Another Masterpiece #Published – Dreamweaver

Nov 2, 2015
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Nothing beats reading a great book the first time than reading the second book in the series. We are happy to say we have the second novel by Najeev Raj Nadarajah published as of today. This is the second novel in the Dream Cycle series and we look forward to the third. The success of this novel is amazing and with it comes the first success on Bookkus growing and becoming a full fledged series. We can’t wait to see how well this book does in the market and how high it gets reviewed. Dream Caster  has received some epic reviews and has gotten such great feedback that we know Dreamweaver is going to be expecting the same success.

DreamweaverDreamweaver by Najeev Raj Nadarajah

Author Country: Toronto, Canada

Pages: 296

Buy it on Amazon. Book Two of the Dream Cycle.

Dream Caster (Dream Cycle, #1)Add Dream Caster to Goodreads

Published:  November 1st, 2015.

Synopsis of Dreamweaver

Against all odds, Weaver and his friends have found a way to stop the Dream Eater from laying waste to the Shield’s northern outpost. Despite the days of peace that follow, in his heart, Weaver’s certain that all is not well; that a destructive force, so great in its efficiency, could not have been silenced so easily. When the storm clouds, at last, begin to brew, and waves of chaos begin to break upon the Shield, Weaver and his friends are thrust into a plight unlike any they could’ve ever imagined.

About the Author

Najeev NadarajahNajeev Raj Nadarajah has been an enthusiast of the fantasy genre since he first picked up a copy of The Hobbit as a twelve year old. Uniting that unwavering passion with the written word, Nadarajah’s debut novel, Dream Caster, ignites the post-apocalyptic fantasy tale of the Dream Cycle.

Nadarajah has lived in Toronto, Canada since he was four years old, after his family fled the war-torn Sri Lanka in the late eighties. He now works as campus security for the University of Toronto. He is a post-apocalyptic research enthusiast, a strategist, a wordsmith, and a decorated hockey goalie. He has a post-graduate degree in publishing, studied English at York University, and was elected team captain and valedictorian at the Canadian Law Enforcement Training College.

Dreamweaver (The Dream Cycle Book 2)


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The First Draft Thing – Part 2

Oct 19, 2015
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So here you are, staring at the complete first draft of your novel.  What do you do with it?

I’ve already told you not to send it to a publisher or post it on-line, so what’s left?

Put it aside for a while.  Work on something else.

I know, this is really difficult to do.  You’re on a roll – excited, eager to move on.  Trust me, put it aside.  When you go back to it after a month or so and start reading you’ll notice a lot of mistakes.  Some will be simple: spelling and grammar errors, misplaced modifiers, awkward sentences, overuse of some words, weak words (you can find lots of information on these and more in any good book on writing).  You’ll also notice rushed, overlong (if your story bores you, think about how a reader would feel) or confusing scenes, continuity mistakes, repetitions.

As you start making edits you’ll probably wonder why you didn’t catch all these (and others) the first time through. Simple.  You were too close to it.  You need to reset, clear your mind.  Think of professional athletes who get into a slump.  They generally can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong, so they have coaches to help them (in the midst of a season, they don’t have the luxury of taking a week or more off to reset).  If you’ve ever gotten stuck on a crossword puzzle, or a mind game like FreeCell, walked away in disgust only to come back a few hours later, glance at it and immediately see the answer, you know what I mean.  And by the way, many professional writers do this.  It’s just due to the way human brains function.

So that’s why you need to set it aside.

When you pick it back up, the most important thing is to take your time – don’t try to rush.  Make sure you clean up the manuscript to the best of your ability.  But once you finish the second draft getting feedback is critical.  I usually suggest joining a writers group (if there’s one in your hometown) or else try something like Book Country.  But don’t try to post your entire novel.  Post the first few chapters.  One thing that’s important to remember is you need to be actively involved with the group.  All writers want their work read and they all want feedback.  But to get you also have to give.  Be ready to spend some time reviewing other writer’s posts. Just don’t fall into the “I’ll give your story 5 stars, if you give mine 5 stars” crap. You want real feedback. Anything else is worthless.

