The Birds Sang Eulogies

Memoir, Non-fiction

Date Published: November 2019

 Publisher: Gersten Weitz Publishers


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Three generations tell an incredible story of survival in the poignant
Holocaust memoir The Birds Sang Eulogies.The survivors Anna and Danny
Geslewitz tell of their harrowing wartime experiences. Danny’s began
in the Lodz ghetto in Poland, then continued in Auschwitz, then in a series
of forced labor camps. Anna’s journey took her from the horrors of the
Lvov ghetto to a flight into Germany to avoid death in the ghetto. The end
of the war, while it ended their years of agony and deprivation, found Danny
barely alive and struggling to regain his health and Anna dealing with the
post-war chaos as she tried to locate family. The book then follows Anna and
Danny’s daughter and granddaughter years later when they travel to
Poland and record their reactions to the sites of their family’s
suffering. These riveting accounts close with moving poetry written by Anna.
Readers will share the sorrow and terror the poems express as they marvel at
the bonds of these three generations.



In this poignant memoir, The Birds Sang Eulogies, Anna and Danny
Geslewitz’s incredible stories of survival are told by them, their daughter
and their granddaughter, three generations affected by the Holocaust.
Danny’s agonizing story began the moment the Germans invaded Lodz, Poland in
1939. His harrowing story of survival begins in the ghetto where starvation
and death were rampant. When the Germans liquidated the ghetto in 1944,
Danny and his remaining family members were sent to Auschwitz. Danny’s
description of hell on earth leaves the reader horrified. After enduring
Auschwitz for three weeks, Danny and his brothers began nightmarish journeys
to seven forced labor camps were they endured inconceivable deprivations.
After witnessing two brothers perish, Danny is near death when suddenly the
Germans disappear. Living in the eastern Polish city of Lvov, Anna vividly
describes life and death in the Lvov Ghetto. When it becomes clear that the
Germans will kill every remaining Jew in the ghetto, she and her sister flee
into Germany. There, Anna works as a maid in German household. She lives a
life of constant terror fearing that her Jewish identity will be discovered.
The mayhem of liberation brings its own challenges to Anna and Danny. Barely
alive, Danny struggled to regain his health. Anna scrambled to find a way to
survive in the chaos and find her sister from whom she had been separated.
As Danny and Anna worked to find their place in life, they meet in Germany.
Together, they begin a memorable new chapter. Years later, their daughter
and granddaughter travel to Poland. Their personal accounts of their trips
are riveting. Anna Geslewitz was a poet. One can feel her sorrow, terror and
angst as one reads her poems. The poems are included in The Birds Sang
Eulogies: A Memoir.

About the Author

Ms. Raz is a retired speech pathologist and the author of the popular Help
Me Talk Right books How to Teach a Child to Say the “R” Sound in
15 Easy Lessons, How to Teach a Child to Say the “S” Sound in 15
Easy Lessons and How to Teach a Child to Say the “L” Sound in 15
Easy Lessons and Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do. Ms. Raz is also
a contributing author in other publications.

Ms. Raz is a past president of the Phoenix Holocaust
Survivors’Association. She is a member of the Board and the Education
Chair for the Phoenix Holocaust Association. Ms. Raz newest publication is
The Birds Sang Eulogies: A Memoir. The book recounts the harrowing
experiences of her parents during WWII as they struggled to survive the
Nazi’s attempted extermination of the Jews.

Ms. Raz is married to Zohar Raz. They are the proud parents of two
daughters and two grandchildren.


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Life in Increments @INtensePub @RABTBookTours

High Middle-Grade/YA

Published Date: 9-22-20

Publisher: INtense Publications LLC


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Meet Philihp. He’s in middle school, and he’s in love with
Auburn Brown. He doesn’t know how to talk to anyone about it, not even
his cousin Graham, with whom he shares movie quotes and other obsessions.
But no matter. Philip comes to know, as certainly as anyone can know
anything, that destiny, fate, cosmic powers, the universe–they’ll
bring him and Auburn together in the end. All he has to do is pay attention
to life’s patterns, to live his life in manageable, predictable,
proper increments, and the world will reward him.

Meet Auburn. She’s a talented soccer player, a loving sister and
daughter. She has very little idea Philihp exists. She’s busy
adjusting to a new school, worrying about her brother, and trying to figure
out who she’s supposed to be when everything she ever knew feels

This is a love story. A true love story, in the ways that truth and love
matter most. There are loving families here. Loving friends. Philihp and
Auburn live in the same great big scary beautiful world you do. A world that
may or may not be predictable or fair but is full of love if you look and
listen for it. When all is said and done, this just might be a story about
romantic love, too. You’ll have to read to find out.



Coming of age done right. This was perfectly written for the target audience. Hueller uses wit and emotion to weave his tale and teaches important lessons along the way. It’s not easy to be a youth these days and I think this book highlights the important things in life while giving us a wonderfully written story. 

