Friday, November 17, 2017

Promo Post: Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens

*** SPECIAL 20% PROMOTION ***
Get a whopping 20% off the regular price of Silent Meridian, a thrilling fantasy novel by Elizabeth Crowens. Check it out now.
Silent Meridian Tour Graphic
SILENT MERIDIAN
Elizabeth Crowens
Silent Meridian
Series: The Time Traveler Professor Book 1
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Gaslight Fantasy, Alternative History
Publisher: MX Publishing
Publication Date: May 15, 2016
A 19th century "X" Files meets H.G. Wells's "Time Machine" featuring Arthur Conan Doyle and partner
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is obsessed with a legendary red book. Its peculiar stories have come to life, and rumors claim that it has rewritten its own endings. Convinced that possessing this book will help him write his ever-popular Sherlock Holmes stories, he takes on an unlikely partner, John Patrick Scott, known to most as a concert musician and paranormal investigator. Although in his humble opinion, Scott considers himself more of an ethereal archeologist and a time traveler professor.
Together they explore lost worlds and excavate realms beyond the knowledge of historians when they go back in time to find it. But everything backfires, and their friendship is tested to the limits. Both discover that karmic ties and unconscionable crimes have followed them like ghosts from the past, wreaking havoc on the present and possibly the future.
SILENT MERIDIAN reveals the alternate histories of Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and other luminaries in the secret diaries of a new kind of Doctor Watson, John Patrick Scott, in an X Files for the 19th century. Stay tuned for A Pocketful of Lodestones; book two in the Time Traveler Professor series by Elizabeth Crowens.

SPECIAL PROMOTION !!

Get 20% off your purchase of Silent Meridian! Promo valid till Christmas.
Promo Price: $13.56 (Original: $16.95)
Use coupon code: silent

Book Excerpt

Take an inside look at Silent Meridian with this thrilling excerpt!
Edinburgh, 1898
Scotland was just barely crawling its way out of the nineteenth century. I was a naïve, but ambitious student studying music at the University of Edinburgh hurrying over to meet Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who would change my life forever.
“John Patrick Scott, sir,” I said as I approached Mr. Doyle, who was already seated at a back corner table where he hoped he wouldn’t be recognized. He had picked the Deacon Brodie, the pub that inspired the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I extended my hand to greet him and removed my rain-soaked hat, while my overcoat slipped out of my hands and fell on the floor by accident. It was still hard to believe that good fortune had finally brought us together, but we were both nervous.
“The pleasure is all mine.” Doyle responded like a father to his son.
“Mr. Conan Doyle, or should I call you Doctor Doyle?” I said unsure how to address him.
Doyle scrutinized me from top to bottom as he signaled the waiter. “John, call me Arthur,” he said casually, ignoring the tension I couldn’t control.
“Sir, I’m so honored that you agreed to discuss this matter. Perhaps you can enlighten me in a way that I’ve failed to comprehend.”
I wanted to ask him about my unusual turn of events straight away but he caught me off guard and was dead set on pulling me into the swift current of an unexpected conversation.
“Can I assume you believe in the transmigration of souls?” he asked.
“Until now, I haven’t given it a lot of thought,” I said, unsure as to which direction he was leading.
“Did you ever read those books about that Swiss doctor who felt his body and soul had been taken over by a Benedictine monk? That presented a curious case. He claims that he was approached by the spirit of an elderly monk before he died, and that the monk needed to rent his body to continue his spiritual mission.”
“Rent?” I choked in disbelief.
“We truly don’t take anything with us when we pass on, do we? This monk knew that he was dying, and therefore had to replace his physical body with something more youthful and vital.”
“That’s incredible. It debunks the theory that you have to die and be reborn as an infant to carry on your spirit,” I said.
Mr. Doyle had the tinge of excitement in his voice.
“John, here’s another instance. I’ve had my suspicions about a famous musician who had an obsession about a notorious and controversial mystic. You’d surmise by his overwhelming attraction to that person that he might’ve been him in a previous lifetime, but facts were clear that he was born three years before the mystic died. My understanding is that the mystic knew he didn’t have long in his present incarnation. Therefore he made plans for some sort of partial soul transference while he was still alive to imprint his essence upon the child. That would’ve allowed him to carry on and accomplish unfinished business that couldn’t have been executed otherwise. Essentially he had the ability of being two places at once.”
“Sounds more like Spiritualism,” I replied.
“Honestly, John, I don’t think there are any steadfast rules when it comes to this matter. That’s what makes it so intriguing.”
I sensed he had a secret agenda.
Doyle reloaded his churchwarden pipe with fresh tobacco and continued, “This is not at all like anything you’ve ever read from H.G. Wells or Jules Verne. We’re poking holes in every treatise written on the subject— the idea of being able to reincarnate a part of yourself while you are still alive into another soul.”
Our conversation was quickly becoming like a speeding train ready to jump the tracks. Realizing this, Doyle slowed down the pace and took a deep breath. He carefully composed his next statement.
“Fiction it may seem to be but it’s not hocus pocus. Don’t you also find it strange that you somehow found yourself initiated into a mystical order on a commuter train bound from London to Edinburgh when the instigators kept on mistaking you for me? There are no accidents.”

