Saturday, March 27, 2021

Purgatory Playhouse by E.J. Russell (Spotlight, excerpt, and review)


Purgatory Playhouse


E.J. Russell



Staging a musical in Purgatory can be absolute hell.

Lonnie Coleridge last saw the sun in 1968. Since then, he’s been consigned to Limbo, still wearing the same tie-dyed T-shirt and bell-bottomed jeans he had on when he left his life behind. He and others like him have one chance each year at redemption: produce a show for the Greek pantheon. Whoever pleases this very specific—and temperamental—fan group could earn the right to move on.

But after a literal act of god (*cough* Hermes *cough*) destroys their sets, lights, and costumes, the company needs emergency help to rebuild. Without it, all of them could poof out of existence forever. 

Out-of-work theater technician TD Baylor has precisely three things on his cosmic wish list: a job, a place to stay, and a boyfriend who isn’t a total tool. He thinks he’s got the first two nailed when he gets a line on a two-week gig that includes room and board. So what if the job tip came from a guy who was leaning way too hard into the LOTR cosplay at a sketchy Halloween pop-up? At this point, TD doesn’t have anything more to lose, so he figures…what the hell.

He didn’t realize hell was the operative word.

When Lonnie greets him at the theater door, though...whoa. TD fantasizes that item number three could be within his reach. But then Lonnie gives him the bad news: This is Purgatory Playhouse, aka Theater of the Darned. In two weeks—if they’re lucky and can successfully mount a musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream—the company will return to Limbo after the curtain falls. If they’re not lucky?

Remember that part about hell?

Purgatory Playhouse is part of the multi-author Magic Emporium Series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This book contains a theater techie who’s one couch surf away from homeless, a production assistant who’s sort of, um, not alive, Greek gods behaving very badly indeed, and a guaranteed HEA.






TD tracked the drift of steam from the cauldrons up to the ceiling where purple-tinged smoke roiled and twisted.

He frowned at the thick clouds. He’d wrangled enough fog machines in his career to know that prolonged exposure to this kind of shit wasn’t good for performers’—or technicians’—lungs. Didn’t the owner of this shop care about his employees’ health?

Come to think of it, where were the employees? The glittery arrows on the floor seemed to pulse, pointing the way around the mermaid. Oookay then. He’d find somebody and warn them that they really needed to ventilate this place better or they’d be cruising for a worker’s comp bruising.

The rear of the shop, however, was as empty as the front. A half-open door stood behind a bulky counter. TD had to hand it to the place—that counter looked like actual stone. He’d worked with some talented scenic artists in his day, folks who could make plywood look like marble and masonite look like cracked linoleum. Hell, he’d done it himself, and his skills lay more in set construction than decoration. He rapped one knuckle against the counter, directly below a shelf holding an extremely ratty burlap sack.

“Shit!” He rubbed his hand, the skin abraded enough to show a little blood. The damn counter was as rough and unforgiving as actual granite.

“Oh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t realize anybody was here.”

TD glanced up from his skinned knuckles. A tall, willowy man, pointed ears protruding from his long platinum blond hair, suddenly popped up from behind the counter. Clearly the guy was leaning way in to the LOTR motif, down to the jerkin that looked like real suede as opposed to a cheap Halloween knock-off. “No worries. I was just, uh, looking around.” TD eyed the sack. “Although there’s not a lot to look at. Where’s all your stock?”

“Oh. Um.” The guy glanced at the door in the rear wall as it swung open to reveal the Gandalf-equivalent to the clerk’s Legolas. Except instead of Ian McKellen’s somewhat ruddy complexion, this guy’s skin had a cooler tone, almost as if he were standing under a baby spotlight with an ice-blue gel. He nodded at not-Legolas and disappeared behind the door without uttering a word.

“Was that your boss?” TD asked. “Because I need to talk to him.”

The guy’s eyes—tip-tilted and green as new leaves—widened. “Nobody talks to Marden.” His diagonal brows bunched. “Well, I guess it’s more accurate to say Marden talks to nobody.” He smiled brightly. “I’m Joril, and it will be my honor to assist you.”

“Hmmm.” TD narrowed his eyes. “You have any trouble breathing?”

Joril blinked, then sniffed experimentally. “Should I?”

“Your lungs don’t bother you? No urge to cough? No pain in your chest?”

“No. Why?”

