An Interview of Susanne Leist by Ndeye Labadens

Welcome to 1K Book Promotion event 2018!

Enjoy the promotion event and meet new wonderful authors of all genre. Don’t forget to comment like and share. If you feel like asking questions feel free to do so here and on the website. The author might respond to you! Invite friends that might like to read.

The more we are the more fun we get! Here is the link http://lannconsultings.com/1k-promotion/

Happy 1K book promotion party 2018!

I would like to introduce you to these amazing authors. I enjoyed their books and I am pretty sure you will love them too! 

http://lannconsultings.com/1k-promotion/

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Meet Susanne Leist

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hi. My name is Susanne Leist. I am the author of The Dead Game series.

What’s the story behind the title?

The Dead Game series takes place in the fictional setting of Oasis, Florida. Oasis is nestled on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean with white sand and picturesque homes. Tourists visit for the warm weather and the fancy Oasis Hotel, which caters to the rich and famous. The nights bring another story. Dark shadows roam the streets while mysterious parties are held in the woods behind the town.

Why did you write this book?

My recent interest in the paranormal enticed me to write paranormal suspense in an exotic location. I wanted to combine suspense, mystery, and romance.

How do you keep the reader’s attention?

Readers won’t have time to let their attention wander. The action is non-stop. The twists and turns will keep them guessing to the bitter end.

How did you come up with this book idea?

My idea began with a deserted house. Lured to this mansion with a promise of a party, my main character, Linda, and her friends are confronted with traps and illusions. The story takes a supernatural turn once the residents who keep hidden during the day appear after dark and a dead body washes ashore. I didn’t know I would be entering the paranormal realm until my characters did.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I love writing and marketing. Editing is done along the way. I am always making changes and editing. After the book is completed, I use professional help for further editing and formatting.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I finished writing the second book in the series. I’m still editing. Soon I will forward it to an editor.

Where would my audience find your book?

My book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in e-book and paperback.

AMAZON     http://amzn.to/1lKvMrP     

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A BOOK IS A TREASURE

 

 

A long journey to become an author,
Days of soul searching and hard work.
The words need to be enticing and clear,
A bridge to the reader’s heart.

A movie camera sweeps across scenes,
So does a book’s point of view.
One point of view shows one angle
While changing points of view reveal more.

To be lost in a book is indeed a gift,
An escape from the mundane and boring.
A visit to far away places can be
An adventure to open your mind’s eye.

Once completed, a book is a treasure,
A symbol of the author’s hopes and dreams.
A confectioner’s delight to be tasted and savored,
To be remembered by the many or just a few.

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PARADISE BELOW

JAN SIKES

Emma Dupont shifted her backpack and lowered her head as she struggled through the crowded street. Panic struck as the sunlight faded.

It would mean sure death to get caught out after dark

“Watch where you’re goin’, you stupid bitch!”

Rough hands shoved her into the edge of speeding traffic. With great effort, she steadied herself, stepped back onto the sidewalk, and quickened her pace.

Making sure no one noticed her, she ducked into an alleyway and banged on the side of a blue dumpster with a series of raps. A camouflaged door slid open.

She tossed her backpack inside then hurried down the metal steps into the arms of a dark-haired man who held her while she sobbed.

“Susan, please bring Emma a cup of tea,” he instructed.

A tall blonde woman hurried away.

“I can’t go back up there again, Donovan. I just can’t.” Emma moaned. “They are no more than savages. Armed soldiers are everywhere, questioning everyone, barely controlling the mobs of hate-filled people. It’s awful.”

She didn’t tell him she’d felt someone watching her as she pushed through the street. The noose was tightening, but she’d die before she’d expose their hiding place.

Donovan rubbed her shoulders. “Don’t think about that right now.”

Susan appeared with a steaming cup and pressed it into Emma’s hands.

“Try to relax,” Donovan tucked a tendril of brown hair behind her ear.

Emma sank down against the cold concrete wall and let the warmth of the tea soothe her ragged nerves She watched while Donovan emptied the contents of the backpack.

When he looked up, his eyes shone. “You did good, love. We almost have enough.”

After the last election, conditions in the US had deteriorated. Humanity had gone crazy. Hate flourished and people killed each other over the slightest disagreement. Satan reigned.

Evil permeated every corner. Small handfuls of people banded together and escaped into underground tunnels determined to live in peace and raise their children.  

Fed up with the insanity, Emma didn’t hesitate to join. Her group had one plan.

They had to get to Mexico.

 The government’s restriction of money forced them to withdraw small amounts at a time. Emma’s experience of working in banks gave her the ability to gather the funds they needed to escape.

