Travel Bites by The Hungry Traveller: Excerpt


GENRE: Non-fiction travel literature

Travel Bites is a collection of anecdotal travel stories that crisscross the globe. It is the first work by The Hungry Traveller who has combined his two great life passions: travelling and eating! The Hungry Traveller has been travelling for the last fifteen years and, along the way, has experienced many different sights, tastes, and cultures. Central to his travel experiences has been the role of food. Through his unique and very personal style of storytelling, you too can share in the highs and the lows of his stories from around the world. At the end of each story is a recipe for a dish inspired by his adventure. Travel Bites will capture your imagination and curiosity; and will leave you yearning to plan your next holiday, adventure or escape!


Another World

Location: Sapa, Vietnam

I had been in Vietnam for around three weeks when I boarded the train at Hanoi station for the overnight trip to Lao Cai, a town in the north west of Vietnam on the border with China. Although my tourist visa was about to run out, I had been told by a couple of backpackers whom I had met in Hanoi that trekking out to the hill tribe areas near Sapa in the remote north-west mountains of Vietnam was a must do experience.


The Hungry Traveller will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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The Hungry Traveller is a travelling enthusiast who loves to eat! When travelling, he enjoys meeting new people andAuthorPhoto_TravelBites engaging with locals to learn about their culture, history and the food that they eat.


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My TESStimony by Contessa T. Walker-Jackson — Book Blitz


Each of us has a journey to go through in life. For some, that path seems easy, and everything in the lives of these blessed ones seems to fall into place effortlessly. For others, the path to a happy, successful life is paved with struggle and hardship.

I am one of those who have had to struggle. I wrote this book not simply to gain your sympathy or to draw attention to my pain, but to encourage others who’ve had to walk the same difficult roads in their lives. God, our Creator, did not design us to suffer through lives of pain and hurt, but has a much more joyful and important purpose for each of us. Discovering this fact helped me turn the path of my life around 180 degrees!

With this book, I intend to motivate and inspire those who look like me. I want to help my readers realize that no matter what life throws at you, you can overcome with your personal TESStimony! Use this book as a therapeutic tool to help you restore your life, heal your spirit, and redeem your soul.

Through reading along with my personal journey, I want others to discover the pursuit of hope. We can all use hope in our lives.


Our incompetence to be satisfied with what we have stems from living in marketing societies that insist we need to keep purchasing more in order to be fulfilled. Trying to keep up with the “Joneses” by acquiring more money, bigger houses, better cars, and lovelier spouses will leave you unhappy and dissatisfied. Instead of wanting what we don’t have, it can be a pure revelation to turn around and want what we already have. Everything we do nowadays has been inspired from television.


8Contessa Jackson lives by the mantras “can’t give up now” and “there’s nothing too hard for God.” The CEO & owner of Huntsville, Alabama-based Exclusively By Tess, LLC, which provides event planning on every level, Jackson is also an entrepreneur, team builder, civic leader, mentor, product specialist, and educator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Supervision, and a Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education.

In 2008, she founded Teacher’s P.E.T.S. Academy, a non-profit organization that provides guidance and encouragement to children and teens. Her dream is to open a tuition-free school that houses a 1,500-seat theater for the performing arts and community events.

Tess continues to fuel her passions and ambition as the published author of My TESStimony, through which she portrays her journey as a business-woman, wife, mother, and lover of life.

Website to purchase the book:
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Twitter (@mytesstimony)

Developing Minds: An American Ghost Story by Jonathan LaPoma — Book Excerpt

The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation by John E. Wade II: Author Interview and Book Excerpt

bipolarmillionaireJohn E. Wade II, retired CPA, author, investor, television producer, and philanthropist, reveals in his memoir, The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation, his personal struggle with bipolar disorder and his experience being the focus of an all-encompassing and benevolent entity he calls the Operation.
Wade takes the reader through his family experiences, political aspirations and beliefs, spiritual journey, relationship trials and errors, and battle with mental illness, as well as writes about how he feels he has been cured of the detrimental aspects of bipolar disorder.
With the help of a unique and powerful network he calls the Operation, and through religious beliefs, personal perseverance, and the help of friends, family, and his mental health professionals, Wade lives an active, creative, and successful life.
His memoir doesn’t end with contentment at achieving a balance in his life, however. Instead, Wade expresses a determined vision for the future, aiming to assist humanity in what he describes as achieving heaven on earth through his writing, political and spiritual endeavors, as well as through being the focus of the ever-pervasive Operation.