About Elizabeth Crowens

Elizabeth Crowens
Elizabeth Crowens is the pen name author of SILENT MERIDIAN, an alternate history/ 19th century “X Files” alternate history novel published by MX Publishing in London. Recently she won First Prize in Chanticleer Review's Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction, is on the short list of finalists for Chanticleer’s 2016 Cygnus Awards for Speculative Fiction, Paranormal and the Ozma Award for Fantasy Fiction and received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s fiction short story contest for Emerging Writers. She has also published a variety of non-fiction articles and is currently writing a column called The Poison Apple in the World Fantasy and Alfie Award-winning publication, BlackGate.com.
Recently, she participated on panels at The World Fantasy Convention, MidAmericon II/Worldcon, Lunacon, Heliosphere, the Writer's Digest Conference, Queens Book Festival, Philcon and was also interviewed for the radio show, Hour of the Wolf. A Pocketful of Lodestones, the sequel to Silent Meridian is awaiting a publication date. Current work-in-progress is Dear Mr. Hitchcock, a psychological/domestic suspense novel/series.
A 15-year veteran of the film industry in Hollywood, she’s also an alumnus of Algonkian workshops and the Gotham Writer’s Workshop and a member of the Horror Writers Association, Historical Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America. An active Sherlockian, she’s lectured on Arthur Conan Doyle, belongs to several Sherlockian scions, and is an independent scholar on Eastern and Western mysticism and Jungian psychology. A blackbelt in martial arts, she’s lived in Japan. Currently, she lives in New York City.
Connect with Elizabeth Crowens on social media:

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Cover Reveal! The Spitting Post by Jason R. Barden

NEW COVER REVEAL !!
The Spitting Post
THE SPITTING POST
Jason R. Barden
Genre: Horror, Dark Fantasy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: December 8, 2017
Vincent must find the Spitting Post, but only the purple swan knows the way.
Vincent Carpenter’s life is a wreck. He has given up his dreams. He has lost his job after an economic disaster. His ten-year marriage is crumbling. Then he awakens in a maniacal land of frighteningly vivid realism with skull trees, glowing forests, ravenous beasts, and other psychologically haunting adversity.
While traveling through this demented unearthly world, he has a chance encounter with a beautiful maiden dressed in green; before he can start a conversation, she disappears into the unknown. Vincent must try to find her at a fantastical place known as the Spitting Post. But first he must overcome many macabre misfortunes and face nightmares that question his sanity. Will he reach her? What will the Spitting Post reveal? Will he suffer more disappointment and tragedy? Or will he find peace at last?

Pre-Order Links

The Spitting Post Teaser

About Jason R. Barden

Jason R. Barden
Jason R. Barden began writing poetry around the age of thirteen. At age thirty three he decided to transition into fiction writing with his first novel The Spitting Post. In addition to writing he enjoys hiking and photography. Jason lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he is currently working on a collection of his poems.
Follow Jason on Facebook at Facebook.
The Spitting Post Tour Graphic
For more information, visit The Spitting Post Book Page at Book Unleashed.

About The Wild Rose Press

The Wild Rose Press
The Wild Rose Press has been publishing electronic and print titles of fiction for more than nine years. Our titles span the sub-genre spectrum from sweet to sensually erotic romance in all lengths to mainstream and womens fiction. To check out the latest and upcoming releases and more, visit https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com.
Social media: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Review: Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone

About the Book

Published January 14, 2016

This book discusses sex, suicide, rape, and abusive relationships.  It may not be suitable for some audiences.


GoodReads Description


THE YEAR IS 2030. IN A DRAMATIC, final attempt to free her inner demons, twenty-year-old Daniela Delgado tempts fate and winds up on a strange farm in 1923. With an olive complexion due to her Mexican/Italian heritage and a fresh pixie cut, she is mistaken for a "boy of color." Her only shot at survival now is to play it cool, pose as "Danny," and figure out how to get back home to her two, loving moms. And then she meets Daphne-an abused, motherless farm girl in desperate need of freedom and a friend. Having escaped Daphne's father, the two of them are now roaming the streets of New York City disguised as a young aristocrat and her male servant. They're running out of money, and ideas. And Daniela thought living in 2030 was tough. But her solar powered smart phone works. And there's someone within range. She pings them. A selfie of an attractive male comes in with the text: I'm Lain. Who the f--- are you? Even in that moment, Daniela knows this can't be safe, but what are her choices? They meet Lain at a speakeasy on the Lower East Side. When Daniela reveals her last name, Lain says the only Delgado he knows is Anaya-the head of the Santa Muerte Coven of witches in Merida, Mexico. And then he hints that Daniela is a liar, even though she rocks a man's three-piece suit like no woman he's ever met. And as for her tattoos? Don't get Lain started.... Despite the intrigue, Daniela adds Lain to the list of folks Daphne and she must outrun to stay alive. But as they plan their trip to Mexico, they soon discover that list is much longer than they thought. And they uncover a few other things, too, about Daniela's true identity....


My Thoughts

Before we talk about the contents of this book, can we just stare at that beautiful cover for a few more moments?  That duality is so gorgeous and so meaningful to the plot! OH!  I liked it before I read the book, but now that I see the significance, I'm drooling for it.  It's one of the most perfectly fitting covers I've seen in a long time.

Stone drew me in with a captivating prologue.  She didn't spare a single one of my emotions throughout this section.  Emma was beautifully created as a rebellious and intelligent individual.  I loved it.

Chapter 1, however, was where Stone began to let me down.  I know that she was trying to show Daniela's level of depression and hopelessness, but I think this was done pretty weakly.  I would have liked to see Daniela as a little colder and more hardened as she began to go through her plan. Luckily, Stone made a wonderful comeback and worked diligently to develop Lain, Daphne, and Daniela as better characters throughout the remainder of the novel.  These characters began as little weaklings and grew into strong, matured characters by the end of the novel.

The violence in this piece was written beautifully!  I loved the imagery that Stone obviously put a good amount of time and effort into!  Lain getting the S*** beat out of him was LEGENDARY!  His fear was so realistic it seemed to rise above the page.  

The most confusing aspect of this book is the coven itself.  I have no idea what was going on there.  I understand that they're witches.  I get that they use magic and are immortal.  I have no idea how it's escaped both Emma and Daniela for so long that they have these powers.  I feel like those would be a nuisance to both ladies before they knew what was going on.  And, if it's a nuisance to Emma, shouldn't it have also been a nuisance to Emma's wife?  

