Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

THE GIRL WHO CAME BACK TO LIFE #Excerpt by @YouMakeArtDumb #MGLit #MustRead #Tweens

At the train’s next stop, a different child came to Sophie and handed her another gift of food, and at the next stop a different child still. At each stop, another mother stood behind her child and insisted on the gift, and thanked Sophie for wearing her child out.

When the train moved forward, the children scrambled down the aisle and handed her a little of whatever their families were eating amongst themselves. Sophie felt embarrassed by the generosity the other passengers showed to her and, increasingly, to her grandmother, who also received small gifts of bread and cheese or whatever else the families brought with them. The old woman never pushed the children away, but simply thanked them with a touch of sweetness Sophie had never heard from her before.

Now, when their train stopped at a station or broke down altogether, the old woman produced a deck of cards from her bag and played games with the other women while Sophie continued to occupy the children with her runs.

As the days grew longer and rain fell and the smell of spring flowers drifted into the air, the two travelers slowly found themselves enfolded into the life of their train. During boisterous moments Sophie and her grandmother began to speak and laugh with the others. During quiet moments the two remained still and peaceful, sometimes smiling, sometimes sober, moods in tune with the warming air that thickened those afternoons when children slept and adults enjoyed temporary peace.

Gradually, as the days passed and spring brought the world back to life, something melted a touch between Sophie and her grandmother. They still rarely spoke, and when they did they never said any word of consequence, but the old woman began to comment whenever they received something especially delicious, and after a stray question or two about the day’s games escaped Sophie’s lips, the old woman began to teach her granddaughter how to play cards—quietly, privately, lest the train’s other women learned her secrets.

The Girl Who Came Back to Life

When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says "Goodbye," and Sends you to the next world. 

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her. 

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.

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Genre – Middle Grade
Rating – PG-13
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DARK CHEMISTRY #Excerpt by Kirsten Mortensen @KirstenWriter #AmReading #Suspense #Romance

This excerpt is from Chapter 3 of the book. Haley Dubose—a spoiled, shallow rich girl from Southern California—has reacted exactly as you’d expect to the news that, in order to inherit her late father’s estate, she has to move across country and run his company for two years. She threw a temper tantrum and stayed out too late, drinking with her friends.

Now it’s the next day and she’s in the airport, getting ready to board the flight to Amesbury, New York, that will change her life forever…

Haley’s head hurt.

She stood in front of the counter by Gate 7, waiting for the airline attendant to get off the phone.

“May I help you?”

Haley pushed her boarding pass across the counter like a note to a bank teller. “I’d like to upgrade to first class,” she said.

The attendant shook her head. “I’m sorry. We’ve got a full flight. There are no first class seats available.”

“I have miles,” Haley said, but faintly. She wasn’t exactly sure if she’d be able to use Sheila’s miles on a ticket paid for by Marla, the person at her father’s company who’d actually bought it.

The attendant, in any case, didn’t seem to hear. “I’m sorry,” she said again, and then picked up her microphone. “Okay folks, we’re now ready to begin boarding. First class. Anyone serving in the military. People with small children or who need special assistance—you may now board.”

Haley looked down at her ticket. 23F.

The printing pulsed slightly in the fluorescent light. Pulsed like her headache.

And she gave up.

At least it was a window seat ...

She pulled her rollerboard over to the rows of gray chairs near the gate, and squeezed herself into an empty one between two other fliers to wait for her turn to board.

² ² ² ² ²

The plane rose, tipped. Haley watched the red tiled roofs north of downtown shrink and then the plane tipped again and circled counterclockwise out over the bay. The water looked like rippled glass from this height. Still climbing, circling now back over land—over the mountains, the tawny desert mountains that flank San Diego to the east ...

She shut her eyes.

With her eyes closed she lost any sense that the plane was moving forward. There was only the jiggling turbulence and the roar of the engines humming through her body ... but that was people talking, too? How could their voices be so clear with the engines that loud, she could hear every word they said ... a woman telling someone about her son joining the Navy ... a father promising a child that he’d get the iPad when the seatbelt sign turned off ... now the jiggling and the vibration of the engine made it feel like they were moving backwards ...

I can’t believe my father did this to me.

What had that lawyer told her?