About the Author

Andy Hueller is the author of Dizzy Fantastic and Her Flying Bicycle,
Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth, How I Got Rich Writing C Papers
and other books for children and young adults. He lives and teaches in
Minnesota’s Twin Cities. He happens to be impossibly lucky. The
universe has gifted to him an outrageously wonderful family, its best job
(teaching middle-school English), and, through his books, opportunities to
tell stories even to people he’s never met. You can learn more about
Andy at


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West of Tomorrow @DirkSayers @RABTBookTours

Military/Corporate Romance

Date Published: 2015


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“Fate hunts us down in our sleep.” Clay Conover, retired Marine
officer turned corporate trainer has successfully re-careered and has a
long-term plan. A plan grounded in a sense of duty, loyalty, and tempered by
clear-eyed realism. Unfortunately, Clay’s plan doesn’t account
for the hiring of Sheera Prasad. Young, hungry and ambitious, Sheera has an
agenda of her own.

In the collision of wills that follows, Clay is confronted with a choice
that will define him, not simply professionally but personally. Will he take
the ethical high road, or opt for self-serving rathionalization? West of
Tomorrow is an intelligent romance, laced with corporate intrigue, betrayal
and the undiscovered phoenix living in all of us.


This was a different read and just what I didn’t know I needed. It’s well written, has some action, some romance, and drama. For me it unfolded nicely, but ended before I was ready. Sayers has a way with words that draws the reader in! Great read.  

About the Author

Dirk came within a cat’s whisker of never publishing. Through two
frenetic professional careers first as a Marine officer and then as a
corporate trainer, he started way more stories than he finished, until full
retirement left him with the focused attention he needed. West of Tomorrow,
his first novel draws on his experience with the military, corporate America
and the unpredictable nature of life.

Since then, he has published Best-Case Scenario, Act I of Nyra’s
a New Adult romance, Through the Windshield, Drive-by Lives an
anthology of short stories and Tier Zero, Vol. I of The Knolan Cycle. He
currently lives in Laguna Niguel where he surfs,  snow skis in the
winter and facilitates an author’s critique group.


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Love’s Full Circle

Contemporary Christian Romance

Date Published: April 27, 2019


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On Sale for $0.99!

Kayden James may have missed out on her happy ever after. But, as a
successful marriage and family therapist, at least she can help other people
find theirs. Now that her career has taken off, Kayden is finally ready to
put the past behind her. . . until it strolls into her office unexpectedly
one day. The last thing Kayden needs is for her ex-boyfriend to stir up old
feelings. She’d rather stay a single cat lady than let him break her
heart again.

Liam has spent a long time living with one regret—letting Kayden slip
through his fingers. He’s determined to make amends for the way he
treated her all those years ago, but he’s finding it hard to melt her
icy exterior. If he can just convince her to trust him and see that
he’s changed, their love finally has a chance of coming full


A combination of relief and confusion washed over Kayden while she
processed the information. Her brain registered a jumbled mess of
contradictory emotions ranging from sadness to anger to happiness.

Liam withdrew his hand. “That’s all in the past,” he
said, reaching for his burger. He took a big bite and stared off into the

“You said you work nearby. Where?”

“The University of Colorado. I teach computer science at their Denver

Kayden let out a low whistle. “I’m impressed. What’s your
area of expertise?”

“Database Management Systems.”

“Sounds complicated.” She finished eating her fries. “It
wouldn’t be my idea of fun, but I bet you find the subject

He grinned. “Not as fascinating as your job. In my line of work,
it’s extremely rare for a computer to get mad and storm out of the

Kayden gave him a playful elbow to the ribs. “Very funny.” Her
lips twitched, struggling to contain the laughter, until it burst out and
engulfed them. Soon they giggled like two long lost friends instead of
estranged exes.

Shane cleared away their plates. “Any dessert for you

“No, thank you,” Kayden answered.

“I’ve got this,” Liam replied as Shane slid the check on
the bar between them. He placed the money he extracted from his wallet on
the counter. “Keep the change.”

“Thanks. You folks enjoy the rest of your day.”


Liam followed Kayden out of the restaurant and into the sunshine, feeling a
little less guilt-ridden than when the day had begun. He stepped lightly and
inhaled the aromatic pansies blooming in one of the many large flower pots
dotting the sidewalk along the path to Elway Plaza.

He eased his sunglasses onto the bridge of his nose. While they walked, he
admired the captivating woman beside him and thanked God for the opportunity
to make amends for the way he’d treated her.

“This is my stop. Thank you for lunch.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I guess I’ll see you around.” She turned for the

“Wait!” He withdrew the wallet in his back pocket and pulled
out his business card. “Give me a call sometime. Day or

Kayden read aloud the name on the card: Liam Pierce, PhD.

He slowly stepped away, wishing he had a camera to capture her radiant
smile. “Goodbye, Dr. James.”

About the Author

Amazon #1 Bestselling Author

Cherry resides in the Mitten State with her husband of 19 years and a tabby
cat named Caden. A true Michigander, she points at the palm of her right
hand when telling people where she lives, drinks Vernors ginger ale when
she’s under the weather, wears shorts and a sweatshirt at the same
time, and measures distance in minutes, not miles. She also cheers for her
favorite football team, the Michigan Wolverines. Go Blue!

A confirmed night owl, Cherry wholeheartedly agrees with whoever said,
“I could be a morning person, if morning happened around noon.”
It’s no surprise then she prefers to write in the evening. She’s
a bit of a pantser writer, meaning she dreams up stories without using an
outline, so every day is an exciting adventure as she waits to see where the
characters lead her next!