They were almost there, but nine months of living beneath the crazed streets of Dallas had taken its toll, especially on the children. Deprived of vitamin D, they grew lethargic and pale.

Resources, time and patience grew thin.

“I’ve been in communication with others in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. We’re almost ready to make our move,” Donovan said. “But, one mistake will mean death.”

Emma nodded. She didn’t care. The thought of dying didn’t frighten her.

Jasmine tea helped slow her heart rate and settle her nerves. 

Donovan dropped beside her. “I never imagined that the ‘Land of the Free’ and the ‘Home of the Brave’ would deteriorate into such a state of evil, and hate.” He blew out a long sigh. “We’ve lost everything.”

Emma placed a hand on his arm. “But, we haven’t given up. And, we’ve kept love in our hearts.”

Susan and several others gathered around. “With trust in God and help from the angels who watch over us, we’ll survive,” she said. “We’re the future of humanity. We are the Lightworkers.”

They formed a circle and joined hands. In a melodic voice, a woman with straight black hair sang, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…”

Voices blended sweetly, and an essence of light filled the dank tunnel.

###

Melchizedek bowed his head overcome with the beauty and faith of the small group. He called Nemamiah and Charmaine to his side.

“It is almost time. We must rally everyone to watch over and help them. Please meet with the Ashtar Command and give them a report.”

Nemamiah folded his wings and nodded. Charmaine smiled and opened her wings to take flight.

“It is done.”

###

Emma barely survived her last venture above ground. When three hoodlums grabbed her and dragged her into a deserted alleyway, she fought hard, but they stuffed a dirty rag in her mouth and kicked her with the sharp toes of their boots.

From their sneers and insinuations, she knew they intended to take more than the contents in her backpack. She silently prayed.

The moment her attackers dumped the money out of her backpack, a flock of Ravens descended from nowhere, flapping their wings and pecking at their heads and eyes until they ran screaming from the alley.

Emma was sure they’d attack her next, but to her surprise, the birds hovered around her while she picked up the money, then flew above her while she ran for safety.

She shook her head when Donovan questioned her bruises and told him the angels had protected her.

Wheels were in motion. They would soon be away from the nightmare.

Donovan gathered the group for final instructions. “Travel light. Anything you don’t need, leave it. We have two vans, but there’s limited room.”

While the rest did the same, Emma gathered her belongings. She wouldn’t take more than she could carry on her back. She stared at a photo before tucking it into a zippered pocket. That life was gone. All she had left was her faith, strong will, and this family determined to live in peace.

By the time the twelve adults and four children were ready, the first shy rays from the sun graced the sky. It would be a long day.

They piled into the vans in an orderly manner. Donovan would drive one vehicle, and Michael the other.

Emma got into Donavon’s van. They’d grown close over the months of their confinement. She wouldn’t call it romance, but pure love. She’d grown to love all these gentle souls. Together, they would build a new life in paradise.

They slapped magnetic signs on the sides of the vans that read, “Hollow Road Baptist Church” and crawled through early morning traffic toward I-35 south. 

They hit a roadblock a few miles outside Dallas.

“Remember what we rehearsed,” said Donovan as he pulled over.

Several of the group placed Bibles on their laps. Emma held her breath.

Armed soldiers approached. “Papers,” one soldier barked, “and state your destination.”

“Camp Zephyr, sir, for a retreat.”  Donovan handed him papers.

Soldiers surrounded both vans and peered through the windows. Emma was sure they could hear her heart pounding. She forced a smile.

Donovan stared straight ahead.

After what seemed like forever, the soldier passed the papers back through the window. “You can go. But, stay on the main roads. There are crazies around.” He motioned them on.

Donovan nodded and pulled away. “Emma, pull up GPS and find a back route, then tell Michael what we’re doing.”

The route took them through miles of open pasture and small Texas towns. Finally, their headlights pierced the darkness and lit up a rusted VW van shell.

Donovan pulled to a stop. “Everyone stays put until we know it’s safe.”

He jumped out. He and Michael hurried toward the VW, looking in all directions.  

Emma chewed her fingernails and stared out the window. Nothing could go wrong now. They were so close.

Donovan had explained that a Coyote would escort them through the tunnel into Matamoros, where they would find papers and transportation.  

When the men turned and waved, the group grabbed their belongings and exited the vans. One-by-one, they climbed down rickety wooden steps into a damp tunnel. Flashlights reflected off dirt walls supported by boards and rocks.

Painted on one board, “Paradise Below” promised a long awaited redemption. The narrow tunnel forced them to walk single-file, and some taller men had to hunch over.

