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Thursday, July 29, 2021

A Link Between Two Worlds by Gabriella Kikwaki - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

A Link Between Two Worlds

by Gabriella Kikwaki


GENRE:   Juvenile fiction / Fantasy - Middle Grade



Three Book Bilingual Series

Book 1:

Two worlds, one goal. The story will all be revealed. Hey, my name's Alaura. In this story, I found out that there's a parallel universe to Earth's called Aliese. I also have a long-lost relative, my sister Alia. But not everything is as great as it seems; there're evil forces called the Gaulris out to destroy the worlds with their leader, Lord Zefron. My friends, my sister, and I must find a way to stop this force before they reunite the two parallel universes, which will be total destruction.

Deux mondes, un objectif, l'histoire va être révélée. Bonjour, mon nom c'est Alaura. Dans cette histoire, je découvre qu'il y a un univers parallèle à la planète Terre qui s'appelle Aliese. J'apprends aussi que j'ai une soeur, nommée Alia, perdue depuis longtemps. Mais tout n'est pas aussi beau qu'il n'y paraît, il y a également les forces du mal : les Gaulris et leur roi Zefron. C'est pourquoi mes amis, ma soeur et moi devons arrêter le roi Zefron avant qu'il ne réunisse les deux univers parallèles, ce qui serait une destruction totale.

Book 2:

The future is never a straight path.

Hey, my name is Alia. In this story my friends, my sister and I find out that we cannot destroy Lord Zefron because of his mechanism. We also find out the exact date that the parallel universe will merge. We later make it to Bartha's place. She has a solution to how we can stop the universes from reuniting. But with every good thing comes a price to pay. We collect a load of items to prepare ourselves for this mission. So, we need once again to find a way to save the galaxy before the total destruction caused by the parallel universes.

Le future n'est jamais un chemin droit.

Hey mon nom est Alia. Dans cette histoire mes amies, ma soeur et moi ont découvert que nous ne pouvons pas détruire Le roi Zefron à cause de son mécanisme.

On a aussi découvert la date exacte à laquelle les deux univers parallèles vont se réunir. Quand nous sommes arrivés au château de Bartha, Bartha avait une solution comment empêcher les deux univers parallèles de se réunir. Mais pour toute bonne chose il ya un prix à payer. Nous avons donc collectionné beaucoup d'objects pour préparer à cette mission. Une fois de plus mes amies, ma soeur et moi doivent trouver un moyen de sauver la galaxie avant que les univers parallèles causent une destruction totale.

Book 3:

A light in the darkness . . .

Hey, my name is Lily and in this volume the nightmare truly begins. So, I, Alia Reven, and the rest of the group finally prepare a plan to stop the two worlds from merging. We had everything planned out, or so we thought . . . When The Telepathies sisters did the spell of Senyria, they awakened a hidden dark force that is out to destroy the world, which goes by the name of the black mist, or Devoile. Friends get possessed, new worlds are unlocked, hidden mysteries are discovered, and, worst of all, our friends, the world and realms are all in danger, 'cause in this volume the nightmare begins!

Une lumière dans le noire . . .

Bonjour mon c'est Lily et dans cette tome le cauchemar a commencé. Alors moi, Alia, Reven et tout le rest du groupe ont finalement trouvé un plan pour arrêter les deux mondes de se reunir. Nous avons prevu chaque etape ou on pensait avoir . . . Quand les soeurs Telepathie ont fait le sortilège de Senyria, elles ont révélé une nouvelle force du mal qui s'appelle la brume noir ou Devoile. Nos amis deviennent possedés, deux nouveaux mondes se montrent, des secrets inconnu sont révélé mais la plus mauvaise. Nos amis, l'univers et tout le monde sont en danger car dans cette tome le cauchemar a . . . vraiment commencer!



The Story of How It All Began

Alaura — Wow, where is this place?

Elesore: this is the kingdom of Aliese. Welcome.

