Friday, August 26, 2016

23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. by Robert J. Dornan

Title: 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M.
Author: Robert J. Dornan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 550
Genre: Historical Fiction

In the early morning of her sister's wedding day, Mila Kharmalov stared in stunned silence at the coloured sparks streaming from Reactor Four of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.  At that very moment, her life and the lives of everyone she knew changed forever.

Years later and on another continent, Adam Byrd was writing biographies for everyday people looking to leave their legacy in book form. When the woman he loved phoned from Kiev offering him the chance to write the story of a lifetime, he jumped at the opportunity not realizing that his voyage would be a bumpy ride through a nations dark underbelly. With the help of his friend's quirky cousin, Adam is nudged into a fascinating adventure of love, greed, power and psychotic revenge, culminating with a shocking finale.

23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. is a work of fiction based on factual events from Chernobyl and villages throughout Ukraine.

For More Information

  • 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. is available at Amazon..
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
The nurses at the reception desk were told not to stare at the late night visitor. He was a Ukrainian hero and deserved the highest level of respect. He arrived at midnight wearing sunglasses and a hoodie that covered most of his face. He said his name and the three nurses stood to welcome him as if honored by his presence. He was then led to Tania’s room. A wall light was lit above the bed. He didn’t recognize her.
Twenty-seven years had passed since the last time they spoke.  Tania was worried that Yuri would miss their wedding. He told her not to worry. She could have had a huge ceremony if he had not been so naïve with Asimov. If he had said no to the Colonels request, Yuri would still be alive. Tania didn’t know this part of the story. She didn’t know the love of her life agreed to dive into the radiated water to protect his best friend. 
It was his fault.
Samizdat adored the sisters but the government-owned newspapers wrote horrible articles about them. He plowed their path and never admitted so. Tania disappeared into obscurity, visited only by curious weekend thrill seekers. She has no hair and her skin is yellow.
It was his fault.
Alex pulled a chair next to the bed and touched her hand. She groaned but her eyes remained closed.
“I don’t know where to begin. I’m hoping you don’t open your eyes to see me speak. To watch the hurt in your eyes would be more painful than the burns on my face.  I abandoned you Tania. I abandoned you to hide from life…and to hide from you. My memories of the days before the explosion are what allow me to wake each morning. They are my life force and I owe this to you and Yuri. Without the two of you, I would have been a lonely man with few true friends.
And I still abandoned you. “
“I thought you were dead,” Tania whispered.
A startled Alex let go of her hand and almost tumbled off his chair. “I’ve awoken you,” he said between excited breaths.
“If I remember correctly, it’s not the first time. Am I dreaming Alex?”
“No my friend,” he replied. “It’s me next to you.”
Tania rubbed her eyes attempting to see her friend better. “Why are you covering your face?”
Alex tugged on the top of his hoodie and lowered his head. He dared not remove his sunglasses fearing he would startle Tania.  A patient on the other side of the room exhaled a long painful groan. This was followed by a seemingly chorused shuffling by the other patients.  He closed his eyes. Everywhere he visited, there was suffering. It followed him like a shadow. Tania repeated her question.
“The left side of my face including my eye is scarred from radiation. In situations such as this, I am more comfortable not revealing my deformity. Please don’t ask me to do so.”
“And I look better?” Tania replied with a short snort. “I won’t ask you to do what you don’t want Alex. You were always a stubborn man anyway.” She paused. “I wish you had come see me many years ago but I’m thrilled to have you here.”
“I’ve wanted to sit with you for a long time,” Alex responded.
“Then why didn’t you?” Tania asked between short breaths. “Why do you choose now when my last breath is so near? Alex, we mourned your death. Your mother was heartbroken. I visited her little hut in the Exclusion Zone and it was a memoriam. Photos of you adorned every inch on every wall. Asimov gave her a medal from the Kremlin in your memory that was front and centre above the main room couch.  She picked flowers and left them on your gravesite every day. She cried for years and died alone.” Tania inhaled a long breath. “I always wondered why your body was not entombed at Mitino.”
A full cup of water lay on the bed table and Alex handed it to his friend. She raised herself and sat upright.  The sole light in the room warmed her bumpy, hairless scalp.
“They told me I saved the Soviet Union,” Alex whispered. “They told me I saved Europe. I was a hero in so many eyes…” His voice trailed for a few seconds and he continued.  “I didn’t feel like a hero. The guilt was too heavy to endure. I ruined your life.”
“My life was not yours to ruin. You’re obviously here to say your peace so take a deep breath and tell me what has encumbered you all these years.” Tania stroked his hand with her fingertips. “Don’t fear judgment my old friend, it is not mine to deliver.”
