Official Blog for the Animated Insights of Shannon Muir: Animation Pro and Author

An animation professional known for her desire to give forward to pros and fans alike, Shannon has expanded her reach to writing prose, and showcasing those authors as well. Read interviews and guest posts from INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS, plus Shannon's own content.

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Dark Wine Waters Cover

INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS FLASHBACK: BLOG TOUR – Dark Wine Waters

DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS  by Virtual Author Book Tours, including interview questions exclusive to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS.  No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

Fran SimonePublisher: Central Recovery Press (July 15, 2014)
Category: Non-fiction, Memoir, Substance Abuse, Codependency
ISBN: 978-1-937612-64-1
Tour Date: June/July, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 224 Pages

The dynamics of codependency are illuminated in this heartbreaking story of a marriage comprised by a husband’s addiction to alcohol.

Through the eyes of love clouded by denial, Fran saw the danger signs but ignored them. Her husband, Terry, was accomplished, romantic, and good-natured. A newly divorced single parent, Fran was ready for love. She recounts the joys and sorrows of their relationship, including Terry’s attempts to control his drinking, her attempts to control him, his death, and her subsequent recovery.

Interview with Fran Simone:

What initially got you interested in writing?

I read a lot when I was a child and dreamed of becoming a writer but that dream seemed unattainable coming from a working class family. Not that my parents weren’t loving and supportive, but they wanted me to have a secure and good paying job. Also I went to Catholic schools back in the day when  girls were encouraged to become teachers, nurses or nuns.

 

How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?

As I said I was always an avid reading so I majored in English in college and then went to graduate school where I obtained a doctorate. At the university I directed a statewide writing project and also taught writing classes. About  midway through my career I decided to have a go myself. 

 

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? 

People can overcome tragedy and move beyond it. .I want my readers to take away hope that one day they will lead happy and fulfilling lives despite what challenges they face.

 

What do you find most rewarding about writing? 

Filling a blank page with words even though you don’t know where you’re going and discovering things as you go along.  

 

What do you find most challenging about writing?  

Finding just the right words to convey my thoughts and ideas.

 

 

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field? 

Read widely as much as you can.

 

 

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? 

Last year, my eye doctor invited a group of us to accompany him on a mission trip to the Chiapas  region of Mexico. We spent a week examining eyes, writing prescriptions, fitting patients for eyeglasses and the docs did surgery mainly for cataracts.  Hundreds of people travelled to a small village in the mountains for treatment that they otherwise would have never received. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

 

 

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

Visit my website darkwinewaters@gmail.com or email darkwinewaters@gmail.com; ; I write a blog for the  loved ones of family members with substance abuse disorders for Psychology Today under the Addiction category.

Excerpt from ‘Dark Wine Waters’ by Fran Simone:

Several weeks after we returned to Charleston, I received a postcard in a familiar handwriting–Terry- from Bellagio, Italy. The inscription read: “This is paradise. Aren’t we having a good time?  Love, T.”

We almost didn’t end up at Bellagio. From Menton we drove along the coast to San Remo where terraced fields of roses, carnations, and camellias filled the hillsides. Our bliss, however, was temporarily punctured in Genoa. I don’t recall exactly what happened. Perhaps I made some remark about his drinking, but I do remember how we sat on opposite ends of an empty tour bus, pouting like three-year-olds.

Later that day, we declared a truce as we packed the Renault and headed toward Lake Como.

“Frannie, it’s been a long day. I’m tired. Why don’t we stop in the town of Como and spend the night?”

“I really want to get to Bellagio today. I read a description in the AAA guide: It’s a town on the peninsula that divides the two sides of Lake Como. Outstanding hotels and restaurants. Plenty to see. So what do you think?”

“The guidebook says about 27 kilometers. What’s that in miles? I always get confused.”

“It’s about fifteen. But no telling how long it’ll take on these roads. They’re like back home.  And you aren’t a very good navigator.”

