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The Authors' Gift

The Authors' Gift

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The Authors' Gift

260 pagine
4 ore
May 30, 2015


A series of short stories by some of A-Argus Books best writers for the benefit of charity.
From the authors at A-Argus Better Book Publishers comes a collection of thrilling, exciting and stimulating short stories by several of A-Argus Books' well-known authors who have banded together to create a gift of their best work for the benefit of a worthy nonprofit foundation: the Reach-Out-And-Read organization. From the spooky first story by Samantha Shu to the spine-tingling finale by K. Patrick Malone, these authors entertain, enthrall and exhilarate as they use their magnificent talents to generate money for the Reach-Out-And-Read folks, as each of the authors has donated his or her royalties to the nonprofit organization, Reach Out and Read ( is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children, serving more than 3.9 million families each year.

May 30, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Award-winning author & Career Coach acclaimed for helping recent grads obtain good jobs immediately. Fighting OCD thru help of my amazing wife.

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The Authors' Gift - Neil O'Donnell



Want to learn more about a great group of people?

Well, then, Pilgrim, listen up.

It isn’t often that the publisher is permitted to add to the author’s efforts, and I feel most honored that the authors who have penned the stories in this title have allowed me to write the introduction to this most worthy effort.

The authors included in this work, as well as all those who also submitted their stories but for whom lack of space prohibited the inclusion of all of the submissions, have dedicated their efforts for a special specific purpose, to enhance the Reach-Out-And-Read non-profit organization. Other than the following sentence, taken from their website, I won’t go further into the great works this fantastic organization is doing for our children and grandchildren. Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. Interested readers can find out further information from the organization’s website:

Not only are the contributors to this book outstanding authors, but they are a great group of people as well. All of the proceeds from the sale of The Authors’ Gift will go to the non-profit Reach-Out-And-Read organization. For a single author to willingly give up all of his or her royalties is rare and for a group of authors to do the same is mind-staggering. But, that’s the case here. Every author has chosen to donate his or her royalties, without exception, to a worthy cause.

So much for the non-profit, now let’s find out about the authors, in the order of their appearance, and in their own words.

* * * * *

Samantha Shu. ( Author of Whispered Dreams, Blood Lines, Bloodthirsty, as well as a children’s book: There’s a Season For All. (

Samantha Shu has always been fascinated by the criminal mind. Her books Blood Line, Whispered Dreams and Bloodthirsty cover aspects of that fascination. When Samantha began writing crime drama fiction, she quickly realized she was using up all of her resources. She decided to go after a bachelor’s degree and delve into criminal justice with both feet. Samantha graduated at the top of her class in 2010, earning a graduate of the term certificate and plaque. Continuing her education was the obvious next step. Samantha is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Argosy University and a Masters program for Forensic Psychology. Telling stories and utilizing her knowledge to share her passion is what drives her to keep putting her pen to paper. She has also started a non-fiction titled, Criminology and Writing. Samantha Shu feels that the more education she has, the better her writing and the more likely she is to remain excited about life and all it has to offer. This year she has had several short stories published in various anthologies. To find out more about this prolific Author go to

* * * * *

Neil O’Donnell. Author of People of the Sword. (

Neil O’Donnell’s novels and short stories primarily focus on the genre of Fantasy. Drawing from his background as an anthropologist, Neil uses writing to reveal how societies and individuals impact one another through contact, conflict and mutual needs/understanding. For this anthropologist, writing is a platform for teaching without lecturing.

Having battled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) throughout his life, Neil also found writing to provide a means of combating OCD. Now, aside from his fiction work, Neil utilizes writing outlets (blogs/manuscripts) to reach others battling OCD, letting them know they are not alone and that there is help available.

* * * * *

Ann McDeed. Author of No Greater Love. (

I've been working on a full story of my life - figure it's interesting enough. If I never get it completed in good form to try and publish, it will at least be a remembrance for my children, 19 grandchildren and soon to be 12th great grandchild. (And only six grandchildren have produced, so far! YIPES!) (Don't know if that last sentence in the bio is appropriate. If you agree, you can remove it.)

Born in the small industrial town of Garwood, N.J. early in 1926, the seventh of nine children, to honest, hard working immigrants from Italy.

I graduated high school during the tumultuous era of WW II and worked in the office of a local factory in war production. Married my young Marine when he returned from overseas, and followed him across the U.S. for the next sixteen years till he retired.

