Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Blast: A Thousand Points of Truth by V.P. Hughes - Win a $25 Gift Card

Title: A Thousand Points of Truth
Author: V.P. Hughes
Publisher: XLibrisUS
Genre: History
Format: Ebook


My interest in Colonel John Singleton Mosby began in 1950 However it wasn t until 2002 that it led to extensive research on the subject centered upon newspaper reports on the man begun during the Civil War and continued throughout and even after his life And while I rejected Virgil Carrington Jones s observation on Mosby contained in the preface of this work I did not contemplate writing this book until an even more disparaging observation came to my attention during my research The comment was contained in an article in the Ponchatoula Times of May 26 1963 as part of a six article series written by Bernard Vincent McMahon entitled The Gray Ghost of the Confederacy Mr McMahon in turn based his comment upon General Omar Bradley s judgment of what might have been the postwar life of General George Patton Now substitute Mosby for General Patton in the book A General s Life by Omar Bradley I believe it was better for General Patton Mosby and his professional reputation that he died when he did He would have gone into retirement hungering for the old limelight beyond doubt indiscreetly sounding off on any subject anytime any place In time he would have become a boring parody of himself a decrepit bitter pitiful figure unwittingly debasing the legend emphasis mine McMahon however only proffered in his writings the widely accepted view of John Mosby held by many if not most However like General Ulysses S Grant I have come to know Colonel Mosby rather more intimately through the testimony of countless witnesses over a span of 150 years and I believe that it is time for those who deeply respect John Mosby the soldier to now also respect John Mosby the man A century ago the book of John Singleton Mosby s life closed It is my hope that this book will validate the claim he made during that life that he would be vindicated by time V P Hughes,

For many years, V. P. Hughes has been drawn to certain historical figures whom she researched at great length and in considerable depth regarding not only the person of interest but the period in which that individual lived and his influence upon it. Over the years, she has studied such heroes as Sir William Marshal (1147-1219), Sir Harry (Hotspur) Percy (1364-1403), Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), Sir William Wallace (1270-1305), Francis Marion (1732-1795) and the legendary figures William Tell and Robin Hood. The last three were of especial interest because they, with their few followers, engaged the most powerful armies of the time-and prevailed. Of course, John Singleton Mosby was another such champion-a man who defeated his adversaries with cunning and courage rather than brute military force. Yet Mosby became an even greater curiosity when during her research the author discovered that he had died twenty-five years to the day and hour of her own birth-May 30th, 9 a.m, 1916 and 1941 respectively. Although acknowledged as a mere coincidence, however curious, Mosby’s unique style of warfare and his astonishing success under the circumstances extant, made him of especial interest. Early on, her knowledge of the man centered around the Civil War, but then, copious written works as well as the opinions of past and present day Mosby sages brought to light his post-war life in a manner that seemingly disparaged and negated all the glories that had gone before. Finding this both troubling and unacceptable, when the opportunity arose to refute these calumnies and slanders, the author felt obligated to undertake what is, in essence, a posthumous defense of the man. It is hoped that this unique work will achieve the goal of undoing a great injustice and restoring to a noble American hero the respect and admiration he so richly deserves.



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  • This giveaway begins February 19 and ends on March 2.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

New Release: War Eternal: Angels' Whispers by J.F. Cain

Author: J.F. Cain
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 355
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/Romance

Alex Meyers, a dynamic, global entrepreneur, has an advantage that no other human has ever had: he is protected by Aranes, the Superior of the Angels. While he is skiing, he dies in an avalanche, but his all-powerful protector breaks one of the ethereal world’s most important Rules and brings him back to life. Alex falls head over heels in love with the beautiful Angel, who appears to him in human form. But she disappears just as suddenly as she had appeared.
While he searches for Aranes, Alex discovers her true identity and that he actually might be the high-ranking Celestial Abaddon, who is mentioned in the Revelations prophecy as the one who will defeat Lucifer.
The man who fate has thrust among the world’s superpowers is now living a nightmare. He wants to evade Lucifer’s pursuit, find out who he truly is and once again see the only being he has ever loved. And the only way to do it is to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Angels’ Whispers is the beginning of an epic tale set in modern times. The eternal war between Light and Darkness is at a critical turning point: Angels and Demons, invisible to mortal beings, battle for dominance in the physical world, while Guardians, Vampires and Werewolves, who live among the humans, find themselves on opposing sides in a deadly power game.