That Richard Molnare’s entire estate was tied up in the company he’d founded. And in two years—provided Haley met the terms of the will—she’d be able to sell RMB, get her money, and go home.

“So what you’re saying is, at that point I get my 70 million dollars,” Haley had said.

But the lawyer had waved her hand back and forth, a gesture signaling not so fast. “Not exactly. RMB generates 70 million in annual revenue. That’s not the same as the value of the estate. You understand the difference, right?”

And Haley had pretended that oh, sure, she’d understood the difference all along.

And the lawyer had gone on for a bit about how the company had been doing well for quite a few years in a row. Something about how it was part of a growth industry, and that a lot of other companies like it were buying each other up, which meant that when Haley’s two years was up, chances were good that RMB would be easy to sell.

“Of course,” the lawyer had continued—the lawyer had talked on and on for hours, it seemed like—“what you take out will depend, in part, on how well the company performs when you’re running it. If you can keep it on its current path, it should be worth more, in two years, than it is today. Several million dollars more, perhaps.”


Haley opened her eyes and leaned forward.

A thick manila envelope protruded from the tote she’d pushed under the seat in front of her.

Everything she needed was in that envelope, according to the lawyer. Including a Ziploc bag with a key inside—the key to her father’s house.

She turned and peered out of the window. The ground was gone, everything was gone, they were inside a cloud—the cloud so thick, so uniformly white that it didn’t seem like they were moving at all—they were suspended, motionless except for that slight jiggling, they weren’t moving forwards they weren’t moving backwards they were motionless ...

She pulled down the plastic shade and closed her eyes again, the sensation growing again that she wasn’t moving anywhere ... she was suspended in the air somewhere, suspended in a box ... in a box over which she had no control, and what choice did she have but to sit here, to let herself be jiggled and vibrated and hopefully go to sleep ...

The “seatbelt sign is on” bell-tone dinged and the pilot came on the intercom to tell them the flight time to O’Hare would be four hours and they’d be out of the turbulence soon and to enjoy the flight.

What was it that Oliver said to me?

She couldn’t remember it—not the words—only that he’d been ugly to her.

The asshole.

Her head hurt.


A woman's worst nightmare

Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.

All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.

But now her father is dead.

And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.

Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.

Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?

He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.

Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.

A web of evil.

Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.

And he must control her. Any way he can.

Romantic suspense for your Kindle

Will Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?

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Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
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Connect with Kirsten Mortensen through Facebook & Twitter

Aggie's Assignation from MAKING WISHES by Marilyn Holdsworth @M_Holdsworth #AmReading #Women

from the novel MAKING WISHES by Marilyn Holdsworth

Her guests continued their speculations on Elloree and Tom’s marriage, and Aggie glanced across the room to where Brian Coleman was just sitting down with two other men. He looked over at her, a slow sensuous smile spreading across his handsome suntanned features, and she felt an immediate stab of excitement. Yes, this luncheon was going to be very pleasant. After the salad and seafood crepes had been served and enjoyed, Aggie and her friends lingered over coffee.

Brian Coleman exchanged more glances across the room with Aggie, and when at last he’d finished with his tiresome clients, he ushered them outside to their cars. He waved and smiled as they drove off. It had been a very profitable afternoon. He was satisfied that both had bought his pitch for a substantial raise of their insurance coverage. He glanced at his watch impatiently. She should be coming out at any moment and if he knew women, those looks only meant one thing. Damn, he wished she’d hurry. He had an early evening appointment, but there might be just enough time.

Minutes later, Aggie stepped through the door, and she looked even better to him than she had from across the room. She had been teasing him for the past month with chance encounters and seductive looks. Maybe this afternoon he’d get lucky. At last she had bidden her friends good-bye, and he walked over to her.

Aggie watched him approach, her eyes eagerly devouring his trim, athletic good looks. She greeted him, “Brian, what a surprise! Did you enjoy your lunch?” she asked coquettishly.

“Very much. Especially the view.” He smiled, allowing his eyes to travel down her sleekly clad, curvaceous body.

Aggie felt a warm tingle. The glow of the wine, the afternoon sun, and his deep,husky voice made her feel pleasantly aroused.

“I’ve been admiring you all through lunch,” he said easily. “Do you have plans for the rest of the afternoon?” He leaned closer to her, and she caught his musky, masculine scent.
​“Nothing that can’t wait,” she answered, smiling.