Alaura and Reven: Wooooooooooooooooooow! Reven — This is like a dream but real, and wait, how are we still alive? We’re in space with no air! We could die any second.

Elesore — Aliese has its own air source, but only those who receive its magical essence can stay alive.

Alaura — Wait, so we have magical essences?

Elesore: Yes, Alaura. The princess has been waiting and searching for you ever since.

Alaura — What do you mean? I don’t even know her.

Elesore — Are you sure about that?

Reven (whispers) — Hey, Alaura, this is a really big change. An hour ago we were regular high school students, and now we have, umm, made-up magical powers or something.

Elesore — You know I can hear you, right?

Reven — Wait, how?

Elesore — You whisper really loudly and my magic allows me to, umm, hear your vibrations and voices.

Alaura — Cool, so what power do I have?



Where Do You Find Inspiration?

The MAIN place I find inspiration is through my dreams. Dreams for me are the best way to get a feel of what the story would be about. Through dreams, you can see the unimaginable, the wonder that you would never see in reality. For example, in one of my dreams, I saw how "Alaura"(A character in the "A link between two worlds / Un lien entre deux mondes book series") would look like, as well as the planet "Aliese", "Briarwood city"(etc). In conclusion, dreams give you the possibility to see exactly how the story will play out.



I am an eleven-year-old girl from Ontario, Canada. I speak both French and English. At the age of 11 I wrote my first book in a series called A Link Between Two Worlds. I like gymnastics, dancing, singing, swimming and drawing characters. I also love writing fantasy stories. One day I decided to write a story about a magic galaxy, friendship, hope, courage and fantasy.

Je suis une fille de 11 ans. Je viens de l'Ontario, Canada. Je parle le français et l'anglais. À l'âge de 11 ans, j'ai écrit le premier tome de la série Un lien entre deux mondes. J'adore chanter, nager et faire de la gymnastique. J'aime aussi dessiner des personnages et raconter des histoires originales et amusantes. Un jour, j'ai décidé d'écrire une histoire sur une galaxie où se mêlent magie, amitié, courage et de la fantaisie.











Book 1: A Link Between Two Worlds / Un Lien Entre Deux Mondes : Volume 1 & 2


















Book 2: A Link Between Two Worlds / Un Lien Entre Deux Mondes : Together Forever / Ensemble Pour Toujours - Volume 3


















Book 3: Releasing soon - A Link Between Two Worlds / Un Lien Entre Deux Mondes : The Nightmare Begins/ Le Cauchemar Commence 



Gabriella will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Pilot's Daughter by Audrey J. Cole - Book Tour - Book Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hey, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Audrey J. Cole and her new book, “The Pilot’s Daughter,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Audrey and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

The Pilot’s Daughter

by Audrey J. Cole


GENRE: Thriller



Welcome aboard Pacific Air Flight 385, with nonstop service from Seattle to Honolulu.

Cora is scared to fly again after her husband died in a recent helicopter crash in Pago Pago.

A thousand times she has told herself to turn around, not get on the flight, go back to her young children.

But now, she’s seated in first class across the aisle from the girlfriend of a famous billionaire pharmaceutical entrepreneur.

Halfway across the Pacific, the flight is hijacked. Six people are dead—including the pilots.

Cora is a young widow, mother, and emergency room nurse...but as the world closes in around her, she’s also a pilot’s daughter.

Lost off radar in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, the motive behind the hijacking remains a mystery. Not knowing who to trust, Cora works with the man seated beside her, Seattle Homicide Detective Kyle Adams, to save herself along with the remaining one hundred and fifty-four souls on board.



Oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling above each row.

“What’s going on?” Alana heard someone yell from behind her.

Alana threw her phone onto the seat next to her and pulled on her mask.

She turned around. The three men behind her were all in their seats, pulling on their masks. In the main cabin, passengers rushed to their seats. Alana watched a mother put a mask over her little boy, which brought tears to her eyes.

