Rise and Fall of My Beloved

Today it is my pleasure to welcome poet Utanu Maa and her book Rise and Fall of My Beloved.

 

Author’s description

Rise and Fall of My Beloved is a collection of poetry and prose about resilience—about the experience of stigma and rejection, disease and suffering, love and care, loss and grief—and also a testimony of gratitude, forgiveness and togetherness. Each of its three parts is a journey through life’s struggles, pain and loss, all of which require an inner force to overcome, build, rebuild, succeed and heal: resilience. It expresses an undercurrent to an imposed destiny or stigma.

 

Based on the life experience of my late brother, Rise and Fall of My Beloved is a tribute to mankind’s resilience to overcome adversities. The book takes readers from his vulnerable childhood as a neglected orphan set to die, through a childhood in which he was bullied, to his rise as an accomplished engineer, and sadly to his fall as a dying patient of HIV/AIDS. Each poem depicts the essence of unconditional love and care, the dignity of dying of AIDS, forgiveness, and family bond. This book is a manifesto of my brother’s exceptional resilience, the best memory of him that will live forever. It is an invitation, an inspiration, a reflection that, when mankind encounters struggles, disease, pain, death, loss, grief, we have to grieve and heal, and rebuild.

About the Author

I am Utanu MAA. I live in Toronto and work as a public servant within the Ontario Court of Justice. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, where I studied French Literature and Law before migrating to Canada in 1991, and thereafter studied Fashion Marketing, Paralegal and Law (1year) programs. In 2004, I was a recipient of a prize for the Poetry contest organized by Canada Heritage during the celebration of the Francophonie. “Couleur d’une langue” (The Color of a language), my unpublished poem about the diversity and different accents that give rhythm and power to a language to become an umbrella of one identity. “Rise and Fall of My Beloved” is also my own journey into unconditional love and care, and the resilience to deal with pain, loss, grief, to grieve, heal and continue with life after my brother’s death.

Find the Author

Connect with Utanu Maa at her website or on Facebook.

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM https://amazon.com/dp/0228836506
AMAZON.CA https://amazon.ca/dp/0228836506
KINDLE https://amazon.com/dp/B08M2DNJHP
BOOKSHOP https://bookshop.org/books/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved/9780228836506
INDIGO CHAPTERS https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/rise-and-fall-of-my/9780228836513-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved-utanu-maa/1138021915
BOOK DEPOSITORY https://www.bookdepository.com/Rise-and-Fall-of-My-Beloved-Utanu-Maa/9780228836506
RAKUTEN KOBO https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved
SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1051884
APPLE BOOKS https://books.apple.com/us/book/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved/id1538242460

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

An Excerpt Just for Readers of This Blog

The Speech

He lacked the speech and was teased, mocked.

People regularly targeted, labelled, and bullied him.

They did not believe in his ability to learn and succeed,

They repeatedly told him loudly, in his face

And ears with intent to persuade him about himself.

They predestined him for failure because he was unable to speak.

He remained silent for a long time, listening carefully.

He observed motions on their lips; he absorbed words and sounds.

Then, one early morning, still in bed,

While everyone was in their last dream or nightmare,

And when time had healed and ended his grieving,

The miracle happened: he spoke!

Words and sounds gusted out of his mouth

Like a volcano erupting after a century of long sleep,

He spoke, he spoke, and he spoke volumes!

He talked firmly to himself or maybe to an invisible entity or spirit,

Repeating verbatim words that he had been absorbing:

The same terms used to tease, label, and mock him,

To bully and denigrate him, to silence him and cast him out.

From the bed where I slept, after we were allowed,

I saw him walking outside like a soldier going to war,

Brave and determined to defend his persona with words!

The struggle was out there, and he went to fight it

With his only but most potent weapon: words!

Words used in a common way: verbally, loudly, and firmly.

He knew the power of words, used for any purpose.

Now equally equipped to face the struggle in his early life,

He spoke correctly just as he had observed words on lips,

Using the same words to tease, mock, or intimidate.

To the big disbelief of all, though I had prayed and pleaded

To my ancestors and God that one day he would speak,

Zola had proven at last his ability to pronounce words.

Soon he would go to school to learn words in books,

To write words on a blackboard or in a notebook,

On a wall or on the ground, carving on a tree or on leaves.

Words pronounced in speech to make a statement,

Words spoken with confidence in a native or foreign language,

Words used to argue, defend opinions, convince, and lead,

Words that would further educate and engineer his brain,

Words as a tool to beat all odds and rise exceptionally like a star,

Indeed, words were clearly spoken by his mouth from this point on.

What liberation, relief, blessing, and privilege!

Thank you!

Utanu Maa — we appreciate your sharing one of your poems with us! Best of luck with sales of Rise and Fall of My Beloved, and with all of your future writing.

Mimi’s Paris Dilemma

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Elizabeth Cooke and her mystery novel, Mimi’s Paris Dilemma.

Author’s description

Mimi’s Paris dilemma overwhelms her. She feels desolate, unappreciated, her celebrity status lost. The Parisiennes, the women of Paris, have turned against her. They are sympathique to the fate of a woman incarcerated for murder and reject Mimi, who was instrumental in bringing about that fate.

 

In this, Book Two of The Mimi Series, new crimes are committed. Mimi again is instrumental in helping solve them because of her sensitive petit nez, which pursues nasal clues where no human can follow.

 

Where few are aware of how truly skillful the little dog is, they slowly come to realize her value, and Mimi’s reputation is gradually restored to its full power.

About the Author

Elizabeth Cooke, born and bred in New York City, graduate of Vassar College and The Sorbonne, is the author of several books about Paris, where she lived in the 1950s.