For more, please see Making Wishes by Marilyn Holdsworth at

Elloree Prince is an attractive, creative young woman who marries a wealthy businessman, Tom Randall. After courting his bride with unrelenting determination, Tom moves her into old-moneyed Oak View, where generations of Randalls have lived for years. Outwardly, Elloree appears to settle into raising their two sons within Oak View’s stifling social structure, but inwardly, she yearns for her artistic work. An unexpected phone call from Mark Williams, her former employer, offers her the career opportunity of a lifetime, and she must make a choice. She is torn between her devotion to her sons and her love for her work. Her decision to return to Wishes, Inc. brings dramatic life changes to her and the people she loves.
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Genre - Women’s fiction
Rating – PG-13
“Abby Long is thrilled when she offers the winning bid for an antique desk at an auction. With its intricately inlaid woods and elegant style, the desk is perfect for Abby; it is the gift she promised herself to finally celebrate her thriving antique business. She has no idea that the antique desk holds a secret that will lead her on a fascinating, life-changing journey back in time.When Abby discovers a hidden diary stuffed inside a secret compartment in the desk, she can hardly wait to read the spidery, faded script. As she carefully turns the tattered pages, she reads the captivating story of two remarkable women from opposite backgrounds who somehow manage to form an unforgettable bond against the backdrop of a fledgling America struggling to find its place in the world. Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, the wife of James Monroe, and Jasmine, a young slave girl, develop an extraordinary relationship as they are united by pivotal historic events, political intrigues, and personal tragedies.
From a bucolic Virginia plantation to the bloodied, starving streets of post-revolutionary Paris, this powerful tale follows the lives of two courageous women from the past as they quietly influence—and inspire—a woman of today’s world.”
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Genre - Historical fiction
Rating – G
Widowed at thirty, Hannah Bradley is a successful journalist focusing on animal abuse issues. An accidental meeting introduces her to lawyer, Winston Caughfield III. Drawn to Hannah’s gentle beauty and fierce commitment to her work, Win joins her in a fight to save wild mustangs from slaughter. Together they rescue a badly injured horse with a mysterious background. Hannah’s search to discover the animal’s true identity leads them into a web of black marketeering and international intrigue. Action packed with crisp colorful dialogue the story propels the reader to a race against time conclusion. Marilyn Holdsworth delivers a gripping tale of mystery, adventure and romance guaranteed to hold the interest and capture the heart. She brings true-life characters together with real-life issues to create a fast-paced irresistible story.
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Genre – Contemporary fiction
Rating – PG
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 Connect with Marilyn Holdsworth on Facebook & Twitter

LOCK READY #Excerpt by James Rada Jr. @JimRada #AmReading #HistFic #Family

This excerpt provides a view of what life around the Cumberland Basin on the C&O Canal was like.

David stepped into the large warehouse at the southern end of the canal basin in Cumberland. The bay doors had been swung open to allow sunlight to shine on the work going on inside. However, it also meant that the warehouse stayed cold inside. It was nothing more than a very long barn. The difference was that this barn housed canal boats not livestock. The Lewis Boatworks was one of a handful of boat yards in Cumberland that built and repaired canal boats for canallers.

During the summer, some work could be done outdoors if the warehouse had a large enough yard, but there was a greater risk of sabotage from Confederate sympathizers, railroaders or simply hooligans against the exposed canal boats. Confederate raiders or sympathizers had burned the bridge from Cumberland to Ridgeley, West Virginia, and torn up the B&O Railroad track outside of Cumberland early in the war. Because of that, Amos Lewis preferred to construct his boats indoors and them roll them on logs out the warehouse doors that opened onto the Cumberland Basin.

David saw three men hammering boards that would become the roof of the family cabin onto the cabin frame. The boats on the C&O Canal were all roughly the same shape and length in order to fit into the seventy-four lift locks along the canal. The boats were each ninety-two feet long. Most were made of Georgia pine, though new boats being built were understandably made of trees harvested in the north. The largest area on a canal boat was the cargo holds, which made up about eighty percent of the space on a boat. The remaining space was taken up by three cabins; a family cabin and a mule shed sat on opposite ends of the canal boat, and a hay house was located in the middle of the boat.
David could smell creosote and wood and hear men talking and laughing as they worked on the canal boat. He had once been surprised that Cumberland, which was a city in the mountains, had a reputation for shipbuilding, but after working on the canal, he knew it was deserved. From here, the canal boats could be ordered by individual captains or the Consolidated Coal Company and launched at the canal basin to be filled with coal.