I was struggling and dropped into a walk from the jog required of fourth classmen. It was an autumn day in 1963, just a month after I’d had a near-fatal attack of meningitis, and I was still fighting to regain my strength. Panting for breath, I was confronted by a first classman. He asked very directly why I wasn’t jogging. I quickly replied that I had a medical excuse, knowing full well that the excuse had expired. He ordered me to produce the excuse, which I did. Noting its date, he nonetheless allowed me to proceed.

Soon, I was in the academy hospital, lying flat on my back in an almost catatonic state, unable to cope with my mental torment. Although this severe depression, the first in my life, was not diagnosed at the time, it must have been my first bipolar episode, possibly having been triggered by the recent attack of meningitis.

My mother and Carol, my then-girlfriend, came to try to revive me, but I don’t remember responding. Years later, Carol told me that I asked her to help me kill myself, but I have absolutely no memory of making such a request.

Until this illness I had been a model cadet. I had prepared physically according to academy guidelines, so the transition to basic cadet summer was rigorous but easier than it would have been without vigorous training.

One other thing that helped me during basic cadet summer was the stream of daily letters from Carol. My fellow cadets were jealous, partly because of the letters, but also because of the picture of her I had in my room. Even though it was black and white, it was clear that she had blond hair, a sweet smile, and a pleasing, pretty face. That face helped me get through the rest of what we all had to endure to complete our training.

Each week we were given certain “knowledge” to learn, such as types of aircraft or chains of command. I always spent part of Sunday afternoon memorizing the information so that I could recite it during Monday’s meals. The upperclassmen pointedly asked several questions of each basic cadet, which kept us from finishing our entire meal. The first classmen took turns performing the interrogation, but as the questions were considerably shorter than the answers, they always had plenty of time to eat. I always felt I was short-changed because I was the only one who knew the trivia from the first day it was due, and yet I didn’t get a chance to eat more than the other basic cadets.

At the end of basic cadet summer, all the cadets were subjected to a physical fitness test, and I scored the highest in my squadron. At about the same time, we also went on a survival exercise in the mountains for which we were organized into small groups with twenty-four hours’ worth of food and about a week’s time to find our way back to the academy. The experience was particularly taxing for me. I became so obsessed with saving my food that I still had some left when we got back to the academy.

After the final tests, those of us who successfully completed basic cadet summer became fourth classmen. My personal excitement was not long lasting, however. Although I had scored high marks on the physical tests, I was disappointed with my first academic grades, which included some Bs, as I was used to all As in high school. When I asked a first classman for his opinion, he said I did just fine considering that I came from a weak high school.

Basic cadet summer had ended—then the meningitis hit. I’ve since read that physical illness can trigger the onset of bipolar disorder, and although the diagnosis was not made at that time, I believe that is what had happened. My father eventually was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder also, so it appears that I was genetically predisposed to the condition, as is often the case.

I had entered the academy in June 1963, and I received an honorable medical discharge that December; whether I was right or wrong, I considered the situation a great disgrace. It was definitely a life-defining event for me, and I was overcome with depression.

But, there was another aspect to my failure at the Air Force Academy that I didn’t disclose to anyone else until years later: part of the reason I attended the academy was that I had presidential ambitions, which I knew would be shattered by the stigma of mental illness. I internalized and brooded over that stigma for the next forty years.

To make matters even worse, when I finally got home I also lost my girlfriend.

It was quite a shock to me and had a negative effect on my confidence with the women I would date for most of the rest of my life.

I have often wondered what would have happened had I not had the meningitis and bipolar episode. What aspects of my life would have been altered? It’s a haunting possibility to consider.

Still, even though the realization of some of my dreams has eluded me, I have had and am having an interesting, fulfilling life in spite of bipolar disorder, and I invite you to understand its role as I work toward what I believe is my destiny.


Tell us about this story.  

It is a deep, honest and interesting true story of my life to date.  It’s an unusual life from 1963 on—when I had my first episode of bipolar disorder.  I struggled for about eight years before I even got a correct diagnosis and lithium, the first at least partially effective drug for the illness.  I had had a few hospitalizations prior to then.  But I’m very proud that I never gave up and was the first in my accounting class at the University of Georgia, president of the accounting honor society, earning both my BBA and MA followed by passing the CPA the first time.