When they had left the road and its noise far enough behind them, Alex jerked to a stop. He turned to Aranes, let her hand go and grabbed her by the arms.
“Who are you? Or should I ask what are you?”
They Angel looked him steadily in the eye, not speaking. She had come to the physical plane to prepare him for what was to follow and this was the best way to show him that there were some things that couldn’t be said.
“What do you want from me?” Alex continued. “Has some competitor put you up to approaching me?”
 “No, it’s nothing like that,” Aranes said hurriedly to allay his undue worry.
The storm that had risen in Alex’s eyes seemed to calm and the frothy-wave-like silver streaks in his irises began to roll gently against their deep blue backdrop.
“Fine! Then could you explain some things to me?”
Besides everything else she had to do, the Angel also had to leave hints about her nature. Soon her protégé would replay their discussions and would analyze her every word to reach some conclusions.
“I can’t right now,” she replied, capturing his gaze in hers so that she could send him non-verbal messages.
Her calm expression and steady gaze made Alex wonder. She seemed sincere. But why didn’t she give him a specific answer?
“What’s going on?” he asked, confusion written all over his face. “Tell me, what should I think? You appear out of nowhere, drag me out of an avalanche, treat me as if I’m special to you and then drop me, only to appear out of nowhere again, knowing that I’ve been looking for you. Don’t you also think that all this is a little strange?”
“Yes, it is,” the Angel agreed. “Please, be patient. Soon you’ll have the answers you need.”
Alex would not give in.
“I’d rather have them now, starting with who you are.”
“That question will be answered soon, too,” Aranes replied and rested her palm in the middle of his chest. “Look into my eyes, Alex, and tell me. Do you believe I would ever harm you?”
He looked bewilderedly down at her hand on his chest. It felt as if a wave of warmth passed from her palm into his body, filling him with an indescribable sweetness and wonderful emotions unknown to him until now. He looked up and searched her unearthly eyes for an answer to this transcendental feeling, and found much more. In her effort to calm him and win his trust, the Angel unveiled her soul and let him see how she felt.
Alex saw her eyes overflowing with love and was stunned.
This woman seemed to adore him. It couldn’t be! She knew him so little. To be precise, she didn’t know him at all. You don’t know her either but you’re crazy about her, he thought in response.
“No,” he admitted, now calm. “But I don’t like all this mystery. How did you know I’ve been looking for you, and why doesn’t the cabin’s owner know you?”
“There’s always an explanation for everything”, Aranes replied, her gaze fixed on his. “Isn’t that so?”
 “Why don’t you just tell me who you are? Are you really called Theodora? What’s your last name?”
“I don’t have a last name.”
“That’s not possible. Everybody has one,” Alex insisted gently.
“I don’t, because I don’t need it.”
Aranes let a brief moment of silence elapse to give him time to think.
He was looking at her in puzzlement. He didn’t know what to think. He didn’t know anyone without a last name. Where had this woman come from?
“Alex,” the Angel went on. “You have an extremely well-developed intuition. Listen to it and stay calm, no matter what happens.”
Her mention of his intuition caught him completely unawares. Alarm bells started ringing in his head again.
“What’s going to happen? And how do you know about my intuition?” he asked with a bewildered and at the same time suspicious look.
Forced to provide only that information which his mental state could handle, Aranes didn’t answer his question. She went on:
“There are things you cannot see, but can sense. Don’t try to explain everything using reason.”
 “If I don’t use reason I’ll go mad!” Alex said with a measure of the irritation that lay dormant inside him and just wouldn’t be expressed in its true form.
He was annoyed with himself for not protesting, and for letting her put his head through the wringer without asking for anything more than the necessary explanations—and yet he was happy they were together. It was crazy, is what it was!
“Being calm and collected in times of crisis is characteristic of a superior nature, and I believe you are one of them,” Aranes told him, wanting to prepare him for what would happen in the immediate future.
Superior in nature was the last thing that Alex felt right then. Reason was bombarding his mind with questions and warnings, and there he stood, helpless to react. He wondered at his calm. He should normally have freaked out when she mentioned his intuition and with everything else she told him. But his will seemed to have surrendered to a hypnotic suggestion. What held him in its grip?
Not having any clue about the supernatural powers used on him, the answer was simple: her exquisite face, captivating scent, divine body and basically everything about her, her intellectual qualities included of course, that drove him delirious with love and made him want to make her his at all costs. It was a good excuse for his passiveness, otherwise why would he be acting like a mentally retarded adult? It wasn’t like him at all.

