Wednesday, February 25, 2015

William Galaini ~ an interview and his novel The Line


William Galaini


William Galaini grew up in Pennsylvania and Florida. His mother gave him an early love of reading, especially when it came to the great classics of science fiction. He is also a history buff and fascinated by mythology and folklore. His various vocational pursuits include being a singer in a professional high school choir, manager of the call center at a luxury resort, U.S. Army medic, prison guard, and middle school English teacher. As such, he is perfectly suited to breech a solid metal door, humanely restrain the enemy within, and politely correct their grammar all while humming Handel’s Messiah and drinking a lovely cuppa tea.
He currently hangs his hat, rucksack, and tweed smoking jacket in Northern Virginia.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a color? Think personality here. Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious color?

A: I’m actually colorblind. It doesn’t mean I see only in black and white, but it does mean the cones in my eyes do not process the full spectrum of color. For instance, purple and violet are just blue to me, and pink is either just grey or light blue.

So, with that in mind and in context of the question… does that mean I can’t see my own personality? Is my perception of myself dulled and muted when compared to how others see me? When I try and match my personality with others, do I clash!?

Q: How do you feel when a reader (or a fan) takes the time to contact you?
A: Ecstatic. Honored. Or, at least that’s how I’ll feel if it happens!

Q: What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all time favorite song?
A: Any music that can transport me into the mindset of the performer and composer is what I gravitate toward. I really enjoy music that can convey a story, with or without lyrics. Kitka as well as anything by James Newton Howard is excellent to write to.
I don’t think I have an all time favorite song per se, but there is always an amazing song for a specific moment.
Unless it is ‘My Humps’ by Black Eyed Peas. That song will never be welcome during any moment ever.

Q: If your life were a movie would it be considered an action film, comedy, drama, romance, fantasy or a combination?
A: It would be considered a studio disaster, flopping at the box office and ending the careers of those involved. The script would be a sloppy mess and the director would walk off the set only to be replaced by either a producer or one of the actors that suddenly joins the DGA.
So, basically my life is the movie ‘Town and Country’ starring Warren Beatty.

Q: How do you handle a writer's block?
A: I’m about to curse myself here, but I’ve never had it. When reading and speaking with other writers about the nightmare that writer’s block is, I do my very best not to let on that I have never suffered from “not” being able to write.
Granted, I don’t write every day, and I typically know when to walk away from a blank page or a frustrating segment, but I always can return a few minutes or hours later and be on task.

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: I always THINK I know. And then the characters do something brilliantly sensible and yoink my intended destination out from under me. This type of organic surprise is my favorite moment of writing: discovering you were wrong and they story itself teaches you what is correct.

Q: Do you like to read the genre that you write?
A: At first I didn’t understand this particular question. I actually could not fathom writing in a genre I didn’t love, but after a few minutes of reflection the callous part of me realized that some people might be capable of writing in a genre that does not compel them. Perhaps this is why I’ve never had writer’s block?

Q: How does the man in your life feel about the genre you write? Has he read any of your work?
A: First off, I think there would be a lot of surprise flying around. Mostly because I’m married to a woman and I’m not sure who ‘man’ this is. But after that initial surprise wears off for my wife and I, we would most likely try and get him onboard with the writing thing. Hopefully he’s a nice lad who enjoys a good read.

Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: My publicist is encouraging me to write a six-part science fiction series. I’ve never done a series before, so the planning is enormous when compared to a single novel. Everything has to be outlined and foreshadowed properly before I take a single step. My main worry is that once volume one is released, I will have set in motion a story arc that cannot be altered beyond a particular direction.
It’s scary!

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: I do, in fact. Thank you. It is called ‘Trampling in the Land of Woe,’ and it is about Hephaestion sneaking into Hell to rescue Alexander the Great. It takes place during the 1920’s on Earth so Hell has trains and zeppelins. It is a blending of Dante’s Divine Comedy and steampunk.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?


Page count: 

Science Fiction

The Blurb
Suspended in the nothing between timelines, the station Janus is an unseen marvel: the greatest technological achievement in human innovation. From Janus, Gustavo and his hand-selected team of historians and engineers venture into the past and observe history, unseen and unnoticed.

But they are not alone.

Another traveler is shattering history. Unhindered by desires to remain scientific and uninvolved, the intruder’s technology is far advanced with methods more brutal and a present more terrifying than anything Gustavo and his team are prepared for. As they apply their intellects and skills towards solving the mystery of the ferocious interloper, they discover that they have its full attention.