I had two marriages that succeeded beautifully for a while and then failed, the first producing my daughter with whom I’m extremely proud along with my son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Jobs, good jobs came and went, sometimes my bipolar disorder interfered, sometimes not.

In late 1998 the Operation—that’s what I call it—came into my life.  It is a highly secretive government and private entity that takes on big tasks like what it sought for me; curing the negative aspects of my bipolar disorder, guiding me spiritually and making me a force in the Republican Party.  A good part of the book explains how the Operation used transaction analysis to accomplish these lofty goals.

What is transactional analysis and how was it used on me?  The method was to use thousands of acts directed at me—intentionally overheard conversations, direct therapy and messages from other persons of all types, vehicles and all sorts of unusual and yet normal acts—signs to me, ordinary to others.

Why do you write?  

It has become a compulsion.  My mother was an English major and she was careful to teach her four children proper English, so I really say she taught me to write.  But I went through business school and worked as a CPA in public, private and governmental accounting.

But on January 2, 1998 I woke up and wrote the start of what was to become a complete unedited manuscript, Focus Investing.  Eventually the book was edited and completed with a publishing contract signed by me with John Wiley & Sons, but the deal fell through and the book was never published.  I continued writing with a book of essays which I self-published, Deep Within My Heart.  I conceived, financed and partially wrote How To Achieve a Heaven on Earth, Ronald Reagan’s Wisdom for the Twenty-First Century and A Glimpse of Heaven on Earth.  This book, The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation is the first book that I have authored completely and has been published.  I have high hopes and prayers for it.

I have for years carried around in one of my back pockets a personal notebook, and I write many times as I dine alone.  Many of these writings are typed up by an assistant, go through an editor and are placed on my websites as blogs.  I also love to review worthwhile nonfiction books, going through them word for word the first time and then two to five times, writing my review on the last time through.

Where would you most like to live?  

Right where I do, in the Garden District in New Orleans.  I was blessed with inheritances that allowed me to purchase a comfortable home, renovate it and care for the wonderful grounds in the front and back as well as inside too.  Of course, New Orleans is such a unique place; the food, architecture, music, streetcars, World War II Museum, Audubon Park and City Park…on and on with so many festivals to celebrate.

What is your motto?  

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.

Who’s your favorite writer?  

Walter Isaacson. He gives great attention to details without becoming boring and also he writes about such interesting people.  I’ve read his biography of Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs and listened to his audio book biography of Benjamin Franklin.


Praise for The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation by John E. Wade II:
“The book is 5 stars without a doubt.”- nursenancy26, Amazon Reviewer
” This is a must read book for any caring person.  What an interesting life story! John Wade writes an insightful memoir of his struggles with bipolar disorder while the “Operation” guides his existence and spiritual journey.
John Wade’s experiences with bipolar disorder and his “cure” should give heart to anyone with the disease and teach the importance of kindness, patience, and respect from those of us who know anyone with the disease.”- Rebecca A Morgan, Amazon Reviewer
” John Wade has learned to overcome his weaknesses and triumph over his disorder. Everyone who has loved ones with Bipolar Disorder or those who are struggling with it should read this well written book.”- E L  Davis, Amazon Reviewer
Praise for How To Achieve Heaven On Earth by John E. Wade II:
“These essays encourage readers to reflect on their own means of achieving peace in their lives, making a fine addition to any general lending library!”-Midwest Book Review
“A fascinating octopus of a book on global change, reaching in all directions at once.”-Library Journal
About John E. Wade II:
John E Wade II Bipolar millionaireBronze Medalist of the 2014 Living Book Award in the category of Social Activism/Charity, John E. Wade II, born in Decatur, Alabama and longtime New Orleans resident, is a philanthropist, an investor, and a retired accountant, who is an active member of his church.
Wade began writing in 1998 and has published many essays, blogs, and book reviews, as well as one book filled with his own essays, Deep Within My Heart, and three books that he has co-authored: How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, and Ronald Reagan’s Wisdom for the Twenty-First Century.
In his free time Wade likes to travel the world and learn about other cultures.  He also enjoys exploring his hometown of New Orleans, enjoying the unique food, architecture, and music.  Wade also regularly attends New Orleans Saints games as well as football games at Mississippi State University, where the Davis Wade Stadium was named after his father.