But, discomfort didn’t matter.

In an hour, they emerged onto a deserted side street in Matamoros where a dilapidated bus waited.

Without a word, the group filed onto the bus. The driver closed the door and ground the gears into forward motion.

Emma sat beside Donovan and reached for his hand. “We’re going to make it.”

He sighed and leaned back against the seat. “We are.”

A brilliant red sun rose over the ocean, bringing with it a new day, as the bus lumbered to a stop many hours later. Gentle waves lapped the shore and seagulls cawed as they swooped down searching for breakfast.

When the bus door opened, a couple dressed like American tourists greeted each person.

A woman with flaming red hair hugged Emma. “Welcome to Mexico. I’m sure you’re exhausted. We have rooms prepared for each of you.”

“Thank you,” Emma murmured soaking up the tropical scenery.

Paradise! They’d made it. No more hate, no more violence, and no more hiding.

They’d reached Pueblo de Luz, (City of Light).

A band of angels hovered above the group with tears of joy shining in their eyes.

There was hope for humanity.

Hope in these small groups that dared to keep love alive.  

 

******

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marcha-fox

The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon

by Marcha Fox

Charlie Whitehorse caressed the soft texture of the wool blanket as he gathered its folds around himself against the evening chill. He savored it’s earthy scent, unlocking an onslaught of memories. This wasn’t just any blanket. Over three decades before, he’d watched his ama’sa’ni create this one from scratch. Sitting cross-legged on the floor of his log cabin, gazing into the roaring fire, he recalled how he’d longed to hunt deer with his father and the other elders. But he was a child of seven, his job to help his grandmother, one of the tribe’s weavers. The process of making blankets was long and tedious, one far too boring for a young Navajo boy who felt embarrassed and demeaned performing chores assigned to squaws.

Even now, he remembered every step. First, she’d shown him how to separate the shoulder sections of the fleece, which were the cleanest with the longest staple. After that, she’d instructed him how to prepare the raw wool for spinning. This involved teasing a few locks with his fingers to separate the fibers. Next came combing them with a pair of carders that looked like large, flat dog brushes, manmade imitations of the prickly teasel. Then he’d place the resulting bats in a reed basket, miniature clouds of fluff awaiting her skilled hand. Pure lanolin coated his fingers, making them squeak when rubbed together, its odor one he’d never forget. Nor how it softened callouses earned practicing with his bow. Often he couldn’t work fast enough to keep up with her spinning, accomplished using a spindle to twist the prepared fibers into yarn.

Fortunately, once she spun enough yarn, his part became more interesting. Then he no longer had to sit for hours on end, arms aching from carding. Now he could explore a bit as he gathered the materials she needed to dye the yarn into a variety of warm colors.

The collection process for some substances required a knife or ax, which contributed to the feeling of it being a worthy task for a young brave. Bloodroot, hickory twigs, pokeweed berries, and oak bark were some of the things she requested. Among the most challenging were cochineal beetles which, when dried and ground into powder, would yield crimson. It could take an entire day to gather enough bugs for a single batch, but to both him and his ama’sa’ni, it was a day well-spent.

In fall, goldenrod blossoms were gathered to produce vibrant yellow, though color and intensity depended on various factors. When ama’sa’ni was ready to start the dye process, he’d haul water from either the iron-rich spring to the north side of their village for reds or the alum-rich one to the east for the yellows, the resident minerals necessary for the fiber to permanently retain its color.

When she’d prepared sufficient yarn, Charlie helped her warp the loom constructed from tree trunks, then wrap the different color yarns on separate sticks that served as shuttles. Then, the best part–weaving–began. He marveled as she’d skillfully alternated shuttles, colorful geometric patterns emerging with each row of weft until at long last their collective labors produced a finished blanket that was not only functional but a work of art.

Only now, as a grown man, did the wisdom of that experience impress itself upon his mind. Not only the work itself but what it taught him about nature, going full circle from the vegetation the sheep ate to dyeing the yarn with some of those same plants. Yes, the process was tedious and long; yet the result was well worth it. It taught him patience, perseverance, and appreciation. For simple things. Like a blanket that felt softer to the touch each year, improving with use, unlike so many things that didn’t last. Analogous to life itself. And old friends. A cherished cover that had kept him warm for what would soon be thirty winters, many of which were spent in the frigid Colorado Rockies.

His cultural roots demonstrated man was intended to be an integral part of nature; stewards, not conquerors. Unlike those who’d invaded their land, forced the Indigenous population to settle in inferior regions, then even drive them from there, when a wealth of silver, gold, copper, and other minerals were discovered beneath what they considered sacred ground.