Linda stood in the middle of the main cabin, calling out to passengers to put on their oxygen masks. Alana watched her don a spare mask from one of the rows before she helped a passenger secure their mask. Once the aisle was clear, Linda moved slowly up the cabin, taking a breath from a spare mask that hung from each row as she went.

Alana faced forward. She reached for her seatbelt when she noticed the older woman in front of her struggling to get her mask on. She could see the woman’s frail hands above her seat. They were shaking as she tried to pull the strap over her head.

Alana stood up and leaned over the seat to help the woman secure her mask. The woman patted her hand as if to say thank you before Alana sat down and buckled her seatbelt.

When Linda reached first class, she paused beside Alana’s seat to take a few breaths from the spare mask that hung above her row.

“Why aren’t we descending?” the corporal yelled from the row behind her.

No one had an answer.

Linda moved to the front of the cabin. She pulled on a mask from the first row while she opened the overhead compartment. The first-class passengers watched her withdraw an army-green oxygen bottle. Linda switched her mask to the one attached to the tank and used the shoulder strap to sling the bottle behind her back.

Alana stared out the window at the vast ocean below. Something was terribly wrong. And she wasn’t ready to die.



Wow!!!  Wow!!!  Wow!!!

I was completely swept away by this book!!!  I could feel my heart racing as I hung onto every word flooded with suspense!!!

This book was such a thrilling, intriguing, gripping, engaging, entertaining read!!!  I couldn’t put the book down, nor did I want to!!!

This is the third book I’ve read from the very talented writer, Audrey J. Cole.

I am a huge mystery book fan and my favorite thing about Audrey’s book’s is that she ALWAYS keeps me on the edge of my seat guessing!!!

There is so much going on in this book!!  This book has so many different layers with several plot points that are well executed and structurally sound!!  I thoroughly enjoyed pulling back each layer and seeing where it took me.

Audrey’s writing only continues to improve, grow, and expand with each book!  I know she will be an author I will continue to read over the years!

I love the in-depth amount of research the author did while constructing this book.  It is clear she is very familiar and well-versed in the medical and criminal procedural practices. The author provided so much detail and such vivid descriptions it made the scenes easy to picture.  These particulars were so well-described they felt both realistic and authentic.

I also enjoyed the style of writing and that there were several, but short chapters.  It really helped keep the story on point, provide smooth scene transitions, and allow for the overall story line to flow.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it!  I think all thriller, mystery, suspense readers will like this book too!  So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**



Audrey J. Cole is a registered nurse and a USA TODAY bestselling thriller author. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children.







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Audrey will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Soft Gold by Megan Slayer - Book Blast - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Megan Slayer will be awarding a Prize Pack Featuring a Necklace made by the Author to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Three hearts can equal one great love...

Hera, the goddess of mothering and childbirth, wants more than to be Zeus’s throwaway partner. She wants a lover and a hot romance she can call her own, but she’s not sure she deserves to be happy. When she meets Crane in Vegas, all bets are off.

Crane Gray is a man of contradiction. On the stage, he’s a superstar, but at home, he’s alone. He wants love and Hera is the woman of his dreams. But Crane has unfinished business with John.

John has loved Crane for so long and only wants him to be happy. When he sees Crane with Hera, he knows what’s been missing between them and craves making Hera their third.

Can these three make a go of their relationship despite the glare of the spotlight or will a mistake from Hera’s past threaten their future?

Be Warned: menage sex (MMF), anal sex

Read an Excerpt

©2021 Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

“Do you know who I am?” He narrowed his eyes. “Do you?”

“Not a clue. I thought you were a handsome man who happened to share my elevator car,” she said, trying to be nonchalant. Once he learned her true identity, he’d want something from her. “That’s it. Should I know you?”

“You don’t know?” he asked.

He must be the Crane Gray he’d bragged about. She rolled her eyes. “I’ve said it already. I don’t know you.” She wasn’t lying, even if she’d guessed his identity. “I thought we had a connection, but now I’m scared of you, so I’m leaving.” She turned on her heel and crossed the room.