Find the Author

Facebook: @ElizabethBuffyCooke
Instagram: @elizabethcookebooks
Pinterest: elizabethcookebooks

Buy the Book

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mimis-Paris-Dilemma-Mimi-Book-ebook/dp/B08L9T9YTD
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54433406-mimi-takes-paris

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

Read an Excerpt

“Different indeed,” Nicole exclaimed. “More like unique.

Imagine having a dog as co-anchor on an interview show like the popular TONIGHT!”

“Unique, eh?” Rene countered.

“I can’t wait,” Nicole enthused. “But let us start after the fate of Stephan Ledax is decided and the trial done.”

*     *     *     *     *

Three weeks went by before Nicole Marcel and Mimi became full-time co-anchors on the TONIGHT TV interview show. They waited to take up their duties until the trial of Stephan Ledax was over.

Nicole testified before the court, as did Rene Couteau, to the attempted rape in the changing room of the studio. The verdict was unanimous: guilty of sexual assault.

During the course of the proceedings, there was testimony from six other women, relating to the pattern of behavior Stephan Ledax evinced over the period of several years –  involving  a variety of predatory acts – some even cruel: abandonment, abortion, lack of child support.

Stephan Ledax was sentenced to eight years behind bars. As he was led away by a policewoman, his face was distorted and wet with tears.

*     *     *     *     *

And so it came to pass.

Thank you!

Elizabeth Cooke — we appreciate your sharing some of your book Mimi’s Paris Dilemma with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Alien Legacy – The Empath

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Keri Kruspe and her sci-fi romance novel, Alien Legacy – The Empath.

 

 Author’s description

The aliens we thought were long gone are coming back.

Just his luck, alien-hybrid Ben Duncan is the only one for the job. Being an empath and a financial wizard, he’s called in to uncover an essential ally at a small regional bank in Vegas to thwart a plot his alien ancestors, the Akurns, seemed to have started there. If their heinous plans are successful, the global economy would crash and weaken mankind for their invasion in less than five short months. When Ben arrives at his assignment as a covert consultant, he meets the intriguing Julienne and is instantly alarmed at the intense attraction he has for her. He’d love to indulge in his obsession with the delectable woman, but knows he has no choice but to stay as far away from her as possible. The fate of billions don’t leave time for anything personal.

As senior vice-president, Julienne King leads a stressful life immersed in organizing a huge merger for a local bank in Vegas. And meeting some arrogant, hotter-than-hell, aloof outside consultant makes things worse. When she stumbles on an insidious money laundering scheme that threatens the global economy, she’s caught and kidnapped by one of her hateful bosses. While in captivity, she’s threatened with alien experimentation, death, or both. But what shocks her the most is it turns out she may not be who or what she thought she was.

Now it’s a race against time. Can a banker and an alien-hybrid overcome their misconceptions and to not only work together, but to realize their love is the key to mankind’s salvation?

About the Author

Keri Kruspe, award-winning “Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures” loves nothing more than to write about romances that feature “feisty heroines who aren’t afraid to take a chance on life… or love”. Her writing career started when she became irritated that most SciFi romances had women kidnapped before they could find love. Determined to create something different, she turned “the alien kidnapping trope upside down” (Vine Voice) and the ALIEN EXCHANGE trilogy was born.

Keri’s latest SciFi Romance novel, ALIEN LEGACY: THE EMPATH, is the first in a five-book series of the Ancient Alien Descendants, taking the Ancient Alien motif and mixing it with a sensual, romantic twist.

A native Nevadan, Keri is a lifelong avid reader who lives in Northwestern Michigan with her hubby and the newest member of the family, a Jack Russell Terrier named Hestia. When not immersed in her made-up worlds, she enjoys discovering the fascinating landscape of her new home and pairing red wine with healthy ways to cook. Most of all, she loves finding her next favorite author.

If you want to know when Keri’s next book will come out, please visit her website at http:/kerikruspe.com, where you can sign up for her mailing list. You’ll get a FREE copy of the novella, The Day Behind Tomorrow that is a prologue to the ALIEN LEGACY series. Not to mention being kept updated on the life of a dedicated, obsessed author.

Find the Author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/klkruspe15

Twitter: https://twitter.com/keri_kruspe

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kerikruspe

Buy the Book

The book is on sale for $0.99 on Kindle or Nook during this tour.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Legacy-Romance-Ancient-Descendants-ebook/dp/B08FT98KQ8/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

At 7:00 on a Monday morning, the bright cloudless sky should have encouraged Julienne King to begin her day with a light heart and an eagerness to start the day. Not stress about going to a thankless, pain-in-the-ass job. Not stress about how she didn’t fit into the life she led. Not stress about her unrelenting urge to search for that elusive something just out of reach—convinced more than ever she was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, while living a totally wrong life. You’d think reaching the pinnacle of Senior Vice President of a small but reputable state bank at the age of thirty-one would cement a soul-satisfying life purpose. Oh no, not her.

Humph. Might as well obsess about her nonexistent love life while she was at it.

She eyed the metal handle of her car door. The stupid thing would be hot. Even this early, it had enough time to soak up the mid-July desert heat of Las Vegas. Using the edge of her suit jacket to protect her fingers, she opened the door. When it flung wide, the inside belched a suffocating, broiling miasma. As sweat broke out, she briefly closed her eyes. Good thing she parked in the shade, otherwise she’d melt into a puddle of messy goo by the time she got to work. Maybe she’d make it there before her makeup liquefied into a Picasso painting. Having been raised in the Vegas foster system, you’d think she’d be used to the scorching heat by now.