from the North Carolina Genealogical Society. From Hill Town to Strieby has won four awards: a 2017 Gold Non-Fiction Book Award in both history and genealogy;  the 2016 Marsha M. Greenlee History Award from the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society; a 2016 Historical Book Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians; and was a finalist in the African American category of the 2017 Next Generation INDIE Book Awards.

Williams is a graduate of Marquette University, and has her MA in Sociology from Hunter College and her MA in Religious Education from The Catholic University of America.  She worked for over twenty years at various churches in the suburban Washington DC area, and another eight years as a National Service Officer with Vietnam Veterans of America. She has one daughter.

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Suspense/Thriller – Gone Viral

Gone ViralGone Viral
A Miles Stevens Novel, Book 3
By D.R. Shoultz
Release Date: February 15, 2018
ISBN: 978-1976244766
ASIN: B079DCHSJP
Pages: 320
Genre: Suspense, Thriller

It has been months since Miles Stevens, a time traveling CIA agent for the Department of Historic Intervention (DHI), has seen his former partner, Terri King.

Upon returning from his most recent assignment, Miles learns Terri and her new partner, Dr. James Brock, have been transported from 2050 and their offices in Langley, Virginia to thwart a bioterrorist assault on the 2032 Olympic Games in Sydney. A genetically altered chimera virus was used in the devastating September 1st attack, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. It was never determined who was responsible, but AQIA, a terrorist organization from North Africa, was suspected.

Miles demands to join Terri and is transported to August 18, 2032. Terri is surprisingly cool to Miles’ return, having decided a life with a risk-taking CIA agent may be too stressful. Not giving up on their relationship, Miles gives her time and space.

The strong-willed Brock attempts to lead the investigation from Atlanta and win the support of Terri, but Miles has other plans. He follows his instincts to investigate a reported smallpox outbreak near Moscow, where clues mount and peril rapidly surrounds him.

Death, danger, and diversions lie ahead. Terri is torn between supporting Brock and following Miles to Moscow. With time running out, the CIA trio will need to come together if they are to stop the historic September 1st attack.

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Other Books in the Miles Stevens Series:

Melting Sand A Miles Stevens Novel, Book 1Melting Sand
A Miles Stevens Novel, Book 1
By D.R. Shoultz
ISBN: 978-1481855709
ASIN: B00FI0PHUU
Pages: 390
Genre: Supsense, Thriller

Years of unsuccessful nuclear arms negotiations in the Middle East had finally resulted in warring countries facing off with unthinkable destructive powers. Regional flare-ups had escalated and geopolitical dominoes had tumbled, finally leading to a horrific 48-hour interchange that erased cities and forever changed the region and the world.

The war was already in the history books when Miles Stevens and Terri King were sent 23 years into the past to relive a botched CIA mission — a mission intended to prevent the 2027 Middle East War. They landed at O’Hare International Airport with no memory of who they were, who they left behind, or why they were there. Their memories were gradually restored by their CIA superiors as they orchestrate Miles and Terri’s mission from their Pentagon offices in the year 2050.

Iranian subversives, acting alone, intent on fueling the war’s progress, had been alerted to the couple’s arrival, putting them in danger the second they landed in Chicago. In the coming months, Miles and Terri faced the challenge of daily survival, the challenge of intercepting the events leading to the war, and the challenge of what to do with their growing love that was two decades before its time.

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Cyber One A Miles Stevens Novel, Book 2Cyber One
A Miles Stevens Novel, Book 2
By D.R. Shoultz
ISBN: 978-1495359583
ASIN: B00YDI7X7S
Pages: 331
Genre: Supsense, Thriller

Coordinated cyberattacks were launched against the U.S. on May 8, 2020, destroying vast electrical grids of its largest cities, sending them into darkness and chaos. In the weeks and months that followed, thousands of citizens perished, the American economy collapsed, and gang law ruled. The source of these attacks remained a mystery.

Miles Stevens, a time traveling CIA agent with the Department of Historic Intervention (DHI), ended his last mission stranded in 2028, never knowing if his partner, Terri King, made it safely home to 2050. Before returning to learn Terri’s fate, Miles is given another DHI assignment–travel back to 2020, join the newly formed Cyber One counterterrorism team, and avert the May 8th cyberattacks.

From Cyber One headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, Miles and his team pursue the cyberterrorists to remote outposts in Russia and the Middle East. With the May 8th deadline looming, Miles Stevens once again races against time to alter history.

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Gone Viral Author D.R. SchoultzAbout the Author:
A dog lover, blogger and author of several novels, D.R. (Donn) Shoultz hails from a small town in central Illinois. He and his wife Claudia have called North Carolina home for more than 20 years. Donn writes at their mountain retreat off the Blue Ridge Parkway where Claudia shares her editorial experience in shaping his novels, and where they both enjoy hiking nearby wooded trails with their dog, Milo.

Donn turned his focus to writing in the fall of 2010 following a 32-year career in corporate America that took him around the world. His ongoing writing projects include posting regular thoughts to his blog, submitting short stories to competition, and working on his next novel.  Having recently finished the third book in the Miles Stevens series, GONE VIRAL, Donn has begun a murder mystery set in the foothills of North Carolina.

Donn’s short stories have received recognition in national writing competitions. Blending captivating characters with suspenseful plots, Donn strives to appeal to a broad range of readers. His books include:

•    Corrupt Connection
•    Better Late Than Ever
•    Melting Sand – A Miles Stevens Novel #1
•    Cyber One – A Miles Stevens Novel #2
•    Gone Viral – A Miles Stevens Novel #3
•    It Goes On – Short Story Collection #1
•    Most Men –  Short Story Collection #2

You can find Donn’s books on Amazon and Goodreads, or go to drshoultz.com to learn more about his writing.

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Science Fiction – Redemption Song

Redemption SongRedemption Song
The Beginning of the Rynn-Human Alliance
By Henry A. Burns
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Published: July 2017
ISBN: 978-1480847910 (pb)
ISBN: 978-1480847897 (hc)
ISBN: 978-1480847903 (ebook)
ASIN: B073ZCWBW6
Pages: 380
Genre: Science Fiction

Part Hero’s Journey, part Military Science Fiction, part Space Opera with just a touch of Fantasy thrown in for good measure.

A child of wealth and privilege, Small Snow Flower is a member of a highly intelligent spacefaring species called the Rynn. Although she is young and untested, she is given a trading ship to command by her father. But just months into her first voyage there is a mutiny, and Small Snow Flower finds herself marooned on a primitive planet, believing she will die alone.

Jeremy Blunt is a bitter old man. For fifty years, he’s mourned the death of his wife, cutting himself off from the world and living alone in a forest cabin, believing he will die alone.

But fate has other plans. It brings together these two lonely people in spite of their differences—age, experience, and species. Slowly but surely, the alien girl and the elderly human man find ways to work together. They must find the strength to change their destinies and those of their respective home worlds. This is the beginning of the Rynn-Human alliance.

In a story of fate, second chances, and redemption, an unlikely partnership forms between a young alien and an old human widower that will change the future of both their races.

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Redemption Song Author Henry A. BurnsAbout the Author:
Henry A. Burns has studied martial arts since he was 15, played in various Latin bands as a percussionist and just recently decided to retire and devote his energies toward writing. Redemption Song is his first novel in what is expected to be a multi book series.

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