TD pointed to the smoke swirling above them. “Because this fog effect, as atmospheric as it is, could be affecting your health. Do you know what chemical your boss is using?”

Joril’s expression cleared. “Oh! That’s easy. Magic.”

TD didn’t roll his eyes. Much. “Magic. Right.” The Emporium’s staff was probably paid to perpetuate the illusion. Hell, if they paid him, TD could swear it was actual fumes from the Cracks of Doom. “I, uh, don’t suppose you need any help?”

Joril glanced at the door where the Gandalf clone—excuse me, Marden—had disappeared. “Does it show that much?”

TD gestured to the empty shop. “Granted, there’s not a lot of traffic at the moment—”

“I know. I think that’s the only reason Marden picked me.” He smiled diffidently. “It’s my first day. I really need the job since my clan lost that wager with the Underlake dwarves.”

With a Herculean effort, TD controlled his irritation. It was one thing to not to break character—any performer worth their union card managed that as soon as the curtain rose—but it was another to bury yourself in the part when you were in actual physical danger. “Right.”


Amazon link


Author info:

E.J. Russell (she/her) ), author of the award-winning Mythmatched LGBTQ+ paranormal romance series, holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she spent three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business intelligence consultant (as one does). She’s now abandoned data wrangling, however, and spends her days wrestling words across a rainbow of genres. Count on high snark, low angst, and happy endings.


Reality? Eh, not so much.


She’s married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, CH loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and B) would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).


E.J. lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.



Social media


Facebook group (Reality Optional)





My review:


4.5 stars



Purgatory Playhouse by E.J. Russell follows the adventures of theater technician TD Baylor, who is dealing with a perfect storm of problems. When he stumbles into Marden’s Magic Emporium, a fortuitous ad seems like the answer to his prayers…even though it’s wrapped around three giant dog biscuits that he doesn’t really have a use for…or does he? Thus begins an adventure that leads him to meet his idol, Alonzo Coleridge, but that’s impossible, just as impossible as their mutual attraction that can only last until the production goes on, right? Anything can happen when the Greek pantheon is involved, and they’re definitely involved!


This fantasy gay romance takes one on a wonderful and wacky adventure that features a very special theater production. The gradual revelation of the various characters that figure prominently in popular Greek myths and the restitutions or revelations that change the direction of their “lives” are very creative. The story is a wonderful twist on the idea of Purgatory, and a very fun look at the Greek gods and their foibles, plus a sweet romance.


I’m always delighted to see a new story by this author, because there’s always a novel perspective on traditional tropes and myths. I adore the creativity that is mixed with realistic facts, and this visit to the Theater of the Darned grabbed my attention and provided humor and entertainment throughout the entire story. Those who need a refresher (or an introduction) to the myths alluded to, or details about theater production, or the characters in the production itself…can just take a peek at the very end. I was sad when the story ended, and I hope to see these guys again, but I confess that I’m a big fan of whatever this author writes and will enthusiastically join in on whatever adventure she tackles next!



A copy of this story was provided for review



Friday, March 26, 2021

Blood of the Dragonfly by Hawk MacKinney (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Hawk MacKinney, who provides thoughts on...



The Craft of Writing


Hawk MacKinney



Genre, the writing process, and hobbies are all aspects of the same juices that drive one to write. Genre is generated by content which begins to emerge with intros and initial settings in the first chapter. That sets the background with the ‘classic’ genre format, be it science fiction, romance, mystery, adventure, or fantasy. For me, I prefer to let an outline float behind my writing as I attempt to set the hook for readers in setting, plot, and characters. 


One common mistake new writers make is to create superfluous characters or story lines for the sake of bulk. Readers can pick this up in a heartbeat of a single sentence. Deleting or editing-out characters shouldn’t be a problem. In my process, I usually already have the sketch for the last chapter in mind before I finish with the opening paragraphs. In this way, subordinate or secondary characters or supporting serial characters don’t run away with some humdrum mundane wordy digression or plot twists that do nothing to move the story forward. 


None of these cornerstones are sacrosanct. Any can be changed. Every writer has a different process. However, in my case, I have found that outlines and final chapters hold me to my original objective. Twists and double twists are fun. Readers like sniffing out the false and the lethal. Psychotic perps are great for turning scenes and suspicions downside-up with underlying plots changing with each page and chapter.  