Alex contemplated removing his sunglasses but did not. He had thought of this moment for more than two decades. The conversation took place hundreds of times while he lay in bed struggling to find sleep. He must stay strong.
“Asimov summoned us when someone from Pripyat mentioned Yuri and I were champion swimmers. I didn’t fully understand what the Commander was asking us to do but Yuri did. He didn’t chastise me when I eagerly volunteered. He was more concerned about you.
The suits they gave us were flimsy at best. After opening the sluice gates we tried to swim back as fast as we could but our legs were numb. My face stung like I had fallen on a bee hive. Smiles greeted us at the pond edge and pulled us out of the water. Within seconds I vomited, as did Yuri and Breshevski. I lay on my side and Breshevski was staring wide-eyed at me. I smiled, but he did not acknowledge me. His eyes were shining. I couldn’t understand how he could stare at me and not blink. Two men lifted him and as he was transported outside he yelled that Yuri and I were still in the water and someone had to save us. He was looking right at us.  I learned later that his goggles were defective. By the time he reached the hospital his corneas had melted.
Yuri vomited for a second time in less than three minutes. His arms could not hold him and he slumped into his own regurgitation. I was about to stand when two comrades wrapped my arms around their shoulders and dragged me outside.  Yuri was not far behind and was eased onto a stretcher while we waited for another ambulance.  I wasn’t suffering like Yuri and was strong enough to kneel next to him.  I was overcome with emotion when I looked at his bright red face. The skin on his forehead was cracked like a car window. I cried openly, and a photographer snapped a picture.  Yuri mumbled that if I continued to cry he would start calling me Alexandra. These were the last words he would ever say to me. I couldn’t stop bawling. Asimov was nearby and put his hand on my shoulder. Paramedics lifted Yuri and placed him in the ambulance that had mercifully arrived. I yelled out his name. I told him I was sorry. I was trembling and frozen in place. I didn’t hear the cheers from the workers in the background. I didn’t hear Asimov whispering in my ear. I could barely move so I sat with my head on bent knees. My best friend may die and it was my fault. Flashing lights blurred my vision. More photographers had gathered to take more photos.
Asimov, with the help of a few men, got me into a jeep and we drove back to the same hotel that Kremlin dignitaries were staying. They gave me a room with a shower that I used until no hot water remained. Aside from the tingling in my face, I was fine. They brought me new clothes. I had dinner with the Colonel and some other man I have long forgotten. They praised my efforts. I asked for updates on Yuri but none were available except that he was being flown to Moscow. I told Asimov that Yuri’s fiancée had to be called. The other man made a note and mentioned that Yuri’s condition and whereabouts would be posted in every newspaper across the Soviet Union. Asimov found his assistant’s comment inappropriate and said he would fly to Moscow himself and I was not to worry.
I did worry. It was all I did for years to come.
I had the strangest dream. It was an evening of sleep I never forgot. I excused myself from dinner early and returned to my room. Within minutes I was sleeping. I remember four white walls, a white floor and a white door. I was yelling for someone to save me but no one came. Every time I reached to open the door it would disappear and reappear on a different wall.  A bright light blinded me temporarily, and I realized the door had opened. The same light shone whenever the door opened except once. Yuri walked in through the lights and stood in front of me.  He said nothing and shook his head with disapproval before leaving through the wall behind me. You were next Tania, and you did the same as Yuri. Mila followed, as did my mother, Yulia, David and many others. Each paraded by me with contempt in their eyes. The last person to visit was Valeri Markov, a man I knew from the academy. When he entered the room there was no bright light. The door opened and shut. He smiled, tapped me on the shoulder and sat in the far corner. I asked what he was doing and where he thought he was. He said he was sharing a room with me… in hell. I woke up. Firecrackers from May Day celebrations burst in succession. Drunken soldiers and liquidators were singing. My face hurt.
The next morning I told Asimov I would return to my duties. He replied that I was to rest and not to worry about work for the next few days. He handed me two bottles of vodka and a radio. I wanted a newspaper and one was delivered to me along with breakfast and a prostitute. She drank my vodka and ate my breakfast. I read a small blurb about Reactor Four and that all was safe. There was no mention of Yuri or Breshevski. Maybe tomorrow, I thought. The prostitute danced around the room with a bottle of vodka in her hand.  She had undressed and wore only her panties. She spent most of the previous evening celebrating May Day with married politburo officials and smelled like liquor and old men. She passed out but not before puking on the curtains.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Othello Greene: The Story Begins by Anthony Baltimore

