books, New Release

Spotlight: Live Your Dreams by Neeti Nigam Keswani

AuthorBestsellingbookofalltimesNeeti

Author Neeti Nigam Keswani.
https://www.amazon.com/Neeti-Nigam-Keswani/e/B00UXB

“It feels good to be supported. But first we have to learn to support our feelings and values. So today I decided I am going to take this step.” -From Live Your Dreams

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IF YOU LOVE THE CREATIVE FLOW:

If you would have experienced that creative flow when inspiration strikes and you cannot keep yourself from flowing with your thoughts. When you are in that flow, time loses its relevance. It is just you and your creation. Feel all that and more as you find yourself lost in Rhea’s creative world where she takes you by hand and makes you see her exquisite pieces.

IF YOU LOVE READING BOOKS ON TRAVELOGUES:

Rhea loves traveling and the way she sees London, Zurich, Himalayas, Maldives and many more places… will make you want to follow in her footsteps. Her experiences are powerful, vivid, and moving. See the magnificent Himalayas through her eyes, watch the streets of London become her fashion haven and find the jewels of the Maldives as she visits all these destinations.

IF YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF-WORTH:

If you love self-help tools, you have found just the book. BE YOU is the message on the book cover. Live Your Dreams:: BE YOU. Often in the walks of life, we dawn various roles a daughter, spouse, parent, or as highly-proficient skilled job owner, but we forget to dawn that one hat we are all born with. ‘BE YOU’. Find yourself, as Rhea discovers herself and her inherent talents somewhere in the flow of life.

USA: http://amzn.to/2osPaok
UK : http://amzn.to/2sPaSIC
Italy: http://amzn.to/2Fw0k44
Australia: http://amzn.to/2sWS3DJ
India: http://amzn.to/2GELLKG 

“Identity and striving for a goal are both important. But never at your own cost. Never let the little voice in you fade away. Listen to it often and take it’s advice.” -From Live Your Dreams

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“Sometimes, we just tend to take our families for granted forgetting that these little moments spent with them will be the ones we cherish for life.”

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Are you settling for a Pay Check, when what you really want is a life?
Is the price of freedom – a lack of true achievement and life of busy work?
What if life presents you a chance, a chance to follow your dreams?
Do you BELIEVE in your dreams?
These are the questions Rhea is asking herself as she is swishing through the lanes of life. Most people dream of having a story that Bollywood movies are made up of. How about actually living one? Opposites attract and repel in this tale of love, inspiration, and dreams. The beautiful, adventurous Rhea and the ambitious, intellectual Sahil are drawn to each other but require some pivotal times and a whirlwind of emotions to understand each other and their dreams. It takes you through a journey, a journey within and answers those questions which only you know subconsciously.
These lines will talk to your heart. And this book will take you through a journey…make you re-think and re-write your story.

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“As they say, it is easy to fight but very hard to make anyone understand your point of view. Go with the flow. Do not fight the current. Because if you try to fight the current, chances are you might exhaust yourself and drown. So, my simple advice is, go with the flow. And believe you are well protected.” -From Live Your Dreams

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Enjoy the life as it goes. Enjoy the stopover that may come in future. Stop being unhappy about where you are and where you want to be. It is the interim time that the journey is all about… make it fun ,make it exciting. Your adventures, your paths are what will make your destination worthwhile. Never ever forget to Live your dreams.

http://www.liveyourdreams-beyou.com

“Set your priorities right and then live from values set out. And don’t do something because he wants or she wants or what will they think. Do what you want.” -From Live Your Dreams.

 

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authors, books, poems, poetry

Spotlight & Review: The Long Body That Connects Us All by Rich Marcello

Synopsis

Provocative and profound, Rich Marcello’s poems are compact but expansive, filled with music as seductive as their ideas, and focused mostly on how to be a good man. This is a collection of deep passion and wisdom for fathers, husbands, and sons, but also for mothers, wives, and daughters, many who began with a longing for the things they were taught to desire by their forefathers, only to later discover a different path, one lit by loss and welcoming of the vulnerable, one made of the long body that connects us all.

