New: ‘The Mysterious Composition of Tears,’ a novel by Sharon Heath

Thomas-Jacob Publishing has released the latest addition to Sharon Heath’s The Fleur Trilogy, The Mysterious Composition of Tears (July 18). Currently available in Kindle and paperback, The novel book follows History of My Body, Tizita, and Return of the Butterfly.

From the Publisher:

After a series of climate calamities, physicist Fleur Robins takes off for deep space in a desperate attempt to save the species from extinction. During her mysteriously prolonged absence, the internet has crashed, fire and flood have devastated whole countries, and End of Times cults have proliferated. There have been some intriguingly hopeful changes, too—nanoparticle holograms have replaced electronic devices, young people are witnessing exquisitely colorful “Shimmers,” and the most gifted of them converse regularly with animals and trees.

While Fleur’s distraught husband Adam leads their Caltech physics team in frantic efforts to pinpoint her whereabouts, and Fleur herself plots her return home, their teenaged children Callay and Wolf fall in love with surprising partners. But when the charming son of an End of Times pastor crosses Wolf’s path during a particularly vibrant Shimmer, events are set in motion that will upend everyone’s life and transform planet Earth itself.

This latest installment of Sharon Heath’s saga of the quirky Nobelist Fleur is simultaneously a vision of what awaits us in a post-Covid world, a wild romp through quantum reality, and a deep sea dive into the dark and light vagaries of the human heart.

From the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles

Come and join us at the Institute Clubhouse or via Zoom on September 10th at 10:30 a. m. for a book reading and signing by Jungian Analyst Sharon Heath of her sequel to The Fleur Trilogy. Admission is free, but registration is required

Heath is also the author of Chasing Eve.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Once an author begins a new novel or short story, there’s no such thing as “not writing” even when s/he isn’t actually writing. The characters are always present. The need to gather more information is equally present. It’s hard to explain this to people who see me reading online or a paper book (yes, they still exist) and assume I’m taking a break. Nope, doesn’t happen.

My novel in progress is called Pollyanna Hoskins. If you read Thomas-Jacob Publishing’s free anthology, then you saw the first chapter of this novel in my “Smokey Hollow Blues” short story. Before I wrote that short story, I’d been trying to write another novel set in Glacier Park. But, I couldn’t do it. My novels set in the park (there are three of them, I think) were too far back in time for me to just plug into their matrix and start writing about the high country again.

However, I’d already written four novels in my “Florida Folk Magic Series,” so it was easier to step back into that world again. So, I’m writing about north Florida again. And a CIA operative. And the Klan. And a bit of conjure. I grew up in this world, so it’s home–for better or worse. I know it sounds weird, but the stories a writer writes choose him/her rather than the other way around.

I thought I was done writing about the Florida Panhandle. Well, I guess not. As it turns out, an author is never really done writing about anything.

Malcolm

‘The Things We Write’ is now available in a paperback edition

You should assume I’m biased when I say this is a beautiful book. What an honor to be part of it. Now it’s out in paperback, supplementing the PDF and e-book editions.

From the Publisher

Seven Thomas-Jacob Publishing, LLC authors bring you 15 of their short stories, excerpts, and poems. Sometimes offbeat, always captivating, the selections include historical fiction, magical realism, crime, psychological suspense, literary fiction, coming of age, and poetry for both children and adults. The works are grouped by author name, not genre, ensuring a surprise each time you turn the page.

Poet Scott Zeidel contributed the cover art. You can also see his artwork on the cover of his collection of poems, Welcome, and in his wife Smoky Zeidel’s book Who’s Munching on my Milkweed.

Malcolm

Sunday’s Goulash

  • Yard Mowing: One thing is certain. When we mow the yard on Saturday, we’re going to be stiff and sore on Sunday. Much of what we’re mowing is old fields rather than a yard. That means when we sit on our riding mowers for a couple of hours, we’re subjecting ourselves to a bone-jarring ride. The picture shows the fields on one side of the house, stretching eastward past the original smokehouse.
  • Call the Midwife:  We’ve been watching this 1950s/60s PBS drama since it first aired in 2012. The writing and acting are compelling, and it’s interesting seeing how medicine and midwives existed somewhat differently than they did during the same time period in the States. At the outset, the program was based on former midwife Jennifer Worth’s memoir of working in East London.
  • Ukraine. I posted a few words about this brutal genocide on my Depot Cafe blog because it’s difficult watching the daily tragedy without feeling angry, sad, and helpless. If I were a poet, I might turn to literature as one way of trying to understand the pointless death and destruction. There’s precedent for Putin’s madness. Stalin orchestrated the terror-famine in 1932 and 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. Most of the world views this famine as intentional genocide–just as we view what’s happening now.
  • Thomas-Jacob Publishing Anthology. I hope those of you who would like to read this free book in a PDF, MOBI, or EPUB file have been able to download it from the publisher’s site here. Since the stories, poems, and excerpts are arranged alphabetically by author, my short story “The Smokey Hollow Blues” leads off the collection. Smokey Hollow was a real neighborhood in Tallahassee, Florida, a place I knew about when I was growing up. The city wanted to destroy it via so-called urban renewal, and they did.
  • Cats! Our cats sleep in the bedroom at night. When we turn off the TV late in the evening, they hover around the bedroom door waiting to be let in. Katy sleeps on the bed. Robbie curls up in a box with a towel. They’re kicked out in the morning as soon as one or both of them starts committing infractions. As you can see, I’ve used clip art here rather than any real pictures of the crimes. We’re too sleepy to take pictures at 4:30 a.m.

