STRANGE HWY REVIEW, Literary Short Fiction by Author Beem Weeks

Book Review by Stephen Geez

Strange HWY marks another big step in author Beem Weeks’s evolution as a serious literary writer. This collection continues his tradition of finding that moment that matters, then crafting a tale around it and daring us to look closely at the truth. Excepting the insightful and gently provocative essay “Memory of a Robot,” all of these richly textured pieces are masterworks of short fiction. Some, such as “Alterations,” are narrated by their characters in the first person. Mr. Weeks finds their distinctive voices with a raw empathy and flavorful diction of a kind rarely found except in works by A.M. Homes, Edmund White, and T.C. Boyle. “Constant as the Day” showcases an even rarer talent: He allows a character to narrate in the 2nd person, speaking to us in the reading audience as if we are one of the people in the story—a story ultimately about all of us. His 3rd-person entries, including the poignant look at budding relationships in “Dodging the Bullet,” sing with an intimate point of view that lets us feel as the characters do.

Author Weeks explores a range of topics from suicide and death to addiction and relationships. He is especially deft at looking at how young people experience realities that are new every day and yet the “same-old same-old” of constants that never change. I give Strange HWY my highest recommendation, one earned robustly. If you love immersing yourself in the finest that short literary fiction offers, this book is for you. If you’re new to the genre, Mr. Weeks offers a most impressive collection that says something about who we are and how we interact with our various and shifting worlds.

Beem Weeks is the author of short stories, poems, essays, and novels. Among his literary influences he counts Daniel Woodrell, Barbara Kingsolver, and Stephen Geez. A pop-culture trivia buff, Beem’s passions include indie films, loud music, and a well-told story. He has also penned a collection of short stories entitled Slivers of Life and the novel Jazz Baby.

 

 

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Announcing Publication of “THE CHOICE, the unexpected heroes” Blog Tour! @gmplano #RRBC #RWISA @4WillsPub

 

Jim Anderson is one of the principal characters in THE CHOICE.

He is a former air force pilot and is disabled. He works in the Public Relations office on base. In this scene, Jim is talking with Donna Tucker, a civilian who has come to the base to learn more about the death of her friend, Sarah O’Brien. Donna breaks the silence as they walk together.

“You remember when we first met, what you said to me? About losing your leg while others seem to have lost much more. I don’t think I understood.”

“I’ve simply lost a leg. Yeah, it’s a burden and constant reminder of a reality most don’t know. But many people lose their life over and over again. They give up, let fear control them, or run from challenges. They lose the one life they are given, not once but many times over. If the military taught me anything, it was you don’t give up; you embrace life. It’s the one thing you can claim as your own.”

“That’s powerful stuff. You’d make a great teacher.”

“Interesting you should say that; I have thought about it. Perhaps someday.”



 

Growing up in Southern California, Gwen Plano loved learning. She earned four degrees and taught and served in universities and colleges across the country and in Japan. Now retired, she is focused on writing. Gwen’s first book, Letting Go into Perfect Love, is a memoir. Her second book, The Contract, is a thriller co-authored by John W. Howell. Gwen lives in the Midwest with her husband, and when she is not writing, she is traveling, usually to see one of her four children and many grandchildren.  

 

Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Z3dUEm 

Website: https://gwenmplano.com/

Twitter: @gmplano

Facebook: @GwendolynMPlano

 

To follow along with the rest of the tour,

please visit the author’s tour page 

on the 4WillsPublishing site. 

 

If you’d like to book your own blog tour

and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion,

please click HERE.  

Lastly, Gwen is a member of the best book club ever–

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}!

If you’re looking for amazing support as an author,

or if you simply love books, JOIN US!

We’d love to have you!

 

Marie Lavender

What a thoroughly delightful introduction. I am impressed. Thanks to M. Schmidt and A. Raymond for pointing us to Marie Lavender and A Little Magick!

When Angels Fly

A Little Magick - final cover

Please welcome Marie Lavender to my blog. Hello Marie, have a seat and we shall chat for a short while. 

Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

Hello! Nice to visit your blog, Mary! I am an author of twenty-four books in various genres. I’m from a small town in the Midwest. I am a thirty-something woman and I hope to marry my fiancé sometime this year. I love shopping, reading and writing!

Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book? 

Yes, I’ve been writing fiction in some capacity since I was nine years old. I think I always knew I wanted to be an author.

In college, I had two stories published in a university anthology. By 2010, I started the indie publishing journey, and in 2011, I submitted my first historical…

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5-Star Book Review of Sammy: Hero At Age Five

 

The Celebration of Life!

