Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Dear Reader, Love, Dwaine Rieves

Dear Reader,

I would love to know what first crossed your mind when you discovered Shirtless Men Drink Free—whether you cringed or gestured inside yourself in that way that reflects the power of a curio or any shiny thing or pornography.  I would love to know if you were threatened by the book’s title, the cover photograph, the man within the color red.  I would love to know what you know about threats in general, why you vote the way you do, whether you vote at all (and if not, why not), whether you believe in redemption, whether you truly believe the soul outlives the body.  Reader, do you think Keats was correct in calling life a valley of “soul-making?”  Reader, do you hold out hope for the South?  Better yet, any hope for all these troubling valleys of soul-making? 

Reader, I do not apologize for alarming you.  There was a light at my back, just as there still is yours.  I can see it.  It’s proof that we are here, that you matter far more than the questions.  Jane knows.  She opens the book.  Jane calls the soul a big deal.  She drinks gin and regrets her choices.  She is a daughter of the South, of the losers, of the tribe trying to forget Trump and yet remember the grand houses that outlived slavery. 

Reader, do you regard Lolita pornographic?  Are you glad such issues don’t much matter in Georgia these days, that the right man will win and this time the choice is nothing like the decision that gave us Barabbas and a shirtless man strung up between two others? 

Reader, does talk of religion irk you?  Are you praying for Southerners?  Would you take off your shirt just to drink free?  Wine or the hard stuff?  Water?  Will you tell me why you always thought Jackson Beekman would make a great governor of Georgia?  Why the wealthiest woman in Atlanta is known as much for her skin’s dark color as her beautiful money? 

They say the meek will inherit the earth.  They say it all comes down to the homosexual agenda, the non-believers, the wrong choice at the calling.  Reader, isn’t the light always calling?

Reader, I value your thoughts on why the light can feel so soft on a weary back, why the body leaves a shadow thanks as much to the light as the body that stops it, why a human being might sometimes forget what it could do if ravenously thirsty.  Reader, I’m delighted to sit beside you as the world thumbs our pages and critiques our choices.  I’m from Mississippi, and you?  Are you thirsty?

You can reach me at the Internet website below.  Lots of poor people live there.  Many wanted to be wealthy.  Some, the cursed, were.  Many can’t help but live out their lives among the shirtless.  Some can still become governors, even of Georgia.

Very best wishes for hearty drinking, for hanging a moment between the souls and their bodies.

Dwaine Rieves

Author of

About the book:

In Shirtless Men Drink Free, Doctor Jane Beekman has seen her dying mother’s soul, a vision above the bed—a soul struggling with a decision, some undone task, something in this world too noble to leave.  The question that lingers—why?—prompts a shift in the doctor’s priorities.  In this election year, Jane must do what her mother, an aspiring social activist, would have done. Soon, Jane is embroiled in the world of Georgia politics, working to make sure her dynamic younger brother-in-law Jackson Beekman is selected the next governor, regardless of what the soul of the candidate’s dead father or that of his living brother—Jane’s husband—might want done. 

Indeed, it is a mother’s persistence and a father’s legacy that will ultimately turn one Beekman brother against the other, launching a struggle with moral consequences that may extend far beyond Georgia. Set amidst 2004’s polarizing election fears—immigrants and job take-overs, terrorists in waiting, homosexuals and outsider agendas—Shirtless Men Drink Free makes vivid the human soul’s struggle in a world bedeviled by desire and the fears that leave us all asking—Why?

Engaging, beautifully written and resplendent with realism, Shirtless Men Drink Free is a standout debut destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.  A meticulously crafted tale that showcases an outstanding new voice in Southern fiction, Shirtless Men Drink Free has garnered high advance praise:

“This is brilliant and rare work, as attentive to an absorbing plot as it is to a poetic, chiseled cadence."—Paul Lisicky, award-winning author of The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship

“These characters are all too real. Rieves, as Faulkner, McMurtry and Larry Brown, writes people and story that will worm, burrow into you.  Change you even.” Adam Van Winkle, Founder and Editor, Cowboy Jamboree

“Vividly sensuous, this novel is full of textures, sounds and smells.  Rieves tells a terrific story with the sensitivity of a poet.” —Margaret Meyers, author of Swimming in the Congo

Published by Tupelo Press joint venture partner Leapfolio, Shirtless Men Drink Free will be published in trade paper (ISBN: 978-1-946507-04-4, 326 pages, $16.95) and eBook editions.  The novel will be available where fine books are sold, with an arrival on January 22, 2019.