We raised a large family in these years, making three round trips across country, the first with two children, the second with four and the third with seven. As if that wasn't blessing enough, we had yet an eighth after we settled in Central Florida.

Fortunately my husband found a job with the U.S. Postal Service and a few years later I returned to the full time work force, obtaining a job with the development of WDW in Central Florida. Our children developed into delightful adults, making us proud of them and the progeny they added to our family.

In my later years I returned to art school to renew the talent I was born with, and discovered an aptitude for writing, stemming from a discussion with my husband on the method of incarcerating criminals. That was my first story which never sold, I'm afraid. I've written several book-length novels and one memoir which is published, plus many short stories and articles. I wrote/edited a newsletter for my retirement club for over twelve years and contribute to my church newsletter.

I enjoy keeping active traveling with friends and local activities and indulging myself in drawing and writing. It's been an eventful, interesting life and pray I will remain active till the end.

* * * * *

Rudy Dunnigan. Author of Boone Springs. (

Rudy Dunnigan is a sixty-nine year old, still practicing dentist, who lives in the town of

Ashland, Kentucky. Dr. Dunnigan's writing interests tend to center around crime/dramas in eastern Kentucky although his books have universal appeal. He has served two terms on the Ashland Board of Education and two terms as the Mayor of the City of Ashland. These experiences are heavy influences on his writing.

As you will see in his next novel there is always a political bent to his plots. He has strong ties to eastern Kentucky and only begrudgingly and temporarily ventures outside of the Commonwealth and outside of the 1950's. He views computers as a necessary evil which he tolerates only so far as it assists his writing. He has had several magazine articles published and one novel, Boone Springs.

Dr. Dunnigan lives and will continue to live in the eastern portion of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He and his wife, Charlotte have two sons, Brady and Clancy. They also have three of the most astounding grandchildren who have enriched their lives immensely! You may contact Dr. Dunnigan by email at

* * * * *

J. Steven Carr. Author of The Thinking Man’s Guide to Women and the soon to be released The Leader of the Lost People. (

J. Steven Carr is a career educator. He has been on both sides of the classroom door: as a teacher and as an administrator. His writings reflect his training and his experiences. Former Marine, former teacher and former school administrator, Carr is ever a student of humanity and brings a sharp wit and even sharper mind to the world of writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Carr enjoys live in rural North Carolina while busily engaged in his next startling manuscript.

* * * * *

Jim Meaders. Author of The Summer of My Fourteenth Year. (

Jim Meaders was born in 1949 in Birmingham, Alabama, but moved with his parents to Lakeland, Florida in 1954. The small Florida town in The Summer of My Fourteenth Year is based on Lakeland and on some of Jim’s experiences during the summer of 1963. Jim grew up in service stations run by his dad between 1954 and 1967, probably pumping more gasoline by the time he graduated from high school than most people pump in a lifetime. He met his wonderful wife, Dorian, in 1970 and persuaded her to marry him in 1971.

Jim attended the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, from 1967-69, and graduated from Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida with a B.A. in Art in 1976. He continued his education at Clemson University in South Carolina and spent the spring semester of 1978 studying and traveling in Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. He graduated with his M.F.A. in Visual Studies with a painting emphasis in 1979.

Jim also started teaching full-time in 1979 and taught in South Carolina, Georgia, and West Virginia before moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 1992, where he is still teaching art to college students. Jim has taught a variety of courses in his thirty-year teaching career including design, drawing, painting, ceramics, art appreciation, art history, and art education. He has exhibited work in regional and national art competitions in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Utah, California, and Tennessee since 1972.

Jim’s first book is not about art, but draws (no pun intended) on lingering memories of his childhood. He believes it is when we are children that we are the most creative and imaginative. As Picasso once said, It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

* * * * *

Julia Nielsen. Co-author (with father as Julia Lawrence) of the series, The Crystal Locket: Key to the Tunnels of Time, and The Crystal Locket: Secrets of the Hidden Pyramids. (

Julia Nielsen was born in Salt Lake City and has a twin brother who is now much taller than she is. Having a very vivid imagination, she often made up stories thoroughly scaring herself when she was a child. She started writing short stories and poetry when she was the tender age of eight, and began writing a novel at age sixteen. Ten years later, she wrote her official first novel, Stepping out of the Dark, which is now available with Chipmunka Publishing, in London. She is a freelance writer, having written over 1500 articles for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites, and graduated from the Institute of Children’s Literature, in 2005. She loves learning about history and writing for the pre-teen and teen markets.