Cumberland was an important shipbuilding city because the C&O Canal was the lifeline for getting coal from the mountains of Western Maryland to Washington City. Access to coal was one of the reasons that the first destination for both the C&O Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad had been to reach Cumberland.

The C&O Canal and the B&O Railroad both began construction on July 4, 1828; the canal from Washington and the railroad from Baltimore. In the following years, the canal was delayed by an extended legal battle at Point of Rocks, fighting for the right of way and by Mother Nature near Paw Paw, Virginia, to dig the Paw Paw Tunnel. By the time the canal reached Cumberland in 1850, the railroad had already been there and operating for eight years.

The need for coal had allowed both businesses to survive and grow. It was particularly important now because portions of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad kept changing hands between the Confederacy and the Union. Part of the railroad’s right-of-way ran through West Virginia, which still had strong Southern sympathies despite the fact the Unionists had gathered enough support to break West Virginia off from Virginia to form a new Union state. The C&O Canal had proven to be fairly reliable in getting much-needed coal to the capital city, despite the Confederacy’s efforts to stop boating on the canal.

The Civil War split the United States and now it has split the Fitzgerald Family. Although George Fitzgerald has returned from the war, his sister Elizabeth Fitzgerald has chosen to remain in Washington to volunteer as a nurse. The ex-Confederate spy, David Windover, has given up on his dream of being with Alice Fitzgerald and is trying to move on with his life in Cumberland, Md. Alice and her sons continue to haul coal along the 184.5-mile-long C&O Canal. It is dangerous work, though, during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River and between the North and South. 

Having had to endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband. Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions that he is trying to answer. He wants to know who he is and if his birth mother ever loved him. As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. 

He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.
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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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Pendelton Wallace's Thoughts on the Rocky Road of Getting Published #AmWriting #SelfPub #PubTip

This is a heart-breaking tale. I finished my masterpiece and was sure that the world was clamoring to read it. I had a moment of humility and hired an editor to take a quick look at it. After all, it was my first work and it might need a tiny bit of polishing.
Well, she cut it to pieces. After I recovered from the shock that someone might not immediately fall in love with every word I wrote, I went back to work.
I cut over a hundred pages from the original manuscript, then started writing again. My editor was much kinder to my second draft. By the way, the first draft took me about three months to write. The second draft took two years.
Now that I had my masterpiece ready to unleash on the world, I needed an agent.
Being the organized person that I am, I got a copy of 2003 Guide to Literary Agents. I searched though this book for every agent that accepted memoirs. If they also represented mysteries and thrillers, they got bonus points.
I then researched the agents on the Internet and ranked each one as an A, B, or C. The A’s I needed to query today. The B’s I would query if none of the A’s came through. I never expected to query the C’s. By the way, I saved all of this information in an Excel spread sheet so I could organize it anyway it needed.
In those days, most agents were still requiring a paper query letter, so I wrote my first ten and shipped them off. There was one agent who accepted electronic submissions, so I shot off an email to him.
To my amazement, I received a return email from him the next day asking to see the first fifty pages of my manuscript.
A couple of weeks later, I got another email from him. He wanted to see the whole manuscript. I hadn’t even heard back from the other agents I’d queried yet.
A week or so later, I was at work when my cell phone rang. It was my agent.
“I can sell this book,” he told me. I jumped for joy.
We worked together for a year trying to sell the manuscript. He pitched it to all of the publishing houses in New York. The general response was, “This is a really nice little book, but I don’t see how it fits in our lineup this year.”
Finally, an editor at one of the major publishing houses fell in love with my book. (I think it was Random House, but my memory may be faulty here.) She pitched the book to the editorial committee and they signed off on it.
She prepared a pro forma and took it to the publisher. He looked it over and said “Present it to Barnes and Noble.”
In those days, Barnes and Noble was king. Twice a year this publisher took a list of books they were considering to Barnes and Noble buyers. The B&N buyers gave a thumbs up or thumbs down. If it got the thumbs up, it was published, otherwise, no.
My editor had thirty seconds to convince the B&N buyers that Blue Water & Me should be published. She gave it her best shot.
The buyer said “This sounds like an interesting book. I like it, but I don’t see how we’ll market it. I don’t know what shelf we will put it on.”
That was it. Blue Water & Me was dead. My agent pitched it to several Hollywood studios, but they don’t want to touch a book until it’s a best seller.
Finally, he told me that I would just have to set it aside and write something else. It was not going to be published.
Flash forward six years. I have written three other books and have had no luck in getting them published.
I was at the Write on the Sound writers conference in Edmonds, Washington. I went to a presentation by an author who had written a memoir. It was similar to my book. He talked glowingly about his publisher, Aberdeen Bay Press. I decided to query Aberdeen Bay about Blue Water &Me.
I sent in the query and never heard anything back. Then, over a year later, I got an apologetic email from an editor at Aberdeen Bay Press. She had just found my query letter under a pile of paper on her desk and she liked what she saw. Would I like to send her the whole manuscript?
It was off that day. A week or so later, she contacted me again and said she loved the book and wanted to publish it. We wrote back and forth a few times, then she dropped off the face of the earth.
I didn’t hear from her again. I emailed her every few weeks to see what progress she was making.
More than a year passed and I got an email from her. Once again, she was very apologetic. Her brother had died and she had to go to New Mexico to take care of his estate. She was no longer working for Aberdeen Bay Press. I should contact the publisher and see if he was still interested.
But she gave me no contact information for the publisher.
I went to their web site and sent a query to their “contact us” address. A couple of weeks went by and I heard back from their chief editor. She had assigned my book to another editor and he would be back with me shortly.
At this point we got back on track. It took about a year from the time the third editor got in contact with me to the time the book was published, but I finally had a book in my hand that I had written.