More, More Time by David B. Seaburn: Excerpt

more time
General / Literary Fiction
Date Published: July 18, 2015

Maxwell Ruth, a cantankerous, old high school history teacher falls down his basement stairs and soon thereafter starts hearing “The Words” over and over again— endingtimeendingtimeendingtime. His life is changed forever.

In this story we learn about the lives, loves, and losses of Max, Hargrove and Gwen Stinson, Beth and Bob Hazelwood, and Constance Young. They are lively, funny, at times; a little bit lost or wounded, yet resilient and hopeful.  They are wrestling with life’s most challenging issues, including, abuse, loss, infidelity, aging, secrecy and what gives life meaning. And, like all of us, they would like more, more time to find the answers to life’s most important questions. The clock, though, is always ticking and time is always short. 


In the days after Maxwell Ruth fell down his basement stairs, he begins to hear something alarming. He decides to tell his best friend, Hargrove Stinson, even though Hargrove has gone through a similar problem when his wife, Gwen, started hearing things after their daughter, Sally, died.

“But something’s wrong.” Max grimaced, his eyes wide.

“Something’s wrong? What are you talking about?”

“Not long after I fell, I started hearing things.”

“What things?” Hargrove thought of Gwen. “Did you hear that?” she’d often say, fear in her eyes. His heart skipped a beat.

“I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. I don’t want you to think I’m…”

“What are you hearing, Max?” Hargrove’s words were more clipped than he had intended.

“It’s like, these words.”

“Someone talking?”
“No, nothing like that. It’s just this repetitive…” Max’s voice trailed off.

“A repetitive what?”

“You’ve been through enough of this…”

“Look, Max, tell me what’s going on.” Hargrove’s eyes didn’t move.

Max looked out the window again.

“Words. I’m hearing words. Woke me up after I got home from the hospital. Words slung together over and over again.” Max shrugged, his jaw went slack. “They go away. They come back. I don’t know what the hell it is.”

“Words, it sounds like words?”

Hargrove’s back stiffened. The hair on his neck prickled. “Listen. I hear her,” Gwen would say. “It’s Sally, I’m sure of it. She needs me.” He scrutinized Max’s face, looking for the terror, for the cold panic so familiar to Hargrove, but it wasn’t there.

“What did your doctor say? Did you tell him you’re hearing voices?”

“Jesus Christ, I’m not hearing voices!” Max threw the marker on the floor and walked to the window again. He wiped his face with his hand. Hargrove went to him and reached for his shoulder but then withdrew his hand.

“Okay, okay, you’re not hearing voices. You’re hearing words.”

“Yes, I’m hearing words.” Max turned around to face his friend.

“What words?”

“One word is ‘ending’ and the other word is ‘time.’” Max shrugged his shoulders.

“Time ending?” said Hargrove, his voice a monotone.

“When I hear it, it’s ‘ending time.’ And they run together like they’re a single word playing on a continuous loop: endingtimeendingtimeendingtime.” Max frowned and nodded his head to one side as he said this.

“That’s it?” Max shook his head. The corner of Hargrove’s mouth twitched slightly. “What did the doctor say?”

“Well,” said Max, looking at the floor. “I didn’t exactly tell him.”

“Jesus, Max.”

“Look, that’s all I need. A doctor thinking I’ve gone off the deep end.” Max paused. “I don’t need a friend thinking I’ve gone off the deep end either.”

“Of course not.” Hargrove cleared his throat. Max put his hand on his briefcase as if he were about to leave. “But, Jesus, Max, you should have told your doctor about this. I mean, maybe something can be done. Maybe if you had a CT or an MRI, they could find the cause. It has to be something.”

“Had those. Nothing’s wrong.”

Hargrove was quiet.

“You think I’m crazy, don’t you?” said Max.

Hargrove studied Max’s face, his full cheeks and wide eyes seeming almost childlike.

Dave_Seaburn_portrait_09_webDavid B. Seaburn served a rural country parish, worked in community mental health, was an assistant professor of psychiatry and family medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center for twenty years, and also directed a free public school-based family counseling center before his retirement in 2010. He has written five novels: More More Time (2015), Chimney Bluffs (2012), Charlie No Face (2011—Finalist in General Fiction, National Indie Excellence Awards), Pumpkin Hill (2007), and Darkness is as Light (2005). He and his wife live near Rochester, NY. They have two adult daughters and two wonderful granddaughters.