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I'm looking forward to the second book in the series because I want to see how my many remaining questions are answered.

My Rating


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Guest Post: Euphrates Moss

Welcome to Today's Guest Post!

I am excited to share a guest post by Euphrates Moss.  In case you missed it, I reviewed his book Telos and Other Psychographs several months ago.  If you are interested in what I thought, you can find that review here.

Today, Moss joins us to tell about his adventure as a writer.  I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on his essay, "From Nobody to Writer," in the comments below.

Just Who is this Euphrates Moss Character?


Euphrates Moss attended Bellevue College, Portland State University, and Seattle University. He currently holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Seattle U. Don't hold it against him. He currently hosts a podcast that has absolutely nothing to do with his poetry under a different name.


From Nobody To Writer

I’m a die-hard English stylist. Well, to put it this way, if William Shakespeare and James Joyce are where the bar is set for stylists then I am absolutely going that direction. For those of you don’t know me, hi, I’m Euphrates Moss and I wrote and self-published a book called Telos and Other Psychographs. This is the story behind the making of the book.
            At age 21 I took a class on American literature in community college that changed the direction of my life. Like most kids up until that point I was shamefully unexposed and unaware of poetry. Sure, I’d read Shakespeare in high school, but it was gobbledegook to me at that point, but poetry was simply NOT part of the curriculum (which I find to be a shame). The American literature class did cover poetry from three American poets, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and T.S. Eliot. When I read what these folks had to say I was instantly smitten.
            What was this bravery I saw in Whitman? This economy of words with Dickinson? These multifarious references from Eliot? I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Never did I experience anything like that before.
            I had been writing for quite some time until that point, but I could neither copy the easy-going humor of Mark Twain nor copy the complex plotting of Charles Dickens. And it was copying I would’ve been doing if I were successful, but I wasn’t. I had a novel I was working on called A True Love– kinda like that sort of thing just doesn’t exist, and I was going for that classic. I thought if I’m dry enough but the English is good I can be Dickensian, maybe.
            The poetry threw all that garbage right out the window. I completely re-oriented myself and went through an epiphany of the Romantic sort. My instructors (there were two for this class, it was slightly idiosyncratic) told me that having a Romantic epiphany was not the same as an epiphany in the religious sense. A Romantic epiphany was any time the universe had made its mysterious workings apparent. At least that’s what I got from it. An epiphany could be you playing a real good game of basketball, making all the shots. An epiphany could be you trying some really delicious ice cream. An epiphany was really just a state of heightened realization. Suddenly I was a poet rather than a novelist.
            Since this was a different person than I’d ever met before I needed to be re-christened. I went through a few names before finally landing on Euphrates Moss. I had a nervous breakdown which is chronicled in the poem “Telos”, although I threw out any sort of chronological order in lieu of an emotional order. The chronology is actually perfect in the poem in terms of the feelings each division is meant to evoke. The final division for example is the absolute loss of hope in giving in to paranoia, anxiety, and near-limitless suggestability, that came before I hit the hospital.
            At the hospital I felt better thanks to the relative stasis of everything and the release of pressure to work (or what I was really doing, trying to find work that had meaning to me). I got released after 16 days during which I found the next step I needed to take on my poetic journey. I needed to put out a book, or at least print a book. I had been writing in my notebook consistently so I had no problem with material. $150 and months later, I received 50 copies of my first chapbook in the mail. “Success.”
            It was only a series of 24 four-line poems, not much at all. But it served what it needed. I was in. A couple of years later I hired an artist and went to Kinko’s Copies and printed my own little chapbooks, this time more legitimate and in a run of 100. The poems weren’t just 4-liners, they were poems and they looked a little bit more like something T.S. Eliot would write. And instead of 24 there were just 13 of them. I named it Pomes Fivedoloursadozen in reference to the price and as an homage to the more accomplished (and then recently discovered by me) James Joyce collection, Pomes Penyeach.
            All this time I had been working on a big poem. I was always very ambitious, but this was beyond anything I had ever tried before. At first it was just going to be another “Song Of Myself” like the famous poem by Walt Whitman. But it was getting out of control. I knew it would go absolutely nowhere if I just copied Walt Whitman so I took some elements from the novels I read both in and out of school and hit frappe. Soon it was called “The End”, like I would have a whole collection that was just this poem or even start a collection with this ironically. I always loved doing stuff like that.
            In 2012 or around there I secured a deal with a small publisher to put out a collection with them. It was just a verbal deal, but I’d send the MSS and they’d take care of the rest. Great! All this time “The End” was growing and growing, cannibalizing more and more of my other work. Eventually it transformed into “Telos.” I was taking too long on this project, though, and it was just too precarious at this point. I asked my publisher to put something out that would sort of warm the audience up for “Telos.”
            With her permission I wrapped up what I felt was the best of my first book, 24 Poems, and Pomes Fivedoloursadozen, and added a further section of excess poems. And that’s what went out. In retrospect it was NOT brilliant. I had wanted to make this thing that people might discover after the thing that hit it big and read it as a worthy prequel, or an artist finding his legs. In the end, I feel only 2 or 3 poems in it (out of 20 odd or so) are worth preserving even though it had been an attempt at preserving for posterity its own poems.
            After a spat involving bad behavior[1] that publisher and I went and parted ways. Don’t look for that book, either. She pulled it. I think my bad reputation would’ve hurt her brand… so she would say.
