A GRITTY, NEW CRIME DRAMA STARRING DEAN NORRIS

We are excited to announce that the Pigeon-Blood Red Trilogy by Ed Duncan has been turned into a podcast! Mahalo With A Bullet is a four episode crime drama starring BREAKING BAD’s Dean Norris.

Podcast Description:

In 2018, the FBI ran a sprawling surveillance operation into suspected contract killer Richard  Sanders and his employer Frank Litvak’s extensive criminal operation. When Rico was dispatched to Hawaii to kill a fence who had stolen an invaluable piece of jewelry from Litvak, everything that could go wrong, did. These are the FBI surveillance tapes.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes or Spotify.

 

Mahalo with a Bullet is based on the Pigeon-Blood Red series by Ed Duncan.

Pigeon-Blood Red tells the story of underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, who believed his next assignment to be an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

About the Author: 

Ed Duncan lives outside of Cleveland, OH. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years.

Ed Duncan is the author of the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. The first book in the series Pigeon Blood Red was released in September 2016, followed by The Last Straw, the second book in the series, released in December 2017. The third book in the series Rico Stays was released in May 2020, published by Next Chapter. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.

“It’s always been said that you should write what you know. I am a lawyer – as is a pivotal character in the novel who is being pursued by a hit man – and I’m excited to be able to use my legal training creatively as well as professionally,” says Duncan.

Praise for the Pigeon Blood Red Trilogy:

“Readers in search of a tight, well-written…crime/action/adventure will find…an engrossing story that will keep them involved to the end. And like me, they will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.” – Mike Siedschlag’s Review

“This charming, classically-told crime thriller is a must for noir fans.” – 5 Stars, Best Thrillers

“This Chicago set thriller is a pacy read, written with an edge and style… Ed Duncan’s series will sweep up fans as it goes along.” – Crime Thriller Hound

“With danger looming in every chapter… Duncan skillfully draws the reader into a complex web of characters… A few key twists within the storyline keep the reader intrigued… an outstanding crime thriller…”– 5 Stars, Red City Review

“…suspense from start to finish… a fast-paced read… Entertaining, Gritty and Nailbiting.” – The Bibliovert

“…It rips along like a .45 bullet rushing past your head….a crime novel in a style you don’t … see too often… a juggernaut of a story that just won’t quit.” – Monkey’s Book Review

“A fast-paced read with complex and morally ambiguous characters that leaves you on the edge of your seat!”– AllieReads.com

Readers can connect with Ed Duncan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/

The Spiral Bookcase Announces Upcoming Virtual Event with Award-Winning Poet & Best-Selling Author Katerina Canyon

The Spiral Bookcase announced today they will be hosting a virtual event featuring Award-Winning Poet and Best-Selling Author Katerina Canyon on January 14th, 2022 at 4PM PST / 7PM EST. Katerina Canyon will be reading from her latest poetry collection Surviving Home. The event is free and open to the public.

Concisely arresting and challenging the beliefs of family and the fantasies of tradition, the poems in Surviving Home show that home is a place that you endure rather than a place where you are nurtured. With unyielding cadence and unparalleled sadness and warmth, Katerina Canyon contemplates the prejudice and limitations buried in a person’s African American heritage: parents that seem to care for you with one hand and slap you with the other, the secret desires to be released from the daily burdens of life, as well as the surprising ways a child chooses to amuse herself. Finding resilience in the unexpected, this collection tears down the delicate facades of family. 

Katerina Canyon’s poems offer intimate accounts of home as the locus of danger — and homeland as a state of oppression. They are at once urgent and mysterious, full of ocean depths and surging currents. Far from nostalgia, home inspires in this poet a vigilance, keeping watch on herself and others. Her very language is charged with the alert intelligence that offers a means of survival, and metaphors that transform pain into poetry. —Devin Johnston, author of Mosses and Lichens

Katerina Canyon’s poems dive into history unafraid to explore the complexity of home and family and acknowledge: the sea is filled with bones. This powerful, engaging collection where we see the billowing skirt of sunset asks again and again: How do get past our pasts? Smart, poignant, compassionate, Canyon’s poems remind us that strength happens despite one’s childhood and one’s country; they exclaim, We can choose whether we are stuck / In darkness or in light. —Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Dialogues with Rising Tides

In lush language and startling images, Katerina Canyon unveils a story in blood and bone of a speaker who survives domestic cycles of addiction and abuse, terrors handed down from the plantation through generations of her kin . . . Like the Phoenix, the speaker dares to draw near destruction to name our violent histories in order to claim a survivor’s eternal understanding of how to love, how to mother, and how to teach the world that We cannot be bound. We are free. We are infinite. —Katy Didden, author of The Glacier’s Wake

Katerina Canyon is a 2020 and 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her stories have been published in The New York TimesThe Huffington Post, and Folks.

