Thursday, March 28, 2019

Running From Demons by M.K. Theodoratus #blogtour

RUNNING FROM DEMONS by M.K. Theodoratus, Paranormal Fantasy, 430 pp., $2.99 (Kindle)

Author: M.K. Theodoratus
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 279
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy

Pillar Beccon travels across Andor to discover her mother’s mysterious past. But danger is never far away as a demon seeks to destroy her.

An orphaned null without a hint of magic, Pillar can’t remember ever belonging anywhere, especially not in the Freemage commune where she grew up. After she graduates from high school, she jumps at the chance to learn why her mother ran away from her family.

During an accidental encounter, Grylerrque, a surviving commander from The Demon Wars, recognizes what Pillar is and decides to feed the girl’s life force to her clutch. The demon sends her minions to capture the girl. Pillar escapes with a help of an unexpected allay, only to learn she was pulled out of the frying pan and thrown into the fire.

Link to book on Amazon:
Link to book on B&N:

Pillar Beccon stood before the open doors of the Taddledon bus
station, steeling her nerves. She was alone with no one at her back,
not even her running buds from school. Though, now that "Te Tres
Amigas" had graduated, she'd have to get used to being alone again.
Pillar's jaw clenched as she braced herself against the coming stares.
The teen didn’t mind the double takes as she walked along a
street. They seldom pierced the walls she’d built around herself. Inside the Taddledon Station, she’d be the pale-skinned, weird-eared
weirdo caught in a sea of tan people sneaking glances at her angular,
mismatched face, wispy blond hair, and super tall height. People always gawked at her. She felt lucky when they didn’t drool when their
mouths hung open. Pillar begged the Powers for strength, not that
they ever helped nulls or mages.
Get a grip. At least they won’t tease you like the kids at school. They
don't know you're a nothing null. Pillar refused to admit she was neither human nor mage, fsh nor fowl. Besides, odds are the people waiting're only human and aren't aware.
The hair on the back of her neck prickled. When she scanned
the station, nothing around her felt threatening. You're over-reacting.
You're safe. Pillar sighed with relief. I didn’t let Delia down. I made the
test trip on my own. No glitches.