Rather than extracting and processing it in a way that honored the earth and showed gratitude for its abundance, they’d virtually raped the land, leaving gaping holes and tunnels behind. Some hundred-fifty years before, his people had sadly admitted defeat and had no choice but to tolerate such behavior.

Yet, their misfortune didn’t end there. It was harvest time in 1869 when a band of drunken Whitemen raided the village, waiting until the tribesmen were away for the final hunt in preparation for winter. The invaders not only ravaged the women and burned their homes, but stampeded the horses that remained in camp. A few young braves, not yet old enough to join the hunt, had attempted to save the steeds, only to be driven by a hoard of deranged miners over the edge of a cliff to be decimated in the ravine a hundred yards below. Charlie recalled when he’d first heard the story as a youth and how he’d imagined himself as one of them.

Was it any wonder that when the tribesmen returned and found the resulting devastation that their medicine man, likewise a shaman, cursed that canyon?  So far, however, the Whiteman had continued to benefit from exploiting and abusing the entire area. Perhaps the dawn of the curse resided in the aftermath of the leaching and other processing methods used to extract the precious metals. These involved noxious substances such as arsenic and mercury. Their residue poisoned the ground and eventually migrated to nearby streams when abandoned mines filled with rain and snow melt. The toxic drainage eventually killed all aquatic creatures and drove away wildlife that depended upon such channels for drinking water.

The mines were mostly exhausted, yet water continued to accumulate in their cavities. The latest bitter irony that they were using the excavations’ polluted aftermath to further devastate the ground. The acid mine water was being used for hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, again dishonoring the earth while stealing from its depths.

It was easy for Charlie to question whether or not the curse was real. So far it was questionable, no apparent consequences answered upon those who had wreaked so much destruction for the sake of greed. Only the earth and local wildlife had suffered.

Local tradition dictated that the curse would manifest in its entirety when their actions reached the pinnacle of evil. After that, it would dissipate, but only when the Whiteman and his Indigenous brothers mended their ways; when they closed the persistent rift between them in friendship and cooperation. Unlike many, he was one of the few who had tasted of such sweetness with his friend, Bryan Reynolds. They’d met in their teens when Charlie had moved north to live with his father in his male parent’s native Cheyenne country. Oddly enough, the two boys even shared the same birthday, spending dozens of adventurous summers together, exploring, hunting, fishing, and growing up in separate cultures, yet being of one heart.

But now Bryan was dead. His life terminated in that very ravine known to his people as Dead Horse Canyon. Charlie suspected his friend’s tragic accident had been orchestrated by those to whom the curse had been directed. Yet so far, no guilty party had been identified, much less suffered due consequences. It didn’t make sense. Seven generations have passed. Surely it was time. And intuition assured him fulfillment was in progress.

But why Bryan? Why now? And what, if anything, was Charlie’s role?

The blanket’s warmth enjoined him to patience. From that first bat of carded wool to its liberation from the loom, it had comforted and instructed him in the ways of life. Legend assured him that the curse would end. Soon. And in some way, currently unknown to him, he would be part of it.

 

******

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bernard-foong

 

Stop Worrying

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.

Corrie Ten Boom

 

Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, London, England

I was delighted to see Uncle James after several months of absence. The evening before my mother’s arrival in London, I had a heart-to-heart talk with my English guardian. He had kindly invited Andy and me to sup with him at one of London’s oldest English establishments – Simpson’s-in-the-Strand.

“What is worrying you, boy?” Uncle James pressed. “You know you can ask or tell me anything. I promised your mother that I’ll do my best to assist you, while you are in my care.”

Touched by his kindheartedness, I muttered, “I know my mother is in London to whisk me away from Andy. She’d gotten wind that I am having a homosexual affair with a boy. Is that true?”

My guardian gave a hearty laugh. “That is indeed true, and it was I, who told her about Andy. Most importantly she is here to see her darling son and to meet his mannerly beau.”

“If she intends to get to know Andy Why is she bolting me, with her female entourage to Europe for two weeks?” I questioned.

“She misses her son and wants to spend time with you,” my guardian answered on my mother’s behalf.

“Knowing my relatives, they’re likely to convince her that my homosexuality is a sin,” I countered.

James acknowledged. “Although that is true, you should evince to them that you have come into your own and you have the right to love whom you choose. Young, positive actions will always speak louder than words.

“Your mother is a worldly and a well-traveled woman. She understands you more than anybody else, besides Andy.”

“It’s hard not to worry,” I opined.

Andy, who had thus far remained quiet, expressed, “My dearest, the answer lies in your beliefs in the negative and the positive about worrying. On the negative side, you may believe that your worrying is going to spiral out of control, which will drive you crazy, and may damage your health.

