#RRBCSpotlightAuthor Blog Tour #RRBC (@mbiermanauthor) Mark Bierman!!

It is my pleasure to welcome to my blog, a Member of Rave Reviews Book Club, Author Mark Bierman. He is in the spotlight today from the Spotlight Author Blog Tour. Here is his story…


Tell Your Story

Imagine, if you will, two scenarios. I will not delve into any more detail in this brief introduction, other than to say that both are set in a prison.

Here is the first:

Steven, the young correctional officer, raced after his fellow officers as they charged through the open doorway and onto the prison range. T Block had exploded into a battlefield. Fifty inmates were bent on sticking and slicing each other with shivs fashioned from the metal pins stolen from the exercise machines in the gym. The sharpened pins weren’t the only weapon of choice, for in the mix were toothbrushes with razor blades melted onto their handles, chunks of plexiglass, glass, and metal window trim. All with hair-splitting edges. Oh, inmates are a creative and stealthy lot. There are thousands of ways to die in prison.

Into that fracas, Steven ran. For him and the others, there was no other choice. Two of their fellow officers were trapped down there. The melee had broken out while the pair were conducting a routine patrol, and with only the defence of hands and wits, their situation had turned dire. The same applied to the Steven, others had grabbed the limited supply mace. No guns were allowed on the range, they were far too dangerous.

T Block was split into two levels. The upper tier, three feet wide, stretched over one-hundred feet in length, and was lined by open barred cells on one side, with a four-foot-high “safety” railing on the other.

The bloody skirmish was largely concentrated on the bottom level, and most of the troops, understandably, went in that direction. But blades were also swinging up stairs and several uniforms were interspersed among the prison blues worn by the clientele. Steven followed John, an experienced officer, onto the top tier, and into sheer madness.

For those on T Block that day, there was no sanctuary, no corner or nook was devoid of violence. The air was thick with hatred and fear, though not impermeable to the cries of agony and the sting of mace. Everywhere, weapons found their targets, blood spilled, and the century-old- limestone walls recorded every act.

A large inmate broke free of the others and had run upstairs. Steven watched the approaching inmate and knew he was in for a fight. The powerful man lived downstairs, so his intentions were obviously not good. The officer knew he couldn’t let the man pass.

“Get back downstairs!” Steven yelled several times

The orders went unheeded.

This was going to be a fight. But would the inmate choose his fists or a knife?

Now sandwiched between a pair of combating inmates, and the charging human moose, Steven had seconds to make a determination that could possibly kill him and others. He wished for time to at least slow down, as he prepared a defence. His old friend, the internal survival coach, the one who’d kept him alive in other incidents shouted a familiar warning. Watch his hands! No weapon yet! But if he reaches for his pocket or the waist band of his jeans . . .!

A scream, came from what seemed inches from behind Steven, it was followed by a heavy thud on the limestone floor, twelve feet below. Someone had been thrown over the railing, Steven knew it without even looking. Would he be next? Would he soon feel the blade or the point of a shiv as it penetrated him?  He wanted to turn around, but he couldn’t. Faith was needed. Enough to believe that his fellow officers would be there, that they would have his back. Danger was coming straight for him. The world became a tunnel that encompassed only the charging inmate.

This reaction too, was familiar. It was the body entering ‘fight’ mode. It was the body doing what it needed to survive.

Here is the second:

The two inmates squared off. From fifteen feet away, Janjak raced to close the distance. He tripped over soiled men and spilled waste buckets. The curses of fellow convicts were ignored. His vision morphed into a tunnel that encompassed only the combatants. Watch their hands! Almost there. Hands! Hands! Something flashed. Knife! The Haitian launched himself as Frantz pulled the weapon from his waistband. Shoulder met chest in a violent collision. Frantz cried out as he was tackled onto a stained mattress.

 

Notice any similarities? You might ask what books did I glean these excerpts from? Or perhaps you may think they are from the same one.

Well, to tell you the truth, the second scenario is from the first chapter of my novel, Vanished. The first is a page taken directly from my life. I changed my name to Steven, for this story.