            So that was that. I was on my own, a ronin. I didn’t waste a second, though. I immediately sent MSS out to other publishers, but none bit. I kept working until one day I realized what had then become Telos and Other Psychographs was essentially complete and that further editing would only serve as window sheen. I turned out wrong about this, by the way!
            Nevertheless, I bought the book on publishing. I bought all the necessary books, and I read them, I started my own business, and I secured the finances needed. I was doing it! And about a year after I first sent in my application for business my books had arrived. Here it was: my first true expression with my own fully developed artistic voice.
            Now developing the artistic voice was something different altogether. When first writing the intimidation that comes from the wide open page may seem strangling, and it can be worse if you expect to produce good stuff immediately. But fear not, if you write and write and write and write and write you’ll figure out what it is you really want to write and then coming up with material will be a heck of a lot easier. Go ahead and explore the wide open space at first. You’ll eventually start cutting and the path will become clear.
            That’s really the only solid gold advice I can give to writers everywhere of every stripe: move that pen. Everything else is either really really amazingly difficult to articulate OR is just nuts and bolts. In terms of nuts and bolts, it’s nothing you wouldn’t think to do on your own. Make writing as easy as possible and make anything that distracts that writing as hard as possible. There really isn’t much more to it.
            I’d probably recommend being good with the English language, but if E.L. James is proof of anything it’s “English Not Required.” You can make it with your Yu-Gi-Oh!-meets-Good Charlotte fan-fic! By the way, confession time, I made my own Harry Potter fan-fic in 7th grade or so about him meeting a boy who could fly like Icarus- only I didn’t know the legend of Icarus at that point. I told my sister about it and she gave me this one-word review: lame.
            In terms of constructing the book, a lot of influences came into play. A lot! From F. Scott Fitzgerald’s approach to making This Side Of Paradise, to Frederich Nietzsche’s bounty of ideas in The Birth Of Tragedy, there is a lot of ground to cover. I wanted to do a number of different dialects of English the way Mark Twain did them, but I have been around nowhere near as many different kinds of people (I’m an introvert), so I had to make a very good number of them up. I let a great number of parodies and pastiches flow through my voice, too, in order to capture a wider range of expression. Non-sense like the famed poem “Jabberwocky” plus earlier non-lexical English made for fluidity with spelling and puns that made for more possibilities and interpretations.
            As you can probably tell at this point this wasn’t going to be Ernest Hemingway’s writing in the least. It would perhaps even annoy and irritate, especially those who hated English, as pops up in pockets of the United States and Ireland alike. The not-for-everybodyness of the book was starting to stand stark to me, but I had to continue. I grabbed every reference that I could possibly think of and teased new meaning out of it to fit the context in each case. Suddenly details about Orestes’ journey were now details about mine. I was reading The Mabinogion to try to put some of my ethnic Welshness into the mixture to no avail. I may be a quarter Welsh but nothing about Wales or Welshness speaks to me in any real way, though the lyrically musical accents are charming.
            Really, in composing the book (and calling it composing is deliberate) I was fashioning my tools. These, as many as they are, will probably be used for the rest of my writing life. And each move I do with them will be with purpose whether I refashion them, fiddle with them, use them in a different way, or even lay them down. Focusing in to so much as the specific word is of utmost importance since all poetry is is good words. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the words by themselves will be innately good, but that the words used around them accurately to dialect or accurately to grammar will lift into a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. I made the overture in “Telos” a dictionary exercise for this reason as well as an introduction to the characters as melodies that would appear in the piece.
            I cross-pollinated poetry with philosophy since philosophy often contains within it a tinge of the poetic at the very least and at most is straight poetry such as when you read Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra or the ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosophers. I even put a preface in the book, which I worked way too hard on, that espoused a new form of modernism known as inconsistentism. I thought I’d pretend to be coy in interviews after my making it and say, “Gee, it was not my purpose to create a movement.” Like, “Who, me? No!” You may call me pretentious at this point. I don’t know. That’s what they called Walt Whitman in the wake of Longfellow and when we look back on it Longfellow was way more pretentious, so….
            By now, it’s probably obvious who some of my influences are. I like to think of these as people who told me what to do and I actually listened. A few more include Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote a better woman than Shakespeare ever did with his Wife of Bath (I still have trouble writing good women), Charles Bukowski, who had a better sense of his character and who he was presenting to the world than anybody else, ever (making for a higher hit rate with his poems than most), W.B. Yeats, who created meaningful poetry under two different eras (the Romantic and the Modern)– I wish Dylan Thomas was W.B. Yeats because he’s of my known people, but alas, he felt he had to be universal rather than provincial and that’s what got him, Homer, who was a master of time with The Odyssey and wrote the manliest poem ever with The Iliad, a true Greek, Robert Frost, who was inspired throughout his life, and most of all Herman Melville, for Moby Dick of course, but also for Billy Budd, Melville is the first and best contender for The Great American Novel; his voice may not always have been consistent but nobody else could wrap their influences around a focused meditation on obsession and monomania (perhaps the most profound of human feelings) than he could.
            Anyways, enough of my blather. If you haven’t read any of Telos and Other Psychographs you may be wondering what it looks like. I can give you here five poems that are the annex to a second and corrected edition of the book that I made since catching a number of mistakes and poor versification in the first edition. The second edition is not out yet, but with some luck, some sales, and some funding, it may become a reality. I’d love to keep producing and making books throughout my life even though I frankly hate the business. So here, without further ado, is the annex to the second edition of my little book of poems.