“Wait.” He touched her arm. “You don’t know?”

“No.” She propped her hand on her hip. “I’d like to go now—if you don’t mind.” This must be part of what Leto meant by screwing with her happiness. Sometimes things with guys just didn’t work out.

“Please don’t.” He held his hand out to her. “I’m Crane Gray and it’s nice to meet you—someone who doesn’t know me. I’ve got a concert here at the hotel tonight. I should be prepping for it, but I just don’t care and I want out of my life for a while. You fascinate me and I’m enjoying myself here in the bar. I’d like you to stay. Please?”

She debated what to do. Stay with Crane, the celebrity, or find someone a little more boring.

“Will you at least tell me your name?” he asked. “Have a drink with me?”

About the Author:
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Website http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm
Blog https://wendizwaduk.wordpress.com/
Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/wendizwaduk.meganslayer/
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Megan-Slayer/e/B008BJCFSC
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/megan-slayer
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/wendizwaduk/
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5330530.Megan_Slayer
Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/MeganSlayer
Newsletter http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj

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Monday, July 26, 2021

Oranges for Miranda by Annette Bower - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Oranges for Miranda

by Annette Bower


GENRE: Romance Contemporary Sweet



Miranda Porter, a newly retired award-winning businesswoman, leaves home to transition into her new life stage. Always in control, this is her time to have fun without plans and responsibilities. Enter Renato Monteiro, a considerate tour guide with secrets. Miranda isn’t looking for long-term. She wants a purpose in her retirement. Could her purpose in retirement be finding love in this unlikely place? Could her aim be domesticity and caring for and be cared for by a newly found friend? Will a vacation romance end because of miles?

Renato Monteiro has decisions to make. Stay in his birth country where his female relatives want him to marry a woman young enough to give him children. Or does he return to his second home, where he has a purpose and has built a life without children? The day Miranda and he bumped heads changed his life and his pursuit. Now he must decide which is most important the family he was born into or the family he chooses.



A blue and white tiled stairway leading up to the second floor of a house caught Miranda’s eye. She positioned her phone and snapped photos as she thought about the amenities she would prefer in her perhaps forever home or home for a while.

Orange trees in yards were stunning. Back home in Regina, residents planted fast-growing poplar trees in front of a row of fir trees, which would be mature when the Poplars had reached their life span. Her mind leapt. Stacy and Nathan were her fir trees. Her parents started the business and expanded it for her, and she, in turn, developed it for her children. She shook her head, no more thoughts of her Canadian life to ruin this beautiful day with the azure blue sky, the white stucco buildings and the red tile roofs.

Miranda stepped onto the corner café’s patio and sat on the blue-tiled bench attached to the blue-tiled table. A young woman, dressed in black, appeared from a dark interior and gave her a menu with different flags denoting the various translations of the food items. She ordered black coffee and a glass of brandy as a treat she had read that many locals enjoyed during the day. While she waited, she searched in her guide book to discover the tiled pavement in the area was called calcada.



Everyone loves a hero! Tell us all about this genuine character and the inspiration behind their development.


An English professor once explained how a character in a novel became his name, and since then, I research my hero’s and heroine’s names.

But before that, I start with images.

An image of Renato began with a man I saw on a bus while I vacationed in Waikiki. This large man was with an older man, and I think he was his father and a child, I believe was his son. Just watching this man’s loving interaction with both people in his life caught my attention. I pretended to snap photos of the cityscape, but it was really of him on the bus and after he disembarked. I felt an instant connection. He was the foundation for Renato, my hero in Oranges for Miranda. Then later, I discovered pillow covers where the design depicted the kindness of a father toward his daughters that I wanted Renato to show toward family and friends and, by extension, Miranda.