SHIRTLESS MEN DRINK FREE is also available for pre-order on Amazon or at Tupelo Press:

Friday, January 18, 2019

Dear Reader, Love Josh Hickman

Dear Reader…

Hello, Hickmaniacs and future Hickmaniacs. If you are presently reading my newest comic novel The Kinfolk: Cult of Sex & Cheese, good for you! You have made a tremendously wise and discriminating choice in your literary matter, and a profoundly informed pick for your reading dollar. (We actually experimented with an edible, cheese-based book cover but were disappointed with the ammoniation and price point factors [not to mention spreadability.]) To those lucky ones who are at this very moment chortling their way through the lusty, mirthful pages, salud! Feel free to make good use of the detailed glossary in the back, which helps alleviate confusion in the vast cast of colorful, richly-textured, and eccentric characters. And to those intellectually voracious charmers out there about to pick up a copy of the book, I offer a few words of advice and wisdom. If you like cults and true crime, mixed with a heavy dash of surreal humor and absurdity, dusted with wry social commentary, subtly seasoned with a schtickle of dry darkness, and garnished with a dollop of deep, resonant introspection, then this literary odyssey is for you! Biker gangs, naughtiness, mesmerism, mozzarella, and madness eagerly await you with open arms. Don’t read it too fast (you might hurt yourself or a loved one) but refrain from reading it too slowly (side effects may result, such as aching sides, dizziness, euphoria, and “snackiness”). Listen for telling inconsistencies in cult leader Dillman “Papa Dilly” Bradford’s rants, keep an eye on rascally Cousin Rear, and bask in the unmitigated righteous indignation of helmet-haired investigative journalist Sandy Geistkopf. Blindly let yourself be seduced (but not too much) by the bold cheese worshipping and euphoric fervor of a wild cult as they follow their confident, unstable leader on an unsure path to (something like) enlightenment. Will they conquer and “Kinfolkate” the small, depressed, unwitting town of Lemon Curd, California? You just can’t wait to find out, can you? (Curiosity is contagious.) How did it all start, how does this mass madness ever begin? It’s all explained in sickening, hilarious detail. So, sit back, pour yourself a glass of credulity, and let yourself be absorbed into the seductive spell of The Kinfolk.

Josh Hickman

About the Author
Equally fascinated with horror movies, comedians, and true crime since early childhood, Josh Hickman spent equal time wading in the heady waters of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, the Three Stooges comedy shorts, and Helter Skelter while growing up in various parts of Texas. When he became a writer, Hickman incorporated his comedic sensibility and lifelong love of the horror and true crime genres into his satiric writings. His past comic novels also include the fictional comedy bio THROUGH TICK & TINN: THE TRUE STORY OF THE GREATEST UNKNOWN COMEDY TEAM EVER KNOWN and the illustrated surreal, cautionary high-seas treasure-hunt saga AMBERGRIS. Hickman lives and works in Hollywood.
His latest book is the satirical fantasy, The Kinfolk: Cult of Sex and Cheese.
Visit his website at



About the Book:

Hollywood Author Josh Hickman will release his latest brand of satirical, humorous books in mid-November. In the author’s new book, THE KINFOLK: CULT OF SEX AND CHEESE  he explores
the maddening world of cults.  Mr. Hickman’s new novel follows his last satirical fantasy book, FIVE SLICES OF FEAR, that has received much critical praise from book reviewers.
Hollywood writer Mr. Hickman releases his new book as the fourth in a fantasy book series he has created and published.  In THE KINFOLK: CULT OF SEX AND CHEESE he chronicles the rise and fall of a “seductive, fanatical cult” led by the enigmatic Dillman “Papa Dilly” Bradford.
With THE KINFOLK: CULT OF SEX AND CHEESE once again fact meets fiction in the funny fantasy worlds author Josh Hickman creates. This time his fascination with cults has produced a fresh, yet familiar cast of charlatans, rubes, losers, and lucky fools, finding laughs in the cult impulse, religious fervor, and the common pathos of the average person who will do anything to find solace and belonging. Once more, author Hickman focuses his gaze on tragic comedy that is human existence--with all its fears, pitfalls, trials, and triumphs--and again he speaks hilarious truth to power in his latest entry THE KINFOLK: CULT OF SEX AND CHEESE.
“For as long as I’ve read books I’ve always been a huge fan of comedic novels,” Hickman asserted. “It was time I decided to start expressing my own comedic side of creative writing.”



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Dear Reader, Love Joni Parker

Dear Reader…

Thanks for your interest in my book. I know there are thousands of books to read and I’m grateful you chose mine. Writing has become a passion for me, something I’ve not experienced in my life before. I’m a late-bloomer. I didn’t start writing in earnest until a few years ago. Up to that point, I was focused on work and family. I retired from work and my husband passed away so writing is my life.