Annex:
Babel, Corrected



Sometimes you can see much better-
When observing things obscure,
To look upon them indirectly...
Than to watch them all the more.
-2008



Hanging Garden Flower
Ah! he is not a common man
Who turns to a flowerless tree.
-Onitsura

Many leaves reside within her garden
Many leaves, indeed; many
Across the breeze the gray river
Golden Bridge, and lady’s laughing faces
Many leaves, many slender: many
All possessed of a smothered envy

Sweet but for the flower…
With its boisterous oranges, yellows, and indigos
The blossom standing neatly in the sun
Who would blame the keeper for a peak while on the run
A cricket lands gently upon his fishing line
Now, the blue moon watches soundly

Snow white-capped mountains shift restlessly behind
A glimpse will catch, most assuredly
The willows sing what the wind ordains
While the pond’s low notes support in harmony
Her fringes sway askance within the wind
A late afternoon nap tucked between the folds

The blue plums taste so good this evening
The color of your eyes tantalize- I am mesmerized!
What if the moon saw your face?
Knowing distance wide your beautiful name
The swirling eddies only enhance the aura at once
And once again once I saw you again once
Apricot boughs and ferns seem as nothing

The now-cloudy skies are ever wanting
I could sit here and think and want the more
I that was once so dandy and sprightly
An American prince out of monarchy
Lie jealous of the folds and forays
Of my lady’s Hanging Garden Flower

-2010



Wild Mantra Evening

I make verbal acrobatics concrete as schematics
Clutch your semi-automatic tonight
Snort horse with the Doors and Jim Morrison’s corpse
Is a portis you’ll be riding in flight

Your throat is smote every stroke till it’s grote
Every note is a dissonant theme
Then nymphs in charge with pupils so large
Barge in with cookies and cream

The pulchritudinous ever multitudinous
Now you’re being rude with us, please
Speak straight don’t placate aggravate
Crazy eight it with a bottomless tease

Make cheer this year with a queer kinda sneer
Get your beer you’re gonna need it now
Some huck butt fucked the car with a “shucks”
And got mucked with stuff from a cow

She was scalded by the pan
Sent back by attacks in from the deuce among the men
Scalded by the pan
She went down but she never came up

Some girlish churlish front-end with a furnished
Dervish curlicue on the attack
Like some methodone cyclone with a bone
To pick back home with a knack

Bamboozled by a floozy in damask that’s a doozy
You’re a boozie cousey rolling for mates
You’re drunk and debunked by a slowhand with a stump
Take the lumps that are now on your pate

She was scalded by the pan
Sent back by attacks in from the deuce among the men
Scalded by the pan
She went down but she never came up

Some harlequin harlot turned her face out real scarlot
Said, “Varlot, I’ve got swing and sass.”
I stepped into the spotlight not sure if I’m cockright
And spun my wheels with the gas
Where little Bopeep got it on with a creep
“What’s wrong, soldier, ain’t you doing fine?”
So I turned her loose like she’s tied to a fuse
Said, “Sorry, I ain’t your kind!”

Somnambulatory with a different kind of story
In the laboratory glory of me
Steel trap where that moose cap brain fapped
Gets slapped, is where I’d rather get free

Some shooter outside with a scooter on a slide
In the mood for suicide under glares
Has packed his junk in the left upper bunk
When he’s feeling sorta sunk he just stares

The jack of all trades backed an ace on my spade
With a lady he laid so I caved
His head spooled dead with a tool from the shed
Made his bed and then I said, “Close shave.”

That hit off the snowcone frost bit in the blowzone
Made me sit and then slow groan in bliss
That ship that has left slipstream real bereft
By a meaningful theft, it took the piss

She was scalded by the pan
Sent back by attacks in from the deuce among the men
Scalded by the pan
She went down but she never came up

-2014



A Response To The Imagists

Open condemnation   or     praise :
New-blown— fluff       off  a    Dandelion



Crisis Of Existence
Featuring a verse form shortened and simplified from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene

i.
There are times I wish I could disappear
Completely when trouble with existence
Butts against for maximum resistance–
That is, trouble owning, operating
Chance relates myself to world t’would appear
Quite real-ly has me in its grasp for killing

ii.
The mitochondria within my cells
Has not sufficient power for my health
Nor my particles bear magnetic wealth
To keep together my own substance pure
Disintigration from within a shell
It seems such more than any could endure

iii.
From such a state I never could come back
Or so I worry, so I don’t let go
I keep to what I am and what I know.
To think I’m trapped within this mortal coil
It makes one feel a dread akin attack
Like some old Jew would snuff your burning oil

iv.
But here I lie awake within my bed
Or else submerged in water in a tub
Not to be determined by bitter rub
Of e’en so much as my foremost desire:
I dearly want to vacate any stead
In every pan I feel the flicking fire


v.
I swear a storm, I shit a liquid spray
I feel my anxiety around folks,
Them bending out of shape all my wheel’s spokes
I’ve overdosed and soon I may yet die
I don’t know when to shut up when I may
Should now…? Right now? I…




[1] People who aren’t artists don’t understand the need for bad behavior in artists, but only non-artists exhibit this bewilderment at our behavior. Us artists can’t explain it to the rest of the populace. We would if we could.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August Book Haul

August has been AMAZING for my book buying abilities! As many of you know, the nearest Barnes and Noble is four hours away.  Yes, I can buy books online, but it's not the same as being able to walk into a book store and drool at the walls and walls of books surrounding you.  Best of all?  I got to go TWICE this month!

I really wanted to focus on buying books that I've fallen in love with through other bloggers' reviews.  If you are interested in checking out some of the bloggers I follow, head on over to my Blog Hop page!

Check it out!


P.S. I apologize for the cramped picture.  My office is currently being reorganized for the new school year!


Just in case the titles are difficult to read, I bought...
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
  • The Graces by Laure Eve
  • Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

What did you get this month? What do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments below.



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Author Interview: Kishmi Davis

I fell in love with reading because my mama read to me when I was young. It wasn't just bonding time, it felt like a special reward. I remember feeling like I had been so good that Mom wanted to share another world with me in addition to the real one. So, I decided to share something a little different with you when I heard about Kishmi Davis' book, Wifi Kicked the Bucket.

Kishmi Davis was born and raised in Corsicana, Texas. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. Prior to that, she attended Navarro College and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Radio/TV/Film. She currently teaches seventh grade English
and has taught for 14 years. Kishmi is a member of the North Star of Texas Writing Project, Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as Children’s Book Insider. She now lives in Ellis county with her three children and guinea pig.

