The Fruit of Their Labor

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of talented writers. Here is a sampling of some of their novels and nonfiction books.

 

Donalie Beltran – Murder Is a Family Affair

Murder Is a Family Affair follows August Tuxhorn, a business-minded, hot-tempered young man who comes to America from Prussia in the 1850s after his brutal father kills himself. August learns to bribe his way to get what he wants, but he also learns to brutalize and kill those who take advantage of him. Carrying on the legacy, his son Charles grows up with a beautiful face and a stone heart. Evil set in motion by his grandfather and then his father, Charles Tuxhorn carries on the family’s violent temper and disregard for human life.

Author Donalie Beltran’s father, Ray Tuxhorn, said as a boy he heard rumors there was a killer in the family. The adults would not answer questions about such a shameful family secret, so Donalie decided to research the family tree to find answers. She found more than one murderer. Tuxhorn family members had made national headlines more than once for their evil deeds. The research went on for almost ten years before Donalie decided it was a story that needed to be told. The result is her award-winning true crime book Murder Is a Family Affair.

Pam Bingemann – Common Justice

Returning to his hometown in the 1960s segregated South, decorated war veteran Ezekiel Brown learns that his innocent, simpleminded brother Luke has been brutally tortured and lynched after being wrongfully accused of the rape and murder of a local white girl. When the town, gripped in the clutches of a racially charged Ku Klux Klan, turns a blind eye, Ezekiel must track down the killers himself. Plagued by the demons of a war-ravaged mind, he seizes simple but deadly elements at hand to force them to face the excruciating horror of common justice, accelerating to a shockingly unpredictable conclusion.

Art Bollinger – Cutler’s Pride

Tom Ellis’s life is turned upside down when he finds documents that his great-grandfather buried in a Wyoming cave decades ago. The author of the documents, Karl Cutler, was in the process of developing an antigravity device that could change the course of science. Soon after his discovery, Tom finds that he is being pursued by representatives of the Dibec Corporation whose CEO, Phillip Sycamore, will stop at nothing – even murder – to get his hands on Cutler’s plans. Tom, with the help of friends, sets out to build the antigravity device before Sycamore can run him down and murder him, and take credit for Cutler’s invention.

Joseph Britt – A Kids’ Matinee

When Tim Barrett’s older brother Perry leaves town with a murder hanging over his head, Tim realizes he has been living his whole life in the shadow of his bullying brother. Suddenly, Tim has a new set of friends, including a potential girlfriend, plus new responsibilities at the Stardust Drive-In and the Empire Theater. Set against the backdrop of segregation-era Franklin, Mississippi, this coming-of-age tale explores the bonds of friendship and the unbridgeable divide that separates the working class from the privileged. It’s not until Perry returns with a mysterious suitcase in hand and a crime boss and his henchman on his tail that Tim is forced to take a stand – for himself and for his friends and neighbors.

Dr. Luke Brown – The Non-Silence of the Lamb

Essie suffered through an abusive childhood in the countryside of Jamaica. Now the men in Essie’s world are after only one thing, and she is glad to give it to them – but only with a little quid pro quo to support her and her growing brood.

Dave Bullock – Forced Succession

Sam Calder just got out of prison and wants to start life anew. Instead, all hell breaks loose when he stumbles into the midst of a group of assassins but manages to escape with the one piece of evidence that could destroy them. With mercenaries hunting him and not knowing whom to trust, he turns to an unlikely source for help, and now this improbable band of allies must fend off one assault after another orchestrated by an adversary becoming more powerful with each passing day.

David C. Cassidy – The Dark

Kelan Litz is fading in the aftermath of his father’s tragic death – the result of a car accident that Kalen sees as his fault. At the local park, Kalen is approached by a strange boy named Bobby, who encourages him to snowboard the dangerous hill the local kids call The Run. When Kalen succeeds, he feels empowered, but at the same time is pulled into a fantasy-like otherworld that threatens to swallow him whole.

The Dark is an award-winning novel teeming with unforgettable characters, intense emotion, and relentless evil. Prepare yourself for a mind-blowing journey into fear. Not afraid of the Dark? You will be.

Landa Coldiron – The Bloodhound Handler

This is the story of Kalinda Dark, a bloodhound handler. With help from private investigator Abby Burns, Kalinda tracks lost pets – and occasionally their humans. As her business takes off, Kalinda serves superstars for clients, wins major awards, and even earns a regular gig with the Los Angeles Police Department. Unfortunately, all that success garners attention from an intrusive media.