The teen had survived the day trip to the Taddledon museum
and gardens in spite of her foster mother's worries. Pillar didn't need
babysitting by the Freemage commune that had taken her in when
her mother died. Not that her mother was a born member. Mages
thought the mountain communes the only safe place for their young
since their teens made the perfect prey for demon-kind—if her yapping trainers weren't just blowing hot air. She stood taller, and her
shoulders relaxed.
Satisfaction flooded through her. I made it.
The bumblebee drone of the milling travelers bounced o the
high ceilings and washed over her. Here and there, children’s shrieks
drew scowls as they spiked above the noise. All seemed to ignore
the announcement that a bus had just arrived at the platforms. The
prickles grew sharper, and she paused.
After a glance around the lobby, Pillar guessed most were locals
returning to their surrounding small towns after shopping trips to
the big city. Te few roamers, marked by their grubby clothes and
backpacks, might be mages or might not be. Communes and towns
tended to throw out their misfits after they graduated from high
school if they didn't get admitted to colleges or tech schools.
A man near the outside door sat, slumped back on a bench and
eyes closed, with his hands resting on his ample belly. He opened one
eye and jerked. His gaze darted away from Pillar’s icy, challenging
stare, made all the colder by her pale blue eyes. A flush rushed over
his face as he ducked his head.
It’s not like I’m a total freak. All mages have long faces.
Pillar hunched her shoulders again but decided not to get pissed
o or feel sorry for herself. Both reactions were a waste of energy. Pillar ignored thousands of memories of being told nobody wanted a
null, not even the Kingscourt, unless the null was brilliant enough
to become a useful functionary. Nulls were kicked out of mage communes to fend for themselves in the slums of the cities.
Swallowing, Pillar reached out with her new, weak awareness to
a static-like buzz along her skin created by the people around her. For
her, the fluttering ambience of the station tickled rather than buzzed.
She shook her head and strode towards the end of the station's diner.
Her stomach growled its approval.
Thoughts of a toasted cheese sandwich made her mouth water.
Her always hungry stomach spurred her forward, but a jarring undercurrent sprang out from under the normal human buzz. The atmosphere of the station suddenly smelled o, like curdled milk.
Pausing again to size up the waiting travelers, Pillar chewed on
her lip. Everyone felt normally human to her. No one displayed any
obvious mage powers unless the hint of static was coming from the
security guard, a Kingscourt flunky, who would possess at least some
low-grade magic. The guarda stood alert, scanning the station with a
wary gaze.
As the waitress approached her, she chewed a wad of gum so
large her tongue appeared each time her jaw moved. Pillar lowered
her eyes at the unattractive sight, retreating into her shell rather
than feel the waitress’s turbulent emotions. But waitress's gaze rested
on Pillar’s long narrow face with its wider than normal mouth and
knife-like nose. A flash of pity crossed her roundish face. Pillar sat
straighter and smiled, revealing as many teeth as possible.
“Ham and cheese with extra cheese, please,” said Pillar.
“Cost you extra.”
Pillar almost rolled her eyes, but she had learned to contain her
reactions, much to her foster mother/mentor’s relief. “So add it to
my bill.” The waitress clomped towards the kitchen window of the
grill, writing on her pad.
Piercing shrieks echoed o the high ceilings. Pillar’s head jerked
around to see three kids running away from a taller boy, who
stomped after them like a bear. He growled, making them scream
louder. Their bright auras rose and fell with their screams.
Looks like they’re having fun.
The game continued until one of the kids tripped over a suitcase.
Angry words erupted from an older woman. She wore a hat, ringed
with flowers, as if she were someone important, but important people didn’t take buses. They owned their own cars. The kids ignored
her just as Pillar would have.
Scanning the area, Pillar tested her developing talent for reading
auras. The slow dance of dierent shimmering colors popping
through the light bluish-green glow of their life pulse fascinated her,
but she concentrated on possible threats. Everyone in the lobby felt
like nulls to Pillar. But her eavesdropping on the mage elders, talking
to her guardian, told her they worried about magical attacks from demon-kind. While no adult talked much about them, Pillar assumed
demons could camouflage themselves and hide behind shields.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t be so hard to find. She shuddered, not
wanting to think of demons possessing people. Doubt if any demons
would dare to hunt here, anyway.
The thought comforted Pillar, and she relaxed. The waitress arrived and picked a plate o her ladened arm to plunk it on the
counter with a sigh.
Pillar smiled as the waitress scooted around the counter to the
tables against the wall. “Thanks. It looks delicious.” The waitress bustled away without looking back, and Pillar shrugged.
Not wanting to dribble cheese on the new tee she’d bought in
the museum shop, Pillar leaned forward to take a bite of her toasted
ham and cheese sandwich. The gooey cheese oozed out the sides,
over her fingers. She licked them and her lips. The cost of adding
extra cheese was worth it, making a perfect ending to her first solo
venture into Taddledon. The ride home would be dull in comparison
to the carefree day she had enjoyed. At least her stomach wouldn't be
The PA system belched news of another arriving bus, adding to
the racket bouncing o the station walls. The garbled words made
no sense. Pillar ignored the announcement as she licked her fingers
clean. The tenor of the air shifted. The hair on her nape rose. Pillar
glanced back towards the benches in the lobby.
Taking another bite of her gooey sandwich, Pillar licked her lips
as she searched for the disturbance in the station’s energy. The power became so intense even Pillar’s weak talent felt the rising pulse. A
chill crawled across her shoulders and down her back. Pillar turned
around. Her eyes locked on a tangled-haired girl, clutching a backpack in her hands and using the wall by the platform doors to protect
her back. The girl's eyes grew wider as she scanned the station.
Pillar's frizzy hair stood at attention. A strange odor, the like of
which she'd never smelled in Osseran, wafted from the outside doors.
Her stomach churned, and Pillar dropped her no longer appetizing
What's going on? That girl just doesn't feel like a normal, but she
shouldn't make my stomach want to heave.