J. F. Cain is a writer with a restless mind who spent years of her life reading and traveling. But of all the places she has been to, her favorite is a house in the mountains where she can focus on her writing. She is a seeker of knowledge who transcribes the results of her studies in her books. Her favorite pastime –other than reading and writing- is scouring libraries. However, she has lately convinced herself that she enjoys shopping just as much, as well as spending time with family and friends –the few that can still tolerate her frequent and extended periods of absence. 



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Guest post: "My Five Favorite Books" by Joseph Davida

I have always been attracted to memoirs, as good ones usually give you more bang for your buck than any work of fiction. My favorites are the ones written by criminals, druggies, and general social outcasts. They usually did not initially set out to become professional writers, but they all lived real lives and had real stories to tell. They are the adventures and struggles of people who couldn’t help but go against the grain, but who wore their hearts, even if they were cold, on their sleeves. For me, there are too many to list, I could write forever about Charles Bukowski alone…but for no nonsense fuckery, these are my five favorites.

Junky by William Burroughs

Junky was the book that started it all. When it was first published in 1953 as "Junkie", it was doubled up with a book about a narcotics agent to help balance it all out. Although it was largely considered a cheap sensationalized paperback upon its initial limited release, Burroughs did not write it in a sensationalistic manner. The stories were written with such a dry, yet revealing tone, that when I’d first read it as a teenager, I found its honesty to be a revelation. I'd never read anything detailing aspects of addiction and homosexuality in such a matter of fact way. And when you put it in the context of its time, it may as well have been written by someone from another planet. Although I suspect the publisher may have intended it for it to be received as a cautionary tale, the beauty of it lays in the fact that Burroughs offers absolutely no apologies. He’s also occasionally funny as hell. Even when he was clearly not having such a great time of it, especially during his time in New Orleans and Mexico, at no point does he attempt to entice any kind of empathy from his readers. And while it’s been sixty-five years since he first described his experiences with opiates, his portrayal of addiction still remains equally true today. The world may have changed…but junk is forever.

You Can’t Win by Jack Black

You can’t mention Junky without bringing up the book that was one of Burroughs biggest inspirations, and that, of course, is “You Can’t Win” by Jack Black. You Can’t Win is the autobiography of a burglar with a penchant for opium and riding the rails. While Black clearly lacked the sophistication of other more notorious thieves like Joseph “Yellow Kid” Weil, or Willie Sutton, (who also both wrote great autobiographies), Black’s descriptions of traveling around, cracking safes, and crashing at hobo camps—when he wasn’t getting locked up—paint a much more colorful picture of the criminal underworld as it existed in late 19th century America. Somehow, despite a few stints in prison, Jack Black expresses a sense freedom that would be almost impossible to imagine trying to capture now.