Her first book Changing the Lines was released in August 2017. This work is a conversation between mother and daughter as they examine what it means to operate within the world as black women.

From 2000 to 2003, Katerina Canyon served as the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. During that time, she started a poetry festival and ran several poetry readings.

She has a B.A. in English, International Studies and Creative Writing from Saint Louis University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Her latest book Surviving Home was released on November 9, 2021, published by Kelsay Books.

To learn more about Katerina Canyon, go to https://www.poetickat.com/

The event at the Spiral Bookcase will be held virtually via Zoom. To learn more, go to https://spiralbookcase.com/pages/events

Meet Local Author & Award-Winning Poet Katerina Canyon at Oh Hello Again Bookstore in Seattle, WA

Katerina Canyon, an Award-Winning Poet, Best Selling Author, civil rights activist, and essayist, will be at Seattle’s newest bookstore Oh Hello Again on November 20th at 7:30PM for a poetry reading and book signing. The event is free and open to the public. Katerina will be discussing her latest poetry collection Surviving Home (published by Kelsay Books, November 9, 2021). Surviving Home is a reflection on African American heritage and up-bringing, racism, and abuse.

Concisely arresting and challenging the beliefs of family and the fantasies of tradition, the poems in Surviving Home show that home is a place that you endure rather than a place where you are nurtured. With unyielding cadence and unparalleled sadness and warmth, Katerina Canyon contemplates the prejudice and limitations buried in a person’s African American heritage: parents that seem to care for you with one hand and slap you with the other, the secret desires to be released from the daily burdens of life, as well as the surprising ways a child chooses to amuse herself. Finding resilience in the unexpected, this collection tears down the delicate facades of family.

“A harrowing collection by a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet…” – Kirkus Reviews

Oh Hello Again is located at 324 15th Ave E in Seattle, WA. You can learn more at ohhelloagain.com.

About the Author –

Katerina Canyon is a 2020 and 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her stories have been published in The New York TimesThe Huffington Post, and Folks. Her poetry has been published in CatheXis NorthwestThe Esthetic ApostleInto the Void, Black Napkin, and Waxing & Waning.

Her first book of poetry, Changing the Lines, was released in August 2017. This work is a conversation between mother and daughter as they examine what it means to operate within the world as black women

From 2000 to 2003, she served as the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. During that time, she started a poetry festival and ran several poetry readings.

She has a B.A. in English, International Studies and Creative Writing from Saint Louis University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Her latest book, Surviving Home, will be released on November 9, 2021, published by Kelsay Books. It is currently available for pre-sale: https://www.poetickat.com/product-page/surviving-home

Katerina Canyon lives in Seattle, WA. Readers can connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook. To learn more, go to https://www.poetickat.com/  or https://bookpublicityservices.com/surviving-home-katerina-canyon/

 

Floating Underwater by Tracy Shawn

Floating Underwater is a new Women’s Fiction novel by Tracy Shawn. It was released in September 2021, published by Turbulent Muse Publishing. Recommended for readers who enjoy works from authors such as Brunonia Barry, Alice Hoffman, and Sue Monk Kidd.

Synopsis:

Part psychological fiction and part mystical fiction with a dash of magical realism, Floating Underwater follows a woman’s astonishing journey through the extraordinary and, ultimately, to her own self-actualization and power.

Fearful that her lifelong premonitions not only predict the future but can also change its very course, Paloma Leary is devastated when her latest vision predicting a third miscarriage comes true.

Falling into a mystifying world of increasingly bizarre phenomena, including a psychic connection with her mysterious neighbor, out-of-body experiences, and visits from her long-dead mother, Paloma grows desperate for answers. She is also desperate to start a family. But when a life-changing vision reveals a tragic secret from the past, Paloma learns to accept her gifts and embraces a far different future than she ever could have imagined.