Wyatt looked to the heads-up display that covered his face and saw that he was standing in Sierra Leone, West Africa, thirty miles northeast of Freetown. The year was 1994 and the sun stabbed spears of light through the leafy canopy overhead. The common thunderstorms of October had already passed, and the drier air made the leaves vibrant and the breeze less suffocating.
There was a serenity to the wilderness around him that was betrayed the moment he looked at the surrounding carnage.
Wyatt’s feet were silent, even to the birds and insects about, and he softly toed his way among the spent shell casings and strewn viscera toward the table at the center of the abandoned rebel camp. Not a soul breathed except Wyatt and his partner, Rupert.
“We’re clear,” Wyatt said after clicking his com on with his tongue. Despite Rupert being a mere twenty feet away, it was the only way for them to verbally communicate. “I’m not seeing anything breathing within sixty yards of camp. What have you got there?”
With the hints of a crisp West Indies accent, Rupert responded. “I have a trophy table. I count twelve among the dead, but there are more trophies here than that number…so I suspect either prisoners were taken post-amputation or we’re missing a stash of bodies…”
“There are tracks leading out of camp in several directions with blood and tar on the leaves. Maybe the assailants diced them and then dipped the wounds in one of the tar buckets and sent them on their way. Old Navy trick.”
“Maybe …” Rupert replied skeptically. Wyatt looked about some more. Several of the shelters were built into half-dug mounds for keeping them temperate as well as disguised from the air, so he decided to explore one of those. Careful not to slip in the blood pools on the dirt-ramp that led down, Wyatt disappeared into darkness. “Looks like a makeshift armory,” he said, as much for Rupert’s ear buds as Wyatt’s own records. “The usual. Some surface-to-air, AK’s, kids’ versions of AK’s, mines, a lot of Russian made ordnance, but hardly from Russia … most likely diamond-bought from neighbors who in turn got them from the Ukraine…” Wyatt put his face as close as he could without touching the leaning rifle in order to try to read the serial number. “Yep, Ukraine. Made post-bloc and second or third hand.”
Looking further, Wyatt found maps of the region on the wall as well as photos of various local women being gang-raped or beaten to death. A few pictures were of both at once. “These guys were RUF.” Wyatt added finally.
“Clearly, given the year,” Rupert said. “Check out the tent next to that building you’re in and tell me what you think. After that, you’ll really want to see what is on this table I’m looking at…”
“Wilco,” Wyatt said, not unhappy about leaving the armory and its garish photography. Stepping back into the shafted sunlight, he could stand his full height, and spent a moment taking in the camp, as a whole, before moving on.
There were bodies everywhere. The black skin of the Sierra Leone rebels, in some ways, hid how much blood there really was. Blackened and baked, the bodily fluids had soaked into the ground and saturated the torn uniforms and casual clothes the RUF had worn. Some of the dead had their heads literally crushed into the dirt, collapsed with eyes bulging and tongues bitten off into the dust. Others had crumpled sternums, ribs crackled into spider-leg compound fractures jutting up from their chests toward the peeking sun. One man had his pants around his ankles with his genitals torn off and shoved into his mouth. It was clear that while under attack, they were in various stages of dress and preparedness. They had been taken completely off guard.
Wyatt was a veteran of many military and government sanctioned conflicts. Some of those conflicts never even had names. He had seen enough bloodshed and violence that he stopped wondering where his tolerance for it would stop. What he witnessed here was something entirely new. Trying to form  the words to explain how astounded he was, Wyatt found that adjectives failed him. So he moved on to the tent that Rupert had indicated prior.
Instantly it was clear what the tent was. In the far back, at the center, was a small television. There were two rows of twig and straw beddings that lined the whole tent and all about were pornographic magazines, board games, empty wine bottles, and drug paraphernalia. Toeing around the bedding, tossed clothes, and bottles, Wyatt made his way to the TV and looked at the VHS cassette tapes. Rambo 2, various Jason and Freddy horror movies, and a few unlabeled tapes were present.
It was clearly a tent for training child soldiers, and at the center of it was a body crushed to the limit of human recognition, its spine bent almost ninety degrees.
Wyatt was familiar with the ‘recruitment’ process of snatching up refugee children, making them think their families rejected them, and desensitizing them through drugs, porn, violence, and cruelty. “Okay, but there are no bodies of kids anywhere.” Wyatt walked through the back of the tent nearest the jungle’s brush line and found a whole row of tiny tracks leading into the darkened depths of the distance. He was about to comment on how they clearly weren’t running given the length between each footprint when he saw a new pair of footprints. They weren’t boots. They looked more like bare feet. And the distinct prints were massive and deep compared to the small march of children’s tracks. All led to the jungle.
Wyatt crouched down at the large prints to make sure his recording devices would pick up everything possible. He switched his HUD to heat vision, cycled through electromagnetic fields, and took a near-silent sonic ‘ping’ that would map out the dimensions of the print. The on-board computer displayed across his vision that the footprint had been pressed into the ground by over three hundred pounds of pressure at a whopping shoe size of eighteen or beyond.
Wyatt gazed out into the jungle, to wherever the large-footed person had guided those children, and wondered where and if he could see someone looking back. He allowed himself a moment.
“Okay, let me see this trophy table.” Wyatt walked around the tent, always cautious of where he was stepping and how hard. To disturb anything whatsoever was a major concern. On his way, Wyatt found another print … large, perfect, and deeper in the front – as if the owner had stomped on the ball of their foot and pivoted… but there were no accompanying prints near it.
Mind still aflutter with the mental sketch of these large assailants, he wasn’t quite ready for what Rupert had to show him. He stood across the table from Rupert, looking down at the large arranged pile of collected hands on top of it. Rupert was constantly tilting his head to allow his eye pieces to take detailed measurements and readings. Some fingers were broken and twisted, but nearly every hand was cleanly severed, some prior to death and some after. Wyatt sighed.
“This is the single largest act of anger I have ever seen. It’s a bloody marvel.”
He had finally found the words he had been looking for.