That brings up the question of family and friends.  You have to face facts.  If you collected your laundry and shopping lists for a year and called them a novel your mother would tell you it was better than Shakespeare.  Same for friends.  Only you know which of your relatives or friends can be relied upon to give you frank feedback.  Most won’t, because they either are afraid to hurt your feelings, or truthfully wouldn’t know good writing from bad if their lives depended on it.  Even friends in publishing or with good critiquing skills will shy away because they know how poorly many people take criticism (try googling “No, I won’t read your novel”).  So try to figure out who will help (“Chapter 3 was way too long, and frankly you need to work on grammar.”) and ask them for feedback.  So that’s why you look for strangers at writers groups or online to read your work first.

Last, one thing that can work is to blog your novel.  There have been some successful recent novels that got started that way (google that too).  If you do it right (not a first draft), you can get helpful feedback, and build excitement and anticipation for your book.

Okay. Next time: Feedback.

DocTom

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Read Part 1 Here

About Tom Wolosz

Tom WoloszTom ‘DocTom’ Wolosz is a paleoecologist, hiker, writer and semi-pro photographer.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, he learned to love the outdoors early in life, which might explain how he ended up as a geology professor at Plattsburgh State College in upstate New York.

Learn more about Tom on his site.

Or get a copy of his book, The Agony of the Gods here.

 

The Agony of the Gods: Softly Falls the Snow


Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

October Re-Runs

Sepember BooksFrom Flickr by martinak15

Welcome to October

October is going to be a month of re-runs. We have many books that NEED your vote to choose the best novels and books

Born in October:

Arthur Miller October 17, 1915 “Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.”   ― Arthur Miller


The Shadow Beneath – 4 Stars

‘The Shadow Beneath’ by Colin Davy

Genre: Crime Thriller
In a quiet northern town, Steve, a Big Issue seller,receives an unusual invitation from a beautiful woman. Unusual but enticing, and he is torn between his innate caution and the lure of the unknown. Back at her cottage, she makes an irresistible offer. When he accepts, his fate is sealed.

Stumbling in Paradise

‘Stumbling in Paradise’ by Michael Scott

Genre: Adventure – Satire
Happily, jokingly – and ignorantly – they clambered aboard their magic-carpet and the world opened like a flower to offer its vast invitation to adventure and success. But would they ever find it?

Runway Collision – 5 Stars

‘Runway Collision’ by Lamarlo G. Williams

Genre: Fiction – Adult Romance
Runway Collision is about love and self-discovery. Taylor’s
character was designed to draw women of all ages into her fast-paced
and unpredictable life. Will she ever find true love and happiness?
Climb aboard and let’s find out! Taylor LaRue, a runway model diva extraordinaire, unexpectedly finds herself stumbling in and out of relationships. One week before her marriage to Stephen William Blake III, an international high profile millionaire, Taylor’s fairy tale wedding comes to a screeching halt. Taylor decides to give the Love Express another ride when she meets and begins to date Mike Washington, a professional football player.

An Acquired Taste – 3 Stars

‘An Acquired Taste’ by Shameez Patel

Genre: Fiction Romance
Olive is a twenty-three year old woman who thinks very little of herself, especially since she catches her fiancé, DEAN and her sister, TARA together. She leaves Cape Town and goes to London in order to start a new life. She develops a crush on her attractive boss, CHRISTOPHER and ends up confiding in her new neighbour, Thomas. Olive thinks her new life is perfect, until she realises that it is not when Christopher becomes abusive and she has no idea what to do about it.

All Gas, No Oil – 4 Stars

‘All Gas, No Oil’ by Julian Ruck

Genre: Adventure
A 1960’s oil rig disaster resulting from the negligent manufacture of the main structure, leads two old friends, a happy-go-lucky fallen public schoolboy and a grieving lawyer, into the rough and tumble chaos of a 1970’s Aberdeen oil boom. Meanwhile, the sudden deaths of those responsible for the rig’s collapse, cast a suspicious and dangerous shadow over love and friendship alike. The frenetic and sometimes distraught love affairs between the main players and their girlfriends, one a tough female investigative journalist and the other a brilliant artist, brings further drama and tension as all those involved try to discover who and what they really are. Who will win? Who will lose? But most of all, who is the most deadly amongst them?

