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Book Tour – “Somewhere Out There” box set

Book Tour – “Somewhere Out There” box set

Title: Somewhere Out There
Genre: Mixed Genre
Publisher: Bathory Gate Press
Cover Designer: Elizabeth Constantopolous
Sometimes an anthology is more than a collection of great stories.
This anthology is about making a stand.
More than 150 authors, editors, artists, and promoters from all around the world have come together to say, “Enough is enough, and let the children go free.” Immerse yourself in the tales of Somewhere Out There: A Fundraising Anthology that demands we keep immigrant children together with their parents, and out of incarceration.
Experience sizzling romances, journey through fantastic magical realms, and solve engaging mysteries in this collection of stories that encompasses all genres. Bestselling authors and new voices have come together to deliver an incredible and exciting collection that’s bound to keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages.
Best of all, know every cent of your purchase is going to a child who needs it. 100% of all net proceeds will go to non-profit organizations that will reunite immigrant families detained and separated at US borders.
It’s your turn to rise up. Will you join us in supporting immigrant families (and get a great reading deal in the process)?
One-click and take a stand today!
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Book Tour and Interview – “The Dog Walker’s Diary” by Kathryn Donahue

Book Tour and Interview – “The Dog Walker’s Diary” by Kathryn Donahue

Title: The Dog Walker’s Diary
Author: Kathryn Donahue
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Madeline Berger
Editor: Kelsy Thompson
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Daniel Ashe has reason to believe he is incapable of falling in love. He certainly has no romantic interest in Annie, the odd Irish woman he hired to walk his dogs – but every night he comes home to find she has left him a new and fantastical story about their secret lives. His dachshund is a buccaneer on the high seas, his retriever recounts a past life as a circus lion, and Daniel is cast time and again as a romantic hero.
As her stories become the highlight of his day, Daniel realizes that Annie is embedding hints about her own astonishing past, and he has to ask himself if he’s truly incapable of falling in love after all.
Kathryn Donahue is a freelance writer and former tongue-in-cheek advice columnist for The Deepwell Press. Her humor essays have been published in First Sunday, and she won the Spotlight Award for her one-act play The Sty. Her debut novel, The Dog Walker’s Diary, is a Forward finalist for Indie Book of the Year. It earned a coveted star review from Publishers Weekly, ( “… a diverting delight from beginning to end,”) and a four star rating from RT Book Reviews, (“… one of the most remarkably unique contemporary romances this year.”) Ms. Donahue is completing a new novel, and working on a screenplay.
Author Links:
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Dog Diary
Thursday, 5:00 a.m.
Dear Annie,
Your stories are back in here, but during their short hiatus to my office I showed them to my boss. After reading them, Peter took off his glasses and said, “So you’re telling me that this woman leaves you a new fairy tale every night?”
     “Yes. Every night.”
     “Then you know what she is, don’t you?”
     “What do you mean?”
     “This Irish woman. Do you know what she is?”
     I shook my head. “What are you talking about? What is she?”
     “Wake up, Daniel. That dog walker of yours is a Scheherazade.”
     Annie, you didn’t respond to my invitation, and in looking back I can see how easily it could be misconstrued. If I were a woman, alone and in a different country, I might not agree to meet a semi-stranger for coffee either, even if I had been entertaining him for days with fantastical stories.
     So please, allow me to make myself less of a stranger.
     I am known by a small but select group of females as a heartless jerk incapable of falling in love. Each in turn soon gave up on me, more with a sad shake of the head than with dishes flying. It has happened so often that I have to concede the ladies are right. Apparently I have skipped or tripped over some developmental step that makes me incapable of true intimacy. I’ve made my peace with that, and recently have been lucky enough to meet Victoria, a lady who seems to suffer the same affliction. (Does that make us soul mates or soul-less mates?)
And here’s an interview with the author!
  1. Who is your favorite author?


  1. I spread my love around. Historical fiction, literary, or works that put me in ancient China or India or England during the Age of Enlightenment. But what I enjoy the most are stories told with wry humor, and it doesn’t get funnier than John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces. Only wished he had lived to write many more. When I saw the movie, Cold Comfort Farm I couldn’t rest until I had the book in my hands. More recent books that kept me laughing include Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove and my favorite, Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project.