Buy Links

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-long-body-that-connects-us-all-rich-marcello/1127357860?ean=9781545611944

Porchwork
You come home from work
with metal pieces in need of straightening,
the result of an earlier errant production run.
For ten dollars, I spend my Saturday
on the front porch running thousands
of bent rods, of scrapworks,
through a straightening machine

On occasion, I gaze outward
into the woods, aware
that my increasing sense
of accomplishment
mirrors the rise of the sun.
Finally, when it’s dusk,
you come to the porch
to see me, your nine-year-old son,
to offer payment, but it’s the warmth
on your face that stirs me the most
I know you’re proud of me
for sticking with the cogs
and crooked metal.
I know you love me.
I know I’ve somehow taken
a step toward you

Today, building a Lego set on the floor
with my son, I realize I’ve been trying
to duplicate that moment on the porch
over thirty years now, my entire work life

RMarcelloTheLongBody_Cov1_1.jpg

MY REVIEW

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Long Body That Connects Us All is a wonderful collection of poetry. Each poem is exceptionally well crafted, original, and personal- everything a great collection should entail. So, why only 4 stars? 

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, poetry is personal. It’s meant to be. That being said, not all poetry will touch everyone the same. The majority of the poems in this collection didn’t speak to me the way I’m sure it will speak to others, but I appreciate a well-written poem. I appreciate a poet who knows what they’re doing and isn’t afraid to put themselves and their experiences on the line. 

The poetry within this collection is full of vivid imagery. The Walking, In the rough patch, Stillness, and Blue Gears were some of the poems that stood out to me, but my favorite, without question, was Daughters and Sons.

I struggled with the rating. If my rating was based solely on the quality of the work, it would be an easy 5 stars. The placement of the poetry, the three different parts and the flow within each was incredible. However, a review isn’t just about the skill an author has; it’s also a reader’s opinion.

I would recommend this collection to poetry fans, for sure. Even if they don’t feel a connection to the poems, they will be better for having read The Long Body That Connects Us All.

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An Interview With the Poet

Rich Marcello is an author who creates both fiction and poetry. He’s been with us before to discuss his works of fiction ( https://sandraely770.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/445/ ). Now, he’s back discussing poetry.

You’ve been with us before to discuss your works of fiction. How would you say writing fiction differs from writing poetry?

I think they complement each other.  With a novel, I start with the story and go down to the chapters, the scenes, and the individual sentences.  When I reach the sentence level, I often think about certain sentences in a poetic sense, trying to make them as vivid and lyrical as possible. In a similar way, when I write a poem, I often start with a fragment or a phrase or even a single word, but when I’m done I make sure I’ve told a story.

Is the publishing process different? How so?

It was very much the same since the publisher of my novels, Langdon Street Press, also published this collection.  Clearly, the editors assigned were different, but otherwise it was a similar process.

Do you have a different writing process for poetry than you do for fiction?

Yes.  I tend to write poems when they come to me, and then hone them over time.  I also tend to work on them for shorter periods of time, maybe an hour at time, until they’re complete. Typically, I get an idea for a poem or a single image, and then I develop it from there.  If I started with the idea, I spend my time making the poem more physical and concrete.  If I start with an image, I spend my time working on the poem’s thematic payoff.

It takes quite a few poems to make a complete collection. How do you decide which poems to include, which to scrap?

I wrote over two hundred poems over two years for this collection and then honed it down to the 60 poems I liked best. I didn’t really use a process to decide on what poems to use. It was mostly what felt right given the theme of the book.

What is your favorite poem from this collection?

I love many of the poems, but if I had to name three,  I would say, “Passing,” “The Blue Line,” and “Belong to No One

What’s your favorite thing about poetry in general?

The ability the express a great deal of emotion on a single page.

What would you say to a fiction reader in order to get them to try to read poetry- more specifically your poetry?

My novels deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. My goal is to fill my novels with rich characters and ideas, to continually improve my craft as a storyteller, and to tell my stories with the eye and the ear of a poet. For me, writing and art-making are about connection and making a difference to a least one other person in the world. So, if a reader liked the style and theme of one of my novels, I think she would find the same elements in my poetry, only more emotional and focused.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing poetry all my life. I also have written over sixty songs and my publisher, Langdon Street Press, has published three of my novels: The Color of HomeThe Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall. I am currently working on my fourth novel, The Latecomers.

What would you like readers to take away from this collection?

I wanted to publish a collection about what it means to be a good man in the modern world. There are many great poets out there, but few these days are writing on this topic. With all the divisiveness in the world these days, much propagated by violent men, I wanted to show some of my own experiences about being open and vulnerable with the hope that some of my specific experiences would generalize.

If you could go back in time, what one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Take bigger artistic risks in your twenties and really go for it.

If you’d like to find out more about Rich Marcello visit his website: http://www.richmarcello.com

authors, books, interviews, young adult fiction

In the Words of An Author: An Interview With A J King

AJ

A J King, young adult author.
http://www.thepowervestedinme.com

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Stephen King and David Baldacci

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

It varies from book to book. In The Power Vested in Me trilogy the main characters are the five teenagers collectively known as the Stardust. I can’t pick a favourite from these because as my own kids tell me you can’t have a favourite with your kids. In fact, when I write I feel guilty if I have given one more page time than the others.

