Thursday, April 9, 2015

@JohnEWadeII Shares His Inspiration for "Glimpses of Heaven on Earth" #SelfHelp #NonFiction #Quotes

at 7:00 AM 0 comments
I very much enjoyed writing Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, as an inspirational read that I hope gives its readers some interesting thoughts to contemplate. The book includes quotations and essays on the following topics: peace and security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, gender harmony, racial harmony, spiritual harmony, ecological harmony, health, and moral purpose and meaning. This is a follow-up to my prior book, How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, which is a collection of approximately one hundred essays on these same topics.

In this newest book, Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, I invited four essay contributors to my prior book to join me in collecting inspiriting quotations. Each of the five co-authors—Charlotte L. Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, Martin Rutte, and I—wrote brief commentary to follow the quotations in each chapter. I think the group did a good job of finding quotations on all of these topics from leaders and thinkers throughout time and across the globe, which was an exhaustive by interesting project. You will find some familiar favorites, such as quotes from Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi, and also some that may be unfamiliar. I can imagine starting off each day by reading a sampling of quotes from each chapter. After all, we are all seeking to make some kind of order in the chaos of life, and I find this book very helpful in that quest.

Because of the range of topics, there truly is something of interest for everyone. I enjoyed reading about net-zero buildings in Martin’s commentary on ecological harmony. And I think readers will be intrigued by my predictions of everlasting life in the chapter on health. I want to note that we did not shy away from today’s hot topics, such as racial and gender issues, making for a very timely read.
All in all, our writing styles are easy to read and the content is easy to follow, although I had to read Michael’s commentary about peace and security twice before it really sank in. As the founder for the Metta Center for Nonviolence, Michael is an expert in this field, and I found myself wanting to know more about his beliefs and practices. In addition to other books on the topic of nonviolence, Michael provides all sorts of other helpful material on his website:  http://mettacenter.org/.  I also has several comprehensive websites, one that specifically focuses on the topic of heaven on earth: www.heavenonearth.org

This book would make an excellent gift for someone experiencing change in their life, going through difficult times, changing jobs or schools, or for someone who enjoys being inspired to create a better life for herself and others. I can imagine giving this book as a graduation or retirement gift as well. Truly, anyone would benefit from reading this short, but impactful, book.

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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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sue Parritt on Being a Migrant & Her Writing Inspiration @OdysseyBooks #AmReading #Dystopian #Goodreads

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What inspired me to write my book?

Anger, abhorrence and disbelief motivated me to write Sannah and the Pilgrim. I was and remain appalled by past and present governments’ policy on refugees and asylum seekers. News bulletins and current affairs programmes helped fuel my deep concerns about the direction our country is heading. From a country that welcomed scores of displaced people after the Second World War, we are becoming xenophobic, rejecting those that have fled what for most of us are inconceivable terrors. As a migrant myself, I tried to imagine how I would have felt, if instead of paying my ten pounds and travelling here on an ocean liner, I had been forced to flee my homeland, hand over my life’s savings to greedy people smugglers and risk my life by boarding a leaky overcrowded boat.

My thoughts then turned to a different category of refugees, those we can expect in the not so distant future. Low-lying Pacific islands are already under threat from accelerating climate change, about which wealthy first-world countries have so far failed to act. Soon there will be a flood of environmental refugees seeking a safe haven in our sparsely populated and prosperous nation. How will our government react then, when turning back the boats won’t be an option?

I felt my option as a fiction writer was to draw on contemporary government policies regarding refugees and climate change to create a portrait of a future Australia that is, to my mind, entirely possible. The idea to divide the country into zones according to race of origin came from a thinly veiled proposal made by an ultra-conservative politician some years ago. Research into climate change led me to place my characters in the most inhospitable part of twenty-fourth century Australia, the extremely hot, humid and disease-ridden north. Confined to the Brown Zone (formerly Queensland) the people, descendants of Pacific environmental refugees, are forced to cultivate the remaining fertile coastal strip to produce food for White Southerners, whose zone, although more suitable for human habitation, is too arid to support agriculture.

I was inspired to create the role of storyteller for my protagonist, Sannah, by the manner in which information is often distorted by both the media and government in order to provoke certain reactions. For instance, fears of being swamped by refugees are intensified by using terms such as ‘illegals’ and concerns over rising utility costs assuaged by promises to repeal the Carbon Tax. Sannah’s people are kept in ignorance through a steady diet of Tales (a weird blend of historical fact and fiction) delivered by government-trained storytellers. In similar fashion, we are fed only what governments and multinational companies want us to hear and it takes a great deal of effort to uncover the truth. Lies ensure compliance in both twenty-first and twenty-fourth century Australia.

