Tag Archives: family

Weekend

Mom and Dad came for a visit this weekend. It didn’t leave much time for authorly things, but it was fun. We went to dinner, and Mom did some Christmas shopping. I tagged along and scored a beer at Old Chicago while they hit the mall.

We stopped by the pet store, and the dogs scored these cool tire toys. They have ropes through them, and they love them.

Frankie loves her new toy

I managed to prepare the shtick for a new Lisa Burton Radio interview and send it out. I also worked my way through some critiques. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough for one afternoon.

Hope everyone else had great weekends too.

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Introvert Hell

Take a perfectly adult household. Invite everyone for Thanksgiving. Let the fun begin.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are here. They brought their two small dogs with them. Otto and Frankie want to play. The little dogs don’t. Honestly, Otto takes a crap that’s bigger than these dogs are every morning. I don’t want him to break them.

My son came over, and brought our grandson at about 9:00. He’s making the turkey on his fancy-schmancy smoker. It takes some watching, so he has to stay. Old What’s Her Face gave our grandson a gaming console that apparently has to be turned up to full volume.

Add in the fact that my brother-in-law insists on watching 12 hours of football. What I mean by that is the TV must be on, but nobody is even watching it. In fact, he isn’t even in the room right now. Add football to the gaming console as far as noise goes. Note: My team doesn’t play today.

But wait, there’s more. My daughter is here and brought Jackson, the cat. I’d kind of like to see Jackson, he grew up here before he moved to Sun Valley. However, he’s been running for his life because the tiny dogs want to get him. This means Otto and Frankie have to chase the little dogs. Put all of that on my hard-surface floors, and it creates quite a din.

There is also the nearly constant calling out of dog names. Mostly the little dogs, but imagine a harsh voice saying the same word over and over and over and over and over and…

My daughter-in-law just arrived with the rest of the grandkids. Oh, by the way, they brought their dog with them. He is an Airedale mix of some kind. I’ll be shocked if we don’t wind up with at least one dead pet by the end of the night. Also the tiny dogs like to bark at the new arrival.

My daughter’s friend is also showing up, but I don’t think she’s bringing pets. Same thing for my son’s mother-in-law. They really don’t play into this story.

Imagine a group of people surrounding me, and they’re all honking airhorns at me. Add in some arguing and barking, along with a video game soundtrack at full volume, and you get a fair idea of how I feel.

I’m actually writing this before dinner, and while they are all here. It gives me some focus and a bit of a breather.

It may not sound like it, but I love these people. Hell, I even like their pets. I had some great one-on-one conversations with a few of them before the mob showed up. As an introvert, it is about all I can handle, but I’m being a trooper.

I think I’d like to have Thanksgiving somewhere else next year. I can handle this stuff for hours, but eventually I can go home.

Let the celebration begin, and by that I mean drinking.

Oh, and not for nothing, I went to bed about 11:30 last night. I had to raise dough and make my rolls. The dogs started barking at house guests at 6:00 AM. Kind of a sleep deprived state to add to the mix.

Bonus, I gave my entire department tomorrow off. That means I have to work tomorrow. It’s not my first Thanksgiving/Black Friday.

Update. Two beers later and things are looking better. This stuff is 9% alcohol by volume, so that’s a bonus. New Belgium Oakspire, Bourbon Barrel Aged ale using Knob Creek barrels.

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Presto!

Today was my day to get some things done. I screwed that up before I even got home last night. I was supposed to pick up medications for Otto, one of our dogs. This is about two blocks from where I work. I failed to do this. Let’s face it, at the end of shift you have hundreds of reps involving getting in the truck and going home.

This meant that I had to go back downtown this morning and pick up his pills. It took me an hour and a half. It’s a forty mile round trip, plus the time inside the vet’s office. It kind of killed any forward momentum I may have had.