A lifelong avid reader, Cherry turned to writing as a creative outlet.
Drawing partly from her own experiences, and partly from her wild
imagination, she weaves romantic tales with a smidgen of religion and a hint
of mystery. Cherry’s first novel, The Fearful Heart, debuted in 2014,
and she has never looked back. She continues to grow as an author, learning
more about the writing craft with each book.

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Aurora’s Cowboy Daddy @BlushingBooks @RABTBookTours

Ranch Rescue Book 1

Western Romance, Contemporary

Date Published: September 30, 2020

Publisher: Blushing Books


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Holt Coleman runs the Rescue Ranch with his five brothers. A project
initiated by their parents and supported by the entire family. They rescue
abused women, and abused horses. Two very different ventures with more
similarities than expected, both are suffering from past trauma and have
lost the ability to trust. Currently, the ranch needs a new house mother to
welcome and assist the women who are seeking safety here. When convicted
murderer Aurora Bickman applies Holt’s intrigued by her application
and her past. When he meets her he knows he has to have her, as an employee,
as a lover and as her daddy.

Aurora Bickman was released from prison early given her good behavior and
prison overcrowding. Most people thought she didn’t serve long enough
but they also didn’t know her sentence began shortly after she married
her deceased husband. Feeling as though she’s imposed on her best
friend’s hospitality long enough, and even though she’s scared
beyond belief, she is ready to start her life over on her terms. Surprised
she has an interview and worried she’ll be rejected, she pushes the
feelings aside and takes a chance at the Rescue Ranch. When she sees the
gorgeous ranch and meets the handsome Holt Coleman, she feels as if her
dreams have a chance to come true. In more ways than one.

This is book one in the Rescue Ranch series and can be enjoyed

Publisher’s Note: This sexy, Daddy Dom, cowboy romance contains
elements of danger, adventure, mystery, sensual themes and power exchange
and is intended for adults only. If any of these offend you, please do not


About the Author

Melinda Barron loves to explore Egyptian tombs and temples, discover Mayan
ruins, play in castles towers, and explore new cities and countries. She
generally does it all from the comfort of her home by opening a book.

Melinda loves to lose herself between the pages of a book. The only thing
she loves more is creating stories from the wonderful heroes and heroines
that haunt her dreams and crowd her head. She believes love is for everyone,
not just those who are a size 2. Her books are full of magic, suspense and
love, in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Mel currently lives in the Texas Panhandle, with two cats, and a file
stuffed with new ideas to keep her typing fingers busy, and your heart

She also writes as Maura McMann.

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The Best Doctor in Town @townsendart @JanCarolBooks @RABTBookTours

A Tall Tales from the Hills Novel: Book 1


Date Published: November 7, 2019

Publisher: Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc.


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Set in Southwest Virginia and inspired by actual events and the story of
the small town’s most revered doctor, who may just be a serial killer. A
local police officer with a tarnished reputation, a reporter who manipulated
facts, and the doctor’s chief intern, who may be a thief, have pieces of the
puzzle. Yet no one in authority believes the great doctor could be
responsible. All the while, patients are dying.

About the Author

Shadowed and protected by the mountains of her native southwest Virginia,
Amelia Townsend has lived hither, thither, and yon – mostly between
Virginia and North Carolina. She has worked as a newspaper and TV reporter,
freelance producer and director, writer, and now PR hack.  She is a
proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has no claim to fame. Further, she is most often bewildered when people
say they are impressed by her work. Her first novel, Keepsakes for the
Heart, was nominated by the N.C. Historical Association for the prestigious
Ragan Old North State Award for non-fiction.

Her favorite avocation is listening to and writing down other
people’s stories, for truth surely is stranger and more beautiful than
fiction. This is where Townsend has found fodder for the stories of the
hills that she wrote with her late writing buddy. Several have come to life
in the form of a novel and a couple of plays in production. The names have
been changed to protect the guilty.

Townsend’s most impressive accomplishments are her children – a
son and daughter – who managed to turn in to fine young adults,
despite her attempts to raise them.

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Twitter: @townsendart


Instagram: @ameliatownsendauthor


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The Price of Safety by @mcblandwriter – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

Science Fiction Thriller

Date Published: April 6, 2020

Publisher: World Castle Publishing


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By 2047, no crime in the U.S. goes unsolved. No wrongdoing goes unseen.
When Dray Quintero learns his 19-year-old daughter Raven committed a heinous
act, he covers it up to save her life. This pits him against the police he’s
respected since he was a child and places him in the crosshairs of Kieran, a
ruthless federal Agent. To survive, Dray must overcome the surveillance
system he helped build and the technology implanted in the brains and eyes
of the citizens.

Forced to turn to a domestic terrorist group to protect his family, Dray
soon realizes the sheer level of control of his adversaries. Hunted and
betrayed, with time running out, will Dray choose his family or the
near-perfect society he helped create?



Chapter 1 from Michael C. Bland’s “The Price of Safety”

Igniting a miniature sun was the riskiest thing we’d ever attempted, yet we
were doing it in front of the entire planet.