To learn more about Kishmi Davis, go to www.kishmidavis.com or follow her on twitter: @KishmiDavis


1. What inspired you to become a teacher?

Although I could read at age 3 and had a great imagination, I didn’t like school very much until 3rd grade. Prior to 3rd grade, I had separation anxiety and was anti-social. Mrs. Jones, my 3rd grade teacher, changed all of that. She noticed me. She noticed that I was quiet but fluent in reading. She put me to good use helping out struggling readers in my class. She allowed me to be an example. Allowing me to help others built up my confidence as well as the confidence of my peers. Mrs. Jones inspired me to become a teacher. I like to recognize and encourage my students especially those students who go unnoticed. It encourages them to come out of their shell and lets them know that someone cares. Take it from me, it means a lot when someone notices you.

2. How do you juggle teaching and writing with being a mother? What has been the hardest part of this juggling act?

To me, being a teacher and a mother are interchangeable. Sometimes, I am a mother to my students, and I am also a teacher to my own children. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed to have the best children in the world. I have a 16 year old, a 12 year old, and my youngest is 10 years old. My children are understanding and supportive when it comes to me teaching and allow me to do what I need to do in order to prepare. This can be anything from me staying late and working in my classroom to me grading stacks of papers at home. My children do, however, have one requirement, and that requirement is that they do not have to stay late at school with me. They prefer to be at home while I am working late hours, and they are responsible and old enough to take care of themselves and their responsibilities. It’s not a perfect plan, but it works for us. The hardest part of juggling teaching and motherhood has been the time spent away from my children while I work at school. I usually try to make it up to them on the weekends with fun Fridays and quality time on Saturdays.

3. Please tell us about being nominated for Teacher of the Year.

Being nominated for teacher of the year by my peers was such an honor. Even though I didn’t get the final award, it was nice being considered. There were several teachers who were nominated. We all work very hard and support each other. The teacher who received the Teacher of the Year award is awesome, works very hard, and deserved it.

4. What inspired you to write Wifi Kicked the Bucket?

My children’s book, Wi-Fi Kicked the Bucket, was inspired by my three children. In the summer of 2016 the router to our Wifi stopped working. The reaction from my children was astounding. They literally did not know what to do with themselves in the beginning. They were in a bit of a panic state because they were not quite sure how to entertain themselves without their devices. After observing their reactions, I purposely took my time in replacing the router. I needed to know if they would ever ‘figure’ out other ways to occupy their time. It took a little over a week before they stopped begging me to fix the wifi and created their own fun. As a result, they talked more with each other and played games together. They even built forts! I eventually replaced our wifi router, but now I unplug it often to force them to take a break and spend quality time together.

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?


My advice for aspiring authors is to get started and know that your story matters! The hardest thing to do is to actually begin the process and stick to it. Once you get started and stay persistent, the rest will fall into place.

6. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?


If I could be any animal, I would be an eagle. Eagles fly alone at very high altitudes and have strong vision. They can focus on something up to 5 miles away. And my most favorite thing about eagles is that they love a storm. When clouds gather, eagles get excited. It’s been said that the eagle uses the storm to lift itself above the clouds. If I could have a fraction of an eagle’s characteristics, it would ensure that I become a successful person. Eagle information was found from http://www.bereanpublishers.com/7-principles-of-an-eagle.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Pipeliner

About the Book

 Published November 30, 2016

I received an ebook of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.  Due to sexual and drug related content, I do not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 17.



GoodReads Description


For seventeen-year-old Jason Krabb, high school life in 1990s Idaho is a world of cargo shorts, cassette tapes, and junk food. Plagued equally by algebra and puberty, Jason sets out to find a girlfriend and become a rock guitarist. His quest is irreversibly jolted when he attends a bonfire and meets an alluring girl from the other side of town and a rag tag crew who are bringing gas lines through the desert in order to keep the lights on in Portland and Seattle, places where Jason hopes to find his nirvana as a guitarist.

Meanwhile, things deteriorate at home. Jason's pediatrician mom, Leah, sadly faces the twilight of her parenting years while his father, Curtis, contends with the enormity of running a big ticket research laboratory and coming to terms with his son's wayward path.

Pipeliner is at once a coming of age love story and a comical timestamp of early 90s family life. Set in the fictional Idaho town of Helen Springs, pop. 58,000, its characters are as vibrant as the lofty peaks and purple sunsets of the high desert. Here we find rich farmers, poor ranchers, dutiful Mormons, government honchos, disgruntled vets, drug-dealing bruisers, irksome teachers, and spirited students, all doing their best to keep the lights on.


My Thoughts

As a woman, I know what puberty is like on the feminine side of the fence.  Of course, I've heard about the other side, with its wet dreams and awkward spurts of hormonal confusion.  Thanks to Pipeliner, I'm one of few women who can honestly say that they have gone through both sides.  When Hartje sets out to write a coming of age story, his goal is to do so in every sense of the word.

At first, I was a bit put off by Jason's poignant pecker preoccupation.  I actually wrote a note to myself that "I'm stuck between being excited about how realistic Jason is and having heard enough about his penis."

Strangely, I adore strong characterization and it took me too long to realize that what I was upset with wasn't the fact that the pecker was strong with this book.  It was actually that I had a hard time confronting how frigging real this book is.  No one likes to read about teenagers having sex.  No one wants to hear about kids using cocaine, marijuana, or alcohol.  But they do. Even though this book is set in the 90s, many of the kids I teach have struggled with similar issues.  It's just as true in 2017 as it was in the 90s.  *Insert round of applause for Hartje's stunning realism.*

Before I started the book, I read several reviews that mentioned reading this book was like entering a time capsule.   Therefore, I spent a lot of time reading this book trying to find an anachronism.  I came out with empty hands.  This time capsule is definitely filled with strong world building and beautiful characterization.