“On the flip-side, you may believe that your worrying will help you to avoid bad things; like preparing you for the worst and then coming up with solutions. In my opinion, your worrying shows you’re a caring and conscientious person.”

Uncle James denoted, “Andy is in part correct. Negative beliefs or worrying about worrying add to your anxiety.

“But, positive beliefs about worrying can at times be damaging. It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying protects you. To stop worrying, you must give up your belief that worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem and not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind.”  

He paused before he rejoined, “Young, you can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.

“Let me cite you an example: daily, I have tough decisions to make as the CFO of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and it is not easy to be productive if I allow worries and anxiety to dominate my thoughts….”

My Valet asked before my uncle could finish. “What techniques do you use to rectify that, sir?”

James responded smilingly, “It doesn’t work to tell myself to stop worrying; at least not for long even if I can distract myself for a moment. I can’t banish those anxious thoughts for good. Trying to do that often makes these thoughts stronger and more persistent.  

“Thought stopping often backfires because it forces me to pay extra attention to that very thought I want to avoid, thereby making it seem even more important. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing I can do to control worry. This is where the strategy of postponement of worrying comes in. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of the anxious thought, I give myself permission to have it, but I put off dwelling on it until later.”

He took a breather before he resumed, “Postponing worrying is effective because it breaks the habit of dwelling on worries when I’ve other more pressing matters to attend to, yet there’s no struggle to suppress the thought or judge it. I simply save it for later. As I develop the ability to postpone my anxious thoughts, I realize that I have control over them.”

Andy inquired curiously, “How do you stop thoughts of worry from reemergence by deferment?”

The CFO answered, “There are three steps I take to accomplish this goal.  

“First, I create a ‘worry period.’ I choose a set time and place for worrying. For me, it is from 6:00 to 6:30 PM so that it is early enough for me to not be anxious before dinner and bedtime. During my worry period, I allow myself to worry about whatever is on my mind, while the rest of the day, is a worry-free zone.

“If an anxious thought comes into my head during the day, I make a brief note of it and then continue about my day. I remind myself that I will have time to think about it later. Therefore, there isn’t any need to worry about it for now.

“Lastly, I go over my worry list during the appointed worry period. If the thoughts I had written continue to bother me, I allow myself to worry about them. But only for the time I’ve set aside for my worry period. If those worry thoughts don’t seem important anymore, I cut short my worry period to enjoy the rest of my evening.”

My Valet exclaimed, “What a brilliant way to deal with worry and anxiety.”

James gave an acceding nod and added, “You see, worrisome thoughts and problem-solving are two very different things. Problem-solving involves evaluating a situation, before coming up with concrete steps to deal with it, and before putting the desired plan into action.  

“Worrying, on the other hand, rarely leads to solutions. No matter how much time I spend dwelling on the worst-case scenarios, I am no more prepared to deal with them should the actual event happen.”

I queried, “How then, do you distinguish between solvable and unsolvable worries?”

“Young, It is much easier than you think. If a worry pops into my head, I start by asking myself if the problem is something I can actually solve. I ask myself these questions:  

Is the problem something I am currently facing, or an imaginary what-if? If the problem is an imaginary what-if, how likely is it to happen? Is my concern realistic? Can I do something about the problem to prepare for it, or is it out of my control?”

He sipped his wine and continued, “Productive, solvable worries are those I can take action on right away. For example: if I’m worried about my bills, I could call my creditors to see about flexible payment options.  

“Now, unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. Like: What if I get cancer someday? Or what if my kid gets into an accident?

“If the worry is solvable, I start brainstorming by making a list of all the possible solutions I can think of. What I try not to do, is get hung up on finding the perfect solution. I focus on the things I can change, rather than dwell on the circumstances or realities beyond my control. After I’ve evaluated my options, I draw out a plan of action. Once I have a plan, I can start to do something about the problem. This way I feel less worried.”

My lover questioned, “How do you deal with unsolvable worries or a worry I cannot solve?”

Andy, you’re not a chronic worrier, but if you are, it is vital for you to tune into your emotions. In the majority of cases, worrying helps a person avoid unpleasant emotions. Worrying keeps one in one’s head – like thinking about how to solve problems rather than allowing him or herself to feel the underlying emotions. Yet, one cannot worry one’s emotions away. While a person is worrying, his/her feelings are temporarily suppressed. As soon as the worrying stops, the feelings bounce back. Then, the person start worrying about his/her feelings, like: ‘What’s wrong with me? I should not feel this way!’” James paused when our waiter fills our wine glasses.