A Note from the Author:

Floating Underwater was inspired by my own personal history, past work experience, and sheer imagination. Having suffered through two miscarriages myself, I wanted to write about how a character deals with that particular loss. Motivated from my past work as an intern at a psychiatric center, I also wanted to explore what it’s like for a daughter when her beloved mother has severe schizophrenia. I added in the narrative element of magical realism and otherworldly events because I believe loss and grief can make our day-to-day reality too difficult to bear without the hope that something magical is just beyond this realm. I created these extraordinary experiences for my protagonist, readers, and for myself to help us all feel as if everything in this crazy, upside-down world (and beyond!) will somehow, someday be okay.


Praise:

“The author delivers spot-on dialogue, believable and enchanting characters, and surprising twists. It’s easy to imagine the novel as a talked-about book club selection (in fact, there’s a list of questions at the book’s conclusion).” – STARRED REVIEW, BlueInk Review by Reviewer Patricia Moosbrugger

“One woman’s mystical journey to move forward while confronting a troubled, mysterious past. Beautifully written; an ethereal, eloquent pleasure.”  – Marlene Adelstein, author of USA Today bestseller Sophie Last Seen

“…mysticism, feminism, friendship, and love… The women in this novel represent different forms of strength … The writing is stunning… This book will remind you to listen to the wind when it speaks and to look for what’s floating beneath the surface of the water.” 5 Stars, Reviewed by Jenna Swartz, San Francisco Book Review  


Excerpt:

(from Chapter 1)

Paloma smiled at Reed as she clenched the sides of her chair. They sat at their usual spot—a small table outside their favorite deli. Pedestrians slogged by through an unseasonably humid June. A heat wave had intruded on the small town of Sunflower Beach; even the window-box geraniums were wilting in defeat. Paloma doubted they’d survive the summer.

She directed her attention back to her husband. She had to tell him. But she kept her mouth shut as she caught sight of a small bird flitting by and out of view so quickly it could have been her imagination. She swallowed down the murky taste of dread. Maybe it would be better for Reed not to get his hopes up. But he had a right to know—and besides, she wanted him to know.

He cocked his head, grinning. “What is it?”

“I’ve got some good news.” She reached over and held his hand, knowing he had already guessed.

“We’re pregnant,” he said.

She laughed and nodded in confirmation.

“Honey, that’s great.” He squeezed her hand and smiled as if loss were never an issue. “This time will be different. I just know it.” He got up to hug her. She stood and received his embrace, the glow of his positivity radiating through her body. “I hope so.” She sat back down, wishing she could catch sight of the bird again. She didn’t tell him how two days earlier, as she was mindlessly driving to work, one of her visions had struck. With both hands fixed on the steering wheel, she had managed to pull off the road. She’d tried to will the image away, yet it grew even more vivid. A corpse of a baby sparrow floated down a creek. With its thumb-sized frame and bruised eyelids, it looked like it had plummeted to its death before it even had a chance to breathe. She waded in and scooped it out of the water, but its translucent form had slipped through her cupped hands. She watched, paralyzed, as it tumbled toward the waiting mouth of the ocean—lifeless, distant, gone.

When the vision ended, she had eased her car back onto the street, shutting out the message. But, as before, she could not forget it, even here with Reed. Especially here with Reed. “Of course it’s going to be okay,” he said. “Wait just a minute.”

He went into the deli and walked up to the counter.

Paloma held her stomach as she watched her husband point to a row of Russian tea cakes. He beamed at droopy-eyed Manny behind the counter, who never changed his just-give- me-your-order expression. With Reed’s tall, robust frame constrained inside his Oxford shirt and his brown, grey- flecked curls brushing his collar, her husband’s bouncing-on-his-toes earnestness made her want to cry. Even though his optimism could be annoying, it also saddened her in its naïve vulnerability.

He returned and handed Paloma a crisp white bag with two conjoined butter stains already seeping through. “Just a little treat to enjoy later,” Reed said, “for my wife—and baby.” He flashed his big-toothed grin as though nothing bad would ever happen again.

Paloma opened the bag and inhaled the sugary aroma.