Caveat—dialogue is character-specific. Regional/planetary/cultural linguistics can be tricky and fatal for a story line if a writer is unfamiliar with usages or mismatches them. Most importantly, let your fantasies decide what you want to write—then make it yours. Your readers will recognize the heart, the passion, and the feeling behind your words.





Blood of the Dragonfly


Hawk MacKinney




GENRE: Fiction/Mystery/Suspense






While dangling a fishing hook from his flat bottom skiff before dawn, former SEAL-turned-PI Craige Ingram spots grey-black smoke coiling above the treetops across the river in the direction of the Georgia bayous and Corpsewood Manor. Bayou or bogs, fire in the uncut cypress and pines bodes a sense that the river is no barrier to the fire that threatens his ancestral home, Moccasin Hollow. Neither are the bodies later found in the burned mansion of Corpsewood Manor. Craige wastes no time in helping his ex-SEAL buddy Lt. Graysen MacGerald who is now Head of Buckingham Homicide Investigations by unofficially investigating the bodies and an exquisite dragonfly brooch found in the mansion with a reputation for evil, hauntings, and mystery.








Spinner and Craige dodged the potholes and bayou-puddled sorrowful drive that was already weeded-up with pieces of blackened 2x4s and tumbled rubble. Nestled among old cypress and giant hardwoods, the scorched ruins of a once-elegant time and place cast a brooding haunted ambiance. A lonesome tangle of police tape fluttered around one blackened trunk, while wads and scraps of yellow plastic flurried here and there among the blossom of mushrooms and cinders snagging on bushes and heat-brittle weeds among the char and ash clinging to seared limbs of dead shrubs. Except for half of one lonesome brick chimney, come next season, the surrounding marshes and scrubby undergrowth and vines would reclaim the scarred skeleton that once was Corpsewood and leave a burial mound of vines and voracious pitcher plants.


Spinner said, “I want to check that shallow ravine that follows along the north side of the drive. Looks like an overgrown gulley draining toward the river. Be an easy approach to the house without being seen.”


Craige said, “Dogs would've spotted them unless they’d been baited or poisoned.”


“Bogs won’t hold many tracks.” As the green underbrush swallowed Spinner, he called over his shoulder, “If they came in by river, I might get lucky in the mud along the riverbank for any trace of a boat being pulled up and beached.”


“Watch out for moccasins on those overhangs,” Craige called back to him. “If you come up on a weedy dry knoll of brush, sticks, and leaves above the water, leave it be. You don’t want to rile a mama gator guarding her nest. A twenty-footer may look cumbersome, but those big ones can move fast.” Craige stepped over chunks of tumbled cement and distorted rebar where a foundation had been an outside kitchen wall. One windowpane hung lopsided but intact in its section of wall that had collapsed outward into the soft dirt of what had been a flower garden. Sunshine peaked through to splash a glass pane angled among the ruins.


Beyond the foundation was a rose garden, trampled blossoms crinkled with burnt petals, broken stems buried amid tumbled bricks, crumbled mortar, and stinking charred timbers. Craige picked his way around the corner of the kitchen. He stopped at the front of the garage with its oily smudges, where the two autos had once parked. A few sooty cement blocks had tumbled from the corner of the garage. The wall had obviously been added as an afterthought. None of the square hollowed-out cement grabbed his attention until he noticed the broken end on one wasn’t smoked-seared or stained. The fire hadn’t touched it. The end had been broken off after the fire, but it wasn’t the inside hollow that grabbed him. It was the small wrapped yellowish-brown brick protruding from inside. CTU R&S ops had come across too many caches of potent hash oil and loose dry kief for him not to recognize it. He leaned down, touched nothing, saw the wrappings had been torn. The heady smell wrinkled his nose. Along one side of the package, he noticed a smattering of scattered pallid crystals. Neither the powder nor the brick with any ash or cinders; what he was seeing came after the fire. The brick looked as though it had been hurriedly pried open, an empty space inside where something had been removed. Someone had known where to look for whatever it was that was taken—someone not interested in the stash.



Amazon link





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspaper, served in the US Navy for over 20 years, earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history, taught postgraduate courses in the United States and Jerusalem, authored professional articles and chordate embryology texts on fetal and adult anatomy, and is well known for his works of fiction. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. Both his CAIRNS OF SANCTUARIE science fiction series and the MOCCASIN HOLLOW MYSTERY series have received worldwide recognition.