“I’ll do the best I can. I promise. It’ll be worth it. You’ll see.” I hoped my enthusiasm for the town would rub off on Terry, and that the AAA guide wasn’t exaggerating.

As the Renault chugged up a narrow, winding road with hazardous switch backs, Terry looked straight ahead and gripped the steering wheel. We almost wrecked when an Italian driver in a red sports car blew his horn to signal a blind curve a second before the car shot through a hairpin turn.

“Basta. Italian drivers. Goddamn. Unbelievable.”

Late afternoon, our driving nerves were soothed, as we settled into an elegant room at the Hotel Florence where we were mesmerized by our view of the lakefront.  All reluctance and annoyance forgotten and swallowed up in the view from our windows.

Our guidebook recommended visits to The Basilica of San Giacomo, the gardens of the Serbelloni Villa, the chapel  at  Villa Melzi and other “must see” sites.  We wound up and down steep stone steps past iron balconies festooned with clay pots of red geraniums or laundry drying under hot sun. At the many shops tucked below apartments, we admired fine silks and Venetian glass jewelry. I purchased a tee shirt for Matt and silk scarves for Terry’s mother and aunt.

We drank wine at a café on the lake and sampled food cooked in heaven: lake trout, perch, fluffy risotto, and ripe white peaches. Our love making become another delish dish to savor, and savor we did.

Like the excursion boats slowly crisscrossing the surface of the lake, we floated in a perfect dream. In my journal I wrote:  “I’m totally happy.”

So was the composer Franz Liszt. In 1837, while cavorting with the Countess d’Agoult, he wrote, “When you write the story of two happy lovers, set them on the shores of Lake Como.   I know of no other spot more obviously blessed by heaven.”

Bellagio soared to the top of my most favorite list. Numero uno to this day.

Years later, on my fiftieth birthday, Terry surprised me with a savings passbook marked “Italy”. He recorded the sum of $400.00 in the top column.  My birthday card read: “This is a down payment for a return trip to Bellagio. Love, Terry.”

“I figure if we put away a hundred or so each month, we can swing a return trip in about a year. That’s if you can control your spending. Can you manage to limit your shopping for clothes and household doodads?” Terry asked.

“Of course. For a return trip to paradise, I’ll try, really try.”

But I continued to spend.

He continued to drink.

Praise for Dark Wine Waters’ by Fran Simone:

“Dark Wine Waters goes way beyond the plethora of recovery books. It is a beautifully written memoir, with its charming water motif throughout, and it so clearly offers everyone a way to continue, to be happy, despite whatever happens. In this,  the author has handed all of us a true gift.”-Cat Pleska, president of Mountain State Press and author,  Riding on Comets (forthcoming, April, 2015) 

“Brutally frank and fearless in its honesty, Fran Simone’s book is a gift for those who love or have loved alcoholics or addicts. She tells the story of how she jumped into a relationship with a man she never imagined would have the disease of alcoholism. She simply had no reference for such an illness and missed all the clues. Once in love and married, she struggled to keep their life together, admitting she made every mistake possible.
This book boldly explains how alcoholism seduces and corrupts the most innocent of people, both the drinker and the ones who love them. Nicely written and well crafted, Simone’s memoir will appeal to those who enjoy a human interest and love story. But more importantly, it is for those caught in the darkness of loving someone with this disease and how they can find joy and hope and a better way to live through recovery.”- L. Farwell, Amazon Reviewer

“Fran Simone has written an intimate, deeply honest, and absorbing memoir that clearly shows the four stages of alcoholism through the years of her marriage to Terry. When she begins writing their story and the narrative starts to take shape, she finds “the courage to admit my faults, face my fears, and forgive my husband and myself.” Her honesty is compelling.
I particularly like the way the author organizes her story, dividing the book into four parts, each opening with an epigraph of the disease stage. Part 1, for example, opens with “The addict has a ‘wow’ experience and begins to form a relationship with the drug. Family members may observe subtle changes in personality, and a formidable barrier to communication appears: denial.” I leave the rest for you to read.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a very well told narrative that intimately shares the lives of two very human people ensnared in the full throes of the disease of alcoholism.”-Mary Jo Doig, Story Circle Book Reviews