Warren Cook – Showtime

Ted Cassidy loves putting on Autumnfest, an indoor arts and crafts fair that travels the West Coast each year. But Mike McCool, his resentful partner, will stop at nothing in his quest to undermine Ted and steal ownership of the show. Mike almost succeeds, nearly destroying the fair and its reputation in the process.

Al Dawson – Finding Noriko

American World War II veteran Frankie Castillo plans a trip to Okinawa, determined to find clues about his brother Ramon’s mysterious disappearance and death as a POW. While there, Frankie also hopes to put to rest a secret that has haunted him for decades involving events that took place after the end of the war.

In Japan, Kume Matsuhata has always looked different from her peers. At thirteen, Kume learned from her mother that her biological father was an American soldier with whom her mother became involved in the aftermath of the war. Kume’s curiosity about her real father has grown over the years, and with the help of her American boyfriend Gary Masterson, Kume sets out to find the man who meant so much to her mother all those years ago.

Chris DeFazio – The Blood Trilogy

Following the death of his beloved dog, two-thousand-year-old vampire Julian Brownell wanted nothing more than to escape into the more emotionally fulfilling life of the human. But after he spends fifteen years hiding his true identity, playing at a lousy marriage, and posing as an ER doctor, his mortal wife asks him for a divorce, sending Julian spinning into an ancient-life crisis. His travels take him from Boston to New Orleans to Montreal, where he meets with some of his oldest vampire friends in an effort to shed the human morality the past few decades have bred in him.

The more he plugs back into the lifestyle, the freer Julian feels. By the time he has adopted a group of fledgling followers and fed off his share of muggers, he can scarcely believe he ever thought pretending to be human was a good idea. Threatening his new and happy existence, however, is the dreaded Genealogist, the head of a sophisticated network of vampire hunters hell-bent on bringing down Julian and his ilk. And if she doesn’t kill him, Julian’s estranged wife and her new beau – with all their meddling in his financial affairs – just might.

Daniel Dunday – Touched

Nat and Rachel Wilcomes, two precocious children still recovering from the tragedy of their parents’ mysterious disappearance, encounter an otherworldly being in Nat’s bedroom. The chance meeting leads to the children traveling to the nightmarish realm of Writh, where they must help their new sprite friend Neephlur evade capture by the deadly hunter Papel. If the children manage to meet their aim, they might just be able to help Neephlur and his small pocket of resistance fighters overthrow Marcadis, the tyrant oppressing the land and its various mythical folk.

Johannes H. Egbers – The Progressionists

No era in the history of humanity saw a greater evolution in lifestyle and human interaction as during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. Fundamental changes in science and technology and its consequences are skeptically observed by Scottish schooner captain Adam McKay and the social and spiritual effects by his Italian grandson Roberto Cavallo.

Robert Feeney – Ark II

NASA, working with a private aeronautics company, launches a uniquely designed space shuttle carrying a crew on a secret mission. Billed publicly as man’s first attempt at interstellar travel, the mission is actually an attempt to jump through time. Twenty-five years later, long after the crew is presumed dead and the mission a failure, the Stellar One shuttle returns. For the next sixty years, the surviving crew members keep the details of their experience under wraps. Then, finally, one of them speaks. Erin McCoy, the thirteen-year-old crew member whose father commanded the ship, is now a world leader who has helped to bring about decades of world peace. She is prepared to reveal all to her nephew, a journalist, but she warns him that this story will shock him.

Ron Felt – Just a Song Before I Go

This is the story of Gabe Tucker, who is called up to become a missionary for the LDS Church. During his time at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, he meets and works with other elders, learning Spanish and studying scripture, before embarking on his mission to Uruguay. At the same time, Gabe laments the way he left things with a special girl, Elyza, whom he one day hopes to marry.

Lynne Freeman – Masqued

Sixteen-year-old Mia St. James is a witch on the verge of discovering her true purpose in life. When Mia learns that she is half-demon and that her demon blood marks her as the Nyx, a hybrid that both sides in an ages-old war are seeking to destroy, she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life – the one between Shadow and Light.