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Monday, March 22, 2021

The Billionaire and the Princess by Katherine E. Hunt (New release blitz, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) IBM, ADULT title


The Billionaire and the Princess

ADULT title
Katherine E. Hunt

Book 1 in the Sag Harbor series


General Release Date: 16th March 2021

Word Count: 60,151
Pages: 238
Book Length: Super Novel
Heat Rating: Sizzling
Sexometer: 2



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Book Description

  When a British journalist gets her dream job in The Hamptons, she doesn’t expect to find her dream man too.

All Caitlyn has to do is catch a plane, move to Sag Harbor and start her new job as editor of a brand-new society magazine. That’s what she’s promised herself. No more Mr. Wrong, no more pandering to everybody else’s needs. New life, new Caitlyn.

So when she meets a handsome gentleman on the plane, after a couple of drinks, she’s going to walk away, right? She’s certainly not going to try to join the mile-high club with him.

If it turns out he’s her new boss, Hank Baresi, the youngest son of one of the biggest media moguls in America, but no matter, he doesn’t appear to remember her, anyway.

She’s just going to do her job. No serenading him. No succumbing to his sweet charms and absolutely no falling in love with him.

And, well, if he happens to fall in love with her, she’s just going to say no, right?








There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. I’ve promised, sworn and vowed never to fall for a bad guy again. Take some time out, I told myself, learn the real Caitlyn, love yourself before you love others. Why, oh why, then, am I half-naked in an airplane bathroom with a frickin’ drunken, horny cowboy? Why indeed? He’s hot, there’s that, like six-foot-two hot. You know what I’m talking about. The type of guy that makes you catch your breath when he brushes past you, hair a little unkempt, jaw a little too sharp.


In my defense, I’ve had a very strange year and, frankly, life’s gotten really, really complicated. Then there’s the free alcohol, first time in Business Class… It’s all gone to my head. I might be forgiven for getting carried away. But still, no excuse, Caitlyn, no excuse.


He traces a solitary finger down the outside of my thigh—my leggings hang off one ankle, dragging on the floor. My other foot, placed firmly on the closed toilet seat, is the only thing holding me up.


I lift my hair, curl it up on my head with my hands, soft lips brush against my neck. “You’re so freaking hot,” he slurs.


At first, I’d thought he had a Texan drawl until he’d confessed, giggling as the words came out, that he’d stolen the cowboy hat from the guy in the next seat down.


He’s not Southern—he’s just drunk off his head.


He brushes his fingers up my spine, circling the crux of my neck before gliding over my breasts, past the tips of my nipples, until they stop at the slick gusset of my undies. Fuck. For a man who smells like a brewery and has lost the capacity for coherent speech, he’s pretty deft with his hands.


Pressing tightly onto my pussy, like it’s the only thing holding us up, he fumbles with his trousers, pulling at his belt.


“Do you have a condom?” I ask.


“Uh…shi-it. Maybe?” He tries to grab his wallet with his one free hand and we rock back and forth as he tugs at his pocket.


Is this really happening? It was all going smoothly. Steamy, unexpected, drunken smooch in the corridor, unilateral decision to glide into the bathroom. Semi-naked foreplay.


It’s all so serious, all of a sudden. Sex with a stranger. That’s a sobering thought. Is this how I want to start my new life? It isn’t part of the plan, that’s for sure.


I’ve never done anything like this. I’m not an angel, but I’ve always been the wait a few days, get to know the guy kind of girl. Admittedly, they’d all turned out to be Mr. Emotionally Unavailable, Mr. Terrified of Commitment or Mr. Sleeps with Your Friends Plural Behind Your Back, but hey, I’d always kept my side of the bargain.


His fumbles prove fruitless. He takes his hand off me to grab his wallet, falls backward, slams hard into the door and slides to the ground. Turns out I was holding him up after all.


I spin around. “You okay?” He doesn’t have any visible injuries, but he’s a tall man in a small space and his knees are around his ears. He still looks cute though. God, I need to get laid. My horny is showing.


“Oh shit!” He says it way too loud. Fuck, he’s going to get us caught. I’m not sure what the punishment is for kinky stuff in airplane bathrooms, but I know I don’t want to start my brand-new life in America in an orange jumpsuit.


“Shh,” I whisper, placing my finger over my lips.