“I was absorbed in this book from the very first page. The author takes us on her journey through life with an alcoholic from the moment she falls in love with him through the inevitable sad conclusion, yet gives those of us in this struggle hope for recovery.
This book is written with the honesty that can only come from the experience of living those highs and lows. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, whether you are just looking for an engagingly candid memoir or you are looking for clues to learn to cope when and if you’ve found yourself in a similar situation.”- Peggy E. Gunter, Amazom Reviewer

About Fran Simone:Fran Simone

Fran Simone, Ph.D. is a Professor Emeritus from Marshall University in West Virginia. She is the former director of  the WV Writing Project, a statewide affiliate of the National Writing Project, University of California at Berkeley. Her doctorate is from Duke University.

Her essays have appeared in The Voice and The Quarterly of  the National Writing Project,  the Charleston Gazette, Story Circle Network journal and anthology. Her blog posts have appeared online in Hazelden/Betty Ford.  She is a regular contributor to The Addiction Blog and to the Psychology Today blog. She is a member of Story Circle Network, the National Association of Memoir Writers and  West Virginia Writers, Inc. She conducts workshops on writing and speaks on addiction and recovery.

Honors: Featured author of the month, National Memoir Association, January, 2015.

Website: www.darkwinewaters.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darkwinewaters

Listen to the Interview with Fran Simone:

Buy ‘Dark Wine Waters’ by Fran Simone:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
Central Recovery Press

Follow the ‘Dark Wine Waters’ by Fran Simone Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews  June 5 Spotlight & Giveaway

Let’s Get BOOKED! June 8 Excerpt & Giveaway (postponed)

Inspire to Read  June 10 Spotlight

A place in the spotlight June 11  Interview

Pomegranate Radio June 19 Podcast Review

Indie Review Behind the Scenes June 19 Live Interview 6 PM cst

What U Talking Bout Willis? June 22 Review & Giveaway

Teddy Rose Book Reviews June 25 Review

Infinite House of Books July 8 Interview & Excerpt

Rockin’ Book Reviews July 15 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Deal Sharing Aunt July  22 Review

I’d Rather Be At The Beach July 28 Review & Giveaway

Create With Joy July 31 Review

Fran Simone

INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS FLASHBACK: GUEST POST – Rival Gates

DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS  by the author. No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by requirement of the Federal Trade Commission.

Cover Revenge

GUEST POST FROM THE AUTHOR

The Power of Words

By Rival Gates

I am writing this right around the 4th of July. It is at times like this that we, as a people, are reminded of the power of the written word. Thomas Paine wrote “Common Sense” and inspired many American Colonists to back the American Revolution. Strong words made the colonist’s point clear in the Declaration of Independence. More thought and ever-stronger language formed the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Other nations have similar stories of powerful writings that framed their country. I love public speaking and hold the great speakers in the highest regard. Other that a few famous quotes, though, speeches come and go. The written word is forever. And where do those speeches come from? They were written before a sound was ever heard. In today’s technology laden society, people are looking for instant gratification. They want to hear a song or watch a movie for entertainment. And let’s not forget social media. My own son told me people don’t have time to read words any more. But where do all their forms of entertainment start? That’s right. They all began with written words. They cannot go away because they are the foundation of all media. It is true that many people would rather go see a movie made from a book than actually read one. What gives me pride are the numbers of times I come out of such a movie and hear the patrons say, “The book was better.” I’ll let you in on a little secret. The book is always better! When you read a book, you interpret the setting and characters how you want. The story flows through your mind. At the movies you are seeing someone else’s vision of the story; edited for time. Your imagination will always create more of what you like than a Hollywood stranger. So next time you hear about a movie coming out you want to see, read the book first. Then see how the movie compares. Special effects can’t beat imagination.