Sue Parritt author pic

About the Author:
Sue Parritt is an Australian writer, originally from England. Her poetry and short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies in Australia, Britain and the USA. After graduating BA University of Queensland 1982 (majors: English Literature, Drama and French), Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a professional writer.  Since then she has written Sannah and the Pilgrim, numerous short stories and poems andFeed Thy Enemy, a feature film script set in Naples in 1944 and 1974 and based on a true story (Sue is currently seeking a producer). She recently completed a second novel Safety Zone and is now writing a sequel to Sannah and the Pilgrim  the working title is Pia and the Skyman.

Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sure Parritt

When Sannah the Storyteller, a descendant of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, finds a White stranger on her domestep, she presumes he’s a political prisoner on the run seeking safe passage to egalitarian Aotearoa. However, Kaire’s unusual appearance, bizarre behaviour, and insistence he’s a pilgrim suggest otherwise.

Appalled by apartheid Australia, Kaire uses his White privileges to procure vital information for Sannah and her group of activists regarding new desert prisons that are to be built to house all political prisoners. The group plans sabotage but needs help, and Kaire is a willing accomplice. But when Sannah turns Truthteller and threatens to reveal the country’s true history, even Kaire’s White privilege and advanced technology cannot save Sannah and her daughter from retribution.

About Sannah and the Pilgrim:

Sannah and the Pilgrim is a tale of courage, defiance and deceit that asks the reader, ‘Would you risk death by telling the truth about your country, or would you play it safe and spend your life as a storyteller?’

Are you concerned about our governments’ (both past and present) failure to act on climate change and the detention and inhumane treatment of refugees? I am, so I have drawn on contemporary conservative attitudes to present a dystopian view of a future Australia in my speculative fiction novel Sannah and the Pilgrim. Read it and discover what could happen to our‘lucky’ country.

Friday, December 5, 2014

@MargaretWestlie on Anna Beaton's Murder & Writing Without an Outline #WriteTip #AmWriting #HistFic

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When I was taking the Masters’ Degree in English at the University of Missouri at Kansas City I was taught the germ theory of writing.  You hear a story or read an article in a magazine and take a word or a phrase from it and create your own story around it.  It need only be a word or two, something that triggers your imagination and sends it off into the wilds of your creative mind.  As long as you take the idea and don’t repeat it word for word you can go where you will with it.  It really is only something to spark your creativity.  You can separate the idea completely from its source once you get going on your project because it will have no relationship to its origin anymore and is probably no longer even recognizable as coming from there.
I get my stories from my elders.  They’re all great story-tellers.  Anna’s Secret is a case in point.  The story is based on the story of Anne Beaton’s hollow where a murder took place 150 years ago that was blamed on an ancestor of mine.  He was subsequently cleared of the deed and left Prince Edward Island.  I took the fact of her murder and fictionalized it by changing her personality, the circumstances surrounding her life and death, and putting in characters who never existed outside of my imagination.  I asked myself questions like:  What if she had been someone entirely different than who she was purported to be?  Who was she really?  Who did she really go to see?  Was it an innocent visit or was it a clandestine affair as everyone thought?  Who really murdered her?  What were the motivations?  Questions of this nature lead to a well fleshed-out novel not based on the original story, which was probably based in truth.  Then I took the original question of who she really was and who I thought she should be and dug and explored all her fictional relationships which eventually led to the denouement.
I have never used an outline.  I tried it once because I was told it was the best way to work but it didn’t work for me.  It kept me too bound by the structure of the outline.  I felt I had to write by the rules when my characters wanted to do something different.  I had to let them be themselves.  They become living people in my mind and you have to let people do whatever it is they need to do.  They talk to me and argue with me and agree with me just like real people.  You can’t be too controlling or your story will become too rigid and awkward.  Let you characters tell the story.  Keep notes as to who is related to whom and when they did a certain thing and anything else you think you might get hazy on as the story moves along.  That way you don’t have to keep going back to look for it, should you need that information again.  So try writing without an outline, you never know where your characters will take you or why they want you to go there.

Anna Gillis, the midwife and neighbour in Mattie’s Story, has been found killed. The close-knit community is deeply shaken by this eruption of violence, and neighbours come together to help one another and to discover the perpetrator. But the answer lies Anna’s secret, long guarded by Old Annie, the last of the original Selkirk Settlers, and the protagonist of An Irregular Marriage. Join the community! Read Anna’s Secret and other novels by Margaret A. Westlie.
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Genre – Fiction, mystery, historical
Rating – G
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Moxie Meets Count Gamel in MOXIE'S PROBLEM by Hank Quense @hanque99 #Excerpt AmReading #SciFi

at 9:30 AM 0 comments
Scene Background:  

Moxie is on her way to meet her betrothed Count Gamel. Three apprentice knights, Percivale, Bore and Gareth are escorting her there. 