My wife wanted to go to pizza tonight, and our daughter decided to drive over from Sun Valley to go with us. Sounds nice, right? The hospital called my wife back in, so we had to cancel the whole thing. She has to work until eight o’clock tonight. I feel bad that our daughter drove all the way over here for nothing.

I don’t know what some employers are thinking. They are cutting everyone’s hours due to what they call “low census.” I won’t go into a deep explanation, the main point is reduced hours.

When there is a problem, they seem shocked that people don’t want to drop everything and pull extra hours now. “Gasp!” I’ve learned over the years that happy employees will do anything. Unhappy employees will place you lower on the priority list.

I got a decent small visit with my daughter after Old What’s Her Face went back to work. Everyone is gone now, but it’s time for baseball.

Today, I had low expectations and failed to meet them all. Things can change fast, so I’m just going to go with it. Tomorrow will be partially about packing and getting ready for my flight. I’ll be in Texas next week, but I’ll take my iPad with me. At least I can keep up with blogs and such.

I’m looking forward to the trip. There are times in life where the author in me has to take a back seat. Perhaps I can get some forward momentum when I return. If not, I have vacation coming around the Veteran’s Day holiday.

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Date afternoon

I didn’t get anything done this weekend. I got everything I needed to assemble and schedule one of the Lisa Burton interviews, so I did that, but nothing else of consequence.

We had a house full of company. We went out to eat with Mom & Dad twice. We even went to Old Chicago, which is at the mall. This was by design, because Dad & I could drink beer while Old What’s Her Face took Mom through the mall.

We lost part of our time because Mom wanted to go to a funeral. This guy was Mom’s uncle by marriage. I never liked the guy in life, so didn’t feel obligated to go to his funeral. (Sorry, that’s how I roll.)

After everyone left, we met my son and his family at the fair. We don’t do much other than eat. We missed all the concerts and such this year. We ate a bunch of food that is likely bad for us, and don’t particularly care. We only get this stuff once per year.

This is the first year I can remember when it wasn’t swelteringly hot. Our temperatures dropped to 73 degrees today. The smoke has thinned out too. It was wonderful. Today is the last day, so the crowd was sparse.

They never seem to have good beer at the fair. There are stands everywhere, but they all offer the same generic stuff you could pick up at any gas station. I think the beer vendors must have a contract. This strikes me as odd, since a lot of craft beer is made right here now. I decided that if I can’t have what I like, I didn’t need one. I did have a fresh huckleberry milkshake that was pretty good though.

We usually check out the exhibits, but this year we stopped after the chickens and bunnies. Half the bunnies were replaced by guinea pigs. Hardly what I’d consider a farm animal. Half the chickens were replaced by pigeons. After that, we decided to skip the other barns and eat more food.

I did spot this awesome duck though. I should ask him for some hair care tips.

This is my short weekend, so it’s back to the office tomorrow. I get four days next weekend, and I should make a task list. There are several projects I’d like to move forward when I have the time.

This was a weekend for family, and I don’t feel bad at all for spending it with my parents, or my kids and grandkids.

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Novy’s Son, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you abandoned children and lost boys, you forgotten souls of every stripe. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with characters from the books you love. My guest today is Michael St. Germain. “Welcome to the show, Michael.”

“Good evening, Ms. Burton.”

“You have a bit of an unusual heritage. Can you tell our listeners about that, please?”

“Certainly. I am very proud of my heritage though my dad was not. My grandfather

was Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the most famous sculptor in the 19th and early 20th century here

in America. Do you know the name Augustus Saint-Gaudens?”

“No, I don’t. But you see I do not know anything about art and sculptures, except the Mona Lisa with her pretty smile and the statue of David, which is so sexy.”

“Yes, those are two beautiful pieces of art. But, getting back to my grandfather, he was

very famous doing such monuments as The Shaw Memorial in Boston, the Sherman Monument in New York City, the Amor Caritas in Paris, hundreds of reliefs and cameos for the rich and famous, and the $20 gold piece for which he is most well-known.