“Shh. Hee-hee.” That giggle again. He’s wasted–like, actually out of it. This is rapidly turning into a very bad idea, not that at any point sneaking around with a man I’ve just met had been a solid choice. Kissing him? That had been fun, but now it feels a little like taking advantage.


He flicks through his wallet, still sat, half on the floor, legs splayed either side of me. “Shit. I got nothing.”


I lean down and put my arms around him. He nuzzles into my neck. God, he smells delicious. Whoever he is when he isn’t half-naked and hammered, he has incredible taste in aftershave. “Let’s get you up.”


“Wheeee!” With one hefty yank, he’s on his feet. The effort sends my back crashing against the toilet roll dispenser. It’s like getting a devastatingly handsome, six-foot-two, curly haired, horny octopus to stand to attention. Impossible.


Stepping back to steady myself, I hear a crack. Shit. Hopefully, his phone isn’t super important because it has just smashed into a million pieces under my foot. I kick it out of sight, sit him down on the toilet seat and pull my leggings back up. My libido is fading. Fast.


I pull up my leggings and put my top back on. “You don’t wanna do it anymore?” he drawls, his face downcast.


“I don’t think that’s a very good idea, do you?” He can’t even stand up for a start. God knows whether he can get anything else up.


“You’re hot.” He snakes his hands up my sweatshirt.


“Thank you. You’re very, very drunk.” I fasten his belt for him, inciting more giggles, and hand him his wallet, which had flown into the sink. “I think I’m going to go back to my seat. It was very nice meeting you, cowboy. Maybe we’ll meet again someday in better circumstances.” I might sound like I’m fobbing him off, but some part of me sort of wishes it’s true. I most definitely shouldn’t. The type of guy who allows himself to get in this much of a state is not boyfriend material. Not for me, anyway. But he’s a sweetie, and he’s cute when he giggles.


Oh, Caitlyn, you’re such a damn pushover.


* * * *


The old lady in the seat next to mine looks very concerned. “Did you hear all that noise in the toilet?”


“Yes. Apparently, some drunk guy fell over.”


“Oh dear.” She cringes. “Some people do get carried away with the free drinks on these flights. I hope he’s all right.” She’s been reading a guidebook on New York for the last four hours and hasn’t even acknowledged my presence, but now that I’ve got gossip, she’s all ears.


“I’m sure he’s fine. So where are you flying to today?”


She closes her book and looks at me. “New York.” Her eyes widen with excitement. Bless her. She has to be at the very least in her seventies. I see a little of myself in her, always excited by new experiences, no matter how old I get. That’s the only way to live.


“Well, yes. I meant for business or pleasure.”


“I’m going to see my son. He’s got a fancy job in Manhattan, going to show me the sights.” She curls her lips into the biggest grin.


“Oh, that’s lovely.”


Something loud crashes behind us. “Oh dear,” she mutters. “What now?”


A flash of white comes racing past our seats. A butt. A very naked butt attached to a very handsome, drunken, giggly cowboy.


“Shit,” I whisper under my breath. Maybe I shouldn’t have left him to his own devices after all. He turns and waves his not-insignificant appendage at a room full of dozing passengers before a hand reaches through the curtain behind him and pulls his drunken, naked butt into First Class.


“Good lord,” she says, raising an eyebrow. “I haven’t seen one like that since my Henry was alive.”


I turn to her and smile, hiding my deep regret at my rash decision not to get cowboy’s number before I’d left him. “Lucky you,” I reply.



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About the Author

Katherine E Hunt

Katherine E Hunt ran off with a Frenchman twenty years ago. She now lives on a French mountain with three children and two dogs. When she isn’t writing contemporary romance she can be found huddled up in front of a roaring fire, with a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and a book in the other. You can find out more about Katherine on her website.







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Katherine E. Hunt's The Billionaire and the Princess Giveaway

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Eat Your Heart Out by Shirley Goldberg (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Shirley Goldberg

When a tyrant in stilettos replaces her beloved boss, and her ex snags her coveted job, teacher Dana Narvana discovers there are worse things than getting dumped on Facebook. Time for the BFF advice squad. Alex—hunky colleague, quipster, and cooking pal extraordinaire is Dana’s staunchest ally. So what’s with the smooching after hours? And why won’t this grown man make up his mind?

Actor turned teacher Alex Bethany craves a family of his own. Newly hotified, he’s now got the confidence to try online dating. Meanwhile he’s sending Dana mixed messages in the kissing department. After a surprising event rocks his world, Alex panics, certain he’s blown his chances with his special person. Funny and bittersweet, Dana and Alex’s story will have you rooting for them all the way to dessert.