On a Fooler’s Errand – 4 Stars

‘On a Fooler’s Errand’ by R. Aaron Thompson
Genre: Science Fiction

Sheel is a normal-looking human in a world where everyone’s inner nature has manifested as hooves, wings, and fur. Using his ability to go unnoticed, Sheel embarks on a courier mission through a world of steam and airships to save the human race. The Rapture was the beginning of the trouble. After Purple Clouds covered the Earth for six months, everyone’s inner nature manifested outwardly and the world has been populated by anthropomorphic animals that used to be human. Chief among these are the Dracs, fascist lizard men that hold all of society within their scaled claws. Sheel has been recruited by the Smarts to use his Fooler abilities to avoid detection from the Dracs while he journeys to deliver a mysterious watch with the help of his traveling companion Azura. Azura is a Feeler, capable of telepathy and blessed with extraordinary senses. Sheel soon learns that the stakes are high and that he joined a very dangerous game. Because he has fooled himself into forgetting the mission in order to keep it a secret, his only hope is that he remembers in time to save the world. With the help of some flying pigs and a twelve-year-old girl in outer space, he may just pull it off.

Broken – 3.5 Stars

‘Broken’ by Neysha Reeves
Genre: Chic Lit

A young family ripped apart at the seams – nothing can ever be the same again. Early one morning, happy couple Victoria and Danny are sent into a panic when their four month old baby is choking. The young parents rush the lifeless baby into the emergency room where it is discovered she has Shaken Baby Syndrome. Victoria is arrested and held in custody, while she awaits trial for child abuse. Abandoned and desperate to see her critically ill baby, she finds an ally in her Legal Aid lawyer. A lengthy trial takes place, as the court case comes to a devastating conclusion, the guilty party is revealed.

The Ex – 4 Stars

‘The Ex’ by Deborah Barcus Turcol
Genre: Romance

We’ve all had an ex…an ex-boyfriend, an ex-husband, an ex-partner, an ex-lover. If we’re lucky, an ex will walk out of our lives without any complications, but only if we’re lucky. It’s 1980 in La Jolla, California. Natalie Bartlett has devoted her life to her career, becoming an accomplished architect in a world dominated by men. Since the collapse of her emotionally abusive marriage, she has been involved in a ‘no-strings-attached’ relationship for the past three years. It serves its purpose just fine, no strings means no heartbreak, until the day she runs into a man she merely crossed paths with ten years ago. Despite all her misgivings and fears, this man slowly pulls her into the safety of his heart, giving her the missing piece of the puzzle, making her soul complete. But a turn of events shoves her out of her newfound comfort zone. Now she realizes the man she loves comes with a piece of baggage packed so full of evil it’s beyond her comprehension. She can either turn and run or stay and fight to the end. If she runs…she loses him. If she stays…he loses her.

Eternal Blue Sky – 4.5 Stars

‘Eternal Blue Sky’ by Michelle Schmidtke
Genre: Historical Romance

When the universe conspires to give LORRAINE LINVOG a second chance at love and happiness, the offer just might be rejected. Fleeing from the pain of an abusive childhood and the knowledge that she was to blame for her lover’s death from a horse racing accident over a decade ago, Lorraine, a tough, self-reliant racehorse trainer, wants to be left alone, free of messy emotional complications, content with only the company of horses and dogs and the occasional man who can provide sex without strings attached. But she doesn’t get want she thinks she wants. Instead, she gets SONAM, a Tibetan in exile with his own haunted past who loves her; SIALEA-LEA, an abused Navajo girl who needs her; LITTLE JOHN, a Navajo shaman who befriends her; and the startling epiphany of how her past life affects choices she must make to find love and happiness in her present life.

Bubble of Time – 5 Stars

‘Bubble of Time’ by Rick Trivett
Genre: Fantasy – Humour

The land of Lyonnesse has been concealed from our eyes since ancient times in a bubble of time. Life is simpler. Problems of ethnicity, race, religion, greed and politics have all but been eliminated. But their near utopic existence is shattered when a murder is committed. So when a stranger stumbles accidentally into Lyonnesse, he is the ideal candidate to investigate with complete impartiality. But (there is always a but), unfettered by our preconceptions, Lyonnesse is a place where magic and time travel are a part of everyday life. Difficult enough concepts to grasp at the best of times, but even more so when our young hero has a murder to investigate. Oh, and is desperate to get back home by teatime a week ago to take his girlfriend out for a meal.