Reed chuckled as he folded his large body back into his chair and leaned in, eagerness lighting up his face. “When’s the due date?”

For some reason, she couldn’t remember. She knew the date marked something else, something that made her nervous. “The doctor says I’m due…” She stopped and took a sip of ice water, trying to shake off the apprehension.

“If we count the months from your last period, wouldn’t it be around April?” Reed drew closer, the lunch-crowd noise closing in around them.

She nodded, her memory jogged. “The baby is due April twenty-first.” As soon as she said it, she remembered: April 21 was her mother’s birthday. Paloma gagged; the smell of a pastrami sandwich the ponytailed guy at the next table was wolfing down eliciting sudden nausea.

“You okay?”

“Yeah,” she said. “Just feeling queasy.” She picked up a napkin and wiped her forehead. “I guess my hormones are kicking in.”

Reed’s eyebrows shot up. “They are? That’s a good thing. You never felt any morning sickness before.” He beamed at her, his conviction reeling her in.

“You’re right.” Maybe her vision of the dead sparrow was about something else—or maybe it meant nothing at all.

“Sure I am,” Reed said with utter finality.

Manny’s impatient voice burst through an open window as he called out their number and rang the counter’s bell five times in a row—then, impatiently, five more times. Reed stood up and raced back into the deli. But as he brought back his tuna on rye and her turkey sandwich, he gripped the bright orange tray like a little kid who was afraid everything might crash to the ground at the slightest misstep.

Paloma held her sweaty glass to her forehead. “Thank you.” She ignored the foreboding that sank into her gut.

Reed bit into his sandwich and chewed with gusto. Paloma watched him, envious of—but also heartened by—his ability to believe in the future. She reminded herself that happiness was not going to turn into tragedy the second she allowed herself to trust it. Noticing a dab of tuna on Reed’s chin, she smiled as she reached over to wipe it off.

“Don’t worry.” Reed winked. “Our kid can’t ever be as sloppy as I am.”

“I wouldn’t bet on that. Your messy gene runs pretty deep.”

She had missed their silly bantering. They hadn’t been this playful with each other since the last pregnancy, but his jokes and her bursts of laughter had dissipated over time. She wagered, though, that most couples eventually lose sight of what first brought them together.

Reed patted her hand. “It is going to work out this time, Paloma…”

Paloma smiled, then took a bite of her sandwich. Maybe Reed was right; everything would be okay—the future did not have to be defined by the past.

And then, out of the corner of her eye, Paloma saw her. Bone-thin Serena raced across the street and planted herself next to the bumper of a parked car. In her ragged skirt and barely there T-shirt, Serena could be mistaken for one of Sunflower Beach’s many homeless people, who tucked themselves into alleys, behind bushes dotting the hillsides, and around trash-strewn paths by the railroad tracks. Yet the bedraggled Serena lived with her family, who tried their best to care for her in their own, private way. Serena stared at Paloma with her mismatched eyes, one blue and the other an unnatural shade of milky green. Slowly, Serena shook her head as her gaze misted over with what looked to be pity. Even though she had followed Paloma around ever since she’d moved into town, when she was in sixth grade and Paloma in fifth, Paloma’s heart raced now, and the nausea returned.

Reed leaned away and averted his face from Serena’s scrutiny. “She’s been showing up even more, you know.”

“I know,” Paloma whispered. “I think she’s trying to tell me something.” Paloma shoved her plate away. Eating would be impossible now.

“She’s not trying to tell you anything.” Reed sighed. “She’s just more unhinged than usual.”

Paloma dared to look again. Serena pinned her down with those unnerving eyes, and then her mouth suddenly twisted into a grimace. Not knowing what else to do, Paloma waved. Serena turned abruptly. Passersby shook their heads and stared as she skipped barefoot down the street. Paloma watched the last coiled ends of Serena’s long, tangled hair as it floated out of view.


About the Author:

Tracy Shawn lives and writes on the Central Coast of California with her husband, two mischievous cats, and loyal pit bull. Her debut novel, The Grace of Crows, won several indie book awards. Floating Underwater is her second novel. Tracy Shawn’s short stories have appeared in Literary Brushstrokes, Psychology Tomorrow Magazine, and Steel House Review Literary Journal. She’s written numerous articles for print and online publications and is currently working on her third novel.