Hartje obviously spent time developing each character.  If he hadn't, they simply could not be so realistic!  I love seeing the discrepancies between Robert and Jason, Leah and Curtis, and even Bill and Curtis.  Many novels portray families as a close knit group, filled with love and no negative words.  This book, just pulls apart the idea of a loving family to show you the crap it's filled with.  In doing so, Hartje demonstrates what it really means to love your family through the good and bad times.  

There is a point in this book, that Leah (the mom) allows Jason to go off with people she thinks are trouble.    I had a huge issue with this part.  Growing up, if my Mama didn't like you, she didn't hide it.  I knew it.  You knew it.  We didn't hang out.  She was determined to make sure we were safe at every point in time.  It's hard for me to imagine that Leah would allow her son to put himself into such a hazardous position, only to be upset when he made the wrong choice later on.  Yes, it is important that she trusts her son.  However, what has he done to deserve it?  Has he been trustworthy?  No.  Has he been getting in trouble?  Yes.  

Overall, I believe this was a truly thought-provoking novel that is meant to encourage us to think about the present by observing the past.


My Rating




Friday, August 11, 2017

Promo: The Eldritch Heart by Matthew S. Cox


The Eldritch Heart
Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses―the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much.
Oh, did I mention assassins?
Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them. The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom.
Her servant girl, Kitlyn.
Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide―marry a prince to forge a military alliance―Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away.
Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her—before the assassins do.


Author Bio:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- after="" also="" and="" cats.="" deliberate="" fiction="" fond="" happens="" he="" intellectual="" is="" it.="" life="" nature="" of="" p="" questions="" reality="" science="" that="" the="" what="">

XBTBanner1

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: Moonborn by Terry Maggert

About the Book


Moonborn by Terry Maggert
Published 2017
Genre: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description


Livvy Foster has a new heart, home, and a place in the powerful halls of House Windhook. The fall of Sliver was only the beginning of a civil war that sees angels from across the sky challenge each other to lead a world in which the past and the future are connected by a storm crafted from time, ambition, and power.

When House Selinus attempts to bend the light of days in order to become the supreme power in an apocalyptic future, they confront a goddess who is older than time itself-- and she'll stop at nothing to get the one soul who escaped her deadly grasp: Livvy.

With deceit, war and love swirling in the clouds above a shattered world that was once Livvy's home, she'll be asked to do something a girl with a broken heart never thought possible.
Fight for Windhook. Fight for her world.
Take wing with Livvy, one heartbeat at a time.

My Thoughts

Long before Mr. Maggert ever asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book, I knew that I would do it.  Why?  Because I LOVED the first book in the series.  If you want, you can read my review here.

Starting the book, however, I wasn't quite sure that I was the right person to read this book.  I felt like I didn't remember enough from Heartborn, and I was worried that I would not be able to do this review justice.

BOY WAS I WRONG.

Although Maggert starts Moonborn without any reminders of the previous book, he writes so that as his audience reads the book, it all comes flashing back.  I went from being incredibly confused and frustrated to being in love with all of the characters and in tears when the book ended.  For those of you who are new to Maggert's writing, don't read his work if you like feel good stories.  This is an author who knows how to reach into your soul and crush you.  I know this from firsthand experience.  But as I lament that, I must praise Maggert for his skill.

What I Liked

Near the beginning of this book, Maggert introduces a little scum bag named Garrick.  I enjoyed hating this man almost as much as I enjoyed hating Umbridge.  Grr!  I knew that this book was headed for violence and war and I was actually excited to see his little corpse laying still on the battlefield.  Enter Danila.  With her, comes in my absolute love for this beautifully written man.  Maggert definitely demonstrated his mastery of characterization by taking Garrick from being a sniveling pest to a character I want nothing but the best for.  

Maggert shows this skill once again with the characters of Marti and Brigha.  Not that I like them any more now, but he makes them pay for their flaws in a way that they respect and, especially in Brigha's case, are grateful for.

Lastly, Maggert's style is exquisite.  The man uses so many adjectives that I was drooling each time he described a food and I could see every scene and feel every blow in the battle.  If Maggert's goal was to give his audience a breathtaking experience, allow me to be one of the first to congratulate him on his success.

What I Didn't Like

I felt like Maggert had so much going on in this book that he couldn't keep his own story straight at times.  There are two places in particular that I truly had, and still have, no idea if I'm confused or am simply not remembering the story correctly.  I think these confusing points take away from an otherwise poignant plot.

Even though I was able to play catch-up, I think Maggert might have a hard time keeping readers interested by keeping them confused.  Many readers spend so much time with their head in a book that plots can often get jumbled up.  We're not dumb, but he does need to give a helping hand.

This last point is more of me grumbling about the unfairness of Maggert using a character to rip my heart out than anything he actually did "wrong."  There is a VERY important character that I fell in love with in Heartborn and was given a teaser of the possibility of him returning in Moonborn.  Just a teaser, no reality.  As I read, I keep a notebook filled with my notes, so that I can more easily put my review together.  When I came to this point in the book, I simply wrote "Bad author! Bad!" Not that Maggert could hear me or anything, but I guess I liked the illusion that my heart wouldn't be as broken if I at least pretended I got to scold the mean author man.