“You are like many people who know Rodin, but not Saint-Gaudens and that is because Rodin brought a whole new concept of sculpture at the same time my grandfather was revolutionizing the more traditional forms of sculpture.

“Well, enough about that. Saint-Gaudens was married and yet fell in love with one of his models, Davida. She was his mistress for over twenty-five years and my grandmother. They had one child, Louis Paul Clark who was my father. He was born out of wedlock in 1890 right in the middle of the Victorian Age. ”

“Was Louis kind of bitter about his father not claiming him?”

“My dad never forgave his father for not marrying, Davida. Saint-Gaudens chose to not risk his rising career by getting a divorce and marrying his mistress. Remember this was during the very moralistic Victorian era. My dad suffered all his life because of being called a bastard when he was growing up and hearing his mother be called names. When my grandfather came to their home it was always short visits and most of the attention was on himself and his work. He was really not a father in the true sense of the word. Dad never talked about his mother or father. He never made friends because he did not want anyone to know about his past.”

“Just brainstorming here, but is it possible that Louis didn’t know how to be a good father, because he didn’t have one as an example?”

“Now don’t start with a lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo on me. I do not believe in all

that nonsense. My dad was a true gentleman. I loved him, but I just never seemed to have him understand me. The man I truly loved and looked up to was Uncle Leon. In fact, he was more of a father to me than my dad.”

“With the comparison between two men, did that give you any idea of what kind of man you wanted to become?”

“Well, Dad was very strict. When I was just a little kid, maybe 3 or 4 years old, he told me not to put my elbows on the table! Even now, I think how stupid that is. Maybe that is where I began to be a rebel always challenging the so-called rules of society and schools.

“Now, Uncle Leon he taught me the rules and how to behave. I lived with him and Aunt Helen when my mother was pregnant with each of my brothers. He never punished me like my dad did. He had a way to teach manners and good behavior.

“My dad was pretty serious and quiet. Everyone liked him, but he did not let anyone except my mother get close to him. He worked hard when he owned an orange grove and then later he ran a hospital that my aunt had started.

“Uncle Leon was talkative and laughed a lot. He was very religious and faithfully read the Bible every day. He worked hard on his farm too, but then he suddenly died when I was 11. It was the saddest day of my life.

“My mother and aunts talked about it was God’s will and how he was now in a better place. That is just a bunch of nonsense. I have never believed in any God. If there was a God he would not take the life of someone like my uncle at such a young age and let bad people live long lives. My dad was not a believer either so we at least had that in common. He was a good man, but growing up really without a father and the circumstances of his childhood left him with deep scars. He deeply loved his mother, Davida as well as my mother. I sometimes wonder how much he loved anyone else. Well, he was very close to my brother, Richard who was killed in the war. After he died, we were never allowed to say his name again.”

“With that background, what philosophy toward raising your own children did you use?”

“I didn’t see much of my daughters because my first wife, Helen and I divorced when the girls were 5 and 2. They lived in Long Beach and I was 100 miles south in San Diego. Helen always accused me of spoiling the girls, but I think she was too harsh with them. She would punish them with a spanking or worse yet, switching their bare legs. Maybe I didn’t spend much time with them, but we always had fun and I never spanked them. I tried to teach them about manners and good behavior by just talking to them. I guess I tried to be like Uncle Leon.

Part of the problem was that I didn’t see them often. When I got them for a month each summer and a week at Christmas they would stay with my parents because I just had a small apartment or lived on a boat. Neither was good for the girls. I went to my parents as often as I could to see my daughters.”

“You certainly had some bumps in your road. My bio says you were born Murray Clark. How did you wind up taking the name Michael St. Germain?”

