Monday, March 23, 2015

Forty Days At Kamas

Forty Days At Kamas


Inspired by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s account of a Soviet labor camp revolt in Gulag Archipelago, Volume III, the story of FORTY DAYS AT KAMAS follows political prisoners and security officials at a corrective labor camp in Kamas, Utah, where inmates seize control during the summer of 2024.

Kamas, Utah. 2024. In the totalitarian dystopia that America has become after the Unionist Party’s rise to power, the American West contains vast Restricted Zones dotted with ghost towns, scattered military garrisons and corrective labor camps where the regime disposes of its real and suspected enemies. Kamas is one such camp.

On a frigid March night, a former businessman from Pittsburgh, Paul Wagner, arrives at a labor camp in Utah’s Kamas Valley, a dozen miles east of the deserted resort town of Park City, which prisoners are dismantling as part of a massive recycling project.

When Wagner arrives, he is unaware that his eleven-year-old daughter, Claire, has set off to Utah to find him after becoming separated from her mother at the Philadelphia Airport. By an odd quirk of fate, Claire has traveled on the same train that carried her father into internal exile.

Only after Wagner has renounced all hope of survival, cast his lot with anti-regime hard-liners and joined them in an unprecedented and suicidal revolt does he discover that Claire has become a servant in the home of the camp’s Deputy Warden. Wagner is torn between his devotion to family and loyalty to his fellow rebels until, on the eve of an armored assault intended to crush the revolt, he faces an agonizing choice between a hero’s death and a coward’s freedom.

In FORTY DAYS AT KAMAS, author Preston Fleming offers a stirring portrait of a man determined to survive under the bleakest of conditions and against formidable odds. Fleming’s gift for evocative prose brings the characters and events to life in a way that arouses emotional tension while also engaging the reader’s intellect with fundamental questions about the future of American society.


*Borrow Free with Amazon Prime or Read with your Kindle Unlimited Membership*


Chapter 2
“Whoever can conquer the street will one day conquer the state, for every form of power politics and any dictatorship-run state has its roots in the street.”
—Joseph Goebbels
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Our stone farmhouse atop a forested knoll commanded a sweeping view of the hills along the Ohio River to the southwest. The south end of the house projected just beyond a line of towering maples, the French doors of our old glassed-in porch opening onto a flagstone veranda. Beyond the boxwood hedge that enclosed the veranda on three sides, the hill sloped gradually at first, then more steeply, past our neighbor’s horse paddock to the two-lane state road that connected downtown Sewickley with Interstate 79.
I finished my mug of tea and joined my wife on the veranda. Juliet had begun covering the boxwood with burlap slipcovers and called me over to shovel mulch around the roots. I pulled a long-handled shovel from the wheelbarrow to join. Meanwhile, our two daughters, Louisa and Claire, aged three and nearly five, busied themselves collecting fallen twigs for the woodpile. The sun was already high in a cloudless sky and the morning frost had melted nearly everywhere.
It was the second Saturday in November, only four days since the national elections in which the President was re-elected under the banner of his newly formed Unionist Party. The Unionists also took both houses of Congress, which had come as a complete surprise to me. I had been spending sixty-hour weeks at the office and had not paid much attention to the persistent reports of large-scale voter registration fraud, voting machine hacking, pre-stuffed ballot boxes, and voter intimidation at polling places in major cities across the country. Even with a government blackout on live television and radio coverage at polling places, rumors of a stolen election had quickly spread to nearly every household with a phone or a computer. But like too many others, I did not understand what was happening until the damage had already been done.
“Where do we put the sticks, Daddy? “ my older daughter Claire asked, bringing my thoughts back to the present.
“By the woodpile, sweetie,” I replied. “Break them up in pieces about so big and make a stack with them.”
“This one’s too big to break.” She was dragging an eight-foot branch across the grass. “Will you help me?”
“Of course.” I lay down my shovel to give her a hand, but when I reached her, Claire had dropped the branch and was pointing toward the road at the bottom of the hill.
“Who are those people, Daddy, and where are they going?” she asked. “Are they going camping?”
I looked up and saw the road clogged with a slow-moving procession of cars, pickup trucks, trailers, Amish-style horse carts, bicyclists, backpackers, even big-wheeled garden carts pulled rickshaw-style. Those on foot were trailed by a pack of underfed dogs. It reminded me of World War II newsreels of the Dutch fleeing the bombing of Rotterdam, or German refugees retreating from the advancing Red Army. Most of the cars and trucks were far from new and many of the foot travelers shabbily dressed, though most gave the impression of being strong, hardy people who had once belonged to America’s middle class.
A trio of deer peered out from behind a copse of trees near the road and hesitated, unable to find a break in the uninterrupted stream of traffic. A few of the dogs looked up, as if catching a scent, but none gave chase.
“Where are they going, Daddy?” Claire repeated.
“I think some are headed north to Canada, darling, like the Moores.” The Moores were our neighbors who, having lost their savings to inflation and having failed to sell their horse farm before the mortgage company gave notice of foreclosure, abandoned the farm and their unpaid tax obligations and moved in with their son in Ottawa.
“The ones in the fancy cars are probably driving to the Toronto airport to catch a flight overseas. The rest are probably headed south, where there are more jobs and it’s cheaper to live.”
“Are we going away, too?” Claire asked, turning to me with a look of disapproval.
I heard footsteps behind me and felt my wife grip my arm. She held on with both hands as if what she saw on the road had given her a chill.
I looked into her eyes and saw the fear of losing our business, our savings, our house and everything in it—and not being able to start over. Not in America, anyway. Not with the Unionists in power. I glanced over to Claire, hoping that she had not sensed Juliet’s fear.
“Not today, sweetie,” I replied. “We’re staying right here at home. Mommy and Daddy have work to do. And so do you and Louisa. Here, let me pull that branch over to the woodpile for you. Now, break up the small twigs, like this.” I used more force than necessary to break one of the tender twigs in half. “But leave the big sticks for me, okay?”
My wife squeezed my arm once more and let go to take my hand.
“Jeff’s car just pulled in,” she said softly. “I’ll brew a fresh pot of tea. Why don’t you carry some chairs onto the veranda?”