While Nikolai bragged about our innovations to the cameras, reporters, and
two hundred VIPs assembled, I stood sixty feet away, facing the control
panel of our unlit sustained-fusion reactor, searching for any indication
our creation would explode. The seven-foot-long, concave control panel
displayed the time remaining until ignition. Forty-five seconds.

I didn’t use the control panel to conduct my search. Instead, I projected
our schematics and stress tolerance estimates onto the lenses in my eyes,
the data hovering before me like a clear computer screen stretched across my
vision. Hidden from everyone.

 “…each pod contains the highest concentration of dark matter ever
collected,” said Nikolai, the CEO of our company, who’d been my friend once.
“Eighteen months’ worth of space harvesting efforts.”

 We’d designed not only the pods but the entire ten-acre complex: the
energy grid, the fifty-yard-wide containment chamber where we’d try to light
the “sun” that would power our reactor, the domed observation room with
celestial images on the ceiling and a massive window that revealed the
chamber, and Nikolai’s temporary stage in front of the window. We’d also
devised the safety protocols, power regulators, and energy-capture systems.
The biggest risk was the medicine-ball-sized metal core we hoped to ignite.
A single flaw could doom everyone here.

If we succeeded, though, our reactor would provide mankind with cheap,
reliable energy—and us a spot in the history books. Nikolai would become
richer than ever, with countries begging for our reactor. I’d see my
creation come to life, which would tangibly better mankind, fulfilling a
promise I’d made.

My personal cell phone buzzed in my pocket, a number I didn’t recognize
flashing in the corner of my augmented sight. I ignored the call and
reluctantly stopped my search as the countdown neared zero. Years of
planning, of calculations and simulations and more money than I cared to
contemplate, came down to this moment.

Beside me, Amarjit, my bushy-eyebrowed director of robotics, took a deep
breath as I activated the reactor. Four titanium-geared positioning robots,
each twenty feet tall, stepped forward in unison inside the
solar-cell-lined, circular containment chamber, and lifted the dark matter
containment pods to precise spots around the core. Reinforced metal rods
moved two additional pods into position, one rod descending from the ceiling
and the other rising from the floor.

“Dark matter is the key to our efforts,” Nikolai continued, his sharp chin
pointing at the crowd. He wore his graying hair short, his thin frame coated
in a pale suit. He also wore his datarings, which was odd, as my team and I
were handling the sequence. “This unique substance causes regular matter to
draw on itself. The resulting compression, which will occur at the molecular
level throughout the core, is what we’re confident will create the fusion

The robots locked their joints into place.

I hadn’t wanted anyone here but was outvoted by our board, my simulations
used against me. But the simulations were distorted with assumptions. I
wasn’t sure the core had the right mix of elements, wasn’t sure about the
pressure needed. Wasn’t sure about a lot of it.

I took a breath myself—aware of the lives at risk, the stakeholders and
VIPs and broadcasting cameras—and powered up the dark matter.

The robots’ hands and the two cradles glowed as they released energy into
the pods, activating the matter. Combined reverse-gravitational pressure
enveloped the core to five hundred million newtons per square meter,
squeezing it from all sides.

There was supposed to be light, the purest imaginable, maybe preceded by a
flash. But nothing happened.

Our readouts measured the core’s compression, but showed nothing that
indicated an ignition: no fusing of molecular fuels, no sign of

As anxiety crawled up my spine, I increased pressure, but nothing changed
other than rising stress levels in the robots’ joints. I maxed the energy to
the pods, compressing the core to pressure levels found under the Earth’s

Amarjit shot me a look, his caterpillar-sized eyebrows squeezing

I knew the danger.

The pods were made of aluminum, the only metal that could contain energized
dark matter without interfering with its reverse-gravitational force. But
the dark matter became more volatile the more we assaulted it with energy,
and the pods had limits to what they could hold.

With the forces we were manipulating, it felt like depending on a balloon
to contain a shotgun blast. If one ruptured, our entire complex would be
decimated, along with a portion of Los

Angeles. The city south and west of here should be protected from the blast
by the mountainside we’d carved into, but maybe not. The amount of
destruction would depend on the energy levels when everything went to

The readouts on my lenses flashed red. We’d reached our thresholds, yet the
core remained unchanged.

My personal cell phone buzzed again, the same unknown number.

Ignoring the call, I told Amarjit, “We’re aborting.” I touched the control
panel to kill the power to the pods, but the system didn’t respond. “What
the hell?”

I waved Nikolai over, but he wasn’t looking at me; he faced the chamber
instead, his determined expression one I’d seen countless times. His hands
hung at his sides, but his fingers were moving, entering commands. His
silver datarings flashed as he typed on his legs, the rings registering his
fingers’ movements as keystrokes—tracking where each finger moved as if he
was typing on a keyboard—and sending his commands to his neural net, which I
realized was now the only access point to the fusion reactor.

Behind him, the crowd became restless.

“Boss,” Amarjit said.

I followed his gaze. Inside the chamber, the robots extended their arms,
moving the dark matter closer to the core. First two inches. Then four. Then

“I’m not doing it,” he said.

“It’s Nikolai.” I slapped at the digitally-projected controls, but they
didn’t react. “He fucking cut us off.”

WARNING flashed red in my vision as alarms sounded.

The faceplate of one of the robots buckled from the reverse-gravitational
forces emanating from its pod. The knee joint of another started to

“Dray,” Amarjit said.