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

In the last book saying goodbye to some of the characters was hard and I found writing these scenes emotionally difficult, probably because I had grown attached to them- however killing some of them off was scarily easy.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Without doubt it is when people give you positive feedback on the books, and speak to you sometimes quite passionately about scenes and characters they have enjoyed and loved. So much work goes into writing the books that knowing they are appreciated lightens your heart and your step.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

On a disciplined day- I wake up mega early in the morning, convince myself I’m not going to go back to sleep, get up, put on my Rocky Balboa dressing gown, drink lots of coffee, listen to music on youtube and write. On an undisciplined day, I do all of the above minus the writing.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Always, from an early age at school my absolute favourite thing was when the teacher would tell the class ‘you need to write a story about….’ I just love stories- hearing them, reading them and of course writing them.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

It would definitely be Billie Jean King- she has been my idol since as far back as I can remember, my first book is dedicated to her and I have a tattoo of her on my left shoulder. To meet her and speak to her would be an absolute dream come true for me- although I would possibly just open and close my mouth like a goldfish and find no words come out.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

Then, as random as a dream, through the dimmed light, a figure appeared in the centre of the room. It was a man. His shirt, tie, trousers, shoes and ankle-length overcoat were all black. His body was almost camouflaged in the darkness, but his spiky white hair and vivid blue eyes made his expressionless face stand out like a beacon in the night. For a moment he stood there, moving only his head, glancing around the room at the sleeping babies. Then he placed the palms of his hands together in front of his chest, with his fingers pointing to the ceiling. He closed his eyes and took a deep, concentrated breath through his nose. As he exhaled, he stretched his arms out to either side of his body. On the palms of each hand were stars. They glowed blue at first, and then white – as white as the stranger’s hair. Suddenly beams of light erupted from these stars, and fell like rays of summer sunshine upon some of the sleeping babies. The babies stirred slightly as the beams of light hit them, but they didn’t cry. In fact, none of them made a sound. They just slept peacefully while the light fell upon them, like fairy dust sprinkled by Tinkerbell herself. The man remained there for no more than half a minute with his palms pointed outwards, keeping the light directed at the babies. His eyes remained closed, but his aim did not falter. Eventually the rays faded. It was as if they have been sucked back into the stars on the palms of his hands. The man opened his eyes, put his arms to his side and then, as silently and as suddenly as he had arrived, he disappeared, his visit gone completely unnoticed. His work was done. The gift was given. The die was cast.

books, New Release, thriller

New Release! A Killer’s Reflection by Cheryl Denise Bannerman

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Synopsis

In the erotic thriller, A Killer’s Reflection, Bannerman’s third work of fiction, she entices the reader with a perfect combination of sex, lies and murder, as she invites the reader to relive the life story of a serial killer from the perspective of the killer, his psychiatrist, the detectives on the case, and his prey.

Even as a little boy, Douglass Randall Coleman Jr. knew that he was different. It wasn’t just the special attention from his mother, but the attention he got from his female teachers and young girls too. All it took was a flash of his winning smile, which he practiced in the mirror every day, along with a dash of charm, and the world was his for the taking. Raised in the midst of the chaos of urban life (drugs, alcohol, and abuse) Douglass didn’t have a fighting chance.

However, there was only one problem with getting everything he wanted, always getting his requests granted without question…hearing ‘No’ could be deadly. Douglass had to find a way to control his killer urges, and soon sought the help of a therapist.

Dr. Olivia Reed was a therapist with deadly secrets that could never be told. Unable to figure out if Douglass was a narcissist, sociopath, or both, he became her ‘special’ case study that could make her famous. Crossing the line between doctor-patient privilege, and preventing future murders, would plague Dr. Reed for years.

Meanwhile, Tara Walker thought she had met the perfect man online…charming, tall, handsome, doting, and charismatic. Her friends and family loved him, but behind closed doors, a monster emerged.

After his first kill, with the cops nowhere near solving the case, Douglas’ confidence grew even more. But lurking in the shadows, watching his every move, there was someone smarter than all of them, even the detectives. Despite being driven by jealousy and spite, he was determined to take Douglass down for all the crimes he had ever committed.

Only in the end, will the detectives get the break they’ve been waiting for. But until then, they wonder how many more must die before they have enough evidence to trap the man with the ‘Killer Reflection’.