Bruce Gardner – Hope of Ages Past

When Peter Erhart, a young Protestant, comes to the aid of a frightened fifteen-year-old Catholic boy named Hans Georg von Mannheim on the eve of the Thirty Years’ War, he embarks on a decades-long journey that will challenge his courage and his faith. The year is 1618, and Europe is about to be torn apart by sectarian rifts so deep they divide neighbors, colleagues, and even friends.

Jeff Geraci – Paramnesia – Book One of the Royal Light Series

Fifteen-year-old Curia would give anything to go back – back to that day when she failed to save her father’s life. But a second chance seems as unlikely as overcoming the guilt and grief she’s been struggling with the past year. Now, on the anniversary of his death, a mysterious accident rockets her to the “In-Between Place,” where distorted memories and delusions are confused with reality, and death is only a temporary state of mind. Here, she will have her second chance to save him.

As a revolution rages, time is running out for this troubled teen who must travel across magical landscapes marred by a violent war. In this world where nothing is what it seems, she finds that the most unlikely friends and foes are sometimes made under the strangest of circumstances.

Mike Grabois – The Same People

After Jack and his two friends, Coil and Gen, stumble into an amazing other-world situated within the Earth’s crust, they learn that there is another race of humans far superior to themselves. They are given the task of becoming ambassadors between this world and their own.

David Grinstead – The Trout River Project

This is a fictional account about the construction of the Trout River Dam in Clearfield County, Ohio. The story follows Wayne Henderson, the government’s resident engineer, and Dean Richardson, the project manager for Aldridge Construction, the company contracted to build the dam. Many complications arise for the two from 1966, when the project is conceived, to when it is completed in 1977.

Joyce Halvorsen – Winds of the Prairie

At age fifteen, Lincoln Cassidy participates in his first cattle drive. After the death of his grandfather, Lincoln inherits the family’s cattle ranch and marries neighbor Sharon Davis. Sadly, their life together is cut short when Sharon is raped and murdered by a band of horse thieves. Try as he might to get past the tragedy, Linc remains devastated. He sends away his infant daughter and bides his time until one day he encounters his wife’s killers and duly avenges her death. Unfortunately, taking justice into his own hands does not bring him the peace he had hoped for, and he must find another way to resolve his inner conflict.

Mark Holbrook – Opposite Reaction

The year is 2057. Ryan Hersh is only a lowly accountant for his grandfather’s company that mines the region of space known as the Cluster. Errant technology created his self-serving persona, but it also gave him extraordinary mental abilities and ambition. Ryan retreats from an imminent threat to his life on Earth by traveling to the Cluster, but the sinister plot to kill him is unrelenting. At the mining colony where everyone’s motives are in question, Ryan and his new comrades must race to survive the onslaught.

During the escalating and terrifying dangers, Ryan discovers that not only he might die but millions or even all of humanity may perish. He is forced to face his own shortcomings. He also learns that, in accordance with Isaac Newton’s third law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Just like asteroids, people have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes they dance as a pair, as if joined at the hip. And sometimes they seem destined to collide with one another. Can Ryan remain the same?

R. Christopher Kobb – Fyrelocke: Jack Boomershine and the Prophecy Untold

In a cave deep within the cliffs of Brighton lies a curious stone. No ordinary rock, the Fyrelocke has a dark and intricate past. Twelve-year-old inventor Jack Boomershine believes it a practical joke when a mysterious text message directs him to it. But finding this powerful stone sets in motion an entangled clockwork of events that draws him ever deeper into an adventure in which his inventions are useless. As things spin out of control, Jack must find his way through a hidden world of magic with vehicles that fly themselves, a telepathic creature – and an ancient evil with an unfathomable plan, determined to ensnare Jack in it.

M. Talmage Moorehead, MD – Cipher of the Nephilim

When a mysterious caller threatens to kidnap her brother, Johanna Fujiwara, a uniquely gifted genetic scientist at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, tries to fake her own suicide. Her assumption is that the would-be-kidnappers want her, not her brother, and that if she’s presumed dead, her brother will be safe. Johanna’s plan is foiled when her colleague Maxwell Mason dives into the Pacific Ocean and saves her.

But Johanna’s adventure is just beginning, as is Max’s. While aboard a plane to Hawaii, they meet one of the kidnappers and learn that the line between space and time is blurry at best. They’re whisked away in a UFO – a living organism, as it turns out – and Johanna is quickly won over by the vessel’s commander. The 12,000-year-old Queen Hili is not from outer space but Egypt, and she is suffering from a rare terminal illness that only Johanna can cure.