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK – MANDREAN REVENGE

The master lost his temper and threw a stool across the room.

He stood by Necromancer shaking from his anger in frustration at

not being able to let it out at the wizard.

“Now,” Mandrean bellowed as he began to circle the albino,

“you didn’t help Grithinshield by any chance, did you?” He paused

and heard nothing in reply. “I didn’t think so,” Mandrean said with

sarcasm. “Because if you had helped Linvin kill me, that would

violate our little arrangement and present serious repercussions for

you.”

Necromancer did not speak. He merely looked away. Mandrean

found the silence more infuriating than the rude comments the

servant normally made.

“You do remember the agreement, do you not?” Necromancer

looked at him with a face that acknowledged the absurdity of the

question. That expression alone put his benefactor over the edge.

“You must follow my commands to the letter,” Mandrean

yelled. As if to prove his point, he barked an order.

Water had spilled on the floor from the bath. It made the surface

slippery and dangerous. “I wouldn’t want to slip and hurt myself in

a fall. Dry up all the water on the floor immediately!”

Necromancer rose and smiled knowingly. Then he waved his

hand. The floor turned red as it instantly became superheated. In as

much time as it took Mandrean to scream in pain and leap into the

water, all the liquid on the ground was dried and gone.

Necromancer was unaffected by the sudden change in ground

temperature as he hovered above the floor. He bowed in jest and

said, “As you commanded, Oh, great one, all the water on the floor

was dried up. Do you have any other commands that I may follow

so precisely?”

Mandrean’s feet were burned and throbbed in the water. “Now

you’ve done it, you miserable troll! It says in the Great Concession

that you cannot hurt me, or do you not remember?”

Necromancer smiled and knelt once again by the bath. “I know

the Great Concession better than you ever will, and it says that I

cannot hurt you of my own accord. There is nothing that says you

cannot be harmed while I follow your commands to the letter.

“And as far as remembering things go, here’s a quote you

should remember.” He stood and floated toward the stairs. Then

Necromancer turned and quoted, “You are mine—mine for mine

and nine of mine’s time.” He smiled with a mischievous look that

shivered down Mandrean’s spine. Then he pointed to the burned

emperor and said, “You are Nine.” With that, he turned and was

gone. The doors above slammed behind him.

Mandrean was submerged to his chin in the bath. His anger had

turned to terror so suddenly that he temporarily lost control of his

bodily functions.

 

HOW TO CONTACT THE AUTHOR

Web Site: http://www.rivalgates.com/

Blog: http://www.rivalgates.com/blog

http://rivalgates.tumblr.com/

 

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1qqrjiB

Twitter: RivalGates1

 

Purchase “Quest for the Red Sapphire”

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1npYd0S

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1mSIAkT

 

Purchase “The Sapphire Crucible”

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1lGfOVN

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1n8o0yN

 

Purchase “Mandrean Revenge”

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1L9c76S

Barnes & Noble : http://bit.ly/1QYOL2y

Find out more about Rival Gates in his interview for Quest for the Red Sapphire at our companion Tumblr site!

 

Reviews Are Coming In For THE DAME DID IT!

 

Check out THE DAME DID IT at Amazon and see the reviews coming in for this anthology, which includes my story, “Tragic Like a Torch Song”.

Shannon Muir with TEN MINUTE INTERVIEWS

 

Shannon Muir is interviewed about new pulp and genre fiction, as well as animation. Read the interview here.

INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS FLASHBACK: BLOG TOUR – Fevers

DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS  by Premiere Virtual Author Book Tours. No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer:

Joel HomerPublisher-ebook:  Zac Homer, (April 20, 2014)
Publisher-Print: Bantam
Category: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller, Some Romance
Tour Date: May/June, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 261 Pages

FEVERS is a novel unlike any you have ever read. Exotic adventure, white knuckled suspense, torrid romance, and a haunting portrait of three damaged individuals – one man who has turned beast, one who must confront the beast within himself, and the woman torn between them.