My Rating


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Promo Post! Hunted Fate by Jennifer Derrick


Hunted Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae, #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Alex and Atropos have taken refuge at an abandoned mountain resort compound. Atropos is a wanted woman in hiding, and the downtime with her soul mate is a nice change of pace. But the peace will be short-lived. The authorities are after her for her role in the attack on the city of Charlotte. Zeus has put a bounty on her head. There’s also a war to prepare for—and if she wins, the gods will be deposed once and for all. But first she needs to track down Gaia, and even that won’t be simple. Gaia resides at the bottom of the ocean, and the humans and gods are already hot on Atropos’ trail…
A heart-pounding romantic adventure where Greek mythology and modern-day life collide, Hunted Fate is the third book in the epic Threads of the Moirae series by Jennifer Derrick.
Previous books in the series:
Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!
EXCERPT:
“We need whoever provides security around here. Or Hades. They’re bound to be the ones who can open this. If we can find them, we can drag them down here and slap their hand on this thing to get it open,” Alex says.
“We need another way,” Sara says, shaking her head. “We haven’t seen a single person since we got here. It’s too time consuming to track them down. And we’ll never get Hades.”
“Anyone know of any other ways to crack a palm plate?” I ask.
“Short of finding a valid fingerprint and going through an awful lot of steps to create a fake finger, the only other way is to break down the software controlling it,” Alex says.
“Are any of you hackers?”
Alex raises his hand.
“You can hack this?” I ask. “I didn’t know you were a hacker.”
“I’m not. But there isn’t a lot to do when you’re stuck at home with a terminal disease or trapped in a crappy boarding school. I taught myself a few things, made a few online friends who were a little shady. Depending on how sophisticated the software is, I might be able to crack it.”
“Would it be controlled from the computer out front?”
“It might be. Or it might be controlled from a central server that’s who knows where. No way to know without looking,” he says.
“That computer is password protected. If you try to force it, you may set off alarms.”
“Then I’ll have to be careful,” he says, heading back to the lobby.
We follow and gather around the desk while he works. The keys clack under his fingers as he mutters instructions to himself.
“Okay, I’m in the system,” he says. “While I’m here, I’m going to shut down those security cameras. No need for everyone to know where we are.”
The TV feed blinks and is gone.
He keeps typing and clicking and muttering. The rest of us sit down on the floor and wait. There’s nothing we can do.
“Huh. That could be tricky,” he says.
“What?” I ask, getting up and going around the desk so I can see his screen. Not that the gibberish there means squat to me.
“The system that controls the fingerprint scanners also controls the card locks. Worse, it’s not separated by floor. I’m not good enough to bring down only one piece of the system. It’s all or nothing.”
“What’s the problem?” I ask.
“It means that the only thing standing between us and whatever is behind those cell doors is the hope that none of them try the doors. If the inmates figure out the doors are open, then security will be the least of our problems. All of them could walk right out of here.”
“Do it,” I tell him. “It’s not like we’ll be broadcasting the locks are down. No one will notice. Hopefully.”
“Okay,” he says and goes back to pounding on the keys.
After a few minutes, the computer beeps and Alex pushes away from it.
“Done,” he says.
The words are barely out of his mouth when a series of small pops echoes around the room. They sound like they’re both surrounding us and simultaneously heading away from us.
“Aw, shit,” I say. “The locks. We forgot they make noise! We are idiots. Come on,” I say, racing for the doors on the right.
We slam through the doors and pull up in front of door number four. No one is coming into the hall yet. I’m hoping the inmates think it’s a trap and are too intimidated to try their doors. Either that or they didn’t hear the locks release. Please, just let me get out of here before hell literally opens, I think.


Author Bio:
Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.
Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:www.JenniferDerrick.com.

XBTBanner1

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mid-Year Freak-Out Book Tag

Recently, I saw a post on Cornerfolds that introduced me to the Mid-Year Freak-Out Book Tag. I wasn't tagged, but I wanted to play along! Here goes!


BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2017

Thank goodness we are starting out with an easy question!  Hands down, the best book so far in 2017 was A List of Cages.  That book played my emotions like a fiddle!



BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2017



Yay! Another easy question!  This one goes to Queen of Destruction and A Bond of Blood and Fire.


NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO


This question is such a teaser!  I want to read Strange the Dreamer and it is sitting right on my desk looking at me!  ACK ACK ACK!!!!  I seriously need more hours in the day.



MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR


Oh I have been doing such a bad job keeping up to date with the up and coming books.  The biggest reason for that is that my TBR is so freaking long already!  OY!  Anyway, I can't wait for A Poison Dark and Drowning.



BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT


I was really disappointed by The Amaranthine Chronicles.  I saw so much room for character and world development that was just left behind!




BIGGEST SURPRISE



Growth and Change are Highly Overrated has been the biggest surprise so far.  I hated the main character, but I felt like this book had the most important theme of all of the books I've read this year.



FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR



Calling Christopher Hansen and J. R. Fehr!  I am so in love with their The Magician's Workshop books and cannot wait to share them with my students!




FAVORITE NEW CRUSH



Oh dear, don't let my man see this one....I'm going to have to go with Damon from A Kingdom Forgotten and Jorah from Queen of Destruction.




FAVORITE NEW CHARACTERS



Everyone from Ahe'ey by Jamie Le Fay!  I fell so in love with everyone that it was hard to leave when the novel ended.




BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY 


Without spoiling the end, I will just say that there is a part in A Bond of Blood and Fire that had me weeping so hard that my man actually had to console me.  And then, I was so freaking mad at Karen Tomlinson for what she did to my emotions that I had to start bawling again.  Ms. Tomlinson, I'm not going to be sure if I forgive you or not until the next book comes out.  :P




A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY



It Started with Goodbye was a terrifically enchanting read!  My emotions didn't stand a chance and my heart was pounding by the end.  Thank you Christina June!




MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT SO FAR THIS YEAR



Caraval has been on my TBR forever!  It's still there, but at least I own a copy now!



WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BEFORE THE END OF THIS YEAR?

Ok, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one who would want to read my extremely long list, but I'll share the top three.  None of these were mentioned in the answers above.  The Diabolic, The Graces, and The Bear and the Nightingale.