How do you describe your writing style?

In the dark – literally because I’m an insomniac who writes overnight, and figuratively because I’m not one to make outlines or have the plot figured out ahead of time.

Why should we read your books?

While you might have to pay a bit of attention at the beginning of The Dog Walker’s Diary, once you understand the quirky style, I think it will take you on an enjoyable ride.

Have any of your characters been modelled after yourself?

Sure. My point of view character has my insomnia, and both main characters have my sense of humor. Daniel Ashe is afraid of redheaded women. Thanks to a dream and an accident he had as a teenager, he half-believes redheads have powers left over from the days of Druids. That trait came directly from my husband. He married into a family of redheads, and he thinks we’ve all been blessed by the gods.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

Annie Doherty. She doesn’t have a boring bone in her body.

What books have most influenced your life?

Pride and Prejudice gave me a sense of romantic love. That’s big when you’re being courted. You don’t want to end up with Mr. Collins when you can have Mr. Darcy!

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

Every one of us has her own unique story. Mine itches to get on paper, and I have no desire to retell anyone else’s.

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

The Beatles. Authentic to the bone. (Does anyone pick the Monkees?)

Who should play you in a film of your life?

Saoirse Ronan. But I’d rather she play Annie Doherty.


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Launch Day!

Launch Day!

Today’s the day!  My new book is offically out!

HER BROTHER’S KEEPER is book #3 in the Jane Barnaby Adventures – international intrigue and thrills with our heroine, an archaeology student who keeps finding herself in hot water.

In the first two books of the series, Jane’s had to face off with international art thieves, con artists, mysteries dating back to World War 2, and even an actual Nazi.  This time, all she wants is a peaceful family vacation in Spain.  She’s invited her father, his fiance (who’s only a couple of years older than Jane herself) and her twin brother, who she doesn’t quite get along with.  She’s hoping a few days of sun and beaches will lead to family peace.

Unfortunately, things go awry when her brother gets himself seduced by a stranger in the hotel bar – who turns out to be a Russian jewel thief.  And things only go downhill from there…

You can buy it on Kindle (or paperback on Amazon), or on any other eBook retailer.

It’s also available as a fantastic audiobook.

You can listen to a sample on Soundcloud, and you can see an amazing video of my narrator, Cait Frizzell (who’s a professional opera singer) on YouTube.  Seriously, if you don’t click anything else in this post, and you don’t care about my book, you still NEED to watch the video of Cait showing off her vocal talent.  You’ll thank me afterwards, I promise.

This is a little illustration of our heroine (on the left), and her future stepmother (on the right).  As usual, Jane is running headlong into trouble…

Finally, here’s an excerpt from the book:

She put on her bathrobe and slippers and headed for the shower.  En route, she noticed that her brother’s door was open.  Or, more likely, it had never been closed last night.  If the unrumpled sheets and un-unpacked luggage were any indication, he hadn’t come back to the house at all.  Which meant – no, that wasn’t possible.

It couldn’t be.  He couldn’t have spent the night with that woman, could he?  As far as she knew, he’d never picked up – or been picked up by – a strange girl at a bar.  Or anywhere else, for that matter.  He’d never had a one night stand.  It wasn’t in his nature.  And he absolutely wasn’t the type that a predator like the blonde in the miniskirt would go for.

What other explanation was there, though?  If he’d gotten so drunk he couldn’t walk back to the house, someone at the hotel would have called the house to come collect him.  It had happened before.  The hotel staff all knew about Bill Welldon and his archaeology volunteers, and if someone got themselves “into a state,” as Bill put it, they always made sure the unfortunate volunteer got back to the house safely.

Maybe he really had hit it off with the woman, unlikely as it seemed.  Being on vacation changed people sometimes.  Knowing he’d never see the woman again, and with a few drinks in him, maybe he’d found a new confidence that had led him to take a chance he’d never have taken otherwise.  And maybe it had worked out.  Stranger things had happened, after all.  Not that she could think of any examples at the moment, but surely they must have.