“Well, I had to leave California for personal reasons, which I am not going to discuss here. I didn’t even tell my daughters where I was for almost a year. I legally changed my name after moving across the country. I chose St. Germain because it was similar to Saint-Gaudens. I chose Michael because that is the name I would have given if I had ever had a son. It turns out one of my grandson’s name is Michael so I just tell people he was named after me. Actually, he was born four years after I changed my name, but people do not know that.”

“I get it. I keep a bug-out bag in my room to this day. You never know when your past will catch up with you. So Florida was a chance to become a new person. Nobody knew you there. Did you find some peace there?”

“You ask if I found peace. I am not sure what peace is. I’ll tell you what my motto has been for most of my life: People are no damned good. I tried to start a new life in Florida. I didn’t know anyone, I was almost penniless, but I took any job I could, and later made some investments in rental properties. I met a woman who really seemed to understand me. Her name was Gladys and we got along pretty good, but then she suddenly died. You know they say the good die young. Gladys and my brother Richard were both good people and died young. Gladys encouraged me to reconcile with my oldest daughter, which I finally did a few years later and I am at peace with her.

“Where I live now is a very peaceful place sitting on a big lake. I have a boat which I truly love and there is a heron who sits on my dock everyday as if he was mine. There are days when I reflect back on my life: how my dad did the best he could; that I did the best I could being a father; how much I loved Uncle Leon; and the four marriages and the many women I had relationships with. I could have done more with my life if I had made better choices, but probably everybody could say the same.”

“Michael, I appreciate you being on the show today. Any last thoughts for our listeners?”

“No, I have talked more to you than I have ever talked to anyone, except my one true love, Grace. She was a good listener and did not judge me. Ms. Burton, you have not judged me for which I am grateful. You only listened and asked some challenging questions. Thank you for having me here today.”

“You can learn all about Michael in the book, Novy’s Son, by Karen Ingalls. I’ll post everything you need on the website after I go off the air.

“Don’t forget to tip your waitress, by using those sharing buttons today. Facebook and Twitter have been know to sell a book or two. I’m sure Karen and Michael would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Novy’s Son follows the life of Michael St. Germain (aka Murray Clark), whose father did not know how to be a parent. Therefore, Michael lives a troubled life of alcohol, womanizing, and rebellion against society and the church. Growing up he did not receive what is referred to as the Iron John, based on Robert Bly’s best-selling book. Sons in particular need a strong, loving, and understanding father or male role-model, so they might learn how to be a father themselves someday.

Karen Ingalls is the author of three published books, two blogs, and a public speaker. She is the youngest daughter of Michael St. Germain and wrote Novy’s Son in order that men might realize their important and vital role as fathers.

Ms. Ingalls is a retired RN with a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Human Development. She is a ten-year survivor of ovarian cancer and serves on two committees for a pharmaceutical company as an advocate.

She lives in Florida enjoying the same lake that her father did, watching the heron also come to the dock every day. She plays golf, involved with Women for Hospice, and is an active member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writers International Society of Authors.

All proceeds from each of her books goes to gynecologic cancer research.

 

Author Social Media Links

Website: http://www.kareningallsbooks.com

Website: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com

 

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2rx28TE

http://bit.ly/2jJmMwl (review of Novy’s Son by Gwen Plano)

Amazon: amzn.to/25HaWky (Novy’s Son)

a.co/3ruSf6n (Outshine)

a.co/ajhPXKg (Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens)

Blog for Authors/Readers: http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor

 

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/2jloiyQ

 

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/PLNhjQ

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2IsVuIB

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2FWrmQr

 

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

 

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1isUU6I

 

Google+:

http://bit.ly/2IsVuIB

 

 

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Odd day to update

I had to change my work week around. This led to me getting Tuesday as my flex day. I kind of expected to get a lot done, but it never felt quite right. Sometimes you just have a feeling.

Otto tried to get me started early, but I got him to go back to sleep. I didn’t get up until 7:00.