Bors rode to the top of a hill and examined a flat, boulder-strewn summit. Beyond the boulders, a grassy knoll butted against a tall outcrop that would shelter them from the wind. Bors rode past the boulders, dismounted on the grass and removed the saddle from his horse, Escrow. He grunted in pleasure as a cool breeze wafted over him.

Percivale, Gareth and Moxie joined him on the knoll and they decided to camp there. Soon, all the mounts were unsaddled, hobbled and grazing nearby.

After tending to his horse, Escrow, Bors studied the boulders. Something about them seemed strange, almost unnatural. The rocks were in lines almost like the beads on his abacus. He ignored Moxie's latest outburst of whining and continued to examine the rocks. Dark gray boulders — dozens of them — covered the area in three lines with exactly twenty rocks in each line. A fourth rank, separate from the other three, contained five rocks.

"How dare you!" Moxie roared.

Bors grabbed his sword hilt and whirled towards the sound of her voice. Moxie stood ten feet away glaring at a boulder in the middle rank.

"What's goin' on?" Percival, also on foot, asked her. Gareth stood near Percivale, looking quizzically at Moxie.

"I'm a princess, you impudent rock. Apologize this instant or I'll break you into rubble."

Bors gawked at her. The memory of a story an old hunter once told him and his father flooded his brain and almost overwhelmed him with the danger they faced. His skin crawled.

Moxie picked up a fist-sized rock.

Bors gasped. Moxie was about to get them all killed.

Moxie bounced the rock off the boulder.

Bors ran to her and grabbed her arm before she could do more damage.

"The stone insulted me." Moxie frowned at Bors as if she suspected his motives.

"Why did you throw the rock?" Percivale asked.

"Moxie just attacked one of the rock-folk," Bors said in a quavering voice.

"I did what?"

"She did what?" Percivale said. "I'm confused."

Bors waved an arm around the boulder collection. "This is a rock-moot. I've heard about them. The rock-folk come together to settle problems and make new laws. And the stone Moxie threw was a rock-baby."

"The big one degraded me." Moxie sniffed and pointed at the boulder. "It made lewd suggestions."

"Rocks can't talk," Gareth said. "Leastwise, not so we can hear them."

"I can hear them. I’m descendent from the Ancient Ones. Royal Ancient Ones, of course. And the Ancient Ones were descended from the fairies.”

"We have to get out of here," Bors said. "Fast."

"Why is the ground shaking?" Moxie looked alarmed. She grabbed Percival's arm to steady herself.

"It's the rock-folk," Bors said. "They're gettin' all worked up over Moxie's attack."

Their mounts whinnied in fear at the trembling ground. They jumped and stamped their hooves and strained at the hobbles until they broke free. The four horses ran down the hill and disappeared into the forest.

A worried Bors said, "We have to get out of here. Let's grab the saddle bags and put some distance between us and the rocks."

A boulder inched closer to Moxie's foot and she shrieked.

Percivale made a face at the sudden pain in his ear from Moxie's reaction, but didn't move, as if frozen in place.

"Someone has to get my horse," Moxie said.

"I ain't goin' through those rocks." Gareth pointed to a group of rocks rolling to form a line between them and the direction the horses went.

"We have to leave." Bors pushed Moxie in the back. "That way."

"Unhand me! And what about dinner? I'm hungry."

"Dinner will be very late tonight, Your Royal Feyness." Bors kept his hand on her back, nudging her away from the builders. He grabbed Moxie's saddle bag and handed it to her, then picked up his own.

"You expect me to carry that?"

Bors dropped her saddle bags. "If you don't carry it, it stays here and gets crushed by the rocks. I'm not carryin' yours, you are."

Bors looked at Percivale who stood without moving, his face drained of color. Bors grabbed an arm and yanked Percivale backward. Percivale blinked and gave Bors a strange look. "Come on, Perc," Bors yelled. "Snap out of it and let's get goin'."

Percivale picked up his saddlebags and trotted away from the boulders.

A few minutes later, they descended the hill.

"Moxie, look out!" Gareth yelled.

Bors turned and saw a boulder thundering down the hill. A bow wave of dirt sprayed out on both sides of its path.

Gareth dropped his saddle bags and pushed Moxie out of the way. Both landed in a heap a moment before the boulder sped past them.

"Get off me, you blundering lummox."