Readers can connect with Tracy on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://www.tracyshawn.com/

To request a review copy or an interview with Tracy Shawn, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

 

The Special Relationship: A Modern American Woman’s Guide to Finding Love with a British Man

Frederica Hendricks Noble is an American woman who moved to England, fell in love, and married a British man. She just released her book The Special Relationship.

In The Special Relationship, Federica shares her tips and tricks to help American women succeed in living (& dating) in England. From food and beverages, to sports, religion, politics, holidays, daily living and geography, Frederica has it covered. She provides readers with a practical, easy-to-read, and sometimes humorous guidebook to help modern women better understand British men and English culture.

 

Frederica Hendricks Noble is a trained psychologist and life coach, she is the Principal Consultant and Lead Life Strategist at Noble & Noble Consulting. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she met her Englishman while living in Los Angeles. A thoroughly modern woman, Frederica subsequently moved to England to live and work. She has dual citizenship and considers both Nashville, Tennessee and Somerset, England home. To learn more, go to https://www.fredericanoble.com

Robert J. Davis, PhD Announces the Release of His New Book ‘Supersized Lies: How Myths About Weight Loss Are Keeping Us Fat – and the Truth About What Really Works’

Robert J. Davis, PhD (a.k.a. The Healthy Skeptic) announced the release of his new book Supersized Lies: How Myths About Weight Loss Are Keeping Us Fat – and the Truth About What Really Works.

“Robert Davis always tells it like it is. This book reveals surprising truths that even the savviest dieters may be shocked to learn — but also lays out practical and thoroughly researched steps to finding your own success. Truly a fantastic resource!” – Lisa Lillien, a.k.a. “Hungry Girl,” New York Times bestselling author


The world would have you believe that losing weight is easy, but the truth is, in many cases, you’re being fed a generous helping of falsehoods and misguided dieting advice.

The media, celebrities, weight-loss gurus, and the Internet bombard society with recommendations about how to shed unwanted pounds: Count calories, cut carbs, exercise more, skip meals, drink more water, pop a pill. Yet as more people try diligently to follow this advice, waistlines continue to expand.

In Supersized Lies, Robert J. Davis, PhD shows you why this inability to lose weight isn’t your fault as he reveals how hype, half-truths, and unproven solutions have steered you into fruitless quests that inflict emotional and physical harm.

In this health and wellness book, the award-winning health journalist, whose work has appeared on TIME, CNN, WebMD, and in The Wall Street Journal, reveals:

  • Which weight-loss measures are most – and least – likely to be effective.
  • How conventional wisdom about weight loss is often wrong.
  • How to spot misleading weight-loss advice, and avoid being duped into wasting time, money, and effort.
  • How, contrary to what we often hear, effective weight control doesn’t require following complicated, restrictive rules.
  • The interesting history behind flawed weight-loss advice, and the forces that currently perpetuate and benefit from it.

In addition to uncovering how and why we’re being led astray, Supersized Lies lays out weight-control strategies that research shows actually work, and it tells the inspiring stories of people who, after falling victim to the falsehoods of conventional guidance, have achieved success by forging their own paths.

Written in a lively, easy-to-understand style, this myth-shattering book sheds surprising new light on old assumptions and offers an inspiring way forward to those caught in the cacophony of weight-loss advice.


Praise:

“Robert Davis does a masterful job imparting his expert insights about the many distortions that stand between you and a healthy weight.” -David L. Katz, MD, MPH, Founder, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center & co-author, “How to Eat”

“Robert Davis always tells it like it is. This book reveals surprising truths that even the savviest dieters may be shocked to learn — but also lays out practical and thoroughly researched steps to finding your own success. Truly a fantastic resource!” – Lisa Lillien, a.k.a. “Hungry Girl,” New York Times bestselling author

A “science-backed breath of fresh air.” The US Review of Books

“Inherently intriguing, even for those lucky people not looking to lose weight.” Kirkus


Excerpt:

(from Chapter 1)

Husky. Full-seated. Spare tire. They’re words I vividly remember clothing store clerks and family friends using to describe my physique when I was a child. Though intended to be polite, the observations still stung because even at age 8, I knew exactly what they meant: I was fat.