Dennis L. Morrow – Alliance of the Quad

A New Alliance has just been created. The four teenagers – Jesse, Matt, Jeremy, and Steve – must defeat Torron and her army of dragons, firebirds, and other monsters, pushing them back behind the gates of hell. If successful, the New Alliance will place the Symbols of the Quad on the gates, locking Torron and her horde there forever. If the Alliance fails, Torron will dominate mankind. Evil will reign, chaos and immorality will follow, and mankind will slip into another dark age.

The teenagers undergo a transformation of character, learning to be disciplined warriors committed to liberty and justice for all freedom-loving people. As part of their training, the New Alliance must time-travel on four different occasions to face Torron when both she and the Alliance are equally skilled. To achieve maximum power, the New Alliance must retrieve the four Symbols of the Quad, sent to different places and different times by their fathers. They face personal challenges as they learn about their powers and their weaknesses. Their adventure is humorous and heartbreaking, and along the way they learn difficult lessons about life and liberty.

Brogan Joe Murphy – Pentimento Hearts

When famed artist Ian O’Keefe purchases a barn in rural California to house his private art studio, it leads to a relationship beyond anything he could have imagined. His housekeeper at the property, the comely Nadia, sparks in him an inspiration that takes his art to new heights. As a strict born-again and a married woman, Nadia is at first reluctant to pose in the nude for Ian’s work – but together, spurred on by their intense but strictly platonic love for one another, the two manage to create a series of masterpieces in which Nadia is the sole subject. In their twenty years of working together on the project, the artist and model help each other to reach a new understanding about their spirituality, their love for their spouses, and the nature of their beautiful but unusual relationship.

Andrea Perno – The Last Drop

They fought to death for the last drop of water. The virus erased the rest. Avery must protect his little brother, Jace, the only family he has left, his last reason for living. But when soldiers are needed, no one cares about the details. He gets Tasered before he can save Jace and himself from being forcefully conscripted. Two years of cryo-sleep later, the brothers are aboard an aircraft taking the last humans from Earth to a new home, Panacea.

Joe Spiller – The Honors Jacket

This is the story of the friendship and romance between Suzy Newman and Tom Darcy, who meet in Millerburg, Ohio, in late 1941 when Suzy comes to live with her grandparents after Suzy’s army colonel father goes off to fight the war in Europe.

Norm Spitzig – How Now, Norm’s Tao

Set against the backdrop of a lifelong career in the private club industry, How Now, Norm’s Tao delves into the accomplished life of entrepreneur Norm Spitzig and surfaces with a baker’s dozen of timeless universal lessons. This witty memoir illuminates the secrets of a life well-lived and expounds upon the core principles that have kept a twinkle in Norm’s eye and a spring in his step. His sincere, captivating stories are a recipe for inspiration, practical thinking, and, most importantly, laughter. How Now is the latest in his line of bestselling books, which include Perspectives on Club Management, Private Clubs in America and around the World, and Murder and Mayhem at Old Bunbury.

Taylor Stonely – The Fallen Body

Taylour Dixxon, a modern-day small-town lawyer in the beautiful hill country of Central Texas, befriends Sarah Cockrell Baines, a New Jersey socialite and millionairess. As their friendship begins, Sarah is arrested for the murder of her husband and is jailed. When Taylour volunteers to defend Sarah, she has no idea that her struggling solo practice in the small, sleepy town of Marlinsville, Texas, will be turned upside down. From a lovable, adolescent nephew who moves in with her, to a hired assassin who is determined to hide the truth, and a handsome Texas Ranger who becomes the object of affection in a love triangle between the two friends, Taylour’s life will never be the same.

Sabine Sydney – Three Ten to the Bed of Roses

Sabine Sydney’s Three Ten to the Bed of Roses, the first book in a trilogy, is a harrowing journey for protagonist Elisabeth C. Pinkett. What starts out as a normal bicycle ride changes her life dramatically when she is struck by a Bentley driven by Assistant District Attorney Mark Craven. Mark, remorseful for the accident, is extremely attentive to the beautiful Elisabeth, and romance blossoms. But can he be trusted? He seems almost too good to be true. Their future is imperiled when Big Joe, a criminal Mark helped incarcerate, is released from prison and vows revenge on Mark and everyone he loves.