Buy links:
Barnes & Noble:

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?

Q: Are you currently participating in a blog tour? If you are let’s tell everyone where you’re going to be so they can catch up with you again.


A: Yes, I’m currently on tour. Here are the links:
Kellie's Reading Nook
The Kindle Book Review

February 22, 2015
Books That Hook
The Quintessential Bibliophile

February 23, 2015
The Blog on Writing
Jeanz Book Read N Review

February 24, 2015
eBook Review Gal
Lime Light Literature

February 25, 2015
Larry Eissler
The Book Landers
Books and Banter

February 26, 2015
Hyper Ashley

February 27, 2015
Where Books Lead Us
Once Upon a Book
Books and Brooches

February 28, 2015
Kelly Smith Reviews
Lady A Literature

After Party
The Book Eaters

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Funny/Stupid and Interesting Tabs.

Come back and visit again.
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Steven Donahue ~ an interview and his novel ~ Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad

Steven Donahue 

Steven Donahue was a copywriter for TV Guide magazine for 14 years. His first novel, Amanda Rio, was published in 2004. He released three novels in 2013: The Manila Strangler (Rainstorm Press), Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom (Hydra Publications), and Comet and Cupid’s Christmas Adventure (Createspace). His fifth novel, Chasing Bigfoot (Createspace) was published in 2014, and his short story Grit was also included in the anthology Hero’s Best Friend by Seventh Star Press in 2014.

I live in Bucks County, PA (just north of Philadelphia) with my wife Dawn, and our four dogs Chase, Riley, Zoey and Scarlet. I have always loved books, starting with author Matt Christopher's sports novels to more advanced books from John Jakes, Ernest Hemmingway, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. I work as a customer service representative for a health-care company, but my dream is to become successful enough with writing to write fulltime.

When I'm not writing, I'm reading, rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles, playing with our dogs, or watching too much television. My current work-in-progress is a novel about the Holocaust and the horrible tool it took on humanity.     


Q: Tell me something you would like your readers (fans) to know about you.
A: I love writing. My dream is to become successful enough so I can do it full time (I know, like everyone else) and I’ve wanted to be a best-selling author since middle school. I can’t imagine a better job.

Q: If you could morph into any creature what would it be?
A: A Great White shark.

If you don’t mind me asking, why?   
A: They are the undisputed kings of the ocean. They are also the closest thing to a perfect creature that we have on this planet. It saddens me to see them hunted out of fear and misconceptions. Humans have done far more damage to shark populations than they could ever do to us. We need them for ecological reasons, yet we stupidly hunt sharks into near extinction. 

Q: What is your least favorite word? Is there a reason?
A: Hashtag. It’s one of those nearly meaningless words that people in the media can’t stop using. Enough already! #Ihatehashtags.   