In an effort to help me slim down, my mother instructed me to forgo bread. The advice reflected what she’d learned growing up, that starchy foods are the main culprit when it comes to weight. I complied with her directive (at least in her presence) even at my favorite restaurant and reluctantly removed the buns from my McDonald’s hamburgers.

When I got to college in the 1980s and became interested in nutrition, I laughed as I recalled Mom’s weight-loss prescription. According to what I was now learning, she’d had it backwards. The main cause of weight gain was fat, not starches. So she should have told me to skip the burger, not the bun.

Had I been an overweight child today, my mother—who keeps up with the latest nutrition thinking—might well have fingered a different culprit and put the kibosh instead on the sugary soda that I typically ordered with my hamburgers.

Luckily for me, I became thinner as I grew. But our society has not outgrown our insatiable desire to find a dietary villain that we can blame for our expanding waistlines. We lurch from one to another, from fat to carbs to gluten to soda. Or, depending on which diet you follow, the enemy might be animal products, legumes, cooked foods, acidic foods, or foods that our ancestors didn’t eat.

It’s human nature to gravitate toward good-versus-evil explanations for complex problems. We see the same phenomenon in other areas of life, including politics. While having a clearly defined enemy may satisfy our primal need for a simple narrative to make sense of things, it can do harm if it distracts us from what really matters.

That’s what’s happened in our battle with weight. We’ve been led down one dead end after another chasing elusive bad guys that keep changing. A variety of forces have cheered us on in this chase, including diet peddlers, the news media, and food manufacturers that are more than delighted to sell us all the fat-free, carb-free, or other enemy-free foods we can eat.

Nutrition researchers, obesity experts, and government agencies also bear responsibility for leading us astray by overstating the certainty of the science when it comes to culprits. What research does show is that weight-loss diets that demonize whole categories of foods may work in the short term, but in the long run, they’re rarely sustainable. And they can make matters worse.


Book Specifications:

Title: Supersized Lies: How Myths About Weight Loss Are Keeping Us Fat – and the Truth About What Really Works

Genre: Health

Available Formats: Hardcover / Paperback / eBook / Audiobook

ISBN: 978-1-7369677-0-6

Size of Print Edition: 6×9 trade

Publication Date: 9/21/21

Pages: 220

Publisher: MediVista Media LLC; Everwell Books

Distribution: IngramSpark


About the Author:

Robert J. Davis is an award-winning health journalist, whose work has appeared on TIME (Why Counting Calories Isn’t an Effective Weight-Loss Strategy), CNN, WebMD, The Washington Post
(Breakfast really doesn’t have much to do with controlling your weight), and in The Wall Street Journal. The author of three previous books on health, he hosts the “Healthy Skeptic” video series, which dissects the science behind popular health claims. Davis holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree in public health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and a PhD in health policy from Brandeis University, where he was Pew Foundation Fellow.

Readers can connect with Robert J. Davis on:

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/healthyskept/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4725364.Robert_J_Davis

To learn more, go to www.healthyskeptic.com

Other Books by Robert J. Davis, Phd:

For more information, to request a review copy or an interview with Robert J. Davis, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

Ms. Flygirl’s Fantastic Five Days by Miho Madarame

Ms. Flygirl’s Fantastic Five Days is a new children’s book by Miho Madarame.

This collection of short fantasies for kids (ages 6-8) chronicles the adventures of Ms. Flygirl. Independent and creative Ms. Flygirl, who lives in a yellow helicopter named Sky Daisy, is ready to bravely embark upon new escapades. She bakes pastries with letters inside, takes part in a chorus contest with creatures in the forest, helps a kitty to look for his twin brother, and plants a remarkable flower garden. Readers will enjoy her happy, warm personality and getting to know a variety other interesting characters in these witty short stories.


About the Author:

Miho Madarame was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan.

She graduated from Tokyo University of Education (now Tsukuba University) and then studied in graduate school in Humanities at The University of Chicago. She holds a BA in English literature, MA in Humanities, and ABD in History of Culture.

In 1984 she won a literary competition of children’s literature, and her first book Princess Flies in the Sky was published by Poplar Publishing, one of the biggest publishers for children’s books in Japan. Subsequently, she wrote 30 more books. She also translated many children’s books from English into Japanese, including Peter Pan and the Thomas the Tank Engine series.