Gareth picked himself up and pointed to the boulder now at the bottom of the hill and rapidly losing speed. "Must have been sentry." He went over to his saddle bags, partially crushed by the boulder.

"Are these rocks stupid or something?" Moxie stood with her hands on her hips. "Commoners are supposed to ignore royal misunderstandings."

"I don't think rock-folk are impressed with your royal birth," Bors said. "Let's get movin'.

"When do you think the horses will come back?" Moxie asked. "I can't carry my saddle bags all the way to Count Gamel's."

"Those animals ain't comin' back," Percivale said. "Not after the way they got spooked. They're inna next county by now." The color had returned to his face.

"Can someone please carry my bags?" Moxie asked in a pleasant voice while fluttering her eyelids. "They have my wedding dress in it."

Bors slung his own bags over one shoulder and said, "It'll do you good to get some exercise." He turned his back on her and walked east.

"We gotta get a lotta miles from here before we can stop for me to cook the rabbits I caught." Gareth tied two hares to a saddle bag. "We better start pickin' nuts and berries if we see any."

Bors shook his head. He wished the adventure would go back to being boring again.

Moxie huffed, stamped her foot and picked up her saddle bags. She followed the three knights while raining insults and curses down on their collective heads.

Moxie had never thought that life outside the castle could be so difficult. Her escorts made her sleep on the ground with only two thin blankets: one under her and one on top of her. She had to sleep in her clothes. The men made her get up at dawn. She had to eat cold meals when it rained. They made her ride the horse all day long. The knights were disrespectful of her nobility. They often ignored her commands.

It was if she was a peasant not a princess. And now they didn’t have horses and had to walk and non one would carry her saddlebags.

Moxie dropped the saddlebags to wipe her tear-filled eyes. Gamel better be worth all this misery she thought.

Moxie's Problem

Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical than Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outsider her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

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Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense through Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NAKED TRUTH : Saving Liam #Excerpt by DP Denman @DPDenman #MustRead #LGBT #AmReading

at 12:00 PM 0 comments
Liam finished his sandwich, left the plate in the sink, and strode across the condo to the guestroom they’d converted to a home gym. He didn’t need a workout, but he definitely needed a shower, and this one guaranteed he wouldn’t wake Justin while he took it. He stripped out of his clothes and stared back at the night on the other side of the wall of windows. He no longer felt the wiggle of anxiety from being nude in a room so exposed to the city. The vulnerability was an illusion. There were no buildings near enough to see him without a telescope, and if watching him toss dirty clothes in a hamper was someone’s idea of a turn on he wouldn't fault the poor, lonely bastard his hang-ups as long as he did it from a distance.

After so many nights as a spectacle on the stage, it was easier to shrug off the fear of prying eyes than it used to be as long as he wasn’t in a room of horny men. He’d gotten past quite a few things, but he wasn’t brave enough to deal with that. He wasn’t sure he ever would be, even with the rumor that men at Spark tipped better than the women did. He already made plenty of money.

He turned on the bathroom light and smiled at the thought while he pushed the door closed. For the first time since his parents had thrown him out, he was making enough to support himself. In a city with the illustrious title of Most Expensive in Canada, that was something worthy of a little pride. His job guaranteed he wouldn’t have to suffer the horrors of street life ever again and he was building a savings account to make sure it stayed that way. If anything happened to break him and Justin up, it would hurt, but it wouldn’t put him back on the street. That was the most important thing, though his broken heart would argue the point.

He scrubbed the night from his hair and body and dried off before wrapping the towel around his waist. He tugged the door open, turned off the light, and crossed the moonlit condo to creep into the bedroom. Justin was a lump under the blankets of their four-poster bed. He moved on silent feet to the walk-in closet and traded the towel for a clean pair of boxers before climbing under the covers to snuggle close to his sleeping man.

“How was work?” Justin mumbled.

“Same old.”

Justin kissed his head, wrapped him in his arms, and drifted back to sleep. Liam shushed the regret over a single mumbled question that used to be an actual conversation about his night. He didn't want to contemplate what that could mean for their relationship if the distance between them continued to grow. It was too scary.

nakedTruth

Buried lies never die.

Liam has a new career, a new condo, a newfound sense of control and none of it is quite right. Shadows drift behind the bright sparkle of his life; things he's determined to ignore until a shocking revelation makes it impossible. With the help of Justin and a new friend, Liam must face the life he's buried.