Now, obviously I survived that experience and many others over the years, and while I personally am happy about that fact, that isn’t the point of this blog.

What I hope you will take away from this, is that you will be encouraged to tell your own. I hope you realize that all us have valuable life experiences that are unique. We can, and should, use them in our writing.

I don’t know about you, but there is no English Degree in my background. I am no expert in literature, or even everyday writing. One thing I do possess, what everyone has, is real life experiences. So, please don’t allow yourself to be convinced that you have nothing to offer readers. You have a life!

 

*  *  *

VANISHED, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E4CZHIO/

9781483448121_COVER.indd

Blurb:

Tragedy . . . heartache . . . how much more can Tyler Montgomery and John Webster take? This missions trip, the “healing” one, has only added fresh layers of pain. Construction of an orphanage in Haiti’s northwest . . . yes. But a doomed rescue operation, human traffickers, human anomalies, extreme personal danger . . . risk of death? They hadn’t signed up for those.

 

*  *  *

BiermanPhoto

Author Bio:

Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark’s childhood consisted of chores, horseback riding, snowmobile races, fishing trips to local lakes, and many other outdoor adventures. He was, and remains, an avid reader of many genres.

Transitioning into adulthood also meant moving from the farm into large urban areas that introduced this ‘country boy’ to ‘big city’ life.

Drawing on his many experiences as a private investigator, and later, a correctional officer, Mark combines his unique experiences and imagination to create stories and characters.

 

Follow Mark online!

Twitter:   @mbiermanauthor

Facebook: Facebook

Website:  markbierman.com

 

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#RRBC #RRBCTreatReads DAY 2 Mary Adler @MAAdlerWrites

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”

 

MARY ADLER PIC

Author, Mary Adler

 

 

Book: IN THE SHADOW OF LIEShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K7WYTSU/

 

In The Shadow of Lies by Mary Adler

Book Blurb: Richmond, California. World War II.  Marine Lieutenant Oliver Wright comes home from the war in the Pacific injured and afraid his career as a homicide detective is over.  But when an Italian Prisoner of War is murdered the night the Port Chicago Mutiny verdicts are announced, and black soldiers are suspected of the crime, the Army asks Oliver to find out the truth.

 

He and his canine partner Harley join forces with an Italian POW captain and with a black MP embittered by a segregated military. During their investigation, these unlikely allies expose layers of deceit and violence that stretch back to World War I and uncover a common thread that connects the murder to earlier crimes.

 

In the Shadow of Lies reveals the darkness and turmoil of the Bay Area during World War II, while celebrating the spirit of the everyday people who made up the home front. Its intriguing characters will resonate with the reader long after its deftly intertwined mysteries are solved.

 

 

Twitter: @MAAdlerWrites

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DAY 30 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Tuesday, JANUARY 31, 2023 @ 10:36 AM ET

DAY 30

What To Do Now!

Connie is staying in my spare bedroom. We are going to see our brother Melvin and tell him about our sister. As you may recall, I am my brother’s guardian to protect him and his assets. His case manager feels that he should be told in person and not over the phone.

So that is the plan!

I am enjoying having Connie here as she is my favorite sister. I can relate to her on a whole different positive level. And we are more alike in so many ways.

Arrangements are being made and the funeral moved back a week to get all the family here.

You, my RRBC family, have been on this roller coaster with me for 30 days. You have been praying for me and my family throughout and I love each and every one of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

We are going through old photos and going down memory lane. Connie’s son is going to do a collage of the family. He is a chef and doesn’t work for a restaurant since the pandemic He promotes himself through social media.

I don’t have much more to share today so saying goodbye until the next time.

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 29 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Monoday, JANUARY 30, 2023 @ 11:52 AM ET

DAY 29

SAYING GOODBYE

Our sister, Joyce, passed away at 12:54 AM, January 30, 2023. It’s ironic that this is also her birthday. She came in on that day and went out on the same day. All of the family got to say their goodbyes. Clyde showed up with his entire family. Old wounds were healed, and everyone hugged and kissed each other at the hospital. I think a miracle occurred when Clyde, Tony and Carol finally made up right before Joyce left us. I never thought that would ever happen.