The Author

Preston’s  Website / Goodreads / Author Central / Twitter / Facebook

Preston Fleming was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He left home at age fourteen to accept a scholarship at a New England boarding school and went on to a liberal arts college in the Midwest. After earning an MBA, he managed a non-profit organization in New York before joining the U.S. Foreign Service and serving in U.S. Embassies around the Middle East for nearly a decade. Later he studied at an Ivy League law school and since then pursued a career in law and business. He has written five novels.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mentor Me Self-Help Book and Excerpt

Amazon Bestseller!

About the Book

Happiness. Success. Motivation. Influence. Inspiration.

Groundbreaking Practical Self-Help, Mentoring, Coaching, Personal Success, Business Guide.

We all want to have success and happiness in every area of our lives, as well as be a positive influence and inspiration to other people. But too often, we get lost in our resolutions to do just that, having no idea where to start or how to get there.

This book is the perfect guide! Fun, Concise, Succinct, Proven, and Filled with Wisdom!

Successful mentor and coach Ken Poirot provides answers and walks you through in this groundbreaking book, Mentor Me: GA=T+E—A Formula to Fulfill Your Greatest Achievement!

Finally a Real-World Practical Self-Help, Mentoring, Coaching, Personal Success, Business Book!

In Mentor Me, you will discover:

- How to formulate a plan to achieve your dreams

- Your personality style and how it relates to the personality styles of other people

- How to most effectively learn new information, motivate yourself, and others

- The two most powerful words in the English language and how to put them to work for you

- The best-and most effective-way to handle any conflict in life

- And so much more...

Mentor Me delivers what other books only promise: real-world strategies, techniques, and information that produces effective, tested, and proven results!

Easy-to-implement directives and personal life illustrations combine to provide readers with the pathway to success they have only previously dreamed about.

There are also some fun "smile" moments included along the way...

Begin reading and following the plan found in Mentor Me today and step-by-step, you will transform your life!

A Fun and Simple Self-Help, Mentoring, Coaching, Personal Success, Business Book!


A New Beginning

Right now is the best time to create your tomorrow.

Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want. This book will walk you through the process, and we will do this together. Today will never come again. Once today is gone…it is gone forever. So the best time to take action, to begin creating the tomorrow you want, is right now. I am with you, and I will help you start walking through the process found in these pages.

Wherever you are in life…you are not alone. You may be struggling in the Abyss of Emotional Bankruptcy, searching for the next rung in the ladder of your journey to find peace and happiness, or you may already be at the Peak of Happiness seeking the way to stay there.

There are others just like you—struggling with hardship, stress, financial or emotional bankruptcy, family problems, and health issues. Many people, just like you, have found what they need—the strength to get up one more time after being knocked down in life. Where do you find the strength? Right here. This is your first step to tap in to this strength and energy to make the life you want for yourself. All the things that have happened to you in your life—good and bad, failures and successes—had to happen to you to bring you here, to this point in your life…at this very moment…today. Today is another chance to create the life you want, the life you dream about. Draw the energy you need from these words. Take all you need to start a new day and a new life for yourself. This life…it is yours to make of it what you wish.