She is the mother of two teenagers and one soon-to-be-teen, and resides in Utah. She loves to read pretty much anything she can get her hands on, and of course, loves to write. She is currently writing the third novel in The Crystal Locket Series, with her father Lawrence—her co-author. She loves visitors to her website:

* * * * *

Delaney Henderson. Author of The Travelers. (

Delaney Henderson grew up in Santa Monica and Malibu Canyon in Southern California and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area where she has lived most of her adult life except for two years in Portland Oregon. She currently lives and works in Berkeley, California.

Delaney writes novels and short stories. Delaney studied writing with the ‘Dangerous Writers Group’ on the Oregon Coast while living in Portland and credits the group as being influential in her approach to writing. The idea is to write about those things which may be difficult or uncomfortable which theoretically have more of a potential to emotionally resonate with the reader and combine it with an entertaining story.

She holds a degree from the Academy of Art University in Fine Art and an additional degree from San Francisco State University, She also is an accomplished fine artist and works freelance in the field of technology. Check out the Delaney Henderson Fan Page on Facebook.

* * * * *

Howard S. Selden. Author of The Shaman and the Jew, A Dental Odyssey (The unlikely musings of a dentist), and the soon to be released Wapasha and the Rabbi. (

Nothing but the facts:


Howard S. Selden

Also Known As


Current Home

Easton, Pennsylvania

Date of Birth

October 11, 1929

Place of Birth

New York, New York


B Certificate, Temple U. School of Dentistry, 1962.A., New York University, 1951

D.D.S., Temple University School of Dentistry, 1955

Endodontic Specialty


Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, 1965


Private dental practice—endodontic specialty— Bethlehem, Pa., 1962-94

Director, Dental Dept. Muhlenberg Medical Center, Bethlehem, Pa., 1994-97

Former Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept. Endodontics, Temple U. Dental School

U.S. Military Service

Captain in US Army Dental Corps, 1955-57


Published over thirty scientific papers in peer-reviewed dental journals during career. Switched to fiction writing on retirement, with four published works: The Pariah Stigma; The Shaman and the Jew; A Dental Odyssey(unlikely musings of a dentist); and Wapasha and the Rabbi (December,2010 publishing date).

The author attributes much of his decision to become a Dentist to his years as a Boy Scout, where he earned Eagle Scout rank, and was trained in emergency first aid, within an ethic of helping others.

Special Items

Author has always noted—for what it’s worth— that his birth was one day before Columbus discovered America. (Really. But a year or so later, of course)

On the other hand, he feels some responsibility for the Great Depression which began on October 29, 1929. He feels his birth on October 11th of that year might have tipped the balance, with one more unwanted mouth to feed.

* * * * *

Robert Marchand. Author of Caylen’s Quest and the soon to be released Caylen’s Journey. (

After the War was over the Marchand family purchased an old remote farm south of Kirkland Lake Ontario. Subjected to parental abuse and neglect, Robert, at nine years of age, managed to escape this abuse by roaming about the nearby forest with a little single shot 22 caliber rifle. This little rifle, a fishing rod and a few wire snares also gave him the means to help provide the family with extra food once his father became seriously ill and unable to work.

Forced at the age of thirteen by his father to get a job, Robert worked during summer months on road construction, at sawmills, on farms, as a hunting guide for bear and moose hunters and at a wild-life park catching and caring for captured wild animals that were native to Northern Ontario.

At age twenty, Robert began a successful twenty year career in the Canadian Military Engineers followed by a second fifteen year career in public service. At age fifty-five, Robert began his third career as a building manager and a writer of novels.

Robert first published novel, Mindoka Memories is the true story of his traumatic young life on that remote subsistence farm in Northern Ontario.

His second novel, Caylen's Quest is a work of fiction. It is a spell binding story of a young boy living in a remote area of Northern Canada. Robert’s third book , Caylen's Journey is the exciting sequel to Caylen's Quest .