Arrangements are being made as I sit here and type this journal. Tony and Carol are working together to finalize everything.

I want to thank you Nonnie for being there and adjusting everything around me. I clearly was not thinking about the Book Discussion which was scheduled for today. I forgot to put my collection in the collection basket at church because my mind was all over the place. I’ve been a step behind since this journey started. Nonnie, you were there for me, and all the members, you were right there with me on this journey. So kind and so caring; every one of you. You are my second family.

I love you all!

I will keep you posted. God Bless Everybody!!

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 28 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Sunday, JANUARY 29, 2023 @ 5:59 PM ET

DAY 28

ANOTHER DAY

I got up this morning going to Mass. They were celebrating Bishop Michael Byrnes and having a reception after Mass for him. I made an announcement about my sister and ask for prayers for our family. Then I left, came home and went straight to the hospital where I have been until this evening.

This is the end game for Joyce. They took away all life sustaining care per her wishes. They are giving her morphine for comfort. I hope it is working for her.

All of this month I have been blogging about my sister. I wasn’t making sure that my writing was impeccable, I wasn’t concerned about keeping the pace flowing perfectly. But I was concerned about it. Blogging was supposed to be a learning curve of growth. I didn’t have time for that. I didn’t have time to keep up and respond to other member’s blogs, but I haven’t forgotten about them and doing a little each day to try and keep up.

Sometimes life does get in the way, at unexpected times. How we choose to react to it is the key. I have been working on pacing myself and not become too stressed. Blogging helped me to compartmentalize the situation and deal with the stresses. For that I am thankful. I love my family and will always try to be there for them.

My husband is fixing us some bacon and eggs because that’s what he had a taste for. Normally on Sunday, we eat formal dinners. This is the first time that has ever changed.

Connie has become a plant-based eater and I’m with her on it. But right now she’s still at the hospital so I’m eating whatever is put before me.

I love you all. Have a wonderful and blessed day. I intend to.

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 27 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Saturday, JANUARY 28, 2023 @ 2:00 PM ET

DAY 27

Head Get On Straight!

It is Saturday and all the while I am thinking its Friday. I’m a little bit distracted by the fact that I’m waiting for my sister Connie to get here. She flew in with her son and daughter, Santana and April, and should be here by now.

I ran to the store to pick up some juices to have on hand. Clyde will be over with his family. We are preparing to say our goodbyes to Joyce.

I woke up this morning with an idea of what happened to her. The doctors are still trying to figure it out. Now, I’m not a doctor but I do have common sense. I can put two and two together. I believe she was going into a new phase of Parkinson’s Disease, lost control of herself, fell face down on the floor and was unable to brace herself for the fall. No one was there to catch her or retrieve her once she had fallen. So, she laid there suffering further damage. She can’t move so obviously she is paralyzed. It affects your breathing. She still can breathe at this point. It affects your swallowing. So that’s my take on all of it.

We have been praying for her and will keep on praying.

They are moving her into a semi-private room. That is where we will visit her. She will be getting hospice care going forward.

I had to pause because some of my family was ringing the doorbell.

I will see you tomorrow.

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 26 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Friday, JANUARY 27, 2023 @ 3:30 PM ET

DAY 26

HOW DO YOU SAY GOODBYE?

I spoke with Connie who’s still trying to arrange to fly up here to see Joyce. After picking up my eyeglasses, I decided to visit Joyce at the hospital. Tony was already there when I arrived. Doctor spoke with us and explained that it’s time to exercise whatever directives are available. She is not improving, and family members need to visit and say their goodbyes while they can.

It all seemed surreal – like an out-of-body experience to hear such final words to a person’s life. Tony will let the family know what the next step will be. My only wish is that she will have a comfortable transition.

I went to Krogers to get a few items for dinner and then headed back home. I’m going to fry some chicken wings for anybody who happens to stop over.

I don’t have much more to say today as I am at a loss for words.

Have a wonderful day and tell your loved ones you love them.