Pimp: The Story of My Life by Robert “Iceberg Slim” Beck

Pimp is just about the heaviest book ever written. As the title suggests, the book is about a pimp who got into the game in the mid 1930’s. Although pimping has probably been around in one form or another since the dawn of humanity, no one has ever laid out all of the subtle intricacies of the profession better than Iceberg. It wasn’t easy being a black man in America in those days, and to not only be able to survive, but thrive in Iceberg’s environment required a special set of skills that few men could ever stomach, let alone acquire. According to Slim—the cold, calculating life of a pimp required just the right balance of tenderness and violence to be successful…and there was a reason why he was one of the best. Although it’s almost impossible (for most of us) to have any empathy for a man who exploits women’s bodies and minds for personal gain, there are good reasons why many rappers regard this book along the same lines as the bible. And even if you can’t allow yourself to justify his profession, it is impossible to dismiss Iceberg’s insights into capitalism, race, psychology and more than anything else: the nature of man.

Underworld of the East by James S. Lee

Underworld of the East is such an amazing book, it’s almost hard to believe it was actually ever written, let alone released. Lee was an engineer from Yorkshire who left the UK to work in India at the turn of the last century. Written at a time when there were none of the same social and criminal stigmas regarding drugs, Lee decided to indulge in them all. Morphine, cocaine, hash, and a few currently unknown drugs that most of us would probably love to get our hands on. Add to this the backdrop of all the different ports in Asia, with their red-light districts, and opium dens, and it’s enough to make anyone feel nostalgic for a world that has long since disappeared. For a British subject during the Victorian era, Lee was well ahead of his time…and the best part about all of it, is how he not only lets us in on his journey of self-discovery, but the enthusiasm he exudes while explaining all the virtues of a living a better life through chemistry…

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

There is little I can say about Fear and Loathing that hasn’t already been said. Fear and Loathing was a game changer that still has not been surpassed. It not only changed the way people thought about writing, it changed the way people thought. Period. Forget about all of the stuff about Gonzo journalism, all the drugs that were consumed, and all of the remnants of the 60’s generation—and you still have a book that is perhaps more relevant today then it would be at any other time in our nation’s history. The heart of the story for me, is about the evolution of humanity and the cold war being fought for the soul of America. Hunter was not only detailing the “us and them” world of the Vietnam era, but a battle that is still being fought today. The right-wing-conservative-Christian faction of the country are still flexing their muscles, and still trying to essentially control the dialogue about patriotism and morality. But as Hunter so eloquently said, “Lord…the final incredible truth is that I am not guilty. All I did was take your gibberish seriously…and…my primitive Christian instincts have made me a criminal.” The honest truth is—all of the progressive freaks, the dreamers, the wanderers and seekers, all of the social outcasts and social warriors—are all still just searching for the same thing…a place where we are not marginalized, criminalized, or relegated to feel like foreigners in our own country. We all just want to feel like we’ve finally made it home, and for me, there would be no place more comfortable to live— than in the sanctuary of Hunter’s world.

Pixel Egypt Dave
Joseph Davida is the pen name of a successful Nashville- based entrepreneur, former rock musician, and New York native.  He is currently at work on his next book, as yet untitled. Connect with him on the web:

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Guest post: "My Anankastic Bibliobibuli, or Favorite Books?" by M.J. Joseph

As a good translator of François Rabelais might express it, I’m unapologetically omniligent: compelled to read almost anything. The local newspaper, any local newspaper, The Penguin Dictionary of Proper Names, Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (any year), The Complete Rhyming Dictionary, The Dictionary of Theories, The Oxford English Dictionary, German Women for Empire 1884-1945, you name it. Identifying favorite books, however, in light of my anankastic bibliobibuli, would seem impossible. I know, I know, enough with the Rabelais! But, if I consider two authors that have had some influence on my literary tastes, have soaked through my reading preferences like the fruity red juice of Nigella’s Christmas Chutney soaking through my white kitchen apron, the one with the cartoon of a lady holding up a crawfish with a text bubble suggesting something rude printed on it, I’ll settle on Rabelais and Homer. So, you’re not surprised by Rabelais? There are others, of course.