This is still okay, but the dogs were well rested and crazy for a few hours. Think of a moving battle that rolls from room to room and across the floor. They’re just playing, but bulldog style has to be witnessed to be appreciated. Imagine two hippos with mouths wide open. They growl and rush at each other before a lengthy pushing match ensues.

I wound up reading through the last two chapters of Lanternfish and making some edits. I discovered an odd bit about paying off the crew when they got to the pirate stronghold. It’s all fixed now, but it took some thought and experimentation.

I also dreamed up a few more scenes to bring into the story somehow. Then I drifted off into research.

This time it’s about jellyfish. How they work, which parts do what; that kind of thing. It’s probably going to lead to a jellyfish that’s several miles wide, and big enough to get a ship stuck for days. It’s also big enough to ensnare an entire pod of whales. It’s a work in progress, so we’ll see how that comes out after a bit of improvement.

I’m also working on bits about the root monsters vs seagulls, and vs the ship’s cook. May, or may not, include them.

My daughter was home today, so we spent most of the day talking. For some reason I can daydream and say, “Uh huh,” at the same time. (I think it’s a Dad thing.) Her last day at the Boise job is tomorrow, she starts in Sun Valley again Sunday.

The cat will be moving with her. He was pretty funny today too. He attacked the dogs and ran upstairs. He’s quite the little antagonist. He likes to hide between the throw pillows while Frankie tries to draw him like a badger.

I can’t complain about today’s outcome. It will be the last big visit with my daughter for a while, and it was nice. My story is between acts, and at a transition phase. It’ll keep.

Things might be quiet on my front for the next few days, but Lisa Burton Radio is all scheduled and ready to go. I will respond to comments and such as time allows, but will be with colleagues in McCall and my time is not my own.

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Circumstances of Childhood, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we’re waiting for a very special caller. While doing that, let me ask you something.

How would you feel if you were accused of something you didn’t do? What if the ramifications were beyond serious? Would you rely upon the system to get it right? You only have so much energy and time. Would you focus on proving your innocence, or would you try to find the actual culprit?

Oh, my phone lit up. “Hello, this is Lisa Burton.”

“You are receiving a collect call from the Suffolk County Jail. Do you accept the charges?”

“Yes, please.”

“Hello. Is this Lisa? Please forgive the collect call. I didn’t know when we scheduled this interview that I would still be in jail.”

“Yes, Greg it’s me. Don’t worry about the call. I’m sure you will have some interesting information behind the fact you are in jail. For our listeners, this is Greg Petros. Can you give us a bit of your personal background?”

“First of all, Lisa. I’m totally embarrassed having to call you from a public phone in jail. I was to have a bail hearing this morning and it was postponed so I need to spend the night. More games by the District Attorney to get me to say I’m guilty. He accused me of hiding funds and revoked my original bail. Secondly, I’m not too sure what your listeners want to hear about me.”

“I understand how you feel especially in your current position. Okay, I’ll do it. Greg is a football guy at heart. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college and went on to quarterback the New England Patriots for ten years. After that he became a highly successful sports commentator.

“Greg wanted to do some good with all the money he earned, so he started a new company called Petros Investments, with worldwide clients. So, Greg, how do we go from there to Suffolk County lockup?”

“Oh man, Lisa you don’t beat around the bush. Well, I have to say direct questions are very appropriate given what happened. As you mentioned, I started an equity fund. I started by putting in my own money and then attracted a whole bunch of the people I knew. I had some very important and wealthy friends.

“The fund grew to over a billion dollars under investment. Our objective was to invest other people’s money and be able to sleep at night. I guess about a month ago I got a heads up from my financial guy that the SEC had some findings on a routine audit. They called in the Justice Department and I was hit with an indictment on twenty-three counts of mail fraud, securities fraud and insider trading.