Title: Othello Greene: The Story Begins
Author: Anthony Baltimore
Publisher: JourStarr Quality Publications
Pages: 780
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy

Lt. Othello Greene, the leader of America’s most lethal and efficient elite special ops group is captured, tortured, and mutilated by a ruthless, maniacal terrorist named Genesis and his group, the Global Supremacy Federation (G.S.F), who is hell bent on world domination.
Moments before his execution, Othello is rescued by a centuries old Islamic group intent on convincing him to use his unmatched skills and abilities for the good of mankind.In the backdrop, is the story of Othello’s past and the events which led to his life as an elite assassin.The entire world is racing towards the war to end all wars. Will Genesis prevail or will Othello put an end to his reign of terror?

For More Information

  • Othello Greene: The Story Begins is available at Amazon.
Book Excerpt:
Every inch of his body was in pain. Its intensity caused a numbing effect. The stench of blood, urine, feces, and burnt flesh permeated the room. The air was acrid and unbearably hot, making it difficult to breathe. The unfamiliar room was dimly lit, a single flickering bulb hanging from the ceiling. His newly awakened eyes had yet to acclimate themselves to the environment. His head was pounding like a sledgehammer against a wall. Over the clamor of confusion in his mind, he could hear the faint murmur of a sobbing woman.
“Name!” he heard a voice scream in his head.
“Othello Greene,” he answered.
“Rank!” the voice continued.
“First lieutenant,” he mumbled, as his senses began to gain clarity. His heart sank like an anchor at the sight of the severed head of his longtime friend and counterintelligence operative Second Lieutenant Jack Strong. The cloud in his mind completely dissipated when he saw Jack’s nude, mutilated body lying slumped over in a corner several feet from the head. Their termination mission, he realized, had gone terribly wrong.
Othello’s unclothed body lay in a pool of his own blood. A fierce pain exploded through his torso as he stuck the severely burned stub where his right hand used to be into the ground beneath him. The failed attempt to get to his feet caused him to instantaneously collapse, quivering in agony.
He teetered between consciousness and death, staring into the face of his dead friend. Suddenly the eyes of the severed head opened and a menacing expression appeared. “This is all your fault!” it growled. “Look what the hell you got us into! You and all your guts and glory bullshit!”
“This is not my fault. I didn’t put a gun to your head. I didn’t make you do shit!” Othello screamed, blood and drool flying from his mouth.
“Huh,” Jack grunted. “Look at your dear sweet Ramirez over there. What a shame. They’ve been taking turns raping her for the last eighteen hours.” One of the arms on the headless body motioned across the room.
Othello was horrified to see his intimate friend and partner, First Sergeant Helena Ramirez, lying naked in a fetal position, brutalized and cowering in a corner. She was whimpering like a child. He felt helpless and ashamed, not for himself but for the team he had let down.
“You’re one self-righteous bastard. You knew she would have gone to hell to assassinate Satan with you. Now, because of you, she’s seen more dicks than Kim Kardashian,” said Jack with a sinister grin.
“Shut the fuck up, damn it!” Othello continued to scream. “This is not real! You’re dead!”
“This is very much real, hero. But don’t worry. You’ll be joining me soon. And speaking of Satan, he told me to tell you that he’s keeping your side of the bed warm, and that you and he are going to get real personal when you arrive,” Jack responded with laughter.
“I am not paying attention to you. You are not real,” Othello said, to himself. He tried once again to get to his feet. This time, using his still operable left hand, he pushed himself up but could not feel his legs.
Turning over on his back, he was in shock to see both of his legs severed at the knees. The miasma of burning flesh was his own. His captors had burned the stumps to stop the bleeding. The hopelessness of the situation hit him like a pile of bricks. Despair set in as he collapsed, waiting for the moment of death.
Helena crawled over to him and gently kissed his forehead. The Latina beauty who could make any man risk it all for one night of passion was unrecognizable.
“Othello, I thought you were dead,” she cried.
Helena, I’m sorry,” he replied, looking away, not able to look at her bloodied battered face and racked with guilt.
“Shhh. It’s not important,” she said, with tears flowing, caressing the side of his swollen face. “Baby, I need you to help me.”
“There’s nothing I can do. It’s over, Helena. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“No, don’t apologize. I knew the risks and I loved the ride. But I need you to listen to me. Please,” she begged, turning his face back toward hers. “I need you to help me.
“It’s over, Helena. Only God can help us now.”
“No. That’s not true,” she cried, grabbing his hand and placing it on her throat.
“No . . . No, I can’t,” he sighed, attempting to pull his hand away.
Even under these nightmare conditions, the touch of his hand against her skin brought back a flood of memories. How much he loved her. The thousand times they shared each other, holding nothing back. She grabbed it tightly, with both hands, kneeling her broken, battered, and violated body in the pool of blood around him. “Yes, you can. I’m already gone. Please don’t let them hurt me again. Those bastards did so many terrible things to me. Please . . . Please . . .,” she pleaded, pulling his hand harder against her throat.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Disinheritance by John Sibley Williams