After she moved to the United States, she studied drawing at the Glassel Art School in Houston, TX.

She currently divides time between Scottsdale, Arizona and San Diego, California.

 

‘Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob’ by Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author Paul Haddad

Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author Paul Haddad (10,000 Steps a Day in L.A.;High-Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania) has released his new book Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob (published by Black Rose Writing on July 8, 2021). 

Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob is a hard-boiled noir crime fiction set in Los Angeles. As a native Angeleno himself, Haddad has leveraged his deep knowledge of the city to inform the book’s historical fiction, with many scenes based on real-life locations and events. 

Recommended for readers who enjoy family sagas and crime fiction – fans of Elmore Leonard, L.A. Confidential, The Godfather, and The Sopranos. Paradise Palms is driven by a gangster underworld and a family with dark secrets emanating from a Jewish family patriarch. Though it takes place in the ‘50s, its themes resonate today. Systemic racism and LGBTQ stigmas form important subplots. It would appeal to readers who appreciate more depth and humanity in their characters.

Kirkus Reviews says “the writing is vividly descriptive, snarky, and funny, but it doesn’t shy away from engaging with serious issues, such as homophobia, racism, and police corruption” while the U.S. Review of Books calls it “an intricate tale that rings with authenticity.”

Synopsis: 

It is October 1957. A time of Eisenhower conformity, police and mob strongholds, and Red Scare paranoia. A relic of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the aging Paradise Palms Hotel is on the brink of change. David Shapiro – eldest son of recently widowed Max Shapiro – has assumed a leadership role. But the more he digs into the hotel’s business, the more he questions who his father is. It’s not just the tenuous ties to gangster Mickey Cohen, who is trying to commandeer ‘The Palms,” but also the sudden appearance of a mysterious African American guest named Rae Lynn, who improbably rises in stature. As long-buried secrets come to light, David’s battle to keep the family intact takes a tragic turn. His actions mirror an America lurching from the surface simplicity of the ’50s to the turmoil of the 1960s in this riveting neo-noir family saga.

Book Trailer: Available on YouTube

NOTE: This book contains a criminal character who, on very rare occasions, utters ethnic and racial epithets in a manner consistent with social mores of the time (America in the 1950s). Please be advised the book is not for children or those who may take issue with reading offensive language.


Praise:

“A neo-noir flash bang with heart and dark humor… the Cohen Brothers meet James Ellroy.” — Donald H. Hewitt, Screenwriter, Oscar-winning Spirited Away

“Paradise Palms is a hopeless hotel located at the bitter end of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  The story hums, the historic setting shines, and the colorful cast of characters keeps the pages turning.”— S.W. Lauden, Author of the Greg Salem PI series

“A finely-detailed story that recalls the period aesthetics of Mad Men and mixes it up with a noirish vibe… The read goes down smooth as champagne and leaves the reader wanting more.”— Slamdance Film Festival, Writers’ judges

“The setting is ‘50s L.A., but it plays contemporary. Racial prejudice, LGBTQ stigmas, and law/order corruption are among the themes effortlessly woven into this coil-tight yarn.”— Jake Gerhardt, Author, My Future Ex-Girlfriend

“A very strong historical period drama, revealing just enough compelling information without deflating the suspense with too much too soon… A lot of intriguing characters, placed in a clear moment of Hollywood and U.S. history.”— Austin Film Festival, Writers’ judges


EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 7:

The Shapiro family’s declining Paradise Palms Hotel is a microcosm of late-1950s Hollywood, renting out to hangers-on and misfits amidst a sea of vacant rooms.  And things just haven’t been the same since the death of MARTA SHAPIRO, who ran the hotel’s small dinette, The Easy.

But The Easy gets an unexpected shot in the arm with the arrival of a mysterious 18-year-old African American guest named RAE LYNN.  Longtime tenant DIRK HAVENHURST is the first to notice, putting LEO, one of Marta’s adult sons, in an awkward position.