Burning Suspicion – 5 Stars

‘Burning Suspicion’ by Sherry Rummler
Genre: Women’s Fiction

A fatal fire leaves a question burning in the mind of Meredith Walsh: did Ian Johnston murder his parents? When Meredith confronts her fiancé Ian about his parents’ death, he challenges Meredith’s accusations and claims to authorities that she is mentally unstable. Ian’s words and actions continue to wreak havoc on Meredith’s mind after he skips town, leaving her to question her sanity and fear for her life. Andy Hall, a rookie detective at NYPD, is ready and eager to take the case. Convinced the fire is a homicide, Detective Hall wonders why his boss is so willing to push the case to the back burner. As each detail of truth surfaces from the ashes of the crime, he soon realizes the situation is far more difficult than he originally thought. Will Andy and Meredith warn the latest victim, Eva Garrett, in time? Or will Eva fall prey to Ian’s cunning spirit … and become his latest casualty?

Prostitute of State – 4.5 Stars

‘Prostitute of State’ by Kate Kinnear
Genre: Literary Fiction

Jack Paradies, a bad boy with good heart hidden, had a painful past in covert activity. When he returned to his hometown with nothing left to lose, he took up with a barmaid who was intrigued by the mystery of him, and who helped him heal. When Jack Paradies returned to his Nebraska hometown, few recognized him. Many remembered his antics. None knew how far he took it. Jack was a man of deep thought, contradiction, and exquisite self-control. He doled out intelligence and wit, and he could laugh with the best of them. Jade Ratigan owned a local tavern. She dressed to rouse and keep the cash register ringing. Once a tomboy, Jade was raised close to the heart of an alcoholic father who deserted the family. Jade did not possess the bold spirit she once admired in her father, and though she could not let herself reconcile with him, she leaned hard toward the bad-boy type. Jack was that, and more.

A Dream Too Many – 4 Stars

‘A Dream Too Many’ by Joel Sauber
Genre: Fiction Adventure

Most people wonder what might become if their single most passionate dream came true. Few ponder the notion of what would happen when many dreams cross paths. In a world where many of us would live happily finding that elusive dream that has finally come true, the select few are the envy of many others. Kaleb was one of the few. Starting out with little more than a dream of a new math that would unlock ideas never seen or heard of before, Kaleb, a handsomely gifted individual finds a way. This idea engulfs his life from dusk to dawn, until he met Corina. Before they met her only wish, whispered into her pillow many nights, was a dream she was told is not possible. The young couple live their lives happily, not knowing Kaleb’s dream has leaked out to the evil world that surrounds them. With the capabilities of this new math, nearly every man and woman seeks to hold this treasure as their own while Kaleb and Corina are simply happy being together. The dust flies, tempers flare and greed overpowers many in their attempts to hold the secrets of the new math at any and all costs, all the while Kaleb turns the tables and uses his intellectual gifts with the new math to hold his pursuers at bay and keep Corina safe in this inspirational tale of the extremes evil portrays down the path of deadly sins, and those that hold a descent heart to do what they know is right.

Sabien’s Quest – 4 Stars

‘Sabien’s Quest: The Light’ by Shomari Black
Genre: Fantasy

Sabien is a monk, an orphan, and a hunchback. His dog, Rahld, follows him wherever he goes, even though Rahld is too big to fit indoors. When Sabien is forced to leave the village monastery in search of The Light, Rahld follows. And when Sabien engages in hand-to-hand combat with a nine-foot tall demon made of brimstone, Rahld helps. Escaped demons fear The Light, and they know about Sabien. They know he isn’t actually an orphan or a hunchback. They know Rahld isn’t a dog. Queen Karina suspects he may be more than a monk, and the Guardians that watch from Above know he is. But no one knows where or what The Light is: not the renegade princess Magnificent, not the wise-mouth assassin Ei Lata’n, not even the werewolf Ska. Sabien has his faith, he has his friends, and he has his dog. If only he had a clue…

A Pound of Flesh – 3.5 Stars

‘A Pound of Flesh’ by Heather Coyle
Genre: Thriller

It started with Martha. Then came Polly. Both women, brutally murdered in a dramatic fashion. With no leads the case has Ron stumped and drained. Along comes Emma, a young, detail oriented and enthusiastic crime scene technician. Unable to let it go Emma picks away until she figures out the connection. However, as the bodies begin to pile up and with a smart killer on the loose, will they be able to stop him before his grand finale?