5-Star Book Review

by Beem Weeks

Sammy: Hero at Age Five

by M. Schmidt

& Gene D. Donley

 Blurb: “Kids can get hungry sometimes while on chemo,” says five-year-old Sammy, having a good day despite the malignant tumor invading his brain. Based on true events from the 1980s, Sammy’s story is imagined by his mother and brother as if the young boy might tell it himself. The result is gripping. Told in two parts, Sammy’s account first invites us into the everyday middle-American lives of a mom and her two boys. Sammy is a sweet, good-hearted kid, even as he faces the most difficult challenges in Part 2: “Cancer Arrived.” Here Sammy talks us through hospital trips and procedures, the hardest parts as well as moments of simple joy. It is not always possible to survive such a grim diagnosis, so Sammy and his family must embrace the smaller victories from one day to the next. Finally, our young hero is given one last opportunity to find his own unique path toward triumph. Listen closely as Sammy tells us all what matters most.

Beem Weeks Review:

This is the true story of a five-year-old boy named Sammy. Though Sammy is the story’s narrator, it is told through the eyes of his mother and older brother. Sammy had cancer, the disease he succumbed to at age five.

The first part of the story shares insight into the daily life of a typical American family, detailing the goings-on with Sammy, his brother, and his mother. Readers get to know Sammy and his budding personality. Most American boys will recognize the activities of riding Big Wheels, messing with snakes, and sneaking off to forbidden areas. There are some humorous stories here, like the older brother, Gene, accidentally locking Mom out of the house. A neighbor had to bring a ladder, allowing Mom to climb in through the attic to unlock the door. 

The second part is entitled Cancer Arrived. Sammy began to be sick—all the time. Sinus infections, inner and middle ear infections, mononucleosis, and upper respiratory disease took over Sammy’s body. Doctors couldn’t pinpoint a cause and medicines didn’t clear things up. A radiologist even misread the x-ray. Because of this, he missed the tumor mass in Sammy’s neck and head. The cancer diagnosis left the family reeling. No parent wants to hear that awful disease pronounced on their child. The battle against Rhabdomyosarcoma became a family fight. 

To a young boy, this would be a scary situation to be in. Sammy certainly had those moments. But what we learn from this personal story is the wisdom and courage this boy gained in his all-too-brief time in this world. While cancer is a dark subject, this book is anything but dark. I found in these pages a celebration of a life that is still touching others, even nearly thirty years after his departure. As long as his mother, brother, family, and friends are here in this world, Sammy will be here too.   

Cover Reveal: Whatever it Takes by S. Burke #Pre-Order #PsychologicalThriller #Suspense

Renowned Australian author Suzanne Burke again astonishes us with the storytelling prowess of a true thriller author. Please take a moment to learn about her newest offering. Reblogged at StephenGeez.WordPress.com

From the Pen of Mae Clair

I’m delighted to be able to take part in the cover reveal blog splash for Whatever it Takes by my good friend Suzanne Burke. I was a beta reader on this book and am thrilled others will soon be able to enjoy it. Once you read this post, I recommend hopping over to Amazon for a one-click pre-order.

But first, here’s Suzanne to tell you about the latest dark and twisty psychological suspense novel she’s crafted…
Whatever It Takes cover reveal banner with curtain

Whatever It Takes

by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW. At the special Pre-order price of $0.99c
Release Date: May 8th, 2019
>Psychological > Thriller & Suspense >.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously…

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Welcome to the “PREY FOR THE DEAD” Blog Tour! @SusanneLeist @4WillsPub #RRBC

On day 4 of her tour,

say hello to my guest blogger,

author Susanne Leist!

 

A little about me:

When someone asked me to contribute an article on my life to an author’s blog, I panicked. What should I write? I’m a listener. I listen to other people’s problems and stories. I’m a good listener. But I don’t enjoy speaking about myself. But now I’m a writer, and I must move into the spotlight.

I’ve done a few interviews on fellow authors’ blogs. Their questions served as guidelines. Now I have a blank page in front of me. Should I delve into why I became a writer? People have done this. Instead, I’ll write who inspired me. The person who I loved and admired most and then lost too soon: my brother, Neil Leist.

Neil lit up a room when he entered it. He was six feet two inches, but it wasn’t his height that drew others’ eyes. It was his dynamic personality and his intelligence. Those gray eyes mirrored his capacity for greatness. He acted as my father when my father wasn’t home but worked days and nights as a taxi driver. Only eleven years older than me, Neil took care of my blind mother and helped raise me. He shouldered heavy burdens early in his life.

My brother did well in college but flourished in the business world. He traded on the Commodity Exchange until he earned enough money to take over a Fortune 500 company. With a majority share in its stock, he became the CEO of American Bakeries. Neil brought me with him on his rise to stardom. I worked for him on the Exchange and at his offices on Madison Ave. I majored in Finance at New York University, prepared to join him. My parents were proud of him. Life was perfect until the phone call in the middle of the night.