Renato means reborn. Tiago is his mother’s surname, meaning James, a man who is the first to step forward. Monteiro is his family name, meaning hunter. Research showed me that contemporary persons with a sir name of Monteiro were an actor, director, writer, sprint canoer, a Portuguese footballer, and a Portuguese table tennis player in the summer Olympics. Renato in Oranges for Miranda is a master of his trade.

In Oranges for Miranda, Renato is fifty-five and unmarried. As a young man, he moved to Canada and excelled at his trade to become a master tile setter and a respected community member.

A theme of Oranges for Miranda is “A man [person] travels the world over in search of what he [they] needs and returns home to find it.” George A. Moore.

But my hero Renato has his theme that suggests a love interest should observe how a man treats his mother and other women in his family for a good indication of how he will treat the person he loves.

Renato was born in Albufeira, Portugal. When Renato was still a child, his father died in a fishing accident. His mother did not recover and later moved away to start a new life. Renato moved into his grandmother’s house. He stayed with her until he emigrated to Canada. Ren saved up his vacation time and money returning to Albufeira, helping his grandmother as often as possible. He tried convincing her to move to Canada, but she had refused. At the beginning of the novel, he is back in Albufeira for his grandmother’s funeral and discovers he inherited her home. The aunts and cousins try to convince him to return to his roots and marry a younger woman who can provide him with children.

Renato, Ren to his friends and younger cousins, is unsure what he should do, stay, or return to his new life. Can he leave a home he loved empty?

Ren loved his mother and understood that she had to leave. However, he was thankful that his grandmother accepted the responsibility of raising him. Ren respects his aunts’ concern for him and wanting to see him have a woman in his life who will love him, and that is why his decision is hard.

Because Ren experienced and understood the strong women in his family, he can accept Miranda for who she is.  But where is his home? Who would he honor? His family or his new life?

I hope your readers also fall in love with Renato and his journey toward love.  Thank you, Ally, for hosting on your Fabulous and Brunette blog and thank you to your readers and followers.



Annette believes home is where her stories percolate. And her home is a condo where she watches the urban life below, airplanes arrive and depart at the international airport, and the seasons change on farmland near the horizon. Annette travels extensively but always returns home to Regina, Saskatchewan. Whether at home or away, and even though directions are always a challenge, she wanders the streets, parks, and lanes observing how people live, love, and care for one another. Your way of sitting, holding hands, the way you tilt your head, or a t-shirt you wear may end up in one of her stories.

On her first trip to Olhos de Água, a fishing village in Portugal, she stopped at a café where the proprietors were a mother and daughter. Annette sat at the outdoor blue and white tiled table and ordered an espresso and brandy. While the sun warmed her back, she opened her new notebook. The older woman walked by carrying a basket, tipped her head toward Annette’s blank page, and shrugged. When black-laced heeled shoes struck the tile, and the scent of just-picked clementine oranges interrupted Annette’s writing, the woman plunked three oranges at the edge of her page. Annette cherishes this gift from one woman to another. Recently, Annette travels with an accompanying Orange and shares pictures on Social media as her way of honoring those Portugues women. A version of this event appears in her new novel, Oranges for Miranda.

During another trip, while searching for an address in Malaga, Spain, she asked a well-dressed man carrying a floral paper-wrapped bouquet if he spoke English? Would he direct her to the address? With impeccable English, he suggested she walk with him. They chatted, and she discovered he was a lawyer in his final days of retiring. Finally, she asked to whom he was giving the flowers. He lifted the cover to reveal a large crucifix. This detail has not appeared in a story yet.

In a coffee shop, looking south between glass tower office buildings, she could be anywhere in the world. However, she is home watching people on Eleventh Avenue run for buses, bring tea to a panhandler, and holding mittened hands while bending into the wind.

Annette uses experiences she gathered as a nurse, town administrator, elected official, traveller, and member of a large extended family to inform her stories because writing is her joy.

Annette Bower is a Soul Mate Publishing author of five contemporary romance novels. Her novel Fearless Destiny was first runner-up in the 2017 Sweet Contemporary RONE awards and winner of the Raven Award. Her novel Ponytails and Promises was a finalist in the 2020 RONE Awards and is the 2020 winner of the Raven Award.