Malcolm

Watch this space

I just saw the cover artwork for something new, something that’s been in the works at Thomas-Jacob Publishing, and it looks great.

But I can’t tell you what it is.

I can tell you that you’re going to like it (or else). I can also tell you that I’ve been having fun working on my part of this “something new.” We had a nasty thunderstorm this afternoon, but I kept working.

Feel free to stop watching this space if you have to use the restroom, walk the dog, or get some shuteye. We understand because we’re understanding people. We’re not going to be watching this space 24/7 either because we’re busy working on the something new.

Around the clock.

Malcolm

Supporting Wounded Warrior Project

“Veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound while serving in the military on or after September 11, 2001. You are our focus. You are our mission.

Here, you’re not a member – you’re an alumnus, a valued part of a community that’s been where you’ve been, and understands what you need. Everything we offer is free because there’s no dollar value to finding recovery and no limit to what you can achieve.” – Wounded Warrior

According to Wounded Warrior, there are “more than 52,000 servicemen and women physically injured in recent military conflicts. 500,000 living with invisible wounds, from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder. 320,000 experiencing debilitating brain trauma.”

While I’m a pacifist, I always support our troops and their right to respect and medical care during and after their active duty. They are among the last people who should be allowed to fall through the cracks of what should be our unconditional medical, emotional, and finanial support. 

So I am pleased that my colleague Robert Hays at Thomas-Jacob Publishing is calling attention to those needs by donating the proceeds from his novel An Inchwork Takes Wing to their cause:

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–Malcolm

A cool selection of fiction

From my colleagues at Thomas-Jacob Publishing

Child of Sorrow by Melinda Clayton

When fourteen-year-old foster child Johnathan Thomas Woods is suspected of murder, an old letter and a tacky billboard advertisement lead him to the office of attorney Brian Stone. Recognizing the sense of hopelessness lurking under John’s angry façade, Stone is soon convinced of his innocence. When John offers up his lawn-mowing money as payment, Stone realizes this is a case he can’t refuse.

In the face of overwhelming evidence assembled by the prosecution, Stone and his team find themselves in a race against time to save an angry boy who’s experienced more than his fair share of betrayal, a boy who more often than not doesn’t seem interested in saving himself.

An Inchworm Takes Wing by Robert Hays

In the tranquil solitude of a darkened Room 12 in the ICU on the sixth floor of Memorial Hospital’s Wing C, a mortal existence is drawing to an end. His head and torso swathed in bandages, his arms and legs awkwardly positioned in hard casts and layers of heavy gauze, he’s surrounded by loved ones yet unable to communicate, isolated within his own thoughts and memories.

He does not believe himself to be an extraordinary man, simply an ordinary one, a man who’s made choices, both good and bad. A man who was sometimes selfish, sometimes misguided, sometimes kind and wise. A man who fought in a war in which he lost a part of his soul, who then became a teacher and worked hard to repair the damage.

When faced with the end, how does one reconcile the pieces of an ordinary life? Does a man have the right to wish for wings to carry him to a summit he believes he doesn’t deserve to reach?

Chasing Eve by Sharon Heath

Everyone expected big things from Ariel Thompkins. Wasn’t she the girl who’d roped her friends into one madcap adventure after another, who’d met the challenge of losing both parents before turning eighteen, who’d gone on to graduate summa cum laude from UCLA? So how did this livewire end up delivering the day’s mail for the U.S. Postal Service, hunkering down each night with her half-blind cat in front of the TV, ruminating over the width of her thighs? It looked as though it would take a miracle to get her out of her rut. Who knew that miracle would come in the form of an acutely candid best friend and a motley crew of strangers—a homeless drunk once aptly nicknamed “Nosy,” a lonely old woman seeing catastrophe around every corner, a shy teenager fleeing sexual abuse, a handsome young transplant from the Midwest with a passion for acting and for Ariel herself? Not to mention the fossil remains of a flat-faced crone who just might have been the ancestress of everyone alive today? Chasing Eve takes us on a funny, sad, hair-raising adventure into the underbelly of the City of Angels, where society’s invisible people make a difference to themselves and to others, and where love sometimes actually saves the day.