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 25 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Thursday, JANUARY 26, 2023 @ 12:46 PM ET

DAY 25

TRAPPED IN THE SNOW

We knew it was coming. As far as a week in advance. Sometimes its accurate and sometimes it misses the mark. The snow came just as predicted … in slow steady light mist. Then by noon the flakes turned big and thick, and the snow started piling up. It finished up close to 8:00 PM as predicted. My snow removal service came out around 6:00 PM and he had a pile of snow to remove. Salt was added afterwards. He did a good job, and his rates are reasonable.

Tony was trapped over at his mother’s house simply because he didn’t know what to do yet. So, I hired out my service and as it turns out, it was not needed after all. Joyce’s community handles snow for seniors and they were out there taking care of the property. He picked up a bug and was dehydrated but is feeling better now. He brought no boots nor a warm coat. He could kick himself for not following his first inclination. He’s looking up whatever he can find in his mother’s personal files. He has located some important documents. Joyce may have to be discharged to a long-term care facility if there is such a thing. She is not moving and is back on dialysis. She would bounce back and then regress. I started to be concerned because she has been in the hospital since last Wednesday. We will pray on it.

I talked to my sister Connie who called early this morning, trying to do everything from afar. I told her to stop, take a deep breath. We got this!

I’m going to relax for the rest of the day. See ya!

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 24 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Wednesday, JANUARY 25, 2023 @ 4:42 PM ET

DAY 24

SOME FAMILY DRAMA

I invited Tony to stop by last night for dinner. He was at the hospital all day and didn’t get anything to eat. I let him know that my home was his home. He came by and ate his fill and stayed to chat for a while before going back to his mother’s home to spend the night.

Isn’t there always some family drama? I don’t interact as much because of it. And I’m talking both sides of our family. You always hurt the ones you love. So so true! I was a stressed single mom and I regret all the yelling I did when raising my child. He was such an easygoing kid and the light of my life. He didn’t deserve to be the brunt of my mistakes. I’ve told him over and over how much I love him through the years, and I pray it overrode any drama he endured.

My sister took drama to a whole new level. Unfortunately, her kids became as stressed out as she was. She forgot to tell them she loved them. Tony became an over-achiever trying to measure up. He shared that with me once.

So that accounts for my son removing himself from his cousins and not speaking to them. When he started his family, he did not want that negative coming to his wife and children.

I stayed away from Joyce for a few years because she can be so nasty at times. Our mother was friendly and upbeat, so I don’t know where it came from. Could be depression which nobody knew about in year’s past? There just always seemed to be a black cloud following her. Her kids became clones of her. Tony left after he graduated high school to escape it. Carol stayed and some of her drama hit the family and me. I had to chastise her once for the way she talked to me. I told her to leave until she could straighten up her attitude. She did try and apologized to me. I welcomed her back. She truly was trying.

So here we are. Clyde is starting to look like the bad guy because he stopped talking to both of them; He never explained to them what the problem was. The enemy deserves to know what he’s being accused of. He didn’t know how to put it in words. So, I pray that my son finds a way to forgive them and get back to speaking terms.

There’s a whole lot more to this story but I am going to stop here and hope that you got a little bit of an understanding of my explanation.

I really love my sister, just not her ways. And what she is going through is hitting me hard now.

We have a lot of snow falling all day long and it’s getting high. My new snow service will be out around 6:00 pm.

I got to go now!

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 23 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Tuesday, JANUARY 24, 2023 @ 2:23 PM ET

DAY 23

UPDATE ON JOYCE

Joyce’s son Tony flew into town yesterday morning and had breakfast at Carol’s. They both spent the day seeing their mother. Tony spent the night at his mother’s house. I extended an invite for him to eat breakfast with us.

Langston and I got ready to visit Joyce. We arrived at noon. I decided to get valet so we wouldn’t have to walk the distance to hospital entrance. Joyce received dialysis twice in hopes to jumpstart her kidneys. They removed the breathing tube so that’s progress. The doctor told us she was more energetic last night but not so much today and he’s a little worried. She is breathing on her own. She opened her eyes when I said hello. Then quickly closed them again. So, she is reacting to stimulation.

We are still trying to figure out what happened that led to her collapse at home and kidney failure. Kidneys don’t fail unless they are overloaded. That’s just my opinion.