If Clive Cussler had written Ugly Betty, it would be Hacker for Hire. 

Hacker for Hire, a suspense novel about corporate greed and industrial espionage, is the second book in a series about Latino computer security analyst Ted Higuera and his best friend, para-legal Chris Hardwick. 

The goofy, off-beat Ted Higuera, son of Mexican immigrants, grew up in East LA. An unlikely football scholarship brought him to Seattle. 

Chris, Ted’s college roommate, grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father is the head of one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms. 

Ted’s first job out of college leads him into the world of organized crime where he faces a brutal beating. After being rescued by beautiful private investigator Catrina Flaherty, Ted decides to go to work for her. 

Catrina is hired by a large computer corporation to find a leak in their corporate boardroom when the previous consultant is found floating in Elliot Bay. 

Ted discovers that Chris’s firm has been retained by their prime suspect. Now he and Chris are working opposite sides of the same case. 

Ted and Catrina are led deep into Seattle’s Hi-Tech world as they stalk the killer. But the killer is also hunting them. Can Ted find the killer before the killer finds him? 
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Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Rating – R
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#Excerpt from THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ICE by @TheobaldSprague #Memoir #Adventure #Family

Four people, my three children and myself, who were separated more than a decade and a half ago were now being given the rare opportunity to reconnect and perhaps start anew. June 16, 2009, dawned with a deep blue New England sky. A fresh, morning breeze out of the northwest played about Bagan and gently bumped her up against what might be one of her last secure resting places for the next five months. Her tired crew quietly stowed last-minute items and double- checked deck lashings and safety devices for events and places no one could predict or, as of yet, imagine. As the small crew scurried about silently, an invisible transition was occurring. After waiting for two years, Bagan was now ready to lead the way into a vast and deadly unknown.
The docks at Goat Island were virtually empty. Those few who did saunter by took little notice of Bagan or her crew. At 11:00 a.m., 103 years to the day after Amundsen’s ship Gjoa left Oslo, Bagan’s 325-horsepower Lugger diesel engine was fired up in earnest and, with little fanfare, she slipped her lines.
As we slowly powered through Newport’s inner harbor, I picked up my cell phone and called Pierre Irving, a very dear sailing friend in Newport. Pierre and I had shared many hard-fought miles together, The Two Man Transatlantic Race in particular being some of our toughest. I wanted to call and simply say good-bye to him and his wife, Kathy.
Bagan made her way out of the harbor entrance, past Ft. Adams and Goat Island landmarks that I’d known and honored for years, landmarks that I was starting to realize I may never see again.
Not near his phone, Pierre’s outgoing voicemail message played. As it did, the enormity of what lay ahead of us hit me—8,500 miles through some of the world’s harshest maritime environment. The concept of navigating un- charted waters and as yet unknown perils to cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific swept over me and I couldn’t speak.
As Pierre’s voicemail beeped, my tears kept me from leaving the simplest of messages. I merely wanted to say that I’d see them in five months and wanted to wish them a wonderful summer.
I couldn’t.
The overwhelming thought of what my summer and fall held choked off any words. I wasn’t ready for it but unintentionally I’d severed the last connection to home and could only pray that we were ready for what lay ahead.