A Northern California gal, M. K. Theodoratus has been intrigued by fantasy since she discovered comic books and the land of Oz. Some of her early favorites were A. Merritt, Andre Norton, Catherine L. Moore, and Fritz Lieber. She has traveled through many fantasy worlds since then. Now she enjoys reading Lee Child, Patricia Briggs, Sharyn McCrumb, Neil Gaiman, and Carol O’Connell among others.

When she’s not disappearing into other writer’s worlds, she’s creating her own alternative worlds — that of Andor where demons prey and that of the Far Isle Half-Elven where she explores the social and political implications of genetic drift on a hybrid elf/human people. Magic and mayhem are her favorite topics.

She now lives in Colorado with her old man and two lap cats.

Website Address:
Twitter Address:
Facebook Address:

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life With My Dysing Sister

THE OTHER SIDE OF CANCER by Annette Leads, Biography/Memoir, 194 pp., $23.95 (hardback) $5.99 (Kindle)

Author: Annette Leads
Publisher: Find1Cure
Pages: 194
Genre: Biography/Memoir

The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister is a passionate story of two sisters and their extraordinary bond and friendship reignited in the face of cancer.

Theresa conquered many hurdles in her lifetime, with victorious highs and shattering lows, but at fifty-four years old, she took on the biggest challenge of her life: advanced stage pancreatic cancer. Like most families, there are those times when moments in life tend to strain or burden relationships. Theresa chose humor in the face of death. Confronting her fate with grace, she taught everyone the true meaning of living life without regret. To those who loved her, she gave an amazing gift—showing them how to move past the sadness and truly enjoy the precious time she had left.

Annette, her baby sister, didn’t realize her strength until she held her sister’s life in her hands. As a writer, she did the one thing she thought would have the most impact. She picked up a notebook and chronicled the journey with Theresa, revealing the strength and inspiration of an amazing woman.
The two siblings shared a room as kids, and in the end, it was the same. A week or so before Theresa died, she told Annette, “This has been the best year of my life.” Most people would have thought she was crazy, but her little sister knew exactly what she meant.

CHAPTER 1: The Other Side of Cancer
“It all began fifty-five years ago with a smack to the butt. It is that smack that started me down a road of independence, strong will, and an unwavering love of humor. Laughter is my peace. “I’ve been loved by the right people and crushed by the wrong. It is those lessons I’ve learned that made me who I am today.”  — From Theresa’s Journal 

Each family in the neighborhood had its own signature beckoning method for calling their children for supper. Whether it was a harsh whistle from Mr. Caine or the chuck wagon triangle from Mrs. Yen, kids scattered through the streets, running to their perspective houses when their signature sound rang out. Ours was the cowbell. Whether you were down the street at a friend’s, doing homework, or hiding in your room to avoid your chores, when the loud clang of the bell plowed through the neighborhood, you had better be at the dinner table.

Gathering six kids, along with Mom and Dad, made for unpredictable situations with all of us assembled at the dinner table. Inevitably, one of us was always late, which met the wrath of my mom. I remember one time I came home late and she stood on a step stool by the back door and jumped out at me like Cato from the Pink Panther, spanking me with a tennis shoe in front of everyone. Not one of them warned me but rather viewed it as pre-dinner entertainment.

Raised in a staunch Catholic family, my eldest brother led us in prayer to say grace, blessing the food as if he were speaking at an important public event. He always seemed to make it an elaborate recitation, as if auditioning for a part in a play. We held hands until he reached the finale, “Amen,” and that is when the antics began.

There was no fooling around or excessive talking allowed. Instead, we exchanged private jokes between us with either eye contact or a swift kick under the table. Mom would glare at each of us, hoping to keep us all in line. Then, the same stern warning would emerge from her. “Eat, and stop all the tee-heeing,” she insisted.

Each night at the dinner table seemed to provide us with a new tale. Whether it was vegetable night and my sister, Sophie, storing them in her cheeks like a chipmunk, waiting to make a break for the bathroom to either flush them down the toilet, which would, eventually, turn back up, or chucking them out my eldest sister’s, Margaret’s, window into the neighbor’s trash cans. Either way, dinner was like an Olympic event.