Author: John Sibley Williams
Publisher: Apprentice House Press
Pages: 98
Genre: Poetry

A lyrical, philosophical, and tender exploration of the various voices of grief, including those of the broken, the healing, the son-become-father, and the dead, Disinheritance acknowledges loss while celebrating the uncertainty of a world in constant revision. From the concrete consequences of each human gesture to soulful interrogations into “this amalgam of real / and fabled light,” these poems inhabit an unsteady betweenness, where ghosts can be more real than the flesh and blood of one’s own hands.

For More Information

  • Disinheritance is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Praise for Disinheritance:
“In John Sibley Williams’ moving, somber collection, the power of elegy, reverie, and threnody transcends the disinheritance caused by separation. These compellingly atemporal poems form the locus wherein generations of a family can gather. Here, Williams’ lyric proto-language—elemental, archetypal, primordial—subsumes barriers of time and space. His poems create their own inheritance.”
—Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita

“There is eternal longing in these poems of John Sibley Williams. A yearning for what cannot be understood. A song for what simply is. A distance beyond human measurement. The dead and alive dancing, hurting, and praying at the mouth of what must be the beginning of time. A series of profound losses giving birth to words no different from medicine.”
—Zubair Ahmed
Book Excerpt:

A panic of finches rises and tonight
the late salmon moon is filled

with rivers and old shadows. Reflected,
iridescing, an amalgam of real

and fabled light. I rub grains of wood and cloud
between my hands and stretch from the grass

into a grandmotherly story of angels,
their necessary demons, and how little

it takes for the one to climb or descend into
the other. This is what she told me before

she climbed or descended. The distance from us was
the same. This is how she explained where I’d gone

and am going.

My hands don’t remember much anymore
of where the birds have flown. There are felled trees

in the sky. The moon’s face drifts across the river.
And I miss the hard geometries of coffins.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Feature: The Bomb That Never Was by J.R. Shaw

419382_Blog Tour_L2

Inside the Book:

The Bomb That Never Was
Title: The Bomb That Never Was
Author: J.R. Shaw
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Alternative History
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Praise for The Bomb That Never Was “Hitler has the bomb, and it's headed for the USA. This meticulously researched historical novel will have you asking, ‘What if?' This is an intelligent, fast-paced page-turner that will make you forget that you already know how it all turns out. Provocative, informative, and entertaining—I couldn't put it down.” —Joseph P. DeSario, author of Limbo and Sanctuary and coauthor of Crusade: Undercover Against the Mafia & KGB “Authoritative and credible in its attention to detail, The Bomb That Never Was captures the spirit and temper of the WWII years and raises some deep philosophical questions about loyalty, treason, and commitment to country. A page-turner … tough to put down … a story well told.” —Robert L. Aaron, journalist and public relations executive
Meet the Author:
J. R. Shaw is a pseudonym for a person who likes privacy, preferring to remain in the shadows. If you're interested in reading the next book, please turn to the back of this book and enjoy reading an excerpt from The Pieces. The Pieces will be out in 2016.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Baseball's Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them Book Blast

We're happy to be hosting Jonathan Weeks' BASEBALL'S DYNASTIES AND THE PLAYERS WHO BUILT THEM Book Blast today!

About the Book:

Title: Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them
Author: Jonathan Weeks
Publisher: Rowan and Littlefield
Pages: 408
Genre: Sports History

Baseball has had its fair share of one-and-out champions, but few clubs have dominated the sport for any great length of time. Given the level of competition and the expansive length of the season, it is a remarkable accomplishment for a team to make multiple World Series appearances in a short timespan. From the Baltimore Orioles of the 1800s who would go to any length to win—including physically accosting opponents—to the 1934 Cardinals known as the “Gashouse Gang” for their rough tactics and determination, and on to George Steinbrenner’s dominant Yankees of the late twentieth century, baseball’s greatest teams somehow found a way to win year after year.

Spanning three centuries of the game, Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them examines twenty-two of baseball’s most iconic teams. Each chapter not only chronicles the club’s era of supremacy, but also provides an in-depth look at the players who helped make their teams great. Nearly two hundred player profiles are included, featuring such well-known stars as Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, and Pete Rose, as well as players who were perhaps overshadowed by their teammates but were nonetheless vital to their team’s reign, such as Pepper Martin, Allie Reynolds, and George Foster.

With a concluding chapter that profiles the clubs that were on the cusp of greatness, Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them is a fascinating survey of what makes some teams dominate year after year while others get only a small taste of glory before falling to the wayside. Written in a lively style with amusing anecdotes and colorful quotes, this comprehensive book will be of interest to all fans and historians of baseball.

For More Information

  • Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
Book Excerpt:

With a roster full of superstars, the Orioles captured three straight pennants from 1894–1896. They followed with a pair of near misses, placing second in 1897 and 1898. Along the way, they developed a reputation as one of the nastiest teams in baseball. John Heydler, an umpire who would later ascend to the NL presidency, described the Orioles of the 1890s as “mean, vicious, ready at any time to maim a rival player or an umpire.” Infielder John McGraw was proud of that distinction. “We’d go tearing into a bag with flying spikes as though with murderous intent,” he boasted. “We were a cocky, swashbuckling crew and wanted everybody to know it.”
Pirates great Honus Wagner manufactured a tall tale about a harrowing trip around the bases against the Orioles. After driving a ball deep into the outfield, he claimed to have been tripped at first base by Jack Doyle and then knocked flat by Hughie Jennings at second. Climbing to his feet, he lumbered toward third, only to find John McGraw holding a shotgun on him. “You stop right there!” McGraw allegedly bellowed. Although Wagner’s story is obviously apocryphal, numerous reliable accounts confirm the fact that the Orioles resorted to underhanded tactics regularly. When they weren’t physically accosting opponents, they were treating them to streams of verbal abuse. Baltimore players were so free in their use of profanity that a resolution was adopted in 1898, imposing mandatory expulsions upon anyone using “villainously foul” language.
Even the groundskeepers at Baltimore were deceitful. Soap flakes were mixed with the soil around the pitcher’s mound to make the hands of opposing hurlers slippery when they reached into the dirt.  Orioles moundsmen knew to keep untainted soil in their pockets. The infield was mixed with clay and rarely watered, creating a surface not unlike cement. Baltimore players chopped down on the ball, creating dramatically high hops that gave them a head start to first base (hence, the origin of the term Baltimore chop). The outfield was ruddy and riddled with weeds. Outfielders allegedly kept extra balls hidden out there in the event that the ones in play eluded them.