Rio de Janeiro. 1984.

There are rumors that somewhere deep in the steamy rainforest of the Amazon a man, once civilized, is hiding in green shadows. To the primitive Brazilian Indios, he is considered their long-awaited “pale-skinned messiah.” Others believe he is an evil god with powers to stir the native masses to a frenzied, killing pitch. And others suspect he might be Michael Fevers.

Into the lush tropics comes a troubled American, rebellious journalist, embittered Vietnam vet, desperate soldier of fortune. William Straw, who soon forms an uneasy alliance with a beautiful anthropologist, continues his tortured upriver journey-from jungle shantytown to opulent plantation, from explosive passion to brutal murder. Whether he is pursuing a story, an adventure, or a chance to finally exorcise his own inner demons, nothing will prepare William Straw for the sudden violence and bizarre cruelty of the one who is waiting ahead — Michael Fevers.

Praise for ‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer:

“Very engrossing novel. It felt a bit like reading a modern version of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The plot moves quickly and smoothly. The excitement never ends.”- Gerald Loev, Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt from the Book:

What manner of man was William Straw?

It was a question Maximilian Perreira asked himself often. As publisher-in-chief of the Rio Heraldo, he had good reason to be satisfied with his star reporter. In the six years since Straw first came to work for the newspaper, the circulation rate had greatly benefited from many a high-echelon scandal. Truly, William had earned his nickname. He was a gadfly, the best kind of gadfly, a gadfly with a penchant for rump of republic.

This gave Perreira pleasure. Loving his country, he hated his republic: the politicians and the military men and the bankers who had been so long the collective proprietor of an unhappy Brazil. He’d fought them all his professional life, first as a reporter himself, later as founder of the increasingly effective Heraldo, and could fully appreciate William Straw’s own battles against greed and hypocrisy and the philosophy of the fist.

Maximilian Perreira shook his head sadly. William took things so, so—personally. And responded with such indiscriminate fury. True, he’d been exposed to much excess in Vietnam, but he was a journalist now, by choice, and he lived in Brazil, also by choice, and no journalist in Brazil could afford to lose his objectivity.

This Indio business . . .

The government’s methods of dealing with the tribal peoples of the Amazon were shameful, and William had done well to reveal so many of the abuses. But the deeper he dug, the deeper he seemed to fall. It was almost as if the reporter were atoning for others’ sins. The drinking and brawling had become progressively worse. There’d been several unfortunate incidents. Nothing serious as yet. But the knives had long been out for the North American reporter. Powerful men, stung by O Tavão, were ready to retaliate in kind.

How long has it been now since he last called me? Two weeks? No. Closer to three.

He should never have allowed Straw to go off on his own. When the reporter had first come to him with the wild tale of an Indio insurrection in the upper reaches of the Amazon Basin, he should have flatly refused to authorize the investigation.

In which case, the publisher reflected ruefully, William would have investigated anyway.

Perreira pushed his chair away from the clutter of his desk and stared out the office window. On every side rose the spires of downtown Rio, opalescent in the bright morning sun. Here, atop his own hard-won tower, he was surrounded by the soaring headquarters of his old enemies. The oil cartels. The landowners’ combines. The banking houses. The bustling hives of the bureaucrats and soldiers and police.

Does he know? Does William know how truly dangerous they are?

The intercom buzzed.

“Yes, Vivi?”

“William Straw,” his secretary announced. “On line one.”

Perreira snatched up the phone and punched the appropriate button.

“William!”

“‘Lo, Max.”

“Are you all right? Where are you? It’s been weeks, you damn madman!”

“I was just waiting till I had something worth calling about. Turn on your machine, Max.”

Perreira pressed another button.

“Go ahead, William.”