The dining room is sparsely filled with the usual cast of characters. Dirk peruses the Daily Variety between sips of a Bloody Mary while Elron regales a doe-eyed betty with his Hollywood misadventures as a “can’t miss” actor. Leo pores over receipts on the bar counter, nursing a glass of milk. Squinting over his specs, he asks Art, “How was the birthday party?”
Franny returns with a large salad for Dirk, a scotch for Art. “Everything was peachy till I got to the balloon animals,” Art asserts, taking a satisfying sip. “The mom accused me of making a penis and kicked me out!”
“What were you trying to make?” Leo asks. “A dachshund?”
“A penis.”
The room breaks out in dirty laughter – all except Dirk. Chewing on his first bite of salad, he works the lettuce around his mouth and furrows his brow as if discovering a hair ball. He drops his fork with dramatic flourish.
“What the hell’s eating him?” Art says, drawn by the fork’s clank.
Dirk peers down at his plate, slack-jawed. All heads are now turned in his direction.
Leo drops his pencil. “Dirk?”
Dirk slides out of his booth and decamps for the kitchen.
“Shit,” Leo says, taking off after him, Franny on his tail.
Dirk swings through the doors and ambushes the food prep station, where Francisco is chopping onions. Seeing the excitable Dirk come toward him, he steps away from his stall, butcher’s knife between them. Leo and Franny linger at the doorway, ready to pounce if need be.
Dirk lifts his walking staff and shakes it at Francisco. “What did you do to the Shrimp Louie?!”
“W-what do you mean?”
“It hasn’t tasted this good since Marta died. She was the only one who did it right. You always use too much mayo and not enough lemon zest.”
Francisco lowers the knife, visibly relieved. “Heh. Must’ve just gotten lucky.”
Dirk’s not buying it. He thrusts his stick at Rae, who watches the stand-off from her post at the sink. An epiphany dawns on Dirk’s face.
“It was… yoooouuu,” he says slowly to the part-time dishwasher. He turns to Leo. “She did it. She brought it back to the way it was.”
Rae returns to her dishes. For a long moment, no one says or does anything. Finally, Francisco places his knife on the counter and walks over to Rae. He gently spins her around to face the others – a united front.
Leo looks confused. “Rae? Are you… cooking?”
Francisco slings an avuncular arm over her shoulder. Rae gazes at the floor, toying with her apron strings, embarrassed by all the fuss.
“I needed help,” Francisco maintains. “We never replaced your mother, y’know. I kept telling you” – he looks at Franny – “me and Franny, we can’t do everything. I was overwhelmed!”
Leo, ignoring his cook’s protestations, says to Rae, “You’re not even earning anything close to cook’s wages…”
“It’s okay.” She looks at Francisco. “I wanted to prove myself first.”
“Last few weeks, I’ve had more customers than usual complimenting my dishes,” Francisco attests. “But it’s been all her.”
“Not so sure I’d want to admit to something like that…” quips Dirk to no one in particular.
“You should try her desserts,” Francisco raves. “Word is out among the guests. We can barely keep up with the to-go orders.”
Leo scans the kitchen’s takeout counter. His eyes feast on an array of culinary treats that have heretofore never passed through these kitchen doors – blueberry muffins, peanut-butter cookies, lemon squares and sweet potato pie.
“Where’d you learn to make all this?” asks Leo.
“Val Verde Residential,” Rae says.
“What is that, like, a group home?”
“Yes, sir. I learned to cook for sixty-five kids. Ran the whole kitchen by the time I left.”
“Why’d you leave?”
Rae shrugs. “Turned eighteen. I had no choice.”
Leo bobs his head, lost in thought. “If we hire you as a full-time cook, you’d practically be living in the kitchen. But understand” – he winces in embarrassment – “living at the hotel… that would be problematic.”
Francisco gives Rae a squeeze. “She’s not looking to move in. She’s got a place at Nickerson Gardens.”
Rae offers Leo a tight-lipped smile. Leo forces one back, still trying to process it all. Once again, Dirk breaks the silence.
“Well, hell… someone hire this young lady, because if you don’t, I’ll make her my personal chef.”


About the Author:

Paul Haddad is a Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author and multiple-Emmy nominated television writer/producer. Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob, his third novel, was inspired by dark family secrets that coincided with his obsession with old Hollywood. Also the author of several nonfiction books about L.A., he can found at www.paulhaddadbooks.com and on Instagram and Twitter: @la_dorkout

To request a copy of Paradise Palms to review or an interview with Paul Haddad, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.