Several years ago, Peter Jackson produced a series of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I fell in love with it and out of it grew a character. Her full name is Lady Alexin Dumwalt but she likes to be called Alex. She brought a lot of baggage with her in the way of stories. When I put them down on paper, I had enough material for seven books, two series. The first series called, The Seaward Isle Saga, has three books—The Black Elf of Seaward Isle, Tangled Omens, and Blood Mission. If you look on Amazon, you’ll also find a short story, The Island Game. That was the result of my editor asking me for a history of Seaward Isle written in first person. Anyway, this series covers Alex’s younger years as she grows up on Seaward Isle, an island surrounded by storms created by Zeus and held to the rest of the Elf World (Eledon) with the use of wormholes. Yes, a little Greek mythology and science fiction come into play.

My second series, The Chronicles of Eledon, has four books—Spell Breaker, The Blue Witch, Gossamer, and Noble Magic. Alex, now a teenager, moves in with her Elf grandmother to learn about her Elf roots and her ability to perform magic. Not only must she stop the storms around Seaward Isle but she must also find a way to keep it from falling and crashing into the mortal world (Earth).

With the new series, The Admiralty Archives, Alex encounters a new problem. Over 700 sailors and 5 large warships have ended up in Eledon, somehow and she must get them back to Earth. How? Good question and she needs all of her experiences in the first two series to help her. I spent a lot of hours researching this problem including a 10-day trip to the U.K. And you thought I just made it up. Read on and enjoy the journey.


Joni Parker

About the Author

Joni was born in Chicago, moved to Japan, and returned to live in Phoenix, Arizona. After joining the Navy, she lived in Lakehurst, New Jersey where she met her husband, a career sailor. They moved to Jacksonville, Florida, from there to Pensacola, Florida where Joni attended the university. Upon graduation, she returned to the Navy and was stationed in Naples, Italy. From there, the Navy sent her to live in a number of U.S. cities and even spent a year with the U.S. Army at their Command and General Staff College obtaining a Master of Military Arts and Sciences. Upon her retirement, she traveled the country in an RV with her husband until he passed away. She returned to the workforce living in Dallas until she discovered a passion for writing fantasy novels. She retired for a second time and now lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Website Address:
Twitter Address: @ParkerJoni

About the Book:

A NATO training exercise goes terribly wrong when five warships from different countries are mysteriously transported to Eledon, the Realm of the Elves. The warrior Lady Alexin is charged to escort the troops back home to London in the year 2031 with the aid of the Wizard Ecstasy and a magic shrinking potion. Yet, when the authorities question her story, Alex is detained and imprisoned under suspicion of terrorism. Caught in a web of politics, betrayal and bungling bureaucracy, the confusing world of the future will push her magical gifts to their limit, and her own future will hang in the balance, caught between “justice” and the place she calls home.



Monday, January 14, 2019

Dear Reader, Love, Debra H. Goldstein

Dear Reader…

It is a pleasure to finally have an opportunity to meet you. You see, you only have had the ability to hold this book in your hands since December 18, but I have been living with it and dreaming of meeting you for three years.

The writing and publishing of a book is unlike anything else we do. I got the idea for One Taste Too Many three years ago. Because I love reading cozy mysteries, I knew I wanted to write one, but I

immediately ran into a problem. Most cozies focus on food or crafts – two areas that I am not particularly skilled in. The more I thought about it, I realized there had to be readers out there who, like me, are challenged in the kitchen or when they try their hand at handiwork. It dawned on me that I could write a book showcasing a cook of convenience.

To me, a cook of convenience is an individual who prefers to bring take-out in or to make dishes using pre-made ingredients. For example, I make my spinach pie with two Stouffer’s spinach souffles. My sister thinks that is horrible. She believes everything should be farm to table and made from scratch. When we were kids, she shadowed my mother and became an excellent cook. I preferred to lie on the couch watching Perry Mason. Funny thing, I can’t cook, but until I gave it up to follow my passion for writing, I had a pretty good career as a litigator and then a judge.

Thinking of my sister’s reaction to my cooking style, I decided to play a character like my sister off one like me. Being the mother of twins, I thought making them polar opposite twins would make the comparison more fun. From these thoughts, the characters of Sarah Blair, the cook of convenience, and her twin, the master chef, were born.

Even though I had an idea where I wanted to go with the book, it took me almost a year to write.  After many revisions, I sent it out seeking an agent. Once that was achieved, the agent went through the manuscript and made more editorial suggestions. I did another revision of the book and then she submitted it to several houses. We opted to accept the Kensington offer. Acceptance is not the end of the game. There still was another revision, copy edits, proof reviews, cover art, printing of ARCS, submission of ARCS for reviews, and design of publicity and social media campaigns. Soup to nuts, the release of One Taste Too Many was three years from when I began writing.

My goal in writing a cozy mystery was to produce something that could be read at the beach, on a plane, or at home to relax. It is meant to be fun. I hope you enjoy the first book of the Sarah Blair cozy mystery series, One Taste Too Many.

Debra H. Goldstein