I was a little overwhelmed when I approached her bed. It was all I could do to keep from misting up. Langston held my hand when I stepped back to sit down. I’m so thankful he was there with me and told him so. He’s a good ol soul sometimes.

Now I’m back home and planning dinner just in case Tony gets to stop over here. Lank will prepare some corned beef and I plan to fry the cabbage because he loves it prepared that way.

My heart is a little heavy because Clyde and Tony have not spoken to one another in years. I will take that up another time.

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 22 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Monday, JANUARY 23, 2023 @ 2:21 PM ET

DAY 22

ENDLESSLY BLOGGING

I got up this morning with one thing on my mind – getting ready for my eye doctor appointment. I also made phone calls to my healthcare provider to find out what my deductibles are and making sure the specialist is in the network. They are!

The weather is gray and white. The snow has melted off the roads so that driving is not hazardous. It’s supposed to snow steadily on Wednesday all day. I moved an appointment that day back because I don’t want to drive in bad weather. Plus, I’m trying to arrange to be picked up going forward so I don’t have to worry about it. Clyde has been taking me, but he has to come from a long distance to do it. I don’t want him to have to do it in bad weather if I can help it.

Got my prescription filled for new lenses and discovered I was steered back to an eye doctor I despise. How is that even possible? They told me they have moved but really, they just moved their patients to another location. The assistant at the front desk said he doesn’t know why they did that but that I can go back there if I want to. I went ahead and utilized their services only because I don’t have to see the doctor. Thank God! I didn’t like the staff either. Trust me, I’m not a difficult person but I know incompetence when I see it. And now I’m back here again? I just don’t believe this. I finally spoke with someone over at the original location and she apologized for the misinformation. There’s a lot of that going around.

Tony, my nephew arrived this morning and he and Carol plan to go see their mom today. They took Joyce off the ventilator so she can breathe on her own. So far so good. Only two people can visit at a time so I suggested that Tony and Carol coordinate the visits so they can take breaks between themselves.

I’m back home just catching up on all the things I need to do. I’m switching snow services so must get on that too.

I hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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DAY 21 @sharrislaughter #ADayInMyLife #RRBC @RRBC_Org 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023

Sunday, JANUARY 22, 2023 @ 6:05 PM ET

DAY 21


20 DAYS OF BLOGGING!

Twenty-One days of straight blogging. I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime what with all that has been going on since I started this journal. I say a lifetime because I said farewell to my best friend and now, I’m dealing with my sister’s ordeal.

I woke up to snow falling at a steady pace. It took half the day for it to let up and then my snow removal service came by to plow it. I didn’t go to Mass, and I didn’t visit my sister. I really don’t want to go unless my niece, her daughter is going to be there. Because she is in intensive care, I feel like I would be in the way just hanging around. Only two of us are allowed at a time so, it’s better to check before going. Carol has been giving us an update so that’s a big help.

Still, I feel a little guilty. I’m not cut out to visit someone that sick. Thank God for the nurses and their assistants because they seemed so caring while attending to Joyce. I was really so impressed and thankful for them. I admire anyone who chooses that profession and really like what they are doing; because I’m not your guy.

I remember when my baby brother was hospitalized years ago. He suffered with schizophrenia from childhood along with his identical twin brother. He started internally hemorrhaging and they couldn’t figure out why. My mother and I went to see him. Surrounding his bed were bags of blood. I almost fainted and had to be helped out of the room and a fan was pointed in my direction, and doors opened to let in fresh air until I could recover. I couldn’t handle it and barely able to handle any kind of suffering to this day.

I ended up suffering with panic attacks when my first marriage failed, landed in the hospital and put on valiums.

When my mother became ill, it was all I could do to take care of her. I did it, but it took a toll on me and when she passed, it took a few years for me to recover from the experience. I was not going to allow her to be taken to a nursing home. So, she came home to die. I took care of her until the end.

I’m there if needed, but it’s not something I like doing.

I will leave you to ponder these thoughts. Share your comments on this subject please.

Shirley Slaughter

https://shirleyslaughter.com/


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