What of their books have really influenced my reading preferences? Well, all of Homer’s work has influenced my reading preferences. Two books. Regarding Rabelais, four of the five books that can be attributable to him in the series commonly known as The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel have, and you’ll indulge me here, shown upon my taste like the tinted rays emanating from those round, colored lenses revolving before a bright light, that made wondrous the kitschy silver Christmas tree the more swinging of your uncles used to drag out of their attics the day after Thanksgiving. Few books have offered me all of the qualities I value as a reader, but if I consider Rabelais’ and Homer’s I easily recognize their mark upon my reading interests.  And, so should you, Sport, assuming that you’ve done what you should have done by now, and read them.

Reading the outrageously funny story of Gargantua and Pantagruel and their pals and institutional and personal adversaries and appreciating its philosophical, religious and historical significance, seems to have tinted, as it were, my literary preferences in the broadest fashion. Fairly or not, reading Evelyn Waugh, J. D. Salinger, P. G. Wodehouse, John Mortimer, or Tom Sharp, I always recall Rabelais. Reading James Joyce, William Faulkner, Thomas Pynchon and Aldous Huxley, I always recall Rabelais. I consider a great deal of the work produced by the authors listed above against the backdrop of Rabelais’ satirical and comic potency, as well as its intelligence,  just as I have long considered that Rabelais rides the backs of Aristophanes and, often, as he likes to mention, Plato.  If I’d never read Rabelais, I certainly would have derived joy and knowledge from the writers listed above, but since I did, they, like the silver Christmas tree alight with color, dazzle me just a little more.  Now, seriously, how do you get Nigella’s Christmas Chutney out of a white, cotton apron?

There are favorite writers, where Homer seems to ghost-up, just as a differently-colored lens moves across the bright light and stains the silver radiance of the silver tree. Apologies to Shelley. Works by other authors occupy their little corners in my mind, like the small memorials I habitually bump into, trip-over or sideswipe along the floors and walls of any European cathedral I walk through.  So, where do I find the fons et origo of encouragement for my interest in the work of, for instance, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Mann, Joseph Roth, Amos Oz or Lawrence Durrell, amongst many others? Sure, humor occasionally floats up within the pages of books such as Jude the Obscure, Lord Jim, Joseph and His Brothers, The Radetzky March, My Michael and Justine, but the weight of reconciling evil, suffering, isolation and mortality these authors place upon their characters always summons up Homer’s crowd of teleological jerks or brave metaphysicians, tragic heroes or weeping religious.  I’ll consider my anankastic bibliobibuli again, sometime.


M. J. Joseph was born in the first Catholic hospital built in Florida, a Gothic Revivalbuilding designed by the Hungarian architect, Albert Olszewski von Herbulis. Now, a nearly abandoned stone pile listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places, the former hospital, deserted by the Daughters of Charity, currently houses a couple of eateries and a Montessori school. As a matter of curiosity, Joseph’s children attended the Montessori school.
Joseph represents the seventh-generation of his family to live in Pensacola, Florida, growing-up the son of a World War II PT Boat sailor and a working mother, spending the happiest of his early days along the shores of Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Island.  Every year, like Persephone, he descended into what he regarded as the dark and forbidding underworld of schooling, enduring complete boredom and utter disinterest, except upon the occasion of first hearing one of his music teachers sing Schubert lieder.  Upon escaping his primary education, Joseph discovered university life and began an enormously fulfilling period of scholarship and curiosity that has remained dear to him.
Joseph spent his professional career in his family’s firm, eventually rising to CEO and managing the corporation’s merger with a multinational company.  He has been retired for sixteen years, occasionally working part-time in the non-profit world and in jobs that have interested him, as well as, directing, for several years, his own non-profit corporation benefitting international youth soccer, or, more commonly understood, football.
M. J. Joseph has written all his life, but, until sharing the manuscript of his book, The Lübecker, with a several friends and his wife, he had no interest in publishing any of his work, finding other interests sufficiently fulfilling, especially, sailing.  Joseph plans to publish the entire work, of which The Lübecker represents the first book, largely owing to the enthusiastic support of the girl of his dreams, his wife, Ann, and wonderful publicist, Maryglenn McCombs.     
Check out the book on Amazon.