Please Retweet!


Hello to all my readers. This is going to sound like a plea, because it is! I am entering the agent pitch contest on Twitter that is called #SFFpit, and I need your help. I am attempting to find an agent for my YA, Cli-fi novel The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge. For those of you who have Twitter, please retweet–but DO NOT LIKE because that is for agent responses– my pinned tweet, which is my pitch.

thank you signage

(Photo by on

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón


Here is a wonderful post from Vanessa on the extraordinary book — The Labyrinth Of The Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. If you have not visited her site, do yourself a favor and take a look there!

Food In Books

I can’t say enough about Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s writing. It’s absolutely beautiful, lyrical, lush without being overly purple, and whether describing the sensory overload of a roomful of books, the scent of tobacco, the deeply scarlet hue of a woman’s lipstick, or the existential dread and horror of torture and death, the man writes like a magician. I’ve read each of the books in the series over 10 times apiece, and I continue to find small, overlooked details in each one the more I read. The Labyrinth of the Spirits, the fourth and final book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, draws together the threads splayed out in the previous three books, brings a kind of justice to the Sempere family, and introduces the reader to a very unusual heroine, Alicia Gris.


The basic premise of this book is the story of Alicia, born in Barcelona, how she…

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The Joy Of Reading




I have spent the majority of my time on this blog writing about writing, so I thought I would address the most fundamental and most important part of this experience with books: reading.

I have been reading my entire life; in fact, I cannot remember a time when I did not read. And reading has informed my life in many ways, not only in terms of career but also in the joys of life itself.

I read books, I teach them, and I write about them, but mostly, I enjoy them. I remember my mother telling me when I was very little that you can go many places that you might not ever have a chance to visit, real and made up, if you read. And I have visited and continue to journey to real and fantastic lands.



I am not a reading snob. While I teach college English Literature, I read in a very wide range, from adventure and horror to drama and so-called high literature, although I am not so certain that this distinction is accurate. Both Shakespeare and Dickens were considered popular writers in their time. Hemingway straddled the mythical fence of literature and genre writing. Today, I happily read authors in a multitude of genres, including Stephen King and John Connolly, among many others. So, I read whatever I choose, in any area. And I get great pleasure from the reading.

I am currently reading, as I often do, several books: Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres; Death In A Strange Country by Donna Leon; and Pale Hecate’s Team by K. M. Briggs.

I hope that all people can experience this pleasure of reading. I realize not everyone will, but I can keep hoping they do.



Happy Reading!

And a quick question: what is a book you are currently reading?



Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.


Please follow the following links to find my novel:


Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:




Available on Amazon


Available on Amazon


A Walk Down Memory Lane – Photos Tell the Stories


Here is a wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!

A Teacher's Reflections

I have been plugging away at deleting photos from my media library, because I am close to using up my available space.  I know, it’s only a photo, but as I scroll through the photos, every one has been a walk down memory lane.  They have stories to tell.  No wonder this is taking me forever.  Every delete feels like I am giving away my first born child.

Here are a few photos at random that pulled at my heart today.  No, these will not be deleted:

Children took it upon themselves to pull over all the chairs and read books.  I was stunned, thrilled, humbled, and very proud.

I met author Mo Willems!!!

Jared reading to Gloria.  Just look at their faces!

Colin made  Milly the Quilter a hat for her birthday.

Presenting the quilt the children designed, and Milly made, to the Governor at the Massachusetts State House…

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Here are a group of telling quotations on tyranny and liberty posted by the excellent author, Karen DeMers Dowdall!

Pen & Paper

~This is a telling time, a time to consider consequences as there are worse things to come; if those that are keen with pen and paper fail to support right from wrong. ~ Karen Dowdall

“In every age it has been the tyrant…wrapped in the cloak of patriotism or religion to deceive and overawe the People”

~Eugene V. Debs

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ~Thomas Jefferson

The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.  ~Clarence Darrow

Ignorance has always been the weapon of tyrants; enlightenment the salvation of the free. ~Bill Richardson

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.  ~Albert Camus

It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in…

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Thank You To Readers!

brown book page

(Photo by Wendy van Zyl on

I have written many posts in this blog about writers, and I hope I have always been positive and encouraging.  In this world of books, another important and equal group of people exists, and that group is readers!


full length of man sitting on floor

Photo by Pixabay on

Readers, of all ages, engage with books, with their stories, and in a communication with the author’s words, create worlds in their imaginations. It is truly a kind of transformative magic!


photo of man and child reading book during daytime

(Photo by Andy Kuzma on

So, I want to offer an enormous thank you to the readers of the world. You are the audience for writers’ efforts, and without you, writers are nothing.


thank you signage

(Photo by on

Readers, please take a bow, and continue doing what you do — reading!




Those Who Came Before~


Here are fascinating photographs from Cindy Knoke!

Cindy Knoke

Leave messages,

that are fascinating,

to try,

and interpret.

Ghostly chalk,

on the walls of time.

Left by people,

speaking to us,

telling their tales,

from 4,000 years ago.

Cheers to you from the ancient messengers~

Note: Petroglyphs are carved into rock and pictographs are painted onto rocks using dyes or resins. These petroglyphs and pictographs near Moab Utah are all around. You come upon them as you hike. They are 1500 to 4,000 years old and depict people hunting, both male and female, who appear to be wearing feathers and have weapons. There are antelopes, deer, bears, snakes, birds and other animals, as well as rivers, lakes, the sun and much more. Look and see what you can find, after all, art is open to your interpretation.

Check out:

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2020




Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I would like to offer a few of this extraordinary American’s quotations as a tribute to him. He was one of the finest, most decent, and empathetic people in the history of the United States of America. We should all remember him and honor his teaching, his legacy, and his call for justice for everyone.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”


“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”


“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Happy Birthday To Edgar Allan Poe (one day late!)




Happy birthday to Edgar Allan Poe, one of America’s greatest writers! (I am a day later, so I offer apologies.) Not only is Mr. Poe one of the most important writers of Gothic literature, in which he explored the darkness in the human soul, but also he is considered to be the father of the modern detective story. In his detective M. Dupin, Poe laid the groundwork, in terms of observation and deduction, for the great Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Among his best short stories are “The Fall of the House Of Usher”, “The Masque of The Red Death”, “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Purloined Letter.”

Equally as important as his fiction is his extraordinary poetry. My two favorites are “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven.” When reading these, please try doing it out loud. Hearing the words gives life to the rhythm of the poems.



I first encountered Poe as a student in 8th grade. For some reason, many consider his works to be juvenile writing, but that is a complete misreading of his deeply complex work. I have studied his writing in graduate school, and I also teach his work in a variety of college courses, both at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

If you have never read his work, do yourself a favor, and read from one of the masters of writing.

Again, here’s to you Mr. Poe!




Quotations On Justice




“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

                                                                   Robert F. Kennedy



“No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.”

                                                                Theodore Roosevelt




“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

                                                                Martin Luther King, Jr.



“In a democracy, justice must apply to the most powerful as well as the weakest among us. If it does not, then the experiment in democracy that is the United States of America will fail.”

                                                                Charles F. French