“I see it.” My hands skittered across the control panel as I tried to
reboot the system but failed, my brow damp with sweat.

A strained sound reverberated inside the chamber, followed by a pop, and a
crack stretched across the curved window before us. The air surrounding the
robots shimmered like asphalt on a summer day.

I brought up the master settings to search for a power override. “Can you
take command of the robots remotely?”

“No,” he said as he jabbed at the panel. “They can only be controlled from

Robot Number Two—with the twisted knee—contorted further as the pressure
from the dark matter mounted, sparks flying from its wrists. None of our
simulations had covered this, but I knew what would happen. A few more
degrees and its joint would shatter. It’d be thrown against the wall, the
pod ripped open. We’d be obliterated in the explosion.

I needed to cut Nikolai’s signal.

The control panel rested on a bioplastic-enclosed base connected to a
hollow metal railing. The dataring receiver had to be in the base. I hadn’t
included one in the panel’s design, but it would’ve been easy for him to
add. I wondered what else the self-serving bastard had done.

“You bring any tools?” I asked Amarjit, who shook his head. “Get everyone
out of here.”

“There’s no time.”

He was right. “Then save yourself. Go.”

As he hurried away, I squatted below the panel, took my metal ID badge from
around my neck, jammed it into the cover’s seam, and tore away the
bioplastic to expose the motherboards, quantum cubes, and fiberwires that
connected to the panel. I spotted the receiver immediately, an inch-long,
fan-shaped device, and ripped it out, severing Nikolai’s connection.

I stood and hit the sequence to reestablish a link to the robots.

As systems came online, I wondered why the core hadn’t sparked. The
reaction sequence should’ve initiated, especially with so much pressure.
That’s when I noticed the liquefaction gauge. A section of tritium had
liquified but was stunted, limited to the second quadrant.

Closest to Robot Number Two.

Where the pressure was angled.

I’d approached this wrong. I’d directed pressure uniformly around the

Regaining control, I linked with the robots to pull them back, but first
shifted Robot Number Three—the least-damaged one—to the right, angling the
pressure from its pod—

The core ignited.

Throughout the tritium veins that threaded the core, protons added to atoms
in a domino effect, the veins turning into contained plasma, and brilliant
light burst forth, painting the chamber. No explosion threatened us, no
pressure, unlike the destructive effect of nuclear fission. Instead, warmth
from the molten metal reached me through the glass, the chain reaction
spreading over the core’s surface to begin consuming the denser, solid
metals that would feed it for the next twenty years.

The warnings in my lenses, thrown in stark relief by the star we’d created,
turned green as I pulled the robots back to reduce the pressure to
acceptable levels, though one regarding the robots’ structural integrity
remained red.

The chamber’s window tinted, returning our vision to us.

Nikolai threw up his arms to the crowd. “As promised, nuclear fusion! The
first of many Gen Omega plants we’ll build across the country to address
America’s energy needs.”

Applause washed over us.

“Bastard,” I murmured, shaking with adrenaline.

I reduced the dark matter’s energy to the minimum amount needed to keep our
newborn sun suspended in position, while Amarjit, who’d rushed back to help,
ran diagnostics on his robots, two of which no longer stood straight.

A phone number flashed on my lenses, the same one as before. This time it
was calling my work cell. Possibly one of my employees. “Dray here.”

“Dad, I need help,” my nineteen-year-old daughter said.

I was caught off-guard, not only because it was Raven’s voice, but because
of the fear in it. I’d never heard her so afraid.

Concerned, I moved away from Amarjit. “What happened?”

“You’ve got to come.”

“Are you hurt?”

“Not me. It’s….” Someone else. Trever Hoyt, her boyfriend, who Raven had
gone out with tonight. He was a decent kid, though opinionated and a little
snobbish. I had hoped she wouldn’t get serious with him, but they’d dated
for almost a year. “Do you remember the time in

New Trabuco when I hit that rock? It’s worse than that.”

She meant there was a lot of blood. His blood, presumably. “You need to
call the po—”

“I would, except it’s me.”

I didn’t understand, then did. She’d caused the bleeding.

I started to ask if they’d been in an accident, but she was being cagey for
a reason.

Normally talkative and bright, she was avoiding saying certain words, aware
that spiders patrolled the airwaves.

Watching what she said. Trever bleeding. The way she was acting, it could
only mean one thing: she’d done something illegal, as hard as it was to

Though I was still sweating, I felt a chill. No one got away with a crime.
Not in 2047.

The people around me, the media and VIPs and shining fusion core, Nikolai
waving at me to join him on stage as he said my name and proclaimed this was
the start of “more wonders to come.” None of it mattered now.

I squeezed my finger-thin phone. “Where are you?”

“His parents’ place. Their work. There’s a spot we made where you can get
in. I’m in a small building just past a maintenance road.”

My concern increased. She meant Trever’s parents’ facility. I’d never been
there and didn’t know what they did, but I’d heard visitors required a
security clearance due to the sensitive nature of government contracts the
Hoyts had. It was a place she never should’ve been.

“On my way.”