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Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 4, chapter 7 – “For the Soldiers and Sailors of Chelsea”)

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 4, chapter 7 – “For the Soldiers and Sailors of Chelsea”)

Sorry for the long, long delay

Anyway, we’re here, so let’s get moving!  If you want to catch up with the previous chapters, they’re all here:

Links to All Chapters

We’re in the final sprint to the end now, and we open this (short-ish) chapter with Harry Penn.  He’s thinking deep thoughts, as someone in his position might well be expected to do:

He wanted miracles.  He wanted life where there was no life, the negation of time,and the gliding of the universe – if only for one truly wonderful moment.

While in this mood, he’s visited by his daughter, Jessica.  They talk about her acting, and how she learns her lines:

“Only bad actors memorize lines.  Good actors are perpetually writing them as they act.”

“Even though the playwright has already written them.”  She nodded her head.  “Isn’t that presumptuous?”

“The playwright understands.”

I don’t think they’re just talking about the theater.  Doesn’t that sound a lot like what Helprin tells us in the chapter “Nothing is Random” ?  Everything has happened, and yet it is still happening.  There is both predestination and free will.

As they talk, Praeger de Pinto arrives, and Harry Penn has a revelation.  He has remembered Peter Lake, and realized that the man he knew nearly a century ago was also the derelict they encountered at Petipas a few months ago.  And now he knows what he has to do.  He orders Praeger to get a sleigh, and to drive him up to Lake of the Coheeries.  The newly-elected Mayor of New York does as he’s told, and off they go.

On the ride, Harry and Praeger talk, and it’s clear that Harry Penn has begin to see with somerthing of the clarity gifted to his long-dead sister.

“If you know only a dozen winters, it looks completely chaotic.  But after a hundred you begin to see where certain patterns surface and intersect.  I always know the weather.  That’s easy.”

Praeger asks if human relations can be similarly predicted.

“Not so easy, but possible.”

And history?  “Very difficult,” according to Harry.  But he doesn’t say it’s impossible.

After a day’s journey, they arrive on the Lake of the Coheeries, to find the town completely dark, which never happens.  Harry knows what this means, and, soon enough, they begin finding the bodies – everyone in town, victims of what appears to have been a terrible battle.

Harry and Praeger proceed to the Penn house, which was left untouched by the battle (with the Short Tails).  But that doesn’t matter, according to Harry:

“They wouldn’t have taken the one important thing, and as for damage, well, damage will soon be of little moment.”

Harry leads Praeger past the portraits of all his relatives.

“I could tell you the name of each one, and a lot more than that, too, because they were people I loved.  They’re all gone now.  But even they may be surprised  – when they awaken.”

Recall what Mrs. Gamely tells Virginia way back in Part 2, about trying to “shatter time and bring back the dead.”  Harry believes that’s precisely what’s going to happen, and soon.  He mentions Beverly’s death, and her deathbed instructions, to be carried out the next time Harry saw Peter Lake.  And note what Harry says:

“He left right after she died, and though we expected him to return at any moment, he never did, and i never saw him again – until Petipas.”

We;ve talked about how Peter Lake seems to fulfilll the role of the Jewish Messiah, but Harry speaks of him in Christian terms – doesn’t that sound a lot like the Second Coming?

Harry and Praeger carry out Beverly’s last instruction – they take down the portraits of her and Peter Lake, and then set fire to the house, and then the rest of the town of Lake of the Coheeries, before setting off back towards Manhattan.

Back there, we rejoin Hardesty, who’s still in Grand Central Station, and decides to see who – or what – is behind the trap door in the sky.  He ends up climbing all the way up by hand, and finds himself outside the door of Peter Lake’s hideaway.  He commences throwing himself at the door with all his strength, which startles Peter – just at the moment that Peter’s reading through an old Police Gazette featuring a picture of him from nearly a century ago.  Distracted, Peter fails to see himself, and instead waits to see who – or what – is attacking his door.

After half an hour, the door finally gives way, and Hardesty bursts inside, and promptly collapses.  After a couple of moments of confused conversation, they recognize each other from that early evening dinner at Petipas.

“Who are you?” Peter Lake asked.

