Book Promo: The Home Stretch

Undercurrents of Mortality, Forgiveness
Buoy Compelling Coming of Age Story

by Wayne M Johnston

For Bill Smith, the end has always been in view. And perhaps, in some metaphysical way, his occasional confrontations with the inevitable end that awaits us all made Bill better equipped to emerge intact from each crisis. His life, in fact, has been a series of highly unlikely extensions. This is his story.

The Home Stretch, from award-winning author Wayne M. Johnston, features everyman Bill Smith (loosely based on Johnston himself), who, throughout his life, is confronted with extraordinary circumstances. His is a coming of age story in which the peace that allegedly comes with maturity is often shunted aside to make room for yet another crisis. It is also an uplifting story in its portrait of a man struggling to find personal integrity through challenging conditions.

From an early age, Bill grapples with depression. Raised in a religious cult, he cannot reconcile his own experience with the worldview of his parents, and although he’s bound to them by love and obligation, he rejects their beliefs. His father’s palpable disappointment in Bill leads him to contemplate suicide and to provoke his father into a confrontation with a surprising outcome that would redefine their relationship and alter the course of both of their lives.

Given to a physical, adventurous life, Bill becomes the chief engineer on a seagoing tugboat, and his tales of weathering gale-force winds and violent storms at sea provide metaphorical undercurrents for his fraught relationship with his father, his failed early marriage, his father’s descent into Alzheimer’s and his own battle with leukemia, which he is told will kill him. Just when Bill has come to believe he has put the worst of it to rest, he learns something more about his father that opens everything up again, except this time, Bill’s sister is the victim.

The Home Stretch is a poignant, ultimately inspiring coming of age story that weaves themes of mortality and forgiveness through life-defining moments of reckoning that many adults have to face head-on and learn to overcome.

Wayne M. Johnston taught English, Creative Writing and Publications at La Conner High School for 19 years. Prior to that, for 22 years he worked on tugboats, usually as chief engineer, towing freight barges between Canadian and West Coast American ports. In 2011, he won the Soundings Review First Publication Award for his essay, “Sailing,” and has published other essays locally. For his debut novel, North Fork, he drew from years of experience reading student journals to reproduce the way kids voice serious matters to a trusted adult. The Home Stretch is book two in a planned trilogy. North Fork was released in 2016 as a YA novel. The story is told through the voices of three 17-year-olds as journal entries for their English class. Bill Smith, the protagonist in The Home Stretch, is their English teacher, and The Home Stretch is his back story.

Johnston lives with his wife, Sally, on Fidalgo Island in Washington State where he is working on another book length project.

 

The Home Stretch
Publisher: Black Heron Press
ISBN-10: 1936364344
ISBN-13: 978-1936364343

Available from
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Book Promo: Please See Us

Please See Us

by Caitlin Mullen

Summer has come to Atlantic City but the boardwalk is empty of tourists, the casino lights have dimmed, and two Jane Does are laid out in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel, just west of town. Only one person even knows they’re there.

Meanwhile, Clara, a young boardwalk psychic, struggles to attract clients for the tarot readings that pay her rent. When she begins to experience very real and disturbing visions, she suspects they could be related to the recent cases of women gone missing in town. When Clara meets Lily, an ex-Soho art gallery girl who is working at a desolate casino spa and reeling from a personal tragedy, she thinks Lily may be able to help her. But Lily has her own demons to face. If they can put the pieces together in time, they may save another lost girl—so long as their efforts don’t attract perilous attention first. Can they break the ill-fated cycle, or will they join the other victims?

Evocative, eerie, and compelling, Please See Us is a fast-paced psychological thriller that explores the intersection of womanhood, power, and violence.

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Amazon

Review

Please See Us is riveting, the rare book that unpacks and deplores violence against women even as it depicts it. In Caitlin Mullen’s hands, everyone has a voice, and the dead speak as loudly as the living. Please See Us is a beautifully written, thoughtful page-turner, as well as a tribute to the women— not just victims, but full human beings—who so frequently go unseen.” (Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists )

About the Author

Caitlin Mullen earned a BA in English and creative writing from Colgate University, an MA in English from NYU, and an MFA in fiction from Stony Brook University. While at Stony Brook, she taught undergraduate creative writing, served as an editor and contributing writer for The Southampton Review, and worked as a bookseller at WORD in Greenpoint. She grew up in upstate New York and the Jersey Shore and currently lives in Brooklyn. Please See Us is her debut novel.

Book Promo: The Dead Gigolo Caper

The Dead Gigolo Caper
(Suds and Sam Book 4)
by Stella Marie Alden

The Dead Gigolo Caper (Suds and Sam Book 4) Kindle Edition

available 2/2/2020

This time, it’s murder but there’s no body and no motive. In fact, there’s no evidence of any foul play except for the word of a nosy busy-body with night-vision binoculars.

Despite big bucks, I suggest we pass on this case but Sam’s family butts in and of course, it explodes in our face. Now, we’re hip deep in a whole lot of shit better left to the police.

The good news? No more Joey. We moved into the loft above our new office space.
The bad news? They’re demolishing the place next door and the jackhammer’s sent our kitten into therapy.

Did I mention I had to gut the bathroom and we have no shower?

“Bill paying?”
“You can have that.”
“Cleaning?”
“I can help.”
“I’ll do laundry as long as you throw your stuff in the hamper.”
“What’s a hamper?”
“I’ll man-splain it to you when we get home.”

Join Suds and Sam in another hilarious, kick-ass adventure. Warning, can become addicting.  Happily ever after guaranteed.

Pre-order Price: $3.99 to be auto-delivered to your Kindle on February 20, 2020

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Stella Marie Alden