When he departed, my uncle resumed, “It may appear alarming to embrace one’s emotions because of a person’s negative belief system. For example, I may believe that I should always be rational and be in control and that my feelings should make sense. Or I shouldn’t feel certain emotions, such as fear or anger.

“The truth is that emotions, like life, are complex. They don’t always make sense and are not always pleasant. But as long as I can accept my feelings as part of being human, I will be able to experience them without being overwhelmed, and I can learn how to use these emotions to my advantage.”

I remarked, “Uncle, it is difficult to accept uncertainties when I don’t know the outcome.”

“That is indeed true. The inability to tolerate uncertainty plays a huge role in anxiety and worry. Chronic worriers cannot stand doubt or unpredictability. They need to know with a hundred percent certainty what is going to happen. Worrying is seen as a way to predict what the future holds, to prevent unpleasant surprises, and to control the outcome. The problem is, it doesn’t work.

“By thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable. You may feel safer when you’re worrying, but it’s just an illusion. Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. My dear boy, if you want to stop worrying, start by tackling your need for certainty and immediate answers,” my surrogate dad counseled.

“Worrying is usually focused on the future, on what might happen and what you’ll do about it. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries and redirect your focus back to the present. This strategy is based on observation and release, in contrast to the previous techniques I mentioned; that of challenging your anxious thoughts or postponing them to a worry period. Merging these two strategies together will help you to identify the roots of the problems and will assist you to be in touch with your emotions.

“By not ignoring, resisting, or controlling them, and through acknowledgment and observation of the anxious thoughts and feelings, one then views the worrisome thoughts without immediate reactions or judgments, from an outsider’s perspective.”  

“My dear fellas, let go of your worries. When you don’t control your anxious thoughts, they will pass; like clouds moving across the sky. Stay focus on the present, pay attention to your ever-changing emotions, and always bring your attention back to the present,” my surrogate dad reassured as our English roasts arrived for us to dig in.

******

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

 

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

(Bernard Foong) RWISA Author Page

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rhani-dchae

 

 

THE WEEK MY FATHER DIED

I was at work when my mother called to tell me that dad had been rushed to the hospital the night before, suffering from excruciating pain in his abdomen.  

Dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer about fifteen years earlier and it had spread to other parts of his body, but he had been doing fairly well so there was no reason to anticipate something like this.

Mom told me that dad had spent quite a bit of time at the hospital while they ran numerous tests to discover the cause of his pain. Long story short, his kidneys were failing and there was nothing that could be done. He was sent home with a hospice nurse so that he could be with his family in comfortable surroundings when the end came.

We rented a hospital bed and put it next to the front window so that he could see outside into the yard. We kept instrumental hymns playing on the stereo and moved mom’s chair closer to the bed so that she could be nearer to him.

And that’s when things started to get a little crazy.

James, my seeing eye son, was living with mom and dad at the time, and my sister, who I was living with at the time, drove out with me every day.  Gail, my other sister, also came out daily, as did her husband, her four children and their collection of young ones.

Gail’s grandkids were all under ten and did not really understand the severity of the situation. They knew that Papa was going home to see Jesus, but that was about as far as it went. Gail’s family had never lived close to mom and dad, so their kids only saw my parents three or four times a year. None of them had a close relationship with dad, so the thought of losing him did not rate overly high on their radar.

For five days, the kids ran through the house, slamming the doors and yelling to each other. Even when they were sent outside, the noise was loud enough to be heard everywhere in the house. Their respective parents would occasionally tell them to tone it down, but they were kids and that’s what kids do.

At one point, one of my nephews-in-law decided to commemorate the occasion by putting it on film. He videotaped everyone going to my father’s side and saying goodbye. Maybe it was the stress of the situation, but I didn’t like what he was doing. My father’s death was not a photo-op, and I resented anything that made it seem that way.

I remember being called into the living room and told to say something to dad. I had already spoken to him several times, telling him that I loved him and assuring him that mom would be taken care of. Having my niece’s husband dictate to me where to stand and how long to talk so that he could get it on film, was infuriating.

As six families moved through the house each day, my mother spent most of her time sitting with dad, reading the Bible to him and making the most of the time that remained. She loved having her family close, but as the days passed, I could see that the noise and constant disruption was getting to her. I did speak to my nieces individually on several occasions, asking if they could please keep the kids quiet, at least in the house. They always said they would, and I know that they meant it at the time, but it never happened. The noise, the chasing from room to room, and the constant interruptions into my parents’ private space, continued. I could see that it was upsetting my mother, and I finally decided to put my foot down.