A sailor and his family’s harrowing and inspiring story of their attempt to sail the treacherous Northwest Passage.
Sprague Theobald, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and expert sailor with over 40,000 offshore miles under his belt, always considered the Northwest Passage–the sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific–the ultimate uncharted territory. Since Roald Amundsen completed the first successful crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906, only twenty-four pleasure craft have followed in his wake. Many more people have gone into space than have traversed the Passage, and a staggering number have died trying. From his home port of Newport, Rhode Island, through the Passage and around Alaska to Seattle, it would be an 8,500-mile trek filled with constant danger from ice, polar bears, and severe weather.
What Theobald couldn’t have known was just how life-changing his journey through the Passage would be. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a bad divorce more than fifteen years earlier, the family embarks with unanswered questions, untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts hanging over their heads. Unrelenting cold, hungry polar bears, and a haunting landscape littered with sobering artifacts from the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845, as well as personality clashes that threaten to tear the crew apart, make The Other Side of the Ice a harrowing story of survival, adventure, and, ultimately, redemption.

TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 

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Genre – Memoir, Adventure, Family, Climate
Rating – PG
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John E. Wade II on Inspiration & #SelfHelp During These Troubling Times - #AmReading #NonFiction

For those looking for some inspiration during these troubling times, look no further than Glimpses of Heaven on Earth. The four co-authors and I have scoured the globe for eloquent quotations about issues regarding such diverse topics as peace to gender harmony. Following a dozen or so quotes on these topics is a brief essay by one of the co-authors. Many involve the theme of education, and how we can all improve our lives through education—and by helping to provide for the education of others, especially those in developing countries and places of conflict.

One of my personal favorite essay is by Charlotte Piotrowski, on the topic of freedom. She touches on the obvious freedoms that most American’s and others enjoy, such as speech, but goes on to talk about the importance for everyone to enjoy the freedom of association (including marriage—a strong argument for allowing same-gender marriage). Charlotte quotes Dwight D. Eisenhower as saying, “To be true to one’s own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of others.”
One aspect of this book that is especially interesting is that the five co-authors write from very different perspectives. I previously published, How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, and invited four of that book’s essay contributors to join me in writing for Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, which made for a very interesting read. I am a fairly conservative retired CPA and now write and invest full-time. You can learn more about me at my main website:

Charlotte, who is also from New Orleans, left a ten-year career in litigation to pursue a freelance career in writing, editing, and website/social media content. She works closely with me on all of my literary, media, and creative projects. Daniel Agatino is a practicing attorney in New Jersey, and also teaches law and communications courses on the college and graduate level. Additionally, he offers radio and television commentary on current events, especially as they relate to the law. Michael Nagler is the founder of the Metta Center for Nonviolence in California, and has given lectures and workshops around the world about nonviolent solutions. In fact, we recently returned from such a trip to India. Martin Rutte, who currently resides in Canada, was a co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work and founded the Heaven on Earth Project. In addition to writing, Martin is a motivational speaker.

The fact that the contributors come such diverse backgrounds means that this book should truly appeal to everyone. There is no religious or political agenda, even with the reference to heaven. In fact, there is an entire chapter on the topic of spiritual harmony, by Michael, who writes about how we are all as one, spiritually. Therefore, we should respect other’s choices of religion (or lack thereof). My essay on democracies does not advocate for a particular political party, but simply for the right of all people across the globe to have a say in their government.

This book would be excellent for use in a book club, church book group, or for any other group that is interested in discussing meaningful topics. And, although some of the subject matter can be quite deep, the book is simply written and a very pleasant read.

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

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Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
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