* * *

I exited the 605 at Beverly and raced through Whittier, passing countless
neighborhoods, most of which were dark this time of night. I closed my data
streams to reduce my digital trail, and tried to avoid the surveillance that
existed even in this sleepy part of Los Angeles, the cameras and traffic
scanners and microphones that monitored most of the country. I wanted to
take side streets to further reduce my history, but needed to get to Raven.
She wasn’t the type to ask for help. Strong and resourceful, she helped
others, cared about the neglected and abused—otters, immigrants, the
homeless—and debated fiercely, but never with a mean spirit. She would
become a force as an adult—though with the way she’d sounded, I worried for
her future.

My thoughts flickered to my son Adem, who’d died before he learned to talk.
Even with how safe I’d helped make our world, I couldn’t protect him.
Couldn’t save him. I feared I wouldn’t be able to save Raven, either.

I passed the guarded entrance to Hoyt Enterprises and followed the
fortified, ten-foot-high wall for blocks until I located Trever’s
red-and-black McLaren. I tried to tamp down my fear as I parked my Chrysler
E-650 sedan beside the metal wall. I had to be level headed and calm, though
I didn’t feel either.

Spotting the hole Trever and Raven had created, two of the vertical panels
pried apart, I went to it. I’d maintained my weight over the years, but I’d
always been thick. As a result, I had to squeeze my way through the

Multi-story buildings occupied most of the compound’s interior—production,
office, warehouse—though they stood back from the wall, the structures dark,
the only light in the complex coming from the entrance far to my left.
Closer to me, one-story storage structures stretched in long rows, the
nearest five yards away. Straight ahead was an empty space followed by an
asphalt road and a cluster of residence-type buildings barely visible in the
darkness. To my right, a flat-topped building sat on top of an unlit hill
adjacent to the facility. The property was fenced, and the two parcels
shared a wall.

I started toward the residence-type buildings, sticking close to the
nearest storage structure, followed the structure to the far end, and found
a security camera staring at me. I froze, but my image had already been

My apprehension growing, I continued forward and crossed the road.

The buildings were old, possibly the property’s original development. Three
could have been homes, another a garage, a fifth some kind of lab. I
hesitated, unsure which one she might be in, heard a sound to my left, and
cautiously proceeded toward the residence in that direction.


She appeared in the shadowed doorway, pulled me inside, and hugged me,

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“It was Trever’s idea. Dad, he attacked me. He tried to rape me.”

I stepped back. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw the swelling in
her face, her bloody lip. Her shirt was torn.

A primal rage began to grow. “Did he…?”

“No.” Her composure, thin as it was, cracked. “I didn’t mean to hurt

Her words tempered my anger and fear, though not by much. “Whatever you did

self-defense. You were justified. The police will see the truth.”

“I can’t.”

“They’ll listen.”

She grabbed my arm. “His implant. I ripped it out.”

His neural net, the implanted technology that linked our brains to the web,
work, and every other digital source. Federal law required that every
citizen have one, and tampering with them was punishable by death,
regardless of the circumstances. There had been complaints about the law’s
extremity, even demonstrations, but nothing had changed, and most people
didn’t care, too enamored with the access their implants granted.

My lips felt numb. “Is he alive?”

“I don’t think so.”

She led me to the next room, where Trever lay in a pool of blood, his body
contorted, his implant nearby.

I’d never seen an implant outside of a person’s head. The part that was
usually visible, the silver-dollar-sized reflective end, stuck out no more
than a quarter-inch from a person’s temple. However, the entire implant was
over an inch and a half long, with two curved leads that jutted deeper into
the brain: one about two inches long and the other about five inches.

“He grabbed me and tore at my clothes,” she said. “I tried to crawl away,
but when he grabbed me, I kicked him as hard as I could, and he rolled off.
That’s when I saw the pipe.”

She indicated a rusted drainage pipe, one end curled back where it had
broken off.

I squatted beside it, careful not to touch it. “You hit him with

She nodded.

“How many times?”

“Just once. When I swung, the pipe caught the edge of his implant. I didn’t
mean to.”

Trever wasn’t the first corpse I’d seen, but he was the first born of
violence, which made me unsettled. His right temple was caved in where his
implant had been. The metal ring that had secured his implant in place was
missing, along with a chunk of his skull. Raven’s years of playing softball
had saved her from a heinous act—but at a terrible price.

A fierce protectiveness rose inside me, joining my fear. The police would
be methodical. I had to anticipate what they’d find.

The building we were in was being renovated. The floor had been reduced to
a concrete slab and the walls gutted, with spools of wire stacked in a
corner and construction supplies strewn about. A nearby wall had blood
splattered in an arc.

Nothing contradicted her story, though doubt nagged at me. “Ripping out his
implant was a fluke,” I told her. “It was self-defense. A jury won’t convict

“He didn’t rape me. I stopped him. If people could’ve seen his face, how he
lunged at me, what he said, they would understand, but there aren’t cameras
in here. No one will believe me.”

A prosecutor could claim her injuries were self-inflicted. Say she’d torn
her own clothes. Without hard evidence, she was in danger.

She didn’t have to add that Trever’s parents were politically
well-connected. Mina frequently interacted with them as chief of staff for
the mayor of Los Angeles. Jesus, Mina. She was going to be horrified.

“What do we do?” Raven asked.