Q: What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all-time favorite song?
A: I listen to many different styles of music, but I prefer classic rock and early rock-and-roll music. I love the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, the Who, Genesis, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley. My favorite song is Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding.    


Q: Who's your favorite author?
A: Again I have to go with the classics: Ernest Hemmingway, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, John Jakes and Edgar Allen Poe. As a kid I fell in love with author Matt Christopher, who wrote sports books for kids.   

Q: How do you handle a writer's block?
A: I am very fortunate in that I don’t get writer’s block. Quite the opposite. I have so many ideas that I’ll need three lifetimes to write them all. Sometimes I am so bombarded with book ideas that it is difficult to choose which one to write next. I know it’s a good problem to have.  

Q: Do you write long hand first, or does it go straight into the computer?
A: I am keyboard-oriented. So much so, that I have trouble writing with a pen and paper. It just doesn’t feel as natural as writing on a computer. I guess that’s what happens when you spend 20 years writing with a keyboard.

Q: Are you a sit down and play it by ear kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
A: I write outlines for my books before I start writing the story. I am flexible. I do wind up adding or changing details as I go along. However, having a solid blueprint makes the process smoother for me.   


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I am currently working on a novel about the Holocaust. As horrible as that event was, it holds a certain fascination for me. I also want my book to be a reminder of what can happen when insanity and the loss of human rights go unchecked. 

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: My latest book is Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad. The novel is about a slave family that tries to escape to the northern part of the United States in 1853. The story deals with discrimination as its apex. It is also a story about the strength of the human spirit. There are abolitionists who try to help the family on their journey to freedom, but there are also those who seek to stop them.


The thrilling story of four slaves who try to escape to the northern area of the United States along the Underground Railroad in 1853. Kelsa Colver leads her husband and two young sons on the dangerous trek after a fellow slave is murdered by a vindictive slave owner. Along the way, the Colvers are assisted by various abolitionists, including a neighboring farmer, a progressive priest, a sympathetic lawman, and notable figures Harriet Tubman and William Still. However, their efforts are impeded by a dark family secret, and the interventions of a corrupt clergyman, vicious outlaws and greedy slave hunters. 

         The hot water covered Kelsa Colver’s hands as she scrubbed the dried food from the plate in the sink. She rinsed off the plate and carefully placed it into the dish rack before she looked out the kitchen window at the two boys playing in the yard. The boys ran and laughed and wrestled with each other, lost in their youthful exuberance. Kelsa smiled at their playfulness. She admired them for finding such joy. She hoped her sons would hold onto that bliss for as long as they could, for she knew that their future would be filled with very few moments like this one.

            Kelsa turned off the faucet and dried her calloused hands on a dishtowel. She slowly hung the towel on the ring at the bottom of the wooden towel rack. A faint breeze blew across her light-brown face as the late afternoon sun began to set. She knew that soon she would have to start making dinner for the Mallards and she wondered what the lady of the house would demand for their meal. The rich family had expensive tastes. They feasted on the best meats, the finest cheeses, and the priciest wines. The money they spent on food each month could feed dozens of ordinary people. The 130-acre Mallard plantation produced more corn and tobacco than any farm in the county, and Jackson Mallard, the patriarch, enjoyed the excesses of his wealth. He also relished in showing off his prosperity with lavish parties that bolstered his position in the community.

            The Mallard fortune allowed the family to buy as many slaves as was needed in 1853 to work the plantation and keep the home pristine. Kelsa was a domestic servant. Her duties included cooking, cleaning, washing dirty clothes and any other task Virginia Mallard assigned to her. She was one of four such indoor laborers and she did her best to please Mrs. Mallard. Kelsa had been around long enough to know what happens to a servant when their work is judged subpar. The punishment was always swift and merciless.  

            Kelsa opened the screen door and stepped out onto the back deck. The fleeting daylight signaled the end of the workday for those in the fields, and Kelsa looked forward to seeing her husband Wade and spending what little time they have with their sons Paul and Diamond. She knew that would have to wait, but the anticipation kept her spirits up. She crossed her arms over her chest as the boys raced toward her.

            Paul was 12-years-old and he already had the thick, muscular arms and legs that he inherited from his father. He was taller than most boys his age, and his graceful movements defied his unusual size. His younger brother Diamond was physically opposite. The 8-year-old boy had slender legs, a frail upper body, and his soft skin was not as dark as Paul’s. His saving grace was his superb speed and balance, traits that allowed him to escape from his big brother in times of need.