Buy It Here:

KINDLE: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0762KSXHD
CREATESPACE: https://www.createspace.com/7612043

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Excerpt from A Killer’s Reflection:

Silence.
Tyra had no idea how long she had been sitting in the kitchen by the front door. The silence was both calming and excruciating at the same time. It was only the faint sound of the TV from the neighbor upstairs that filled the building. He was elderly and partially deaf in one ear, so he played his TV quite loud.
Weeks had gone by, and things had gotten worse between her and Dougy. She had decided that today was the day she would confront him about everything. She would tell him that it would be better if he gets his own apartment or goes back to live with his mama. She loved him, but she could not take the partying, women, drugs, or violence in her life anymore.
More silence.
The click of the key in the lock startled her. It was time.

 

Follow this link to view the book trailer:

https://vimeo.com/239172466

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author advice, authors, books, fiction, poems, poetry, writing tips

The Difference Between Poetry And Fiction

A couple weeks ago I had a discussion with a fan/friend. He asked an interesting question: “Which is harder to write, poetry or fiction?” My answer was automatic.

Poetry is easier (for me) to create. It’s only a matter of pulling what’s inside of me out. It’s searching the darkest parts of my soul, where fear and hope and pain dwell and exposing it to the light. The hard part of being a poet is releasing it to the world. When I allow a poem to be read, I’m allowing someone to see me completely exposed. And while I’ve known immense joy, it’s the darkness inside that needs to be purged. Each poem given out for public consumption is open to ridicule, to criticism, but it’s not just my words- it’s the scars inside. It. Is. Hard.

Trapped In Yesterday

Trapped now I’m locked in yesterday

Please don’t think it’s you why I turn a way

I can’t stand the way it makes me feel

To know that this could become real

You can’t expect me not to flee

When you hold such power over me

The last to get this close left me to learn

The searing pain of love forever burns

I don’t want to go though that again

And nothing you say can make this fear end

I wonder if you understand

Why I shiver when you touch my hand

Why I can’t go but neither can I stay

The answers you’ll find in my yesterday.

*Excerpted poem from About A Girl: A Poetry Compilation

https://www.amazon.com/About-Girl-Compilation-Sandra-Ely-ebook/dp/B01KS5AMKE

Fiction is harder to create. Characters have to be built from scratch, they have to be made real from pen and pad. Worlds have to be created. Supporting characters must have their place, feel like real people, and yet, remain on the side lines to allow the protagonist to complete their journey. It’s a lot of work. On the other hand, passing it off to be published might be scary, but it’s not the same soul-crushing fear. Readers can agree, or disagree, with the choices you characters make. They can love, or hate the content. At the end of the day, though, it’s not you under the piercing gaze of readers who will no doubt catch every mistake.

Excerpt from Kiss of Death, Immortal Hearts Book 2

“Time to feed the human,” Beau announced, carrying over two cups of coffee.

He handed me one of the heavy black mugs and I took a sip, testing the flavor. The robust flavor of the coffee hit me first, full-bodied and slightly bitter. Then, the sweet, creamy mix that was tailored to my taste buds. I was impressed he remembered I preferred brown sugar in my coffee. The gesture warmed my heart, as it never failed to do.

“So,” I said as I cut into my eggs. “What’s on the agenda for today?” The yolk spilled out, but the whites remained firm and intact. Cooking the perfect over-medium egg was not an easy feat, especially for one who didn’t eat. I’d been working at it for years and my success rate was spotty at best.

“Well, I have to be at the club today; somebody has to oversee business there. Valerie and Adam are going to be here in a little while to take you to your place and get some of your things.”

“I appreciate the offer, but I don’t need an escort, Beau.”

“Maybe not, but it’s already set up regardless.”

“You do realize I didn’t sign up for this just to be stuck with a babysitter, right?” I hid my annoyance by nibbling on a strip of crispy bacon.

“You’re one of mine, Leah. I won’t allow you to blindly walk into danger.”

My pulse quickened, but I wouldn’t let him charm me into abandoning my position. “And I won’t be able to do what you want me to do if I’m constantly being guarded by vampires. It’s counterproductive, really.”

“Let’s just agree to take this a day at a time. This is new for both of us.” His tone hinted at something left unsaid, but I decided to leave it be. Breakfast was my favorite meal and I had no intention of ruining another meal over this assignment.

www.amazon.com/Kiss-Death-Immortal-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B00SCQT3SO/

Both poetry and fiction are beautiful and terrifying in their own ways. I could no more give up one than the other. Each offers a reward of it’s own it’s own to my soul, but they are so vastly different from inception to publication.