Per Newton’s Law of Conservation of Energy—often quoted as, “Energy is neither created nor destroyed”—these words, my energy, and my strength are being imparted to you right now, by your action of reading or hearing these words. I believe in you, and I know you can create the life you want for yourself.

Today is a new beginning for you. This book is your GATE from your life yesterday to your new life tomorrow. Enter through the GATE to start your new life, the life you want, the life you deserve.

There are some questions you need to ask yourself as we begin our journey together. Tell me: What do you want for yourself? What do you want for your life? When you look back on your life, what do you want to say has been your Greatest Achievement (GA)? This journey is all about you—your hopes, your dreams, and your desires for yourself.

What do you enjoy doing? How do you like to spend your Time (T)? What is your vision of happiness? What do you want for yourself and your life?

Take some time…close your eyes, and set your mind free to explore.

            Write down the picture of what you just saw for yourself—your ideal life. Put it into words, all you envisioned and imagined just now. The emotions, the pictures in your mind, your hopes, dreams, and desires—this is the life you want. This is your Greatest Achievement (GA). Write it down in the space provided below. (If you have the e-book version of this book, use a bound notebook to complete the exercises found in this book so you will have everything you write in one place.)

My Greatest Achievement (GA):



Something magical happens when we put down what we want on a piece of paper, verbalize it, visualize it, define it, and allow ourselves to experience it with the full range of our thoughts, feelings, imagination, and the emotions of achieving it. We can program ourselves to have it!

Today you begin the journey to acquire all you wrote down in the space above, your Greatest Achievement (GA). Keep this in mind every day as a reminder of what you want in life. This will be your driving force, your motivation, your inspiration—to know you are well on your way to having all you want and desire in life. You can have it…I know you can because I have seen it happen over and over again in my personal and professional life.

You have already taken the most difficult step. The hardest part is figuring out what you want in life—what you want for yourself. After that, it is just a matter of working backward…putting together a plan to move you from where you are today, forward to reach your Greatest Achievement (GA) in the future. So let’s begin your plan by starting to think about other people you admire the most—your role models. These are the people whose lives you want to emulate.

Purchase Mentor Me

The Author

Ken's Website /  Blog / Twitter / Wikipedia / Goodreads / Facebook Pinterest /Google+

Ken Poirot grew up on Long Island, New York in the quaint village of Northport. After graduating from 
Cornell University with a B.S. in Microbiology, he moved to Houston, Texas to pursue his
Ph.D. studies in Cancer Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center through UT Health Science Center. Upon receiving a US Patent for his research, Lipid Complexed Topoisomerase I Inhibitors, he left graduate school for a career in financial services.

     Over the last two decades, he worked for many of the top financial services firms--some better known New York Stock Exchange-listed companies like American Express, Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America), JP Morgan Chase, as well as some smaller New York Stock Exchange-listed companies like Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE: CFR) and Guaranty Bank (now part of BBVA, NYSE: BBVA).

     As the Senior Vice President and Sales Manager for Frost Investment Services, the brokerage division of Frost Bank (NYSE:CFR), he led his department to four consecutive years of double- digit revenue growth, increasing revenue by over 83% while substantially increasing the profit margin from approximately 27% to 37%. During this same time period, his financial advisors increased their individual production from an average of less than $25,000 in revenue per month to over $41,000. He achieved similar results at various other firms, including Guaranty Bank and JPMorgan Chase, consistently increasing the sales of his territories/producers by double-digits as a regional manager and personal/professional coach.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Squishy Face and the Moon - Children's Book

Squishy Face and the Moon


Squishy face is a little girl in a big world, which often frightens her. Luckily, she has Big Mama to guide her and show her the way. In this book, Big Mama teaches little Squishy Face about the moon.


The Author

Jennifer’s  Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

Jennifer Oneal Gunn Was Born January 2, 1979 In Carthage, Missouri, To Parents Who
Would End Up The Parents Of Three Children. At An Early Age, She Started Learning And Knowing Her Imagination. It Was Evident, There Was Always Something Inside Her, Waiting To Get Out. Today, A Single Mother Of Two, Jennifer Writes In A Plethora Of Different Genres; From Nightmare-Inducing Horror To Feminine Poetry. She's Studied The Art Of Writing Since She Was Fourteen. She Also Uses Her Passion For Reading In Her Career As A Freelance Editor, Formatter, And Cover Art Designer. Recently, Jennifer Has Also Given Way To Her Artistic Side. She Illustrates Children’s Books Sometimes, Too.