Theresa, too young and too small to pull off any of the stunts, the older siblings always wangled her into taking the blame for them, and she welcomed the mission without hesitation. Over and over, they uttered the same words…

“Tell Dad you did it,” they insisted. “He won’t spank you.”

No fool to the capers of the eldest, Dad would spank everyone, no matter what. He figured if you did nothing wrong that time, you must have done something else of which he was unaware. My brother, James, would raise his hand as if he were winning something. “I’ll go first,” he proclaimed.

Margaret, our mother hen, would cry a steady stream of tears for each of us as we took our punishment. Dad would hold us by one arm and give us a stern spanking. Our bodies, acting like pendulums, would swing back into his space, allowing him to give the second swat. Night after night, Mom and Dad repeated the same dinner scenario, trying to get six, independent children to eat what they believed was a “wholesome meal” in front of them, only to have it met with rejection and rebellion.

Margaret would sit for what seemed like an eternity, picking her food apart, looking for pieces of fat she was sure were hiding on her plate. Often, we could hear her boyfriend in the far distance of the house, chucking rocks at her bedroom window so they could canoodle after curfew.

Sophie had an assigned place at the table next to my dad. I marveled at her conviction, holding her ground against eating anything resembling a vegetable. He would force her to eat each bite and watch her as she swallowed. Sophie spent many nights sitting on the hearth of the fireplace to finish her dinner, well after the rest of us finished eating. Dad would hold a vigil on a chair next to the fireplace, giving him a clear view of her, forcing her to eat each bite until her plate was clean.

“You’re not leaving that fireplace until all that food is gone,” he insisted.

Sophie never responded with words. Her stuffed cheeks and stern glare revealing her stubbornness spoke volumes. Hunger never seemed to win; she would rather starve than eat what was in front of her.

The night forged on for hours until she emptied her plate. I was never sure where the food went, but I know she didn’t eat it. I thought if they ever sold that house someday, the new owners would, for sure, find lumps of petrified food stuffed in the fireplace chute.

In contrast to her siblings, Phyllis behaved most nights, until it came time to clean up. She was like an undercover spy. We were careful to place discarded food in our napkins, and she oversaw disposing of the evidence without notice.

I, the youngest child, sat close to Mom. Being the baby awarded me special treatment of not having to eat most of the concoctions laid out in front of us. The tense negotiation of “just take one more bite” occurred each evening. Mom would push a small portion toward me, motioning me to eat a little bit, and then taking the rest from my plate.

James, however, was our human garbage disposal, eating anything and everything, including our leftovers, without hesitation. Like a beanpole, he stood six feet tall and maybe weighed one hundred fifty pounds on a good day; always eating a constant stream of food to fill his never-ending hunger. He was an incredible athlete, consuming massive amounts of food most days as if he were heading to the electric chair.

Mom grocery shopped once a week. She would buy everything from breakfast to dinner, with some treats for the evening. On the day she would come home from the store, the milk would disappear and all the cookies would vanish, except for the crumbs, which one could access with a licked finger running across the bottom of the bag.

Mom had some doozy dinners that even made her and Dad cringe. Most notable was the lack of seasoning that might have provided some kind of taste. Often, she would cook the life out of most foods—meat, in particular. She would panfry and cook meat until a hard, charcoal crust covered the once-pink surface. On occasion, she would break out some Belgium family tradition, resembling something you would feed prisoners of war. Masters at the craft of disguising their emotions, Mom and Dad played off the dreadful dishes. I remember an eggplant incident. She insisted the slimy, bitter, lifeless brown gush that sat on each of our plates was healthy for us. We all stared at her, waiting for her to take the first bite. She slipped a small piece off her fork and into her mouth. Then, without hesitation, she pushed herself back from the table.

“You don’t have to eat it,” she insisted. “It must be spoiled.”

We glanced at each other with smirks, excited she spared us the dreadful creation. That night, we had Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Our favorite meal, which came around occasionally, was Italian food. Dad is Sicilian and from a very large Italian family. In his house, spaghetti sauce from a jar was a sin. Therefore, my grandmother taught Mom how to make the best sauce and meatballs you could ever imagine, surely able to compete with anyone’s Nona. Those nights were probably the only time we were “dysfunctional” at the dinner table, with all of us squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder, passing food around in rapid succession as if it were our last meal.