I took my mom and Gail into the bedroom and asked mom what she wanted or needed. She thought about it for a long moment and then said, very simply, that she wanted to answer the phone. Either Gail or one of her daughters had been taking the phone calls and making a list of the callers. Mom wanted to speak to those people, most of them from her church and was upset that she was not being allowed to do so. And she wanted the volume around her to be turned down to a much less disruptive level.

Gail said that she would take care of it, and she did. Within hours, her grandkids had been taken by their fathers to another location. I didn’t know where they went, and I didn’t much care. They were gone, the house was quiet, and that was all that mattered to me.

Later in the day, James, my other sister Sharon and I,

took mom to Cold Stone for some ice cream. Dad was fairly unresponsive by then, so she felt that it was okay to take a little break.

We were gone for about an hour, and by the time we got back, everyone else was back as well. But at least mom had a few hours of uninterrupted time with dad, and I’m so grateful that the girls understood and were willing to do what was needed to give her that.

My father passed that night, surrounded by family and carried home on the sound of our voices singing his favorite hymns. Standing in a semi-circle around the bed, we held hands as we sang, while my brother-in-law, a minister, laid his hands on my father’s head and prayed him home.

As cancer deaths go, my father’s was fairly quick. He had been fully functional up until the night he went to the emergency room, enjoying his life without much discomfort. He avoided the long hospital stays and horrific pain that are so often a part of that kind of death. My aunt Gloria died of lung cancer when I was eighteen or so. I went to see her in the hospital, and I remember a shrunken figure in the bed, hooked up to monitors and numerous IV lines. Her time of dying took several long and torturous weeks, and I will always be thankful that my father was spared a similar end. I would have hated to have my last memory of this strong and vital man, be that of a wasted shadow of the man that he had always been.

I thank the Lord that it didn’t go that way.

                                                                       ******

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What do you think of the new description of THE DEAD GAME?

I’ve been busy editing my second book in THE DEAD GAME SERIES. I bought an editing program, ProWriting Aid. It analyzes my sentences to death. I have one hundred pages to edit. It has taken me six months to edit the first two hundred. I get sidetracked by writing poetry, promoting my first book, and life. 

I wrote a new description of my first book and even brightened its colors for promotion. I want to know what my followers think of my changes.

I had hoped to publish book two by the end of the year, but I’m editing it to the bitter end. Once completed, I will release the book and its title. I am learning patience.

Thank you, everyone, for following me on my journey.

1 Book 321px 500px

Book 1 in Series

Linda Bennett moves from New York to Florida to live a quieter life. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life in Oasis is perfect until the dead body washes on shore. She learns dead bodies and disappearing tourists are typical for this small town. As soon as the sun sets, dark shadows stalk Linda and her friends. Once the stores shut for the night, the young residents hide behind closed doors. The same time, the original residents hold parties at their mansions and appear in town.

Life becomes more complicated for Linda and her group. They receive an unsigned invitation to a party at End House, a deserted mansion that hides a sinister history. On the night of the party, the house waits for them filled with revolving rooms upstairs and cages of wild animals in the basement. Horrifying traps and illusions face them at every turn. With wild animals at their backs, the young residents flee for their lives.

They embark on an arduous journey, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling the evil game and their town. Who are The Dead? Are they humans or vampires? Will Linda lose her heart to Todd? Will her best friend, Shana, fall for Sheriff Sam? Is a second book needed?

The Dead Game has begun.

 

PRELUDE TO BOOK II – THE DEAD GAME SERIES

house in woods

 

 

Has End House returned to Oasis?

Our chanting had cast it to sea.
 
It can’t be back.
 
We can’t be under attack.

 

Silence fills the forest.

A cold breeze tickles my arms.

I follow the path through

a thick copse of trees.

 

The sky darkens.

A shadow looms in the distance.

I enter the clearing.

Seagulls cry and swoop low.

 

I halt by a deep hole.

The spot where End House had stood.

A hard shove

And I’m falling.

 

Laughter follows my descent.

I hit rock bottom. 

A tunnel stretches before me.

Light at its end.

 

THE DEAD GAME CONTINUES

PRELUDE TO BOOK II

THE DEAD GAME BOOK TOUR

HERE IS MY INTERVIEW WITH SUSANNE LEIST BY FIONA MCVIE

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello. My name is Susanne Leist. Do I have to give my age? Okay, I’m 59 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I have an M.B.A. in Finance. I worked as a financial analyst in the commodities markets and then as a budget analyst. Later in life, I turned to writing. I have two daughters, both married. I live on Long Island with my husband, Maltese dog, and dwarf bunny (who belongs to my younger daughter. Poor Thumper.)