* * * * *

K. Patrick Malone. Author of Inside a Haunted Mind, The Digger’s Rest, An Unfinished House, and the soon to be released, The House at Miller’s Court. (And the winner of more awards in the category Horror than any small press author in history. Ed.) (

K. Patrick Malone hails from a small town not far from the New Jersey Shore, graduating with a B.A. in Psychology from Monmouth University before obtaining a law degree from Capital University Law School. After years of practicing law, he retired from law to write spine tingling tales of the supernatural. His first novel, Inside a Haunted Mind, delivered awards, his second, The Digger’s Rest, delivered the unexpected, and his third, An Unfinished House, took home Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year bronze medal cementing him as the supernatural’s independent heir apparent. Malone’s fourth novel further reinforces his reputation as the sharpest edge in modern American horror by redefining Father love when Coach George Lathero adopts a fatherless boy whose life is threatened by. . . The House at Miller’s Court.

Now for this collection of short stories, Malone takes a departure from his usual scare tactics with a spookily romantic approach in his first published short story, Tableau Vivant. But, as always, readers, be warned. K. Patrick Malone knows how to scare you, and don’t be surprised if the creaks and groans of the creepy, dark old houses in which Malone’s characters find themselves match, measure for measure, the creaks and groans held so tightly secret within our own hearts, minds and souls, making it a toss-up as to which scares us more, the unknown or ourselves.


There you have it, the array of only a few of the gifted authors with A-Argus Better Book Publishers that are included in this, the first in a series of books dedicated to various charities. These authors were able to have their manuscripts included in this title, while many other, equally generous and equally gifted will be include in future offerings. Now that you are familiar with the authors, and without further ado, here for your reading pleasure are a series of titillating, amusing, thrilling, scary and heart-warming tales from our vastly talented authors to you, and the Authors’ Gift to the world. (And I bet you can’t put it down until you have finished the last titillating story. Ed.)


The year that I died a lot of really great stuff happened. The Beatles had their last public appearance; I think it was on some record company’s rooftop. Things are hazy now. John Lennon and Yoko Ono got married, although I’m not sure how cool that was. The Who did a rock opera that year called ‘Tommy’. In June Hee Haw started showing in TV’s all over America and the first men walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, his nick name was Buzz, I have no idea why.

I remember watching the moment on a tiny little black and white television with all of my friends. We were drinking beer and yelling like it was the god damn world series. I couldn’t believe we were walking on the moon. I’ve been there several times myself. It’s actually a lonely desolate place, but on that day it was a miraculous wonderland.

Ten days later, on a Tuesday night on July 29th 1969, I was dead. I was pretty pissed at the time, mostly because I had plans to go to Woodstock. My bags were packed, it was less than a month away and I was looking forward to it more than I had been looking forward to that monumental moon landing. I went anyway, but it just wasn’t the same.

I’d only been dead for a little more than fifteen days and had no idea how to navigate. Invariably, just as a great song would start I’d be home looking at my wife sleeping in our bed or standing in my kids doorway. It wasn’t nearly as much fun as I thought it would be. Two days later a hurricane hit my home town in Mississippi and killed my mom and my dad. I saw them for a moment before they were gone and it was okay I guess. There’s not a lot of emotion here, it’s much more cerebral. They left, I stayed. A lot of people stayed from the hurricane. So when Becky and the kids moved I was glad. Crowds make me nervous.

It’s 2010 now and I have been dead for forty one years. My kids are grown and have kids of their own. My wife is dead. She died in 1985 of ovarian cancer. I watched that travesty up close and personal. I held her hand and I knew she was aware. When she died she looked at me and said I knew, this whole time I knew. And then she was gone.

I really didn’t understand that one. I thought she would stick around for a talk or something, but nope, she just vanished. By the way, there is no bright light, no group of loved ones hanging’ around, well, for me, there wasn’t. I guess for Becky I was there, but anyway it’s not like the crap the feed you growing up. It’s hollow and sad. You can’t communicate with anyone because it’s as if we are all speaking a different language or on a different sound wave. I don’t exactly feel lonely. Like I said, it’s not about the emotions of it.

The day my first grandchild was born I was pleased, but I missed the feelings I knew I would have felt had I been alive. I wonder why I’m still here. My wife is dead and gone. My kids are all safe, my grandkids seem okay and really I don’t feel any solid connection to them.

In forty years I have seen just about everything. Don’t misunderstand; I had no control for quite some time. The crazy way time seemed to jump drove me a little haywire, the first ten years or so, but after that was all ironed out I did some traveling. I was aware that I would always bounce back to my old

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