Hardesty shook his head.  “That doesn’t matter,”  he said.  “Who are you?”

We leave Hardesty and Peter and visit Jackson Mead, who has just

unleashed all the forces he had been preparing and conserving, in a mad, bone-shaking spectacle.

The spectacle will continue for ten days, until the turn of the Millennium, and it will go on even as New York is

consumed by fire and civil disorder occasioned by the rainbow bridge itself.

And that takes us back to Gotterdammerung, of course – where Valhalla is consumed by fire, and that outcome is preordained the moment the ring is stolen, and the Gods cross the Rainbow Bridge in Das Rheingold.

Mead’s spectacle includes an “armada” of ships, hundreds of helicopters equipped with hypnotic lights and emitting deafening sounds, and a variety of other wonders.  His strategy is to

make each hour more intense than the one that preceded it.

It’s working admirably, too.

As this goes on, we check in on Virginia Gamely, who’s sitting with her stricken daughter.  She’s dreaming, and in her dream, she finds herself in an old, dusty tenement – in this dream, she herself is the dying child that Peter Lake saw way back in Part 1.  This is interesting, because we’ve seen Virginia dream several times over the course of the book, and every time, her dream is of something yet to come (and what she dreamed generally happens just as she dreamed it).  This time, she’s dreaming of something that happened nearly a century ago, something she couldn’t possibly know about – yet she’s dreaming it quite accurately.  I take it as yet another indication of the past, present and future all being connected – all being one thing when seen from a far enough distance.

What does it mean, though?  Is this dream (vision?) presaging Abby’s fate?

Her mother is there, too, and urges Virginia to take a walk and get some fresh air.  Virginia asks where Mrs. Gamely had been (she hadn’t been at Abby’s bedside when Virginia fell asleep), and she explains that she was at a lecture given by Craig Binky.

“I rather liked him, though his vocabulary needs a great deal of work.”

(for his part, Binky also noticed Mrs. Gamely, and was immediately entranced by her, even dispatching his bodyguards to find her for him)

Together, they wander around Manhattan, finally ending up in Chelsea, at a statue dedicated to soldiers of World War I (with the inscription “For the soldiers and sailors of Chelsea”).  Mrs. Gamely reminds Virginia of a long-ago visit here.  Mrs. Gamely had taken a very young Virginia to greet her father, who was supposed to be returning from “the war” – but which one?  We discussed this back in Part 2.  When we first meet Virginia (in 1994), she’s in her mid 30’s.  That would place her birth in 1960 or so, and therefore the incident Mrs. Gamely talks about would take place in the late 60’s or maybe as late as 1970.  But history as we know it doesn’t jibe with that.

My guess is that it’s World War 2 – that would fit with Mrs. Gamely’s description of troopships returning to New York, and also with the idea that Harry Penn was the commander of a regiment.  That also fits with the nature of Lake of the Coheeries and its uncertain relationship with time.

Mrs. Gamely explains that it was Harry who delivered the terrible news of Theodore Gamely’s death, and that poor Virginia’s reaction made him cry.  Mrs. Gamely is surprised that he never brought it up to Virginia in the five years she’s worked for him:

“There was nothing I could do to make him fire me.  I guess that’s the way he brought it up.”

Mrs. Gamely understands that, although Virginia doesn’t.  When Virginia wonders what it was all for, her mother answers:

“A benevolent act is like a locust.  It sleeps until it is called.”

She then goes on to remind Virginia (and us) that we may not live to see the repercussions of our acts, and that nothing is guaranteed to us – but we have to try anyway.  As she puts it:

“You may not find a way to save your child.  But you have to try.  You owe it to her, and you owe it in general.”

And that’s where we end this chapter.  Virginia has been given, if not hope, than at least a strong push to keep fighting.  And although she has no way to know it, her husband may have found the key to saving Abby – and Peter Lake may have finally, after a century, found a child he can save.

And, again, we see that the past and future are connected – Peter’s inability to find the child in the tenement, and his powerlessness over Beverly’s illness, was, maybe, just preparation for something yet to come.  Virginia’s dream/vision would seem to fit in with that.  But we’ll see what happens in the final two chapters…




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