Books still looking for Amazing Reviewers

Dogs Have No Regrets

‘Dogs Have No Regrets’ by Guy Martin Roberge
Genre: General Fiction

This is a delightful yet poignant tale in which a Newfoundland dog named Bennett who is able to think like a human leads his owner Brian toward renewed hope in love and faith.

Draped in Deceit

‘Draped in Deceit’ by M D Charles
Genre: Thriller

As seventeen-year-old Dan Trennan tries to cope with the pain of losing his adoptive mother Fran, he can’t help but turn to his ex-girlfriend Nicola James for comfort. When Nic agrees to help him find his birth mother, it seems like maybe things are looking up for Dan, despite his grief.

Off Grid and Free

‘Off Grid and Free – My Path to the Wilderness’ by Ron Melchiore
Genre: Non-fiction Adventure

True stories of survival, outdoor adventure and an off grid lifestyle. Inspirational, enlightening and humorous, the author shares his unconventional life taking readers on a vicarious journey from his city roots to the Canadian wilderness.

The Isolate /n./

‘The Isolate /n./’ by Rick Jetter
Genre: YA Fiction

Cameron Elliot gets physically ill each day. While struggling with autism and bullying, his one friend, Samantha Reedy, will help him before his life is doomed forever!

Whirligig of Time

‘Whirligig of Time’ by Maureen Thorpe
Genre: Historical Fantasy

When Annie moves back to the fifteenth century in Yorkshire, she finds murder, corruption and love. The fledgling witch moves through a maze of deceit and danger, along with two newly retired archers from the French wars.

Back Side Of A Hurricane

by Robert Schwab

Genre: Literary Fiction

As Hurricane Hugo bears down on the coast, a man travels to South Carolina looking for a connection to his lost father, hoping to save his marriage. The man he most needs help from turns out to be the one person who most wants him to fail. Tucker Nash is a man on the move, poised to earn a promotion in his father-in-law’s business when he learns that his wife, Bellamy, is contemplating divorce. He enters therapy with her, and discovers a lost memory of a fishing trip he took with his father, who is a Vietnam MIA. He and Bellamy plan a trip to South Carolina to try and locate the site of the trip, but family illness forces Tucker to go alone. Impatience and bad decisions leave Tucker stranded. He meets Earl Pitney, a man tormented by the war and by his family history. Tucker’s quest threatens Earl’s search for peace and desire to keep his secrets to himself. As Hurricane Hugo zeroes in on the South Carolina coast, Tucker and Earl struggle with their demons as they try to restore order to their lives. If Tucker succeeds, Earl’s serenity will be shattered. If Earl succeeds, Tucker may lose his family. If the hurricane succeeds, everyone may lose.

Blink of an Eye

by John H. K. Fisher

Genre: Thriller

‘The Blink of an Eye’ is a story about Hamasa, who was raised in Afghanistan by the Taliban, or so he thought. It turns out that his parents are Israeli spies masquerading as the Taliban. Hamasa is taken to Canada where he has a profound spiritual experience that sends him on a truth quest back to Afghanistan. However, he lands in the middle of a terrorist attack that he miraculously escapes from, or so the reader is led to believe, until the end of the book. After many adolescent experiences, Hamasa meets Nayanna and falls madly in love. However, when he goes back to Afghanistan he was persuaded back into the life of a terrorist, by His grandfather. This led him down the path to be introduced to ancient documents that were discovered, along with the Dead Sea scrolls, but sold off to the Mafia. These documents inspire Hamasa to target God and His Profits. Those who claim to know and write the word of God were kidnapped and forced to reveal the truth that they claimed to know. However the tables are turned and Hamasa becomes the captured. He is charged by the FBI with the murder of an innocent civilian, who happens to be Nayanna’s Husband.