Who’s Munching by Milkweed? by Smoky Zeidel

When Ms. Gardener discovers something has been munching on her milkweed plants, she embarks on a fun and educational monarch butterfly journey that enchants both children and adults. 

With Photographs. Zeidel is a Master Gardener.

New Title: ‘An Inchworm Takes Wing’

Thomas-Jacob Publishing has released a new novel by Robert Hays, An Inchworm Takes Wing in Kindle and paperback editions. A hardcover edition will follow in the near future.

Description: In the tranquil solitude of a darkened Room 12 in the ICU on the sixth floor of Memorial Hospital’s Wing C, a mortal existence is drawing to an end. His head and torso swathed in bandages, his arms and legs awkwardly positioned in hard casts and layers of heavy gauze, he’s surrounded by loved ones yet unable to communicate, isolated within his own thoughts and memories.

He does not believe himself to be an extraordinary man, simply an ordinary one, a man who’s made choices, both good and bad. A man who was sometimes selfish, sometimes misguided, sometimes kind and wise. A man who fought in a war in which he lost a part of his soul, who then became a teacher and worked hard to repair the damage.

When faced with the end, how does one reconcile the pieces of an ordinary life? Does a man have the right to wish for wings to carry him to a summit he believes he doesn’t deserve to reach?

I’m looking forward to reading this!

Malcolm

New novel released today, ‘Fate’s Arrows’

Click here for Amazon editions.

Thomas-Jacob Publishing and Malcolm R. Campbell announce the 9/3/20 release of Fate’s Arrows in paperback and e-book. The hardcover edition will be available soon, The novel is the fourth in the Florida Folk Magic Series.

The novel is also available at Barnes and Noble (web site),  Apple, and Kobo, and will be available soon to bookstores via their Ingram Catalog.

Fate’s Arrows Description

In 1954, the small Florida Panhandle town of Torreya had more Klansmen per acre than fire ants. Sparrow, a bag lady; Pollyanna, an auditor; and Jack, the owner of Slade’s Diner, step on fire ants and Klansmen whenever they can while an unknown archer fires fate-changing arrows at the Klan’s leadership. They are not who they appear to be, and while they take risks, they must be discrete lest they end up in the Klan’s gunsights.

When Julia and Eldon, a married couple from Harlem, New York, run afoul of the Klan because of Eldon’s pro-union stance at the sawmill, they find themselves down at the ancient hanging tree where two policemen, hiding their identity beneath white robes and hoods, are the ones holding the noose.

Meanwhile, Sparrow seems to have disappeared. When the ne’er-do-well Shelton brothers beat up the Klavern’s exalted cyclops because they think he harmed Sparrow, they, too, find themselves the focus of a KKK manhunt.

Bolstered by support from a black cat and an older-than-dirt conjure woman, Pollyanna persists in her fight against the Klan, determined to restore law and order to a town overwhelmed by corruption.

Malcolm

All of my books from Thomas-Jacob Publishing are available in hardcover

I like the way they look on my bookshelf: Sarabande, Conjure Woman’s Cat, Eulalie and Washerwoman, Lena, Widely Scattered Ghosts, and Special Investigative Reporter.

En route to becoming hardcovers, each book requires a cover design and that’s a bit tricky because the size and layout of the cover depend on the number of pages in the book. The cover for A Distant Flame certainly won’t fit on a Southern Storm or A Stillness at Appomattox. Unlike the paperback, there’s also the space on the front and back cover flaps to consider as well. The dust jacket proof looks like this:

If you plan to keep a book and read it multiple times, hardbacks usually last a lot longer than paperbacks. Of course, that makes them suitable for libraries. Unfortunately, libraries don’t usually keep the book jackets. Traditionally, the purpose of the book jacket was to protect the book, but we haven’t figured out how to protect the book jackets from library patrons who often use the flaps as bookmarks (and other crimes).

Technically, I know how the dust jacket should be set up. But, practically speaking, forget it. That’s one of the many reasons those of us at Thomas-Jacob Publishing are lucky to have, in Melinda Clayton, a managing editor who bit the bullet–or a handful of bullets–and mastered the nitty-gritty details. Clayton, who is also an outstanding author (Appalachian Justice), does all the interior book formatting for each edition of each book as well as the covers. Thank you, Melinda!

Since she’s just finished up all the work for Special Investigative Reporter, I’m going to let some time go by before I suggest that my next novel might be as large as Southern Storm (see photo above).

Malcolm