Book Blurb: The Blue Dragon by Yiola Damianou-Papadopoulou


The Blue Dragon

by Yiola Damianou-Papadopoulou


GENRE: YA/ Middle Grade Fiction



The Blue Dragon describes the terror of the catastrophic tsunami that hit Sri Lanka in December 2004. The novel focuses on a group of children—Hanseni, and her siblings Awade and Manori, and their friend Nishian—their individual experiences, and how they managed to pull through this horrendous event.

Overcoming their fears the children struggle against the forces of nature, fighting against the odds to save themselves and their friends. Their stories portray courage and hope, and demonstrate the inner strength and determination that exists in the human spirit when faced with an unforgiving natural disaster. This emotive and heartfelt story shows how even, in the most terrifying of circumstances, the will to live triumphs.



Chapter 1: “Mangona Village, Southern Sri Lanka

“I’ll go there too someday,” Hanseni murmured to herself, as she played with the pure white pebbles at the sea’s edge. She always picked this spot to play as she could look across to the other side. The house with the red windows high up on the hill occupied her thoughts. Schools in Sri Lanka were closed for the Christmas holidays, but the tutorial center never closed. The house on the hill was a school for foreign languages. Earlier that day she had seen the children making their way uphill. If only she could go too. In her mind, foreign languages were a passport: she could fly away, travel, see the world… Her eyes plunged into the azure sea and set sail for unknown lands.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Yiola Damianou-Papadopoulou was born in Nicosia and spent her childhood in the Congo and Nigeria. She studied Journalism in Athens and has worked with a number of radio stations, magazines and newspapers in Cyprus. She has published short stories for adults as well as novels. She has also written children’s and young adult fiction.


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The Secret King: Lethao by Dawn Chapman–Release Blitz

Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Date Published: September 30, 2015

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Kendro, King of the Aonise, can do nothing to prevent their sun from collapsing, consuming their home planet Letháo in a single fiery blast. Running out of time and options, he evacuates the entire population, setting off into the unknown galaxy in four crowded ships. Under constant danger from their ancient enemy, the Zefron, treasonous dissent seeps into his inner circle. Threatened inside and out, Kendro struggles with who to trust, until a mysterious vision finally brings hope to the distraught King. A new home awaits the Aonise, if Kendro can only unite them long enough to survive the journey.

From Ch 2:
“I can’t help but worry.” Chace’s hands shook as he locked eyes with Octav. “You know we don’t have a destination.”
“You’re privy to that information.” Octav shot him a glare.  “Do not speak of it.”
Chace stepped backed, “I’m sorry, Sir.”
Octav stared at Chace’s shimmering forearm where his birthmark betrayed his fear. Wearing their traditional uniforms had been Kendro’s idea. He’d hoped to bring calm to everyone, as their open birthmarks reflected their emotions. Winter wasn’t the time of year to be showing bare skin though, the chill Octav felt inside was almost un-bearable, not all of it from the weather.
Chace’s emotions were there for everyone to see, from the flicker across his striking facial mark, to the swirling pattern of his arm. He was terrified and more.
“Listen to me,” against his better judgment Octav reached for Chace. Pulling his own croex to the surface, Octav allowed it to trickle through into Chace’s skin. “Trust me. We might not know where we’re going, but we will find a new home.”
About the Author
Dawn Chapman has been creating sci fi and fantasy stories for thirty years. Until 2005 when her life and attention turned to scripts, and she started work on The Secret King, a 13 episode Sci Fi TV series, with great passion for this medium.
In 2010, Dawn returned to her first love of prose. She’s been working with coach EJ Runyon who’s encouraged her away from fast paced script writing, to revel in the world of TSK and Letháo as an epic prose space journey.
She’s had success with a web series, co-written with ‘Melvin Johnson’, produced by Nandar Entertainment, and a short film Irobe, also co-written. This year her experience of working with Producers/Directors from the US and AUS has expanded. From Drama, Sci Fi to Action, Dawn’s built a portfolio of writing, consulting and publishing.
Contact Links
Twitter: @TeamSecretKing
Purchase Links
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