“Okay. First thing, there’s lots of static on the basin about some upriver tribe called the Capo. Seems these Capo have been kicking much ass lately. It’s not a blood feud, Max, and it’s not territorial, either. Word is the beaten tribes are being absorbed into the Capo ranks. Oh, and you’re going to love this: the whole kit and caboddle’s being run by a white man. A norte-americano. Bearded like a jaguar, and impervious to darts, spears, axes, and bullets.”

“Nonsense.”

“So how come the F.S.U.’s snapping at my heels?”

“The F.S.U.?”

“In the evil flesh. I had a confab with one of them yesterday on the boat.”

“What boat? Where are you, William?”

“Xueloc, the skunk cabbage of the Amazon.”

“And what are you doing there?”

“Following tracks. I’m trying to find this old professor who knows our man in the jungle. His name’s . . . Roberto Aguzar. What’s wrong, Max?”

“One minute, William. There was a noise on the line. Are you using a safe phone?”

“Who the hell knows, Max. There are only two phones in the whole damn village. One’s in the custody of the Comandante de Polícia. I decided to pass it by, knowing how you tend to fret. This one’s at my hotel.”

“There! I heard it again.”

“So the phone’s tapped. So what? This is the F.S.U., Max. They’re not going to hear anything they don’t already know.”

“William? I want you back here.”

“You’re getting old, Max.”

“I am old, William. And it took some skill to reach my present age. If you don’t respect me, then respect at least my instincts for self-preservation. Don’t interfere with the F.S.U., William.”

“I honor every gray hair on top your old bowed head, Max. But we’re talking story. A big fat story.”

“Then report it when it’s done. This isn’t a request, William. I’m ordering you back.”

“Sorry, Max.”

“It isn’t the story, damn it! You were never that interested in stories.”

“I’m a good reporter.”

“You’re a terrible reporter. You do everything wrong. You get involved. You interfere. You get your story, yes, and the story’s always fine, but that’s just incidental to your real purpose.”

“And that is?”

“I don’t know, William. At first, I thought you were trying to kill yourself. Later, I thought you simply had a taste for the edge. Now? I don’t know. I do know I’d prefer you to remain alive, though.”

“Trust me, Max. Everything’ll be fine. I’m going to save the world and get the girl and ride off into the sunset.”

“William, enough of this, I want you to come—”

There was a click as the reporter hung up.

The publisher kept his ear pressed to the receiver. After a moment, there was a second click. Maximilian Perreira nodded his head slowly, sadly, and cradled the phone.

About Joel Homer:Joel Homer

Joel Homer was raised in Greenwich Village, attended New York University and was a medal-winning veteran from the Vietnam war. Upon returning to the states, he began his writing career as a senior editor at Saturday Review.

His books include “Marathons” and “Jargon.” His produced plays include “Scenes Dedicated to My Brother,” “What People Do When They’re All Alone,” and “The Lieutenant Snuffs the Light.” In 1984 he was the first recipient of the prestigious Glickman Award for playwriting. His last play ‘Private Scenes” was a huge hit in San Francisco. While working in Los Angeles, he co-wrote the original script for “Beauty and the Beast” for EuroDisney….to date the most popular stage play in Disney’s history.

Joel Homer passed away in 2003 at the age of 58.

Buy ‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Follow the ‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 11 Spotlight & Giveaway

Mallory Heart Reviews May 14 Review

What U Talking Bout Willis? May 15 Excerpt

Feel the Need, Need to Read May 19 Review, Excerpt,  & Giveaway

Mom Are We There Yet  May 20 Review

Readers Muse May 25 Review

fuonlyknew May 28 Review & Giveaway

Inspire to Read May 29 Review

Lisa’s Writopia June 2 Review

Celticlady’s Reviews Jun 3 Excerpt

Mary’s Cup of Tea Jun 5 Review (postponed)

Books, Books & More Books Jun 8 Review & Ecerpt

Cyn Harris Jun 15 Excerpt

Deal Sharing Aunt Jun 18 Review

Infinite House of Books June  21 Excerpt

fEVERS

 

 

 

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