Keep up-to-date on all my written works via facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/authorsandraely ) and twitter @AuthorSandraEly
authors, books, children's literature, christian fiction, christian literature, interviews, kids books, poetry

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Sandi Smith

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

I have followed two wonderful authors – Maeve Binchy and Fannie Flagg.

Sandi_Smith_Dads_Ugly_Chair_225

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

Well, for my children’s books I would have to say A.R. Achnid is my favorite character. A.R. was the reason I started to write, and his character was so much fun. He thought he was human, and wanted to do everything with his human friend, Harold. Even though people thought of him as a scary spider, he didn’t let that get him down. He just went along with his life, enjoying all of his adventures.

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Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

I have been very lucky, and have not had any difficulties with any scenes I have written. My new novel that I am working on now, though, I am having a little bit of trouble getting past one particular scene. It is a little dark, and I am not sure in what direction I want to take the story.

Ms_Sapphire_Rose_author_sandi_smith_character

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

I have found that finishing a story, especially a novel, is so rewarding. So much time and energy is invested in the writing of the story, and when it finally is finished and comes together to form the feelings you wanted to express, it is a tremendously gratifying experience.

Sandi_Smith_six_oclock_show_225

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Well, I am basically just starting out myself, but I would advise anyone who is starting out to believe in what you are writing. In the beginning, when I wrote something, I was always looking for approval from a family member or a friend. One day when someone told me they didn’t care for my book, my husband told me that there are going to be people who love the book and people who don’t care for it at all, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad story. Believe in yourself is the advice my husband gave me, and continues to give me, so I would pass that on to anyone starting out.

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Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I do not. The words come to me, and I sit down and start typing away. The whole process for me has been very simple. The only ritual I would say I have is making sure I have cookies available for when I am awake and typing at night. They are soothing to the soul.

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Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Not really. I used to write in high school, but never gave it too much thought after that. Actually, I always wanted to be an opera singer, but, occasionally, I always found myself writing poems or short stories.

poka

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

My mother, who has been gone for quite a few years now. We didn’t have a great relationship, and I would really love to sit and chat with her, getting to know her as a person. I believe, because of our volatile relationship, that I may have missed out on a wonderful friendship with a wonderful person. That breaks my heart.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

This is from one of my children’s books, Sarah Bella’s Gift of Gold:

Sandi_Smith_gold_book_225

When Sarah Bella was a very young girl,

(let’s say, probably about six years old),

her parents gave her a small ball of yarn,

that they said was a “gift of gold”.

Sarah Bella was then told by her parents,

“A life of adventure is waiting ahead.

Wrap your favorite things in this ball of yarn,

and when you sleep, keep it close by your bed.”

They told Sarah Bella that when she grew old,

in her ball of yarn would be memories so dear.

There would be times and places to remember,

from all of her adventures throughout the years.

The following is from my first novel, Sitting at the Kitchen Table with God:

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Andrew was gone, and Marianne should have been buried with him. There were two deaths on that day, but only one soul was taken. The other was left to slowly decay in the shell of a lonely woman.

For more information on this author, please, visit:


http://www.authorsandismith.com

http://amzn.to/2fdd1YJ


authors, books, fiction

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Thomas Lowrie

thomaslowriephoto

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Yes, Lee Child and Nelson DeMille.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

All of the characters I write about are very real to me so I really have no favorite.

Dont_judge_a_man_until_you_walk_a_mile_in_his_shoes_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

Scenes with death in them are difficult since I feel as though I was there as it happened.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

The ability to expand someone’s imagination.

first_thought_we_were_under_attack_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Don’t worry about what others think, just go for it.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

Not that I know of.

he_was_whooped_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

No, I didn’t start writing until others asked me to do so. Now I very much enjoy it.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Anyone who has lost their mother knows the only answer to this question.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

I looked across my crew. I was looking for John Wayne, he wasn’t there. I looked for Arnold, same thing. I also didn’t find Stalone, Clint nor Chuck Norris. The reality of it was none of my heroes were there, this was NOT the movies. I needed just one Badass and found none.What I found was a high school yearbook.I found fresh off the farm boys, children by most people’s standards. Some of these boys weren’t even getting to go to their senior prom. I feel safe in the notion that some of them have not even held a girls hand. That doesn’t sound like much unless you haven’t done it. Think about that for a minute. They haven’t lived yet and are prepared to die.

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For more information on the author, visit:

www.thomaslowrie.com

http://amzn.to/2wyUgS9

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/he-was-thomas-william-lowrie/1119687508?ean=9780990362616

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/He-Was-Ray-Lafayette-Novel/Thomas-William-Lowrie/9780990362616?id=6025076222321