The light in my life dimmed as I fell into darkness as dark as my mother’s. My brother had been in a car accident in the Hamptons. His red Porsche hydroplaned on the wet road. Neil was a good driver with quick reflexes. He drove the car off the road and onto the grass. Luck wasn’t with him that night. Someone had parked a truck in the grass, and the Porsche crashed beneath it.

Neil lingered in a coma for two years before he died. Meanwhile, his so-called friends at American Bakeries undermined his position at the company by causing the stock price to plummet. We sold his investment in the company in one big chunk and at a significant loss. We made the company’s executives pay for what they did. I spent eight long years dealing with finance people and lawyers.

After this experience, I lost my taste for high Finance. I received an M.B.A. in Finance. But I couldn’t return to the markets. Instead, I turned to the one passion in life I had never explored: my love for reading and writing stories. And The Dead Game was born. I used poetry to promote my book. Now I’m hooked on poetry. My stories and poetry are dark and twisted. This year I released the second book in The Dead Game Series, Prey for the Dead. It is just as twisted and intense as the first book.

My life has taken unexpected twists and turns. I wasnt happy with Finance, even in the beginning. I did it as a challenge. I wanted to do well in a male-dominated field. And now I have a new mission. I want to prove to myself I could become a good author. And I believe I’m well on my way.

Thank you for listening,

Susanne Leist

This picture was taken when Neil met with Mayor Koch concerning the opening of additional American Bakeries’ factories in New York.

 

 

SUSANNE LEIST BIO

I have always loved to read. Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean, Robert Ludlum, and many other authors filled my young imagination with intrigue and mystery. When I wasn’t reading late into the night, the TV shows—Murder, She Wrote and Columbo—entertained me with tales of murder and suspense.

Over the years, my taste in TV expanded to include such shows as Supernatural and The Originals. I searched for paranormal murder mysteries but found few at the library or bookstore. So, I wrote one.

A career in writing has been a big leap for me. Accustomed to the number-crunching field of budgeting and the hectic commodity markets, I left my first career and M.B.A. in Finance behind to pursue my dream. I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. Fellow authors helped me make my way through the competitive field. I write every day and even tried my hand at poetry. If someone tells you it’s too late in life to try something different, they are wrong. It is never too late to follow your heart.

The Dead Game is the first book in The Dead Game Series. It brings fantasy and the surreal to the classic murder mystery with dead bodies, suspects, and clues. It offers vampires, vampire derivatives, and a touch of romance to give spice to the mix. Once you read The Dead Game, you will never look at a dead body the same way.

In Book Two, Prey for The Dead, the suspense continues as The Dead use an exclusive club in Disney World and infiltrate the rich and famous. The Dead grow in power, and not even the sun or the swamps of Florida can weaken them. Lindamy main characterand her friends join with the human vampires or hybrids to defeat the evil forces threatening to control their town.

I hope you enjoy my books. The third book of The Dead Game Series is waiting for me to write.

SUSANNE LEIST’S

SOCIAL MEDIA & BOOK LINKS

 

Book trailer:

https://youtu.be/pILNxaD5XlI

 

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PB9KG4P

Nook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130732773?ean=2940161260111

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/SusanneLeist

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/susanne.leist.98

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/susanne.leist/

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/susanne-leist

 

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  

Lastly, Susanne is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB #RRBC! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

Thanks for supporting

this author and her work!  

Be sure to click the title to open comments,

then tell us what you think!

 

Launch day!!

Congratulations, Mare L. Schmidt, on the launch of your heartful tribute to Sammy. Reblogged at StephenGeez.com and the one with dot WordPress in the middle, too.

When Angels Fly

Hero-09144

It’s launch day  for Sammy: Hero at Age Five!! 

Some review snippets below: 

“Sammy was a feisty little thing with a huge heart and desire to achieve his goals, and his relationship with Jesus was incredible for someone so little.”

“Sammy: Hero at Age Five had me hooked from page one, and I found myself trying to put my own person into the shoes of a five year old boy who became a hero.”

“He was a hero since his conception.”

“I highly recommend this book to families facing such trials. I know they would gather
courage and inspiration along with an appreciation of life on earth and what awaits them in heaven with Jesus by reading Sammy’s story.”

Grab your copy via one of the links below. 

AMAZON UNIVERSAL LINK: smarturl.it/SammyHeroAtAgeFive
AMAZON UK LINK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PP95MSZ
AMAZON .COM LINK: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PP95MSZ
NOOK https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130900239?ean=9781947867314

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