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve recently completed book two of The Dead Game series. The first book resolved the murder mystery, but at the same time, opened a Pandora box of new problems. Its surprise ending leads us to book two.

The second book takes the heroine, Linda, and her friends on a chase through Florida from a private club in Disney World to the swamps of Southern Florida. In its wake, a trail of dead bodies leaves their bloody signature.

Book two should be released this summer. That is if I can stop editing before I send it to the editor.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always loved to read books. I grew up reading all types of thrillers and mysteries, from Agatha Christie to Sherlock Holmes. Except for Agatha Christie’s novels, I’ve been able to figure out the endings. Then one day, I decided to write a book of my own, to play with clues like the famous authors, and create a surprise ending. I wanted to be like Jessica Fletcher, played by Angela Lansbury, in Murder She Wrote.

After I wrote The Dead Game, my fantasy came true. I wasn’t so concerned with profits as I was with having people read my words. After I sold the first book, I was on Cloud Nine thinking about someone somewhere reading my story.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I still don’t know if I consider myself a writer. I’m a dabbler. I dabbled in Finance, then Marketing, and now writing prose and poetry. Once I published my book, I felt more like a writer than before.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to write a book that combined paranormal with mystery. This type of literature is hard to find. I decided to write a paranormal, murder mystery of my own. My book, The Dead Game, has dead bodies and suspects like a traditional murder mystery. However, it also has humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. And don’t forget the haunted house—we must have one of these.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The Dead play an essential part in the book.  Since they enjoy playing evil games to the detriment of the residents of Oasis, I called it The Dead Game.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I write what I feel inside. I keep writing until my fingers hurt and my eyes get blurry. Then I edit and edit. Editing is challenging, and I don’t know when to stop.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The book isn’t based on reality in any way, shape, or form. The story and characters evolved from my overactive imagination.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I travel through the strange ideas in my mind. I use the computer to check up on places and events.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed it with Outskirts Press. I asked for a door with a hand holding it open, and blood dripping out. They didn’t have it in stock. So we agreed upon the door with fire around it.The door plays a significant role in my book.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I can now say I’m a full-time writer. I pen my poetry on my blogs and AuthorsDen.com. After I publish my second book, I’ll work on the third one in the series.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I learned a lot from the reviews on my book. I wouldn’t have written in multiple points of view, which can confuse readers. My second book is written basically in one point of view with a few other points of view thrown in as needed along the way.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I now know to have everything in place before my book is released. The Dead Game first sat on Amazon and Barnes & Noble without a by-line or an author bio. Outskirts Press didn’t prepare me. I had to hurry to compose descriptions and open blogs. I quickly learned about Facebook, Twitter, and Google as social sites to share my book. The first month was hectic. I know better this time around.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Linda is sensitive and loves to read. She is a good and loyal friend. KatharineMcPhee, Natalie Portman or Emily Blunt would be great leading women.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Have all your social media, blogs, descriptions, and everything else in place before you release your book. Announce the arrival of your book in advance to raise readers’ expectations before the big event.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

The most important thing I want for you is to enjoy my story and let it take you away from the mundane to a world of adventure and where the impossible becomes possible.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just finished Lisa Unger’s book, Crazy Love You. It’s a psychological thriller like Gone Girl. I expected more from Gone Girl after all the hype. Crazy Love You also delivers a story that is slow and predictable.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

My first grown-up book was the Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. My brother was an avid reader, and I read what he did.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

The TV show, Mom, makes me laugh. If anything happens to an animal in a movie, on TV, or on social media, I’m a crying mess.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would love to meet Angela Lansbury. Need I say more?

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Shopping and swimming in that order.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I enjoy Supernatural, The Originals, Deception, Riverdale, Mom, and Timeless.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Pizza. Purple. Soft music.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I can’t imagine that. How much shopping and swimming can I do?

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Travelling as much of the world as I can.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

She tried her best. I just made this up.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Website   https://susanneleist.com

Blog https://susanneleist.wordpress.com

Amazon authors page https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Leist/e/B00F253FE6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1525078784&sr=1-2-ent

 

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello. My name is Susanne Leist. Do I have to give my age? Okay, I’m 59 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I have an M.B.A. in Finance. I worked as a financial analyst in the commodities markets and then as a budget analyst. Later in life, I turned to writing. I have two daughters, both married. I live on Long Island with my husband, Maltese dog, and dwarf bunny (who belongs to my younger daughter. Poor Thumper.)

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve recently completed book two of The Dead Game series. The first book resolved the murder mystery, but…

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