“All this over a so called mishandled twenty million in funds. Hell …oh excuse me. I should know not to use that word on the radio. Anyway, even if there was twenty million missing it was probably my money. I put a hundred million into the company. Of course, that is academic since once the news of the indictment got out, all my so-called friends pulled their money and the firm tanked. All for what? Some accusation that I mishandled the funds. I haven’t even been to trial yet and I’ve been punished as if I’m guilty. I’m not. Guilty that is. I’m sorry Lisa. I haven’t had much sleep over the last few days and it is looking worse by the hour. I shudder to think of closing my eyes in this place.”

“That has to be tough. Are you getting any support from outside?”

“My daughter Constance has been frantic since she heard what happened. She has decided to stay in my house in the Boston area for the duration. She lived in New York and tells me she can work anywhere. I also have a terrific lawyer. He used to be the corporate council but has been hired by the law firm defending me. Finally, my oldest friend, Keith who I grew up with showed up. He and I were like brothers. His parents adopted me when mine passed away. He is giving me moral support and excellent advice.”

“Keith sounds like a great friend. Maybe he can run down some leads for you or something.”

“Keith and I were in college together as well as childhood friends. We revolutionized the game of football. Stuff taken for granted now like quick huddles and option plays we were pulling off every week. One night we went to a party. Neither of us liked to drink but on the way home we were hit by a drunk driver. I was driving and tried to avoid the accident. I yelled to God to help me find a way out. There was no way out and we crashed head on. Keith hit the dash with such force that er um he was killed”

“Wait a minute, you’re talking to a dead guy? I need to download The Sound for some of these shows. You know The Sound, from Law and Order? I could play it at moments like this. What did they do to you in there?”

“You just made me think of the first time I heard the cell door lock. I thought about the Sound myself. I think I keep hearing that dun, dun, dun too. With Keith it isn’t like that. I have to admit sometimes I think I’m just making his presence up. Keith first came to me when I thought all was lost. He told me this fabulous story about someone he calls The Leader. He tells me the afterlife is about earning the right to be in the presence of The Leader. He even told me he knows who hacked my computer and took the twenty million, but he can’t tell me. He says there is a time continuum that can’t be altered. He has been forbidden to interfere. I understand his predicament and want him to get to the goal he seeks. He can help but can’t alter history.”

“It all sounds a bit like helping Clarence get his wings. I mean, it would be nice to help Keith, but you have troubles of your own.”

“Your wings analogy is spot on. I love Greg and want him to progress and would never ask him to violate the sacred instructions he has been given. Brothers are like that, Lisa.”

“So how is the trial going?”

“I get this feeling that the prosecutor is out to make a name for himself. I can imagine getting a guilty verdict on Greg Petros would be a ticket to higher office. The case all centers on whether or not I used my computer to take twenty million out of the firm. Our experts say I was hacked and had nothing to do with it. I understand they have an expert who will be on the stand tomorrow who takes the opposite position. At this point it’s very convoluted. I think it will be a matter of who the jury believes. I know I didn’t do it and that is all I know. I can’t figure out how the twenty million came up missing.”

“So. if you can’t figure it all out, maybe the prosecution can’t either. Will that help you in some way?”

“I don’t think he cares if he figures it out or not. All he can see is a former jock and rich guy who is brought to his knees by his fine legal work. He will do anything to get a conviction.”

“I wish you the best of luck, Greg. Keith too, if he’s listening out there on his cosmic radio. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Thank you so much, Lisa. I’m sorry if I sounded all in earlier but I had a life that would be the envy of most of the world and it turned to a nightmare in the blink of an eye. I think my friend Greg would advise us all to enjoy the moment since that moment is all that counts.”

“To learn more about Greg and Keith pick up the book, Circumstances of Childhood, by John W. Howell. I’ll post all the links after I go off the air.

“You can help John and Greg by using those sharing buttons today. I’m sure they’d do it for you, and John has a long history of supporting other authors. Here’s your chance to pay a little of it back.

For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Circumstances of Childhood

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John HowellJohn began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. His latest book Circumstances of Childhood, a thriller fiction story, was launched in October of 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

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