I remember one night that gave us years of overwhelming laughter. Theresa was always the most innocent at dinner, yet quite clumsy, which usually involved her knocking over her glass of milk, forcing everyone to frantically push away from our places, hoping not to get wet.

That evening, as usual, the plate of meatballs at the table had been wiped clean. Dad asked Theresa to get him another meatball from the large brewing pot in the kitchen. Without hesitation, she jumped from her chair and headed to the kitchen. She poked her head back into the dining room and uttered, “Extra sauce, too?”

He nodded.

A short time later, she emerged, bobbling the plate in one hand and holding a napkin in the other. Stepping down into the dining room, she tripped. All I heard behind me was, “Whoops!” A sound like hail hitting a window came next. We all turned to view the saucy meatball sailing through the air as it bounced harshly against the popcorn ceiling, dropping to the floor, and continuing its journey across the carpet, coming to an abrupt halt—sauceless and resting next to Dad’s foot. Silence hovered, as we were unsure what was to come next. As the unexpected grin came over his face, we knew his guard was down, something that didn’t happen often. We all chuckled to ourselves, as she gingerly reached for the meatball.

“Let me get you another one,” she demanded. “This one has lint on it.”

As time passed, attendance at dinner began to diminish. All the funny stories were now just memories we spoke about on special occasions or at gatherings. The eldest siblings had moved on with their now-adult lives, whether it was off to the service for my brother or getting married for my sisters, making Theresa and me the last to remain at home with Mom and Dad. Eventually, the time came for Theresa to move on, too. At a young age, she seemed far more driven than the rest of us kids. She used to read all sorts of books for hours at a time. I am not a person who likes to read, so it seemed more like a punishment than a pleasure.

Being close in age, we shared even more great times the other kids weren’t around for—the secret stories and inside jokes that only the two of us understood. When we got together as a family, we would play games. Of course, she and I were partners, always beating our elders without much effort.

“You two are such cheaters,” they balked.

That was the furthest from the truth; we just had a bond none of them experienced. Almost like we could read each other’s minds or something.

Like with her reading, she was dedicated and ambitious. She moved out at seventeen years old and into her own apartment, never looking back. Even though I felt abandoned when she left me, I knew she was destined for great things. It showed in every ounce of her being. The determination she projected was something I have never seen from any other person in my life. As she got older, her fortitude never wavered.

( Continued… )

© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Annette Leeds. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Annette Leeds is a literary journalist. Born Annette Marie Guardino to her mother who is Belgian and father who is Sicilian, she is a native Californian and the youngest of six children. Being quite creative, Annette’s strong desire to write led her to her first book, a psychological drama, followed by two television comedy scripts. She has had other entrepreneurial ventures, including a logo sportswear clothing line.

Her latest book is her biography/memoir, The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister.

Facebook Profile:
FB Fanpage:
Pearl Page Reading:

Material Things by Larry Spencer

MATERIAL THINGS by Larry Spencer, Fiction, 367 pp., $11.49 (paperback) $2.99 (Kindle)

Larry Spencer’s riveting, interlocking narratives circle the lives of Matthew Street, Jon Lewis and Christopher Styles, in a 1970s California backdrop that takes them from owning and operating a fashionable clothing boutique into the gripping world of an FBI under cover operation, drug trafficking, prostitution and a nefarious criminal element, that brings to light a Mafia contract killer, who’s out to bump off a stoolie in their midst.

Material Things is based on true events surrounding the store that introduced bellbottom jeans to a hip Southern California crowd and how it became, not only a cottage industry but also an arena fraught with danger and moral strife that put the store and it’s owners under close scrutiny after an alarming number of felonious activities surface.

The climax is anything but conventional as Matthew, Jon and Christopher are confronted with a life threatening reality that they never imagined could happen just by selling bellbottom pants.