Ride the Wind

by M.P.Mongrain

Genre: Fiction Law Thriller

1900 – Montgomery Alabama – Hannah, the fourteen year old slave was, brutally raped by the white master

1957 – The Smith family, lives on Beacon Hill, Boston.

Hannah’s grandson and his wife have shattered barriers and with their five year old son Michael, dare to move next door to the Grants. The Johnsons live in a palace that has been carved into the side of the North Shore Mountains, in Vancouver B.C. 1972 Jonathan inveigles Michael to go to Haight-Ashbury, the psychedelic capitol to escape reality With ironical ease they manage to smuggle drugs across the Mexican border. Back in Boston Michael enlists; sent to Vietnam. Jonathan dodges to Canada.. . .In Montreal he gets mugged and is admitted to a psychiatric ward where he undergoes brainwashing experiments. In 1994 he wakes up in the underbrush of Stanley Park. Destiny takes his hand and walks him into the wonderful world of the Johnsons, until he is arrested for murder.

The First Draft Thing – Part 1

Second Stage Books

The End

As you stare at your computer screen you get this sudden, exhilarating rush of emotion. You’ve done it! You’ve written a novel!  Hardly able to contain yourself you want to high-five the world, but instead you just lean back with this stupid grin on your face and read those two words, those seven simple letters over and over again.

If you’ve printed out the manuscript, you pick it up lovingly, hold it like it’s your newborn child, run your fingers over the paper, feeling the texture, living the sense of accomplishment.

Now what do you do?

     You should go back to page one and start reading, slowly.

Huh?  But shouldn’t you send it to a publisher?  Isn’t the world waiting for your novel?

In a word – no.

Look, I’ve been there, done that.  Don’t get me wrong, you’ve just crossed the threshold of a major accomplishment in your life, something you should justifiably be very proud of.  The important thing is to recognize that you still have a lot of work ahead of you.  Don’t screw up by rushing things. It’s important to recognize that what you have is a first draft, and there’s a simple rule in writing – never submit a first draft.

Why?

Well, let me ask you a question.  What is your approach to writing?  Did you start with the first chapter and just chug along until you reached the end, or are you modular – writing chapters as separate entities and them stitching them together?  (That’s what I do.)  Do you force yourself to finish a chapter despite being tired, or even if the words aren’t particularly flowing?  Think about it.

My point is that there will be places where the writing isn’t particularly crisp (or even good English).  It’s possible that in your rush you missed the spelling and grammar errors (homonyms are the worst because spell check doesn’t catch them, often resulting in ‘howlers’ – unintentionally hilarious sentences).  Your characters may not be consistent (wasn’t that guy left-handed in the last chapter? I thought her name was Kathy, not Cathy).   You may have over-described unimportant things, and under-written important ones.  We all do these things when we first start writing, and the worst thing you can do is try to submit a first draft to a publisher, or even worse, get lured by the siren-song of self-publishing.

In the end you only hurt yourself.  Your novel is an artwork and needs to be highly polished. If it’s not, people will mark it, and you, as not worth wasting their time on.

Think of it this way.  If you went to a new car dealership and the cars in the lot had uninflated tires, doors with mismatched colors and stereo systems that didn’t work because someone forgot to connect all the wires – would you buy one of their cars?  Well, that’s what a first draft is like.

I find it very sad when I see a book that’s been posted on Bookkus, or Book Country, or Wattpad, but has yet to receive a review despite having been available for weeks.  Most often it’s because the novel is a first draft.  You read the first few pages and there are so many errors of all types (although I will admit that misspellings are the worst and most annoying) that you can’t even decide where to begin to write a review.  Most people don’t even bother trying, they just move on to the next available book.  After all, if the writer can’t be bothered proof reading their story, why should anyone else bother?

So what should you do once you’ve finished the first draft?

I’ll run through that next time.

-DocTom

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Read Part 2 Here

About Tom Wolosz

Tom WoloszTom ‘DocTom’ Wolosz is a paleoecologist, hiker, writer and semi-pro photographer.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, he learned to love the outdoors early in life, which might explain how he ended up as a geology professor at Plattsburgh State College in upstate New York.

Learn more about Tom on his site.

Or get a copy of his book, The Agony of the Gods here.

 

 

The Agony of the Gods: Softly Falls the Snow


Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

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