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Annette will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale by Bill Zarchy - Book Tour - Book Sale - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hey, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Bill Zarchy and his new book, “Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Bill and to increase your chances of winning!!

This eBook is on SALE for ONLY $0.99 during the book tour!!!  See below for more details.

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

Finding George Washington:

A Time Travel Tale

by Bill Zarchy


GENRE: Sci-Fi / Alternate History / Baseball Saga / Action Thriller



On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes. Walking away from the Valley Forge encampment, he takes a fall and is knocked unconscious, only to reappear at a dog park on San Francisco Bay—in the summer of 2014.

Washington befriends two Berkeley twenty-somethings who help him cope with the astonishing—and often comical—surprises of the twenty-first century.

Washington’s absence from Valley Forge, however, is not without serious consequences. As the world rapidly devolves around them—and their beloved Giants fight to salvage a disappointing season—George, Tim, and Matt are catapulted on a race across America to find a way to get George back to 1778.

Equal parts time travel tale, thriller, and baseball saga, Finding George Washington is a gripping, humorous, and entertaining look at what happens when past and present collide in the 9th inning, with the bases loaded and no one warming up in the bullpen.




The General watched as the Northern Lights spread, shimmered, and swirled through the sky like the smoke from God’s own cigar, now rising, now dipping, now twirling and pulsing.

Though soldiers often considered the aurora a bad omen, at that moment it thrilled him. To the east, he could see the glow of sentry fires of some of the closer regiments, the troops hunkered down for the night. A short distance to the south, the men of his personal guard occupied their own group of makeshift huts within sight of the farmhouse.

It’s cold. I should get back before Patsy and the staff begin to miss me.

He paused and took a deep breath of the night air. He was a durable and determined man who had survived cold and wintry weather during his early life as a surveyor and, later, as a British officer. He would show his Continental Army troops that the cold didn’t bother him, that staying strong was a state of mind. Certainly they had it worse than he did, but they respected that he had refused to move out of his tent into the stone farmhouse until his men moved out of their tattered shelters into log huts.

The fluid, ethereal display of light in the skies danced and pulsated. Before he could climb down the hill and head back toward the farmhouse, the ground under his feet began to shake and rumble, providing a steady, geological drumbeat to accompany the green and red light in the sky. The terrain rolled. He lost his footing on the ice, just at a point where a crisp moonbeam seemed to hit the patch of turf he was crossing.

The earth came up to meet him, and he banged his head on the frozen ground. Woozy and lightheaded, teetering on the edge of consciousness, he felt a great sadness, felt the bones in his body melt in the shard of moonlight, even as, in his remaining awareness, he realized the moon was not out that evening. He felt his body scooped off the ground, as if by a vengeful wind, then tumbled in a heap onto something hard and unyielding that swept him along at a great rate of speed. All went dark.



My Office: On Creating a Pleasant, Comfortable Environment for Writing

When I was younger, I could work anywhere — studying amongst a gaggle of chattering roommates, laying out and editing the campus daily newspaper in the midst of a chaotic office filled with the din of self-righteous student journalism, or writing my first stories at the dinner table after meals, still surrounded by cavorting kids and loud TV.

But that changed some years ago. My attention is now easy to shatter, yet I long resisted my wife’s suggestion, once he was out on his own, that I make my office in our older son’s room. It took me a while to move in, and another year or two before I adopted it as mine, painting the walls and buying a good quality desk with working drawers.

That space is now sacred for me. Though I do keep a TV in there, it’s not a man cave for relaxation. I spend most of my office time working on my current pursuits — writing, photography, or storytelling.

I’m very lucky. My desk is next to a sliding door to our deck and garden. Molly the Boxer is often there to greet me. I can hear trains sounding their horns as they clatter along, one mile to the west, near San Francisco Bay.