About the Author

Weeks spent most of his life in the Capital District area of New York. He earned a degree in psychology from SUNY Albany. In 2004, he migrated to Malone, NY. He continues to gripe about the frigid winter temperatures to the present day. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, he writes about the game because he lacked the skill to play it professionally. He still can't hit a curve ball or lay off the high heat. Baseball’s Dynasties is his fourth nonfiction work.
For More Information

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Feature: The Junior Officer Bunkroom by J.J. Zerr


Inside the Book:

The Junior Officer Bunkroom
Title: The Junior Officer Bunkroom 
Author: J.J. Zerr 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Pages: 282 
Genre: Military 
Format: Ebook

It is 1970, and Jon Zachery is a young United States Navy pilot who wants nothing more than to gain combat experience during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, his patriotic sacrifice is of no value to the navy or the nation. His squadron has been slated to decommission with most of its pilots destined for dead-end jobs. As the pro-war lieutenant awaits his orders and drowns his sorrows in whiskey, his wife, Teresa, prays and hopes for a better tomorrow. Navy Lieutenant Amos Kane is a natural stick-and-throttle jockey who is known as Cool Hand Duke in the air and a prankster on the ground. As his dreams of being an attack pilot in ’Nam are taken away, he begins dating Charlotte Wilkins, who convinces him to adopt an antiwar philosophy. When orders cause Zachery and Kane’s paths to converge in a bunkroom aboard an aircraft carrier in the Tonkin Gulf, it quickly becomes evident that the two lieutenants have vastly different viewpoints. As tragedy strikes and antagonism escalates, everyone discovers just how quickly life can change. In this military thriller, the paths of two navy pilots come together in a JO bunkroom during the Vietnam War where their perspectives clash, instigating life-changing consequences.

The Junior Officer Bunkroom is available for order at

Meet the Author:

J. J. Zerr is a United States Navy and Vietnam veteran who holds bachelor and master’s degrees in engineering. He has published poetry, short stories, and other novels. J. J. and his wife reside in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. Visit the author’s website at

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'Fairly Certain' Deborah Ann Davis

DEBORAH ANN DAVIS has been writing since she was assigned to keep a Journal in her 5th grade English class. She began to look around for writing inspiration. Lo and behold, she found her world was full of funny stories just waiting to be told. As she grew older, occasionally she could manipulate one into some school assignment, but it never occurred to her to pursue writing, not even when she discovered her flare for telling stories at college parties.

After a string of college majors, she realized she could have a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As it turns out, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? Then there's the added bonus that once kids know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh.

Go figure.

In addition to Writing, she is also an Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer. She taught for 25+ years, although somewhere in the middle of all that educating, she stepped out of teaching for 6 years to do the Mommy Thing, and run the office for their family construction company.

Even though they had followed separate paths, Deborah reunited with, and married her childhood sweetheart, twelve years after their first kiss.  Together they coached their daughter’s AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years their daughter and their money went to college.

They currently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. She enjoys dabbling with living a sustainable life, writing novels for her Love of Fairs series, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. She promotes increasing the amount of movement throughout your day via Wiggle Writer posts on Merry Meddling.

Remember, you can do anything if you set your mind to it— including becoming an author at any age— but it’s way more fun if you are grinning back when the Universe smiles down on you.

Deborah’s latest book is the new adult novel, Fairly Certain.
For More Information
About the Book:

What happens when a Computer Geek challenges a Medieval Outlaw?

PETIR TAKES A ROUGH TUMBLE IN THE CONNECTICUT WOODS, and awakens in the middle of old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow… and arrow. In his college world, fair maiden types don’t ordinarily go for computer geek
types, but for some reason, he is no longer in his world. Petir’s fairly certain he can try whatever he wants without consequence… but the fair maiden isn’t playing fair.

WITH THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE ROYALS ESCALATING, MAID RIANNE has joined the outlaws hiding in the woods, outwardly defying the handsome and accomplished knight to whom she is promised. She is fairly certain she is simply flattered by Lord Petir’s uncensored admiration of her skills with the staff and bow, the same unmaidenly pursuits disdained by her knight. But, that doesn’t explain her reaction to Lord Petir’s unguarded gaze.