Her Titles Include Mystik LegendsDevil's In The Details- RebootFire, Ice & Blood-The Story Of Jake And Holly Book 1(Revenging The Evil Series)The Heart Of A Woman(Poetry), Squishy Face And The Moon (Children’s) And Some Free Reads On Her Website.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Touched Up Excerpt


Driving the streets of our suburb, I call my daughter’s cell phone for the thirty-seventh time. It goes right to voice mail, just as it has for the last three hours. The logical part of me knows this is the sign of a dead phone battery.

Alyssa didn’t come home from school again. The second time in two weeks. Night has long since fallen. There were no planned after-school activities. She’s just acting out, got a good head and wouldn’t do anything stupid. As I drive around, I keep telling myself this. It helps, but only a bit.

 Stacey called me earlier to let me know of Alyssa’s disappearance. Not the kind of phone call I wanted, but at least it was civil. Neither of us can figure out if drugs are to blame. It seems Stacey has an idea what’s behind this, but she’s not opening up. No surprise there.

 Stacey gave me a list of places to look for Alyssa. A good parent should probably know where his daughter hangs out. We really only know what our kids choose to let on to us. At some point you have to trust the work you put in when they were young. Alyssa knows right from wrong. Next on my list is the bowling alley.

 This oughta be fun. It’s a Tuesday night. The place will be filled with league bowlers and teenagers looking to score illegal alcohol. I’m not sure which I’d rather avoid more. As I open an oversized blue wooden door with a bowling pin for a handle, the smell hits me. Eau de bowling alley. I don’t know all the ingredients in this recipe. Sweaty shoes, plastic balls, alley oil, cigarette smoke, and other substances less appealing. I think if these places were around in prehistoric times, a few dinosaurs might have made it. Nothing dies in here. Everything feels supernaturally suspended.

 The café and bar are to the left. An amusement room is to the right. I make an unnecessary scan of the lanes. It would be too uncool, unhip, unfly, to be seen bowling in here. When was the last time bowling was popular with the in-crowd? I decide to start with the amusement room. Not because I think I’ll find her here. I would just prefer it to the bar.

 Electronically generated sounds drown out pins crashing and balls returning to their owners. Pre-teen boys swarm around the machines, focusing their attention on killing aliens and driving fast. The opposite gender are surrounding some kind of dance game. A computer is teaching them to dance. Isn’t that the boys’ role? The only kids in here that are close to Alyssa’s age are social misfits. She would never hang with them. A bunch of nerds who’ll end up as engineers and scientists.

 I trudge to the other end of the alley. I close my mouth tightly as I pass through a curtain of cigarette smoke. Like all other buildings in the state, this is supposed to be smoke-free. Try imposing those laws on league bowlers. They’re not the type to be worried about their health. There’s probably not a one of them with a cholesterol level below 200. They’re not convinced that smoking or bad eating habits will kill you. I think they make bowling pins black and white because that’s how bowlers see the world.

 I move quickly through the bar area. There’s no sign of Alyssa or anyone else this side of fifty. I do see a couple of lizard-skinned women that may have been around with the dinosaurs. Their knowing glances assure me that they have taken off their custom-made bowling shirts for money at least once in their lives. If I believed in prayer, I’d request now that I never have to come back here again.


No one should smile before the sun rises. On the happiness scale, content is about as good as you can get to in these dark hours. I wake early most every morning because content works for me. Since becoming the father of two, this tiny portion of the day is all the me-time I have left. If people were honest, which they mostly aren’t, I think they would admit to wanting more time alone. It’s 5:47 AM and I’m sitting quietly in the kitchen, where there are no responsibilities, no guilt, and no unmet expectations. Simply silence.

Mitch Pederson, a forty-something executive in the high-tech world, made no allowance for blackmail in his comprehensive plans to ascend to the top of an electronics company. His carefully ordered world quickly unravels into a chaos that threatens everything he cares about. As he puts the pieces of his life back together he discovers something about himself that is much more than the sum of the parts.


The Author

Leo’s  Website / Goodreads / Facebook
The son of a career Air Force serviceman, Leo spent his childhood living the nomadic life of

a military brat. Having survived the constant uprooting, Leo draws upon the time spent in the four corners of the US as well as Europe to develop his characters.

Leo has finally settled down in San Diego, California with his wife of over thirty years. Aside from writing, and engineering (the necessary day job), he enjoys time with his children/grandchildren, running distance races and all things baseball.

"I write contemporary novels where I stress a character's beliefs to the point of breaking and then I follow along for the ride.My goal is to offer readers a pause in their lives to think about what they believe and why."~ Leo Dufresne

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