            The older boy chased his prey as the youths recklessly circled their mother while she stood behind the oval table that was flanked by two smaller end tables. She warned them to slow down, but they ignored her. She tried to grab her younger son, but he slipped past her and looked over his shoulder with a grin. Diamond lost sight of where he was and he ran into one of the end tables, knocking it over. A glass vase on the table shattered as it smashed onto the ground.

            The boys stopped dead in their tracks and stared at their mother. Her face became flushed. She quickly reached for a nearby broom as a brawny, white man approached them. “What the hell is going on here?” shouted Bo Torch. The plantation’s overseer held a leather whip in his right hand and he tightened his grip on it as he halted in front of Paul. The boy kept his head down as he trembled. “You know you’re not allowed near the house.” The man’s face reddened and a vein bulged in his forehead. He grabbed Paul and shook him. “Look at me when I’m talking to you boy,” he shouted. Paul looked up at him with tears on his cheeks. Kelsa swept up the mess and averted the man’s eyes.

            The whip came down across the back of Paul’s legs with a sickening crack. Kelsa instinctively moved toward her son, but froze when Bo glared at her. The man whacked the child four more times as the boy cried out in pain. Then Bo snarled at Diamond without moving toward him. “You better be more careful if you don’t want the same.” Diamond bit his trembling bottom lip. Bo held his position for a few tense seconds before he turned and marched away from the house. He disappeared in the oncoming darkness before anyone else moved.

            Paul ran over to his mother and wrapped his arms around her. She held him tightly as he sobbed. He told her over and over again that he was sorry. She gently rubbed his back and kissed his cheeks as she tried to calm him down. After he stopped breathing heavily, Kelsa carefully examined the back of his legs. Dark bruises had already formed. His broken skin shed blood that ran down to his feet. Kelsa guided him into the kitchen and tended to his wounds.

            “It’s not fair, Mama,” said Paul, as he hugged her again. Diamond had followed them into the kitchen and he stood silently by the door. “Why do I always get in trouble? They never do anything to him.” He pointed accusingly at his brother. “He knocked over the table. I didn’t.”

            His mother gave him a stern look. “Now Paul, you were both breaking the rules,” she said. Her expression softened. “You know you’re not supposed to play near the house. And you are the older brother. Part of your responsibility is watch out for Diamond.” Paul shook his head and sighed. Kelsa knew he wasn’t satisfied with her answer. She softly patted his behind. “Run along now, you two. I’ll bring some food over after I’m done here.” Paul limped out the door without speaking to his brother.

            However, Diamond remained where he was. Kelsa glared at him. “What do you think you’re doing young man?” she asked. He didn’t respond. He remained still with his gaze fixed on his mother’s face. They stared at each other in silence. Kelsa extended her arms toward him. He ran to her and hugged her tightly. Kelsa pulled back and lifted his delicate chin with the edge of her fingers. “What do you want to tell me?” she asked.

            “I’m sorry, Mama,” he said softly. He rubbed his right eye. “I didn’t mean to get in trouble. We were just fooling around.” Kelsa said she understood. Diamond paused and took a deep breath. “Mama, why don’t they whip me?” he asked. He pressed his lips together and lowered his eyebrows as if he were trying to solve a puzzle.

            Kelsa shook her head. “I don’t know, baby,” she replied. “Maybe it’s because you’re so young,” she offered. She lightly took hold of his hands. 

            The child looked down at the floor. “No, that’s not it. The other boys get whipped and some of them are younger than I am.” He shrugged. “I don’t want to get hit, but when I don’t, the others make fun of me. They call me a princess and a pet.” He took another long breath. “And Paul hates me.” His body shook and his grasp on her hands intensified.

            “No, baby,” replied Kelsa. She slipped her hands out of his tight grip. “Your brother doesn’t hate you. He hates the white folks who treat us this way.” She kissed his forehead. “And that’s not good either. We shouldn’t hate anybody. God wants us to love everyone, no matter how hard it is or what they do to us.” She looked intently into his eyes. “Do you understand what I mean?” He nodded obediently. She rubbed his right shoulder and the motion caused his shirt to slide down, revealing the diamond-shaped birthmark at the base of his neck. She fixed his shirt and kissed him again as the swinging door on the other side of the room opened.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: Readers can fine me at my book websites:

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Come back and visit again.