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Genre - Contemporary Gay Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with DP Denman through Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, November 8, 2014

@Lord_Ra_Krishna on Focusing Your Attention from Negative to Positive #AmReading #Motivaltional

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How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

Excellent question. First of all I turn to the most simplest action, to breathe. Concentrating on deep breaths and then meditation. Once I find balance within myself I utilize what is known in Hermetic philosophy and alchemy, as mental transmutation. All that basically means is to focus your attention from a negative point to a positive. For example if I’m feeling fear, instead of attempting to erase the fear I focus on courage and allow the courage to transmute the fear. The courage comes from my desire to inspire people.

What scares you the most?

Not being myself, and not being the self I have “evolved” into. Also not for filing my destiny.

What makes you happiest? 

I am already happy, you have to be happy from within first. Also making other people happy, seeing my children smile, seeing other people smile, seeing people happy when they “get it” or have an “AH-HA “ moment. Beautiful music, the ocean and some good “legal” medical marijuana.

What’s your greatest character strength
?
Giving

What’s your weakest character trait?

Patience

Why do you write? 
I actually just like to create with words, in itself. However, the point of my writing is to share new ideas and create doubt.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? 

My children



"This “new age” book of poetry reflects the diverse views and philosophies of it’s author Ra Krishna EL. It’s an intimate, humorous and thought provoking group of poems intended to evoke strong emotion. To quote the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, this style of poetry can be called “Zukunfts poesie“ which translates into “Poetry of the future”, where truly original ideas are presented thru poetry. Also known as post Nietzschean poetry.

It’s subjects include society, pop culture, love, religious dogma, God and the new age of Aquarius. This book was written and published during the false incarceration of its author in Chicago’s notorious Cook County Jail, the largest jail in the country."

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Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lord Ra Krishna EL on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, November 7, 2014

#Excerpt from Touching Madness (River Madden) by K S Ferguson #AmReading #Fantasy #Goodreads

at 7:30 AM 0 comments
I cowered at the hooves of the eight-foot tall demon, wallowing in the soot and debris of the apocalyptic cityscape. He frowned at me, and his mouth formed words, but I couldn't understand him. Hoards of translucent black cloud nightmares rose and fell through cracks in the scarred ground, widening the fissures with each pass. They roiled around us, cutting off light coming from a source that I couldn't identify. I opened my mouth to scream, and one of the nightmare clouds poured in, clogging my throat, filling my lungs with ash, and shooting burning cinders up through my brain. I thrashed, trying to get to my feet so I could run, but I no longer had legs.

I jerked awake, thoroughly tangled in the space blanket, my legs numb, and looked into a pair of amber eyes that stared back at me along the blade of a big, scary military-type knife pointed at my throat. I swallowed hard. Boy, had I screwed up.

"Hi," I said.

She didn't blink. My God, she was beautiful in the pre-dawn light glowing through the windows. No human looked that perfect. Was she real? I freed my right hand and ever so slowly raised my index finger to the tip of the blade while she watched. When I pressed lightly against the point, it pricked my skin. I pulled my hand back. Blood welled from the tiny cut. Yep, real. Shit. She'd taken me prisoner.

"We're surrounded by cops," I said. "If you stick me, I'll scream like a girl."

Ah, crap, why'd I used that expression? She probably screamed like an Amazon warrior. How'd she even lift a knife that big? She was such a tiny thing. All the cops I'd met were big louts. But she had the drop on me, and the knife was a lot more threatening than her wand thingy.

"Who are you? Where are we? How'd I get here?" she asked. The taut muscles around her eyes telegraphed fear, and the knife trembled in her hand.

I rubbed my prickling wrist tattoos against my jeans and caught a whiff of something burnt. I glanced around the kiosk. Up near the ceiling, a trace of shapeless sooty cloud leaked out through the crack around the door. My mouth opened, closed.

"Do you smoke?" I asked, hoping she'd tell me she did. The cloud could have been cigarette smoke even if it didn't smell like tobacco… purposeful cigarette smoke, on the dark side. A hallucination. Not real.

A frown joined her stare. Oops. I'd wandered off topic. What had she asked? Who are you? But her team had that tracking device that reacted to me. How could she be looking for me but not recognize me?

"I brought you here so they wouldn't shoot you. I had to hide you while I led him away." I gave her a tentative smile and waited for her to gush her thanks for saving her life. Maybe she'd be so grateful, she'd tell me about the tracking device—and point that big knife some other direction. Then I could get away before she figured out who I was.

She added narrowed eyes to the stare and the frown. I chewed my lower lip. Maybe I wasn't communicating as well as I'd hoped. I felt woefully inadequate talking to someone as lovely as her, especially someone carrying a dangerous weapon. It could have been worse—at least I hadn't degenerated into word salad or spoken in rhymes.






Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

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Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author
 

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