“I don’t know. Who knows how many cameras I passed getting here, not to
mention the GPS in my car?”

When I left the reactor, I’d shielded my face from the cameras I knew
about, but dozens of others had probably nailed me, including the one inside
the facility. Hell, our phone call could be used against us. My work cell
had a built-in scrambler, so the cops would only get one side of our
conversation, but with the other evidence, it’d be enough.

She didn’t plead, didn’t back away. “I’ll turn myself in.”

I started for her, careful not to step on Trever’s implant, but

The implant.

If she hadn’t ripped it out, hadn’t killed him, I would’ve wanted her to
confess to the police. But if she did, she would pay the ultimate

She couldn’t just leave. Not only had she been caught on camera, she was
leaving DNA: blood, hair, dead skin. I was, too.

We had to do this a different way and hope it worked, because I couldn’t
lose her. She and her sister were my world.

“I have an idea. You’re not going to like it,” I told her. “I’ve heard
rumors about people stealing implants. Cops don’t want to admit it happens,
because it’s one of the only crimes they struggle to solve.”

“Why would people steal…? Oh. To become someone else.”

I nodded. “Each has a unique code cops can use to identify us if they get a
warrant. A criminal who wants to hide from author ities can’t unless they
obtain a new code, which means a new implant—one that’s been stolen, wiped,
and recoded.”

“You want to blame Trever’s death on implant thieves.”

“To do that, I’ll have to take yours.”

Her eyes grew big. “What?”

“If yours isn’t stolen, the authorities won’t believe you.” I held out my
hands. “I’ll take it out straight, minimal damage. You can tell the police
you two were here hiding out or whatever when men jumped you. Trever tried
to defend you, but they overwhelmed him and ripped out his implant. They
were easier on you, as you didn’t fight, using the same pipe—”

“The same pipe? Dad, I don’t want to die.” She looked panicked.

I took her in my arms. “You won’t. I promise. Tell the cops the men were
masked and didn’t say anything.”

When I let go, she wiped her cheeks. “How do the police find me?”

“As soon as I take your implant, I’ll call 911.”

She paled further, eyes darting, but nodded.

I had her lay near Trever, yet far enough away that she didn’t touch his

“I’m scared,” she said.

I wasn’t a father. I was a monster for suggesting this. But I had to keep
her safe.

I touched her cheek. “I’ll make it as clean as possible. With the right
amount of force, it’ll pop out.” I had the strength. I’d manhandled the
robots we’d used in the reactor. “This is the only way.”

As she rolled onto her side, I picked up the pipe. I placed my hand on her
head, my calloused fingers nearly palming it. “I love you.”

I gently slid the hooked lip of the pipe under the edge of her implant,
wincing when the pipe touched her skin. After seeing Trever’s neural net, I
knew Raven’s had been implanted straight into her skull. If I pulled up,
like removing a nail, it’d minimize the damage. I didn’t want to do this,
and would probably never forgive myself, but it needed to look like a
criminal stole her neural net.

I had an image of her in prison garb, curled on a metal cot. Another of her
strapped to a gurney, getting a lethal injection.

I couldn’t let that happen, whatever the cost.

I held her in place with my free hand and pulled on the pipe, at first
gently and then as hard as I could. For the briefest of moments, the ring
held—she screamed—then gave way with a wet sound. The implant tumbled to the
ground as I fell back, the pipe nearly flying from my hand.

She started to shake and gasp. Sparks flickered in her eyes, and blood
welled up in the hole I’d opened in the side of her head.

A panic unlike anything I’d ever felt seized me.

What had I done?


About the Author

Michael C. Bland is a founding member and the secretary of BookPod: an
invitation-only, online group of professional writers. He pens the monthly
BookPod newsletter where he celebrates the success of their members, which
include award-winning writers, filmmakers, journalists, and bestselling
authors. One of Michael’s short stories, “Elizabeth,” won Honorable Mention
in the Writer’s Digest 2015 Popular Fiction Awards contest. Three short
stories he edited have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Another was
adapted into an award-winning film. Michael also had three superhero-themed
poems published in The Daily Palette. He currently lives in Denver with his
wife Janelle and their dog Nobu. His novel, The Price of Safety, is the
first in a planned trilogy, and has been recognized as a finalist in both
the National Indie Excellence awards and the Next Generation Indie Book
Awards. For more information about Michael’s life and work, visit


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Battling with Innerchild – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

Healing My Inner child to Restore Self-Love

Self Help- Body mind Spirit- Psychology

Date Published: 9/29/20

Do you have a yearning to be the best version of yourself, but struggle to connect with your inner child? If you answered yes, perhaps I can help. I am Reyhan Toplu, and once upon a time, I was just like you. My journey will help inspire you to reconnect with yourself.

We’ve all heard the cliché, “don’t lose sight of the child within”, but how do we hold onto them in a world of negativity? How do we preserve our love and innocence in a world seemingly intent on grinding us down? The time is right for us to rediscover our inner peace and self-love.

Too many of us think of our inner child as someone to fight against, rather than embrace. The victim of embarrassment, trauma, and for some of us, suffering, we’re all too willing to fight against the worst of what our inner child could be, rather than realizing the potential for growth, love, and happiness. This book is all about a journey to reconnect with my inner child, a book of ideas to help you on your own journey to finding peace and happiness. Our journeys may not be the same, but I hope my story can help guide you to finding your own contentment.