TO PETIR’S DELIGHT, AND MAID RIANNE’S DISMAY, the outlaws invite him to join their merry band. What better way to get close to her? Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne. It’s fun and games, until Maid Rianne is captured by the enemy. Now, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue a fair maiden who has become much more than fair game.

“Adorably romantic!”   An absolutely fun, adorable, romantic read that will thoroughly entertain you, no ifs, ands, or buts! The plot was extremely unique and I l-o-v-e-d just how unusual it was. It was thoughtfully planned out and written with a smooth glide, seemingly effortless on the author’s part. The ending was surprisingly unexpected and I’m thinking I really, really like this new-to-me-author, Ms. Deborah Ann Davis! I’m already anxiously awaiting her next book. Don’t miss Fairly Certain or I’m completely certain you’ll be upset you did!
-- Review by bookshellz

For More Information

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

I went to a Renaissance Faire in Guilford, CT. I interviewed the boot maker, the blacksmith, a weaver, and a spinner of yarn that she dyed herself. Of course, at the time I didn’t know I was researching a book, or that I was interviewing them. I was just curious. In the middle of it all, the plot of my book suddenly appeared.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

I decided to do it all myself. It’s been a fantastic learning experience, one that unexpectedly ramped up my speaking career. I now do presentations called “The Audacity of Indie Publishing.”

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

I hired a formatter, Kate Richards from Wizards in Publishing. She and her crew have been fantastic. I originally hired them to do my editing because I knew how important it is to have your work professionally edited.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

I asked around, and checked out similar books at the bookstores.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

Yes, but it never works out. I try to have the book ready a couple of months before I go on a book tour, but you know what happens to the best laid plans. Even now, I’m supposed to go on the Novel Fun in the Summer Sun Book Tour on Cape Cod in two weeks. Most likely “Fairly Certain” will be ready for pick up from the printer 3 days before I leave, but “Fairly Safe” won’t be ready…and it’s supposed to be launched on this book tour. And, my original intention was to do the PUYB Virtual Book Tour with “Fairly Safe” but that’s been pushed back a month. Oh well, it all comes out in the wash.

How did you choose your cover?

Becca E. Davis, aka my cherub, did the original design, and Roxy Ryan produced the cover. I originally wanted the cover to be different from the others, but it turns out that YA covers are a mixed bag.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

Yes to both. I am afflicted with The Never Ending Edit Curse. Every time I look at my book, I want to tweak it.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book? 

Since I don’t have a traditional publisher providing me with an advance, my Swag Budget was sunk into paying for the book cover design, the editing, the printing, the ISBNs, etc.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

It scares me to market free books, however I’m happy to use them for prizes in contests, donate them to school libraries where I used to teach, and donate them to the libraries in the towns I’ve lived in.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

Proofread; hire professionals.
Use a reputable printer. If you can, hire locally. My printer is 90 minutes away. My car uses a lot less gas than a delivery truck.
Get reviews!

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

Start the next book.
Stop editing it.
Ramp up your promotions.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?

I hired a wonderful company, PUYB, with a wonderful woman, Dorothy, to help me get my name out there. I used LinkedIn to find people to review my book. I got a college kid to help me set up Pinterest and Hootsuite. I began a quarterly newsletter, Merry Meddling this year. I sell my book at events set up by CAPA and APSS, and I’m going on my second Book Tour the last two weeks of July. Personally, I find the promotions the most difficult part of Indie Pubbing.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

The third book in the Love of Fairs series, “Fairly Obvious” should be done this year. I’d like to sell it as a set along with “Fairly Certain” and “Fairly Safe.”  In an unrelated arena, I am writing the upcoming workbook for teenage girls, whose working title is “Girl’s Guide to Good Guys: The Power of Being Patient and Picky.”

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

If you like to laugh, if you enjoy quirky characters, and if an unexpected twist at the end keeps you coming back for more, you will love “Fairly Certain.” I love connecting with readers, so please let me know how you liked the book. You can reach me at my website, .