It’s 1:15 a.m. in California, so you can bet this call was not a frivolous inquiry about the weather. It had to be serious, and Matthew was guessing this was one of those rare holy crap moments that jolt you out of your comfort zone. Someone had died. Someone he knew. Either in an awful twisted-like-an-accordion car wreck or a body was found in a shallow grave somewhere in the Mojave Desert. With his ear pressed to the receiver, Matthew waited with trepidation for the news—he was right on target, speculating death. Chris, his voice at a low pitch, tells him that their estranged friend and former business partner, Logan Alexander, shot himself in the head this last weekend.        
   “Accident?” Matthew asks.
“Intentional. In his garage. In front of his car and the lawn mower,” he says. 

LARRY SPENCER published his first novel, The Tipping Point Of Oliver Bass in the summer of 2017. A story that covered the life of a pathologically arrogant, wealthy young man who sets off on a journey of self-discovery, family tragedy, and sexual conquest in a modern California noir backdrop.   Spencer has been a Writer’s Guild of America member since the late 70s, having written and produced a multitude of highly successful TV shows, which culminated into writing several feature films. He was then encouraged to pen his second book, Material Things, a story based on true events that takes place in the 60s &70s and tackles organized crime, drugs and embezzlement during a time when bellbottom pants ruled the fashion scene.  He lives in Valley Village, California.

Visit his website at

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin

THE BRAVE ART OF MOTHERHOOD by Rachel Marie Martin, Self-Help, 204 pp., $10.99 (paperback) $11.99 (Kindle)

Author: Rachel Marie Martin
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 204
Genre: Self-Help

Full-time blogger, speaker, marketer, podcaster, and single mom of seven, Rachel Marie Martin presents a wake-up call to those of us who have found ourselves stuck in the ‘I’m just a mom’ phase of life. 

Yes, this book is about motherhood . . . but really, this book is about finding yourself again and following your passion WHILE being a mom. Inspired by her incredible story, Rachel’s words always come straight from the gut; they are visceral, real and soul searching. She challenges you to find the courage to break cycles, to take off masks and not let fear take control. This book is a balance of tough, “no excuses” ways of approaching life, while allowing breathing room and grace for yourself, for as we all know, life and mothering are not perfect.

After inspiring and conversing with thousands of women, Rachel has surmised there is always a reason to hope, to move forward and a reason to dare doing what you thought was impossible. (Yes, including what you are skeptical of accomplishing right now). She encourages you to say yes to your dreams and stop waiting for “someday” or “one day” or “when something happens”.

Prepare to change the way you think about yourself and your life. This will be a book you read over and over armed with a highlighter in one hand and a journal for introspection in another.



One November day, I stood at my bedroom window watching as a sharp wind stripped the remaining leaves from the trees. Seeing those limbs laid bare, I felt similarly exposed. I realized I'd been lost in my own life, waiting for something to change. But I couldn't wait any longer.

So I started fighting. Reclaiming the lifeless spaces, unearthing joy in motherhood, and finding hope and purpose. No longer did I hide behind the words "When the kids are grown, I will. . . "

I changed one thing: my mind

Now my kids are happier than they have ever been. And so am I.


Rachel Marie Martin believes in the power of the human spirit to overcome, to thrive and to find deep joy and because of that she pours out her heart via these platforms: she is the writer behind the site, partner of, co-host of the Amplify Podcast, and a featured writer for The Huffington Post. Her top blog post, “Why Being a Mom is Enough” has surpassed 1.9 million Facebook likes and she has had her articles translated into over 25 languages. Her site reaches millions of visitors and has a robust, engaged Facebook community. Her articles have been featured in The Huffington Post, iVillage, The Today Show, Star Tribune, iVillage, Stuff New Zealand, PopSugar, Parents, What to Expect, Mamalode, NBC Parents, Dr. Greene, and many more. Her first book, “The Brave Art of Motherhood”, published by Penguin Random House, was released on October 9, 2018.

She speaks worldwide about a variety of empowering topics ranging from motherhood to social media marketing to website strategy to writing to creating an authentic community. She believes in living each day intentionally and loves working with others to cultivate a vision, realize their potential and see their dreams become a reality.