The desk is made of cherry wood and includes a built-in tray for an external keyboard, so that I don’t have to reach up to hit the keys. My main computer is a Mac laptop, which sits on a raised stand that brings its display up to match the height of a second large monitor next to it.

These days, as we come slowly out of the pandemic, the desk also has on it a number of tools useful for Zoom meetings: a professional-quality mic on a stand, an upgraded webcam mounted on the large monitor, two small task lights to light papers I’m working with, a small “tap-it” lamp which adds warm glow to the desk area, several small lights that illuminate artwork on the walls, an illuminated globe with blue oceans, and two ring lights to brighten me up when I’m on Zoom. Yes, it’s true: on the desk, I have eight different light sources!

I have framed, 20x30 posters for both my books — my memoir, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil, and my debut novel, Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale. The latter was published during the pandemic and all the launch and tour events to date have been virtual. The two posters make a good, colorful background behind me on Zoom calls, if I raise them up on three stacked copies of George. The rest of my background is intended to look like the office of a writer, and I think I’ve succeeded pretty well there!

Elsewhere in the room, I’ve got another illuminated globe (this one with tan oceans, reminiscent of old maps), two floor-to-ceiling glass-door bookcases, a second, L-shaped, cherrywood desk, other globes and lamps, wooden blinds, busts of GW and FDR, and a bobble-head of George. I can also see at least nine clocks from where I’m sitting right now, about half of them mid-century mechanical digital clocks I collect. Not all of them work.

On the walls and bulletin boards — a watercolor of a fisherman painted by my dad when he was 19 years old, lots of San Francisco Giants paraphernalia, many pictures of George Washington, the subject of my debut novel, and FDR, the subject of the sequel. Photos of me with various film crews (from my long career as a cinematographer), posing with Bill Clinton in New York, Jimmy Carter in Atlanta, Gerald Ford at Rancho Mirage, U2’s Bono in Dublin, Morgan Freeman at Cannes, Joe Montana in the Napa Valley, and Ken Griffey Jr. in San Francisco.

Also — a certificate noting that the Documentary Special I shot for The West Wing on NBC some years ago won an Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Program (beating out an episode of Survivor and an I Love Lucy special). And pictures from my travels in France, Japan, Uganda, Chile, and Bonneville Salt Flats.

And some of my favorite possessions: Two framed book covers: Model Railroading and Stamp Collectors Guide, both by my dad Harry Zarchy, who wrote and published over 30 books on crafts, hobbies, and the outdoors. I appear on both covers in a red shirt (though the books were seven years apart) along with a friend (no, that’s not my dad).

And finally, my tit. After a shoot in England featuring new computer systems at the offices of the Lincolnshire police, the cops decided to take our whole crew out for dinner and presented us each with a Bobby’s helmet, which I smuggled home in my laundry. They called it a tit. I still wear it sometimes for Halloween.

All of this stuff is essential. It’s important for me to have the right setup for imagination, creativity, ego boost, validation, and staring off into space. Best of all, when I need to stop for food, rest, or clogged brain, I don’t have to move my computer and notes to set the table. I can usually just save my document, stand up, and walk out. When I come back to my office later, my work is just as I left it.

And that’s huge!



Bill Zarchy filmed projects on six continents during his 40 years as a cinematographer, captured in his first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. Now he writes novels, takes photos, and talks of many things.

Bill’s career includes filming three former presidents for the Emmy-winning West Wing Documentary Special, the Grammy-winning Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, feature films Conceiving Ada and Read You Like A Book, PBS science series Closer to Truth, musical performances as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and countless high-end projects for technology and medical companies.

His tales from the road, personal essays, and technical articles have appeared in Travelers’ Tales and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers, and American Cinematographer, Emmy, and other trade magazines.

Bill has a BA in Government from Dartmouth and an MA in Film from Stanford. He taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the EPIC Storytelling Program at Stagebridge in Oakland. This is his first novel.















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