Alex trotted inside to pay. Dana stood in the aisle ahead of him, drinking coffee from a Smiley’s container, her back to him.

What the hell, he’d give it a whirl. “Hey Dana, nice to see you.”

She turned. Her expectant look morphed into confusion.

Why hadn’t he changed after his trip to the mall? He pulled the T-shirt tighter by stuffing it into the back waistband of his shorts and leaned an elbow on the counter. The casual look. “I thought I saw you fondling the peaches. With Sunny and Noelle. One minute you’re there, next you’re gone.”

Irritation crossed her face. She checked her watch.

“You don’t have a clue about who I am, do you?” She’ll recognize me. I’ll make her see me. The stubborn gene from his grandmother.

“Let me give you a hint.” He cleared his throat and bounced on his heels as if limbering up for a sprint. “Cha-cha-cha changes,” he sang like a demented fool. Then repeated the refrain.

Heat rose in her face and he watched, fascinated as a drop of sweat slid down her neck into the V of her blouse. He stopped as suddenly as he’d begun. What the hell are you doing?

“Look, I’ve got to run.”

She was gone before he could explain, apologize…or cover his face with a paper bag.

Purchase Links

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About the Author:


Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look at living single. Her books FINISH THIS and dating in mid life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. Eat Your Heart Out is the second book in the series Starting Over. Middle Ageish, the first, is available now. Her characters believe you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.




Contact Links:




Purchase Links for Middle Ageish, 1st book in series

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Resilience Stories and Lessons From An Ardent Photographer by Ron B. Wilson (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY)



Resilience Stories and Lessons From An Ardent Photographer


Ron B. Wilson




GENRE:   Travel, Photography






Ron B. Wilson's impressive 30-year career as a professional traveling photographer has taken him all across the United States and the world, from Cuba and India to South Africa and Morocco. Always with his camera in hand, Ron has captured moments of unforgettable history, including the tragedy of 9/11 and the fallout of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The common theme that binds all these stories together has been undefeatable resilience. Ron's journey will inspire readers to live, learn and better understand the everyday struggles of communities across our vast planet. Photographers eager to learn more about their craft will find practical lessons accompanying every story, and non-photographers can appreciate the life lessons that come from the art of capturing the human condition. For lovers of travel, photography, art or humanitarianism, this book is a must-read.






Just before 9 a.m. on September 11, 2001, I got a phone call from my friend Lilly, a photojournalist working for the Miami Herald. She told me there was a small plane crash at the World Trade Center, near my place, and wondered if I could go downtown to shoot some photos. We both interned for the Herald years ago, and if nothing else, she figured, I could get published in the paper.


I quickly got up, grabbed my gear, film and batteries, and ran out the door.


I lived on 23rd Street in New York City, near a subway stop. Leaving my apartment, I walked into a splendid September day: low humidity, abundant sunshine. It was a Tuesday, primary day for the upcoming municipal elections, which would decide the successor of Rudy Giuliani. Later that day, the polls would close early and end up being postponed for two weeks.


I jumped on the downtown 6 Train, anxiously wondering what was happening. All the other riders were already talking about “the accident” in ominous voices and hushed tones, an air of mystery wafting throughout the crammed train.


I made it to Canal Street before the entire train line stopped. The conductor’s voice crackled over the intercom, informing us that trains were no longer traveling southbound. Our journey was over. We needed to get off.


By the time I peeked above ground, having climbed what seemed like endless stairs ascending into the streets of lower Manhattan, I already knew this was no accident.


 Amazon link






AUTHOR Bio and Links:


 Ron B. Wilson's impressive 30-year career as a professional traveling photographer has taken him all across the United States and the world, from Cuba and India to South Africa and Morocco. Always with his camera in hand, Ron has captured moments of unforgettable history, including the tragedy of 9/11 and the fallout of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The common theme that binds all these stories together has been undefeated resilience. Ron's journey will inspire readers to live, learn and better understand the everyday struggles of communities across our vast planet. Photographers eager to learn more about their craft will find practical lessons accompanying every story, and non-photographers can appreciate the life lessons that come from the art of capturing the human condition. For lovers of travel, photography, art or humanitarianism, this book is a must-read.


Main Website



Portrait Website










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