Journey with me, Reyhan Toplu, as we explore the hidden truths of your inner child on a quest for health and happiness that comes from within.

About the Author

Reyhan Toplu is an holistic healing and mindfulness practitioner, scholar, yogini, and author who offers her blending lifetime skills and knowledge with holistic; body mind spirit approach. Reyhan focuses on the multidimensional needs of individual. Recognizing a need for greater spiritual awareness in society, Reyhan has devoted her life on especially inner child healing, self-love, teaching mindfulness and helping people in all age groups who need to discover and develop their creative power of self-healing and personal growth. She also has integrated her accredited yoga, meditation, reiki, shamanic healing and other healing practices into her private healing & therapy work and public course offerings. And she is also writing her next book “Mindful Compassion for Suffering”.

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Snatch 2&20 – Publicist @BookBuzznet – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

A Satirical Romp through the Wall Street and Silicon Valley Swamps

Satire, Literary Fiction

Published: April 2020


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Would you sell your soul to a sociopathic hedge fund titan for tens of
millions in dirty cash? What about your sexy wife? What if it meant cozying
up to a neurotic and lecherous tech entrepreneur while risking your freedom,
and maybe even your life?

Snatch 2&20 is a satirical memoir parodying the author’s past
life as a hedge fund manager. It should not only be of interest to the fans
of the hit TV shows Billions and Silicon Valley, and books like The Wolf of
Wall Street and Liar’s Poker, but to anyone who wants an
insider’s take on the rotten core of our delusional plutocracy in this
second Gilded Age.

If you just say no to innuendo, then please enter with caution (as the
strumpet said to the stiff). But just remember that, in this case, the only
thing more offensive than the jokes is the truth they pillory- the
corruption of our financial elites and the system that enables them, the
ludicrous hype surrounding technology companies and their founders, and the
blatant hypocrisy of pretty much everyone. It is also, perhaps, one
man’s journey to find a grain of meaning in the castle of sand that is
his life.


Praise for Snatch 2&20:

 “Snatch 2&20″ is a remarkable debut novel by Luke
Fellows and one I highly recommend. If you’re looking for an entertaining
escape and enjoy a little zing in your reads, this one scores off the charts
in originality, entertainment value and excellent writing. Well done…Among
the top stories I’ve read so far this year.” – Reader Views

“A raucous story told by a brilliant mind becomes something both
satirical and insightful in Snatch 2&20 by Luke Fellows…the novel
sings like a satirical sword cutting through the worlds of finance and the
realms of human folly, making Snatch 2&20 a timely caper that is both
amusing and insightful from start to finish.” -Self-Publishing Review.
4 stars out of 5.

“In this gloriously sardonic book…the descriptions and dialogue are
consistently pithy and snarky…Overall, this novel will be a riotous ride
for readers…Fast-paced and often hilarious fiction” – Kirkus

“Complex, witty, dramatic, thought-provoking, and filled with business
and social inspection…Snatch 2&20 is engrossing, unexpected, and hard
to put down…” -Midwest Book Review

“Snatch 2&20 is just wild enough to support its destructive,
incongruously wholesome conclusion…a clever, cynical novel about the
absurdities of capitalism and the people who prop it up.” 4 Stars out
of 5- Foreword Clarion Reviews.

About the Author

 Luke Fellows is a forty-something recovering hedge fund manager. Born in
London, and educated at St. Paul’s School and Oxford University, he
sacrificed his love of Classics for a Wall Street career, moving to New York
City in 2000. After a sojourn at Harvard Business School, he made the leap
to Silicon Valley, where, in 2008, he co-founded a technology-focused hedge
fund, retiring as soon as his partners could practicably get rid of him.
Despite his best efforts to escape the bubble, he still lives with his wife
and three daughters near Palo Alto, CA. Snatch 2&20 is the first novel
he is admitting to.


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What If? by @Franellena – Book Tour by @RABTBookTours


Date Published: July 10, 2020

Publisher: Fidelli Publishing


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These are dark stories that will make you wonder, think and hopefully
appreciate life if it ever gets back to normal again. Welcome to the worlds
I created and learn about the odd relationships and people that experience
life in ways you might not want to endure. What if your life was not your
own? What if you had to conform to the laws and mores of others? Each story
is unique unto itself and each will  give you pause for thought I hope
as you enter the worlds I created.



An aptly named book. These stories will definitely get you thinking about things you may not have thought about before. Is that a good thing? Always!
Fran Lewis does a fantastic job of brining us dark and dreary, thought-provoking, could they be real? type stories.
They are each alike in the writing style, yet different enough to give us different little tastes.
It’s a wonderfully put together collection. I enjoyed being able to start and stop.

About the Author

 Fran Lewis is the host of MJ network on Blog talk radio and is a reviewer
for most publishing companies. Just reviews is her sight. Fran is a reading
and writing staff developer who worked with students for 36 years in a New
York City Public School. She is a member Marquis Who’s Who, Cambridge
Who’s Who and Who’s Who of America’s Professionals.


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Twitter: @Franellena



Instagram: @Berthatillie49

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